What the car hobby professionals are saying

Through their businesses, they can spot trends that reveal how collectors are participating in the hobby. So Old Cars Weekly asked what they noticed during these tumultuous economic times.

Businesses that were surveyed are advertisers in Old Cars Weekly, because these are the companies readers are familiar with. Some of the companies responded to the survey, and their answers follow.

AUCTION COMPANIES
Auctioneer Phil Jacquier, Inc
18 Klaus Anderson Rd., Southwick, MA 01077, 413-569-6421, www.jacquierauctions.com

What services do you offer? Classic car auctions.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? We have had record-breaking prices for Ford Model A’s and T’s in the past 12 months.
What other trends have you seen over the past year? Sellers hesitant to liquidate their collections due to the economy, but we have yet to see a decline in prices on quality collectibles.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? About the same – no decrease or increase.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Fewer lookers, more buyers.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? I believe collecting will get stronger due to the purchaser having more control over their investment in comparison to the stock market.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? As much free online advertising as possible since all other media prices are skyrocketing.
Has the tough economy prompted you to do anything to make the business stronger? Made me look at what ad dollars will give me the most for the cost.

Palm Springs Exotic Car Auctions
244 N. Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262; 760-320 3290; www.classic-carauction.com

What services do you offer? Classic car auctions.
What area of your business has grown the most? The least? Attendance up 20%+ (gate); entries off about 5%; receipts for cars sold down 9%. Nice low-number production cars still making top dollar.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? Corvettes and muscle cars came off their highs of 2007-’08 more than true classics.
 What other trends have you seen over the past year? The well-established, well-organized auction companies still doing strong business. New or tarnished companies are struggling.
Quite a lot of older collectors who passed away this year have had family members not wishing to continue with the collections, and sold the cars at no reserve.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Our company so far this year has only dropped 9% in sales volume.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? More Internet promotions will prove to be cost effective as a way to reach a larger audience.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? We increased our advertising budget some 20% over 2008.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? We are seeing an increase in registered bidders over last year, which is an encouraging sign.
Other comments: The cash-rich investors are selectively picking up the steals as they come on the market from the speculators in real estate who bought their “toys” on the upswing.
 
PART/PRODUCT SALES
Auburn Cord Duesenberg Co.
122 S Elm Pl, Broken Arrow, OK 74012

What products do you offer? Parts for Auburns and Cords.
What area of your business has grown the most? The least? Parts business has remained about the same.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? The lower-priced cars are now being restored.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Parts business has been very up and down.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? I think the 1960s and 1970s cars’ value will decrease.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? When someone orders a part, I offer another part they might need with it.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? Business has picked up in the last month.
Other comments: Sales of cars are picking up.

Bird Nest
1091 Willamette Falls Dr., West Linn, OR 97068; www.tbirdparts.com

What parts do you make? We make about 350 items for the 1958-’66 Thunderbirds, some of which can be used on other Ford vehicles of the era. Engine area includes items like flywheels, harmonic balancers, water pumps, fan clutches, power steering hoses and more. For the exterior, we make fender ornaments, scripts, rubber gaskets, emblems and chrome fuel doors. For inside the car, we make kick panels, seat skirts, hood release cables, door panel trims and more. For electrical, we make almost every relay needed to replace those weak and worn out ones from 45 years ago, turn signal switches, window switches and window switch plate inserts. We also make exhaust hangers, brake parts and much more.
What area of your business has grown the most? We have been blessed with increases in all areas of our business, but the largest area of growth has been in our overseas sales. The least? We like to stay positive so we haven’t explored that question, however, as we add more new items to the line, we lose sales of “used” products.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? We see more of the younger Thunderbird enthusiast migrating to the 1961-’66 models. They offer more creature comforts and have many interesting features, like slide-away steering wheels. They are also more available and closer in styling to the cars their fathers had.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? We have had consistent growth and look forward to the future.

Bridjit Curb Ramps
www.bridjit.com

What products/services do you offer? We provide a solution to the roll-over curb driveway entry-impact  problem found in millions of homes  across the U.S. and Canada. Our Bridjit ramps are made from recycled tires and allow water to flow underneath with no fastening to the concrete.
What other trends have you seen over the past year? We have experienced major swings in sales from a month-to-month basis. A totally off and on again flow of sales and interest.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? We introduced our ramp product in March of 2008 and have experienced a very solid growth pattern.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? We are changing our marketing plan to a more diverse number of businesses that have a use for our product, such as RV, golf, van modifications, motorcycles, etc.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? In general, yes, we do see the economy turning around, but not enough to bet the farm on.

California Pontiac Restoration
820 Poinsettia St., Santa Ana, CA 92701; www.pontiacparts.net

What products do you offer? Restoration parts for Pontiac, 1926 to the ’70s.
What area of your business has grown the most? The least? International sales and Internet sales the most. Domestic sales the least.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? We sell more sedan parts and ordinary cars. There is less of a demand for the convertible and hardtop cars and less of a demand for the high-end cars.
What other trends have you seen over the past year? Although we do not sell performance products, we see a move to modern drivetrains and mechanicals in the classic cars with an almost stock appearance.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? We were down about 10%, but if we had not added an eBay department, we would have been down at least double that amount.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? I think we are going to see a continuing move to the grand-touring cars, and a move to the ’70s and even some ’80s cars and, of course, among the young folks, the imports.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? We are upgrading our Web site and adding more muscle car parts.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? Not in the business.
Other comments on the state of the hobby: Its days, as we know it, are limited.

FB Performance Transmission, Inc. 
85 Cleveland Ave., Bay Shore, NY 11706, www.fbperformance.com 
 
What parts do you make/offer? Aftermarket high-performance/racing automatic transmissions, torque converters, drive-line components and accessories.
What area of your business has grown the most? High-performance and pro-street and strip overdrive transmissions. The least? All-out racing automatic transmissions.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others?  Yes. Many are converting their all-out race cars to pro-street-type vehicles.
What other trends have you seen over the past year? Motorsport enthusiasts seem to be holding on to their existing cars rather than starting new projects.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Overall 2009 sales are down 20% from 2008.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? I don’t believe the current trends will change, unless there’s a dramatic improvement in the overall U.S. economy.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? We’re building transmissions for vehicles that are normally outside of the realm of our normal market.
Other comments: Unfortunately, we’re all involved in an expendable-type trade, where all of the products and equipment we sell are not real necessities.  Even the most ardent motorsport enthusiasts are affected by downturns in the economy.

Nordstroms Factory Performance
25362-485th Ave., Garretson, SD.57030;
www.nordstromsfactoryperformance.com

What products/services do you offer? Low-mileage and crate EZ2RUN fuel-injected engine packages ready to drop into street rods, muscle cars and project vehicles. We build custom wire harnesses and offer programming for most fuel-injected engines. We also install these packages and build custom drivetrains for these vehicles. We are a full-line dealer for Dakota Digital and Vintage Air with specials when purchasing a complete package.
What area of your business has grown the most? The least? With the onset of higher fuel prices and the increasing awareness of fuel injection, we have seen a large increase in customers either updating to fuel injection or starting their new project with a fuel-injected package. The request for carbureted engines and parts has fallen off dramatically over the past year.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? Fuel injection is here to stay. The shift is in full force from carburetion to fuel injection.
What other trends have you seen over the past year?  Our customers used to be focused on how much horsepower their vehicle would make and purchased their engine based on that. Now customers are more focused on the outer looks of their vehicle and want their engine to be reliable and fuel efficient. With the LS fuel-injected Chevrolet engines they get great power and great mileage with exceptional reliability and affordable prices. A resto-rod with a modern power plant is the way of the future.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? We operate a general repair shop along side of our performance shop and noticed a decrease in our general repair, but an increase in the performance business.

Qual Krom-Great Lakes Plant
4725 Iroquois Ave., Erie, PA 16511, www.qualkrom.com

What products/services do you offer? Chrome plating and restoring automobile parts.
What area of your business has grown the most? The least? No change.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? Hobbyist shifting away from very old cars (’20s-’30s).
Other comments: During our travels, doing shows and such, there seems to be less young people interested. The Model A generation remembers events that were going on in their lives. The middle-age generation is the muscle car generation when cars can go faster. The young generation seems to be in the electronic generation — new type cell phones, digital TV, computers and the games that can go with them.

Rhode Island Wiring Service, Inc.
567 Liberty Lane, West Kingston, RI 02892-0434

What products do you offer? Wiring harnesses for American cars up to the mid- to late ’50s and foreign cars and related materials.
What area of your business has grown the most? The least? Not much “growing” going on. Our biggest seller is the related materials: wire, terminals, looms, etc. Harness sales are on the decline at the moment, but summer is our slow season so hopefully with winter approaching, our harness sales will pick up.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? No.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? It certainly did not improve.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? Hopefully, the economy and sales will improve.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? We have been cutting employee hours and making less stock items.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? No.

RockAuto.com
6680 Odana Rd., Madison, WI 53719; www.rockauto.com

What parts do you make/offer? RockAuto.com carries replacement auto and body parts for both late-model and older vehicles (back to the 1940s). Parts are new or remanufactured, except for refurbished, used wheels. Our inventory of parts, including photos, is displayed online at RockAuto.com. Parts that help with restoration include floor pans, convertible tops, molded carpet, weather stripping, grilles, crate engines, etc. Customers often get most excited to see we have the unglamorous, but often hard-to-find parts, like steering gears, fuel tanks, parking brake cables, turn signal cams, etc. We do not inflate prices for classic car parts and with our “wholesaler closeouts,” we pass on the savings when we get a great deal on a load of parts.
What area of your business has grown the most? The least? The most growth has been in replacement parts tied to specific car or truck applications: brakes, carburetors, shocks, sensors, cylinder heads, repair manuals, etc. The least growth has been in our “Extras” section where we stock accessory-type parts (window shades, gauges, etc.), bulk products (uncut automotive carpet, hose, etc.) and tools.  
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? We are seeing more people restoring cars from the ’70s and even the ’80s. They may not be conventional classics, but they are the cars the customers grew up with and feel connected to. Maybe they owned a similar car when they were 16 or they found out a grandparent owned one. It helps that the cars are typically easier to find and much less expensive than the super-popular classics. My own stable of cars includes a Ford Country Squire station wagon with jump seats in the back, just like the ones I got seasick in as a kid. 
Other comments: The tough economy has led or forced many people to fix things rather than tossing them in the trash. Hopefully, those people will continue to enjoy maintaining and understanding their cars even after the economy improves.

S&M Electro-Tech, Inc
8836 Xylite St NE, Blaine, MN 55449, www.turnswitch.com

What part(s) do you make or services do you offer? Radio restoration and conversion services. Reproduction replacement speakers for the collector cars.
What area of your business has grown the most? The least? Radio conversions has grown and the restoration to original has dropped. About 60% of our customers choose to have the radio converted to AM/FM Stereo. The replacement speaker business has fallen off some with the recession.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? No. Muscle cars and Corvettes are still our most popular radios to service.
What other trends have you seen over the past year? People are more price sensitive.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Down about 5%.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? I hope business picks back up some. We had been growing about 15% each year until this year.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? Cutting some expenses.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? Not yet.
Other comments: We deal with many restoration companies around the country and we find that many of them, especially the larger shops, are way down in work load.

Tony’s Mopar Parts
96 Red Bird Lane, Harrington DE, 19952; 302-398-0821; www.tonysparts.com

What products do you offer? Used, NOS and select high-quality reproduction items that we manufacture.
What area of your business has grown the most? Producing new parts. The least? Marketability of original parts once that part is reproduced.
 Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others?  Yes, there is a tremendous decrease in the restorations of high-dollar cars, because they aren’t worth what they once were and can no longer absorb the high-dollar restorations like they used to.
What other trends have you seen over the past year? More interest in the 1971-’74 cars.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? We’re pretty close to being on par with 2008, but I have heard of others that aren’t faring as well.
Other comments: I feel the hobby is more back in the hobbyist’s hands than the businessman’s. A lot of the movers and shakers supposedly in the hobby were really just here while the getting was good and they could turn a few bucks with the cars. Those days are currently gone. The guys that are in it now have been in it for awhile and will continue to be. When the market starts to rise again and it’s easy to make money, the investors will come back again.

PUBLISHING
The Auto Review
5 Rowan Oak Lane, Columbia, IL 62236-4148, www.theautoreview.com

What products/services do you offer? Author and publisher of books and information.
What area of your business has grown the most? The least? Most: 1962-1968 MoPar Super Stock.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? No.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Half lower.
Other comments: I do not ever consider this a hobby. It is a lifestyle and is far beyond being considered a hobby by the people I know. The younger people are not interested and I don’t believe anything can be done about it, other than national and local clubs creating youth programs at an early stage. Look at the RROC and AACA programs. Our local Model A Restorer’s Club has more members, more younger members and more activities than any other group I belong to, so the age of the cars has nothing to do with it. Non-club members in all areas of interest do not always understand the value of a club and the reasons to join.

Petroleum Collectibles Monthly Magazine/
Gas and Oil Collectibles
P.O. Box 556 LaGrange, OH 44050 
                             
What services do you offer? Monthly magazine related to gas and oil collectibles. Also offers original gas globes, porcelain signs, gas pumps, etc.
What area of your business has grown the most? General interest has grown in all these collectibles. The least? Very high-dollar items.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? I see people in our hobby feeling secure about antiques related to this field. They seem to be buying as much or more this year.
What other trends have you seen over the past year? People not selling much off, rather keeping the collectibles they have while things turn around.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? About the same.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? I really see no changes.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? Being careful with money spent – but not in collectibles.
Other comments: Our gas and oil collectibles hobby is strong and will be strong many years to come.

Roth Auto Books
What products/services do you offer? Sales of automotive literature and manuals.
What area of your business has grown the most? The least? Internet sales most; walk-in sales least.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? Less interest in original prewar. More interest in muscle cars and late-model sports, muscle cars.
What other trends have you seen over the past year? People slowing down on spending. Selling more overseas.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Sales down.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? Unsure.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? Trying to get better organized and be more productive.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? Yes.

Skinned Knuckles Magazine
P.O. Box 6983, Huntington Beach, CA 92615; 714-963-1558; www.skinnedknuckles.net

What area of your business has grown the most? The least? Subscriptions are up and continue to grow as hobbyists learn about our publication and restorers want more hands-on information about their restoration project.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? A very discouraging shift away from authentic cars of the 1920s and ’30s  towards newer cars of the 1960s and ’70s. Even more disturbing is the continued growth in the modified car hobby, including street rods, hot rods and low riders.
What other trends have you seen over the past year? We have seen a definite influx of younger restorers becoming interested in preserving older cars – perhaps not back to the 1920s and early ’30s, but definitely in the late 1930s and post-war cars; more “drivable” cars.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Subscriptions are up and continue to show a growth. Unfortunately, we are seeing a loss of older subscribers who are getting out of the hobby because of age and the inability to do the work themselves, plus a disheartening number of older restorers are passing on. Fortunately, new subscribers — representing new entrants to the hobby — continue to outnumber those not renewing.
Other comments: Authentic restoration of older cars also represents a preservation of America’s technological history. Museums are doing a superb job of preserving our automotive history, but their means are limited, especially so in tough economic times.

INSURANCE
CHROME Specialty Car Insurance
1949 E. Sunshine, Springfield, MO 65899-0001; www.anpacchrome.com

What services do you offer? Collector car insurance. 
What area of your business has grown the most? The least?  While our company is primarily a property and casualty company, our collector car product CHROME, has outpaced our daily use auto insurance by nearly 2-1. 
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? Not really, but the muscle cars are becoming more popular and we have seen an increase in those. Our new Modern Classic collector car insurance program just introduced in April for cars less than 25 years old has really taken off and doing very well for us. 
What other trends have you seen over the past year? Somewhat lower vehicle values.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? We have had a positive increase in our collector car insurance by almost 10% this year over last with excellent loss ratios on all classes.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? Yes, business is up, loss ratios are good and there does not seem to be a downturn at this time. 

EVENTS
Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles
What area of your business has grown the most? Attendance. The least? Sponsorships.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? Hobbyists, with the exception of the guys with deep pockets, are being very prudent in their purchases. Cars selling for less than $100,000 seem to be selling slower. The speculators who are seeking quick profits won’t stay around. Some collectors are discovering the value in CCCA Classics compared to overpriced, over-hyped and overrated muscle cars.
What other trends have you seen over the past year?  Greater appreciation of original, unrestored automobiles.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Definitely a tough year for concours events in 2009 due to decline in sponsorships.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? Many collectors will continue to move cautiously due to the uncertain economic conditions.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? Working harder to sell sponsorships.
Has the tough economy prompted you to do anything to make the business stronger? We have always operated on a relatively small budget with a lean staff. We may be the most cost-effective concours in the world.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? Minimal…the economy hasn’t hit bottom yet.
Other comments: Still an aging hobby, not enough young people.
 
COLLECTOR CAR SALES
Collector Cars U Can Afford, Ltd.
Rockford, Ill., collectorcarsltd.com

What products/services do you offer? We sell cars and appraise vehicles, we offer a locating service for select obsolete parts, but do not sell parts ourselves per se.
What area of your business has grown the most? Appraisals/Consultation and car purchases. The least? Car sales.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? Still heavy in muscle but newer, “unusual drives” becoming more popular.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Neither was fantastic, but having been in business since 1913, we have seen a lot of changes.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? Specialty cars, wagons, convertibles, cars you can use as a second car while still being collectible should increase in value and popularity.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? Tightening our belt and not traveling as much to events far away.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? Yes, but slowly.
Other comments: Great time to buy for the future.

D.E. Foeller
3154 Palm Beach Blvd., Ft. Myers, FL 33916

What services do you offer? Classic car sales.
What area of your business has grown the most? The least? High-end cars the most; muscle cars least.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? From correct cars to street rods.
What other trends have you seen over the past year? The better the car is, the easier it is to sell.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Up 20%.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? High-price classics becoming stronger.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? Replacing $20-40,000 with $100,000 up.
Has the tough economy prompted you to do anything to make the business stronger? I have several cars that I will store until the values come back.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? No.

Motorcar Portfolio, LLC
320 Market Ave. S., Canton, Ohio 44702, www.motorcarporftolio.com

What products/services do you offer? Dealer for antique and classic cars 1915-1972, and two annual auctions.
What area of your business has grown the most? The least? Our auction business has grown the most. Daily single-customer sales in the showroom the least.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? Yes, muscle cars have cooled off big time, and we are seeing increased interest in prewar cars.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? I think you will see the mega-dollar car market reach a saturation point, though not badly. Good cars will always find a home. Clones are dead. And the very low end of the market is going to do poorly. Folks at that end are going to need their money for the basics.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? We are expanding our auction business from one to two or three sales for 2010.

Unique Specialty & Classics, Inc.
1000 S. Victory Drive, Mankato MN 56001; www.uniquemankato.com

What services do you offer? We are a full-service sales, service, and restoration dealership.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Everyone has been talking about how bad the economy is, however, we are up 15% over last year, which shows people are still buying, repairing and restoring their classics. A lot of people bought cars from us, because they said they felt it was a much safer investment than say the markets, for example.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? I expect to see restorations to continue to grow into 2010; people like to have a tangible way to see where their money is going, and to see a car go from barn find to beautiful is very satisfying for people.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? We are going to continue to be a friend to the hobby, such as hosting car club meetings at our dealership, sponsoring car shows and various other events that allow us to be completely involved in the hobby and the people that enjoy it.
 
Valenti Classics, Inc.
355 27th Street, Caledonia, WI 53108, www.valenticlassics.com

What products/services do you offer? Sales, service and restoration of classic and collectible vehicles.
What area of your business has grown the most? Service and restoration. The least? Sales are still a little soft.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others?  No.
What other trends have you seen over the past year?  Some of the prices have begun to seek a different level.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Better.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? I wish we knew.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? Amp up our service and restoration departments. 
Are you seeing signs of recovery? Yes, but very slowly.
Other comments: I think it will remain strong, but it will be different. Prices will adjust to meet demand.

AUTOMOBILIA/PETROLIANA

Variety Gas
3277 W Ridge Pike, STE A101, Pottstown PA, 19464; www.varietygas.com

What products do you offer? Retro memorabilia for sale.
What area of your business has grown the most? The least? Tin signs the most; replica food the least.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? It increased in 2009.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? Hard to say in my business.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? Better spend advertising dollars.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? Yes.

CLUBS/ASSOCIATIONS
Ford and Mercury Restorers Club of America
P.O. Box 2938, Dearborn, MI 48123, www.fmrcoa.org

What services do you offer? A car club open to all individuals who have interest in old Fords and Mercuries.
What area of your business has grown the most? The least? Membership up 10-15% in 2009. Swap space rentals down about 10%.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? A shift to more modern (post-’70) vehicles, hot rods, and modified vehicles.
What other trends have you seen over the past year? More interest in our newsletter and car club events.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? Hopefully as the economy picks up, the hobby will follow. Also, there will be many more “orphan” cars as we move forward (e.g., Pontiac, Saturn).
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? More advertising for our events!
Are you seeing signs of recovery? Yes! See membership above.
Other comments: I think what OCW does for the hobby is remarkable! Keep up the good work!

International Automotive Appraisers Association
Box 338, Montvale, NJ 07645

What services do you offer? Appraisals
What area of your business has grown the most? The legal side.
Do you see hobbyists shifting away from certain types of vehicles and towards others? Drifting away from certain ends of the street rod industry and moving to muscle cars and documented race cars.
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Insurance appraisals are down and other segments are up.
What parts of the hobby do you expect to change in 2010? I expect more legal issues.
What are you doing to compensate for changes in business? Watching the market for change and new niches.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? No.
Other comments: The cars that will continue to be strong will have pedigree. The ‘also ran’ vehicles will continue to be weak.
 
MUSEUMS
California Automobile Museum
2200 Front St., Sacramento, CA 95818, www.calautomuseum.org

What area of your business has grown the most? The least? Our admissions have surprisingly stayed fairly strong in this lean economy. We are a cheaper afternoon of entertainment than a play or a concert, so perhaps we are benefiting from the economy a bit in that way. Our donations in cash and vehicles has been pretty drastically reduced, along with our sponsorships and car sales, however, so overall, we have struggled.
What other trends have you seen over the past year?  Many of our volunteers, formerly retired, have had to go back to work. 
How did business in 2009 compare to 2008? Our revenue is down so we’ve had to cut expenses quite a bit.  What this often means is that we do more in-house, creating a drain on our already-small staff.
Are you seeing signs of recovery? Not yet, although I hear rumors.
Other comments: We took a donated car to a mechanic the other day to have something fixed before we could sell it, and he commented:  If it weren’t for the car collectors still getting their cars fixed, he would be out of business.  So even though the economy is definitely affecting the hobby, maybe it’s not affecting those that at least had SOME disposable income to begin with as much as those without.

 


 

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