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Classic cars that are depreciating


Rustycarlover
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I often like to look at old copies of motor sport from say the  early 60s-late 70s particularly the classifieds. It’s interesting to see what (that was considered a blue chip classic) was held in high esteem with a suitable price tag, larger ad etc; and what was a grainy small photo parked on a muddy bit of grass for a fraction of the price. The relative price differences then and now between different types and era of vehicle within a snapshot of time are often suprising.

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2 hours ago, lesapandre said:

Its worth looking at the cars either side of the E-Type. 

The XJ-S Mk 1 with plastic bumpers and dash is very nice..I had one. Great fun...the later ones were gussied up.

The XK140 and 150 are still not crazy crazy money in FHC form and are an easier fix than an E. I had a 140. They can be uprated to make them safer these days - 200+bhp on drum brakes was not much stopping power.

I think the E Type is a lovely car, but I'd prefer an XK150. Preferably with body colour wheels.1098148-1536-1024x683.thumb.jpg.68aab9f3780881660fb089c1d1b07086.jpg

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On 9/17/2021 at 5:35 PM, Tadhg Tiogar said:

There's always a market for barn conversions.

Thing is though, like my Avatar, they're usually some rusty old crap that really needs to be put in the great bin in the sky.

People see an Escort Mk1 1300 for £20k and think "Wow, that crusty old piece of crap on eBay that's basically a shell with some unusuable running gear must be worth at least £12k"

 

I say it all the time to the guys on my MR2 forums. A modified or restored car is not worth the sum of its parts. I keep seeing people saying "I know these cars are only worth ABC, but I want XYZ for it, because that's what it owes me"

Doesn't work like that, sunshine.

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On 9/16/2021 at 11:24 AM, SiC said:

Same.

What I am seeing is a greater supply of classic cars. Not sure if that's from stuff not selling and/or lockdown purchases getting resold. Plenty of shabbier stuff coming onto the market (or not selling) which possibly might explain the appearance of price drops. Instead of them selling quickly as had been doing, they're hanging around longer so a spot check of the market makes it appear to have dropped.

Not sure if it's just the time of year and/or more supply but I am seeing quite a few more reasonably priced stuff going through. Not going to call them bargains but certainly more realistic value.

A few examples of what I have seen.

This would have been easily 3k+ earlier this year:

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https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Austin-Mini-/185044807169

Cheap roller:

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https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1973-Rolls-Royce-Silver-Shadow-/133872221246

Meccano A30 for a couple hundred quid (it took a lot of willpower to not buy this)

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https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Austin-A30-project-/174935429638

A thousand pound Toledo that isn't a pile of rusty oxide:

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https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1975-Triumph-Toledo-1300-Classic-car-/154604154718

I'm gutted I missed this one. Wasn't in a position to buy at the time. Midgets are 5k+ for something in this sort of condition.

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https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1971-MG-Midget-1275-/133868081956

Clubman that needs a lot of work but still has floors. When I was looking earlier this year, one in worse condition sold for over 4k. This is half the cost and hasn't sold yet.

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https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Classic-Mini-Clubman-Estate-1976-/324795512069

Now most of these are more in the project end of things but they all look reasonably useable. My gut feel is that prices are soften to around pre-COVID levels. Still a lot and far more than a decade a go, but much more realistic prices and not a frenzy of activity.

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10 minutes ago, Low Horatio gearbox said:

Apt timing. Running driving shabby but reasonable nick XJ6 for 3 k

Screenshot_20210924-214727.png

Yeah I don't know about depreciating but I don't think XJ40s have started to rise in value much. Might as well hold on to mine for a bit yet!

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10 minutes ago, dome said:

Yeah I don't know about depreciating but I don't think XJ40s have started to rise in value much. Might as well hold on to mine for a bit yet!

It wont be long.  No one loved them enough 5 - 15 years ago to save many and  soon it will be a nice affordable decent XJ40 or project XJ6 (or whatever for entry level shite classic ).   5 or so maybe 10 years ago original Range Rovers were worthless and scrapped readily, I know somone who scrapoed and early 5 door, metallic brown, 3.5 which would be even in its knackered state worth 100 times what it got weighed in for. 

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11 hours ago, straightSix said:

The simple answer to this is anything I seem to buy 😂buy high, sell low, that's my motto

ToMM© was the first car I ever sold for more than I paid for it......

*More like 'broke even' for parts spend!

Being like Mike Brewer once in a lifetime, I can live with it 🤫

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Tell me if I’m being a tight old bastard but the garage I pass near us has a 1991, admittedly tidy Fiesta 5 door 1.4. Tidy but I’ve had this hese Fiestas before and they’re all like last weeks Fruit from Aldi underneath. £2,000? No, £3,000?

£6,000. Previous advisories for crusty arches as well so it’s seen some wob since. 

Who in their sane mind is going to part with £6,000 for that. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have noticed the market cooling off a bit right now. Time of year? Market forces? 

Immediate examples I've seen...

6 months ago this would have been sold already. Been listed nearly 5 days already now.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/585188286136941/

Minis seem a good bell weather on the cheaper end of the classic market. Always a demand and will never go away. But if they cool off in value/speed of selling then it's a good sign the market isn't so hot now imo.

 

The hammer prices at this reasonably major auction were a bit of a surprise too.

Sub 2k 405 Mi16

Sub 8k 996 911

Several 3k MG Midget chrome bumpers

Sub 8k Stag

Etc

A lot not sold as well

https://www.classiccarauctions.co.uk/events/2021-auctions/the-practical-classics-classic-car-and-restoration-show-sale-2021/the-practical-classics-classic-car-and-restoration-show-sale-2021/cars

 

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I think a lot of people are tightening their belts, perhaps less to spend on a classic to fart about with. Probably as well coupled with that people generally have less time than they did years ago - typically blokes would spend hours fucking about swapping engines on a Sunday. 

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A triumph loving friend of mine recons whilst stags have appreciated in recent times, the tr models (especially the 4/5 ) have come down a bit lately from what admittedly were dizzying highs

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5 minutes ago, HMC said:

A triumph loving friend of mine recons whilst stags have appreciated in recent times, the tr models (especially the 4/5 ) have come down a bit lately from what admittedly were dizzying highs

All the old hands that craved those type of cars are dying out. To put it bluntly. Not to generalise but they’re of limited appeal to blokes in their 30’s/40’s. 

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48 minutes ago, SiC said:

I have noticed the market cooling off a bit right now. Time of year? Market forces? 

Immediate examples I've seen...

6 months ago this would have been sold already. Been listed nearly 5 days already now.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/585188286136941/

Minis seem a good bell weather on the cheaper end of the classic market. Always a demand and will never go away. But if they cool off in value/speed of selling then it's a good sign the market isn't so hot now imo.

 

The hammer prices at this reasonably major auction were a bit of a surprise too.

Sub 2k 405 Mi16

Sub 8k 996 911

Several 3k MG Midget chrome bumpers

Sub 8k Stag

Etc

A lot not sold as well

https://www.classiccarauctions.co.uk/events/2021-auctions/the-practical-classics-classic-car-and-restoration-show-sale-2021/the-practical-classics-classic-car-and-restoration-show-sale-2021/cars

 

Interesting to see how this one turned out - quite reasonable these days.

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28 minutes ago, sierraman said:

All the old hands that craved those type of cars are dying out. To put it bluntly. Not to generalise but they’re of limited appeal to blokes in their 30’s/40’s. 

You say that but pre war Bentley Blowers, RR Phantoms, Lagondas and so on still make very chunky money, despite those that would have known them new are now dead or in a care home.

I'm 35yr old petrolhead and I'd totally dig a TR6. Go back 10yrs I'd have said no way, they're a load of shit. However tastes change, despite the generation. The guy I bought my Dolomite Sprint off was a similar age to me and was replacing it with a TR4A. Plenty of other petrolheads out there can be doing the same.

I don't buy that most people want to buy a particular classic car because of its their generation. There are some but plenty of others want to buy something because it interests them - whether a driving experience they can't get elsewhere, love the look+feel and/or just facinated by the history.

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2 minutes ago, Tadhg Tiogar said:

This is what I mean. So many cars there went for a lot less than I would have expected. It's not exactly a small auction outfit with little media coverage shifting these either. 

eBay and C&C prices are still inflated but stuff is, to me, moving a lot slower. If it stays that way, prices will nudge lower as people reduce wanting to sell. Especially private sales. I've already seen a number of MG Midgets I've been tracking drop in asking prices. A reasonable GT6 I've seen been relisted a number of times after failing to hit a reserve - always sub 7k.

I'm currently sitting as best on my hands as possible. I know that the market usually cools off this time of year. Another two months it usually has cooled down the most. Hopefully it won't be just shit left when I do finally bite.

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1 minute ago, SiC said:

You say that but pre war Bentley Blowers, RR Phantoms, Lagondas and so on still make very chunky money, despite those that would have known them new are now dead or in a care home.

I'm 35yr old petrolhead and I'd totally dig a TR6. Go back 10yrs I'd have said no way, they're a load of shit. However tastes change, despite the generation. The guy I bought my Dolomite Sprint off was a similar age to me and was replacing it with a TR4A. Plenty of other petrolheads out there can be doing the same.

I don't buy that most people want to buy a particular classic car because of its their generation. There are some but plenty of others want to buy something because it interests them - whether a driving experience they can't get elsewhere, love the look+feel and/or just facinated by the history.

I’m with you on a TR6 definitely but I think we are in the minority. I’d be maybe 10 and can remember reading about them in the classic magazines. But I’m a bit sad like that. 

Car like that is my uncles generation, mid to late 60’s, a time served engineer. Plenty of blokes his age would be down for a car like that but they’re getting older, less inclined to be laid at a funny angle on a concrete floor in a asbestos garage welding up a TR7 in the snow on a Wednesday in February, crippled with gout.

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1 minute ago, sierraman said:

I’m with you on a TR6 definitely but I think we are in the minority.

5163 TR6s left that the DVLA know about. A decent number by Classic Car standards but still a tiny fraction of a minority in the total UK vehicle market (iirc 60m vehicles?). 

So even though we may be a minority, there isn't still that many about really. Interesting to see an uptick in the 2000s and then a bit uptick in 2018 (MOT exemption). 

If anything, I'd love classic cars to be back to enthusiasts rather than seen as investments. It's going to take quite a market upheaval and the demographic  that typically own/buy classic cars to change that though. 

For now prices are softening rather than free-falling and that's no bad thing imo. 

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If someone with brains would like to work it out for me: in 1984 I spent £3k on a scruffy but usable twelve year old Morgan 4/4. To do the same now would be about £25k, I haven't noticed them dropping in price and even rough ones of any age seem to be over £15k. So is an 'entry level one more expensive now in real terms?

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1 minute ago, anonymous user said:

If someone with brains would like to work it out for me: in 1984 I spent £3k on a scruffy but usable twelve year old Morgan 4/4. To do the same now would be about £25k, I haven't noticed them dropping in price and even rough ones of any age seem to be over £15k. So is an 'entry level one more expensive now in real terms?

 

£3k in 1984 would be about £10k now - so yes, it looks like it. 

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4 minutes ago, anonymous user said:

If someone with brains would like to work it out for me: in 1984 I spent £3k on a scruffy but usable twelve year old Morgan 4/4. To do the same now would be about £25k, I haven't noticed them dropping in price and even rough ones of any age seem to be over £15k. So is an 'entry level one more expensive now in real terms?

Maybe I'm just seeing it at the end of the market I'm wallowing around. I.e. sub 10k (starter) classics of popular models that still plenty about. Different market once you get above that and rarer stuff I think. As Panhard65 has just said on TDW, he's still sees the 10k to 20k market still vibrant. His preference is for the more obscure and rarer stuff too.

According to the BoE inflation calculator,£3k in 1984 is just about £10k in 2020. 

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2 hours ago, sierraman said:

I think a lot of people are tightening their belts, perhaps less to spend on a classic to fart about with. Probably as well coupled with that people generally have less time than they did years ago - typically blokes would spend hours fucking about swapping engines on a Sunday. 

Definitely this. There's something weird going on right now i'm noticing similar to what happened fairly early in the pandemic.

There are cars out there not selling at a certain price (say, 2k), and 2 or 3 weeks later, you'll see the ad is still up but now has it listed at £2.5k. Which seems a bizarre tactic for a car you couldn't sell at 2k to go and ask 2.5k.

I think folk are tightening their belts as winter/Christmas is approaching and the cost of living has just rocketed so much between fuel costs going up with panic buying, food costs, energy costs etc all going up at the same time, there's a mix of folk going extra hard lowball 'Cash tonite m8' that sellers want to ward off and the fact that 2k, because of sudden inflation to living costs, isn't quite the same as getting 2k was a month ago.

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3 hours ago, sierraman said:

I’m with you on a TR6 definitely but I think we are in the minority. I’d be maybe 10 and can remember reading about them in the classic magazines. But I’m a bit sad like that. 

Car like that is my uncles generation, mid to late 60’s, a time served engineer. Plenty of blokes his age would be down for a car like that but they’re getting older, less inclined to be laid at a funny angle on a concrete floor in a asbestos garage welding up a TR7 in the snow on a Wednesday in February, crippled with gout.

Sierraman is actually a novelist and poet  AICMFP

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6 hours ago, SiC said:

You say that but pre war Bentley Blowers, RR Phantoms, Lagondas and so on still make very chunky money, despite those that would have known them new are now dead or in a care home.

I'm 35yr old petrolhead and I'd totally dig a TR6. Go back 10yrs I'd have said no way, they're a load of shit. However tastes change, despite the generation. The guy I bought my Dolomite Sprint off was a similar age to me and was replacing it with a TR4A. Plenty of other petrolheads out there can be doing the same.

I don't buy that most people want to buy a particular classic car because of its their generation. There are some but plenty of others want to buy something because it interests them - whether a driving experience they can't get elsewhere, love the look+feel and/or just facinated by the history.

I'm 29 and I'd absolutely love a blower Bentley. Just something about them ever since seeing a drawing of one as a kid. I love the madness if sticking a fuckoff supercharger out the front

Based on a few "young people" groups I'm in on FB, there are a lot of people about wanting classics. I put it down to the popularity of stuff like Car throttle tbh

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