Jump to content

Hershey car corral--asking prices exorbitant?


John_S_in_Penna
 Share

Recommended Posts

In discussing the Hershey car corral and its prices, I thought this might be an interesting thread of its own. Did others, like me, get the impression that the asking prices this year were absurd?

Naturally people are free to ask whatever they want, but I've gone to lots of shows and have been attending Hershey for about twenty years. Especially in the last few years at Hershey, I have noticed a tendency for the asking prices to be 'way out of line with typical values elsewhere. This has been much more noticeable at Hershey than at other good shows.

Though there might have been a few good values there, the average asking price seemed to be at least double Old Cars Price Guide values. Example: 1955 Buick convertible, #3 condition, asking $90,000 on Thursday. Price Guide value $21,000 in #3, and $47,000 as a #1 trailered award-winner. What is in these sellers' minds--greed? Reliance on a strong Euro to support these prices? Though we could always debate the merits of one price guide versus another, did you all get the impression that many (or any) cars were actually selling at these high asking prices? Did any of you buy a car for, say, $10,000 when the asking price was $20,000?

Our hobby is fun. Exorbitance makes it harder for newcomers to enter and enjoy the hobby. An encouraging contrast was one fellow in the Chocolate flea market (whom I know) who had several sedans from the '50's, all great hobby cars <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />around #3 condition, for $5900 to $8900.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also thought that the asking prices were high. However, they are only asking prices. I'll bet a lot of the overpriced cars were not sold and are back at home . I did see a few reasonably priced cars there. A 63 Grand Prix for $8900. Not too out of line. Saw one there that I should have pursued further. A 1963 Dodge 500 2 door. Anyone know if it sold or who owns it?

<img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the way home from the show a 49 0r 50 ford on an open trailer passed me. It was a plain jane buisness coupe looking to be maybe a 30 footer in a drab brown paint job. It still had the price paper on the window.....$29,900. The $29,900 was crossed out and "make an offer" was scrawled underneath it.

Someone's pie in the sky, Barret-Jackson, bubble was busted I'd bet.

I thought the prices were actually laughable. Instead of asking the sellers about the cars I wanted to ask them where I could buy what they were smoking........Bob.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We thought the prices were just ludicrous - perhaps Barrett-Jackson did make some think they had "valuable" vehicles... and when did Austin Healey's become so high priced?? We saw a couple in $70K to $90K range! We thought the prices in the car corral last year were high as well.

What the sellers probably don't think about is the fact that folks at Hershey are far more well-versed in car prices than the average Joe off the street, and they aren't going to overpay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leigh Anne, Thanks for providing that photo evidence of the insanity. I follow Buicks pretty closely, and I saw that '53 Skylark whose asking price you photographed. I didn't look closely at the condition, but I think this "$169,000" Skylark wasn't even close to being a national award-winner whose price-guide value is $70,000.

Not only do I feel a bit sorry for the newcomers who were looking for an affordable fun car, but think about the car fans in Europe who come to Hershey wanting to buy a car. Their great once-a-year opportunity of coming to America could be wasted. Anyone whose budget is a realistic $10,000, for instance, can't just automatically double his budget to satisfy a seller's thirst for money.

There are reasonable prices to be had elsewhere--and lots of fun and overlooked cars--but they weren't to be found in the car corral.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With all the foreign languages being spoken at Hershey, I beleive that many car sellers are just putting the bait on the hook for a foreign buyer willing to pay top-dollar for a car to bring back to their homeland. I did notice that one of the auto shipper's tents was quite busy. The same holds true for the flea market prices.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll chime-in...

This was my "first Hershey", and unfortunately due to work schedule, I was only able to do Friday: Swap Meet and Car Corral.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the event !!!! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

Regarding car prices... most seemed "high" to me, between what was for sale in the Flea Market, and what we saw in the Car Corral, on the way back to the car.

The first "realistically priced" vehicle I saw was a '28-'29 Model A "Sport Coupe"... the info on the windshield stated that it was an older resto, but the car looked very presentable... ( didn't crawl under it, didn't hear it run, have not idea what the mechanicals are like)... the asking price was $10,900, which seemed pretty fair for that vehicle in that [apparent] condition.

Now on to the "ridiculous" prices:

'53 GMC pick-up - dark blue, slightly over-restored - $43,000 <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

'48 Packard wagon - dark metallic green - $250,000 <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

(This one REALLY blew our minds - the info on the windshield made very little sense: stuff like, "restored by the factory in 1948", "only 250 made, one of 3 left", and a host of other incongruities.) There was couple looking at the same car who were equally puzzled - the gentleman said they had the same car, in nicer condition, and theirs was "a $45,000 car".

There was a nice '57 Nash survivor ( Peach & White?) that my buddy said he saw at Fall Carlisle the previous week, priced $3,000 more at Hershey ( the very same car, same condition...)...

I have no doubt that B-J has contributed to this "inflation"... but I also have to wonder how many of the overpriced vehicles really sold, and how much the really brought...

I think another season of sky-high heating bills will cause many folks to re-evaluate how much money they have to spend on things like antique cars... ( or at least people of modest means...)

<img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frank, we guessed that junk written on the Packard wagon's windshield was only there "for effect," most likely after the car was already sold.

The Car Corral was also a good place for those itching for some good old Hershey Mud to get their fix, at least on Friday, ref. attachment...

post-34222-143137910723_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"There was a nice '57 Nash survivor (Peach & White?) that my buddy said he saw at Fall Carlisle the previous week, priced $3,000 more at Hershey."

Frank, I saw that Nash at Carlisle. It was a '57 Nash Ambassador sedan, the last year of the Nashes, in no better than #3 condition (or #3 after some attention.) I thought it was interesting--seldom seen but also in small demand--and a good potential collector car that someone could buy to have something different. As I recall, it was priced around $9500-9800 at Carlisle, a bit optimistic but a reasonable starting point for bargaining. What was it at Hershey? (I didn't notice it there on Thursday.)

After 100,000 people pass up your car at Carlisle, it would make sense to lower the price a bit the next show. That he didn't do that indicates that Hershey sellers may be hoping for a different kind of buyer--more affluent, more European, less informed? <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />--at Hershey. Would you like it if your local department store charged affluent buyers more?

The Hershey event is great <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />, and next year you'll have to be sure to stay Saturday for the show.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will have to check with my friend the AMC-nut about what the price actually was... but he was telling me about this Ambassador after he got back from Carlisle, so it made an impression on him then, and he certainly noticed the $3,000 inflation as the car moved east.

The car that really caught my eye at the car corral was the survivor '41 De Soto Custom 4-dr sedan... it "needed everything", but was an intact car...I think the asking was $4,500... a bit steep, but not "B-J crazy"...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always wondered why a seller would load up a trailer with a car, take it Hershey, pay a Car Corral fee, put an exorbitant price on it and hope to get that "needle in a haystack" emotional only buyer. 9.5 out of 10 of these cars got hauled back home.

It's greed. But we will NEVER hear from those sellers on this forum. They would NEVER come on here and try to explain their position. Also, if you happen to run into them and ask them what they believe justifies their asking price, most get hostile - or assume you are "cheap".

Why come to Hershey and put a price ont he car, then slash through it half way through the meet and lower the price in half? Yes it's nice to make some money in this hobby but it rarely happens. Restoration costs always exceed the value of the car. The rarer and more desirable the car (full classics/rare muscle) the higher the restorations costs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John,

It wasn't just the car corral it was the flea market too. I had a guy that wanted to sell me a carburetor for $100 that would work fine if I soaked it in diesel fuel for a week, and then bought one from someone else that was completely rebuilt for $150.

Like anything in that field, you have to know what you're looking for, and you have to shop around. I saw people with truck cabs that looked like they were dragged out of the woods for $1,500. I might have hauled them out of the woods if they paid me $1,500 but I wouldn't have paid money for them. People think just because things are old, that they're work big money, and that's not the fact. Other people put junk out there, put a rediculous price on things, so that they can find an excuse to have a parking spot at the flea market as well.

As for the cars, yes the prices on a lot of things are totally absurd, but if you've ever priced what it would cost to buy a vehicle and pay someone to do the work to get it to that level, you might find that some of these prices aren't too awfull crazy.

I had an individual come up to me Saturday who was looking at our fire truck and proceeded to inform me that his fire department had a truck just like ours. He also told me that the fire department was paying someone to do the restoration, but when the bills reached $50,000 and the truck was nowhere close to being done, they took the truck back.

We have over 1,000 work hours in our truck. With the labor rates in these restoration shops ranging from $35 to $50 an hour, we would have spent in the neighborhood of $50,000 just in labor costs, and we still haven't bought any parts and materials to do the work. I'm not saying you're wrong about these car prices, but the days of the $1,500 paint job are over. Prices on chrome, interior, paint, tires, etc. have all gone through the roof, and will never go down. A month ago a gallon of red paint cost me $190. The truck took five gallons of red, and that doesn't include activator and reducer. It also wasn't basecoat/clearcoat which cost more money.

I don't like the prices any more than you do, but after doing a couple of restorations on our own, and knowing what materials cost, it gives you a little more perspective on car prices. Some people are just plain crooks that are out there to rob people blind, while others are trying to get their money back out of things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">In my view, one problem with "juiced" car prices (adding a premium in hopes of negotiating down to the original asking price) is that many swap meet folks assume that I have done the same with my reproduction parts, and will try to negotiate their prices as well. </div></div>

I was just so happy to find a repo dash bezel, that I might had paid more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Wayne: Nice thought; unfortunately, most old car guys won't take the time to read multi-syllabic words like "manufactured" and "precision" on signs. Whether they CAN or not is debatable, and a topic for another time. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well one might think the cars are priced way too high, but apparently these cars sell.

For example. Last year there was Model A Vicky. Bad paint (obvioulsy bad even at night), lots of poorly assembled repro parts, just a below average thrown together car.

They were asking $28,000 for the car. It sold.

Last year at a car show I ran across a 31 sport coupe. It was a cobbled together horrible, unsafe car that had problems wanting to run. The hood handles and hold downs were held on by zinc plated screws from a hardware store. It was bought on a whim by an older gentleman when he was at Hershey. I am sure he paid over $10,000.

At auction a 68 coupe sold for $18,000 or $28,000 (cant remember). I was thinking this should be a cherry nice car. From 50 feet away I could tell it was a quicky poor restoration with a bad paint job. From 20 feet away you could see all the chrome trim was pitted and you could surf the waves on the hood. So now I am thinking big block- No regular C code- nothing special. Cars like that were selling for the $6000 price range.

So are they asking too much, yes. But people are willing to pay so what is a dealer to do?? You can always go down on the price, but never up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think your examples are the exception, not the norm. We recognize those cars that sell and they stick in our minds, like all the high sellers at B-J. But there are countless cars that quietly show up at events like Hershey with "I'm here-to-win-the-lottery" prices and then go home.

ebay is good barometer. 99 per cent of the cars being sold with a Reserve never get sold from that auction. Maybe deals are made behind the scene after the auction ends with no sale but my point is people aren't willing to pay what the person wants.

How in the heck do they even do price guides? And what good are they if they are not based on real world sales, averaged and satistically calculated? Do they call the seller of the 55 (Place make here) 4 door sedan who advertised it for $100,000 and ask what did it sell for? Like that guy is going to admit to selling it for $3,000. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Some good points were brought up in this post. No. 1 is that restoration costs are so high now people may actually be thinking that the high priced offering is reasonable. I know some sellers are trying to get back their restoration costs when they advertise a car FS, but think about it. A 100 per cent complete 50's era project car will still need thousands in chrome, paint, engine, etc etc so maybe a potential buyer is "saving" money by purchasing at a premium price over the cost of purchasing a project or no 3 car.

Just some thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a guy by me locally that has a completely restored 1941 cadillac convertible. He wants $105,000 for it. I told him I think that's way too high. His response was "well, I have to be paid for my time, what's your time worth to you?" I told him this is a hobby to me, so time isn't worth anythng to me. This guy did not restore the car himself, he bought it for 60 or 70K & is just trying to make money on it. It hasn't sold now for over two years, so what does he do? He just raised the price to $125,000!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a lot of money out there, I think it is mostly borrowed due to low interest rates as a second on a house or property. It has to be as wages haven't gone up drastically. Those 41 Cads were $50,000 to $60,000 a couple of years ago in #1 condition. No one can justify an inflation to double the price, not much has changed, but the fact that people have money in their pockets.

What do you guys think of my theory?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The prices on Barrett-Jackson and Car Corral cars really is meaningless. They are way out of my range of interest, I'd be happy just finishing the projects I have now. Is there anyone on this Forun that walks the Car Corral with the idea AND cash to buy anything? I think it's an after dinner amusement walk for most. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to wonder how much "hard cash" there is walking around at B-J, and how many cars are actually purchased on home equity or credit cards ( unsecured debt)....

Wish I had that much "Walking-around-Money, as the politicians call it...

I'd sure love to quit playing with the rusty 4-door jalopies that "nobody else wants"... <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't, but I bet the foreign buyers are the ones who do. Last Tuesday at Hershey, my dad and I met a guy from Austria who was talking about coming to Hershey every year. He was talking about buying up a lot of Model 'T' stuff, and shipping it back. I guess from our brief conversation, he gets a sea-land container and fills it full of stuff every year with what he buys at Hershey.

....I wonder how many other people are out there doing that <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I often have to remind people not to confuse asking prices with selling prices. There are a lot of similarly outragous asking prices on ebay and other auction sites. What I like to do periodically is to do a search for your favorite car (Olds 442s in my case) but search on completed auctions. It appears that few if any of these cars actually sell. Virtually all of them are "reserve not met". I'm especially skeptical when the bidding poops out just under the reserve (ebay now has a little flag that says "next bid meets reserve" or something like that). Even the cars that do "sell" frequently end up relisted a week later because of some issue with the buyer. Unfortunately I think many people see the prices at BJ and the fantasy asking prices on auction sites and assume they can get that same level. A dealer near me here in VA brought a 70 Cutlass convert to Carlisle. The car had 442 grilles and emblems, but only a 350 engine, so I wouldn't even call it a clone. Despite large rust bubbles on the front fenders and poorly installed patch panels on the rear, he was asking $29,500. The car is back on his lot this week...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote: "Is there anyone on this Forun that walks the Car Corral with the idea AND cash to buy anything? I think it's an after dinner amusement walk for most."

I've bought a couple of cars at car corrals in the last twenty years. And last year I bought one later that I heard about through the Fall Carlisle car corral, just by talking with other hobbyists. They have always been modestly priced cars, fairly priced, though. Although I'm not usually in the market for a car, I look to see what's available and like to keep in touch with the old-car market. (Sometimes good possibilities come along when you're not searching for them <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />, but that doesn't mean they're good possibilities regardless of price.)

Another example of Hershey pricing: The car I bought last year was a '78 Lincoln Mark V, pristine condition, 11,000 miles. It came from a long time car collection. The owners started out asking $9000 for it, but it didn't sell even as they lowered the price to $6000. I got it for $5000, though I think that is a very good deal and $8000 would be a more typical price. There are always dozens of Mark V's for sale at any time, even pristine low-mileage ones, because they were saved as the "last of the big cars." These owners don't have lots of restoration costs that they have to recoup--the cars are just fine originals.

In contrast, I spoke to the seller of a Mark V at the Hershey car corral who wanted $17,000 for his show-condition 20,000-mile example.

I hope that seller did well, but if he looked on Ebay, as others mentioned, he would see that the car wouldn't get bids even close to what he's asking. $5000-$8000 would be a typical Ebay selling price for his car, even as nice as it was.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"If wishes were horses, fools would ride"... if I'd had the money in my pocket, I would have seriously considered the '41 De Soto and the '28-'29 Model A Sport Coupe I saw at the Car Corral this year... both cars were fairly realistically priced and vehicles that have been on my "want list" for a while...

It is ironic that "foreigners" are buying-up Model T's... they won't buy our new Hummers. but they'll buy our old Flivvers... <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Made two trips to Hershey this year first and last. The prices were higher than they were at Carlise the week before maybe due to the fact it was further East or the cars and parts were older by a week. Some of the prices were what I call honey sales (wife says car must go husband says yes puts unreal price if somebody buys both happy if not both satisfied)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Sunday before Hershey I met a group of 12 guys from Sweden who showed up at my friends restoration shop. He gave them a tour and we sent them down the road to the Jefferson motorcycle meet. True hobbyist and nice people though they have a funny accent, or maybe that was me the northerner and my friend the southerner.

They were here for 3 weeks and were purchasing parts to sent back to Sweden using a sea container. One of the guys bought a car at Carlisle. Being nosy I asked him how much it was to ship the car back and he told me $1,500 which doesn't seem bad. Seems things double in value once they are in their country.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know of one fellow that packed a container solid with Model T Ford chassis, axles & engines, stuff that few people step up and buy here, and shipped it to Europe were all this stuff is in demand. I bet if the stuff was free you couldn't truck it to California and sell it to cover the trucking fee. Wayne, got any idea what a coast to coast container of steel would cost to move?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

$3000.00 to $5000.00 Bob!

Depends on whether you mind having the outside roof of the container "scratched" or not. Some drivers have trouble keeping the wheels "right side up"! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />

Wayne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Barrett Jackson has driven prices throught the roof. Don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of BJ and would never give them my car to sell, especially with no reserve.

However, like anything else, it is a supply and demand market on good restored vehicals. If you find the car you have been looking for, how much are you willing to pay.

I turned down six digits for my Senior 1959 Chevrolet Convertible with a Tri-Power 348. It is extensively done and was appreciated by several Europeans and South Americans last year at Hershey.

It is true, Europeans are willing to pay more for the right American Car than us. Is it because they do not see them everyday over there or are they speculating that the prices will rise faster that what they could get in return at Wall Street or a bank???

In my opinion you have to look at three things when buying a antique or classic car. First and foremost the rarity and how many you see out there in todays market. Second, the quality and originality of the restoration including the undercarriage. And third, the price.

I have looked at many cars in person and on Ebay (which I dislike) and hear the sellers say "total frame off nut and bolt restoration" but fail to show pictures of the undercarriage. When I do get to see the undercarriage I ask myself "is this guy on drugs". Some of these sellers have no conception of what a totally restored car should look like.

I do not have a problem with the asking prices on some cars but they better be like mine or I would definitely pass. I would not sell mine on the cheap side as there are over 1000 hours in labor alone. If you take that x $65.00/hour there is a cool $65,000. Good restorers get high prices for quality work. You can see my restoration at:

www.xframechevy.com

Just click on the picture of the red 1959 Chevrolet. Let me know what you think.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Steven

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Packards1. I am a very detail oriented individual.

Guess my dad imbedded the old saying in my head "anything worth doing is worth doing right!"

If you cheapen your restoration it will come back to bite you in the rear at some point and that could be the difference between getting your Grand National or not getting it.

Steven

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very nice restoration Steve. It is no secret that I'm not much of a Post 1942 fan but that is a above normal restoration. Just wondering if another '59 convertable with engine bay, body and interior in the same condition but NOT a frame off, just undercoated chassis would have tied you in the AACA judging system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...