I remember going to a car meet about a decade ago, and at the time I was talking to a bunch of guys who had various E types, Astons, Austin Healeys and the like, and they all commented upon the fact that they had been involved in their cars, and more importantly, car clubs, since the 1970s… BUT that, in that time, a younger generation of enthusiasts never emerged.
I am ashamed to say that I metaphorically rubbed my hands together with glee at this inference, figuring that I was online for a host of bargain British/German/Japanese classics for sale at low prices based upon the lack of interest.
To my horror, however, classics have simply become more expensive – why?
- Since the financial collapse of 2008, “truly” wealthy people are seeking better returns on their investment than property (especially in the States) or stock can easily achieve – so – “classic cars”. Porsches were the first, and now a rusted out hulk of a 1980s 911 can be put on sale for $60,000. Will they get that? Who knows. But the price IS OUT THERE.
- The internet. It’s not hard to go online and see what the value of things are. In the beginning, this was a great equalizer. Now it is simply silliness. Here’s the problem; a seller puts a dodgy 911 on sale for US$45,000 – it’s a bit of a dog and will need work. Someone selling their car will see that dodgy 911 and think – “HEY! – if he’s asking $45k for that heap, my fairly decent 911 MUST be worth $60,000…!” The problem is that, eventually, someone pays both prices, or close to it. And now we have a new benchmark for Porsche prices.
A high tide floats all boats.
My finances are NOT at high tide.
Thus, “the problem.” Classics are becoming inflated and I want one. In two years the bubble might collapse – and then I’ll be an idiot if I pay US$20k for an Alfa Spider…. Conversely, markets might not retreat, so I might regret the day I failed to shell out US$30k for a pristine manual XJC….
So – long story short – I’m looking for the best car I can afford, at the best price, in the best condition with that certain je ne sais quoi that will twig me to buy it.
This is my journey.