A few weeks back, I opined that "The Prewar Market Looks Healthy To Me." Now that the Old Cars Weekly staff is back from Hershey, it sounds very much like the results of RM Auctions' "Helen Swigart" sale have supported what I said. In fact, editor Angelo Van Bogart says it was wild with the 1911 Olds Limited bringing $1.5 million and other cars (including my personal favorite, the 1912 Packard Model 30 roadster) fetching eye-opening bids.
Of course, the whole prewar car thing isn't about big prices. It is interesting to know that people will pay high prices for some pioneer autos, but there are also a lot of folks who like affordable antique cars like Model Ts, Model As, '37 Plymouth sedans and '38 Chevy coupes. Check the ads in Old Cars Weekly's "classifieds" section and you'll see beautiful, very driveable prewar cars listed for prices between $16,000 and $30,000! And I'm talking about cars with new paint, new upholstery and new wide whitewall tires!
The fact is that many '50s and '60s cars are now in the $50,000-$90,000 range and true muscle cars of the '60s and '70s are at out-of-sight six- and seven-figure prices. You do not need to be a genius to figure out that some prewar cars are really the "affordable fun" machines in today's market. And that, Virginia, is why they are catching on again.