The classic car market continues to be strong and expanding. It remains a solid investment for buyers of higher quality cars. Investments that are not only providing solid returns, but also the pride and enjoyment of ownership. More and more customers are telling me all the time, this purchase is part of their 401K.
The major auction houses are showing solid year over year over year increases in total sales and average price per units sold. I attended the Mecum auction in Kissimmee FL in Jan, the largest collector car auction in the world. While 2018 results are not yet posted in 2017, 2700 cars crossed the block with 75% of those selling for grand total of $86 million. As a classic car enthusiast, I was in my own heaven, the best car show in the world. The time there goes by quickly whether you just walk the tents and look at the cars for sale or spend your time at the auction ring watching the action. I did both. When you watch the auction on TV, remember that the hammer or sold price does not include the 10% buyer’s premium. The real price paid out the door is 110% of that selling amount plus another 6% Florida sales tax for non dealers.
European exotics and vintage drag racers were there in force. Closer home to my interests, I observed strong bidding on the chrome bumper’d muscle cars. Chevelle’s, Camaro’s, GTO’s, Mustang’s, Nova’s, Corvette’s and Tri Five Chevy’s remain extremely popular. Cars restored to original condition as well as high quality resto mods brought the money. While there is always a demand for investment grade automobiles, it was obvious that buyers were too going after the higher quality weekend car show caliber classics. Cars that can be driven and enjoyed rather than trailered or placed in a collection.
Note…..while I love to go to these auctions to see the cars and expand my knowledge on current pricing, I rarely if ever buy anything there. Auction cars can be a riskier proposition. You can’t do a test drive or mechanically inspect them and rarely get to talk to the seller. It truly is a ‘buyer beware’ AS IS purchase. Sellers take cars to an auction for a reason!
Instead I buy my cars locally, generally from the people that built them or had them built. People who took pride in their cars, but for their own personal reasons decided it was time to sell. Since I am a smaller dealer, I only acquire cars that I have personally inspected, driven and throughly discussed with the owner. I only buy higher quality cars that I like…..life is too short to buy average. Occasionally I do accept trades on cars that meet this same criteria.
I have been a classic car collector for 40 years. After retiring, I opened Hoosier Classic Motorcars as my 2nd career. I have been blessed over my years and continue to do the things I love. If you are thinking about an investment in a classic car or considering selling yours, feel free to give me a call. I would be happy to offer my experience to help you acquire the classic car you have dreamed about.