Future Collectibles--Make Your Prediction



  • kevinbkevinb Member Posts: 1
    You are talking about the upper end of the car market. The cars that will, in my opinion, be most collectable, will be the ones that the masses drove. Much like the '64-66 mustangs or the '55 Chevys. These also were the ones that made major changes in the auto industry of their times. So maybe we should look at what is most popular today and also made these changes in the thinking of the auto buyers opinions. The latest trend of today is the SUV's and the pickups. Maybe the Dodge Rams and Current generation of Suburbans or Jeeps. Although the Broncos and Bronco IIs have been popular for years.
    Of Course, the upper class of autos will be appealing to the same class of people who currently own them. I have read some stories of people buying 64 1/2 Mustangs buying them and immediately stashing them away in a garage because they knew thay would someday be collectable. Perhaps I studied history all of those years because we can learn from the past in order to copy or not make the same mistakes. You just don't hear many stories of people stashing away '78 Mercs.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    I think some of the more unique designs will become collectables. My friend has a fairly common 96 Taurus, and I have a gut feeling that her car will be a collectors item 30 years down the road, simply because of the Taurus's unique design. However, today's cars don't have near the durability or survivability they did 30 years ago, so any of our cars that make it to 2020 or 2030 will be sought after. Attrition rates will be high among our fiberglass sedans.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, that's an interesting point of view, thanks. Looking back at 30 year-old Ford 4-doors though, the trend so far doesn't support that any 4-door car will be collectible (except perhaps special-bodied coachbuilt cars), but as tastes change, one never really knows.

    What makes you think fiberglass is so perishable? There are lots of old Corvettes out there that resisted the ravages of rust (even though the frames did) on their bodywork and are thus with us today, whereas many a T-Bird bit the dust from rust. Of course, if you were just talking about collision damage, I could see where some fiberglass cars would just be thrown away, yes.
  • carnut4carnut4 Member Posts: 574
    A 96 Taurus a future collectible? Interesting, to say the least. I'd sooner vote for a '79 Imperial from Chrysler- not that there's anything much I admire there-but if you're talking unique-well-good god-those last ditch "Imperials" just have to be more unique, and less common,[hell,everything] more than those ugly, ellipsoid, and quite common Tauruses... Hey why not vote for the Ford Festiva? What a novel little hunk that is!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    If a car wasn't much loved when it was new, the chances of it becoming a collectible aren't very good--at least that's how it's been, almost without deviation, in the past. In fact, I'm trying to think of a car that was shunned by the public when new that is now sought after actively by a large and affluent audience, and I can't think of one.....now keep in mind that there were cars that people loved but didn't buy (e.g., the Avanti), so I don't mean "shunned" strictly in the marketplace sense, although that's part of being a failure as a new car. Also, there were cars that sold well that nobody particularly loved (e.g., the Taurus, except perhaps the early SHO), so that's another wrinkle. I think the key to future collectibility is a genuine affection or fascination with the car when it was new that didn't diminish over time (I'm thinking here of the Renault Dauphine, that everyone loved in the late 1950s for about 6 months, when it even outsold Volkswagen for a short stretch there, until they discovered what the car REALLY was about, and then shunned it mightily).

    You know, it's tough, if a car comes out and the world goes "Who cares?" to later try and build up interest in it...the momentum of collectibility is hard to build if it doesn't happen from the start, I think. As I recall (could be wrong), the '79 Imperial came out and dropped off the edge of the earth unnoticed, (except by some of our discerning Town Hall guests :) ) and so I don't know where the interest for this car is going to come from now.
  • carnut4carnut4 Member Posts: 574
    I was just kidding about the Imperial. There's a white one parked down the road in a driveway. Actually, it has decent lines, and could be OK with a good 318 and Torqueflite. Certainly better than those Cordobas. As for the Taurus, what if they came in coupe form, like the NASCAR racers? Speaking of 4-door cars,yesterday I saw a 78 Seville for sale. Local, 2-owner, 63000 mile car. Flawless interior , except for a little wear showing on driver's leather. Original vinyl roof perfect. Paint good. Asking 3400-not that I'd want it, but when I see an interesting car, I think someone should buy it. Iknow we,ve discussed this model before, but whadya think?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Again, a car like the Seville suffers from the "four-door blues"...as you can see, if a very very nice car like that only sells for $3,400 some 22 years later, it's prospects as a collectible are pretty nil....I will say, though, that they bring a little more money than the other Cadillac models in '78, and just about as much as a '78 Eldorado, which is still not big money....$5,000 seems to be all the money for them in show condition.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Many of today's cars are plastic, no fiberglass as I said. (MY mistake. And yes, there are some fiberglass cars out there.) Plastics deteriorate when left outdoors for long periods of time, (just look at tail lights from early 80's Caddies) so thirty years down the road, we may not have many 1990's cars left. (My thoughts on it, anyway.) As for 4 door cars, a 1955 Chevy 4 door might not be worth as much as a coupe, but any car will be valuable as a collector once its old enough. Take the Model T, the Toyota Camry of the 1910's and 20's. Common popular car, but now that it's 80 years old, it's a collectors item.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Actually, I think the Model T proves that very old cars aren't always worth a lot...if you had bought one in 1915 and kept it in your garage, you'd be lucky to get $7,500 for it today, after 84 years! The problem with cars like the Model T (or '55 Chevy 4-door) is that they made a gazillion of them and there are still plenty around. Again, the value of old cars is ruled by supply and demand, and it seems to seek rarity, attractiveness and a certain "image" and "style". Right now, the 1960s coupe and converts are very hot, but you can't give away a 70s or 80s 4-door car. And I think in 85 years they won't be worth much more than they are now...at least as long as the coupes and convertibles survive. The whole idea of collecting, it seems to me anyway, is to have what is not readily available....you know, the "beanie baby" that's the hardest to get.

    Here's a case in point--- Hemmings Motor News has 31 Model Ts for sale and 3 1953 Cadillac Eldorado convertibles for sale...the 3 Caddys are probably worth close to the 31 Model Ts put together! How can that be? Again, simply supply and demand.
  • marsh2marsh2 Member Posts: 4
    Apparently no one has heard of the Infiniti M30 convertible. Only 2700 produced in 1991-92. V6 power/2 dr luxury/sports car performance/rear wheel drive/great looks. These cars will achieve classic status sooner than most. But, no one has ever heard of them.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, I've heard of them, they aren't all that much of a mystery, but you're right, you don't see them very often. Being ragtops, they will always be attractive to some buyers, but being Japanese makes it an uphill climb for them to become classics, since no Japanese car has ever achieved that status yet....but as some do (maybe someday the early Datsun 240Z, or the Mazda Twin Turbo will become collector's cars, and if so, they may bring up other cars with them).

    YOu can buy a nice Infiniti convertible these days for about $11k, which is a nice ride for that amount of money.
  • badgerpaulbadgerpaul Member Posts: 219
    A 58 Impala SS? I don't seem to recall such a car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Reference works show the Impala as a sub-model of the Belaire line in 1958, not a separate model, and the SS option wasn't available until 1961 as a dealer-installed accessory. You could get a fuel-injected '58, though, which is a rare and valuable car today.
  • badgerpaulbadgerpaul Member Posts: 219
    When I was a kid, my mother's car was a 58 Impala and I remember that the title listed it as a Bel-Air.
  • glengleglengle Member Posts: 57
    I've just returned to this forum and am currently catching up on the latest posts. I found myself noticing that $$ = collectible status here. I have to disagree. While as an investment, value is the most important consideration, as a collectible it is not.

    An example would be the Ford F100 car show in Gatlinburg, TN each year. Eleventeen jillion people come out to show their trucks. They have little value as an investment, are not the "elite" vehicle of their time, no earth-shattering technology, etc. But people collect them. Same with aircooled VW's, etc. I tend to associate collectible with having a significant following of people who truly collect them. IOW, there is a market for restoration/customization, a network of clubs, etc.

    So it seems that given the criteria used to measure vehicles in this topic, a more appropriate title might be "Future Worthy Investments", not "Collectibles". Agree?
  • nomad00nomad00 Member Posts: 2
    Although it's a four door, a black 1996 Impala SS
    (a floor shift and tachometer were available that one year).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Hi glengle,

    Well, the cars you mentioned do in fact have value, so that tends to support the theory that supply and demand dictate collectible car values and interest level just like they do for teapots and guns and whatever.

    I think there is a link between value and the level of people's interest, since the more and more people who want something that is finite in number and not made anymore (like old VWs or F100 trucks), the more the price will go up.

    Let's take a car that nobody or almost nobody wants...Hillman Minx 4-doors. Now, there may be a few people who collect them and take them to shows, so we call those "special interest" cars (it's a polite name that means very little except that the car is a bit unusual), but the value is, and will remain, virtually nil...zero...a few hundred dollars.

    But old VWs...sure, they aren't priceless or worth big bucks, but you can get $6-7,000 for a well restored sedan and $30,000 for a mulit-window microbus.

    Some collectibles may be better investments than others, I will agree with you there, but anything actively collected usually has some value--the two are linked in a real way, i think.
  • glengleglengle Member Posts: 57
    I see your point. Now it's a chicken-egg situation. Which comes first, the real interest in the vehicles or the value? :o)

    Thanks for the time out to discuss.

    On topic, found a 1971 GS 455 convertible in the paper. Just says the engine has been rebuilt and is in good shape, nothing more. Expecting it to need paint ($2K), top ($1K), interior ($1K). Think the asking price of $5000 is reasonable?

    Take care,

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, the price is okay, but given the ultimate value (around $10,000), you might as well just go buy a finished one...they are on the rare side in 1971, but also not the car that the earlier ones were in terms of desirability (not yet, anyway). If it were a Stage One convertible, I'd say, yes, buy it at $5K, but if not, it's a marginal kind of thing....maybe worth a shot if it's a very original car. I am a bit surprised though, at your estimates for restoration, I've never seen a really good $2,000 paint job (acceptable, but not outstanding) or a $1,000 interior, but perhaps you're talking about less work than I'm thinking in my head (complete tear-downs, chrome off, windows out, bare metal respray).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Oh, on your chicken or egg question...I think the chicken, definitely...value comes from keen interest. I'd support my argument by pointing out that the most valuable classics today were all coveted and beloved the first day they came out (e.g. Jaguar XKE) in the marketplace, and unloved cars have, for the most part, remained unloved (e.g. Edsel). Of course, this idea has its variations, but in general I think this has been true.
  • OPSMDEVOPSMDEV Member Posts: 13
    I'd like to go back to the original question, but before I do, I'd like to make a comment concerning the Buick Grand National. If you keep up with Chrysler products, you'll notice that they are, for the most part, fairly affordable...UNLESS, they are equipped with the fabled Hemi or even the 440 6-Pack(barrel). Then the price soars.

    The Buick Grand National wasn't particularly noteworthy except for it's engine. The car's suspension was such that getting the engine to push the car to top speed was truly a scary experience. I predict that the cars themselves will not increase much, but if you have the engine out of one, you can sell it for a ton.

    To add to the generational argument, if you note what cars have traditionally increased in value, it is usually either the cars people had, or lusted for, during their youth. Current baby-boomers now have the financial means to be able to buy that SS-454, GTO or Mach I they couldn't get when they were 16 (or maybe they had one and loved it). Cars which are popular with today's youth will be collector cars in about thirty years. There is one caveat to that statement however; today's youth is not nearly as enthusiastic about cars as the baby boomers were in their youth. Sure, some are but go to any high school parking lot and the majority of the cars are really pretty mundane (except for the stereos). In the late 60's and early 70's almost every car in the lot was what is collectable today. As Mr. Shiftright stated earlier, rarity is not the criteria, popularity is. If a car, regardles of it's merits, is not particularly popular today, it is doubtful that it will be in the future. Remember however, popularity cannot be tracked by sales. Vipers are very popular, but because of price, few are sold.

    Now on to my list:

    1989 - 1992(?) Corvette ZR-1 - Rare, popular and historically noteworthy

    1989 - 1995 Ford Thunderbird SC - Popular, good value, good performer, historically noteworthy. (Also the 1984-1988 T-Bird Turbos but to a lesser degree).

    Chrylser Minivan - Early years - Historically noteworthy, popular and somewhat dull, but they started a trend.

    1996-1998 BMW M3 - Everybody lusts for this one.

    1993- 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS - Last of the great large sedans.

    Finally, I'm going to disagree with you a little on this one Mr. Shiftright. I think the little Mitshibshi GS (R&T) and the Talon. They're fast, stylish, popular and unique.

    What'ca think?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Hi Ops,

    Yeah, good comments and well said.

    Your list sounds pretty plausible except for the mini-van, which I think will go into and remain in the collector car toilet for eternity.

    I'll still stick to my premise that 4-door sedans will never be valuable cars (name ONE that isn't a special-bodied handbuilt car), but the "hot" coupes you mentioned may in fact slowly become collectible...I say slowly because they made a goodly number. I know some people will say..."hey, they only made 10,000 of the 1992 Blato 450.." true, but in collector car circles, 10,000 cars is a lot...a whole lot. Usually, numbers under 1,000 start a scarcity. And by "scarcity" I don't mean "only 77 made with pink sun visors AND the in-dash telephone"...no, scarcity has to be linked with significant performance items.

    Case in point...you can usually get more for a stripped down two-door, 3-on-the-tree muscle car with the biggest engine than you could for the convertible version with all the options and the small-engine with automatic.

    In American muscle cars, horsepower=value...that's the bottom line...the bigger the engine the bigger the price tag, and options and body be damned.

    Vipers will be collected I'm sure, but as of yet they are still used cars, and still dropping in value, as used cars do as they get older. Once they stabilize, we will then see if they will follow the pattern of their brethren, the AC Cobra---which in spite of being a nasty car to drive, (way overpowered for its chassis and brakes) is very very valuable today. It's hard to say if in-your-face styling and nearly unmanageable horsepower will be popular in the future. Probably.

    Last opinion...I'm not sure the BMW M3 will be collectible. So far, past M series aren't very valuable, I suspect because they are not so radically different in looks from the common and plentiful BMW sedans. That's an important point. So we'll have to see about that one...so far, history is on my side on the M3 question, but as you mentioned, tastes change, at least up to a point.
  • OPSMDEVOPSMDEV Member Posts: 13
    I think when you start talking about collector cars, you need to examine what is and is not a collector car. Like you, my preferences are for late 60's - early 70's muscle cars. However, neither my personal tastes, nor yours, dictate the market.

    If you look at Hennings, you will find old Duesenbergs (I haven't a clue how that's spelled), Cords, Rolls Royce's, LaSalle's and a host of other FORIGN, LUXURY CARS. If you think a 63 FI Vette costs a few bucks, go check out the price tag on some of those old sleds.

    Obviously, IF -- There's that word again -- IF, the car was popular, and lusted after during it's time, 2dr, 4dr, whatever, it will rise in value when it gets around 30 yrs. old (see above concerning youth buying their old loves). So it could be that you need to rethink the generational argument you had with that 20-something earlier. His generation lusts after rice-rockets and history has shown that in 30 years it's not likely he'll suddenly decide that a 63 409 Impala is his dream car.

    By the way, while my heart agrees with you, I think the Dodge Minivan will be like the old T-Model, boring as hell but remembered as the vehicle we couldn't do without. I hope you're right but I think you're wrong.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, the Model T kind of proves the point, I think, in that after 75 years they are still very cheap to buy. And I must add that in my book the Model T was a far more worthy vehicle than the first Minivans...the T was a technical triumph (a cheap but high quality car) whereas the Minivan was a marketing triumph and a mediocre piece of work.....I guess one could say that the Mustang was also a marketing triumph (cetainly nothing new technologically about the car, built on the old Falcon platform) but it was also a styling triumph and a great value (the old ones still are a Shiftright "Best Buy" in collector cars!)

    Collector car status and value is determined by supply and demand, and even if some 20-somethings think 1993 Honda Accord Sedans are more attractive than 409 Chevys, fact will remain that there will be, in the future, very few 409 Chevys and about 3 gazillion Honda Accords (too good to kill?), so supply and demand will still rule the day, I think.

    But should the world go mad and 4 gazillion people ardently start looking for 3 gazillion Honda Accords while waving their checkbooks, then, yes, they will undoubtedly become collectible, no argument there. But really, who wants to collect what everyone else can easily obtain? Doesn't make sense.

    So I guess I'm saying people like me don't determine the market--all we do is study and comment upon what is going on now, and what has gone on in the past, and what we think is likely to occur in the future. But the buyers really decide in the end, that's true.
  • bdreggorsbdreggors Member Posts: 143
    Here are my predictions:

    91-96 Buick Roadmaster wagon
    90-91 Olds Custom Cruiser wagon
    Small model run and, in the case of the Roadmaster, one of the last true station wagons

    95-98 Lincoln Mark VIII
    Last of the Licoln 'Marks' (for now)

    94-96 Chevrolet Impala
    V-8 Impala: enough said ;)

    93-96 Cadillac Fleetwood
    Big, powerful, American; Last Fleetwoods to be made.

    Dodge Viper

    88-93 Cadillac Allante conv.
    Last Cadillac Convertible to date.

    95-99 Buick Riviera (esp. Silver Arrows)
    An alliteration of Buick's luxury coupes.

    I'm sure that there are others but that is all that I can think of now.

    A few notes: Every knows that the limited-run or the 'specialty' (aka: tremendously expensive) cars will always be collectable in the 'few and pricy' sense. But, in my humble opinion, the car not ment to be a collectable will be to one that is. Take the Chevy Bel-air: it was designed to be a pretty basic car for its time, but it turned out to be a true collectable. The same thing could happen for, say, a Buick Century.

    On the same hand, though, not all modern cars will be collectables. Some people think "if I keep my Altima for 25 years, it'll be worth some big bucks!" No, not really. Just about every car from the 50s and 60s are collectables because they capture the aura, the essence, the kitsch, if you will, of the era. A Mercury Turnpike Cruiser or a Buick Roadmaster Deluxe could be worth as much as a Corvette of the same era, which brings me to my last point: A car is only a collectable according to the future buyer.

    25 years from now, someone could value a '99 Corvette as much as they value a '99 Sable. It all depends on the person who is purchasing a bit of late 20th-century nostalgia in the future.
  • carnut4carnut4 Member Posts: 574
    You have quite a list there. Somehow, I don't see any of the modern Roadmasters as ever being sought after. I mean they-and the huge Chev Impalas, were discontinued because of poor sales. Station wagons, maybe. And I just can't see a Sable[butt ugly!!] holding it's own with a Corvette. And if you look back to the 50's and 60's cars, there's guite a difference in values between the Chev Belairs [55-57] and other 5O's cars-mainly because the Chevs were a clean,solid,classic design from the start-unlike the Turnpike cruisers, for example. And I've seen pristine, perfect original examples of those heavy chrome, late 50's Olds and Buicks-and they can hardly give them away. But who knows. Maybe if they made a 95 Buick Roadmaster with dual sidemounts and a Rolls-Royce grill...Whadya think, shifty?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, you never quite know what people are going to fall all over themselves for 20 years from now, but I personally am a firm believer in the idea that one can reliably predict future collectibility upon the degree of popularity (not in terms of sales numbers, but real affection, desire and respect) a car enjoys when it is new.
    With regard to some of the cars on the lists people have been kind enough to post, I see in big red letters, in my mind, the phrase "NOBODY CARES"....case in point...you see a smashed up Altima or 95 Buick in a wrecking yard, you probably don't wince or say to yourself "Awww...what a same, such a classic gone to ruin!"....but if it were a Viper or a new Vette or even a Miata, you might notice....this, IMO, is a indication of one's innate affection and respect for certain models and emotional indifference to others.

    So I guess what I'm saying is that one can intellectually make predictions about future collectibles, based on rarity or special features, etc., but really, the process of why people collect and value certain things over others is significantly, though not totally, emotional. If 5000 people love the first 1953 Corvette, of which 300 were made, then you have a collectible, but if 10 people like the 1953 Hillman Minx, of which easily more than 10 were made, all you have is 10 eccentric people with lots of worthless Hillmans stacked in their backyard. Supply (scarcity) + Demand (real desire) = Collectibility.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Mr. Shiftright said in an earlier post that a T-Model was only worht about 7500 dollars. But considering at the height of production you could get one for less than 400, I'd say they held their value pretty good. It's also been pretty well established that popular cars will make the future collector list. Does this mean a Grand Marquis will be the number 1 collector car in Florida 30 years from now ;-)?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think the Grand Marquis is only popular in the sales sense, like the Taurus, but not much loved, and personally, I don't think it will be collectible in any true sense of the word even in 100 years. There's too many of them, they are 4-doors, and there's really nothing special about them, other than being good transportation. But if you're not talking big bucks here, I suppose any old car is worth something after 30 years...you could get $2,000 for a 1970 Buick 4-door if it was really really nice. But it's a stretch to call it "collectible".

    Seems to me $7,500 for a Model T is a pretty measly rate of appreciation for a $400 investment over 75 years (quick, you math whizzes out there, what was the rate of interest compounded annually?)...and then you had to store it for 75 years and then restore it!
  • OPSMDEVOPSMDEV Member Posts: 13
    No, no, no! DO NOT start to equate "collectables" with financial requirements. There are few cars today, other than 427 Cobras that will be on the list then. It is a rare car that one can purchase, restore to factory specifications and then sell and make a profit. Your analogy of the Model T above states that since it didn't appreciate very much it isn't a collectable. Tell you what Shifty, go buy a '65 Mustang Coupe basket case and do a complete restoration on it and then sell it. Then come back and tell me how much money you made. Or are we to think then that Mustangs are not classic collectables?

    You are much closer when you spoke of the emotional ties being that which define a collectable. To me, a 1969 Dodge Dart Swinger 340 is a collectable. Why? Because I had one when I was 17. While a Dodge Charger R/T is almost certainly a more intellegent purchase from a FINANCIAL standpoint, I have no desire for one because I have no emotional ties to one.

    Therefore, all cars are collectables assuming someone wants one, or put another way, "There's an [non-permissible content removed] for every seat!"
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, if all cars are collectible, the term seems utterly meaningless, doesn't it? If everyone is beautful, then no one is. There is no relativity there. You can't have No. 1 with Zero and No. 2.

    The very idea of collectible to me implies special, worthy, outside the pack, singularly coveted, however you wish to phrase it. I don't think that most people care one way or the other about very common and utilitarian cars, or plastic lawn furniture, old bar-b-ques, whatever, although a few might cherish them. But the few do not determine what is collectible in terms of establishing a detectable and measurable market that people refer to on a daily basis.

    If collectibility has nothing to do with value, then we are talking very airy concept here, like love or justice. To me, collectibility means something someone will pay a special price for, above and beyond the common object. Ming vase vs. plastic one, old Barbi doll (rare) vs. plastic Star Wars toy from 1999 (only 75 billion made)...that kind of thing.

    So, someone might passionately declare the Marquis a collectible, but one would have to accept being a singular voice, more or less...nothing at all wrong with that as long as one sees the situation clearly enough, that history and human nature is being somewhat disregarded.
  • OPSMDEVOPSMDEV Member Posts: 13
    "All pigs are equal, but some are more equal than others!"

    We're not really talking abstract concepts such as love and justice, but we are talking about enthusiasm and excitement. These may be just as abstract.

    While I understand your point of view and realisticly agree with it, you and I must both admit that many cars which had the same excitement as watching grass grow are, in fact, collectables. The above Ford Model-T is a great example.

    Back to my "pigs" analogy. While there is no doubt that a '63 Split Window Corvette is more exciting, more desirable and more valuble than a 63 VW Bug may be, one cannot dispute that both are "collectables". Some people, for what reason I have no idea, think that a '77 Ford Ranchero is a collectable. Never was an uglier vehicle manufactured. But, because of it's rarity and dubious popularity, it is a collectable.

    I think that the original question was what were the top collectables and perhaps we should return to that question. Having had all this discussion though, what is the criteria for a "top" collectable? Increase in value? If so, by percentage increase in value or sales price. If a Porsche 930 has doubled in value to $150K is it more of a top collectable than the Model-T which has increased value by over 1400% but is only worth $7800? How is time figured into this equation? If one car has had only 20 years to appreciate and another has had over 50, what's is the criteria?

    Finally, there is popularity. If a car was wildly popular during it's original sale but only marginally popular now (VW Bug for example), is it more or less popular than a car with the opposite sales figures (Shelby Cobra for example)?

    Good discussion points all. Maybe by breaking them down we can refine our list.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, again, it's not what people think, it's what the market says in happening. If you have vehicles that are actively collected, clubs formed, values going up and up, then this vehicle is a collectible....with some, the enthusiasm, values, desirability, is greater than with others, so yes, you're right, "some cars are more collectible than others".....I suppose the Ford Ranchero might squeek into that definition, though barely, but a Mercury Marquis won't...nobody cares, it's really that simple...nobody cares.

    Also, there is the historical factor here, which cannot be denied and which applies great force to the degree of collectibility. A VW Bug, a Model T, a Cobra, a Corvette Split Window, all have historical significance, and once again, human nature likes to association with the famous and the powerful, whether it be cars or people. Do YOU want to identify intimately with a Mercury Marquis? I sure don't. And this is why a '63 Split Window is worth $40,000 and a 1984 Corvette Coupe is worth $9,000 on a good day...because one is historically significant, and the other is just a used car, in people's minds.

    Actually, I guess you were thinking of some other car, not the Porsche 930, which is barely a collectible (very narrow interest margin, but some interest). You can buy them fairly decent for $15,000 and nice ones for $20,000.

    So really, most of the cars you mentioned (except the Marquis (which is booked at a whopping value of $2,150 in excellent condition, after 23 years!) are collectibles to some extent or another. Some are "hot" some lukewarm, but people do seek out VWs (bugs, not Rabbits!), Model Ts, etc. Lots of cars are collectible, but some surely aren't.
  • OPSMDEVOPSMDEV Member Posts: 13
    Some good points. I would like to mention that although someone brought up a Mercury Marquis earlier, tweren't me! Even my BROAD definition of collectibles doesn't include basic four-door land yachts.

    I think you have brought up an obvious, but somewhat ignored to this point, factor. That being the historical significance. This factor is why not only VW Bugs and Model-T's are collectibles but also why Cords and Edsels are.

    We know that the early automobile such as Maxwells, Stanley Steamers, etc. were significant in the development of the modern automobile. To find even a basket case would be a tremendous find just because of age. Certain later cars such as Dusenbergs, LaSalles and Packards are collectable because of the historical significance of the era of pre- WWII extravagant luxury cars. Cars of the same era, but less prestige such as Mercurys and Model T-s,A's are popular due to the Hot Rod era. After that the "hip" 50's comes along with the ‘57 Chevy taking the spotlight, but letting it shine on many of its cousins, the ‘58 Impala, the 55-56 Belairs the Ford Vic and so on. Then we get to the 60's and the era of the Supercar. Starting with the 64 GTO (with a few earlier models such as 409 Chevy's and SD Pontiacs) to the outrageous Superbirds and Charger Daytonas. Then BLAM! The door slams in our face through the dismal 70's. Only the Datsun Z-Car shows some promise. The 80's carried over this grim message until 1984 when Ford started to show some life. A revolutionary new T-Bird and a Mustang V-8 with some promise. After that it really got rolling with Grand Nationals, Z/28s C-5 Corvettes and all sorts of exciting cars, but OOPS! No youth market! What happened? Their all wearing jackets with SONY on them and driving cars with Stereo logos. The insurance industry and the boredom of the 70's sent America's youth looking for something else and most of them have found it and have only minuscule interest in cars. Witness the Camaro Z/28 and F-Bird. About to go down the tubes and they are the biggest bang for the buck in history. Of course it would help if GM would explain how today's teenager is supposed to afford a $38K Anniversary Firebird.

    Having stated all the obvious above, my question is "With little or no enthusiasm by today's youth, WILL there be any future collectibles?" How can a car have historical significance, when nobody cares?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I used to think younger people didn't care about cars, but really this whole Customize-Your-Japanese-Coupe Craze proved me wrong. These folks are SERIOUS car nuts!.

    Do you think an Edsel is a collectible? I know it has some adherents, but really the value seems to get less and less as time goes on. The car has really fallen out of favor with hobbyists, and may one day become a "nobody cares" car.
  • OPSMDEVOPSMDEV Member Posts: 13
    An Edsel will always be a collectable, if only because of it's historical value (God knows it doesn't have any other value). Just as the older (Pre-1940) cars have less popularity. The people who remember them are dying off and they are losing popularity, but someone will always want one in a collection.

    Why does a Stanley Steamer have value? It obviously took a wrong track in technology and has little value other than it's uniqueness. The Edsel will fall into the same category with time.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yeah, but the Edsel's only historical context is as a complete failure. Technologically, it was a backward step. Who wants to brag about owning one of the biggest losers in automotive history?

    But your comparison to STanley might be apt, in that both cars have this sort of cult following, this is true. STanleys aren't all that valuable, but still you can get $30,000 for one, and they are technically interesting at least.

    I personally see Edsel as a fast-fading star that few people will remember in the future....like the Star, the Durant, the Moon...those oddball cars one rarely hears about anymore. Whatever you pay for one now, it'll be worth less in the future, I suspect. But you would get a certain amount of attention from the public, so that might make it worthwhile...like owning a Delorean, I guess--money down the drain but you can be famous for 15 minutes.
  • OPSMDEVOPSMDEV Member Posts: 13
    Ah, but now contrast the Edsel with a Tucker! Again one of the great losers of automotive history, yet one of the most advanced cars of it's time. What about the Dymaxim? A technological triumph but never a commercial success.

    Collectables come in all shapes and sizes. Some are collectable because they were winners, some because they were losers and some because they were just plain weird.

    My question is why is one loser/weirdo a collectable and another just a rust-bucket?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    The Dymaxion gains its value from a) incredible rarity (just one surviving, I think) and being associated with Bucky Fuller, of course...it is of great historical interest and is technically interesting...two things the Edsel doesn't have.

    So, too, the Tucker is technically very interesting, not at all a loser of a car (some rought edges, to be sure, but an impressive performer for its day!) and historically interesting in the sensationalism of Tucker's trial. Mostly his big mouth really upset some powerful people, and they smacked him down for his impudence. Also a rare car, only 49 or so surviving.

    So the Edsel is neither rare, nor interesting, two important things that the Tucker and the Dymaxion have going for them, IMO.
  • fjm1fjm1 Member Posts: 137
    The enthusiasm of the younger generation is there, you just have to know where to look.

    "Witness the Camaro Z/28 and F-Bird. About to go down the tubes and they are the biggest bang for the buck in history."

    While I truely agree w/you we begin to see how demographics and perception play a part in this voodoo we call collecting. My perception of reality tells me that those two cars are outdated before they roll off the lot. Why? Because if it doesn't have VTEC, a 12:1 compression ratio, or a Garrett aftermarket turbo it's not going to make the grade for this generation.
    So while you may think that the youth of america is only interested in a Sony stereo please remember we have to put it in something. My top picks for future collectables is based on what young people want now because I agree w/the theory that what is desirable now by young people will be collected by them when they get older.

    Acura NSX Limited numbers, especially for the new Zanardi edition. Gut wrenching traction. Only for the rich.
    Acura Integra Type-R See description for NSX w/one caveat: on a budget.
    Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX-T This is the mass produced pick of the litter. Still the numbers are low.
    Toyota MR-2 turbos mid-late 90's. Loyal cult following and they have supercar potential.

    The real catch is that in thirty years it will be extremely difficult to find Type-R's and GSX-T's that haven't been modified.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    And they will be extremely difficult to restore, too, given that it is unlikely people will be building new computer boards and multiplexing wire harnesses for them, so say nothing of all the molded plastic interior and body parts. I'm afraid that most modern cars are built to be disposable, not restorable.

    But I think your basic thinking is correct, picking out the lower-production/high performing cars...these are two important criteria for collectibility.

    I don't know that lower-tech F bodies will discourage collectors....in America, horsepower equals value when it comes to domestic collectibles, so even with their underhead cam engines, they may have appeal in the future. What they don't appeal to today is large number of current buyers, at least not large enough to stop GMs contstantly declining market share.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    I'll admit, I'm the one who brought up the Grand Marquis, mostly as a joke, due to its large popularity with retired people in the state of Florida. It has been said that 4 door cars generaly are not collectable. Are there any exceptions to this rule? Will a 96 Impala SS or a Ford Taurus SHO have any collector value? Or a Marauder, (which I've heard rumors Mercury will produce sometime in the next few years '03, I beleive). What about top end luxury cars like Mercedes, Lincolns and Caddilacs? While I doubt your basic Toyota camry will make collector status, does anyone beleive some of these more "interesting" 4-door cars have what it takes?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    So far, in all of collector car history, no 4-door, mass production sedan to my knowledge has ever achieved any kind of significant collector car status, "significant" being defined as "in high demand and commanding top dollar". This includes "rare" 4-door sedans as well.

    The only possible exception that might occur in the foreseeable future would be a 60s or early 70s 4-door American sedan equipped (factory equipped) with some monstrous and rare engine...what I mean is, the engine would be carrying the value of the entire car.
  • fjm1fjm1 Member Posts: 137
    Possibly an early 70's cop car caprice w/interceptor engine?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    People are always collecting cop cars in any form, since with all equipment they are rare enough that there are usually more buyers than sellers (and thus the price stays up). But with most 4-doors, there are way more sellers than buyers, so the price stays depressed.
  • OPSMDEVOPSMDEV Member Posts: 13
    Oh Mr. Shiftright! How can you possibly say no 4-door has "collectable" status? Duesenbergs, Bentleys, Buggati, Packard, Pierce-Arrow, Mercedes, BMW and Talbot-Lago. Almost all of these cars are worth many thousands, in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars. Don't let your bias toward modern muscle cars blind you to what is and is not a "collectable". Sure, I'd rather have a '63 Split Window FI Corvette too, but all the above are certainly worthy of being called "collectable". Now, if you want to say no post-war 4-door will be a collectable, you may have a point. After WWII, servicemen came back and wanted sporty, fast cars. Prior to that time it was thought that performance cars could only be huge luxury cars. A new idea caught on...you can make a car that goes without it costing a fortune (something the manufacturers seem to have forgotten today). But to say NO 4-door will be a collectable is a bit much/
  • OPSMDEVOPSMDEV Member Posts: 13
    I really must take exception to your exclusion of "coach-built" cars. During the 20's-30's, with the exception of Ford (who revolutionized auto building with the assembly line), almost all cars were "coach-built". That's why cars were so expensive back then. Yes they were unique. You bought a chassis and then got a custom body. That was normal practice when you purchased a car. So what? Are the Corvettes going to be ignored in the future because they were assembled mainly by computerized robotics? Of course not. That is the assembly technique of the day, just as hand-assembled, "coach-built" cars were the assembly technique of THAT day. Remember, just 'cause ol' Henry came up with the assembly line doesn't mean that all the other automakers immediately jumped on the idea. He went a long time before that was considered standard industry practice.

    I hardly think that the exclusive marques that I have named, even the debatable $15K Packard, should be ignored because they are "ordinary mass-producted 4-doors".

    Neither do I debate the future collectability of a Taurus. I do however, question your assertion that NO 4-door will be a collectable. You really think a BMW M3/M5 sedan or a Mercedes E55 will be ignored by future collectors? Don't these contain "excitement, admiration and desire"? I realize that they are exclusive and custom built, but they are FOUR-DOORS. As I recall, you said NO four-doors would be a collectable. Perhaps you might wish to modify that statement somewhat.
  • OPSMDEVOPSMDEV Member Posts: 13
    Here's a new question for you -- How "collectable" will a Corvette ZR-1 be? On one hand it was a HUGE deviation from normal GM corporate procedure to build an exclusive, very high-performance, model of an already exclusive, very high-performance, model. On the other hand, the current C5 is almost the equal of the ZR-1 in performance and beats it to pieces everywhere else.

    My initial impression would be that it is a highly desirable collectable, but recent sales figures do not indicate any particular interest in it. While I know that it is still being looked at as a used car, in the minds of many, it was never a used car. It was built to be collected from the very start.

    What say you Mr. Shiftright? Your opinion is always worth considering.
  • fjm1fjm1 Member Posts: 137
    Only 2000 E55's have reached American soil in the past two years. They are very exclusive. AMG has a great deal of hands' on with these cars giving them a status very near hand built. The late 80's AMG Hammer is so rare I have heard of prices nearly doubling it's origional $80,000 price tag. It's a four-door. Less than 10,000 M3 four-doors came to the U.S. during the '96-'98 period of production. Limited numbers.
    I do appreciate history, but historically there have been so few cases of truely admired four doors. Mr. Shiftright how can you form such hypothesis based on such a small population of worthy four-doors? I am not farmiliar w/the 6.3 "super" sedan you tried to illustrate with in above post.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to rush out and attempt to corner the four-door non-collectible market. I do think, however, that the attention manufacturers have paid to sports-sedans reflects the American public's interest in them. Where there is interest there is money.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, I think your reasoning is impeccable but the facts are undermining your perfectly good logic...in fact, you can hardly give away an AMG modified car in America, because...because....nobody cares! To American collectors, an AMG car is a "boy-racer" tarted up for someone with more money than good taste. Perhaps in Germany, where this tuner is more respected, this might not be the case, but believe me, not in the US. And the price for M-series sedans and coupes is not very much higher than production BMWs...they only reflect that they cost more to begin with, but collectors are not adding premium value to these cars.

    Really, I see no collector potential for 4-doors that basically look like their everyday counterpart family sedans. M-cars, though of potent performance, look like ordinary BMWs (they ARE, essentially), and AMG cars have not aged well.

    This is not to say that there won't be a small number of discerning people who will seek out interesting 4-door cars...they will, indeed...but there will be a greater supply than demand, so the M-series shopper or AMG-hunter will never have to worry about short supply. So the buyer dictates the price, not the seller, and we know what happens when that happens. Low prices.
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