Traditional American classics continue their slump


Your killing me here. I have 3 Shelby’s and 2 Tigers.
I buy cars because they appeal to me, kinda like art and not as an investment. If they go up in value it will be good for my kids. If they go down, I’m a buyer.

Shelby’s are a beautiful thing and attract lots of attention anywhere you drive.

Before you pass judgement on a Tiger - drive one, the music of a V8 and the torque. Driving a Tiger is better than an old E ticket at Disney.


I might offer this.
I grew up during the 60s-70s (well, maybe I never grew up). I built my own budget hot rods that would blow the doors off of any ‘new’ muscle car, stop light to stop light.
NOW, I’ve owned several CTS-Vs. Yes, 4 doors and automatic transmissions, both which I’d swore I would never own! They are insane fast. I had them programmed to over 600hp, they run on pump gas, I can run the a/c while flogging it, they handle like a roller coaster, they have WARRANTY, they have incredible sound systems, are a pleasure to drive and don’t pee oil all over the driveway and garage.
Now, I paid $800 for my 55 Chevy 2dr post with a 327/4speed in 1973. A new performance Corvette or Camaro was probably under $5k. Our money isn’t worth diddly today so it costs $45-100k today for a performance car, classic or new. The new I would love to drive every day, the classic, is art and will spend most of it’s golden years in the garage.
I’m am leaning heavily toward resto-mods. In the process of building a very radical 50 Merc and early Chevy Suburbans and pickups. I should say, “Having them built to my specs”, as I no longer have the desire or time to do it myself.
I can see ‘excellent examples’ of extreme classics and popular muscle cars retaining high values, like popular art work does. It’s a much more fun way to store and build wealth, than boring stocks, etc. Those cars that don’t fall into that category, will once again become the property of enthusiast, keeping in mind, they will still probably keep you ahead of inflation.


I’m 65,and been a car enthusiast since I was 5 years old. I’ve always loved sporty and high performance cars. I’ve owned many new cars now sought after as collectors cars. Currently I own a 65 mustang V8 convertible, fox body gt mustang a shelby gt500 a buick grand National, and a 2018 dodge Demon. My adult kids aren’t interested in any of my cars. They like hondas and mazdas. I see what is happening at traditional car show,the white haired crowd rules,while at non trophy venues, like cars and coffee, a much younger crowd attends.so I think the hobby is going in that direction.


@david-knapp Here’s what our analysts had to say:

“The about page here breaks down all the metrics that we look at for the Hagerty Vehicle Rating https://www.hagerty.com/valuationtools/Hagerty-Vehicle-Rating/About-Hagerty-Vehicle-Rating. But to more directly answer your questions before any transactions factor into the rating we need at least 20 transactions over the past 12 months to ensure confidence with the moving average calculations. Following that, the moving averages are normalized on a 0-100 scale for each metric and then averaged across all the metrics in that section. To better understand let me explain with a real example the 68-71 Mercedes-Benz 280SL with a Vehicle Rating of 9. That vehicle rating of 9 breaks out in five sections: HPG values, activity amongst our clients, the number of quotes we’re receiving, performance in the auction market, and performance in our private sales data. The 280SL has an auction performance score of 34 this month, that 34 is a straight average of the three metrics: change in number of cars offered, change in average sale price, and the sell through rate. Those metrics have normalized scores of 20, 33, and 48 respectively. A score of 20 in the change in cars offered metric is comes from a Z score of -0.82399.
We understand that the moving average can be skewed by outlier sales, but they can also be the start of the bigger trend.”


Still driving the car I had in high school. I don’t expect anyone to want it when I expire, but I really enjoy it.


I am 73 and am a fan of early Shelbys and corvettes. But would NOT trade my 2016 GT350
or my C-7 Corvette for any early Vette or Shelby.
The new cars are a real pleasure to drive, comfort, handling and performance.


When I was a teenager in the 1970s, I had a great interest in the Model T and cars from all eras…and all made way before my time. And I know plenty of young people who have great interest in vintage cars older than their birth year. The real problem is that many vintage cars have been priced out of the market by big auction sales and speculators who have more interest in the investment value than the car itself. Although I have upgraded my car collection as I have gotten older and have more available income, I have never been interested in over valued cars. I get my biggest thrill out of finding vintage cars in excellent condition and at a decent price. I look at this list of cars that have lost their value as more of a market correction than a lack of desirability. If the vehicle is priced right, it will sell.


Back in the 50’s and 60’s it was common for a family to go on a “Sunday drive,” just driving around, checking out the scenery. People used to wash and wax their cars once a month, go to the dealership to check out the new year’s models, know the cubic inch displacement of their car, etc. . Today the car is just an appliance for most people; which is to say that the “car culture” element of American society is dwindling. Collecting in general is going through a steep decline; stamps, antiques, “brown furniture,” coins - all have declined in value. And time-consuming hobbies or activities are in decline, as witnessed by the downward spiral of golf in this country. Work seems to have taken the place that hobbies and religion had in the 50’s and 60’s.


If you want to know the true value of any muscle or classic car just list it on ebay with some really good pics top to bottom & detailed description for ten days at no reserve . I promise you with all the world watching you will never have a larger audience. The car will bid to and sell for its true value. It may not quite reach what you thought or wished it was worth but it will be the true value of your car that day. That is how I always sell my cars and I have had some nice ones and they always sell for what there really worth.


I think there’s a couple of things going on here. One is that many of the cars on the list are still quite expensive (eg SLs, Corvettes and the Shelbys.) Most of those that wanted one probably have one and those that still want one can’t or won’t pay the current albeit depressed prices. The other thing is that people entering the hobby aren’t interested in the fifties iron. The choice between a reasonably priced pickup from the 80s (with easily available parts) and an Olds 88 from the 50s seems obvious. Just my 2 cents.


I was always told to buy what you want to drive and have fun. It wasn’t about getting a car as an investment. I was lucky to buy cars and bikes when they were reasonably priced. Such as:
Tiger Sunbeam in 1983 for $3,500 -guy needed quick money to pay tax liens; 1972 Porsche 911 for $3,000 in 1985-wife mad at all of his speeding tickets, had to sell to pay tickets and save marriage; 1970 Triumph Tiger 650 in 1978 $400-Navy guy being shipped out selling it fast; 1959 Morris Minor 1000 sedan in 1990 $1500-owner moving back to Germany; finally a rust free driveable uncut 1976 Ford Bronco in 2017 for $10,000 from a high school buddy. Each car gave me some priceless memories that still make me smile! Them all going up in value is just dumb luck on my part.


When Tesla finally goes belly up - and it will - those cars will be about as collectible as a Fisker. Watch for when Elon Musk runs out of flashy things to present at press releases - that company is all hat, no cattle.


Since when is a 76 Coupe de Ville collectible? The convertible Eldorados of that era I can see - but was there ever really a collector market for the others from that era?


Quick comment here, last year my 65 year old uncle was shopping for a 442, 396/454 Chevelle, early Camaro, Hemi whatever… something mean from about 1965-1972.
Then a friend of his said, “You don’t want that old rickety stuff, when a new era muscle car has a warranty, a/c, and comfy seats will blow the doors off any of them!”
So he went out and bought last years baddest Mustang with the drag pack and all that stuff, and when this next Mustang comes out with even higher horsepower he’s going to trade up.
I drove his current one, yes it’s fast but not much soul.
So I guess my point is that some of these modern muscle cars are siphoning off buyers/ interest as well.
And these modern muscle cars will be bargains to younger folks when they’re 10-20 years older (the cars and the buyers). The cycle continues, just like me wanting an Iroc or 5.0 fox. Born in 73 for reference, 45 y/o.
Imagine what you could have gotten a 1969 Yenko Camaro for in 1979…


I wouldn’t be so quick to judge. Together, Gen X and Millennials now outnumber boomers when it comes to the collector car market. The passion for cars is certainly there, it’s just not found in the “traditional” areas that we’re used to looking - whether that be newer cars or different car events (think Radwood).



I certainly hope that you are correct. I have no wish to see the end of “gear headom” or whatever you want to call it. Collecting is only one facet of being a gear head. Turning wrenches is another. That is becoming increasingly difficult as cars become more computers than cars. Racing used to be a big part of being a gear head. From what I have been able to tell, auto sports seem to be losing some of their appeal. Not everywhere but in some areas. I am going to do my best to hang on long enough to see who is right!



Soon to be 86, my first ride, was home from the hospital in 1933 in a 1932 Chevrolet Confederate sedan. Needless to say, don’t remember that. I do remember the car as my dad had it for several years. At 20 years old my first car was a 1941 Chevrolet 4 dr. sedan (car was only 12 years old then). Relatively common in my younger years ( mid to late 1940s) were cars such as: Auburn, Essex, Graham-Paige, Hupmobile, Hudson, Reo, and an occasional Pierce-Arrow, Stutz and Marmon. These are the cars I lust for today. I remember a mint 1931 Duesenburg roadster for sale in the late '50s for $9000.


Old: 1966 Chevy Impala 283, 4BBL, 200hp, front discs, no ps, no ac, no pw, no air bags, no crumople zones, no advances suspension.

New: 2016 Mustang conv, 300 hp (V6) … power everything WOW!!!


I’m not too worried about computers in cars. Sure, they’re less intuitive than the old stuff, but diagnostic and tuning software is out there and the younger generations are very capable at a keyboard.

As far as motor sports. You’re right, it isn’t as common as what it was decades ago. I put that on fewer places who are willing to make a racing facility a business especially when you’re constantly fighting neighbors who want to sue you over noise. I don’t think it is a loss of appeal as much as it is a total nightmare maintaining a track and keeping your neighbors from shutting you down.


Have to agree with you that it’s the car you wanted as a teenager. First car I ever drove was my not yet brother-in-laws Datsun 280zx. I have been in love with and have wanted that car since I was 14. (35 years). Have always looked, but finally everything aligned. Found a nice one, have the money to buy and the ability maintain it.
Have since added a 300zx for my girlfriend. So I may be part of the reason the reason american classics are declining. Old mustangs, vettes, firebirds, etc are nice looking cars. But I grew up when the Japanese sports cars were making a splash & that’s what I like.