Traditional American classics continue their slump


Hagerty does have an explanation of the purpose of the calculation and where the data comes from. It doesn’t go into the weeds on how it is calculated, because a lot of it would only make sense to only someone with an analytical background. I can pass any follow up questions to the analysts who maintain the report as they are in the same department within Hagerty as myself.



57 year old here. I have had numerous cars that are considered collectible over the past 40 years including a 1934 Ford Pickup all steel all original of which I was the 3rd owner at 31 years old. My most recent was a 1965 GTO that I sold during a frame off restoration. This was my dream car, however someone who had more money than brains made me an offer I could not refuse. The definition of market value is (a willing buyer and seller, both acting knowledgeably and prudently and in their own best interest). This being said, the notable auctions ie; Barret Jackson, Mecum etc, are far from meeting criteria for the sales at the Auctions. Being a Real Estate Appraiser and Analyst for 30 years I get the Analysis by Hagerty and all of the people who have added their ideas. The bottom line is all markets have ebbs and flows and as long as you follow the real fair market value definition you probably could buy the vehicle of your dreams and if held for an appropriate amount of time, you may possibly not lose money on a depreciable item.


In ‘98 I sold a TR6 that I had restored and bought a XKE out of Youngstown, OH. Full of rust and the doors were sitting in the cockpit. Spent two years doing a total restoration. Mechanically and electrically reliable, although 20 years later age is starting to show, it absolutely loves the high desert climate where we live. It draws a lot of stares and conversations whenever we take it out. Why isn’t it on the list? Low production numbers may be part of the reason. Only 50,000ish we’re ever built over 13 years.


No one else may care, but for me the data is not useful without it. If you can tell me who to reach out to or they can reply to me (or all if appropriate) this hopefully is relevant. I don’t want to waste people’s time either, so if it considers the oddball high sale or even the WTF why was that special car so cheap in the factors, no need to do a dozen emails with everyone. Unfortunately I am one of those off the chart analyticals that needs a tankerload of data to analyze and decide. I can however decide which two colors of socks, two shoes, and which set of laces, if the shoe has them to use. :wink:


I know journalist writers for special interest news have to come up with new stories when at times there is nothing really new to say or write about. Since the focus here on Hagerty is is pretty much about collecting cars values everybody or anybody can come up which they think are the reasons why collector cars go up or come down in value. The one fact that no one can deny is the economic situation at any given time. In the recession 10 years ago there were some very good deals compared to the market of today. It wasn’t until we were moving out of the recession in around 2014 when collector cars were in vogue and prices went threw the roof. Of course the market has flattened out greatly since then. So with that I will say we are seeing relatively flat market in general with some cars losing favor to other ones. I have been following the collector car markets since my my early teens in the 1960’s. The only real thing I have learned in all those 50+ years is that cars are just like fashion. People’s tastes change depending on what is in vogue. I can remember way back in the mid 1970’s an original '53 Corvette was going for pocket change yet the 1975 Corvette convertible (last one until '86) was the coolest thing you could own when everyone learned it was the last of the open top Corvettes. Then in 1976 the last of the Cadillac convertibles were being sold by dealers for double their sticker price. Why in the mid-1980’s a mid 50’s T-Bird was considered the hottest thing on the collector market. I didn’t really didn’t know then, and I really don’t know now other than to say it was in vogue at that time. Some cars seem to be in fashion to such a degree people are willing to pay insane prices for certain desired models. For example 1965 to late 1970’s Porsche 911’s are very much in vogue today. From reading this article it appears the MBZ 280 SL is slipping in value. In the most recent auctions I noticed a significant drop in price for the 1970-71 MBZ 280SE 3.5 convertibles. It does seem more than a year or 2 ago those things were getting into the stratosphere. All I can say is those who can easily afford to invest in expensive collector cars are very fickle over time.


After reading more of the posts here I’m glad I am not the oldest car guy here. Jay Leno will always be 1 year older than me. It would take me several years more to just know 1/10 of what Jay knows about collector cars. Everytime I watch one of his shows I feel I learn something new.


There’s a factor unrelated to personal taste, age, or disposable income which may eventually impact the collector car market more than we suspect- government regulation. Yes, the same fellows who mandate 24 airbags in your new hybrid econopod, don’t really want people tooling around in “off-the-grid” vehicles. If you think this is paranoia, witness how several states are now rolling out digital license plates (“The better to see you with, my Dear.”). Almost without noticing, personal transportation has become just another node on the Internet of Things (IoT). Google, Apple, and of course Tesla are all investing billions in perfecting driver-less technology. Drivers who can’t change a tire or check air pressure today will in the future be buying time in cars they don’t need to drive, either. Bureaucrats and insurance companies will cheer the incredible safety record of driver-less vehicles, and such will be marketed for their ease and convenience. Where will our carbon-spewing, analog dinosaurs fit into this glorious transportation utopia? Will we be looked upon with suspicion, or worse, as criminals for driving cars with “too much” horsepower?

“A brilliant red Barchetta, from a better, vanished time
Fire up the willing engine, responding with a roar!
Tires spitting gravel, I commit my weekly crime…” (RUSH, ‘Red Barchetta’)

Never underestimate the power of politicians to screw up a good thing.


Mid 40’s here and have my fathers’s ‘66 C2 convertible in my garage. My father drove it off the lot and was a daily driver until it was no longer reliable. Fully restored about 20 years ago and I assume would be Bloomington Gold. Another year or two and my teenage son and I will road trip to Indy for a father son getaway.

The car is priceless to me, since I was that kid in the passenger seat with my arm out the window while my dad was cruising us around. He is gone but i remember our time together like it was yesterday.

We each get our modern fix with Bimmers - a 72k mile 2014 428 coupe 6 speed manual for him, and a 2006 BMW 650 convertible I bought with 5k miles on it for me. I turn wrenches on all of them and want my son to learn the same. If you have some basic skills and tools, you can buy amazing cars for great value.

I let my son drive the C@ last weekend after we detailed it. He was waving to everyone he passed and I think he knows it turns more heads than his amazing 428. And although it’s technology is inferior to the bimmers, the C2 is a more visceral experience - the fun factor goes to 11.

People should stop worrying about value, and get back to enjoying time together. That includes getting dirty in a garage turning wrenches, listening to music and admiring their handiwork.


I sell about 30 collectors cars a year, mainly on bringatrailer. I’m 52 and have an appreciation for all types of cars, I basically just buy ones that are interesting to me, and take the chance that there will be others that find them interesting too!
I have a pretty good sell-through rate, but recently hit a slump. Two no-sales in a row on BaT, a 1941 Olds, and a 1947 Buick Super. The reason? Like the article says, a smaller market for cars of that era. These are both good cars, and will sell, they’ll just take a little longer that’s all.


Nope. Not gonna happen, at least not in my lifetime (I’m in my 60s). Why? Cost. The first thing is the current vehicles. To do it in the 10 stated years would require the Govt to buy up the existing vehicles. They can’t just say they are banned, too bad - that’s a taking and lots of court decisions here. So, 270 million vehicles licensed today. Say 10% not recoverable, buses, already electric,etc. Average selling price $20k. Both numbers according to statista. That’s almost $5 T. That’s trillion. And that’s not even getting into infrastructure upgrades to shift the energy needed to replace 140 billion gallons of gasoline used each year onto the grid (appx 4 T kwh). It will clearly have to be phased in over decades if we don’t want the country to go bankrupt. And the upcoming health care reforms will suck away all dollars anyhow, so…fill 'er up!


Depends on if you are in the hobby to buy and sell a commodity to make a profit.

Or, are you in it to rescue, rebuild, and enjoy old cars?

A couple of my cars have increased in value, others are still worth (much)less than I have invested.
I do this for fun, not profit. Guess I have to keep the day job.


Yep. I saw this coming years ago. I pointed out to my wife at a car show, that when the older guys with the Model Ts are gone. There is no interest what so ever in the younger generations to take them over. That same thought is moving up in the generations of cars also. What I started doing some time ago was updating the older cars that have and are building for myself. Restomod is the new term for the older cars. The younger Gen is interested in our old “hardware” if they can me made reliable, and drive well. Case and point. My 56 Nomad is getting a 5.3LS drivetrain w/CPU and A/C, power steering, brakes, ect. MY kids are VERY interested in driving this car when it’s done. Mostly because they know it’s wont be like my old Vette…this one anyone will be able to drive comfortably…anywhere they want to go. I was tired of doing correct, nut and bolt restorations anyway. Restomods are way more fun to build. Just my 2cts. Good job Hagerty


This discussion is interesting in that I’m the original owner of a '67 Corvette Convertible and have never lacked for someone wanting to buy it. It’s not a ‘‘trailer queen’’ for sure as I drive often. It’s probably what the ‘‘Officals’’ would call ‘‘in good condition’’. I am slowly upgrading some of the more tested items on my friend as we speak. Still, the people that talk to me about this car just love the idea of having a Corvette that looks like what they believe a Corvette should look like. It’s going on being in my position since May 22nd of 1967, that’s going on 52 years, and I have no intention of selling any time soon. If it’s value goes down, as you say, then so be it. I’m on the way down as well, so we, my close friend and confidant will meet our maker together.


I have always been a car guy since teen years. I enjoyed (and still do) working on them. At 79 I still do minor repairs and washing them. While they are not “classics” I took a 78 C10 down to bare frame and built it back to a pretty darn nice truck. It has won it’s share of awards, but that’s not what I built it for. It was the hobby, working with my hands. My wife and I also have a 94 Chev 3500 dually also almost show condition which she has taken as “her” truck and enjoys taking out to shows, but we use it to tow our boat. We had a discussion about another car choosing a older car or a new car. We looked at 32’s Fords and 58 chevies or a new car. Watching the car auctions on to I came to the realization that most of the people buying the cars were not car guys but car collectors. I doubt that the vast majority of the buyers don’t have a decent tool chest but a chest full of money. We finally settled on a 2019 Mustang 5.0, 460 HP, handles like a dream and gets attention where ever we go. Most of the folks in our car club are older men, rarely a women and most are like me liked to work on their cars. Not many young folks seem to want to do that and no one can work on the new ones, but they sure are fun to drive. Car guys are going to die off but there seems the collectors are the ones who will keep the market going whether up or down depending on collector value.


I dont normally respond, but I’ve been hearing this “…nobody wants…” discussion since my teens. Today we see higher prices and values than ever before in most of the premium cars. Premium cars. Yes, said it twice. It’s the times and we here in the US tend to be reactive with our spending. How’s the stock market? Yeah, I know. I’m claiming the 1st $100,000 Duesenberg Murphy roadster since nobody wants the old stuff any more. But wait, our families were into this in some way. Those who had those big cars had kids and grandkids. The next generation is at the concours and judging shows now, and with their kids at times too. I’ll also add that there’s over 300,000,000 people in the US. More buyers per capita. Ok, a $100K Duesy isn’t realistic, but will take the 1st driver condition 32 Ford 3W at $10K, hot rod or stock…


I love cars. I’ve got a few collectibles/special interest cars, from a 1952 MGTD to a 1968 Mercedes 500 SEC to a 1999 Porsche Boxster, to a 1993 Mazda RX7 R1 to a 2005 Maserati Quattroporte to a 2004 Mazda Speed RX8. Everyone wants to take a picture in the MG, go fast in the RX7, hear the Maserati, drive the Porsche, and look at the Mercedes and RX8. There are just fewer viewers and drivers. We baby boomers are getting older, slower, and dying. Fewer buyers for the market means lower prices, not because they aren’t valuable. The younger generation has far more choices for far more vehicle years than we ever had. They just cant buy them all.


I am a 67 year old street rodder, I have always had a tough time selling my street rod. Went to a local Cars N Coffee here in Jax about a year and a half ago and counted the cars. There were over 1,000 cars of all eras and models. There were 6 street rods. That tiny % probably reflects what % of street rodders to other cars in the market. I am a member of the NSRA and at their events, more and more of the attendees are absent due to death and health issues. So, take a small percentage of the market and reduce it by the decline in numbers of other street rodders and you have a classic example of how supply and demand affects pricing. IF my son’s generation (31) suddenly develops a serious love for Street Rods this may reverse the trend… but I seriously doubt that they want to jump into a market where pricing is high and demand is low. As a professional sales manager, I have learned the hard way that participants in a market do not set margins, the MARKET sets margins. One other thought, go to your local Classic Car seller show room and talk to a salesman. They will share their experience in your market to help you verify trends. Thank you so much for your great articles on valuation. I know a lot of cars guys follow it.


I grad from high school in 1962 so the cars of my youth were 40’s, 50’s, 60’s. Most of these cars drove like turds! They didn’t go, stop or steer. But they looked wonderful. Now after all these years I still lust over the same cars but they would have to be resto-mods so they can be driven & enjoyed. Younger people don’t want cars to put a light on them & hang them on a wall.
Dream car? 1967 Vette coupe with modern running gear. Need to win the lottery!!


In my opinion, which should be taken with a grain of salt, a lot of the decline we’re re seeing has to do with the cost of collector cars. Here’s what I feel has at least partially been driving the trend.

Much like the chopper craze fueled by TV shows like American Choppers and West Coast choppers where everybody and their brother became a custom bike builder and bikes were selling for six figures. People started seeing these as an investment tool which has largely fallen on its face. OCC is bankrupt West Coast choppers shut their doors and now sells T-shirt’s and guns.

There are now scads of TV shows about collector cars, restorations and “barn finds” worth a zillion dollars which inspire people who would otherwise never have anything to do with cars to search out and buy up certain classics with the intention of making a huge return when they sell it as evidenced by the ridiculous asking prices in some market places. Most of these cars just aren’t worth what people think they should be and I think the market is beginning to reflect that as some of these folks are taking huge losses instead.

A positive outcome in all of this may be that younger people and true enthusiasts will finally be able to obtain cars they are passionate about and they won’t have to remortgage the house or sell a kidney on the black market to buy a rusty old VW Bug. Hopefully we’ll see more people who love the cars for what they are and quit making it a money thing. There certainly is a LOT of room for discussion on this topic and this just scratches the surface.


Mid 40’s here. Had a Chevelle, currently have a 1929 Model-A that I wanted to street rod but won’t and I’ll be selling.
You know what I want, a fox body Mustang, IROC, or Bronco/ Blazer, 1st gen 4runner (have a current 4runner)… all cars that were popular during my high school days and are bargains compared to many collector cars. The vintage JDM cars being imported have great appeal as well, sweet condition and low mileage, though right hand drive which freaks some people out.
I love the muscle cars, antiques, love the tri-5 Chevys, Austin Healeys, heck I love them all. But give me a 1992ish Acura Legend with a manual trans and I’d be a happy guy, my latest craving. I even have an ongoing (since high school) itch for a baja-bug. I aslo want a 1986 or 1987 Honda XL600R or any vintage enduro really… again a throwback to my youth.
Car guys simply need to scratch their latest itch and move on to their next craving sometimes, that’s what I’m doing, albeit very slowly, 8 years at a time it seems.
Look at the vintage Supra turbo market, evidence of what is currently HOT.