The classic car market has fluctuated up and down over the past several years, but the passion and the desire to collect keep going strong. I have written articles about buying classic vehicles vs. investing in the stock market or even replacing your 401K with classic automobiles, but overall it still seems to me that buying vintage cars/trucks will make you a good bit of money over the long haul. However, maybe they need to be the right kind or certain years. What determines the best formula?
Every year I watch the various collector car auctions such as Barrett Jackson and Mecum and most vehicles increase in value each year. Again, there are periods where one particular type of vehicles seem to outdo the others that year, but over a 5 to 10 year period most of the folks who buy and sell each year tend to make money.
(Photo courtesy of RM Sotheby's Auctions)
It has been fun over the last 20 years to watch what is trending. Some years the American Muscle cars are bringing big money and after a few good years running, they seem to trail off and then the 60’s and 70’s American pickup trucks skyrocket in price. The next year, it’s the odd ball stuff like all-original VW buses or rare one-off concept cars. In some ways it is like the stock market, if we could predict which vehicles would be the next to take off in price, we could invest in those while the cost is low and pocket a nice profit!
(Photo courtesy of Barrett Jackson Auctions)
The market has changed quite a bit over the last 25 years, because I remember watching Barrett Jackson years ago and seeing all of the old European cars (Porsche, Ferrari, and Jaguars) bringing the serious money, then the muscle cars started gaining some serious ground……..now days you will see a resto-mod 55 Chevy bring more money than an all original classic Porsche will.
So back to my original question, will the market ever tank at some point? Will collecting classic vehicles follow the trend that baseball cards did and die off? I mean seriously…..the market got flooded with too many brands and so many cards that it killed off the hobby almost completely. Let’s hope that does not happen to classic automobiles. I guess as long as boys continue to play with toys (Hot-wheels and die-cast cars) and big boys continue to want to play with big toys (Hot-Rods and old pickup trucks), the market will stay active and the passion will grow each year.
One thing is for sure……we love to tune in and watch the cars roll across the auction block and dream of being there with our hand in the air and the hammer falls and we score a sweet deal on a classic American muscle car!!