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Value/interest in antique automobiles


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I am trying to sell some of my vehicles on this site and have talked to several local collector/restorers relative to selling cars. It seems from what I am seeing that the market for early cars; especially those of the twenties and thirties is not very strong. I am posting this to see what the rest of you collectors think. Let me know...Thanks.

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I think the sales of #1 & #2 vehicles are doing well, but the #3,#4,#5 & #6 and big projects are falling off.

The problem is that many sellers see their vehicles as #1 & #2, when they are not.

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Project cars have next to no value unless they are a 32 Ford or a future Pebble Beach Best of Show.

 

Prewar non project cars that are not painted like a circus wagon and priced accordingly will find a home. 

 

As always,  "priced accordingly" is the sticking point.

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I have not seen a prewar stock vehicle on my roads here in eastern CT for 3 years.  I do see a few hotrods and streetrods.

 

The peak popularity for stock late 20s and early 30s was in the 1970s for the ''average'' hobbyist, I'm talking about shows including Hershey.

 

The market is going to get hit even harder because the entire financial disaster of this year so far is still growing/spreading, meaning more damage/or concerns being felt each month by even more people,.... and it will continue. 

 

Some might see a few cars moving OK at auctions, but I'd bet those buyers are grabbing what looks like a super good deal to them going by past prices. The important thing to think about, is that the pool of buyers simply will empty out at some point

 

Panic driven sellers are trying to beat the game of musical chairs.  Most know the market is not good and can only get worse.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, HarryJ said:

I am trying to sell some of my vehicles on this site and have talked to several local collector/restorers relative to selling cars. It seems from what I am seeing that the market for early cars; especially those of the twenties and thirties is not very strong. I am posting this to see what the rest of you collectors think. Let me know...Thanks.

 

Sorry that your desired sales aren't going as well as you'd hoped. I'm curious as to what your specific criteria is for "not very strong," however. Are you just not getting many responses? Or are people telling you that your prices are too high? Or are you using the sale of other similar vehicles as your measure? I ask these questions for my own benefit for when I sell my own vehicles. The only thing I can contribute is that I wouldn't try to sell a non-essential collector car during a "once in a century outbreak" (whether it actually is one or not.) That being said, I wish you the best of luck in your efforts.

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Thanks guys....F&J, I agree with you in that "baby boomers" like myself liked to restore, piddle with cars of the 20's, 30's and now the younger generations don't care much for these cars. I remember when a guy would say "if you ever want to sell that car, let me know". Another note; I have more in the cars in my collection than I could have gotten even in a very good market. I would like to see them get into hands that will preserve and improve them.

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Harry, I see from your other postings on our forum

that you are selling your 1921 Studebaker, 1928 Lincoln,

1929 Ford, and 1931 Plymouth.

 

I think the 1921 Studebaker would have the least 

interest expressed, but someone may appreciate it.

The Lincoln, being a Classic, has a good chance of

finding a home, as do the others.  This forum is 

populated by car fans who love to discuss cars, but

it's not a big enough market to find a home for

many cars.

 

I say:  Price them realistically for the market;

advertise where they will be seen by serious hobbyists

for their era;  and be patient.  The website 

www.prewarcar.com, and the Hemmings Motor News

magazine and website, are good choices.  So too

may be the website of the Horseless Carriage Club of

America, because they have cars posted there that

are past their cut-off of 1915.

 

All the best to you in your sale.

 

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I just had a look at your " for sale " thread. Your Sept. 1 st. price revision strikes me as placing the cars in the very realistic price category. 

John is right, patience is needed in todays market.  But at those prices I suspect they will sell.

 

Greg

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Was looking for a car. Less than 20k made for $50k+. Found #3+ for under 5 large and a #4 for half that. First is appropriate as a DD & for local shows, second is more of a project. Both run, drive, and stops well & both have cold AC (and second was less than 5 miles from my house). Am a sucker for orphans that need my kind of work

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4 hours ago, HarryJ said:

 I remember when a guy would say "if you ever want to sell that car, let me know". 

I've sold quite a few old cars over the years but rarely anymore. Occasionally these "let me know" guys would leave notes on my cars at the mall, movie theatre, supermarket, or even in the driveway at home if they didn't catch me in person to talk about buying the old car that wasn't for sale at the time. I would save their number in my files and sometimes in the future if I actually wanted to sell I called them back and gave them first chance since they were such interested buyers a few years before. None of these half dozen or so "let me knows" ever bought anything and most all of them forgot about me and the car altogether, they had no idea who I was and why I would even be calling them.  I guess it's an impulse or spur-of-the-moment thing and I know lives and situations change etc.  I currently have several older "let me know" notes on file for a few cars I own but I should probably throw them out!

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Years ago, I used to get those "please sell it to me give me a call" requests. I often would ask what they would consider paying for it. NOT ONE ever made an offer even half of a bargain price. They were all just flippers looking to make a quick buck on anything. One car I was needing to sell, I almost slugged the guy (not my usual nature!) for flagging me down, begging me to sell him the car, and making an absolutely insulting offer (I sold it about a week later for about four times his offer.

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Guess they must succeed often enough to make it worth while. Think of it as physical spam. Occasionally I'll fixation on a car - make, model, color, options, & year. Once I start looking I usually find. Problem is have found too many and am out of license plates.

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RULES:

 

People need to put some effort into their sales - lazy rarely cuts it.  

 

And people really do not want to talk to you and may or may not want to come to your house either, so you have to give them all the ammunition for the gun (ie spend some time on descriptions).

 

Take good photography - photos for the advertisement and then photos to send in email.

 

And, most things have a finite price, so pipe dreams will not get you what you want.  

 

A good example, is friends have their parent's X and while it has been a X Club award winner in late 1970's it has not seen the light of day in years now, needs maintenance to do anything other than run, could stand a repaint, new top, and ... (which even if you did that work on a shoestring budget would now exceed the value of the car) - the "BIG MONEY" they demand for the car will happen when DONKEYS FLY.

 

A second good example:  A fellow put his 1929 Packard 745 5 passenger touring out on this site and facebook asking its value.  It was original or older restored with nice upgrades and everyone said 80K to 100K (some lower and some cautiously higher) and most all said they needed more information to pinpoint - well, I think he originally put it up for 200K, but think he has come down to 180K.  

 

As to Pre-War Cars in General -

Sedans make the World go round as there are so many, but as a result most have finite values, 

Project cars are a strategy as costs to restore on a shoestring often exceed value

On rare exception project cars rarely sell for over 100K

Pre 1915 stuff is great, but a lot of late teens and 20's cars have very limited club support - hurts their value

Things needing 10K + in engine parts fabrication (ex. a recast cylinder head or new manifolds) = not going to sell well

Things that do not run take a hit as buyer risks that it needs thousands of dollars of engine work.

Poor color choices HURT

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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On 9/8/2020 at 12:36 PM, HarryJ said:

I am trying to sell some of my vehicles on this site and have talked to several local collector/restorers relative to selling cars. It seems from what I am seeing that the market for early cars; especially those of the twenties and thirties is not very strong. I am posting this to see what the rest of you collectors think. Let me know...Thanks.

You need 4 separate posts (one for each car).

Post must state in title exactly what the car is "F.S. 1928 Lincoln 7 Passenger Sedan - Nice Original" or ... - you get the idea)

Post a good dozen photos of each (minimum probably 9-10 minimum).  

       1. Front, 2. Left Side, 3. Right Side, 4. Engine Right Side, 5. Engine Left Side, 6. Rear, 7. Dash, 8. Front Seat Area,

       9. Rear Seat Area, 10. Maybe Underside, 11. Manuals/Extra Parts

Tell us the good the bad and the ugly as to its condition.  

Make your price easy to find.  

And tell everyone what State you are in. 

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Thanks for the comment...My camera is not working properly...so I have posted pics I took awhile back....yes the demand for cars of the twenties and thirties is poor. I am very surprised to encounter this situation. By the way I have 2 or 3 times the $ in these cars than I will ever get out; however, I did not buy them as investments.

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" I did not buy them as investments. " and so say all of us (except maby for Matt). Mine are pretty much all toys including the DDs. Am now learning A Lot more than I ever wanted about 1987 Bose car audio systems.

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One problem as well is the less turn key a car is and the more it's going to need  (not so much like a restoration but servicing) the less interest and eventually lower price you will get as the buyer is assuming all the risk, of a non running car needing brakes and tires in some cases plus all the way up to an engine rebuild.  I drove my little Dodge in the garage when I bought it but never test drove it.  

I dug into it over almost a years time off and on.  I think I am finally to the point to put it on the road.  All new brakes,  tires, lots of small things fixed that were messed up but took lots of time to fix.

The reason I'm not as anxious to want to tear into that Plymouth Roadster. Especially with just the one photo.  I got burned on the Dodge,  Stuff you would never think you would need to fix,  that needed to be fixed so simple actions like opening and closing a door or putting the top up and down,  worked as they should.  That's not being picky with some kind of fitment gauge,  that's just making it so stuff doesn't scrape.  Water leaks would be herrendous in a driving rain But I can atleast open and close things and not put my hand through the openings when they are shut.  The doors can now be opened and closed with the windows up and the cowl vent even functions properly which was not only missing half of the bracket assembly but the swing arms are now free so everything works properly.  This all on a car that looked like this when it went in my shop. 

thumbnail-7.jpeg

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