What Will Be a Future Classic?

reallandyachtreallandyacht Member Posts: 28
Somewhere on the web I saw a topic which mentioned the the BMW M3 was tomorrows high dollar classic.

I have 2 questions for everyone.

#1 - Does anyone else concure that this is possible?

#2 - What else will make the grade?

Like the '57 Chevy convertible in mint shape is worth a nice 6 digit figure for a $3,000.00 (give or take) new priced car in it's hayday!


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    BMW M3s have never been a high dollar collectible, so why would they suddenly become one? Makes no sense to me.

    And six figures is not the going rate for '57 Chevy convertibles...dont' confuse real world prices with an occasional drunken bidding orgy on TV.

    Having said that, perhaps a mint '57 Belair with Fuel Injection and restored to perfection might approach 100K, but it would have to be an exceptional car at an exceptional event on an exceptional day.

    Real money for a restored one? Maybe $75,000 for a quality item. A clean driver? $40--50,000 is plenty.

    But BMW M cars? Geez, they've always tanked in the collectible market as soon as they get old.

    Maybe that's because a '57 Belair convertible looks so much better and glamorous than a '57 Chevy 4-door, but an M3 looks pretty much like any other of the gazillion BMWs on the road.
  • reallandyachtreallandyacht Member Posts: 28
    From what I recall - the logic was that is wasn't made for many years like a lot of other cars.

    .... but that's why I am asking!

    Trying to figure out what has a potential to be a future victim of insanity :shades: !

    Looking to get an edge up on my 7-year old's college fund!
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,989
    I think very few modern cars will become wild collectibles like the current muscle car fad. They are too complex and are doomed to fail sooner or later unless impeccably maintained. I'd buy something I can drive for fun and hope to break even when costs are considered. Even AMG and M cars etc hit a low value over time, and don't seem to budge. Modern cars are not an option.
  • reallandyachtreallandyacht Member Posts: 28
    but back in the late 70's I picked up a '68 GTO convertible with a slap stick for $400.00 and before that I had a '62 or there abouts Chevy Biscayne that I bought for $50.00 running. Also had a '70 AMC Javelin that was had for $300.00 in about '79.

    The kids now a days are tricking out Mercury Merkur's, Subaru's, and those cars from J. A. Pan with computer chips and nitrous, and who knows what else.

    Look at car shows this year! They accept up to 1984 - that is getting away from the old round head lights. I haven't seen any winning at the shows but they are starting to be entered.

    It would be nice to figure where the trend is heading!
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,329
    Looking to get an edge up on my 7-year old's college fund!

    I'd say try stocks, mutual funds, or even CDs for investment value before you mess with old cars. To put it in perspective, my Mom took out a bunch of savings bonds for me starting in 1970 when I was born. She actually put them away somewhere ages ago and forgot about them. After all, savings bonds don't hit final maturity for 30 years, and 30 years is a long, long time. Or so it seems.

    Suddenly, I was 33, and she found the things and gave them to me. I had 3 years worth of savings bonds to cash in at that point, and since then I've been cashing them in, a few at a time, as they hit the 30 year mark. On average, the typical $25 bond that she paid $18.75 for 30 years ago is now worth about $133. Or, a total return of about 709%. How many cars from 1976 are worth 7+ times their original purchase price today? Heck, how many cars from 1976 are even worth their original MSRP!

    Even if you go back to a more "golden" era, such as 1957, once you factor in for inflation, how many cars would even be worth their original purchase price? According to an inflation calculator, $1.00 in 1957 is like $7.00 today. And that hypothetical 1957 fuelie Bel Air convertible, if decently equipped, was probably damn near $4000 back then. So figure that's like about $28,000 today. So if you could get $100K for one today, that's not even a 4x return on your investment. Then figure insurance for all those years. Repairs, maintenance, storage, etc. And if it wasn't maintained lovingly, figure that to get it to a value of $100,000, you might actually spend close to that in restoring it!

    By and large, cars are not investments. The name of the game is usually seeing how little you lose, instead of how much you make.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,329
    Look at car shows this year! They accept up to 1984 - that is getting away from the old round head lights. I haven't seen any winning at the shows but they are starting to be entered.

    That's just more of a fact that most car shows cut it off at 20 or 25 years, and many jurisdictions let you put historic tags on a car when it reaches 25 years of age. FWIW, I've put my '79 New Yorker in the Chrysler show at Carlisle for 5 years now. And in 2003 it actually won 3rd place in its class! However, that still doesn't change the fact that it's still just an old car that only I and maybe 5-6 others in the Western Hemisphere really have any appreciation for.

    There's a big car show in Macungie, PA, where the car has to be 25 years old. Same for the car show in Hershey, PA in October. I'm putting my '76 LeMans in the Macungie show this year (if I'm not too late). Still, the reason that you now see Vegas, Chevettes, Pintos, 70's mastodons, etc at these shows doesn't mean that it's because they're suddenly ultra-valuable. It just means that they're finally 25+ years old!

    Now, sometimes there are cars that do become very valuable as they age, and sometimes you can get really lucky. For example, around 1974-75 you probably couldn't give anything with a Hemi away. And if it was one of those winged Daytonas or Superbirds, it was actually common for the wing and the nose cone to get thrown in the dumpster and a conventional Satellite or Charger front-end fitted on, to make the thing more saleable! Yet today, I guess if you had a pristine, numbers-matching Hemi, you just might get $1 million for it.

    I think it's going to be hard for modern cars to do that. First off, in the old days, it was almost always the hardtop coupes and convertibles that commanded a premium. Today the hardtop is pretty much history, and the few convertibles that are left are fairly high-quantity items like a Sebring or Mustang convertible. Cars today are so standardized and mass-produced that you just don't get that much uniqueness anymore. While they might have only made 13 or so 1971 Hemi Barracuda convertibles with a 4-speed, fast forward to today and something like 40% of all Chrysler 300's leave the door with a a Hemi. And an automatic transmission and 4-doors.

    In many ways, I think cars have become a victim of their own success. Any modern Hemi would be much more comfortable and driveable than any old Hemi, but at the same time, it's just that much less unique, special, raw, dangerous, and exciting. Cars today may have improved, but it seems like they've sold their soul somehow.

    I know I've made this analogy before, but it makes me think of that old Twilight Zone episode where Ellie Maye Clampett was considered ultra-ugly, and these pig-nosed people were the norm, and after a series of operations, they just couldn't make Ellie Maye Clampett look like a pig! In his epilogue, Rod Serling said something like "Without ugliness, there can be no beauty". And I think in many ways that applies to cars. These days, a V-6 Accord sedan with an automatic tranny could beat many 60's musclecars in the quarter mile, yet do it with niceties such as air conditioning, an automatic tranny, power everything, and so on. Nowadays, a slow car is one that does 0-60 in more than 10 seconds. Back in the 60's, you had many cars that would take damned near a half-minute to hit 60! So these days, a car that can do 0-60 in 6-7 seconds is really nothing special, but back in the 60's, it really was. Now that even the weak, mundane ones are much more competent, it kind of takes away from the stronger, more special ones. Because they're just not THAT much stronger, special, luxurious, etc.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Sensation with the public when new
    smashing good looks
    respected and admired

    Those would be 5 MINIMAL requirements that modern cars would have to meet to have any top tier value in the future.

    If you think of all the "hot" collectibles you're talkinga about, just about all of them would meet at least 4 out of the 5 categories.

    Remember also that the public drives the market, not the other way round. The muscle car market is hot because baby boomers with money want them. They are the engine of the market. Too many buyers and too few special cars.

    I don't think the 20 somethings of today will be lusting for today's modern cars, because they can own them now, on credit or by having daddy buy them. And there are very very few cars produced today in very limited numbers, like the high dollar Hemis.

    For a Hemi to be worth $1,000,000, just any old Hemi won't do. It would have to be 1 out of maybe 10 or 35 cars in existence. You don't see that today. A Hemi stuck in a Satellite coupe isn't going to sell for anything like that.

    A '58 Corvette is valuable, but you can't hardly give away a '79 or '80 (no power, no respect). Yet an 86 (or was it '87?) Buick GNX brings big bucks (there's the rarity and power)

    Even a 1996 Impala SS can bring decent money--the very rare case of a 4-door sedan being collectible. Why? It was rare, it was cool, it had some decent power, relative to all other American 4-doors of the time. Will it ever sell for big bucks? No, but it will always be of interest.
  • reallandyachtreallandyacht Member Posts: 28
    .... when my 7-year old hits my age (20 years old for the 28th time) and the baby boomer's are long gone there may be a serious reduction in Car Show content.

    I can't envision the car show & auto nostalgia trend fading to much. It seems like it has to encounter some sort of transition into something that will retain an interest beyond the old school auto's.

    andre1969 Savings Bonds?? :shades: NAW! That's boring!
    Besides that; by having things that my son will have to work at selling will make him more appreciative to what things are really worth and give him some control in deciding what to keep and what to sell (for his kids).
    He is already showing a great interest and aptitude in what is being done to improve his mental and educational development.
    He is going to learn that even if it is JUST handed to him, it still won't be an easy walk in paradise.

    We have collected a ton of unusual stuff for him and even some acreage.
    Actually; if I were to sell off everything - I would be able to do a FULL & COMPLETE restore on my Coup De and still get another classic daily driver.

    Taking a savings bond to a bank won't teach him much about valuing things in life - not that he doesn't already have some bonds (but 30 years isn't going to pay for college in 10 years - right?)...

    He isn't going to be a trust fund baby that gets everything handed to him!

    It's about that hand up not out!
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,329
    is what's going to happen to the really old cars, like Model A's and 30's and 40's cars and such. I imagine that something like a nice Duesenberg, Pierce Arrow, Auburn, etc will always be worth a small fortune, but as these older people who have the real old cars die out, what will happen to them?

    Even with something like DeSotos, I let my membership with the DeSoto club of Maryland expire because I just didn't have much in common with most of the other members. I bought the thing when I was 20. I'd say that the three next youngest members were old enough to be my father, and most of the rest were so old they were practically swapping Civil War stories and tales of the Great Flood and that loon who built the big boat and rounded up all the animals!

    I did notice at Carlisle this past weekend though, there was a pretty good turnout of DeSotos. Probably at least 15. I remember the first time I went to the Mopar show in 1997. There was only one DeSoto, as I recall, a blue 1959 Firesweep hardtop made to look like a convertible. It had been used in the movie "Mystery Date".

    Now I can always see 50's cars, at least from about 1955 and onward, having some interest, just because they were so wild by today's standards. Tailfins, chrome, a vast array of colors and interior choices, and the dawn of performance. Your typical V-8 50's car, even a mild one, can still keep up with modern traffic. In contrast, many cars older than that just aren't that adept at coping with today's higher speeds.

    And I'm sure that the musclecars, ponycars, and any convertible from the 60's onward will continue to hold interest. But I do wonder about the really old cars. They're nice as curiosities and museum pieces, but as their owners die off, I just can't imagine many of the future generations who don't remember them having much interest.
  • au1994au1994 Member Posts: 3,069
    No one knows, it's like speculation in the stock market. There are so many factors in play that realistically anything could become a valuable collectible.

    Lets just say that the gas situation gets really bad (6 or 8 dollar gas) in the next 20 or so years. Something as common as a V-8 F-150 or Hemi 300 may be worth big buck because the represent a bygone era just like the muscle cars do today and the Cord's and Duesenburgs did before that, when they were the gem of the collector market.

    What if it goes the other way and alternative fuels are found, cars become more effiecient and there is no longer a need for Prii, Fit's etc? Do they become collectible?

    Shfty is right (as usual) in that small production numbers, buzz at the time of launch and power usually bode well for a car's future collectability. Problem is, in the car manufacturers zeal to make money, there are few and far between examples of that situation anymore.

    My guess is that there are a few that have always had a following (Vette, Mustang) and will continue, but none of those will fetch a few million at the 2035 Barett-Jackson.

    Could be lean times for the car collector hobby in the not so distant future.

    2021 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4xe Granite Crystal over Saddle
    2017 BMW X1 Jet Black over Mocha
    2011 BMW 328i Jet Black over Tan

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    You know, it comes down to this: "A car is worth what someone is willing to pay for it".

    Sounds trite but rings true. If fewer and fewer people want Model Ts in the future, then they will go down and down in value to the point say, of old farm machinery---you'll have a few collectors who have the old barn to store them, but their value will stagnate and eventually, the families (inheritors) will be pulling their hair out deciding what to do with yet another old Model T or tractor. Remember they made 15 million Ts at least and there's still a good aftermarket. Abundance + loss of interest do not bode well.

    The Hemis of today could be the tulips of long ago Holland---one day, people might just wake up and say "Hey, wait a minute, a Plymouth isn't worth one million dollars"--and boom, the whole thing collapses in a heap in a matter of weeks.

    Maybe some of these collectibles are indeed "works of art" but they are big smelly, leaking works of art filled with gasoline that need constant repair and maintenance.

    Last of all, people get tired of seeing the same cars over and over again....I think only truly unique automobiles can capture people's imagination over the course of time.

    My predictions for which OLD cars will retain value?

    1. Capable of driving on modern roads
    2. Somewhat reliable
    3. Parts supply/aftermarket support
    4. Retention of the mythology surrounding the car (what was its STORY?)

    What's the story behind a '54 Studebaker 4-door? Pretty obscure to most of us today, totally lost to someone ten years from now----but a Hemi still might have a mythology.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,329
    but their value will stagnate and eventually, the families (inheritors) will be pulling their hair out deciding what to do with yet another old Model T or tractor.

    I know whomever ends up having to liquidate my estate when the time comes probably won't be pleased. Presuming I still have them, I guess the DeSoto and Catalina might be worth something. Probably the junkyard for the rest of them though. Unless by some off-chance someone rights a story about a possessed 1979 5th Avenue in a shade of red that wasn't offered from the factory that kills people and falls in love with its teenaged owner, and then a movie gets made about it, and there ends up being a rush of people who want a 1979 5th Avenue bad enough that they're willing to snatch up regular NYers, St. Regises, Newports, etc and try to make them look like that particular movie car. :P
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,989
    When the boomers are gone, it will indeed be a different world. I think enough of today's younger people like some older cars to retain demand, but it won't be like the insane market right now.

    Compare it to 20s cars 20-30 years ago. Many can be bought cheaper now than then. From the old magazines I have, it seems a nice Model A roadster was more in 1981 than today.

    You want a good investment? The old standby...property.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,989
    You're right about the plain old cars. They are not going to appreciate. It is already taking place, values over 25 years are not increasing...they peaked a generation ago. The very early cars and special cars will be worth something, but a plain 1925 model T or 1935 Dodge is not going to explode in value.

    Funny about the estate thing...I plan to have my fintail forever anyway...I am sure that won't have any heirs fighting.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,329
    You want a good investment? The old standby...property.

    That's true. Land is one thing they can't make any more of, and the population is going nowhere but up. I had thought about maybe buying the place behind my grandmother. It sold in 2003 and the owner started fixing it up, but then slowed down and it sat empty forever. A family just moved into it about a week ago. They're doing the rent-to-buy thing. The buy price? $375,000! He paid about $143K for it 3 years ago. I tried to buy it back then, but my agent said it needed so much work to not offer any more than $100K for it. The biggest strike against it was that it was hooked up to a septic tank of questionable reliability. And it was about 400 feet off the road, which would have cost a ridiculous amount to hook up to the sewer!

    I also don't think it would have been quite as easy to put a 4-car garage on its half acre lot, either. :)
  • john500john500 Member Posts: 409
    Among the common brands (neglecting rare cars such as the Lotus Elise, Acura NSX, etc), these are the closest to classics that I can think of since about 1990:

    1. Ford Mustang Bullit model (2001-?)
    Pros had limited release, common name, movie association
    Cons not particularly fast among Mustangs - some of the SVT Cobra models will likely be more sought after

    2. Toyota Supra Twin Turbo (1994-1997)
    Pros limited availability due to price shifting with later Supra models, good reputation among racers - already seeing high prices

    Cons might have been some turbo reliability issues since Toyota is out of the turbo market now

    3. Honda Civic SI (1999-2000)
    Pros moderate availability, however, very few are left that haven't been trashed by teenagers
    Cons not particularly fast

    4. Chevrolet Typhoon and Cyclone (late 1980's early 1990's) - not sure of the production dates - might be earlier than 1990
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Are Typhoons and Cyclones selling now for any "special" kind of money?

    The reason I ask is that if a car is still dormant, price-wise, after 15 years, it's not going anywhere. We live in the United States of Amnesia, and if people haven't been bitten by a "bug" for a certain kind of car after 15-20 years, that means they've forgotten about it.
  • bumpybumpy Member Posts: 4,425
    If you traveled back in time to yourself in 1996 and said, "Hang on to that 5-speed AE86 Corolla. People will be beating your door down for it." your old self would have thought you were insane. The AE86 was just another '80s econobox, and 'drifting' was some obscure form of reckless driving practiced by Japanese hoodlums.
  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    You could have held onto one of those Corollas for ten years and watched it appreciate 2-3% a year (keeping up with inflation!) while you paid insurance, maintenance, repairs, storage and whatever else.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    The really "hot" Japanese collectible has yet to appear...everytime someone tries to light one on fire, it smolders and goes out. The old 2000GT Toyota hardly counts, they only made a few of them, probably by hand. Most every other old Japanese car is either losing falling or just hanging stagnantly in the $15,000 and under range.

    Not sure why this is, but ultimately, it is a supply vs. demand equation. Yes we all love the 240Z but will we pay a bundle for one? Nope....
  • john500john500 Member Posts: 409
    Are Typhoons and Cyclones selling now for any "special" kind of money?

    With a quick glance, not really. They seem to be selling in the $ 10-15 K range (I'm assuming decent conditions). A good depreciation rate, but certainly not collector status yet. Perhaps the truck factor is also working against it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Well it took darn near 60 years for a 1950 Chevy pickup to hit $20,000, so maybe you're right. Trucks aren't the likeliest candidates.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,329
    let's suppose, way back in 1990 when I bought my '57 DeSoto, I had taken every penny I had saved up at the time, about $22K worth, and bought a '57 Chevy instead. How much '57 Chevy could that have gotten me back then? And what, about, would it be worth today?
  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    Stealth has no chance - it was always a last place car behind the Supra, 300ZX, RX-7, Corvette, and anything else that happened to be in any given comparison.

    Come to think of it, I suspect most people even preferred the virtually identical Mitsu 3000.
  • dustykdustyk Member Posts: 2,926
    I heard that a Plymouth Barricuda recently sold for $910,000 somewhere. For some reason these 'Cudas have become some sort of a cult-collector's car. It wouldn't surprise me that the value of these drop in the future when the fad wears off. Still, a friend at work just got $30,000 for a very rusted '71 Cuda that had sat for fifteen years or so. And it was not a Hemi.

    Speaking of DeSotos, there is a '41 coupe for sale just around the corner from me. It's 100% and in very good unrestored condition. The seller started two years at $15K and is now down to $9800. Nice car, too. Wish I could justify the money.

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,329
    the '71-74 Barracuda and Challenger never really turned me on. Maybe it's just because they were kind of late to the game, and seemed like a copy of the '67-69 Camaro/Firebird.

    I have learned to appreciate them more as the years have gone by, but I think I'd much rather have a '67-69 Barracuda, in any of the three body styles it offered. There was just something mildly exotic about them. They were also a well-enough balanced car that even a 273-4bbl or 318-2bbl could be fun, and the 340 could embarrass a few big-block cars.

    One of my neighbors, back in 1990, had a 1970 Barracuda hardtop for sale. I remember he wanted $4K for it. Now I'm sure that if I could go back in time and look at it, I'd see all sorts of flaws, but at the time it seemed just about perfect. I remember he wanted $4K for it. It was just a 318/automatic though, nothing really exciting.

    I wonder what something like that would go for nowadays? Oh, it was green, too. Kind of a light, silvery/olive green that seemed common back then. At the time I really didn't care for that color. I tended to prefer darker greens, like emerald, forest, etc, or greenish-blues. Nowadays though, I find myself more attracted to more varieties of green, as long as they're not TOO pukey!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    I saw a pretty decent '70 cuda 318 coupe sell recently for $9,000. New paint, rebuilt motor, a very clean #3 car. Sounds about the right price.

    I don't know what kind of rusty Barracuda could sell for $30,000 that wasn't a Hemi----maybe a 'Cuda 440, 440-6 or AAR with original VIN tags, etc. But not a 383.
  • m1miatam1miata Member Posts: 4,551
    Interesting how some cars which were so popular back in the 60's and 70's are not represented in auto shows. And the craze about HP and Hemi and such is kinda off the charts. I was driving in the latest 60's on. What I recall were a few kids that owned some hot cars, but there seemed to me to be a desire to own both sports cars and power cars. It wasn't all about hot Chevy, Chrysler/Dodge, or Fords. As I recall popular cars included the low cost Datsun 510, which is still raced for sport, the Z car which was an icon, the Porsches from 914 to 911, Dodge Dart with a slant six, MGB sports cars, Celicas, and well let's just say it wasn't all Mustangs, though I owned a '65 back in early 70's. It was a 289, but all stock.

    You would think about all the talk about the good ol' days, everyone owned a Shelby or a Hemi 'Cuda. Plenty of other classics, or should I say collector cars, like the Volvo sports cars, Triumphs, BMW 1600, 1800, and 2002, Csi, Mercedes Coupes, as well as, the cheap cars with a lotta heart, like Opel Manta Rallye, or Capris don't seem to make the shows.

    Around here, in California, the Mercedes SL convertibles of all ages seem to be really popular as daily drivers.

    Of the current model cars, I guess the Chrysler 300 and the Cadillac CTS come to mind as future collectables. As classics - not. If I was a multi-millionaire, I guess I would be more interested in classics, though rarity of a car is not as important to me as actually really loving the car. Would rather own a modern day Corvette than say a rare sports car which was hard to find parts for, prone to break, and unimpressive to drive. If I had serious money to invest, I guess one rare car and two fun cars, and perhaps a luxo for the cruising to round things off would be a good thing.

    Maybe I was not born to be a collector, as I see baseball cards as a piece of paper with a photo on it, mass produced in a print shop, and nothing more. Now it was hand painted by a famous artist?

    And I am happy without a Hemi. Well it wouldn't hurt I guess -- you buying the gas ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    maybe it's more about what people didn't have or couldn't buy when they were young that drives the market for very rare Mopars these days.

    I mean, take a common and very popular car like a 1965 Mustang coupe. Today they are still plentiful and cheap.

    Anything....ANYTHING....with gobs of HP will always be "collectible", though not necessarily classic or high-priced in the future.
  • m1miatam1miata Member Posts: 4,551
    That is so true. What we wished for back when. I too think about getting a used 300ZX or a Prelude. Great cars, but hard to justify the cost back when, or just did not have the extra bucks at the time. Too bad the new 350Z has those too tall door window sills, and tire eating problems. Not a bad looking car. That said, not as good as the 300ZX of '95, and the very first Z cars, which had a charm about them. No not looking for an early Z with that light steel. Too dangerous in an SUV world. Now the last Prelude, is a classic, I think. Though prices up to $26K back then were a bit much. Always a great handling car.

    Great handling, where it comes to classics sales is on the bottom of the list -- but why? I guess HP has bragging rights, and a good and balance, well handling car means nothing. Interesting.

    I suppose it is just me, but I see the previous Mustangs, not only Bullit and Boss, but all those of the Fox body as good and honest efforts. Sure the New Stang handles better, and may be stiffer and such, but it is digging so much into the replicar realm, it loses the next best look or next best rendition of the Pony, IMHO. To go back to say '69 for the exterior, then use the style of interior dash and gauges from '65 seems to me a little bit retro/replica/silliness. The gauges are harder to read anyway. And '65 was hardly the best interior styling. Actually the '94 had the look, and only need some refinement to the plastics and feel (knobs, and such). I don't think the '05 will ever be a collector car. I would go '95, the last 5.0 or '99/'04 the last of the Fox body + edge look, before considering the new ones as collectables. And yes, none are rare.

    Crossfire sports car may be a rare find some day.

    As for good looking old collector sporty cars, I do like the older Stangs, AMX/Javelins, 'Cuda and Challengers, Demons, and Dusters, Olds 442, '68 Toronado, Lotus, and well a whole lotta cars out there.

    In luxury, if you have a '65 Riviera, 2002 Eldorado, Mark VIII, any older BMW, and some Mercedes, they all may be seen as collectables in a few years time.

    Thinking about a Prelude right now. Or in buying into a luxury class the last Eldo. How can Cadillac go on without the Eldo. It is like life without Elvis. Oh yeah, life goes on. :shades:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Old BMWs have been historically very poor performers as collectibles for some reason. There are a few rare exceptions but even those aren't worth the cost of restoring them (I was thinking of 2002 Tii and 3.0 coupes).

    As for Crossfires, it seems to fall under one rule of collectibles, which is "unloved when new, unloved when old".
  • john500john500 Member Posts: 409
    One of the things touched upon by others that is lacking in the current automobile lineup is the option packages. The Honda Prelude that m1miata mentioned comes to mind as a good example of a potential collector car. However, Honda seemed to offer one or two factory options and let the aftermarket manufacturers take car of alternatives. The $1,000,000 Barracudas were generally for 1970 cars (an aggressive and desirable year for the body style) and had a rare option package. There were probably four or five engine packages in that year (318, 383, 440, Hemi, etc) along with carb options.

    If Honda, for example, made in the final production year a special factory assembled supercharger option with enhanced handling for the Acura RSX type S and sold 3,000 or so units, then this would likely go down as a collector car. As it is, Honda will only build the RSX and RSX type S base units and rely upon Jackson Racing or some aftermarket company to supply superchargers. In 20 years, if an RSX type S with a supercharger is on the market, the thought process of a collector will be if the supercharger was installed by a hack and this will likely decrease the value instead of exponentially increasing the value if the manufacturer did the install.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,989
    I wonder if that would make a big difference. Not many limited production performance options anywhere these days. I see only minor difference for early M-series BMWs, and early AMG Mercedes are usually little more than curiosities sought by die-hard enthusiasts. I can't see Japanese cars being any different. Maybe time will change this, but I doubt there will be much change.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    If a car is even ten years old, 1996 models that is, it should already be showing signs of collectibility. If there's no buzz after a decade, there won't ever be IMO. If the ten year old car isn't bringing "over retail blue book", then it's not happening.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,989
    Cars like old M3s and C36s (now 10 years old) have solid enthusiast bases, but no real common-market collectibility. I bet most non car people think of them as newer cars. I've actually had a couple people recognize my C43 as being unusual...but it's not a mass market thing.

    The same for Supras...they have a following, but aren't really appreciating from what I can see, and it seems impossible to find one that hasn't been messed with.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    That brings up an interesting point. The collector car hobbyists can't be told to appreciate certain cars, or prvented from liking ones that seem unworthy of admiration.

    Sometimes what is and isn't collectible doesn't make any sense.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,989
    I think some of these low production tuned cars will be "collectible" in the special interest sense...I just can't see an explosion in values like the current musclecar fad. Should we have gas in 20-30 years, the Ms and AMGs and Supras etc will be worth something to someone - they won't depreciate to (relative) zero like normal cars...but I can't imagine prices 50x original MSRP for any of them.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    No, I think you're right---these "special interest" cars will bottom out at some point and just sit there for eternity....like they are doing now actually.

    It's interesting to see how the "cellar price" works...let's say an old Mercedes 6.3 sedan or a BMW 3.0 coupe....they can't go above a certain price range no matter how nice they are and never seem to drop below a certain price range no matter how ratty.

    You'd think that normal attrition would drive the price up but it doesn't seem to---perhaps the number of cars that die off and the number of people who want them also die off at the same rate.

    With Mopar muscle, it seems the opposite. The number of Hemis is increasing as the dastardly counterfeit or honest clone market increases (both are booming) and the number of buyers who like them are still only in their 50s and 60s, so they're survivors, too.

    What's interesting to me is that this supply and demand equation doesn't need large numbers to operate.

    e.g., there seems to be 100 Citroen DS cabriolets out there and 101 people who want them, so the price stays strong ($40,000 and up!!) even though it's an obscure car pursued by equally obscure collectors (they rarely own anything else). And yet, if a gaggle of these old cabriolets is found, say 3 or 4, then the market is "saturated" for a few months...it's that close in balance.
  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    I wonder how far the value of a DS would drop if they had an international owners club meeting, and 50 of the owners were wiped out in a building fire but their cars were spared.

    I can't find anyone my age (mid-late 30s) that would pay significantly more for an original Hemi than a '60s Camaro, Jag, Porsche, etc. I hope the current buyers plan on holding those cars for a long time.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,989
    I guess it all comes down to buying what you like, and don't expect to make a penny. There will always be a good amount of affordable fun old cars out there.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Sooner or later, all these wild speculative purchases will collapse in on the speculators, returning the market once again to the faithful.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,989
    Just like with so many old Ferraris....not that they aren't wincingly expensive still, but compared to 1989.]

    Oh well, there's really just as much if not more fun in the under 10K market.
  • turboshadowturboshadow Member Posts: 338
    I wait for the really old collectors to pass on so I can pick up a Mercer Raceabout or a Simplex Speedster on the cheap.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 55,989
    Some of those higher end cars still bring good money. Same for the highest end brass cars, although I don't know who is buying them.

    I really like the early pre-1905 material, and you can get simple 1-2 cyl cars from that era for not a fortune. But the huge locomotive like things still carry big pricetags. I wonder if that will change.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Don't hold your breath on those. They are established classics and very highly respected pieces of automotive history, and a museum would snatch 'em in a minute. You are supposed to genuflect and slightly bow your head as you whisper those names.
  • ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    I think despite the fact that the market for pre-WWII cars in general is probably not the greatest, the classics will remain classics. Nobody is going to 'forget' about Stutz Bearcats, Deusenbergs, Cords, custom-bodied Lincolns or V-16 Cadillacs, even when the people who grew up around them are gone.

    Coming full circle....I half-watched some car restoration show recently (computer and TV in the same room, bad combo for the ADD-inflicted), where the restoration shop bought a '71 Pontiac LeMans coupe for $1000 and 'transformed' it (sort of) into a '70 GTO. The show was really irritating to me on several levels. I mean, the shop probably did an excellent 'quality' job of physically and mechanically creating the end result, and I don't think the shop/seller was trying to deceive anyone into thinking this was a 'real' 1970 GTO, as if that were something exotic anyway (presumedly, the process wouldn't be on video). The mission was basically to create a fast, pretty car with a high profit margin, I guess. They spent ~$45k (according to seller, probably grossly inflated) to 'restore' this car, which included, to the ire of the shop owner, having to graft an eBay-bought nose of a '70 GTO onto the '71 LeMans (not an exact fit: a surprise to everyone). The car was beautiful, and I'm sure quite fast, but I guess I just didn't see anything like $45k in value. Um, it was a '71 LeMans hardtop tarted up with a big engine, a 'cool' interior, nice body work and a '70 GTO front end...pretty much what my uncles did when I was a teenager but at a higher level, except beginning with the real thing. I mean, as a buyer, if all you want is a nice real '70 or '71 GTO hardtop, couldn't you buy one for less than $45k? And if you just want something fast, aren't there better ways to achieve that? The whole excercise just seemed really stupid to me. The shop owner had zero interest in maintaining any vehicular integrity, other than his perception of the market value of a 'correct' GTO, which isn't what he had anyway (he wanted pie-in-the-sky GTO money with a 'GTO' he created). I guess I just think it would have been smarter to fix up the '71 LeMans nicely, not over-restore and represent and sell it as such. End result, the car went unsold at $40k 'real money', which was less than break-even for the shop (so much for the Grand Plan). It was laughable, but like I said, irritating, only because it really put the level of greed into perspective, and for the fact that the 'builder' jumped through many hoops to make one car into another, had it all on video, had an idiot with too much money, IMO (who clearly didn't care that this wasn't a real GTO, either) in hand to buy the car, then turned it down. Oh yeah, and the 'restoration' was mostly done by students. :confuse:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    When the muscle car market collapses, which it will, all the "clones" are going to take vicious hits in depreciation. The "real" and documented cars will of course drop in value but maybe only a 25%-35% correction I think---although even the real cars bought on TV on Speedweek might take an even bigger hit, since they are overinflated anyway. A few very very rare cars might just sit tight.

    And if the muscle car market correction co-incides with an actual economic correction in the U.S., then it could get ugly, because the first things to go out most people's doors in a recession are the "toys".

    All that is fine with me, as corrections return the market back to the hobbyist, so I can hardly wait.
  • teds1teds1 Member Posts: 180
    This seems prety clear to me. There are a few reasons behind why anything (not just cars) becomes collectible.
    1. Rarity (increasing over time)
    2. Performance (not applicable to baseball cards and the like)
    3. Nostalgia (Things you wanted or used to have when you were a kid )
    4. Historical Value or fame (a specific race car for instance, or a old master painting)
    5. Mob mentality (ex. "investors" buying muscle cars because everyone else is)

    I really think that covers pretty much the whole psychology of value appreciation in collectibles. It is a mix of the personal and the social values we set for these objects.

    A lot of the muscle car Barret Jackson freaks are in their late 50s-60s etc... they are Boomers looking for the cool car they wanted as a kid. That's why the 50s style stuff was so big in the 80s (not that it isn't still but there is much less direct connection now because guys who drove the 55' chevys new off the lot are not neccesarily driving anymore)

    Now my generation (I'm 26) loves the cars we saw as kids and teenagers as well. For me despite the lack of perfomance typified by 1980s vehicles there was a certain square design esthetic which I loved. Cars I would collect would be Volvo 240s, The Volvo Bertone Coupe, BMW 6 series cars, any 80s ferrari or lambo obviously, Jag xj6s (nightmares I know) grand wagoneer jeeps, etc... these are the cars we drove around in with our families or aspired to at an impressionable age.
    In high school I would have killed for a last generation M3 so I still favor it over the newer more powerful version. Supras, the 96'ish Impala sleeper, or Mazda Rx-7s were also cool at the time. Even the Mitsubishi eclipses before they got fat and slow. Wrxs and evos will probably be the big thing for current high schoolers if any last long enough to be collected. All of these cars fill one or more of the needs listed above.
    The muscle car segment will slow down significantly I predict as the years go on because the late 70s-1990s American muscle cars were anemic to say the least. I just don't see anyone saving up to buy that Mustang 5.0 or mid 90s firebird anytime soon. For me the fact that Vanilla Ice had a white 5.0 in his video pretty much killed it for me.
    I think though that rarer good conditioned higher performing German Sports sedans and Japanese sports cars will rise sooner rather in later. These segments really didn't exist until the mid 1980s so they are only hitting 20 years now. I bet in 15 years you will be kicking yourself for not having picked up that 87' M6 for $15k when you had the chance, or not holding onto that low milage Supra with the full hoop wing.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Well you never know, that's true, but in spite of your very well-reasoned arguments, cars like old Supras and M6s and old Volvos are deader than doornails, even 30 years later. Why is that? They aren't doing what we hoped they would and given three decades in passing, one has to question when it is they intend to get started.

    If I may throw in my two cents, the only item missing from your very thorough list is that every single really "hot" collectible today generated a LOT of excitement when it was new. The cars people went completely bonkers over back then they are still going bonkers over. They still love the Hemi 'Cuda and they still yawn at a 318 Satellite.

    The Bertone put them to sleep, the Ferrari 308 disappointed them ultimately (too slow).

    Of course, if you are talking about "collectible" as a cheap hobby car under $10K, or even under $5K (the XJ6 qualifies here) then some of the cars on your list will or have made the colectible gradesomeday I think--just because they have some character to them. But I think the only person who will kick themselves over an M6 is the one who paid a lot of money for it expecting it to rise in value. It's a car you buy, enjoy and use up doing fun things with it.

    If anyone wants to kick themselves, it should be over cars like the early 911s, which have only recently nearly doubled in price. But that took 35 years and these cars were always well-liked and admired....the problem was that there were too many surviving---so now attrition is working in the early 911s favor.
  • m1miatam1miata Member Posts: 4,551
    Hope that the future museums for automobiles feature all the significant cars of each decade. While I too love the 'Cuda, Hemi or not, or a fine Stang, I do recall how cars like the Datsun 510 and Z made the day for Nissan. Supra's to Falcons, fast or slow, there were a lot of significant cars. I did see a Corvair in the National Auto Museum in Reno, and some other cars, like the first Toronado. This is good. This Hemi and performance car craze is just like the other poster said, a mob mentality. Sure we all knew a friend or two in high school that had a quick car, many of which ended up totalled, but for the most part, they are more dream cars of the era. A classic slant six Dart or Demon is just as important to preserve as is a more limited sold V8.

    This deal about popular or unpopular is interesting. Most popular in the 70's is gonna be the four cylinder and six cylinder gas saver cars. Maybe it is popular dreams. I admit to a major lapse in judgment in buying a four cylinder Mustang. Please, preserve only the V8 in this case -- OK, unless you own one, sorry about that folks.
    I think the cars, like the first Z, are precious for collecting. Excellent example of a great car - not your typical appliance car from Japan, but a true fun, performer with looks. A good one, without rust would be cool. I may not want to drive one around California freeways, with all those SUV bullies, but it truly is a collectable, and I think a classic. Not many good ones, without rust out.

    What of the Pinto Stangs? I heard they sold like hotcakes. Now I see very few on the road. Perhaps a classic. If you don't mind the Pinto stigma. :shades: More ya think of it, they looked OK. For awhile there, everyone and their brother collected those '79 Sevilles, but I see few these days. Actually, what of the Eldo's? Many people liked the rectangular ones. I really liked the last rendition. The 2002 last of Eldo should be a classic. And what about the last Cadillac Deville which looked classic Caddy, back in say 1998? Maybe it is just me, but the new ones, while good cars, no doubt, lost that Cadillac image somehow.

    How about those BMW which still looked BMW, like the 325? I bet people are mistaking some of the new ones for say a Japan make. Seems to me the most popular of all times though was the 320. I know, too bland. How about the 633 csi?
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