1935Packard

The classic car market in an era of COVID-19

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Posted (edited)

Maybe it's too early, but I'm curious if those who follow the market closely have a sense of how COVID-19 may be impacting the classic car market (other than just shutting things down, of course).  I think RM just finished up its online-only Palm Peach auction, which may offer some data points, and maybe there are other auction results out there, too.  

 

There are a lot more important things going on in the world right now, of course. But as my dad used to say, "if we don't have vodka, let's at least talk about vodka."

 

 

Edited by 1935Packard (see edit history)

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If cars were real estate or stocks we would be talking about a market correction.  I think that there will always be a certain market for the upper end very rare etc but really for the most part all of these cars were mass produced to one measure or another.  Perhaps the era of the over-restored cars will be over, in particular the 50's and 60's cars.  They were not necessarily well built to begin with and the door gaps etc were never perfect coming down the line.  I'm not sure how long ago things change from the Antique Car Market to the Collector Car Market but anything that is designated as having collector status rarely maintains its value for long.  Maybe in the long run a price correction is a good thing that will allow more people to participate and be more affordable.  Of course we will only know with hindsight and in the meantime get out and drive them - that's what they were meant for!

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I suspect when this whole thing is done, there may be more activity than usual. People will want to do fun things after not being able to for a while. Others may realize that life is short and to stop putting things off, and I suspect that restoration services and supplies will see a spike as well...people at home working on their cars, will want to finish them or find someone to do what they are not able to do with their skill sets or supplies. 

 

I imagine car shows will be packed when we are able to have them again, and I can't wait...even though around here they don't start until May, so technically have not missed any yet. Some are already cancelled though. 

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Posted (edited)

I suspect it's too early to know, as data is not yet available. I am hearing stories of folks getting lots of work done on their auto projects. I am included in that group. Yesterday I put in a 12 hour shift in my garage working on one of my cars. I visited a local Auto Parts store to pick up a few things this week. I asked the parts guy if business was quiet due to Covid-19. He said no, that they are seeing people coming in form all walks of life buying lots of parts for their vehicles. He said he's been selling some items that are rarely sold. So it does seem that folks stuck are home, that are into working on their own cars, are indeed doing so with vigour these days. Perhaps a slight resurgence in the old car market will happen after this is all over. I'd like to see a boom in economic activity when it's all over. I hope people do indeed want to celebrate. Get out and live life like the 1920's, or after WW2. Life's short and delicate. Perhaps more will whoop it up!

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)

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I suspect that the crashing economy and tanking 401K accounts will put a damper on disposable income and luxury item purchases for some time.

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3 minutes ago, joe_padavano said:

I suspect that the crashing economy and tanking 401K accounts will put a damper on disposable income and luxury item purchases for some time.

And here comes Debbie Downer.  (just kidding). with all the doom and gloom in the news (yesterday's bright spot was that an asteroid might wipe out a large city in 2022, well atleast it wasn't Corona related) but I'll hope for the best case scenario, the resurgence for atleast a short time as peopler have ben couped up and told what not to do,  plus all the guys getting cars done or wanting that car as mentioned might mean some activity.  

I imagine online auctions will not bring the results of live televised ones.  No voluptuous  Bidding Coach, no TV exposure and free Alcohol to loosen the bidder up. Plus no face to face competition. 

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 I received a call from a person that had been interested in buying my car for a few years and the first of the month he was going to fly 1000 miles to make the deal.

 Now the deal is in limbo.😞

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26 minutes ago, Roger Walling said:

 I received a call from a person that had been interested in buying my car for a few years and the first of the month he was going to fly 1000 miles to make the deal.

 Now the deal is in limbo.😞

 

If he's been interested for a few years and never pulled the trigger, this is only his latest excuse. There wasn't any plane ride in his future, coronavirus or no coronavirus...

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It has definitely corrupted some deals in the now.   Also, if you followed the RM Palm Beach auction,  none of the reserve cars sold and many of the no reserve cars were quite bargains.   So much so that I was forced to bid on a few of them.

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What I saw at RM PB was bidding to 40%-60% of the low estimate but was online only so no free drinks and screaming "helpers".

 

What I am wondering if driving will even reach 80% of pre-virus (suspect people are going to feel uncomfortable in malls or even big box stores for a long time) but more importantly, the people who previously had enough discretionary income to buy a toy will be reluctant to spend (and the way the stimulus is structured probably will not receive any payment). Florida in particular is taking a massive hit on a fragile economy that will not recover this year. Many are out of work. Suddenly "Escape from New York" is a reality and we rely on Yankee and Canadian dollars for much of our budget.

 

Dunno about other places but have a strong feeling about what is going to happen here and we started out "target rich". Recovery even to a much lower level is going to be slow.

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Posted (edited)

The term “buyer’s market” comes to mind.  In 1985 I was able to get a good deal on a house because the typical home mortgage rate was around 13% and most buyers did not want to jump in to those kind of rates.  As a single guy with a decent job I had saved money when the banks were paying 8% or more on savings.  For some this is an ideal time to buy stocks or slow moving big ticket items.

Edited by TerryB (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

If he's been interested for a few years and never pulled the trigger, this is only his latest excuse. There wasn't any plane ride in his future, coronavirus or no coronavirus...

Probably the same guy who's been buying my Jaguar for 2 years!

Quote

 

 

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The world has been coming to an end for the last 1000 years.    The stock market is going to crash.(again, and again, and again!).    Young people have no respect for their elders.        “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”      Everything old is new again.   The times they are changing.  There is only one thing certain in this world.......none of us are getting out of it alive. I will continue to live my life, do my work, and play with my cars every day......come hell, high water, Corona 19, climate change, sea level rising, and any other wrath of God disaster that is thrown at me. Life is very, very short...........live it while you can. It’s going to be over much faster than you can imagine. I took two cars out for a drive today...........with my usual parking places along the beach closed to everyone, I parked in a no parking zone and read the paper. Cop came by and asked if I knew I was in a no parking anytime zone. I told him yes. But I thought that since traffic is down 95 percent, that the rules were not worth enforcing...........and since they closed the public parks, beaches, waterfront, and water ways, I decided unilaterally it was ok to park in front of the closed gate. 

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I was hoping they were going to tow the Duessy.  I have a secure place to store it until it all blows over for them just to discourage you from being such a vagrant again. ;) 

Then I would finally have the D in ACD in the garage. 

 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

I was hoping they were going to tow the Duessy.  I have a secure place to store it until it all blows over for them just to discourage you from being such a vagrant again. ;) 

Then I would finally have the D in ACD in the garage. 

 


 

Interesting factoid...........very, very few tow companies will tow a Model J............seems that the owners tend to be rather anal retentive and sue them for every little scratch or dent.........(true story!)

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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21 minutes ago, yachtflame said:

So Ed, do you need anything while in jail? 
 

wayne


The “three of us” are much harder to place under arrest than you can imagine..........😎 

 

 

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Ed, in looking at your tag lines, the one about prewar, I have a story on that.  About six weeks ago I gave a talk on the status of the antiques market as my wife and I dabble in a small way and have a booth at a local antiques mall.  During the talk I said that the term antique is now mostly referring to items made “prewar”.  A nice, quite old gentleman in the audience said, “oh, WWI era”?  So I guess prewar depends on when you were born.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, auburnseeker said:

And here comes Debbie Downer.  (just kidding).

 

Actually, that's Ronnie Realist. If unemployment hits 20% and businesses shutter, there won't be a lot of extra cash for non-essential purchases. Believe me, I really hope I am wrong. I just hope a lot of the small repro parts vendors and restoration suppliers don't also go out of business as a result.

Edited by joe_padavano (see edit history)
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The reproduction parts guys have all been in trouble over the last five years..........nothing new there. While no one can predict the future, I expect thing to do the classics V curve, and I expect we will come out of this rather quickly. A positive and “can do” attitude is half the battle. Don’t let this 🦠 get you down........it will disappear as fast it came.

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Unless my landlord is willing to not get paid, unless the utility companies are willing to not get paid, unless the insurance company is willing to not get paid, I'll be gone by June...

 

Nice knowing you, guys...

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1 minute ago, Matt Harwood said:

Unless my landlord is willing to not get paid, unless the utility companies are willing to not get paid, unless the insurance company is willing to not get paid, I'll be gone by June...

 

Nice knowing you, guys...

I sure hope not!

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9 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

Unless my landlord is willing to not get paid, unless the utility companies are willing to not get paid, unless the insurance company is willing to not get paid, I'll be gone by June...

 

Nice knowing you, guys...

Well think optimistically then and I'm not usually the optimistic one, because it will atleast help you sleep at night. 

I'm making it a point to watch a funny movie at night and turn off the news as much as possible.  Does seem to help some. 

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It is too early to tell. I live in Nassau County, on Long Island, and was at work  in Queens, when the attacks happened  on Sept. 11.  Never thought that would happen in our wildest dreams, yet a month later my friend and I were at Hershey. We were still reeling from the events, but it gave us something to help us change gears for a few days. We dealt with the tragedy the best that we could, and  we survived. I feel by the grace of God, we will survive this too. I think of may dad fighting during World War Two in the Pacific, and what he encountered., and put this virus  in perspective .  We will get through this, take nothing for granted.  Be positive, and when things get to be too much,, turn off the news, and  work on a project. Thanks. John

 

 

 

 

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Folks who buy collector cars do not live pay check to pay check. So unless the world comes to a complete end people are going to want toys. Once this is all over no matter how long it takes people are going to want to get out and celebrate. Reminding someone that life is short makes them not worry about spending on something they have always wanted. But if anyone wants to sell their cars at 90% off or trade them for toilet paper give me a call. This country has overcome many greater problems than this and always come out for the better. I foresee more American manufacturing in the future. This has shown us all that we should not, and cannot depend on china or anybody else.

 

Go out in your garages, polish your cars, fix all the little things you have been putting off doing. Take a ride around the block if you can. Wave to everybody, honk your horn and enjoy life the best you can. Pray to God and this will soon be over.

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