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Antiques market collapses, classic cars next?

By Quigley following x   2017 Jun 1, 4:03pm 945 views   9 comments   watch   quote     share  


So, ten to fifteen years ago, the Antiques Road Show was putting prices on keepsakes and treasures. The market for antique furnishings was red hot, and the show was a reflection of that in popular culture. But what seemed to be an unparalleled strength of that market was actually its last gasp, a peak before a slide to near oblivion. In 2015 this article was penned.
http://www.economist.com/news/christmas-specials/21683982-why-bottom-has-dropped-out-antiques-market-out-old
A noteworthy quote from it:
"Baby-boomers are downsizing, while their own parents are dying and leaving them their old furniture. But their own children have no interest in it. Many of those who go to antique shows are not looking to buy, but to gauge how much their own antiques are worth."

So there is at least partly a generational cause, with younger generations (who would be the market for such) placing little to no value on old things, or maybe even things in general. After all, with more housing pressure, they often wind up with less house than their parents and don't want it cluttered with pieces that don't match their personal aesthetic.

Right now there are classic car shows, rebuilding classic car shows, and auctioning classic car shows all over television. Cars are selling for over a million dollars in many cases. But if you watch the shows you'll find the same theme repeated. Older (mostly white) man with nostalgia for earlier times (perhaps dads or grandfathers car) spends way too much money buying a restored classic car. There's very little variation from this theme.

So what happens ten years from now? If we think generationally, that old man is now in hospice or too old and sick to get out much. He's focusing on the upcoming end of his life, not what car is collecting dust in his garage. In other words, as a buyer he's been taken off the field permanently.

So who replaces him? Sure, there are younger enthusiasts, but they'll usually have less money, and there are fewer of them besides. Classic cars will still be bought, but not for as much as before.

A few more years pass. Autonomous driving vehicles are the norm, and politicians are toying with laws to mandate their use on the freeway system. Driving is becoming (as a culture) less about the act of driving and more about being driven. Multitudinous distractions vie for the attentions of those with money. The old man passes on, and his classic cars are put to auction. Only to find fewer buyers than ever and lower prices since a glut of these cars are coming into the market at once.

In fifteen years, the market for classic cars will be less than a quarter what it is today.
That's my prediction. Any thoughts?

1 curious2   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 1, 4:19pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Quigley says

Any thoughts?

Here in SF, the Academy of Art displays an impressive collection of antique cars, ostensibly to inspire students.

I have always enjoyed looking at those cars, but display is probably their highest, best use. They required a lot of maintenance, leaded gas, etc. I'd rather look at those cars than much of the art that sells currently for a lot more, but I don't foresee buying. Owning a treasure like that carries a lot of responsibility.

Same for antique furniture, btw. I love looking at it, but I don't actually buy it. They tended not to use space efficiently, and they're vulnerable to the slightest thing, like somebody not using a coaster.

I've seen countless museums, and I'd like to see some of the 'art' museums replaced with antique car and furniture museums.

2 Booger   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 5:24pm   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

This explains why Rick Harrison will only give you $50 for your old piece of shit.

3 Automan Empire   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 6:08pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Quigley says

A few more years pass. Autonomous driving vehicles are the norm, and politicians are toying with laws to mandate their use on the freeway system. Driving is becoming (as a culture) less about the act of driving and more about being driven.

Tell me about it! In the early 80s, I threw newspapers for years to have money to buy a car when I turned 16. The DAY I turned 15-1/2 I was at the DMV taking my learner's permit test, and 2 weeks after I turned 16, got my license. A few months later I had my first vehicle.

Now, I'm in the car business. People don't love their cars and spend money keeping them for 10-30 years. They'll get an $800 repair estimate on an 8yo car and basically say F it, I'll just buy a new car. Young people don't even want licenses in their mid 20s! A decade ago I was still showing cars to earnest 15 and 16yos tugging their parents along shopping.

Today, we'll get parents approaching us saying their kid is getting ready to get their license so what cars do we have for sale? Meanwhile, their 25yo is slouching in the background, playing on their cell phone, not even peering into the window of a single car, not engaged in the process at all.

Cars really have improved over the last 20 years. A 60s-70s car is too loud to drive LA to San Francisco, gets shitty gas mileage, needs constant dicking-with to stay running correctly or at all, handles like a wheelbarrow full of mercury, panic stops in a schizoid manner, and will badly hurt or kill you in a collision. Antiques are even worse, just Sunday drivers and museum pieces at this point. Really nice to look at in your, or someone else's driveway, but where it concerns driving them, nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

Honestly, I'm blown away at some of the prices commanded by "restored" classic cars. A lot of restorers and those the "pimp my ride" shows do cosmetic work only, putting a 22k gold sheen on a mechanical turd. So yeah, the classic car market is probably already over the cliff given current generational and economic trends.

4 KimJongUn   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 6:16pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

I doubt true classics like one pictured in the OP will drop too much. But all the froth in 60-70s muscle cars and air-cooled Porsches will fizzle out for sure.

5 BayArea   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 1, 10:28pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

I don't believe it.

The volume, even for 60s muscle, are too small and diminishing to worry about any crashes

6 errc   ignore (2)   2017 Jun 2, 4:21am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

People don't love their cars and spend money keeping them for 10-30 years. They'll get an $800 repair estimate on an 8yo car and basically say F it, I'll just buy a new car.

------------

You can't wrench on them like you used to. So much electronics and sensors and ancillary bells n whistles that require specialized tools.

When i got my first car in 1996 ( '81 olds delta 88 royale) one could grab the toolbox and pop the hood and get er done. Nowadays I don't want to bother with getting my hands dirty, along with all the frustration.

I'm in the market right now to replace my '98 expedition and I have no clue what to get. Horsetrading used vehicles used to be fun, living behind the biggest Auto Auction in the world tends to yield good stock of cheap vehicles, but even that ain't what it once was.

7 BayArea   ignore (0)   2017 Jun 2, 5:34am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

errc says

People don't love their cars and spend money keeping them for 10-30 years. They'll get an $800 repair estimate on an 8yo car and basically say F it, I'll just buy a new car.

------------

You can't wrench on them like you used to. So much electronics and sensors and ancillary bells n whistles that require specialized tools.

When i got my first car in 1996 ( '81 olds delta 88 royale) one could grab the toolbox and pop the hood and get er done. Nowadays I don't want to bother with getting my hands dirty, along with all the frustration.

I'm in the market right now to replace my '98 expedition and I have no clue what to get. Horsetrading used vehicles used to be fun, living behind the biggest Auto Auction in the world tends to yield good stock of cheap vehicles, but even that ain't what it once was.

Since 1996, the automotive world released OBD-II, on-board diagnostics that tell you what's wrong in most cases. In terms of the repair, yes, it is harder to replace parts despite the computer basically telling you what you need go replace.

8 Quigley   ignore (1)   2017 Jun 2, 5:46am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

I bought an OBD2 unit on Amazon for $20, connected it to my phone with a free app, and can diagnose (and reset error messages) in my 2014 Camry hybrid.
That said, I'm not touching the hybrid without a full repair manual.
Any other sort of vehicle is no big deal.

But yah most people these days can't even change a tire! I watched a commercial on tv last week where a family got a flat, the wife shushed her husband, called AAA, and they sat there with the kid playing his guitar until the guy came and put on their donut tire. I almost cried.

9 errc   ignore (2)   2017 Jun 2, 6:13am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote        

Even with self diagnosis, you can guickly run into trouble if it's throwing an emissions code. AFAIK, it's not always specific to the actual part that is failing, rather the system, and with an emissions code, it's going to take some work. Not just an easy swap out of an O2 sensor.

I may be wrong, I don't wrench on my vehicles much at all. Most of my fleet is driven by women, so they have AAA and know where the dealership service is, and my guy that works from his home garage for 35$ an hour. I'm not a lucky person, but I've been very fortunate with my vehicles over the years.


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