Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Buying a Classic car……..Hind sight is always 20/20!

The old saying “Hind sight is 20/20” is so true and when it comes to buying a classic car for an investment, you better do your homework.  If we only knew then what we know now!  Just think for a minute at the cars that were just average drivers that became an investment goldmine.   I still hear stories of guys who are cashing in their 401K plans to buy classic cars and sit on them as they increase in value.  I’m not sure if I’m ready to go that far with my retirement plans but the numbers do support this as being a smart move in some cases. 

CNN Money just posted an article listing the top 10 dirt cheap collectible cars.  The article outlines the idea that you don’t have to be rich to buy cars that are increasing in value.  The author says with as little as $5000 you can purchase a few cars today that will make decent money in the near future.  One of the examples he gives is the 1985-93 Fox Mustangs equipped with the 5.0 liter V8 engine.

(1993 Cobra Mustang in rare Teal color)

Time coupled with the laws of supply and demand can change the value of a car in good ways and bad, but having forethought at which cars are going to be the most sought after ones is not an easy game to play.  Most of the articles I have read recently say the classic car market is on the move up again after skids over the last three years or so.  This rebound in the market may be due to the baby-boomers being able to go out and purchase the cars they wanted while in high school and college, the difference is now they can afford to buy one fully restored.  Better yet, they can buy one that has the gadgets and toys they wanted to have on it back in the day.

Again I remind you that hind sight is always 20/20 and we all know the cars now that we should have bought.  Many experts suggest that you buy a classic car today that is a good value, but that you also love and can enjoy as you wait for the value to increase.  Another article quoted stats on the 1970’s Porsche Turbo cars fetching approximately $20,000 over what they did just three years ago.  Classic pickup trucks have also been doing very well in the automobile auctions and seem to be bringing more money than ever. 

With all the tools we now have with the internet and websites devoted to collector cars and values, everybody can be an expert.  Collector car auctions like Barrett Jackson, Mecum, and RM Auctions have also kept buyers and sellers informed as to which cars are bringing the most and what type cars are not selling as well.  The only disadvantage to attending these auctions in person is that the excitement and passion can cause to you to make an emotional buy and not the wisest from an investment perspective.

Now I’m not advising you go out and cash in your retirement funds to go buy a classic car, but you might want to consider it as an option.  The more difficult task may be convincing your spouse that the classic Mustang or Camaro you are buying is purely for an investment!  (Good luck with that)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Dream Team…….do you have one?

With the Winter Olympics approaching this week I began to reflect on some of the most memorable moments and the one that stands out to me as being the best has three words; “The Dream Team”.  The 1992 Olympic Basketball team was known as “The Dream Team” and was one of the best basketball teams that have ever been assembled.  This team had it all; it was the best of the best.  They had all the big names and the team was stacked with skills at every position.  You already knew the names and everyone was excited to see how they would perform together.  The team had Jordan, Bird, Magic, Barkley, Stockton, Pippen, and Ewing just to name a few.  They overwhelmingly won the gold medal and made us proud to be from the USA.

By now you may be asking “What does this basketball team have to do with cars”?  Reminiscing about this team caused me to think about what if I was trying to assemble a team, who would, I choose.  After thinking about it for a few minutes I decided it would be more fun to try and assemble my Dream Team of cars!

After some time of research and decision making, here is my “Dream Team” of my favorite cars and why I would want to own them.  (They are not in any particular order)
(1965 Shelby 427 Cobra)
  1. 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra – The Shelby name alone makes everyone want to own one of these, but this car may be on everybody’s list.  In 1965 this car was reported to have run a speed test from 0-100 mph, back to zero in 14.5 seconds…….I wonder how many cars today to beat that?  This car is loud, very small and most likely not the most comfortable car you will ever drive, but in spite of all those negatives……you still want one!
  2. 1955 Chevy Bel-air – The 1955 Chevy was a departure from the look and style of the early 50’s cars and Chevy was ready to show it off.  It gained the V8 engine option and the ad campaign called it the “hot one” and that was a fitting name for this classic styling home-run that is still one of the most popular classic cars.  At car shows and cruise-ins today you still see younger kids gather around and admire these beautiful cars.  Like this car or not you have to respect the styling and classy lines of this Hot-Rod Chevy.
  3. 2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed – Seriously….the name of the car has speed in it, what else can I say, well with a 6.0 liter W12 (you will have to do your own research on that one) Twin Turbo engine with all-wheel drive, it has lots more to say.  This car will allow you to ride in sophisticated modern style and blow the doors off of most any car on the road with its 602 HP, 553 lb-ft of torque, and a 0-60 mph in the 4.3 sec.  Oh and in case you are still wondering why this made my list, it also boasts a 202 mph top speed!
  4. 2005 Ford GT – This was the first mid-engine “super car” offering from Ford and it lived up to all the hype.  The car pays tribute to the Ford GT40 that gained so much fame during the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the late 60’s.  This two-seater came equipped with Ford’s 5.4 liter V8 and it was supercharged to boost the horsepower up to 500 and also 500 lb-ft of torque!  This car was capable of a 0-60 time of 3.5 sec.  From a collect-ability aspect, they only made 4038 of these cars, but if I owned one, I would drive it every day.
  5. 1969 Mustang Mach 1 428 Cobra Jet – If you know me very well, you knew I could not leave this one off of my list.  This Mustang just had all the tough guy/muscle car goodies you could want.  From the hood pins to the flat black trim, this Mustang looked like it belong on the race track straight off the showroom floor.  It came with a front and rear spoiler that gave a hint to the beast under the hood.  The 428 Cobra Jet engine would shake and rattle as you revved the engine thanks to its ram-air shaker hood scoop.  Ford rated these cars at 335 HP but it’s been speculated for years that they were grossly underrated.  It may not have been the fastest car at the track on Friday nights, but it scored big with its looks. 

I had to cut my list off at five and I’m sure your list of “Dream Team” cars will be totally different, but if you are a car guy then I’m sure I will love yours also.  I tried to cover all the bases on my list but I could have easily made it a top 10.  Feel free to post up your list for us to drool over.  I guess I need to start my garage expansion plans before I start looking for my list of cars.  

Thanks, Joseph