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Hot Rods Car Auctions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jimbo17, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,718


    Remember when many of the car guy's were mad a the Barrett Jackson Auctions for inflating car prices and making everyone think their car was worth a lot more money?

    I thought they were right at that time but over the past few weeks I have been watching the Mecum Car Auctions on TV and now I see the exact opposite thing happening where the prices for many of the cars going through the auction are really low!

    Really nice looking cars are just not bringing any kind of money and each time I watch one sell I can only thing that owner must have really needed the money to let that car go for that price.

    It been true for a number of years that you can buy a nice car cheaper then you can build one but now the prices seem at really low ball prices to me.

    Has the old car market fallen that much over the last few years?

    I am hoping this trend won't last but right now it's not a question of will I lose money when I sell my car but how much will I lose!

    Anyone else watch what's happening to the old car market and prices?

    Just my opinion. Jimbo
    els likes this.
  2. Demographics I guess. Those of us who appreciate these old hot rods are getting a bit long in the tooth. No one wants to lose money but, you can't worry too much about that if you are committed to this hobby like most on here.
    Montana1, olcurmdgeon, els and 3 others like this.
  3. luckythirteenagogo
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 1,255


    I've noticed the same thing. I saw a very nicely done restomod Chevy C-10 with a LS motor go for like $15K. All I could think was, he's got more in the paint and chrome alone! It looks like we're in a buyer's market right now.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    els and The37Kid like this.
  4. ...I've noticed this also, and a lot of high dollar cars listed in classifieds are continually listed and not selling....even moderately priced cars seem to not be selling.
    ...I think some of this is because car people have multiple cars and are now trying to downsize, and the people who can afford them are trying to do the same thing;...the market is over-saturated with cars.
    els likes this.
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  5. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,240


    I think a lot of it has to do with the car matching the auction, and what day the car is offered. Opening day at BJ seams to have a lot of cars selling under perceived market values. Bob
    els likes this.
  6. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,515

    from Colorado

    I get the Hemmings blog every morning and I'm seeing lower prices across the board.
    els likes this.
    Joined: Apr 28, 2009
    Posts: 545


    I would also factor in that many of the cars sold at higher end auctions are bought by people who are looking at them as investments, not just a car to drive. Remember these are commodities to some people, who are not as passionate about cars like the people on this board. That said, with the market performing the way it has in the past year, cash has been pulled out of the collector cars (and ALL collector areas) and put into the red hot stock market. PLEASE remember that a portion of a cars value is set by the investment market. When the market is weak (like a few years ago) the value of collectables rises as money flows into that market. When the market is strong (like now) , money flows out of the collector car market, thus lowering the realized prices on auction vehicles. ANYONE building, buying or selling cars for profit in today's market is doing so at a greater risk then previously.

    Disclaimer: the above statement is a personal evaluation of ever changing market conditions and should be discussed with your personal financial consultant. :eek:;)
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  8. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,240


    On the far lower end of things I found myself selling parts at Hershey for less that I'd paid for them, just to get the cash to buy other things I really wanted, or things I could flip for better deals down the road. Cars are no different, numbers are just higher.

  9. F.O.G
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 259

    from Pacific,Mo

    Truly rare cars seem to bring high prices, special construction not so much. Real
    Cobras will always bring premium prices, the C10 with the LS engine will always
    bring ...something.
    els and czuch like this.
  10. I have never built a car to resale to make money on it. I would bet the majority of people on here are the same. We like the joy of building a car for ourselves and put more money into it than we realize.
    Those who think they can build one or flip one for profit are just finding a smaller market now. I don't think this hobby lends itself well as in investment anymore.
    I personally don't mind the lower prices. It means I can buy more stuff I don't need and I tend to hold on to stuff for so long that inflation finally makes it worth more than I paid for it.
    els, Truckdoctor Andy and czuch like this.
  11. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,756

    from vail az

    Building to sell. What a concept.
    I like the pain and ongoing misery of keeping the goal just out of reach on a project.
    Then getting bored and moving to another one while the first project pickles.
    AAHH, the sweetness of the agony of defeat.
    bchctybob, els, LOU WELLS and 6 others like this.
  12. 4wd1936
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 828

    from NY

    This has been going on for the last couple of years, prices seem to have dropped even more around Jan of this year. I wonder what caused that? It's obvious that a lot of folks are losing a ton on some of these sales. Famous quote from someone " I lose money on everything I sell but I make it up in volume". As has been mentioned on this site many times the number of people interested and willing to pay decent money for cars on this site and similar machines has dropped significantly and the younger folks simply aren't interested in a 32 Ford. At best they are into muscle cars but more likely the tuner types. I like them all but I still look at a 70 Z28 as a late model. Thought it would take longer to get this old. Ha!
    els and williebill like this.
  13. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,262


    Mecum was recently in Louisville Ky and I saw lots of cars sell for much less then what you could build them for. Streetrod prices are lower then I've ever seen. A friend of mine in a very large old car club told me most of their members are trying to sell their Streetrods and get into 50's and 60's cars. The Resto Mod 50's & 60's car market seems fairly strong in the 20K to 30K range. Higher priced stuff not so much.

    els likes this.
  14. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,718


    I guess the answer is some guy's just love building the cars and driving them and don't worry about how much the car will sell for and I understand where they are coming from.

    Other guy's want to own a car and drive it and have fun but also don't want to lose to much money over the time they own the car.

    Maybe I should stop watching the car auctions because right now the prices for cars has dropped off the planet and I know that at some point in time they might come back.

    els likes this.
  15. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,377


    It's a combination of a lot of things......
    the majority of the younger set is not interested.........
    we are losing a lot of buyers because, well, they aren't kids anymore and it's time to stop buying and sell off.....
    we're losing a lot of buyer/sellers as they have passed on........
    to me, it's a natural thing that is happening.
    els likes this.
  16. ...............................I would venture to say that most of the folks on this forum simply couldn't wait to get their license when they came of age. This current younger generation really doesn't concern themselves with getting a car or getting their license like we did. If they have a least one friend with a license or a parent to carry them around, they have little incentive to get their license. How can we ever expect them to have an interest in a hot-rod.:eek:
  17. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,185

    from Missouri

    I do some work for a few guys that buy action cars and the ones I get to work on well lets just say they are not very high quality cars. Now they look nice from the outside but not underneath.
    So just watching from the tube its hard to tell how nice they are.
    els and pat59 like this.
  18. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,795


    It would be interesting to know the age of the sellers. I'm thinking the older sellers have had what ever form of "fun" an older car brings and in their twilight years, they're moving on to something else. Maybe, peace and quiet. That could be a REALLY nice vacation, a summer home or anything that means peace and comfort.
    Bruce Fischer, els and harpo1313 like this.
  19. 56cadillackid
    Joined: Dec 23, 2016
    Posts: 103

    from new york

    I'm still in high school and I think it's my generation that just isn't interested in cars any more. I tried to start a hot rod club there are over 5000 kids in my school and I couldn't get the required 4 to start a club. I think it's up to us classic owners to preserve the hobby. When ever I see kids looking at my car at car shows I let them sit in it honk the horn etc I don't mode if they get it dirty or scratch it it's important to start the passion early.

    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
  20. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,795


    It's great if that kick starts a passion, but from what I observed, an old car was more of a simple diversion and the Play Station probably got cranked up, as soon as they got home.
    els likes this.
  21. khead47
    Joined: Mar 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,687


    ^^^^^^ Kudos to you, kid !
    Xtrom, els and lothiandon1940 like this.
  22. impala59
    Joined: Jun 21, 2010
    Posts: 437

    from vallejo,ca

    Depending on where you live the cost of living is crazy. New homes are built with limited parking. All factor in the car market. Younger car enthusiasts can't afford to build right now. Those television auctions are entertainment just like the rest of the auto related shows on television.
    59Apachegail, els and czuch like this.
  23. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,462


    Can anyone post some examples of cars that are currently for sale at fire sale prices, or recent auction sales of cars that sold dirt cheap?

    I don't have cable and id be very interested in seeing some actual examples of what you are all seeing. Preferably with pictures or links.

    Sent from my LG-M153 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    els likes this.
  24. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,258

    from Berry, AL

    From what I've seen, if you have deep pockets, you go to B-J, if you are the average stiff with somewhat average money to spend, you go to Mecum. Mecum prices for the most part seem like more real world, while B-J sells more high scale rare cars with higher pricing. Mecum's cars seem to be more the kind you'd actually drive, while most but not all of B-J's cars are museum quality that get tucked away in climate controlled buildings and maybe brought out for big shows like Pebble Beach.
    els, Alaska Jim and lothiandon1940 like this.
  25. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,262


    Squablow, auctions like Mecum have a website that list for each event what cars sold but unfortunately they don't list the selling price. They also list which cars did not meet the reserve. To get a feel for prices you have to either attend the auctions or watch them on TV and draw your own conclusions.

    A good place to look for cars for sale at fire sale prices check the HAMB Classifieds, listings on eBay, Racing Junk, Hot Rod Hotline, Cars On Line, etc. The best way is attend a large car show as there are always lots for sale. I recently attended the 2017 NSRA Nats that had over 10,000 car registered with many for sale.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
    els likes this.
  26. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,180


    On the big m auctions a lot of it has to do with what day and what hour the rig goes over the block as was mentioned before.
    Also from what I have seen on hot rods, customs and custom trucks too much personalization can kill the bids on a rig. That great mural on the back of your coupe quite often is a deal killer at an auction same with graphics. Quite often very similar rigs with really nice but simple paint jobs sell for quite a bit more.
    Had a buddy who for all the time I was around him built and sold a car a year and usually sold it before he wanted to. All were finished with good paint and nice upholstery and well detailed but had no extra fru fru. No pinstripes, no wild design in the interior, single color paint and up to date but not outlandish wheels. I'd think that most of the guys who bought one of his cars bought it with the idea that they could do a few things to make it their own without going overboard or even taking anything apart.
    My buddy had his Pontiac Ragtop for sale for a couple of years at an honest price but didn't get any takers locally because it was too well known in the PNW as his car. He took it to an event 1500 miles away and sold it for his original asking price because it was a new car in that area. We may get caught up in that more than you think when looking at or trying to sell a rod or custom locally. If a rig is well known as someone's ride it will always be known as their ride no matter who owns it or how often it changes hands. 3 Window Larry's coupe is a prime example of that. Doesn't mater who owns it it is still his old coupe. Luckily the current caretaker feels that is part of the value rather than a detriment.
    els, Turnipseed, Speedwrench and 2 others like this.
  27. What most and some have said....age buyers and investment buyers do run the show but time's are a changing and with the older of the first boomers and hoarders leaving this planet there will be more sales....just my observation...
    els and KKrod like this.
  28. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,080

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    The car market is soft and definitely a buyers market, especially for project cars. If it continues to continually trend down, more buyers will step in to buy and perhaps new folks on the sidelines will (be able to afford to) enter the hobby which is a good thing. Then the market will creep back up. It's not unlike the stock market.

    As for B/J buyers. I believe that for every buyer at B/J that's an "investment based buyer", there are 5 buyers that could give a crap if they make or lose money on a sale or purchase. They just want to unload a car and pick up something else that weekend and the venue suits their purpose just fine. They're very, very wealthy and sell cars when they get tired/bored of them and pick up something else that interests them. "I'm tired of this 57 Chevy, I want a late 60's big block Corvette".
    If they make out financially, great. If not, they don't let it stop their fun. It's no different than when they buy a $100,000 boat or German luxury sedan, play with it for a few years, then trade it in or sell it for $50,000. It's an activity they can afford to "lose" $$$ at and unlike the average guy, it won't be devastating to their household.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
    clunker, els, 40FORDPU and 1 other person like this.
  29. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 2,911

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    No one is going to say..."Everyone knows that a car is only worth what someone is willing to pay. And to never expect to get what you put into it" ?...look at Richard Rawlings.

    Sent from my SM-G930T using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    els likes this.
  30. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,117


    I made offer on a O T truck with custom paint. I told him it was low because of the graphic's and color and it would cost several grand to change color . He loved that ugly thing. and would not come off the price. I bet he still has it.
    els likes this.

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