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Prewar Car Market Looks Healthy to Me

Assessing the Prewar car market

Who says that interest in prewar cars is dying off? It must be some "hobby expert" quoted in the general press, probably a collector-car dealer or an auctioneer. It might be true that these folks don't see a lot of prewar cars, but there's a couple of reasons for this. First, such cars tend to sell privately these days, because real collectors prefer to deal discreetly. Secondly, people are buying prewar cars, but they're not selling them again. Instead, they want to hold onto them because they know they are getting rarer and worth more to true collectors.

I went to four hobby events in August and three of them were just loaded with prewar cars. Some of the cars that caught my attention at these shows included a Willys-Knight, a Model A roadster pickup, two '41 Lincoln-Continentals, a Duesenberg, an Auburn boattail, a Bugatti, a Lagonda, a dozen Stutz's, a 1936 MG, several Pierce-Arrows, a Brush runabout, a 1929 Alfa-Romeo . . . the list goes on and on.

Keith Matiowetz, the managing editor of Old Cars Weekly, often says that he'd like to start a magazine exclusively for prewar cars. If he did, I'll bet it would be a gigantic success. Don't get me wrong . . . I like postwar cars, too and I even have '80s and '90s cars in my collection. However, there is nothing like the classiness and build quality that went into a car made back in the days when America set the manufacturing standards for the world. You can tell that such cars were put together by workers who had pride in their skills and cared about workmanship.

I just wished I had purchased more prewar models back when I started collecting cars in 1972. Today, most of the Classics that I would like to own are way out of my reach. That's why I say that the prewar car market looks healthy to me. My pocketbook tells me it's so.

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