After returning from the Atlantic City Classic Car Auction, my opinion is that the prices for collector cars are generally off their highs of last year by about 15-20 percent, but that there is a lot of "commerce" going on. It is pretty clear that the market for classics is not "in the toilet," like the stock market and real estate market. In fact, many people letting cars go for "low" prices, bought their vehicles years ago and are still making some money on them.
Dealers are looking for cars to buy at distressed prices, but several dealers I spoke to say that actual sales have been great since December. Several reported that sales of their six-figure cars are "better than ever." They also noted that many of the cars they sell are going overseas.
I feel that this "commerce" will soon drive the sales of parts, supplies, tools and shop equipment higher. After all, newly-purchased cars are rarely perfect and often need detailing or partial restoration. This means that the new owners of these cars will be spending money with parts suppliers and at car shows.
The swap meets are starting in our area right now and as we visit them and make the circuit, we'll let you know what we see.