Are Collector Cars the Next Gold Standard?

posted in: Online Around the Net | 2

Keith Martin, founder of Sports Car Market, just came out with his auction recap of the August Monterey weekend.  The headline “Steady as She Goes” was most likely a very welcome signal for many people in the collector community.  It was for me.  I went right out to find myself a girl and settle down.  Live a simple life in a quiet town.  Steady as she goes… doo doo da.  Steady as she goes… la la la.  Great tune.

I hardly doubt Keith was thinking about the Raconteurs when he came up with his headline.  The subhead was really where the meat was anyway.  “Weighed against last year’s drop in stocks, housing prices or contemporary art, 14% seems inconsequential.”  I’ve often told my wife that the collector car market while having its market adjustments, is where to put all of our money.  ALL of our money.  She is sane and disagrees.

But when you look at collector cars, there is a formula and there is a pattern.

• Race history – Win more, mo’ better
• Low production run – I’d say 1 to 1,000
• Pretty – In the eye of the beholder but most of us know the difference between ass and asstastic!

In our lifetime, we’ve seen a few anomalies that make prediction harder.  Enzo dying and taking prices through the roof with him.  Boulevard cruisers being bought from home equity lines… file under: Only in America.  And last but not least, the fluctuating dollar that made Europeans 1/2 again as rich in less than a few years time.  Well done Bush.

Through this though, as Keith points out, the market for cars has remained fairly steady for the right cars.  You couldn’t say this during the first Depression.  Is it possible that we’ve finally come across a currency worth its weight in gold?  But what are the right cars?       

2 Responses

  1. Scott84

    By showing the picture of the Turbo, I’m assuming you think this is one of the collectibles. I’d agree. Anything 1979 or older, with the first year always being a good one. Only problem is they are completely undrivable on the city streets with the 4spd.

  2. EMPM, Esq.

    Cars as commodities is not a good thing. That bring speculators, as happened in the 80s and prices went crazy for absolute crap. The world doesn’t need trailer queens; cars are meant to be driven, preferably hard. If you want aesthetic things that are pretty to look at that you can lock away inside a display case and never use, buy a Faberge egg. Buy a car to use it.

    Which explains why I hate most hot rods because they are nothing more than show pieces that putt around at 20 mph and are meant to be loud and look “purrty.” Also explains why I hate the dream cruise because most muscle cars in attendance have been regulated to the same task. But that’s what happens when cars become commodities; they become too valuable to use them for their actual purpose.

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