Under The Hood

A hot and cold marketplace

Recently, I was asked what the top 10 hottest cars were, and it got me thinking…what are the 10 “coldest” cars, as in, what cars’ values are sinking the fastest, or just plain aren’t moving?
My top 10 hottest cars are below, but I was wondering what you think are the top 10 “coldest” cars. I’ve given you one “coldest car” to start with:

Coldest cars list:
1. Clone cars: These were great driveable alternatives to real expensive muscle cars, but there’s no way a clone should be worth anything close to the real thing. Values for clones were dangerously close to those of the cars they replicated, but not anymore. There’s nothing wrong with a well-done clone car, but don’t pay real money for what is basically a “fake” car.

2. Tell me what you think! Your answer could be here…

Hottest cars list:
1. Documented vintage race cars: Speed is always popular among car collectors, but throw in the element of a recorded history of a car, using published articles and photos, and an old car becomes a celebrity. And in the old-car world, celebrity equals dollars. Find a Ford Thunderbolt, and your own hobby celebrity status will increase.

2. Cars built into hot rods and customs before 1960: Building old-style hot rods is currently popular, but if a hot rod is the real thing, throw some zeros behind its value. If the car was built by a famous hot rod or custom car builder, and it appeared in a pre-1960 magazine after it was built, there’s no ceiling on value.

3. Factory concept cars: These factory dream cars have always been valuable, but ever since a GM Futurliner hit $4 million at auction, these cars have begun commanding the kind of respect normally given to 1930s Bugattis and Duesenbergs. Expect that to continue, especially since so few exist, especially in private hands. The Firebird pictured here is in the General Motors collection, and don’t expect it to ever leave.

4. Big-block muscle cars built before 1973: They say there’s no replacement for cubic inch displacement when it comes to power, and that’s also true for value. Mopars, like the Plymouth Road Runner pictured here, are particularly strong sellers right now.

5. 1953-’62 Corvettes: Everybody wants to feel like Todd and Buzz from “Route 66:” they want to cruise down two-lane Route 66, and there’s no better way than to do it in Todd and Buzz’ original ride: an early Corvette. It’s hard to beat these 1950s and ‘60s cars for looks and performance, and collectors already realize that. Expect values to go up from today’s peaks.

6. Muscle Ford Mustangs: Six-cylinder Mustangs are great, and always have been, but the value for high-performance V-8 models, especially Shelby, GT and Boss models are exponentially greater. As with all performance cars, those with their original engines and transmissions command a premium.

7. Volkswagen buses and transporters: There’s more to Volkswagen than Beetles, and VW collectors don’t just love their bugs, they dig their buses. The affection extends back to their hazy, smoke-filled youths, and now that their financial lives have cleared up, they’re willing to pay for those VW buses – through the nose.

8. Documented Shelby Cobras: Shelby Cobras have never been cheap, not even when they were “used” two- or four-year-old cars. And it’s not looking any better. Prices are quickly escalating, and those with well-known race history are seeing their values rise even faster. Right now, the values for early small-block Cobras are rising faster than their big-block counterparts, and financially, the are easier to get into, at least for now.

9. Wood-bodied cars built before 1952: Whether you grew up on an ocean beach or in the United States’ northwoods, woodies warm the heart. Surfers loved wood-bodied station wagons, and families loved hauling the kids and the family dog Spot. Now, those kids want to enjoy the warmth of wood by reliving those Christmas tree hunts and days riding the longboard, just like they used to. And they have the money to do it.

10. 1980s muscle cars: Finding parts (and the money) to keep expensive muscle cars from the 1960s and 1970s on the road is growing more difficult, and many people are looking to the 1980s for their muscle car fix. Parts for these New Wave muscle cars are readily available, even from dealerships, and the cars themselves are inexpensive, although that’s beginning to change. If you like 1980s muscle, get in now, while they are cheap.

2 thoughts on “A hot and cold marketplace

  1. Dave

    Angelo:

    I agree with your picks on both sides of the fence. On your question of which cars are "cold" – I think it’s a two part answer: 1. There have been ‘corrections’ in the market for clone cars, but in general terms, there aren’t "cold" cars per se in the hobby – a rising tide raises all boats as they say, and the difference in what’s hot seems to be a relative term (my proof is the average cost of a driver in need of a lot of work, which is going no where but up). 2. That said, if I HAD to pick a ‘cold’ car (outside of the "inauthentic" group covered by clones), I’d say it would be gas guzzlers from the 60s and 70s (excluding true muscle cars). With the constantly rising price of oil, keeping some of these rolling (e.g. a nice Deville from 73 for example) has become cost prohibitive – which alos means you can pick them up (actually take them off someone else’s hands) for a song. Mid-70s cars are also a bit problematic, since so many had quickly gas-saving systems that were very quickly cobbled together (with the oil crisis of the time), and their performance has never been awfully appealing.

    Dave

  2. Dave

    Angelo:

    I agree with your picks on both sides of the fence. On your question of which cars are "cold" – I think it’s a two part answer: 1. There have been ‘corrections’ in the market for clone cars, but in general terms, there aren’t "cold" cars per se in the hobby – a rising tide raises all boats as they say, and the difference in what’s hot seems to be a relative term (my proof is the average cost of a driver in need of a lot of work, which is going no where but up). 2. That said, if I HAD to pick a ‘cold’ car (outside of the "inauthentic" group covered by clones), I’d say it would be gas guzzlers from the 60s and 70s (excluding true muscle cars). With the constantly rising price of oil, keeping some of these rolling (e.g. a nice Deville from 73 for example) has become cost prohibitive – which alos means you can pick them up (actually take them off someone else’s hands) for a song. Mid-70s cars are also a bit problematic, since so many had quickly gas-saving systems that were very quickly cobbled together (with the oil crisis of the time), and their performance has never been awfully appealing.

    Dave

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