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Future Collectibles--Make Your Prediction



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Trucks are commercial vehicles, and as such don't accelerate in value like special cars, but in time the more limited production trucks will have some give you an idea, a 1957 Cameo Pickup in very nice shape brought a bid of $17,000, and a 1955 GMC Town and Country Carrier Pickup (one of 374 built) restored to absolute show condition, brought $27,000 recently.

    So there is potential for value in your truck, but you have a long wait....the usual trend for potential collectibles is for the price to drop and drop like a used car might (this is where you're at right now), then the price will stabilize (which will happen soon to your truck, I think), and then the price will slowly climb as the supply outstrips the demand (to have demand outstrip supply it has to become rare enough through collision losses, etc.)

    Hottest "commercial" vehicles right now are old Woody Wagons (late 40s) and of all things VW microbuses with all the windows sides and top....both these are bringing big bucks.

    So take good care of that truck and be patient.
    Trucks and any other hauler of yor is of growing interst with collectors today. Woody wagons are unique but they were more for the "estate" set than your broad based typical owner.

    Shiftright has a very mature view of the market based on his expereince of the market with in recent past. I agree with him on many points but I feel that he is slipping into the automotive past. The up and coming collecotr does not have his same history or value structure as he does. There is a transition occuring in the collectors market right now as many of Shiftright's peirs pass away and leave the market perminently. Modern markets for old cars are likely to be very different from that which we've known in recent past.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Hah! Do I sound that old?...I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I'll probably be active in the market for another 40 years.

    But seriously, of course tastes change, I would never argue against that, and I hope I've made that clear with noting the current great interest in muscle cars of the 60s, VW multi-window vans and bubble-cars. The big classic cars of the 1920s are languishing.

    Nonetheless, quality and rarity and uniqueness will always win out--and quite frankly, it is the more mature collector who has the money and thus gets to have the biggest vote in the market. Somebody just paid $56,175 for a 1946 Woody Wagon, and a 1957 Chevrolet Fuel-Injected Convertible just brought down $89,250. Neither buyer was an old fart by a long shot.

    I feel that even in the market of the future, the old rule will apply even to the youngest of astute collectors...the rare and special car that is beautifully restored or preserved will bring the big money. I don't modern mass-produced cars fitting into this, only the very limited production vehicles being produced. There are simply too many of them and their survival rate will be pretty high. You'll find a gazillion Miatas to buy in 20 years, and supply and demand is a very established economic law.

    But you know, in the end, nobody knows, that's true. So I'm offering educated guesses based on principles that work for all types of collecting. Some Beatles LPs are worth $12, and some $15,000. And you know why just as well as I do.

    Thanks for your comments...good food for thought.
    With each generation I do think that there is a shift in the market. You may have another 40 years in the market but many of the up and coming collectors have 60+. The computer savy generation is going to turn the old car market on its head and they'll have the $'s at a younger age than any of the previous collectors.

    Micro buses and 60's muscle cars are a bit of this phenominon but it'll grow. I'd bet some very niche automobiles of the past will gather a real following in the years to come. The information on the internet allows every kind of collector to easily congregate and swap information on parts and cars in a flash. I wouldn't even be surprised if the Delorean found a home amoung this group!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Delorean? I can't see that....the types of cars that people collect may (will) change, but I'll stand firm in my opinion that the CRITERIA for which cars are valuable will not change. So I agree with you that the younger collectors will choose to collect cars they like, but I don't agree that they will pursue the ordinary and the undistinguished, any more than collectors do now. That would be a contradiction of what collecting is all about.

    The criteria for collecting seems to apply to any hobby. A 1959 Barbie doll in mint condition in the box is worth something like $5,000. A 1999 Barbie doll, no matter how much 'better' a doll, is made in the millions and won't be worth much ever because supply will always exceed demand. The 1959 doll will always be the one Barbie freaks want, or if not the '59, then some other rare or unusual Barbie. Or take a 1990 Miata...first year for a great little it worth a lot? No, because there are far too many of them, and they still look the same.

    Opinions of market analysts like myself dont' control the market. We have no such power. Supply and demand dictate the market. Deloreans aren't hard to sell because I say they should be...they are cheap to buy because hardly anybody cares, (more owners than willing buyers). The Delorean has already had 20 years, and prices are still falling. So, I ask you, by what miracle will it suddenly become a "classic"?. It will always be a minor footnote in auto history,IMO, but as long as the video of the movie is rented, they'll be a few interested people, sure. But such a car would be a terrible investment.

    As for the Internet, this will change how people find and buy cars (it already is doing that) but I don't see how it could turn a rhinestone into a diamond.
  • sbarersbarer Posts: 35
    The Delorean has already become a collector car. Autos achieve collectors status due to period involvement ("Classic Cars" such as my father's '29 Franklin 130,) or for technical showcases (such as the "Milestone Cars" like my 55 Packard Patrician.)

    But there is the third group to which the Delorean belongs: oddities and the infamous. Much like an Edsel or a Corvair, Deloreans are noted for what they didn't provide (style, handling, drug free CEO.) Hence they will always remain in the minds of collectors.

    And as for "20 years and still depreciating," that is the case with almost all mass-produced automobiles. Even Ferrari 308s and Corvettes are depreciating slightly in value to their value-floors. The only cars made after 1975 which seem to be appreciating are the extremely limited edition cars (Lancia Stratos) and cars in their last years of production (1976 Triumph TR6.)

    Despite that gutless 6 and horrible build quality, nice Deloreans will never be worth much less than $15K. They are a piece of history which people will always want to collect.

    ...And tell me you don't know the importance of 88mph in a Delorean?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think your prices for Deloreans are wildly optimistic...I saw two very low mileage (18K & 31K)ones sell at 9,500 and $12,500 just recently...most do not sell at auction, as the bidding does not meet the owner's reserve price.

    The problem with collecting "oddities and infamous" cars is that when the rest of the collector car market goes up, they won' Edsel will always be an Edsel and a Delorean always a Delorean. A collector who collects "loser" cars...hmm...that's a dangerous association.

    The Ferrari 308s & Testarossas and Corvettes problem is different...they just made too many of them and so supply way outstrips demand.

    But you are quite correct...not too many post 1975 cars are appreciating, but some are depreciating far less than that's what to watch.

    Last of all, I don't think, from my observation, that the "last year' of production makes a car more the case of the TR6, the small bumper cars of 1974 an older are a good 10-15% more valuable than the fat bumpered '76, and I believe as time goes on will outstrip the last year TR6 by a good margin....this not because of rarity, but aesthetics...collectors seem to like the most attractive years rather than the last years. But in some cases last year of manufacture might mean more value...I'm trying to think of a case where that is true but nothing comes to mind right off.

    As for Franklins and Packards, these cars distinguished themselves and have a great history...this contributes to their value, and even brings up the value of those model Franklins and Packards which weren't so hot or so special. The marque's history definitely counts in how collectors are attracted. I can hardly even type Packard and Delorean on the same's rather a jarring contrast.
  • sbarersbarer Posts: 35
    Trust me, I wasn't comparing Packards and Franklins to Deloreans. But keep in mind that a Delorean is still worth the same as a 55 Packard Patrician!

    I agree that usually cars in their last years of production don't command the money of "heyday" cars of the same company. I was just making the point that the only post '75 cars that seemed to be appreciating were the ones that didn't continue very long. I wasn't making a claim of value relative to their pre-75 counterparts. Who wouldn't rather have chrome bumpers?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Ah, yes I see what you're saying.

    Your comment about the similar value for a 4-door Patrician and a Delorean supports, I think, my opinion that the Delorean has "no legs" as a collector car, inasmuch as it cannot even beat the price of a 4-door sedan--and the 4-door sedan body type is usually at the bottom of the value ladder vis-a-vis its two-door hardtop and convertible counterparts. So here's an often-touted, Hollywood-famous gull-wing sports car that can't even beat out the value range of the tradtionally weak 4-door sedans.

    Let's look at the two cars another way.

    List price of Packard Patrician 4-door sedan $5,610.....price now, around $10,000

    List price of a Delorean--$30,000...price now, $10,000.

    And let's take a comparable car to the Delorean, the 1981 Avanti II....list price $21,000...price now, $15,000.

    No matter how you cut it, more power to you if you like the Delorean and want to collect them, but as a car with potential future value, it sure looks like a loser by those numbers.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    What do you think of the "classic" Packards now being produced with all modern running gear? I forget the name of the company, but a choice of engines is offered-small or big block Chevy, or big block others of your choice. I saw one of these at the Portland swap meet. It was a dark blue '34 Packard roadster- a beautiful car with appointments that looked for all the world like a genuine '34 Packard. Then I read the sticker, and saw that it had a big block Chev-454. I thought, "Why would anyone take a car like this-worth a mint-and put a big block Chevy in it-which would immediately drop the value and ruin the car?" Then I remembered reading about this company producing repliPackards with modern running gear. This car's price was 70 thou. What do you think of these, and do you think they will appreciate and become prized items? Or will they go the way of the Clenet and Excalibur, etc?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think they're a bad joke. I mean, you could probably buy the *original* car in quite decent condition for $70K! If that wasn't reason enough to consider the whole thing sheer folly, the minute you buy the thing for $70K, it's worth $35,000 and will continue to spiral down to some Clenet/Zimmer type baseline, which are, amazingly, still bringing around $20K within a very narrow niche of buyers.

    In it's defense, I realize that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but when you look at the wrong steering wheel and wrong instrumentation and wrong size wheels, it's completely off-period and spoils whatever gesture at authenticity was there in the first place.

    And it's plastic...a plastic, really, this whole thing is blasphemous, or as we used to say in Aspen, somebody has..."more dollars than sense".

    Yes, yes, I know, it's their money and they can do what they want with it, but an imposter is an imposter is an imposter, and every real Packard owner will scorn it. More power to them!

    And a Chrysler Cordoba suspension no less...spare me....
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    That's what I thought. But a Chrusler Cordoba suspension? Good Grief! I guess..Ask the man who owns one....
  • sbarersbarer Posts: 35
    In general, I'm not a big fan of replicas. Part of what makes a Packard a Packard, a Ferrari a Ferrari and a Cobra a Cobra are the price, technology and lack of modern reliability.

    I come from the purist side of car collecting. I firmly believe that if you can't afford a car, buy a cheaper real car. I'd love a Cisitalia or SJ Duesey, but it's not going to happen any time soon. Instead of buying a replica...I have a real Triumph TR-250 down here in Houston. I certainly cannot imagine buying a Packard utilizing GM drive train (even if it would certainly be more reliable)...Geez, a Packard owner would never sink so low as to use any parts that could possibly be linked to a Cadillac!

    I also have big problems with someone who takes a low-production classic and destroys the heritage by switching parts willy-nilly. I saw a Ferrari 365 GTC advertised with a Chevy 350!

    Then there was the guy who wanted to buy the 1929 Franklin 130 Convertible and turn it into a hot-rod! That should be punishable by death!

    By the way, Packard Motor Company is trying to revive itself ala Stutz in the 70's with a new car based upon its old styling. It is rather horrible looking.
  • sbarersbarer Posts: 35
    back to the valuation for a second:

    List price of Packard Patrician 4-door sedan$5,610.....price now, around $10,000

    You must take into consideration the price of an average car in 1955, as well as average current value for a 1955 model car.

    Also take into consideration the value of a 1955 dollar. In real dollars, the car has depreciated greatly in value against other 1955 cars.

    Now do the same for the 198X Delorean. I'm going to guess that on the average, the Delorean is doing better in valuation against its same year competition, and with real dollars.

    As with all cars, don't buy them as an investment. Buy a car because you love it. If you want investment, buy a mutual fund!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Dear sbarer,

    thanks for that interesting wrinkle...yes, I suppose one would have to take into account the value of money at the time the car was sold to figure "real" depreciation---however, I still don't think that argument supports the Delorean, since the value of the Packard is going up but the Delorean seems to be sinking or the indicators still say (to me) to put your money in a car appreciating, not depreciating.
    The Packard has already hit its 'floor value' (the price at which it is not likely to sink below) but I don't think the delorean has hit the floor yet...and since no one knows what the floor is, it's not a car one would want to restore except, as you say, for the irrational(economically irrational, I mean) side of "love".
    Sure, you want to spend $20,000 on a car and sell it for ten--want can I say--have a good time! Maybe you can make it up on volume (old joke).
  • sbarersbarer Posts: 35
    Hopefully, this discussion group will still be going in 20 years, so we can look at the Delorean price. If it's a good investment, I might buy one, although I won't be able to bend my creaking bones through that gullwing!

    Enough about Deloreans...our conversation has been in production longer than the car itself.
    : )
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think some of the big old 70s convertibles will gain in value over the next few years, now that the 50s converts are priced to the moon....the big old ragtop tanks from 1965-1976 can now be had in pretty decent shape for $5-6K, while the late 50s cars are hitting $20K and more already.

    Early 60s pickup trucks might be ready for glory, too, but they'll have to be in really fine shape.It seem that vintage trucks are only worth something when they are very nicely restored or original.

    80s vehicles aren't terribly popular among collectors (it wasn't exactly the Golden Age of automobile design) but I've noticed the CJ Jeeps are being fixed up and offered for some pretty good prices....oh, maybe SVO Mustangs are worth a look, too...and the 1982 Corvette Collector's Edition actually does seem to be a collector car, how about that? Also the '88-89 Challenge there are some things happening in the 80s....
  • sbarersbarer Posts: 35
    The 60's-75 convertibles are already appreciating at various rates, so I agree. I still have nightmares about the day in 1977 that my father sold his 1964 Buick Skylark Convertible for $400.

    Fortunately, my father in law refuses to sell the 1965 Impala SS Convertible he purchased new. The low-rider craze has caused Impala prices to soar.

    As for 80's cars, there will be some collectors cars. I would expect 5.0 Mustang GTs, C4 Corvettes, Maserati Bi-Turbos, Porsche 944s, Fiat and Alfa Spiders...and maybe some wild cards, such as Acura Integra 2 doors, Honda Prelude 4WS. Even though there were so many of those buggers made, many of them wind up wrecked, so in 30 years they actually begin to appreciate.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yeah, I think in time some of those cars will remain interesting to people...the Mustang GTs, and C4s and Fiats and Alfas, though quite plentiful, will still be graet fun to drive, so they'll have their fans even though you won't see them knocking down big prices...but that's not all that collecting is about.

    The 944 and Maserati Bi-turbos will be problematical,IMO, in that they are very expensive to repair given their ordinary looks...Porsche collectors don't like the 944 and the average guy/gal who can afford to buy a used one for $6,500 often can't afford the horrendous repair bills. And the Maserati is a bad, bad car from the word go, virtually unfixable, so that will hurt it. Perhaps the 944 S4 Turbo and the Bi-Turbo convertible have a chance of being preserved, but I think most of the common models will go to the wrecker due to cost of repair and restoration versus a very low market value.

    I still don't see why anyone will be collecting Japanese cars, and especially every day sedans, because of the sheer number and sameness of most of them, (exceptions would be the NSX, the Toyota 2000GT, race cars certainly) but maybe they'll end up like the Model A Ford, ( of which close to a million are still on the road or at least existant 70 years later!)-- that is, happily owned many, many years from now but not particularly worth large sums of money,($6,000 buys you a nice 1928 sedan).
  • sbarersbarer Posts: 35
    It's hard to say which Japanese cars will be considered collectors cars. Let me make a couple of predictions:

    300ZX Turbo: The final platform was a looker.
    93-95 RX7: Amazing cars in small production
    Lexus LS400/GS400: High performance w/luxury. High price, interesting looks. Coupe (obviously) more desirable in the long-run.
    Acura Integra GSR: Cheap, Hot, lower production. (many will wind up wrecked!)
    Toyota Land Cruisers: Just like VW Things, already has cult following.
    Izuzu Vehi-cross will probably wind up in the same standing.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    The pattern for the collecting of normal production cars seems to be the rarity of the if a series-run (assembly line produced) car did not come with special, rare or expensive options (that is, more than just a sunroof or different color decals---more like special engines or trans, etc.) then I still doubt it will be much coveted. It's like the difference between say, a 1966 Plymouth Satellite 2 door hardtop with small V-8 as opposed to the same car with a Hemi engine....*huge* difference in price and collectibility. So I think the Japanese cars will fall into this pattern--only special models with special options will be highly desirable to future collectors--otherwise, you and 100,000 other collectors will have the same exact car...not much collectibility in that.

    So there's "collectible", which i guess means any car that you have 5 of in the backyard, "collector", which to me implies someone actually preserving and restoring something at considerable expense, and "classic", reserved for the truly exceptional car. I can see the Japanese cars you mentioned going into the first two, but not the third, although the RX-7 turbo may just sneak into a classic status some day far from now, because of real rarity, technical innovation (rotary), stunning performance and very interesting styling.

    It's interesting to speculate....
  • jfonjfon Posts: 1
    My nominations for classic status:

    GM Syclone & Typhoon trucks
    Mid-late '60's large convertibles, esp. '66 Bonnevilles, '67-70 Electras
    '87 & later Mustang GT convertibles
    Ford Lightning trucks
    2nd Generation RX-7 turbos & convertibles
    Last generation 300ZX
    '60's & early '70's full size wagons, esp Country Squires (OK, a longshot)
    Buick Reatta, esp convertible
    '69 & '70 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ
    Dodge Spirit R/T
    1989-95 Taurus SHO
    Alfa Romeo 164
    Toyota MR2 Turbo (2nd generation)

    Brain dead... that's all for now
  • sbarersbarer Posts: 35
    Interesting that you would pick 2nd generation RX7. Of the 3 RX7 platforms, the angular 2ndGen seems to be the least wanted.

    I agree on many of your selections. In fact, it's safe to say that any Mustangs (except the awful 4 bangers) are headed for collector status. I don't think Reattas will make it. Despite being a low production, beautiful car, it's sub-par performance for the time and horrible build quality diminishes its value.

    And to hit production number as a limit to value as a collector's car: yes, a Siata will always be more valuable than a Fiat...there are thousands more of the Fiats around from the 50 and 60's. But, keep in mind that many mass produced cars are big collector's items: 65 Mustangs, 57 Bel Airs, 61-69 Impalas (SS), 67 and 68 Camaros, MGBs, Fiat Spiders, Audi Quattros... (Euros are always less produced than Americans, but still "mass-produced") High production takes care of itself in 20 years, when most wind up in scrap yards.

    As an example, I called my father to let him know an exact match to the car he picked up in Europe new: red 1967 MGB with a factory luggage rack was for sale down here in Houston for $4,800. His comment: "That's more than twice the amount I paid for mine new!" And there are MGBs on every street corner.
  • Buick Reatta
    Cadillac Allante <-still pulling 25K for an 89
    Lincoln Continental of the '85 body style
    Convertible model Riviera/Eldorodo/Toronado's of the '79 to '85 vintage
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    $25k for an Allante? must mean asking prices...they are quite slow in the market with $15k seeming to be the level that real money changes hands, for the 80s models. Last year with the Northstar engine is more popular and people are willing to pay more for one. Nice car but small market...more supply than more like a "footnote" car than a milestone, a Delorean, a Reatta, etc. But the Allante does have most of the other attributes one normally applies to a collectible car, even the fact of being troublesome, which seems to be a characteristic of cars that are increasing in value, oddly enough...if it's some high production reliable car, nobody seems to think they'd suffer enough and be able to call the car a true "collectible".

    Now MGBs are pulling $10,000 in real money, but only for very very exceptional cars (60s models, 5-bearing engine, two tops, chrome bumpers, wires, etc.).

    So i think one factor in collectibility, aside from the necessity of the car being sort of interesting, is the competition for it, the that issue supply and demand. Very important. As Citroen proves, you need more than a handful of people willing to pay for them.
  • sbarersbarer Posts: 35
    I can see the Northstar Allantes being worth a pretty penny in 20 years. Only made for one year -- blistering performance and exclusivity for the time.

    My father almost purchased an Allante, but his comment was that one needed a PhD in mechanical engineering to operate the covertible top.

    I agree in principle to reliability being inversly proportional to collector status. This is usually because lower production cars are more exclusive and expensive to start out with. Low production breeds quality problems. There are some "bullet-proof" collector's cars: 57 Chevy, Model A, Mercedes 300, pre-war Cadillacs. Even many of the 60's musclecars are reliable, made in large quantity, but are commanding 3X-5X original values, such as Mustangs, Camaros, Impalas...just stay away from Hemis!!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    But Hemis are bringing huge money, so they seem to be good investments if that's your thing.

    The basic hurdle Allantes have to overcome is that they are essentially copies of the Mercedes 560SL, and when you start hitting a $25K asking price, you can get the 560SL for that money, and that's tough competition for the Allante...I just don't see the demand going up for the wants a certain kind of buyer of a certain age, (like the Model A, which is still pretty cheap to buy) whereas I think the 560SL has a broader appeal, and thus more demand...or so I think, but as you say, who knows what will be coveted in 20 years? I think the Allante will end up in Studebaker Avanti-Land, which is to say, collectible but relatively static in value. Not enough people care enough about them to actually pay big money for one.
  • sbarersbarer Posts: 35
    I agree fully on all accounts, although all the auto magazines picked the Allante w/ Northstar over the Mercedes and Jaguar. The comparison to an Avanti is probably right on.

    And I was saying stay away from Hemis not because of value (there's a Hemi 'Cuda on Ebay at $45K!) but because the engines are poorly designed and destroy themselves under regular driving conditions. (I'm one who believes people should drive their collectors cars to enjoy them.)
  • masfutbolmasfutbol Posts: 1
    Saw only one mention of Taurus SHO. My 90 has 175k and runs great. 14,000 made that year, 5 speed only. That quantity is not rare, but surely will be of interest in the next 15 years.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yes, I think so, too, masfutbol..the original SHO, that was an interesting car with very credible performance and of limited numbers, so it has some real things going for it as a future collectible. Being a sedan doesn't help, unfortunately, but since that's the only way they came, there's no ragtop version to steal the top dollars.
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