The current state of the market for classic cars has definitely leveled, and in some segments is still on what appears to be a serious growth trajectory.
The big gains in the current market are in modern-era supercars, especially limited-production models. Cars such as limited-production Porsches and Ferraris seem to increase in value monthly, also driving up the price on the more mass-produced cars from the same era.
I feel this is happening for two reasons. First, these are cars newer buyers entering the market wanted when they were kids, hanging those cars’ posters on their bedroom walls. Second, these cars are easy to use and drive on a daily basis.
Usability is Key
This usability trend seems to be impacting the older car market as well. Cars from the ’70s and ’80s are also either level or increasing in value. This is seen in the continued demand for early 911s, Ferrari 308s and other like cars.
This trend is not just limited to European cars, as American muscle cars have also seen an upward tick. Cars such as ’70s Pontiac Trans Ams, Boss mustangs and Mopar muscle cars are hot commodities at most every auction. Again, all are easily driveable, so they are being bought to use.
This trend of actually using your collector car is a great trend, because cars should be driven. It also means these new owners are not just speculators looking to make a fast buck in the market. These owners are exactly what the market needs to stay healthy.
The weakest part of the classic car market seems to be with ’50s and ’60s American metal. Tri-Five Chevys are, at best, flat, as are other icons of the baby-boomer generation. The boomers are moving out of being buyers in the market, since they either already own their cars, or are aging out of them and starting to unload them.
If I had to predict what will happen with these cars, I would say while the best examples will hold their values, the run-of-the-mill models will continue to slide in value.
For the ’50s and ’60s European market, the RM Sotheby’s sale in Italy in a few weeks will gauge the health of that market. With more than 400 cars at a single sale, there will be enough comps to illustrate the health of those cars.
Photos courtesy of Auctions America, Silverstone Auctions.