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Classic prices, bubble burst?


Timewaster
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This weekend was another Anglia Car Auctions classic sale but instead of the usual insane prices they seemed to be struggling to get any bids on a lot of things. 

Several cars just scraping the guide price which seems to be the reserve, some failing to get half the reserve and one or two no bids. 

Is the madness over? 

Has anyone else seen signs of a slow down? 

It is still nigh on impossible to get anyone to take on any work, not just on cars, plumbers and builders seems more elusive than ever at the moment. 

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You get different types of buyers; trade, enthusiast and investors. Trade tend not to pay over the odds, enthusiasts can often outbid trade and know what they are looking for and at. Investors sometimes just buy shiny, shiny and base their bids on previous sales.

Also it can depend on the quality of the lots offered. You will see speculation buy sellers, who have seen something similar to their offering get a high price and then try their luck, often with an unrealistic reserve and not taking into account that the one buyer prepared to go that high has just bought one.

Just imagine the potential drop in price in Ford Escorts if everyone decided to sell at the same time.

The bubble has burst before and probably will again if money stops being cheap.

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once they outlaw internal combustion engines, i do wonder what the hell will happen to peoples classic cars. I mean ok there will be exceptions that are works of art in their own right, which are hardly driven anyway and spend most of their time in museum style conditions...but a lot of middle of the road classic cars will surely get scrapped at that point?

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I don't think anyone's planning on actively outlawing internal combustion engines - the current thinking is to stop selling them new in the UK by 2030 or so, with the view that 99% or so will be gone by 2045, their natural life cycle complete.

I think we may be seeing a bit of a slow-down in classic prices, possibly due to oversupply on the market, as others have said - a glut of 'just needs minor work to sort m8' cars optimistically bought during lockdown last year, but which have now been languishing under a tarp on the drive since last October, and are now being sold on.

Same way the prices of cheap panel vans went sky-high this time last year, as borderline scrap Transits and Sprinters with two weeks' MOT suddenly became valuable OMG STAYCATION CAMPER PROJECTS overnight. A recent drive past a metal recycler indicates that a fair few of these have now moved on to their inevitable fate.

There's always been exemptions in legislation put in place for classics, even where safety or environmental factors drive the legislation - e.g. seatbelts, leaded fuel. That's probably not unrelated to the ownership of such cars by wealthy and influential people, who don't want to see their collection of vintage Ferraris and Bentleys relegated to static display only. So I can't see any mass scrappage of classics happening anytime soon, and therefore no likely major collapse in prices.

From a transport planning perspective, the number of miles driven by cars over 40 years old is miniscule compared to that clocked up by fleet repmobiles, minicabs and commercial vehicles. Hence the argument for tax and MOT exemption; granting it only affects such a tiny number of cars that there's no real financial hit to the Treasury, or significant risk to the travelling population.

Older cars are more polluting, no question - but as a percentage of the number of vehicles on the road, and the limited mileage most of them do, there'd be no measurable difference in national emissions if every car over 40 years old were to be removed from the roads tomorrow.

I think it'll become a bit harder to find petrochemical fuel stations in a few years time, and petrol/ derv will probably become more expensive to buy - as sales volume drops and increasing numbers of electric vehicles push those businesses which are already marginal past the point of viability - but there will still be fossil fuels available for a long time yet for those cars which run on it.

What does interest me is the burgeoning firms who say they can retrofit classics with electric power - certainly pricey at the minute, but as the price of batteries falls and secondhand motors come onto the market from scrap Prius/ Leaf/ Zoe models, might this become a more common thing?

And might it create a new market for classics, as people with no real mechanical aptitude can now drive something 'different' from the white PCP masses, but which only requires minimal routine fettling compared to ICE vehicles?

I know a chap who built an electric-powered DeLorean DMC-12 a few years back...

DeLorean DMC-12 - Mervyn's shed.jpg

Before.

QUB DeLorean 5.jpg

After.

And it'd be nice to be able to put all those Allegros and Maestros which were robbed of their engines by Mini lickers back on the road, no?

20180402_095123.jpg

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Agreed on 'retro'....

However the fredperry shirt/rayban/diamond in the tooth "techno re-imaginers" (no oily hands/using latino welder/wiremen/deadcow stitchers...) seem to be generating a 'double/double exclusivity' for the leisured golfcart loving Septics....

Not ..just.. a KarmanGhia/Tesla powered "hear the silence" jobbie... BUT because 'they did the techno' it is a M.U.C.H. moar ExKlusive experience.

Because it is the MOST EXPENSIVE car on the WestCoast [read: Cali Emissions] it just has to be the best.

I liked the guy who put a Forklift into a small pickup truck.... Should be on here!

 

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This is certainly an interesting proposition.  I can think of lots of vehicles that could be converted, particularly those cars that fall foul of the LEZ or ULEZs. The big thing at the moment is the cost. If the cost could be brought down to a reasonable amount then lots of cars could be 'repurposed'. 

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ACA prices look pretty much par for the course to me. 170 out of 220 cars sold with several provisional bids tbc. There were some bargains, and also some mad prices paid for things, but it doesn't seem much different from any other recent sale.

I was speaking to a friend of mine the other day, who runs a classic car auction company, and he said the biggest change they've seen with Covid restrictions is it cuts out 90% of the timewasters who would normally go along to these things, leaving only the serious genuine bidders. Perhaps what @Timewaster witnessed in King's Lynn was just a smaller group of more serious people, and fewer idiots 'just putting my hand up' for a laugh on things they have no intention of buying?

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You may be right but they have run covid auctions for a while now.

I  didn't watch the whole thing live but dipped in and out. I saw a few with no bid or low bids where the last few sales were much faster flowing.

I noticed there weren't many fast Fords in this sale which might explain the lack of a bidding frenzy.

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4 hours ago, 1duck said:

once they outlaw internal combustion engines, i do wonder what the hell will happen to peoples classic cars. I mean ok there will be exceptions that are works of art in their own right, which are hardly driven anyway and spend most of their time in museum style conditions...but a lot of middle of the road classic cars will surely get scrapped at that point?

Why though? What do you think would change for them?

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I also watched bits of ACA's auction on Saturday and was amazed by how cheap my watched items went for. Nothing quite fitted the bill for me so no buying, but if I was desperate for a new car I would have grabbed a bargain. Maybe formal auctions just aren't as popular? Some stuff I've watched on eBay recently has gone surprisingly cheap too, I just wussed out at the end.

Re 2035 or whenever it is, will this be the first time ever such an influential technology/luxury has been outlawed in a single stroke? Cigarettes and alcohol are just taxed heavily as a deterrent, and it seems odd to outlaw something currently encouraged by other policies (urban planning in favour of vehicle use, frozen fuel duty for a decade).

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50 minutes ago, horriblemercedes said:

Why though? What do you think would change for them?

I think the infrastructure for getting petrol will be the final nail tbh, I think it'll be something you buy from farm supply shops or b&q when you need some for your mower.

It'll become like it was at the advent of cars, something only rich folk can really afford and a novelty thing. 

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With petrol and diesel, I can’t see every country going all electric in the next decade. 
We currently build cars for export that don’t meet uk emissions standards for example, the rest of the world are behind us on this sort of thinking, so I can’t see companies such as shell, BP etc just stopping making fuel as we know it.

Maybe we’re screwed when Africa’s last Hilux / Landcruiser packs up, but the sun will have burnt out several years sooner.

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I suspect the market/values for some 80s and 90s stuff is being affected by many people in certain cities (mainly London) being shortly unable to use them there unless they pay £12.50 a day. I assume there is some sort of discount for residents but it’s still a heavy extra cost. 

Re the phasing out of petrol/diesel, I think the lack of easy availability to the fuel will affect people’s desire to keep ICE cars more than any final ‘ban’. I imagine service stations starting to die out rapidly past 2040, unless they have re-purposed themselves for electric rapid charging. 

For the popular classics, e.g. Minors, Midgets, 2CVs etc I suspect electric conversions will become more common and the costs will drop, particularly if batteries, motors etc from written-off EVs can be re-used.  I can’t imagine historic vehicles ever being ‘banned’ generally although I can see them prohibited from city centre zones. 

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7 hours ago, AnthonyG said:

I suspect the market/values for some 80s and 90s stuff is being affected by many people in certain cities (mainly London) being shortly unable to use them there unless they pay £12.50 a day. I assume there is some sort of discount for residents but it’s still a heavy extra cost. 

Re the phasing out of petrol/diesel, I think the lack of easy availability to the fuel will affect people’s desire to keep ICE cars more than any final ‘ban’. I imagine service stations starting to die out rapidly past 2040, unless they have re-purposed themselves for electric rapid charging. 

For the popular classics, e.g. Minors, Midgets, 2CVs etc I suspect electric conversions will become more common and the costs will drop, particularly if batteries, motors etc from written-off EVs can be re-used.  I can’t imagine historic vehicles ever being ‘banned’ generally although I can see them prohibited from city centre zones. 

Son, has this issue with Birmingham. 

I may become the owner of a mk4 Astra 1.6 16v club with 65k on the clock. 

21 years old. 

If he drives it into the city centre it will cost him £8, plus parking. 

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All this outlawing petrol/diesel is a waste of time because America and China will keep polluting anyway. I can’t see people dumping classic cars in the street either in 20 years, you’d just keep in on the drive, revving it up every now and again to choke the Thunbergs next door when they start harping on about their stolen future. 

In any case why would anyone want to drive into a big city centre? I went into Birmingham city centre once, it was awful, it’s legal to drive into there now but why would you?

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58 minutes ago, NorfolkNWeigh said:

Exactly. I see old car ownership becoming similar to horse ownership during the 20th Century. There will be the multi million pound thoroughbreds at Goodwood and the knackered old donkeys at Autoshite.

I think if it’s horses we are taking about we’d be at the level where we’d have a donkey tied to a peg in a field behind a scrapyard. 

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