What are collector car prices really doing?

It appears values are on the rebound, at least among the examples cited here and in last year’s special State of the Hobby issue of Old Cars Weekly.

While prices are not at the 2006 level, collector car prices appear to be returning from their 2008 low and presently appear to be at their 2004 numbers.

Regardless of the cause, here are a few of the raw, hard numbers, pulled from the Old Cars Report, which lists values recorded at all of the major auctions held in the United States since 2000 and reported in Old Cars Weekly. These examples were pulled from 2001, 2004, 2006 (the peak of sales), 2008 and 2009. The example cars are popular with hobbyists and are commonly seen at larger auctions, thus providing multiple examples of sales.  The most frequently reported conditions each car was seen in were pulled from Old Cars Report to further aid comparisons. All cars were in unmodified condition.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396 (350 hp and automatic transmission)
2001, No. 2 condition
$16,800; $13,900 and $17,500
2004, No. 2 condition
$31,000; $59,000; $30,000; $32,500
2006, No. 2 condition
$32,500; $40,000; $45,000; $46,000
2008, No. 2 condition
$50,000; $41,000; $25,000; $34,000
2009, No. 2 condition
$41,000; $38,000; $38,000

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
Sport Coupe, V-8
2001, No. 3 condition

$18,200; $13,500; $18,400
2004, No. 3 condition
$25,500; $26,000
2006, No. 3 condition
$28,400; $31,000; $32,000; $55,000
2008, No. 3 condition
$24,800
2009, No. 3 condition
$26,500

1968 Dodge Charger
(440 and automatic)
2001, No. 3 condition

$16,000; $17,500
2004, No. 3 condition
$27,000; $41,000
2006, No. 3 condition
$29,250; $42,000; $54,000
2008, No. 3 condition
$25,000
2009, No. 3 condition
$39,000

1931 Ford Model A roadster
2001, No. 3 condition

$14,000; $16,000; $25,000
2004, No. 3 condition
$18,500; $21,500
2006, No. 3 condition
$16,500; $21,000; $35,000
2008, No. 3 condition
$15,000
2009, No. 3 condition
$17,000; $23,750

1970 Hemi ‘Cuda four-speed
2001, No. 2 condition

$86,000
2004, No. 2 condition
$78,000; $110,000
2006, No. 2 condition
$315,000
2008, No. 2 condition
$232,000
2006, No. 1 condition
$300,000; $450,000; $650,000
2008, No. 1 condition
$170,000; $255,000
2009, No. 1 condition
$270,000; $227,500; $400,000

It’s also worth noting that original muscle cars remain sought after and valuable, particularly numbers-matching cars with big cubes and big horsepower. Watch for these cars to continue to creep up.

What does this mean to investors? Don’t sell yet. What does this mean to hobbyists? Now is the time to buy. And if you don’t have to sell your car, keep enjoying it. Let a car in the garage continue putting a smile on your face.

 


 

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