For some time, the sources analysing prices, demand and supply in individual car categories have noticed a disturbing trend of falling prices of oldtimers i.e. widely loved cars from the 1950s and 1960s. Taking into account the prices achieved by cars at auctions and their estimated values, analysts concluded that the most desirable ones, such as the Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing, are not as popular as they were in the past. While we know that cars like Gullwing, the racing legends of the Silver Arrow era, despite their year-over-year loss, are still great long-term wealth security - some collectors started to feel anxious. Will their cars lose value compared to the group of Modern Classics, which includes cars produced after 1980?
Youngtimers for younger audiences?
These cars, used for daily driving and treated as capital investments are attractive to new generations of enthusiasts, who enter the market in large numbers and are not afraid of online auctions. Although modern classics seem to set new price records every week, we don't have enough reliable data over longer periods to forecast their amazing increases. The conclusion from analysing data gathered by Hagerty indicates that the general market for modern classics is not as wild as article headlines may sometimes suggest.
Repeat sales of modern classic vehicles over the last 20 years shows a run-up in the mid-2000s, followed by a long decline until late 2010. It was then that the entire collector car market rebounded. A mostly steady performance over the last decade, and a rise beginning in 2019 is nothing new. Hagerty observes these numbers when analysing muscle cars, which are considered a much more mature segment.
In comparison, a 12-month trailing average price of those same types of Modern Classics —but not just those that have sold twice—races towards a jagged peak in 2015 then drops off (the thin grey line). The big difference between the trailing average and the repeat sale index (blue line) suggests some exceptional cars did sell for a lot—and only sold once. Other cars that have since been drawn to market haven’t sold for nearly as much, probably because they’re in poorer condition. However, cars that are of a known condition have enjoyed a solid and relatively predictable return over the same period.
Let's not get carried away by the media madness
When analysing data, take into account what you want to achieve. For most collectors, slow and steady growth is a good thing. For retailers, the Modern Classics group, or rather some of its members in a unique condition may bring good profits in the short term. It means you can buy a modern classic, drive and enjoy it for several years, and be reasonably sure you’ll get back what you paid and then some when it comes time to sell. Hagerty believes the market for modern collector cars is not at risk. What's more, it is growing in strength and it is worth carefully looking at the development of this trend in the coming years. Read more on Hagerty website: link.