Tag Archives: Antique

Why People Adore and Collect Antique Cars

The American automobile industry began in the early 20th century and has been a huge factor in creating the society we live in today. It was the driving factor in creating the system of superhighways linking the country together. It was the driving force in the creation of the suburbs, many of which you can only get to by car. And, on the negative side, it can be argued, that it was the primal force in helping to speed the breakup of the nuclear family. It made travel so easy that it became almost trivial for family members to move cross country and start a family unit in an entirely new state.

Antique car collecting and restoration is a hobby practiced by people all over the world. Even American celebrities fall in love with them. Jay Leno, in addition to hosting the Tonight Show, is known for his huge collection of antique cars and motorcycles going all the way back to the early 20th century. Past stars know for their love of cars are Larry Hagman and Steve McQueen.

But you don’t have to be a celebrity to love antique cars. People collect them for various reasons.

They Love the Attention

Do you have a spit polished Model T Ford sitting in your garage? Try driving that car down virtually any street in America and it is almost guaranteed people will stop and stare at it. The same will be true for almost any classic antique car. If you love being the center of attention, this is one surefire way to achieve it.

They Love Tinkering

Any mechanic in love with automobiles would love to work on some of the classic antique models of the past. What car fanatic wouldn’t love to turn up the hood of a Model T Ford and customize it to their specifications? Or create their own unique “hot rod” from the shell of a discarded antique auto. And who wouldn’t want to play with an engine that is real high performance?

They See it as an Investment

If you know the market, know a good mechanic or are a good mechanic yourself, and are good at finding deals – finding, repairing, and reselling antique automobiles can be an excellent investment – or speculation. Like any other form of investment, there are cycles. There are times when the market is flooded with sellers and few buyers. And conversely, there are times when you have many buyers vying for the same model of car. The key is knowing when to buy, when to sell, and what to look for.


One of the reasons people love antique cars is that, for them, it brings back childhood or teenage memories. Maybe they had their first date in that car, or that is the car the family when on annual picnics, or maybe it was the car to have when they were young but they couldn’t afford it. The nostalgia market is worth billions of dollars and those longing for the antique autos of their youth account for only a small piece of it.

Pursuing a love of antique autos is just another way of looking fondly and nostalgically back at our culture and remembering our country’s history.

How to Value an Antique Car

Collecting antique cars is a pleasure. But one of the most frustrating things is trying to figure out just what a particular car is worth.

Every year more become classified as antique or collector cars. With so many antique cars on the market these days, it’s getting harder and harder to keep track of market prices. Luckily there are a number of guidelines you can follow to come up with a fair price for a classic automobile.

Antique car prices are determined by a number of factors, but the most important one is supply and demand. The more popular a car is and the less of them that are on the road, the greater its market value. Forget about how much the car sold for originally. Forget about how much money has been put into restoring a car. None of that matters. How popular is the car and how many are there? That’s the most important question of all to ask.

So how can you determine supply and demand? Where can you find a price list for antique cars? If you want to buy a used car, you can go to the Kelley Blue Book, the standard authority for used car prices in the country. Is there something similar for classic cars?

Fortunately there is. The Gold Book has been around for nearly 40 years, and similarly to Kelley’s Blue Book, it is the defacto standard for antique and classic car prices. They not only monitor auctions all over the U.S. but also monitor private transactions between individuals – as long as they can be verified. They also have a web site where you can use there on-line search tool to find the sold prices for thousands of antique makes and models. This can give you a good baseline as to what others think the car is worth.

What is the condition of the car. This is not as much of a factor as supply and demand but it is nevertheless an important factor. First off, you can ignore the odometer readings. Many antique cars, especially those that have had significant restoration work done on them, have simply had their odometers rolled back to zero. Unless you’re a mechanic yourself, bring one along to evaluate the physical condition of the car. Listen to the engine, check the wiring, inspect the engine mount and ignition systems, take it out for a test run. Any problems will normally cause the evaluation price to be adjusted downwards.

Has a celebrity owned the car? Celebrity ownership raises the price of everything. That the bid price of a piece of chewing gum spit out by Britney Spears reached $14,000, tells you what celebrity ownership can do to the price of a classic car. If you are buying a classic car from someone who claims it was owned by a celebrity, be sure to get some sort of document of authenticity – as there is no shortage of shysters willing to take your money.

And lastly, keep in mind that collecting antique cars usually turns into a lifetime hobby. You’ll no doubt meet fellow collectors at future auctions and events that can give you further advice about not only valuating antique cars but also can help you find some really great deals.

Basis of an Antique Car Price Guide

Factors That Affect the Car Value

There are several factors that may affect the car value. One of these is the auction price. In an auction, the price is usually set at the lowest possible bid and then people are asked to bid. The highest bidder gets the item up for auction. An antique car price guide may state the lowest possible price for a certain car. Of course the price of the car in the antique car price guide could differ vastly from a specific car due to other factors. The antique car price guide is just a guide not a direct price list for specific cars.

Another factor that can affect the value of an antique automobile is its asking price. Asking prices are based on the amount of money and effort spent on the restoration of the car. This does not necessarily mean that this is the selling price. The antique car price guide can guide you on the range of a specific car’s prices. The range allows for shoddy restoration and professional restoration, which can be the minimum and maximum prices.

Celebrity ownership may also alter the actual price of the car from the antique car price guide. If a certain car was previously owned by a well known celebrity or a well known royalty, tendency is, its price is higher than other cars of the same make and model. Celebrity owned cars tend to belong to the higher price bracket indicated in the antique car price guide. Of course, if the car is in bad shape, no matter which celebrity owned it the price will belong to the lower price range indicate in the antique car price guide.

The originality of the car can also boost prices up. The antique car price guide may set a maximum price for a specific car model and make but this usually is base on restored cars. Antique cars that have little restoration done to them or have most of its original parts intact an functional tend to have higher prices than other restored cars of the same make and model.