Most of my best friends in the hobby feel the same way. And, I don’t believe where the car marketplace is headed motivates most true car enthusiasts to buy or sell a car. They are not influenced by “buy-sell-hold” advice. It’s a vicarious interest that prompts many of us to read these reports, just as it is to see someone spend seven figures on a unique automobile.
During the current pandemic, I’ve noticed that some automobile magazines have published articles in which individuals voice opinions on “the state of the collector-car market.” For me, this has always been misleading, since I’ve never thought of the vintage-car hobby as a marketplace. But I suppose to some of you it is, since cars are bought and sold, and many publications try to keep track of sale prices so we know “where the marketplace is headed.”I haven’t bought my cars with speculation in mind.
Having said that, it’s not unreasonable to want to receive fair value for our cars when we sell them. There’s nothing wrong with that. (When many of us total the dollars spent to keep our collector cars on the road, we’re usually fortunate to break even when we sell!)The recent comment to which I took particular exception dealt with the current state of Classic cars, that is, as defined by the Classic Car Club of America. These are mostly prewar models plus a few postwars.
The comment referred to these cars as being dead in the water, or something to that effect, chiefly because the people who identified with these Classics have died off, hence, there’s no interest.Let’s think about that. The Classic Era, as defined by the CCCA, extended from about 1915 to 1948.
A 20-year-old in 1925 would be 115 years old today; a 20-year-old in 1935 would be 105 years old. I know of few people that age in the old-car hobby today. In fact, here’s a perfect example: The man from whom I bought my 1931 Lincoln Town Sedan in 1996 was in his late 80s at the time. He had grown up with these cars. He would have been 23 years old when that Lincoln was sold new. He died in 2003, at the age of 95. The reality is that most of the people who grew up with the cars of the late Teens through the early Forties are no longer with us; they left us many years ago.