Traditional American classics continue their slump


Love this topic and am interested in how values move. It’s nice to be lumped in with the “younger guys” as I am not in my 40s. I love the cars from the 1960s-1980s, but I also have been kind of curious about the pre- and immediate post-war stuff lately. We shall see how things progress.

A technical note: the “valuation tools” link within the article leads to a login page which leads to an authentication loop that never lets the tool load. It is like a circular feedback loop. Just wanted to make you guys aware.


We’re all rearranging chairs on the Titanic. In ten more years our cars and Hagerty’s business will be in the dump.


@joemair - Thank you for the note on the Valuation Tools link. We will get a fix in place ASAP.


I think you raise a valid point. I believe the televised auctions has “hurt” the hobby in a number of ways.
First, it made the values “artificially” rise far faster than was sustainable.
Second, once so many “potential collectors” were priced out of the hobby, they lost interest. That equates to “less demand”. couple that with the aging, dwindling, collector base, and the values will drop.
Don’t know if the values will return but am hoping the interest will.


The “You can’t bring your 80’s car into our show” attitude doesn’t help much either. I experienced that more than once through the years. Nothing makes me less interested in attending car shows than some old geezer telling me my car isn’t good enough because it’s not what he likes. No younger guys or girls attend the local cruise nights or join the local car clubs because of this.


The not-so-old dudes are not passing along their Muscle Cars or even more prosaic 60s cars quite fast enough for me.

Luckily, the last vintage car we’ll add will be a 1st or 2nd generation Mustang convertible. They can be had at good prices and they are not rare. We could care less about investment potential. We choose our cars based on ease of parts availability and ability to drive them regularly.

As for what car clubs and shows do be be snobbish, as noted by one of the other commenters? I could also care less. Some old geezer who says my ride is not old enough for authentic enough can go sit in his lawn chair. I’d rather ask some kid about how he tuned the engine on his Civic; there’s more hot-rod spirit alive there than among the purists.


I’m an old guy and never worried about what the market liked. What has always been important to me is what I like. Saying that, I’m not a purest. #"s matching doesn’t excite me. I’d rather have a great running car. I don’t have deep pockets (or should I say I won’t spend a ridiculous amount of money and only take the car to shows) I presently have an older low mileage mint condition Corvette. No, it’s not worth 6 figures and isn’t 700 HP but it packs all the punch I need and then some and it didn’t break the bank.


Mainly a “market correction”, finally.


Unfortunately what we are talking about here is value, not price. I’m 60 , my son is 25, he has little interest in what boomers consider to be desirable. It’s not just cars either. My wife and I paid a lot money 30 years ago for an eight piece quarter sawn oak dining room set. We’ll never sell it for what we paid for it because the next generation doesn’t consider it valuable.
30 years ago I went to Carlisle to the largest swap meet and car sale I have ever attended. Sitting of a trailer was my dream car. A '32 deuce coupe , three inch chop, yellow, blown 454 with a Jag rear end. Asking was $9000. My son would tell you that’s all that car is worth today. It’s kinda sad actually.


There was a piece on Edmunds.com, I think, comparing a C2 to a new Toyota Camry. The Toyota ran rings around the Corvette in every category and when asked which car the testers would pick every one chose the Corvette. The newest ones are 52 years old now so you can’t judge them by newer cars (even mid-1980s Porsches).


If you watch the Barrett-Jackson and Mecum auctions, the typical buyer is all the same. Old guys, gray hair, and lots of money. They usually have a pleasant looking lady at their side who is considerably younger. They purchase muscle cars and trucks right now which are trendy and they intend to flip and re-sell, it is all about the money. They won’t touch anything that is not flip-able. Main street collector car hobby is a different world. I think demand and prices going forward will continue the current downward trends.


I didn’t see the Jaguar XKE on the list. The XKE and the C2’s came out at the same time. They are both beautiful! I’ve had both. Two of the happiest days of my life were when I bought and was able to get out of the XKE. I can’t say the same for any of my C2’s, for their time they were fantastic! I was happy not to see any Porsche’s on the list. I’ve had a few of those including my present “fried egg” 996. Here’s a car that I found with a brand new engine (with two year warranty, including track time covered) and totally rebuilt tranny. No one was interested because of the lights and 157,000 miles. I basically stole the car. Did I mention that it was all original, all parts correct date codes? Every time that I see and drive that beautiful Ocean blue and gray interior it puts a fantastic smile on my face. It’s not a classic and I’m not concerned about it’s present or future value but my enthusiasm for it certainly has rubbed off! Buy what you love and love what you have. BTW Happy Valentine’s Day to all.


I love this topic too, but as I’ve said before, you could have fooled me that ANY classic car prices are dipping. As I peruse CL and ebay, prices seem VERY firm. Hell, a base VW Beetle is going for 12K! 4-doors are asking strong money. Decent Dodge Darts from the 60s are asking 20K. If any of you guys know of some bargains, put me wise to them, 'cause I ain’t seeing them.


Just look what happened with Antigue boat market. It’s coming to your classic cars!


I’m barely “post millennial” and I bought my dream truck…a ‘52 Chevy 3100. Could care less if it goes up or down in value. I drive it several days a week because I truly enjoy driving it.


Ive been a car fan all my life but at 58 I just bought my first “fun” car, a 2006 BMW M3 cabrio 6MT. After driving it I feel it was a steal. Such a beautiful and incredibly engineered car for the money. In 10 years i can see these going for 5 to 8 times what I paid.


Here’s a idea. How about a electric flat platform chassis that rolls under and bolts up.
I really think both young and old would pay for a electric classic.
I would love a 4 motor electric Shelby GT350E


You bring up a good point. Thankfully my club is NOT like that. with over 500 members we have plenty of guys with newer cars. Some cruise nights we may have a dozen Mustangs that are less then 10yrs old. We have a bring whatever ya got mentality. I have a '64 Falcon and a '78 MG ,but I can appreciate the newer Stangs and the tricked out Rice Burners that show up.


I am 77 years old and learned how to drive in my parents 56 Chevy BelAir. My first car was a 55 Chevy 2 door sedan that I daily drove to my college classes. That was replaced with a 60 Mercury and then a 63 Comet and finally I purchased a brand new 65 Olds 442. After getting out of the Army I added a 69 BB Corvette Roadster which was then replaced with a 71 LS6 BB Corvette which was eventually traded for an 86 Vette. I have gone on through two C5s, 1 C6Z and now have a C7 Z06. Just as in the 60s things got better each year and there was never any reason to go back. Every car made in the world during the 50s/60s/70s is a piece of junk compared to most any car produced in the 21st century especially the ones produced over the last 4 or 5 years. I experienced all of that 60s performance and noise when it was new. It pales in comparison to my C7Z06. I can’t understand why anybody would pay big bucks for a car that my C7Z can run rings around, while being more comfortable and easier to drive.

I can understand why some cars would be collector cars because they were works of art. Not many/if any cars made in the 50s, 60s, 70s were classic cars like a Duesenberg or Cord. Those cars are independent of somebody desiring something because they wanted one in their youth.


First Hagerty, thanks for your Service and Products, you make owning specialty cars easier. First Corvette was a 1960, paid $800 and drove it home, It had power windows, the were slow so i “threw them away and but in crank up regulators”(how many had power windows?, YOUNG and STUPID. Drove it to 74 National Corvette Convention in Atlanta from Kenton, Ohio. No carpet, not much of a top, with my best friend, greatest adventure I ever. Had Corvettes most of my life (30 or more, wish I would have kept copies of the titles,oldest was 1958, newest was 93 Anniversary convertible) but never seen 6 or 7 figured Corvette or Mopar but happy for those who find that much enjoyment in these vehicles. Its YOUR money please ENJOY it. Currently have a #2 1981 Corvette, 4 speed, one of last St Louis cars. Can drive anywhere, not keeping it nice for the “next guy” enjoying it every time I Drive it. Please be inclusive of anyone interested in motor vehicles no matter what you “brand”. Karma, it will come back to you. Thank you again Hagerty, Enjoy the Drive.