Friday, June 8, 2012

Dave's Laws of Collector Car Values

This list will grow as I am able to express additional concepts.
  1. As any one model becomes expensive, the market finds acceptable alternatives and makes them expensive.
  2. The more a collector car is worth, the more it tends to appreciate.
  3. More valuable cars are more easily able to settle on new accepted higher values.
  4. The more a collector car is worth, the harder it is to assign an absolute ceiling to its value, and the more easily it can exceed accepted values.
  5. The less a model is worth, the more susceptible it is to violent fluctuations in value.
  6. (HT to the Auerbach Doctrine) More valuable cars are more subject to market manipulation.
  7. People start being able to afford collector cars in their Forties, and they buy the cars they liked when they were kids. If it was on a poster then, it's going to be collectible when that generation reaches C-level positions.
  8. Veteran-era cars are prone to "age creep," the tendency for succeeding owners to assign ever-earlier dates of manufacture to them; i.e., a 1901 becomes an 1899, then an 1897.
  9. Rare cars are prone to "rareness creep." With each successive owner, factors that might depress the value tend to be omitted, i.e., owner one used a replacement block when restoring it, but owner two doesn't tell owner three. At the same time, factors that enhance the value gain credibility--a rumor that Elvis once rode in it becomes "this was Elvis's first car."
  10. Sexy body work and a high fun-to-drive factor can ameliorate badge snobbery. Dino values have increased 400 500% in the last decade.
  11. A single exceptional sale--i.e., 23-window VW Transporter--can effect the market for the model. This effect can be transitory; or it can draw attention to a previously overlooked car and help establish a new, higher basement price.
  12. Obscurity can mitigate any other factors that would otherwise increase value. Thus Etceterinis, with a few exceptions such as DeTomaso and Bizzarrini, are worth less than their name brand counterparts, regardless of pedigree.


Steve Favill said...

I can't disagree with your comments. Perhaps another law might address the situation whereby Steve McQueen's 911S selling for $1.35 million had the effect of dragging the value of the 911S up with it almost overnight.

David Traver Adolphus said...

I think that falls under the umbrella of #6.