1935Packard

The classic car market in an era of COVID-19

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Just a thought but prices have not changed much because no-one is buying and sellers have not lowered prices yet. OTOH what we do know is that auctions are 30%-40% off but are mainly people who are not really affected by the market. OTOH right now the market does not exist to go one way or another. When/if it does begin again it will seek its own (probably lower) level,  most ads are over a month old. Personally I have seen my 401k shrink by 20% since Januay.. I expect it to find a new level by next year when the IRS forces me to take money out but still that will affect how many will think about "discretionary income".

That said in Florida a record 65,000 people filed for unemployment last night. Car sales are essentially zero so prices are irrevelent. I am not sure if the DMV is even open, know they are not issuing driver's licensees (police are told to ignore recent expirations). It would not surprise me if Florida becomes a welfare state for the near future.

 

As a double whammy I expect the pool of cars for sale to increase dramatically in the near future. May you live in interesting times.

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39 minutes ago, padgett said:

Just a thought but prices have not changed much because no-one is buying and sellers have not lowered prices yet. OTOH what we do know is that auctions are 30%-40% off but are mainly people who are not really affected by the market. OTOH right now the market does not exist to go one way or another. When/if it does begin again it will seek its own (probably lower) level,  most ads are over a month old. Personally I have seen my 401k shrink by 20% since Januay.. I expect it to find a new level by next year when the IRS forces me to take money out but still that will affect how many will think about "discretionary income".

That said in Florida a record 65,000 people filed for unemployment last night. Car sales are essentially zero so prices are irrevelent. I am not sure if the DMV is even open, know they are not issuing driver's licensees (police are told to ignore recent expirations). It would not surprise me if Florida becomes a welfare state for the near future.

 

As a double whammy I expect the pool of cars for sale to increase dramatically in the near future. May you live in interesting times.

On the last line, same to you fella.

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2 hours ago, RMCIII said:

We have several antiques and hot rods for sale. 

 

How about some pics? Where are you located?

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8 hours ago, padgett said:

Just a thought but prices have not changed much because no-one is buying and sellers have not lowered prices yet. OTOH what we do know is that auctions are 30%-40% off but are mainly people who are not really affected by the market. OTOH right now the market does not exist to go one way or another. When/if it does begin again it will seek its own (probably lower) level,  most ads are over a month old. Personally I have seen my 401k shrink by 20% since Januay.. I expect it to find a new level by next year when the IRS forces me to take money out but still that will affect how many will think about "discretionary income".

That said in Florida a record 65,000 people filed for unemployment last night. Car sales are essentially zero so prices are irrevelent. I am not sure if the DMV is even open, know they are not issuing driver's licensees (police are told to ignore recent expirations). It would not surprise me if Florida becomes a welfare state for the near future.

 

As a double whammy I expect the pool of cars for sale to increase dramatically in the near future. May you live in interesting times.

 

Seems about right, unfortunately.       

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For the past 10 days or so I have been making my short errand runs in either my '86 Park Ave convertible or my '94 Impala SS. Yesterday I needed to get a box of Timberlok screws and took the Impala. Coming back on a side street a car approached me with an arm and a thumbs up sticking out. It was a smiling guy no older than 30 in an early 2000's Crown Vic. I smiled and knew there would be a market for my newer stuff. That heavy 1930's stuff just might be the albatross in the 2020's that my Dad called them in the 1960's. Those kids will find their niche.

 

I can still hear Dad asking "What do you want that big ark for?".

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Posted (edited)

I just come off the road hauling cars. Auctions are closed and some states, the car dealers are closed. WA for one. People are not moving and our biggest customer, the Military on lock down till Aug. I parked my truck and doing my plan B job. Retail. Mopar parts. My email is going crazy and my phone is ringing off the hook. 

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Edited by countrytravler (see edit history)

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My no longer a newbie friend Orrie Simko has sold a couple cars in the past couple weeks, and I know Tom Laferriere sold a 38 Packard 6 and was able to schedule transport.  Slow market, absolutely.  But not ready to write an obit on prewar cars just yet.  I track so few postwar models cant speak to that intelligently other than the general concensus someone will have interest, I don't think era preferance will be shaped at all by this.  Speed of economic recovery will be key of course to overall demand, prices, etc.

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After the great depression, those who went through it were never as carefree about money. I suspect with the nation on pause for a month or two the same is going to happen particularly here in Florida where over half of the state budget comes from tourists and most of that comes in October to June. Add to that, the virus hits older people harder than younger. There is a reason Florida is known as God's waiting room.

 

Also today we have over 16 MILLION people on unemployment, here the fiiling computers are swamped so we really do not know how many are out of work, cetainly in Orange county the three major employers, Disney, Sea Word, and Universal, are shut down plus nearly all hotels and malls.

 

Meanwhile groves are booming, Florida may return to its agricultural roots.

 

Another change: first run movies are being released to cable at the same time as on the big scream. Glad I took advantage of a cyber-monday sale and moved from a 55 to a 75. Also took adantage of an Amazon deal for a collection of all six Sharknado movies, now have a couple of days of Shark movies (Sharktopus ?)

 

Also I've been tracking C5 Corvettes (most qualify for my collector's insurance) and Cadillac XLRs (JC Taylor will insure as an "exotic") and nothing is selling, most advt are over a month old. I suspect that except for Pebble Beach quality cars there is going to be a major change in the market, 30%-40% drop would not surprise me. Be interesting to see what happens.

 

Meanwhile am occupied setting up a BigBlueButton LAN at home (have enough parts for a couple of servers), have a bad feeling about Zoom for some time.

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On 3/29/2020 at 7:43 PM, TerryB said:

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.

Hi Terry

thought this may interest you , Having had an antique shop during the 90s , I remember once when visiting or offering a few of my aunts nice items to Sotheby’s and they commented that our Art Deco items  circa 1930s were not antiques, antiques have to be a 100 years old . Not sure that’s actually correct but something adopted by the trade .

note your items pre Ww2 , were they Art Deco too.

cheers

pilgrim

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Yes, in the 1980s and 1990s the 100 year “rule” was common. Today not so much.  Everybody has an idea of what they think is antique and how many years from the current date to use that term.  Fifty years back is 1970!  That is scary to me as I graduated from high school in 1970.  Doesn’t seem that long ago!

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1 hour ago, TerryB said:

 I graduated from high school in 1970. 

 

So did I. Our 50 year reunion, which was scheduled for June, has been postponed until who knows when.... :wub:

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I don't think there has ever been a real consensus of opinion on what "antique" means. I have been in this collector hobby since before middle school when I was collecting coins (and I too graduated high school in 1970). I have have heard and read dozens of OPINIONs of what "antique" means, but NEVER anything that could remotely be called a universal definition. After I had my first "antique" car (a '29 Reo that was only 40 years old at the time), I was also collecting 78 rpm records, phonographs, and all sorts of things to go along with my car,  "antique" shops that I frequented all seemed to have differing ideas of what "antique" meant. One shop owner insisted it was anything that was 63 years old. Another swore it was 67 years! Another said 50, still another told me 92.

I have talked with a few people that I tend to agree with, saying the amount of time depends upon what the item is. Technology advances fast for some time, and then settles into a steady change. Recent technologies may deserve "antique status" after twenty or thirty years. Automotive "fast development" ended about the 1920s. So maybe pre-WW2 would make sense.

Eventually, even technology becomes over a hundred years old.

But that brings up another thought, a saying I have read a couple of times.

In America, we consider 200 years to be very old. In England, they consider 200 miles to be very far, but 200 years is like last week.

 

Then again. Years ago, through work, I knew a very good man, that happened to have been Palestinian by birth. One day we were talking in his office, and chatting drifted a bit, to a travel poster on his wall. A poster advertising travel to Israel. It pictured a very old historic part of a very old city. His face lit up as he pointed to a building in the picture. And he told me that was the house he was born in. His sister and their mother still (to that day) lived in that house. The house had been built over 1500 years before, and his family had lived in it for more than a thousand years!

 

I still love my brass era model T, and all that it represents. But sometimes, I have trouble thinking of it as really all that old.

I do however have one ancient Greek and a couple Roman coins still.

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I don't think there can be a better example of dogma than the car collector hobby. The great thing about it is the huge number of facets. The whole hobby is very adaptable to the individual.

When I was 30 I took my 15 year old Riviera to a car show and was asked why I was in the line with the show cars. When I was 65 I took my my 20 year old Impala SS to a car show and was told the spectator parking was up the other drive way. When I was 70 I opened the hood on my 17 year old V12 BMW at a cruise night and some snarky old fart with a Summit Racer Camaro asked "Is that fast?".

 

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I don't remember the first two but the third appeared, to me, to still be affected genetically by the famine in Europe after the Napoleonic wars. Maybe second or third generation.

 

But for the person who just likes cars and that other stuff is secondary.

Bernie

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I don't know how accurate this is, but it's at least some relevant information.  

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-16/coronavirus-crashes-the-car-industry-winners-emerge-in-classics?fbclid=IwAR3hEz3cu2oGwDN1DoVP3uZJEYySWUjf6yWrp4cvC13dU1pBeRIbthyVwiM

 

While Used Cars Pile Up in Lots, the Classics Are Busy Changing Hands

The market for vintage and collectable automobiles remains strong during this period of social lockdown, creating some unusual opportunities. Just don’t expect bargain basement prices.

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I had a guy contact me today and ask me what the "current climate"  price is on one of our more expensive vehicles. When I asked  him what he meant, he said that he knows cars aren't selling and that I must be desperate by now. He ultimately offered about 20 cents on the dollar and told me that I would be stupid not to take it because nobody will be buying cars again for a year. He actually claimed he was trying to save my business.


OK, smart guy. Unfortunately, I'll never be desperate enough to lose $150,000 in one shot--all that would do is put me out of business that much faster.

 

We've actually had one of the better Aprils in our recent history. I know better than to expect it to continue indefinitely, especially if there's a recession waiting at the finish line, but for the moment my concerns are allayed. I'm actually more concerned about finding some fresh inventory since the input side is almost totally stopped. I expect there'll be a flood of new cars on the market when the lockdown is over.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

We've actually had one of the better Aprils in our recent history. I know better than to expect it to continue indefinitely, especially if there's a recession waiting at the finish line, but for the moment my concerns are allayed.

 

That's great to hear.     If you don't mind me asking, are these people buying cars remotely, without an in-person inspection?  Or were they able to see/drive the cars first?

 

 

 

Edited by 1935Packard (see edit history)

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Most collectible/antique/classic car owners are smart people.  They can afford a car to just play with.  If a person is looking to buy, now is a smart time to do it.  I have been watching cars for my teenager.  Just about all late model used cars have been marked down by their sellers over the past few weeks.  Now is a good time to get him something, we are just too picky.   Where is a one owner 2004 Camry XLE with a V6 with under 150,000 miles for $2000?  (For a variety of reasons, this is the perfect first car/college car).  They must exist.  😄😜

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2 hours ago, 1935Packard said:

I don't know how accurate this is, but it's at least some relevant information.  

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-16/coronavirus-crashes-the-car-industry-winners-emerge-in-classics?fbclid=IwAR3hEz3cu2oGwDN1DoVP3uZJEYySWUjf6yWrp4cvC13dU1pBeRIbthyVwiM

 

While Used Cars Pile Up in Lots, the Classics Are Busy Changing Hands

The market for vintage and collectable automobiles remains strong during this period of social lockdown, creating some unusual opportunities. Just don’t expect bargain basement prices.

 

I just read the same article and was going to post it.  Just yesterday I was talking to someone who owns a classic car dealership and he said over the last thirty days he has sold twelve cars which is even with last year.  He said he was surprised and most of the cars were higher priced.  

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Saw that Bloomberg piece and just confirms what I've been saying: Great cars will always bring premium prices. However what many consider to be "used cars" (like an XLR) will take a huge hit.

 

Even that puff piece said "Auto prices across the board have fallen 10% in recent weeks, according to Manheim, which is owned by Cox Automotive. Used-car sales in March fell 64%" and that was last month If its not Top of the Line and pristine/low miles and was built in thousands it is going to be a hard sell.

 

Just proves again "the rich are different".

 

ps When I came back from SEA in early '70 and could get fresh milk again, had to get the Avis lady to come out and show me where the key in a Cutlass went. Had never seen a column lock.

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This car was featured in the above article. I'll be 70 in December, can someone take a stab at explaining why this Lancia Delta S4 sold for $500.00.00? Outdoing the ugly of the Pontiac AZTEC is not a good enough reason. Bob 

1000x-1.jpg

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On 3/30/2020 at 11:49 AM, mike6024 said:

I am looking to buy a wood chipper at this time. Used chipper ads tend to be like car listings, over-priced. I doubt there are many buyers at this time.

 

 

Chipper El Dorado 2.jpg

 

I should have grabbed this when I had a chance. It's been sold. It was only $6,000 asking price, less than 800 hours on it, and a 6 cylinder (gas) Ford engine so it is a powerful machine. At least for the money. Probably chip just as fast as one of those Vermeer 1000 which are usually $20K+ used.

 

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

This car was featured in the above article. I'll be 70 in December, can someone take a stab at explaining why this Lancia Delta S4 sold for $500.00.00? Outdoing the ugly of the Pontiac AZTEC is not a good enough reason. Bob 

1000x-1.jpg

 

That is a Group B rally car. Any Group B car is worth a lot of money. That series produced some of the most insane, exotic, over-the-top high performance cars ever made. They have never been cheap, and demand has always exceeded supply.

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-11/ugly-old-lancia-delta-s4-worth-1-million-on-classic-car-market

 

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 1937hd45 said:

This car was featured in the above article. I'll be 70 in December, can someone take a stab at explaining why this Lancia Delta S4 sold for $500.00.00? Outdoing the ugly of the Pontiac AZTEC is not a good enough reason. Bob 

1000x-1.jpg

 

They are a homologation special in Lancia's rally program. A very special car built in very small numbers. About 480 HP from a 1.8 Litre engine. The mid 1980's successor to the Stratos.

The bees knees to a rally person.

Personally I like the Stratos better but I bet the Delta can run rings around one with the right driver.

 

Greg in Canada 

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Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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Thank you both, I just don't get it. For that kind of money (if I had it), there would be a worn out Type 37 Bugatti in my garage. Bob 

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I agree about the price. Rally driving is hugely popular outside of North America. One of the most demanding forms of motorsport out there. And Lancia's program is second to none.

The top rally drivers have incredible skill.

 

Greg in Canada

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