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Correlation Between Classic Car Prices and Financial Markets

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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,687
    that they got rid of those sequential lights simply because of the cost to produce them. While they were a really cool gimmick, I imagine that cars still would have sold without them. Plus, didn't the thing that made the lights flash in sequence take up a bit of trunk space?
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    parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Here's some useless sequential tail light trivia. The 1964 Thunderbird (the first year for the "square" birds) was designed to have sequential tail lights. But, such a tail light design was not approved by all 50 states in time for production. So, in '64, the tail lights didn't sequence. By the time production rolled around for the '65 models, approval had been obtained. So, 1965 was the first year for sequential tail lights and the T-Bird was the only car that had them, at that time. Personally, I think they were a pretty cool feature.
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    euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    are the turn signals in the side door mirrors of pickups & SUV's as well as the sequential on Cougars & 60's T Birds.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,169
    I have noticed a sequential-style mirror signal on some big thing, but I can't remember what it was. LED of course.
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Auction Prices Stay Strong, By ROB SASS
    Published: August 22, 2008

    "THE cooling economy brought uncertainty to a week of vintage car sales around Monterey, Calif., just as it had raised questions in January at major Arizona auctions. But prices held steady again.

    'A much-watched car, the 1958 Chrysler Diablo concept, did not sell despite a $1.2 million bid at the RM auction. But Gooding’s $7.92 million sale of a 1937 Bugatti Type 37SC Atalante was a North American auction record.'

    'Even the lower end of the market showed vitality as excellent examples of relatively inexpensive cars brought at least market-correct prices in most cases, and sometimes more.'

    'Here are results of sales previewed in this section on Aug. 10. Prices include the buyer’s premium, an additional commission to the auction house.

    1967 Porsche 912 Targa, SOLD FOR: $35,200 at RM

    WHAT IT MEANS: Although well under the estimate, this was a strong price. Two years ago, this car would probably have struggled to reach $20,000.

    1969 Alfa Romeo GT Veloce, SOLD FOR: $44,000 at Gooding

    WHAT IT MEANS: A lovely car with extensive documentation that quite possibly set a world record for this desirable model.

    1953 Jaguar XK120M, SOLD FOR: $74,750 at Bonhams & Butterfields

    WHAT IT MEANS: This car sold for well over the high estimate ($60,000) to a shrewd dealer. A sure sign that these pretty Jaguar coupes are undervalued.

    1951 FORD WOODY WAGON, SOLD FOR: $29,000 at Kruse

    WHAT IT MEANS: It just goes to show that even in the supercharged atmosphere of Monterey, bargains can be found.

    1957 Ford Thunderbird, SOLD FOR: $48,400 at Russo & Steele

    WHAT IT MEANS: This very pretty T-Bird sold near the high end of the estimate. It was the right car at the right auction.' "
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,169
    I wonder how much of that was to overseas buyers.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    That must have been one helluva Porsche 912.

    Problem with "articles" on Monterey is that they don't tell you that a car selling for $35,000 might very well have had $75,000 spent to restore it. That type of revelation kind of spoils the hype, doesn't it? :P

    ALSO keep in mind those prices INCLUDE all the buyers' and sellers' commissions, so that fattens it up 10-15% right there. And if it's an overseas buyer, they are getting 25% discount on currency exchange. So you see how distorted the auction prices can be.
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    texasestexases Member Posts: 10,708
    "That must have been one helluva Porsche 912."

    I was wondering why anyone would spend 911 money on a 912... a collector with a 'gotta have one of each mentality'. :confuse:
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I can't fathom it personally. I suppose one could argue that if a clean 356 coupe is worth that much now, then a 911 bodied-car with a 356 engine in it should also be worth that much. But, since a normal vintage 911 isn't worth that much (I would think you could buy a drop dead gorgeous early 911T for $25,000), the argument falls apart.

    I'd say the car was well sold but not well bought.
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    texasestexases Member Posts: 10,708
    The latest CandD has a 'best cars for $25k', and the 911 makes the used car list. Hmmm, no mention of 912s :P
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    912/924 -- "VW performance at Porsche repair prices".

    914 -- "Porsche handling at VW repair prices"

    928 -- "Corvette performance at Rolls Royce repair prices"

    911 -- "just right"
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    lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    There is that one 912 with the goofy looking targa top, not just the normal targa. The goofy ones seem to sell for a huge premium. I'll personally take a 911 coupe.
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    lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    You left off 944. It is just right for poor people like me.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    944 -- I couldn't think of a clever quote for it, but you know I like the later ones :blush:

    912 Targa -- oh, a "soft window targa". Yeah, right, having a plastic rear window instead of glass is certainly worth the additional $15,000--$20,000 I'm sure.

    "I have one of the rare plastic window types" (bragging rights?)

    I've seen a few at shows. I kinda scratch my head----"and the point of that is?"
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    lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    My trip to get my 911 Carerra got canceled due to the hurricane/tropical storm that had made its way up to the Florida panhandle. Now I am depressed as it will likely be a month before all our schedules mesh again.

    In any case, as nice as 911s are, I can't imagine I am going to like this '86 911 five times as much as my '86 944 (I am exactly five times as much). I am trying to figure out how to keep the 944 too, but I am almost sure I will lose that battle with the wife.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    The 911 may grow on you, since it is such a different experience than your 944. Nonetheless, there is a kind of redundancy in that both are really 2-seat coupes, you are right. . I think, perhaps, you will find that the 944 is easier to drive but that the 911 is a lot more "visceral" and "electric" in response.
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    lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    My wife wants me to forget about the 911 and 944 and just buy a Boxster. I told her I couldn't do that until I have the 911 experience. Everybody says it is different than anything else.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    A Boxster? Oh, no, what next? Holding her purse while she shops? A baby blue Miata? :P

    You'd better be careful, you are treading on dangerous ground here.

    A 911 is a man's car (in terms of effort required, although I'm sure there are women who like to work behind the wheel, too).

    A Boxster is a "crossover" :)

    I did drive a supercharged Boxster S once. That was okay, really nice. But it had steroids and tattoos.
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    lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    Agreed. I don't think I'll get a Boxster until the price of the S model drops a little more.

    By the way, holding her purse would be an improvement. While shopping on Saturday, I was carrying my daughter's pink purse with Elmo's head sticking out of the top.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    oh the humanity :cry:
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    We're a week into Q4 of '08, and the financial markets have been hit hard. Has anyone observed to what extent this has affected classic, collector and special interest car prices, It's difficult to determine whether the economy or the markets is having a greater effect on the market values of these cars.
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    lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    You hit the nail on the head. The 911 is a total pain to try to pilot around our little parking deck at work (even in comparison to the 944), but it shines on the back roads I take to work.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    It's becoming increasingly clear that the very best merchandise has hardly noticed the recession. Top tier cars continue to hold steady or even increase in value, while "all the rest" slowly sink in the West.

    Of course there are some exceptions even in top tier. The Austin Healeys are flattening out or dropping and the hysteria over rare muscle cars is over.

    But if you have a real quality piece in your garage that is rare and desirable besides---no worries so far.

    But "projects", cars with "needs", incorrect cars, hybrid engine swappers, new glass hotrods----sad city.
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    texasestexases Member Posts: 10,708
    "But "projects", cars with "needs", incorrect cars, hybrid engine swappers, new glass hotrods----sad city. "

    And if things stay slow, as expected, it'll really be messy come, say, January.
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    "It's becoming increasingly clear that the very best merchandise has hardly noticed the recession. Top tier cars continue to hold steady or even increase in value, while "all the rest" slowly sink in the West."

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the problem is that "top tier" represents a very small percentage of all the classics, collector and special interest cars on the market. If this is correct, then the great majority of these cars have suffered significant market value losses, and the bottom has probably not been reached yet.

    I see a couple of sliver linings in this situation. First, it's a great market for buyers of below top tier cars. Second, iron that should have been scrapped, in terms of its functionality, will be removed from the classifieds.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,169
    I suspect a lot of dumb clone cars and really bad "restorations" of common popular cars will perform worse than stocks have been doing.

    The top and bottom end of the markets are usually safe. If one has a Bugatti or some <5K curiosity, I suspect they will be ok.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Actually in the collector car market there have been a lot of restorations done over the years. I think top tier is a larger percentage than sliver-thin fractional.

    Of course, I'm not including any "old car" as part of the collector car market. If it's just some old iron then the value isn't affected because it never had value to begin with. And old Tercel or Renault Alliance or Dodge Omni or Chevy Lumina or Chrysler Lebaron are still pretty much worthless even if they are 20 years old.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,687
    This past weekend, at the Fall Carlisle swap meet, judging from a lot of asking prices it seems like the sellers missed the memo that the economy ain't doing so hot. Although I imagine that many of those sellers are more willing than ever to come down on their prices. Also, talking to people, it seemed like a lot of sellers were ready to give up and go home by 3:00 on Saturday, rather than stick it out till the end of the day, or through Sunday. I imagine if I really WANTED to bring a car home that day, I could've gotten a good deal.

    Financially, my portfolio is worth about 2/3 of what it was this time last year. I'm sure there are many people who have done even worse. I'm sure this has to be putting a major hurting on the market.
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    "...I'm not including any "old car" as part of the collector car market."

    Yes, agreed. My definition of collector and special interest cars, not to mention classic cars, excludes common, ordinary old cars, as does yours.
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    lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    I'm in the same boat as you with the portfolio, but that money is my retirement. I only care how it does over the next twenty or thirty years. The loss of 1/3 hurts mentally, but it doesn't really affect my play money.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,687
    The loss of 1/3 hurts mentally, but it doesn't really affect my play money.

    Yeah, looking at it that way does help. My portfolio is pretty much for retirement as well, and that should be far enough off for it to bounce back and then some. Anything else that I've had to pay for lately, like the heat pump and new ductwork in my house, and the repairs to my '67 Catalina, basically came from play money.

    I'll know the times are really bad when I have to start raiding my portfolio, or selling off my cars!
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Andre, you have to be the Warren Buffet of the old car world---"buy cars when people are fearful, sell cars when they are over-confident".

    Seriously though, it's not a good time to sell an old car unless the supply/demand ratio on what's in your garage is pretty extreme.

    Case in point: At Monterey this summer, somebody sold a 1956 Porsche 356A coupe for $61,000? A home run, right?

    Wrong. He had just spent $70,000 restoring it.

    Had it been an old '56 Alfa that Carroll Shelby raced as a young man, well, different story. There's only one of those.
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    lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    I pretend that money set aside for retirement doesn't even exist as not to raid it to do something stupid and impulsive. However, I did miss out on a nice "beater car" to replace my '88 Park Ave because I left my checkbook at home.
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    lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    I'm looking at this all positively (I am trying anyway). I got a really good deal on a 911 recently. So, I'm good on the car front. Also, I've been putting off some home upgrades for a while. Two years ago, you could hardly get someone out for a quote. Now those guys are fighting to do some work at half the labor price.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,687
    However, I did miss out on a nice "beater car" to replace my '88 Park Ave because I left my checkbook at home.

    Just keep repeating to yourself Lemko, "Devil you know, versus Devil you don't." That pretty white Fleetwood may have been seductive to look at, but could still prove more troublesome than your '88 Park Ave, which may be a little rough around the edges, but still serving you well.
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    lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    That is true. My Park Ave may be ugly, but she's dependable. I'd hate to have to drive my new DTS through the 'hood because my 1991 Fleetwood failed to start.
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    grbeckgrbeck Member Posts: 2,358
    I should have bought that 1974 AMC Gremlin, just to remind myself of how good we have it automotive-wise today. But that guy is basically delusional on the price. I guess even that chubby kid from New York didn't bite last fall...
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,687
    Well, here's a pic I took of that vulgar little thing last year, if you're feeling sentimental about it. I think he wanted $3495 for it this year? Wasn't he asking $3995 last year, or was it even more than that?
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    grbeckgrbeck Member Posts: 2,358
    Yes, Andre, he wanted $3,995 last year.
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    It'll be quite amazing, with what's happening in the financial markets, if the prices of even the top tier cars don't decline.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    They aren't, they're going gangbusters.

    BUT.....BUT....what IS happening I think is that many of the top tier cars are being made available for sale. Collectors I think are getting the notion of "selling at the top of the market". They are more and more cars of the highest quality and rarity on the block than ever.

    So, when everyone who wants a top tier car is satisfied, then yes we might see a decline in prices---but so far the supply/demand ratio is still skewed toward the seller.

    But any car with a ??? over it, you can forget it. No interest right now.
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Interesting. The market may not reflect the increased supply of these top tier cars just yet, but one would think that will change if demand doesn't increase proportionately.

    Maybe one reason the market has remained firm is that many buyers of these cars are wealthy enough to pay cash, without borrowing, and can afford to sit on their investments. Another reason could be that the people who buy these cars currently see them as a safer investment than equities or real estate.
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    lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    Makes me wish Dad had saved his 1955 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Starfire convertible and his 1965 Pontiac GTO convertible. Those two cars could be worth more than his current investments.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    yes if they were clean documented cars without engine swaps or bad repaints, etc.

    There seems to be a lot of interest in "original cars" right now--I mean REALLY original, not those eBay ads "all original, new paint interior, engine.".

    I think you could safely say that the muscle car market has definitely flattened unless you own "1 of 6" of something rare.

    Gullwings are still hot, Porsche 356s ablaze, vintage Ferraris stratospheric, Jaguar E-Types solid, early Porsche 911s to 1973 very good, even Alfa GTVs up to 1750s doing very well. Of course we are talking top tier cars here--nut and bolt restos or clean originals with certification. And of course anything owned by Steve McQueen is a money-printing machine. One-off show cars seem good, race cars with significant older history are good (not regional SCCA, sorry, or your 80s cars).

    Austin Healeys flat, MG TDs flat, TR6s so-so, clones are dead, project cars are dead, basket cases probably dead, 4-door American iron moribund, most 60s/70s American cars that are not well-optioned or have smaller engines are very flat.

    It's probably a really good time to buy a "toy" that's not a big investment for you.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,169
    It's just a matter of time before I can find a nice prewar MB roadster for 5K or so, right? :P
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,169
    And today good fintails are outperforming the stock market (in that they aren't depreciating)
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,687
    Maybe it is time for me to add another car to the fleet, after all. Last weekend when I was in PA for Carlisle, I saw a St. Regis at a body shop near Harrisburg. I guess the going rate for an R-body Mopar should be what, about free by now? :P
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Actually they probably are depreciating, but you just hold tight and ride it out! :P
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,169
    I'd think most guzzling malaise metal would be on the "$999 and under" lot these days. :P

    People aren't going to be buying $5000 Gremlins and $12000 MK Vs anymore.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,169
    Cheap to get in, cheap to get out. A nice fintail bought for 5 grand 10 years ago should still be worth that...of course when maintenance and inflation are factored in, you lose. But cars should never be about profit anyway.
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