Keep Calm and Carry On

by | August 2016

The collector car market as a whole is a worldwide market, and the worldwide economy – as a whole – affects this market, sometimes with wild swings. Think Brexit, China slowing down, wars, and the idiots we enlist to run the world. Society as a whole has a pretty crappy track record of choosing who would really be the best captain to navigate the ship, and all too often we choose the person swabbing the deck!

News Flash! The classic car market is slowing! Panic! Oh my! The market is crashing! Sell quick! Call Autotrader, post it on the Registry, get a broker.

Slow down! There are a few factors you may not be thinking about.

The first thing to do is stop and think about why you bought the car. Did you buy it to drive it, to take your mom, dad, wife, son or daughter for a ride? Maybe your dad had one like it and your heard the stories and hang on to those memories. Perhaps the guy up the street when you were a kid had one and he looked really cool, sun shining, top down… Your hero in a movie had one. Or you just plain fell in love with it.

People give a lot of reasons as to why they have their classic cars. Some enjoy “tinkering,” some enjoy the process of restoring one. A few just plain love their cars, the smell, the feel. But we all have a reason.

The world has a whole lot of makes and models to choose from, and all you have to do is buy an honest car with a solid history and a great following and things will be fine in a slowing market.

The obscure makes and models… not so much. The true blue chips, Ferrari, Porsche, for certain, they will be fine.

More buyers are entering the market every year, look at the sales. If your make hasn’t survived in the last decade or two you may have an automobile in a dying market on your hands. Fewer people every year seem to be interested in some makes, so only the best examples are desired by the market at large. Think Oldsmobile, Pontiac, MG etc.

If you bought your classic car because it triggered a great memory, good for you, you’re the grand prize winner. If you bought your car to restore and you love the process, congrats; there is nothing more gratifying than seeing your project go from start to finish. If you like to tinker and maybe go to Cars and Coffee or a show or do a rally, fantastic! For me, there’s nothing better than the feel, the smell and the sound of driving a vintage car.

Now, if you bought your car for investment, think about how your other investments have done. Your broker is getting paid whether your stocks go up or down (I want that job, LOL) The stock market is dragging along but we aren’t seeing any real returns. If you put your money in the bank, you’re lucky if you get a return. Real estate prices are higher than they were before the crash and they are slowing as well. What the hell can you do with your money?

Wow, I just bummed myself out!

The blue chip investments always hold up better in a slowing economy but, of course, nothing is guaranteed. You know what? If I’m going to lose money I might as well see it, touch it, and feel it! Top tier tangible assets always hold up, think Picasso’s, gold, Ferraris, Porsches, or anything desirable within a worldwide market.

You only lose money if you sell it!

Hmm. I think I’ll talk one of the kids into going for a ride in Dad’s “old car”, maybe let them shift gears, and we’ll get some ice cream.

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