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How Will The Classic and Collector Car Hobby Differ In 10 Years?



  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    Hey, the market for Roman chariots is red hot right now, especially the ones with gas-electric hybrid powerplant conversions. Less reliable than the horse drawn ones, but also less polluting.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    Oh man, I remember when I was a little kid growing up in Rome you couldn't GIVE those things away. Had I only known! :P

    Hey, here's a book y'all might like:

    Auto Opium


  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    Incredible memory, Shifty!
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    I guess the coolest car in high school at that time was the new blue 1982 Trans Am some student I didn't know very well had. His father owned a furniture store and bought the car for his 16th birthday. There was another guy a few years older than me who had a 1967 Corvette. Don't know if was a big block. Of course I thought the coolest car was my then-girlfriend's white 1969 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    I just HAVE to see your high school yearbook picture--LOL!


  • The difference with the muscle car era and the cars of today is that the collectible cars of the 1960s/1970s were rare THEN. On the whole, the Hemi option or SCJ option wasn't ticked by many people...relative to the entire production of the associated vehicles. Chrysler's modern Hemi is relatively more popular today. A larger proportion of all Chrysler 300s have 5.7L engines today. Especially when Chrysler is producing somewhere around half a million such engines a year today.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,150
    yes, but you also had several variants back in the 60s and 70s and only the real rare ones pull the bucks today, correct? So while a 300C might not be a big deal, neither is a V8 Lemans, right? But what about an SRT8? That MIGHT be more akin to the expensive muscle cars we are referring to, wouldn't it?

    And you also have to remember population numbers. OK, so maybe only a couple thousand special purple Y-motors big block 4-speeds were made in 1968, and those are now wanted by 20k people in today's population, thereby driving the price to $X. But then you have, let's say 10k SRT8s made in '05, but 30 years from now, you have 6k on the road and 60k people in the world's increased population who want it .... I don't know. Its way too many variables for us to have a definitive discussion about, I think.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    We can predict supply but predicting demand is harder--and we need both predictions to make any kind of crystal-ball gazing.

    But high supply would probably screw the pooch for future collectiblity. There are a few instances of high supply AND high demand, like the early Mustangs, but that causes a lot of hair-splitting and tends to disfavor low-optioned or 6 cylinder Mustangs or causes them to be modified to higher specs.

    I'm expecting a much higher survival rate for modern cars for one thing, and so the nit-picking and hair-splitting is going to be pretty ferocious for cars in big supply. You can see this in the 94-96 Impalas, where a mere floor shift and console adds 30% or more to the price. Why? There are fewer of them and they look nicer.

    Another hair=splitting decision that goes on in high supply cars is "purity". The earlier Mustangs are preferred to the 71-73, the 240Z Datsun preferred over the 260 and 280 and 300Z, and the early Vipers over the mid 90s cars.

    All of the above are still quite plentiful cars.


  • I agree with your analogy. The modern Hemis are too plentiful, but the SRT cars (Dodge SRT4, Dodge Charger/Magnum SRT8, Chrysler 300C SRT8, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8) may fall into the "rare" category...perhaps rare and desireable enough to be collectible. Sr Shirtright's call on the later Vipers (SRT10) may be correct, which is why I earlier called out the 1992 Viper (no fixed side windows, no A/C, etc) as being different from the later Vipers. And the Chrysler Crossfire SRT6 MIGHT catch a backdoor collectible market because of the connection to the brief and ill-fated Chrysler/Mercedes-Benz tie-up.

    I like truly rare cars, many of which are not collectible. Vehicles with unique body panels (not just added scoops or wings) and/or unique powertrains. Vehicles like the Ford Taurus SHO which had engines not shared with any other car/truck (and the especially unique 60-degree DOHC V8), Pontiac 6000 STE AWD (all-wheel drive system not shared with other A-bodies), 190hp Oldsmobile Calias (high-output Quad 4), Chrysler DOHC 2.2L fours (Maserati head or Lotus head), and Twin Dual Cam GM cars with 5-speed manuals.

    With today's emissions regulations, it's very tough to build one of these vehicles. I wish GM had taken Oldsmobile or Chrysler had taken Plymouth out in a blaze of past glory with a unique powertrain setup. My dream was for a final run of Plymouth Breezes with 3.5L SOHC 250hp V6s (pipedream: mated to manual transaxles) and called it the GTX or "Road Runner" or Duster or Barracuda or some such name.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Mr. Shiftright: Again, I think you may be confusing true muscle cars with common 318 Road Runners or Chargers, etc. Not the same thing at all.

    A 440 Charger R/T 4-speed is worth $70,000. A 318 Charger is worth maybe $12,000.

    You and your friends got what you got because of supply and demand. Lots of 318s, just a handful of 440 4-speeds.

    No, these were 440-equipped (and, in the case of one 1969 Road Runner, equipped with a 383 and floor-mounted four speed) Mopars from the late 1960s and early 1970s. We knew very well what was under the hood, and the distinctions between the high-performance engines and the "regular" V-8s.

    They were available for a song - at least, judging by the people I knew who were driving them. Those people were not rich, nor were they collectors. I don't disagree that these cars are worth a lot today, but they weren't in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849
    No, these were 440-equipped (and, in the case of one 1969 Road Runner, equipped with a 383 and floor-mounted four speed) Mopars from the late 1960s and early 1970s. We knew very well what was under the hood, and the distinctions between the high-performance engines and the "regular" V-8s.

    Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if, once the oil embargo set in, a slant six or 318 Satellite or Coronet might have been worth more than the 383, 440, and even the Hemi models! Nobody was thinking about performance by the mid 70's; it was all about fuel economy. The first and second oil embargos actually sent a lot of those old musclecars to an early grave, as people could hardly give them away, so they'd just scrap them.

    I'd imagine that the Hemi might have been the hardest sale of all. Usually they were little more than street-legal racecars, with no air conditioning, stick shift transmissions, very little in the way of creature comforts. Not exactly a winning formula for a used car back then.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    That's not how I remember it at all :P

    Any car with that much HP is never ever going to be ignored. I don't wish to arm wrestle in a friendly bar but I think some Hot Rod magazines from the 70s and 80s would prove the point.


  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    I was a kid in the '70s, and I remember people putting blowers and anything else they could think of on their underperforming V8s. Gas mileage didn't seem to be a concern.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    Especially since any American muscle car from the late 1960s looked better and ran faster than anything made anywhere in the world from 1972 up to the GNX I'd guess.

    So there were at least 15 "dry years" when nothing new could touch an old Hemi or Big Block car.

    That's why they never were out of the collector's eye.


  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    In reviewing the comments of this discussion, there's minimal mention of Japanese cars. We're supposed to be looking forward in this discussion, but we seem to be stuck in the present. Given the rising popularity and market share of Japanese cars in the last few decades, and the fact that collectors are attracted to the cars of their youth, it seems like a no brainer that, as we look forward a decade and a few years beyond, Japanese cars are underrepresented in this discussion.

    I have no idea which cars will be in the top tier or even second tier classics categories in 2018, because the air up there is too rarefied for me. Therefore, I'll leave the predictions about the high end classic cars to those of you who are much more knowledgeable about this segment than me. All I know is that these won't be Japanese. However, when it comes to affordable collector and special interest cars, I have little doubt that the Japanese cars of the '70s (the very few that remain), '80s and '90s will be much more prominent at car shows than they are today. I mean, how could they not be?

    The Hyundais and Kias of the world will have to wait until 2038, and the '48 classic car shows will be sprinkled with models from Tata, Chery and Brilliance Motors, etc. Chery and Brilliance et all will have luxury divisions to compete with Tata's Jaguar and Land Rover by then, and maybe Toyota, Honda, and Nissan will be the new Detroit 3, struggling to survive against the mighty and creative Chinese brands. Looking further ahead, the Brialliance Century and Roadmaster, and Chery Corvete (new spelling), Impala and Malibu will be the stars of the '58 new car shows, and the Tata Camry will debut in '68.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    edited January 2011
    I think the classic and collector car hobby will shrink in the coming years. Look at the ages of the attendees at the shows. While I have no statistics to support my perception, there seem to be fewer people under 40 that are really passionate about cars than there used to be. The reason, if that's correct, may be that there are too many competing distractions, mainly of the digital kind. Add to this the fact that cars have become much more electronically complex in tha past 20 years, and you have the explanation for my hypothesis. There are increasingly fewer repair and restoration tasks that can be tackled by owners, making it ever more difficult to justify the expenses associated with this hobby.

    Is this view realistic or overly pessimistic?

    Sorry if this post recycles some of the arguments made when this discussion was introduced, but maybe it'll prompt some new perspectives on where this hobby is headed.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    There is no doubt that the bulk of the collectible car hobby is fueled by an aging population. Younger people have *some* interest in cars, but they are much more into tuning, driving, drifting, customizing....and those forms of car interest tend to wane with age. You don't see too many 40 year olds driving slammed or bagged Japanese imports.

    Also, once the aging population starts to die off, their cars will all appear in the marketplace within a decade or so, put there by disinterested family members who have neither the space nor budget to maintain fleets of old cars.

    Of course, it has to be said that the creme de la creme of the classic cars--the truly rare classics, will always be treasured.

    But I agree, the hobby is going to shrink in the next 20 years or so, and aside from the very top of the heap cars, the prices will probably drop as well.

    Added to this, restoration costs are pretty staggering these days, so I think that end of it will also shrink.


  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,320
    "fewer people under 40 that are really passionate about cars than there used to be.". Agree. The under 40 men are more in tune to "family" activities i.e. their kids Soccer programs. The average under 40 guy's interest is accumulating funds for his kids education if not trying to keep up with his health insurance costs. Spending priorities for the under 40 are not the same as they were for the under 80. The under 80 men worked on their cars because they could. The under 40 is handicaped by not having the electronic and sophysticated tools required to work on today's cars.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    The car hobby is certainly tied up to the concept of "discretionary income" and given that America in particular seems to be racing towards a huge gap between rich and poor, I suspect that as the middle class shrivels up into oblivion, along with the inevitable drop in the American standard of living that seems to be unavoidable in the 21st century, that "playing with cars" will once again return to its roots as per 1900--as the toy of the very wealthy. You know, like private jets and Riva speedboats are now.


  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    edited January 2011
    The problem for me as I get older is that I've pretty much already owned all the beloved cars of my youth. I think Generation X has been much less likely to deprive themselves of things so there is less of a need for a reward as we age.

    Well, maybe we'll still want a reward. But for me it won't be a pain in the butt car that I've already owned.
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