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What do you guys think is going to happen to the classic/ antique car market?   Some older cars seem to be selling for really good deals.  Will they go up in value?  or will easier to drive and care for cars go up in value more?  I would love to know what you guys think.  Buying an old car as an investment or just buy them to enjoy and not worry about it?  I would like to do both drive enjoy and hope they go up a little in value. 

 

Thank you for your time.

 

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Purely speculation. 

Exceptional or higher end cars are going to continue to increase in value. Cars like mine are going to remain stable or decrease in value. Average projects are going to have a hard time finding buyers. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Fossil said:

Purely speculation. 

Exceptional or higher end cars are going to continue to increase in value. Cars like mine are going to remain stable or decrease in value. Average projects are going to have a hard time finding buyers. 

 

Especially as the number of old folks like us pass on and the number of younger ones most of them anyway seem not to have anywhere near the interest.  I believe most of the high end cars are just status symbols for the super rich to impress their other rich friends. Not all of course but most.

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Buy to enjoy, not for an investment.  My guess is that the market generally will soften over time, as our cars and the infrastructure that supports them become more of historical interest and harder over time to support.  The super-high-end market is harder to predict, as it's like the art market; it depends on how many super-rich people are sitting around with $$ burning a whole in their pocket.  Relatively newer cars, like 90s era, are probably a good bet, as they're at the bottom of the usual depreciation curve.  My guess, at least.

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I've always bought what I liked. I'm grateful there are restoration shops that turn out flawless high end restorations for us to view at shows, also thankful that there are people that can pay for the process. 

 

Bob 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
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I know very little about the old car market. My theory is that any old thing - be it a car, a musical instrument, an antique or a house - is valued mostly because of a cultural connection to the past or the era it comes from. When the cultural connection is gone, the value that exceeds the intrinsic value is probably gone, too.  People do appreciate the great styling of cars all the way from the teens to the early 1970's, and that styling isn't coming back, but I believe the essential appeal of those things lies in people's interest in the past or history.

 

A sort of nostalgic movement started  sometime in the mid to late 20th century. I remember people being fascinated with old things throughout my youth and most of my adult life, but I sense that fascination will wane at some point in the not too distant future. In no way am I critiquing present or future generations, but it seems that the past doesn't capture the imagination of young people like it once did GENERALLY SPEAKING. They seem to view the past in a more cynical way. To be fair, people of my generation probably viewed the past too romantically. The truth is certainly somewhere between those two extremes. I certainly wouldn't approach the purchase of an antique car as an investment.

 

 

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)
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James, (With respect.) I think you assessment is far off the mark. That said, tastes change over time. Everything old is new again. There are more horses in the USA today than there was during the civil war..........by 25 percent. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I believe restoration project car prices are already droping over time, as the profissional services needed to repair them are becoming more scarce.

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I think the 1% stuff will do fine,  like it is art work.   I think solid running attractive cars will always find a home as long as there is gas to buy somewhere.   Marginal and project cars will approach zero value over time.

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The current interest by some (not the majority, but enough to be noticed) millenials and gen x'ers in mid century architecture, artifacts, etc. seems to show some at least  have an interest in the past.  At least half the builders of traditional hot rods are not grey beards.  Now, they may not be not restorers, but they are keeping an aspect of automotive history alive. 

I commented on another thread yesterday, basically you get a different view of the market when you factor out marginal cars and "projects" that back in the day were really parts cars.  As well as decent but not super desirable cars.  Maybe the market is not roaring, but interest is there. 

If anyone finds a nice original 32 - 34 Ford five window for $15 grand let me know.  No one wants them anymore you know, but I might be gullible enough to buy it. 😉

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5 hours ago, edinmass said:

James, I think you assessment is far off the mark. That said, tastes change over time. Everything old is new again. There are more horses in the USA today than there was during the civil war..........by 25 percent. 

I understand this line of thinking but not sure of the accuracy. The above is a good example. And theres no way you put a house in the equation. My 8 year old is obsessed with computers, and has recently taken to ones that were made long before his birth. Right now the greatest thing is old windows stuff.  Antique furniture comes and goes. As for the value of old cars, I think as prices get lower on certain eras, models, styles, that opens up an opportunity for new buyers. Thus supply and demand and those prices will go back up again. I argue this subject with my 28 yo son that is not into cars. His view is that most are worthless and in 10 years no one will want them. May be so, but I will hold on the dream as long as I can.

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9 hours ago, Fossil said:

Purely speculation. 

 

Fossil, your words are the best summary:

None of us really knows what the future will be.

I hope the hobby will be just as good as it is today.

 

When even experts are asked to predict the future,

notice that they just tend to extrapolate the graph lines

from the present.  Are teenagers less interested in cars?

We assume that the downtrend will continue down.  But

it may be totally different 20, 50, 100 years from now.

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11 hours ago, Kurt Zimmerle said:

Buying an old car as an investment or just buy them to enjoy and not worry about it?

I would like to do both drive enjoy and hope they go up a little in value. 

 

Kurt, I don't think you can depend on cars as a

good investment.  The costs of maintenance and storage

will consume plenty of your return.  And no one knows

which cars may be stupendously popular, and which ones

will languish.

 

In the 1940's, once-expensive Classics could be found

unloved on used-car dealers' back lots.  They were

uneconomical and outdated.  At one point, 1960's

performance cars were just used cars--cheap models

with big engines, and often abused by their past owners.

 

Boat-tail Buick Rivieras were once predicted to become

popular, but their following is still pretty small.  Who knows?

Maybe Ford Pintos will develop a zealous following by 2050,

and you will wish you had saved a bunch.

 

Collect what you enjoy, and don't worry about value.

The true value is in your family's memories of enjoying the cars.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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11 hours ago, Kurt Zimmerle said:

 Buying an old car as an investment or just buy them to enjoy and not worry about it?  I would like to do both drive enjoy and hope they go up a little in value. 

Well, with all due respect, but you are faaaaaaaar from first or last with such (illogical) aspiration. There is and has been millions (or more) before you and will likely be many, many more in the future.

 

@Kurt Zimmerle following commentary is just generalizing and not directed at you :

 

My uneducated, wild a*** guess after 40+ years of almost full-time involvement with all this is that over 90% of those getting into or classic/collectible/exotic/hobby/vintage/etc., i.e non-essential cars harbor the illogical notion that they expect or hope they "don't loose money" on them, even some of the better/higher educated and therefor perhaps perceived as more intelligent individuals.

And over 90% of those, whether they admit it or not, publicly or to themselves, end up not breaking anywhere near even, let alone above what they put into their alleged "hobby".

Just think about that next time you're in a car event/show and counting the participating entries, i.e. cars and their owners.

 

IMO, the above aspirations/expectations are about as silly as asking random people what they think something, be it an old car or part for one, is worth !?!

 

 

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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To make money on an antique car I think you have to be at the right place the right time and have a great deal of luck. I could sell my car today at a reduced rate and still make 3 times what I have into it, but I choose not to. WHO KNOWS is the question that no can will ever be able to answer. In a couple more years I may have to beg someone to take it! Within the last 20yrs I traded my firebird with a value of less than $5k for a 190 SL straight up.  I put a thousand dollars into the car and sold it at auction 2 years later for $11k. I was extremely happy with the return, however had I held onto it for a few years................... So yes, one can make money but in my case I was at the right place and it was the right time.  A good example is the current trend of Ford Broncos. I would say the average price is $70k for a decent one. I would speculate that this is a high water mark. 5 years from now they will be half of that. I call it the flavor of the month.  

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OTOH, there's so much illogical behavior and (self-)twisted psychology in this hobby that it often makes me think if there are any others (= hobbies/pastimes) that come anywhere close.

I believe most of it would make Freuds head explode.

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1 minute ago, TTR said:

OTOH, there's so much illogical behavior and (self-)twisted psychology in this hobby that it often makes me think if there are any others (= hobbies/pastimes) that come anywhere close.

I believe most of it would make Freuds head explode.

Honestly other than building furniture I have no other hobbies, but I would suspect that the same could be said for the people that collect trains, stamps, coins, bird watch, go fishing, skiing, etc, etc, 

 

If not, your statement should be included in the definition of 'Hobby'.

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I don't know where prices are going in the future, but based on recent perusals of various web sites with cars for sale ads, people are asking what I consider crazy money for beat up project cars.  I've seen some ads where people are asking "convertible" money for four-door sedans.  I saw an ad with a $10,000 asking price for a 1964 Impala four-door sedan that needs body work and a paint job.  Maybe I'm out of touch, but that seems awful high for that body style in that condition.  I have no idea if these cars are selling, or if the sellers are getting anywhere near their asking price.  

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2 minutes ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

Kerry, shades of a pal who found a fantastic, one owner 190 SL in a local garage around 1983.  He thought it was his ticket to a mid 70s C3 vette and was quite dissapointed he couldn't make it happen.  Hmm...

I have always been fascinated with MB.  I even had a poster of a gull wing on my wall when I was a kid. I kept looking at the 190's and thinking to myself that one day they will be as valuable as a 300. Not realizing that the 190 is only about 1/16th the 300 is. I found mine (1957 model) the guy wanted $7500 and had 3 for sale. I made a trade even up with my 'bird. At the time I thought, this is my retirement, LOL.  Car was really nice and had both tops. I did some clean up and put on a new soft top myself ( which cost something stupid like $500). Like most car guy stories, my 2 kids were young, I had no time to work on the car, money got tight so it was the first thing to go.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The 190SL is another good example of values though. As soon as the first one hit 6 figures then they all came out of the woodwork. They were selling for close to $200k at their peak. I do believe that most have come back to earth and I have seen quite a few for less than $100k now. I think people realized these were not $200k cars. 

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My son is involved in sports memorabilia, I would say somewhere in the midrange of that hobby.  He has a narrow focus out of time, research and budget necessities.  I may be biased but I think that approach is smart on his part. 

The market is at least ten times as complex as ours and from a fraud perspective maybe twenty times worse.  It went off the charts during the pandemic and I think those guys get the edge on uhh, batsh** crazy. 😁😁😁

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I will continue to buy and sell cars and collectible stuff to support my own hobby just as I have since I was in my teens. The cars have been uncompleted dreams sold to fresh dreamers. The key is that they are not required to think much about the purchase. The lower the price the less thinking.

 

As long as you can look at a grandchild holding tightly to their "blankie" or Teddy Bear there will be a market for security, escapism, or ambition. Just keep the entry fee low.

 

Although the focus tends to be on the youth in this hobby I see many of the over 50 group buying cars as if they were buying a costume. An image of who they thought they wanted to be. They will always be with us.

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100% on the 190 Kerry, interesting but way overrated.  My pal paid around 3, 4 grand in 84, not small bucks for a 22 year old.  The car had been in a garage so long, the floor had sunken lower than grade over the years.  When he cleaned the crud and dust it looked like new.  Black w red interior, I should have bought it but had my 56 Chevy back then thinking I had the steak, him the hamburger. 😁

 

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

Next time I sell a car for a profit will be the first time I sell a car for a profit. I’ve lost money on cars I got for free.

Only "profit" I've ever made on selling cars were either on occasions I sold someone else's and they paid me to get it done or when I bought and sold any to specifically make money in the process and while most of the 1000 (or so) occasions in past have involved antique/classic/exotic/vintage/etc vehicles, I never confused them as part of my hobby.

 

And while I've managed to sell most of my personal "hobby" cars for more than I initially paid for them, I never though of them as "making profit", especially when adding up services, rebuilds (including personal labor, etc) and other essential ownership costs.

OTOH, the only real "profit"(?) I got out of any of those are/were the pleasures of driving and enjoying them as much as I could.

 

I know this may offend some here, but personally, I've never considered anyone who is obsessed with or overly concerned about "profitability" of their hobby, be it about old cars, golf, hiking or stamp collecting, as a real or serious enthusiast.
Just posers or wannabes.

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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P.S. We should have an alternative thread we show our wives about this topic, in which everyone talks about how much money they made with old cars.  Could help us all in future "negotiations" over purchases!

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19 minutes ago, 1935Packard said:

P.S. We should have an alternative thread we show our wives about this topic, in which everyone talks about how much money they made with old cars.  Could help us all in future "negotiations" over purchases!

While I take your comment as humor, it touches subject references I made earlier, i.e. financial considerations and consequences.

If one has to get a spousal (or peer) approval for their hobby, whatever it may be, it’s probably not a right hobby for them to begin with.

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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20 minutes ago, TTR said:

While I take your comment as humor, it touches subject references I made earlier, i.e. financial considerations and consequences.

If one has to get a spousal (or peer) approval for their hobby, whatever it may be, it’s probably not a right hobby for them to begin with.

Thank you, Sir!

 

  Ben

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4 hours ago, TAKerry said:

I have always been fascinated with MB.  I even had a poster of a gull wing on my wall when I was a kid. I kept looking at the 190's and thinking to myself that one day they will be as valuable as a 300. Not realizing that the 190 is only about 1/16th the 300 is. I found mine (1957 model) the guy wanted $7500 and had 3 for sale. I made a trade even up with my 'bird. At the time I thought, this is my retirement, LOL.  Car was really nice and had both tops. I did some clean up and put on a new soft top myself ( which cost something stupid like $500). Like most car guy stories, my 2 kids were young, I had no time to work on the car, money got tight so it was the first thing to go.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The 190SL is another good example of values though. As soon as the first one hit 6 figures then they all came out of the woodwork. They were selling for close to $200k at their peak. I do believe that most have come back to earth and I have seen quite a few for less than $100k now. I think people realized these were not $200k cars. 

 

I still can't believe they are $20,000 cars. But even when they were $2000.00 - $3000.00 cars I wasn't even remotely interested in them. About as " non - sporting " a sports car that ever was. Give me a Jowett Jupiter any day ! 

 

I think the reason many of us are very market price aware is that in many cases any hobby car is a big strain on the household budget. And if a hobby car turns out to be a sinkhole for money, the household CEO is going to take a very dim view of the entire concept.

 Those that can actually afford their indulgences regardless of R.O.I. are in another category all together.  The other 90 % of us wasted our formative years learning about old cars rather than ways of earning significantly above average incomes, long term investing, successful tax strategies and all the other arcane knowledge that is key to actually being able to afford the old car hobby.

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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19 minutes ago, TTR said:

If one has to get a spousal . . .  approval for their hobby, whatever it may be, it’s probably not a right hobby for them to begin with.

 

Under your standard, most of us under the age of 60 or so would be unable to have any hobbies.   Or at least wouldn't be able to stay married.

 

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Re the 190SL, I was at a concours last weekend with at least 20 cars that were in the seven figure range.  I saw a 190SL in light blue and whitewalls (sorry AJ) that absolutely stopped me in my tracks.  Just gorgeous; a lovely design.  And some colors really make them pop.  It's slow, sure, but then a new Toyota Camry will run circles around a Ferrari from that era, not sure you get an old car for speed.   Agreed they spiked too high in value compared to what else you could get for a while, but still, really neat looking cars.

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47 minutes ago, 1935Packard said:

Re the 190SL, I was at a concours last weekend with at least 20 cars that were in the seven figure range.  I saw a 190SL in light blue and whitewalls (sorry AJ) that absolutely stopped me in my tracks.  Just gorgeous; a lovely design.  And some colors really make them pop.  It's slow, sure, but then a new Toyota Camry will run circles around a Ferrari from that era, not sure you get an old car for speed.   Agreed they spiked too high in value compared to what else you could get for a while, but still, really neat looking cars.

 

It is a MGB with a star logo on it.   Orin, you were just blinded by the tires.

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Please ...MGB's really are great cars within the limits of their original price/ displacement. And the V8 version takes the concept to a reasonably high position amongst any of the 1960's / 70's sports cars. The 190 is not even close despite the current market price.

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, 1935Packard said:

 

Under your standard, most of us under the age of 60 or so would be unable to have any hobbies.   Or at least wouldn't be able to stay married.

 

With all due respect, but being under 60 myself, I don’t quite get your reference ?

Besides, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I became involved with this hobby in my mid-teens, i.e. 40+ years ago.

 

As for getting or staying married, I didn’t even try until I was absolutely sure of being able to comprehend and deal with consequences such commitment involves, not to mention until I found someone with same mindset. We both have our own hobbies, friends and equally support (or tolerate ?) those of each others. Rest of our shared time we do things together we both equally enjoy. 😉

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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7 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

  And no one knows

which cars may be stupendously popular, and which one

As an example there is a 1995 Toyota Supra Turbo on BaT right now at $136K with seven days to go in the auction.  Unless you can predict the future buy what YOU like and forget the investment idea.  It is a hobby for 99% of us and hobby's usually cost money.  A good friend loves to gamble and goes to Las Vegas two or three times a year.  His average loses is 20K per trip and he can afford it.

 

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15 hours ago, edinmass said:

James, (With respect.) I think you assessment is far off the mark.

 

I admit that I would very much welcome being wrong about that perception of mine. I personally feel that there is great value in the past, and acknowledging that value through the ownership of old cars, or old houses, or old guitars, or old furniture, etc. is a wonderful thing. Most of us can't afford to own a museum, but we can scrape enough money together for an antique or two.

 

That's an amazing statistic about horses in the US! Fantastic! I shouldn't be surprised, though; I read somewhere that there are more deer and black bears in North America today than when Columbus landed in 1492. (And maybe even more Cougars, if you count the ones made by Mercury. 😄)

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)
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