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Hot Rods Just Curious... Will A Top Notch Show Car Make Money?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fordor Ron, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. RidingMechanic
    Joined: Jul 31, 2017
    Posts: 89

    RidingMechanic
    Member
    from Cincinnati

    Great point. Cars were built, driven, wrecked and rebuilt or resprayed a year later to match a new fad...5 years after that a large portion were on used car lots or in dumps. No sense in spending 10x the labor to make something perfect when it would look "good enough" in a magazine or roped off in a showroom. I'd love to time travel and see what a Waston paint job or Barris chop looked like when it just rolled out of the shop for the first time.

    Another thought...One of the reasons the newer builds drop so much in value is they can be a nightmare to work on. What do you do with a show rod that has a tranny leak and half the car has to come apart to fix it, or some custom suspension part wears out and has to be re-made? Or you find out the wiring was a little goofy and should really be re-done? Guys will spend 6 figures to buy a car but get upset with 10k repair bills.
     
    Fordor Ron likes this.
  2. GZ
    Joined: Jan 2, 2007
    Posts: 1,070

    GZ
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Detroit

    As a car dealer who has sold some high end show rods, I can tell you this: The value of an expensive, high end show rod (read: AMBR, Ridler contender) is all in the debut.


    Once the car has been shown the first time, the value plunges. If it didn't win the award, the value plunges even further. It's almost like buying a 700K motorhome or boat-it looses most of its value the first time it is used.


    The person who places the highest value on a high end show rod is the guy who built it (rare nowadays) or the guy who had it built for him by ProBuilder XYZ. The car is worth the money spent to this person, but to no one else after him. After all, it is really "their" creation and the significance of this personal creation does not transfer to the next owner (s).


    Recently, an AMBR contender from about three years ago sold for about 70K after being on the market for nearly a year. The build cost was in far excess of 500K. The owner got what he wanted out of it: the experience to compete for the AMBR award. Unfortunately, this "experience" does not transfer-especially in a monetary way.


    The same logic-and financial reality-applies not only to high end show rods, but regular hot rods, customs and street rods as well. Remember, the build of these cars is highly subjective and these cars are built based on the opinions, tastes and desires of the builder. Some people want a manual transmission but others want an automatic, some want a traditional flathead but others want a new 500HP crate motor, some people want sparkly purple paint while others prefer conservative black.


    Historical show rods are something different. However, these car have value because they are now about 50 years old or maybe older. Also, they were built by what we now consider to be historically significant hot rod builders. Basically, you need to be dead before you become famous and your work is worth something. No different than in the fine art world.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
    belair, Fordor Ron and The37Kid like this.
  3. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260

    Gman0046
    Member

    Again I ask, whats the point of spending mega bucks to have someone build you a car? I think its amusing that some people who don't have the skill or manual dexterity to build their own cars but don't mind writing checks to others.
    Many of us enjoy the building process rather then pay others for their expertise. The largest enjoyment in our hobby for me is in the building.

    Real Hot Rodders build their own cars not just buy built cars built by professionals.

    To each his own.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
  4. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,127

    anthony myrick
    Member

    We have many fine pieces of art to enjoy because someone enjoyed funding these talented people
    Many art museums exist because a wealthy person, usually with little of zero artistic talent wanted to display and support art,
    The same can be said with people that fund super high end car builds
     
    belair, Fordor Ron, i.rant and 6 others like this.
  5. I read every post. My take is the answer is No. I don't like car shows anyhow. Some folks have more money than brains.
     
    nochop, mgtstumpy and Fordor Ron like this.
  6. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,092

    X-cpe

    Yet most of us have paid varying amounts for the art work (that we can't create) hanging on the walls of our houses and shops.
     
    belair, Fordor Ron and rod1 like this.
  7. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,882

    The37Kid
    Member

    Some people like nice things, it allows them to provide a livelihood for many skilled craftsmen. We get to see the finished cars, many inspire us to make ours a bit nicer. Bob
     
  8. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,882

    The37Kid
    Member

    Did you build your own house or buy one built by others, same deal. Built mine 40 years ago still in it. Bob
     
  9. Blake 27
    Joined: Apr 10, 2016
    Posts: 912

    Blake 27

    Why buy a house that someone else built?
    Same thing with cars, many owners have other priorities, business, family, etc, but have always wanted
    a neat car to enjoy!
     
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  10. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,127

    anthony myrick
    Member

    Can you use computers and car sites you didn’t build or create?
    I’m kinda glad someone built this smart phone and Ryan created this site. I don’t think any lesser of anyone that enjoys it either
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
    joeycarpunk, Fordor Ron and The37Kid like this.
  11. OLDSMAN
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422

    OLDSMAN
    BANNED

    There is no way they will ever make money on the show circuit. Call you want, an ego trip or the love of building the show car, but these cars cost well over $100,000 and they will never make that up.
     
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  12. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,019

    40FORDPU
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    So, If you "don't have the skill or manual dexterity to build your own cars" you shouldn't own a Custom or Hot Rod?
    The people who have the funds to enlist the services of others, undoubtedly have skills in other areas in which they succeeded in, to be in a position to afford to have someone build their dream car.
    Even if they won it in a lottery, or through inheritance they chose to pay someone, for their own individual reasons.
    Life is about choices, the wise man will weigh all the options, and in the end make the right decision for him. Time focusing on their chosen field may far out weigh the money saved by building a car.
    I say good for them, and good for them for enabling the independent shops to survive.
     
  13. quickchangeV8
    Joined: Dec 7, 2010
    Posts: 415

    quickchangeV8
    Member

    AJ your hand would would cramp up even worse tossing $100 bills into an open fire!!!
     
    Speedy Canuck likes this.
  14. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,189

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    Keep it simple. I was told to break it down when explaining things. Why would you spend the money at a restaurant on a steak when you can eat a hamburger. The same goes for building a car. Go to a fast food chain and eat or go to a sit down restaurant. Now you have to leave a tip. Or just stay home and cook a steak on the grille in your back yard. And listen to your neighbors dog bark. But why spend it on a steak when you can save a buck and grille a hamburger. Leave the cheese and mushrooms off too. They cost extra. Do you have a gas grille or a charcoal grille. A cheap model or one of those Cadillac models. I don`t mind going to a restaurant and eating a good prime rib, but not in a 5 star restaurant. It`s not in my budget. But I am glad they are out there for people who can afford to. Does this make it wrong cause they can. NO. Are they fools. NO. Will this put them in the poor house. NO.
     
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  15. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,189

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    Most people who write big checks for cars are people who are high up in running a business or who themselves own a business. Working 50 + hours a week. They have little time off. When they get a few days off, they have to take there wives on a weekend get away and little time for building a car themselves. Let alone going to a car show every weekend. Or even once a month. So why judge these people. They have quotas to meet(money to come in to pay the employees). So don`t judge these people for going to Barret Jackson and buying a car. They have a selection of over 1000 cars to choose from. Lord knows they don`t have time to dart across country to look at a car they saw advertised that they might like. People are so judgemental.
     
  16. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260

    Gman0046
    Member

    A friend of mine bought a 61 Pontiac Ventura for $12K. A nice running driving stock car, two barrel, auto, 389. Had it painted by the kids at local trade school. He never had it for sale but at a rod run someone who took a duplicate car on their honeymoon had to have it and offered him $29K and he took it. The honeymooner turned right around and sold the car to a well known buyer who was previously mentioned in this thread for $72K.
    Must be nice to have that kind of disposable income and be able to pay 4-5 times more then the car was worth and not bat an eyelash.
     
    Fordor Ron likes this.
  17. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,424

    ramblin dan

    I have deleted a few of my posts on this thread cause I felt that I was venting instead keeping on topic with the what the thread was actually about. The thread was about if a top notch show car will make money and I was more concerned about how much was being spent and who was spending it, and if they regretted spending it. I'm sure we all have stories of people who over paid or got taken to the cleaners on a deal. I guess what it came down to was remembering what my grandmother used to say when we would talk about other's finances and she would say ' stop counting other people's money'.
     
  18. young51
    Joined: May 11, 2009
    Posts: 28

    young51
    Member

    May have been covered earlier, but did any of you see the auction this week for the 54' Buick built by Troy Trepanier on Bring a Trailer? Definitely off topic build with Mercedes g/e55 running gear but the car was stunning from top to bottom (subjectively of course). I got to check it out in person a few years back and the fit and finish were better than a ton of cars in the museum. Anyway the car was sold by the Petersen museum as it was donated to them. It had to be at least a $300,000 build and sold for $103,000. crazy..
     
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  19. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,535

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    As maybe a few said, some buiders/owners got and probably get paid for the car to be a "feature car" as a draw at certain shows/ The car is in all the advertising and on all the posters and guys like us drive 200 miles with our wives or a car load of our buddies in nasty weather in the freezing ass middle of winter to go to the car show and spend five minutes looking at the car and take a few pictures and then spend a few hours walking around the rest of the show taking pictures and visiting and looking and drinking their overpriced drinks.
    Some promoters pay tow money with a certain criteria to get it.
    Walking around a car show in the Portland Coliseum a few years ago I figure the best way to make money at a car show isn't having a show car but being a popular WWE wrestler selling posters for 5 bucks each and siging them. The line to that wrestler or those wrestlers who were highly promoted took up two lanes through that side of the show and the "wrestlin" fans got pissed real quick if you walked past them to take photos of the cars in that area as they were only there to get their poster and minute in front of their favorite wrestler and leave. Pay to get in, walk in and go straight to the very long line, wait for maybe three hours to get the poster and to straight to the exit with a shit eating grin when they had it in their hand. Bonus points if they bought a shirt.
     
  20. This is my kind of guy. I’ll take all the big check writers I can get...

    Crazy that it is such a loosing deal. But, they always say you can buy them cheaper than you can build them.
     
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  21. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,735

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    I don't want a high dollar car, I couldn't sleep at night for worrying about it. I'm happy with my old junk, warts and all. It may not win any money or trophies, but it puts a smile on my face. That's priceless......
     
  22. Guess I should comment here. My understanding that the guys building in the golden show car era were primarily building advertising for their respective shops (Starbird;s Predicta, Cushenberry's El Matador, etc.), or in Ed Roth's case, supporting his T-shirt business and soon raking in $$ from plastic model kits. That was a very short prime time. Since then custom car building has been a labor of love, definitely not for $$.

    That was the case with my Mysterion reproduction project. I had dreamed of building car most of my life. I didn't care how much it cost (I still watched the pennies though), it was the joy investigation and building, and writing a book about the adventure. Sort of like Moriatity's passion described in building his Futurian. After I finished it, it just sat in my shop gathering dust. I was turning 70, retiring, and moving from the People's Republik of Kalifornia to Texas and figured I should sell the car to someone who could do something better with it. Turned out to be the right car at the right auction, at the right time, with the right couple of bidders and it sold for $248,000, ($220,000 gavel price). Wonderful buyer is a private museum in Michigan that will display the car to the public which is what I dreamed of. Fantastic outcome, helped fund my retirement but building the car was the joy.
     
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  23. Oh, and I did build my home! Bought 20 acres in the Kern County foothills (Hart Flat) in 1980. Had a water well driller drill my 100' deep water well, ( completed it with multi-stage centrifugal pump), had a backhoe dig the septic tank hole, I did all the rest to complete a 2000sqft, 2-story home. Did it all including land for just over $100K.
     
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  24. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,127

    anthony myrick
    Member

    I will admit that my opinion is biased
    I have never had a job that I wasn’t repairing, restoring or customizing cars for people until the teaching gig started.(that’s cars too)
    I have enjoyed a fun life off of people that paid me to fix things. Sometimes building them with the owners. I have got to know some of these rich people that some here enjoy cracking on. I would be wasting my time explaining how many of these sacrificed and worked their butts off for it.
    But to answer the OPs question the answer is yes and no
    I would say I’m my experience there are more in the no column. I’m glad they wrote the checks so I got a pay check doing something I love. I have worked very few days I’m my lifetime and had many fun days playing with cars.
     
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  25. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,686

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    Somewhere between post #1 and #145, things went sideways. The 1960's show car era was a lot different and ICSA (?) was the big dog. I still maintain that building an over the top show car then could be profitable. By the same token, it would be next to impossible to duplicate that today.
     
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  26. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,127

    anthony myrick
    Member

    I think the chrome plating bill would be a major issue today. The other is the amount of work restoring something before the customizing starts.
     
  27. Tell me about it!!!!!!!
    IMG_0504.JPG IMG_0505.JPG IMG_0534.JPG IMG_0535.JPG IMG_0536.JPG IMG_0544.JPG IMG_0545.JPG DIY carb kit.jpg
    Oh, and another point. My $248,000 car was built with mostly Harbor Freight tools and painted with a $9 purple gun. I rest my case!!!!!!
     
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  28. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,127

    anthony myrick
    Member

    I have done wonders with HF tools
    “A poor technician blames his tools”
     
    willys36 likes this.
  29. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,127

    anthony myrick
    Member

    How bad was that chrome bill?
    If ya dont want to tell I understand
    I have wondered what full 60s style chrome chassis, engine, trans ....... would run theses days and how it would compare to what it cost then adjusted for inflation
     
  30. I really didn't keep track. Guess is around $15,000 for the chrome shop? If you value my time in building and modifying all the parts double or triple that?
     
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