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Old 11-17-2015, 10:28 AM   #1
mrtexas
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Default Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

I recently sold my freshly restored 29 roadster. I had been advertising for 3 months in Hemmings, Fordbarn, my own website, Craigslist, and both Model A magazines. I cut out the crap on price and priced it a couple thousand $$ less than any other roadster out there. I couldn't find any 29 roadster out there for sale with a fresh restoration including new single stage paint, new lebarron bonney interior, new $2k brake rebuild, a nut and bolt restoration etc. The competition was asking $22-30k. The other ones were older restorations.

I was astounded that all I got in 3 months was 1 phone call from Hemmings online and one text message after it came out in The Restorer. Happily the phone call was local to me and the buyer bought it 15 minutes after he left after looking at it. He paid the asking price as it was already ridiculously low vs anything out there. It was however the least I would take. I need the space.

This sure stirred me up on how I will bargain for buying another antique car! No point in getting into a hurry or paying the asking price! Sure enough I'm getting another car this Friday but not a Model A. It is a Ford v8 woodie where there is more demand(however I see an increasing number of woodies for sale in "Woodie Times"). Everyone loves a woodie! Doubt I'll lose money if I ever sell as I bought it right for once.

I've also been looking at a restored but not "correct" in many ways 1955 Corvette for sale. It is priced at nose bleed levels but the seller hasn't had anyone come to look see after several months for sale. I've seen a similar car listed at 2x his elevated asking price. I view a 1950s car as a depreciating item. Those that want 1950s cars are getting up in age as well. I hear the same complaint about demand for 1960s C2 corvettes on the corvette forum(I own a 63 convertible). I don't see many 1950s cars or older in the televised auctions. Apparently the action at least for auction cars is mostly 1970s and 1980s!

I hope this doesn't still the pot too much. But it is my experience and MHO!

Is it me or is there little demand for Model As? Going the was of Model Ts?

BTW I'll have a very good quality freshly restored early 1928 open cab pickup with multi-disc clutch for sale shortly!
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Old 11-17-2015, 10:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

My opinion...and this comes from a recent lengthy conversation with a gentleman in the business of buying and selling antique cars...He said the people out there that have the money to pay top dollar for cars are either older people, or guys who don't have time to work on cars all the time and want something they can get in and drive to wherever they want, long trips or whatever...hot rodded stuff or antiques with small blocks is where the money is being spent right now. Not saying there aren't people out there that still like a stock model A. That's just where the market is right now.
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Old 11-17-2015, 10:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

I would think the economy is having a big impact on Model A and other iconic automobiles when it comes to buying/selling. (I will not address the rich)
For the general public...these are hard times, those of us who are able to even contemplate buying an exotic vehicle (toy) have disposable income and are doing much better than most, we are blessed...truly blessed.
If it helps, I see Models A demand increasing the closer they get to the 100 year mark, as the economy improves, so will demand.
Though things can get worse, I'm hoping they will start getting better in say...13 months
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Old 11-17-2015, 10:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

there are many different levels and meanings of what a complete restoration is.. beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
this will affect what a particular car brings in terms of value
i see there is plenty of demand from barn find to driver to concourse restoration..where i see the problem usually lies is where the price are not matched appropriately to what is being sold..

Last edited by Mitch//pa; 11-17-2015 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

I'll add that I don't believe the economy has improved any either. I have two early ford projects that I can start on (1941 pickup and a 1946 3 passenger coupe) but any spare cash I have had lately I throw at my IRA. For folks who work an 8-5 job be it skilled labor or professional salaried work, the take home pay is not going up, generally speaking. Confidence in the economy is not strong for most folks and the last thing these people are going to do is spend money on a luxury item like an antique car. Everything is cyclical, I'm optimistic about the future.
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

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I use to fix up and sell old Plymouths mostly late 40's - early 50's. Wont comment on price as that is always changing but distance is always a factor with todays busy life styles many people do not want to travel a great distance to but a vehicle and one like you were selling would need to be seen before purchase so that cuts you buyers down .
Other problem I have seen is everyone expects to make a profit and when you put a lot of money in a vehicle you own for pleasure you cannot always get back what you put into it.
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:24 AM   #7
Seth Swoboda
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

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Originally Posted by Aok View Post
I use to fix up and sell old Plymouths mostly late 40's - early 50's. Wont comment on price as that is always changing but distance is always a factor with todays busy life styles many people do not want to travel a great distance to but a vehicle and one like you were selling would need to be seen before purchase so that cuts you buyers down .
Other problem I have seen is everyone expects to make a profit and when you put a lot of money in a vehicle you own for pleasure you cannot always get back what you put into it.
I collect and restore for my own pleasure. I do not expect to get the value of the time and money I put into these fords back on a sale. It's just facts of the matter. If you want to invest, as I mentioned before, put your money in the markets. If you have some mechanical skills and want a great way to unwind from the reality of this world, relieve some stress, buy an early ford. You won't regret it.
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

It sounds like your in the business of flipping cars for profit. I just enjoy owning a piece of history and will continue to do so until I gat to an age or physical condition that prohibits me from doing so and then I will sell all my "stuff" so as not to have it become a burden to my family as i have often seen with fellow "collectors".
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

Strongly agree with Seth, AOK and Mitch
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeinnj View Post
It sounds like your in the business of flipping cars for profit. I just enjoy owning a piece of history and will continue to do so until I gat to an age or physical condition that prohibits me from doing so and then I will sell all my "stuff" so as not to have it become a burden to my family as i have often seen with fellow "collectors".
Having a piece of history, like cars and a garage full of "stuff" is the kind of burden I can live with.
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

I sold three A's this past spring. I broke even on a coupe and a cabriolet, both nice drivers. I took an absolute bath on a nice '30 phaeton, but knew that would be the case. The sale price was about half of what I restored it for. That's the game, and I will continue to play (pay) it.
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:39 PM   #12
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

I understand no one wishes to loose on an investment but Model A's are not really an investment tier car... I will say they do keep their value better than most car 10 years old or less, so looking at it that way, enjoy your Model A as it's less lossy than your modern daily driver
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:44 PM   #13
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

I sold my restored 1965 VW 21-window bus five years ago for $10k so I could buy a nice older restoration 1930 A pickup. My bus sold a year later for $15k, and went to Florida. Two years after that, it sold again for $25k, and I heard last week it was for sale again for $50k, and my source thought that was a bargain! Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have put about $5k into the truck to get it the way I want it, and it would probably sell for about $13,500. A prices are pretty flat, and VW bus prices are ridiculous.
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

It also could be the time of year. Winter's coming. People may not want to ship/store a "new" vehicle if the weather looks/is terrible.
I also agree that the economy still sucks. JMO

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Old 11-17-2015, 12:59 PM   #15
H. L. Chauvin
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

Just a few antique vehicle Price Experiences:

Experience No. 1:

In 1958 I went to our NAPA Parts Store 10 miles away to buy Model A points for 20 cents. The owner spent about an hour trying to explain to this teenager ahead of me to look for a "better" 1939 Ford in "good" shape rather than try to restore his wrecked, junk 1939 Ford because it was going to cost him a fortune to restore it and he would "never" recover "half" of what he spent in parts and paint ...... as usual, it went in one ear & exited the other ear when he said he would buy it anyway. After the teenager finally departed , the old NAPA owner told me to never forget this about "Advice":
Advice is never worth much: "Intelligent people do not need it ...... damn fools never take it."

Experience No. 2:

About 12 years ago I called about six (6) transport companies asking how much it cost to transport a Model A if I bought one out of state. First experienced trucker warned to never pay anything near the asking price ....... he said Model A sellers "never" get anything near what they ask for ...... and, after asking the remaining five (5) truckers about transport and selling price ...... same tune ...... never pay asking price.

Experience No.3:

Later I saw an add for my present 1930 Briggs Town Sedan for sale in another State. It had been up for sale only on the internet, for about (3) years, with what was told, many lookers & no buyers. It had been in heated storage for the last 30 years w/good wood, upholstery, & paint from a former "minor" cosmetic restoration. After having owned & driven a Model A for the past 50 years, I drove this one, returned, and contemplated on above Experiences No. 1 and No. 2 as I drove this Model A.

I rejected advice in Experience No. 2, followed advice in experience No. 1, and I offered him only the "asking" price ...... we were both happy ...... glad I did ..... about 15 minutes later, I found out both his young son & daughter-in-law were departing for Iraq in 2 weeks, and gramps & his wife had come down from New York to Fort Hood, Texas to take care of the grandkids while they both were in Iraq.

Appears Advice offered for "Pricing is similar to Spice on a Spice Rack.

Different flavors offered to fit one's likes and dislikes.

Last edited by H. L. Chauvin; 11-17-2015 at 01:03 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-17-2015, 01:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeinnj View Post
It sounds like your in the business of flipping cars for profit. I just enjoy owning a piece of history and will continue to do so until I gat to an age or physical condition that prohibits me from doing so and then I will sell all my "stuff" so as not to have it become a burden to my family as i have often seen with fellow "collectors".
I'm not a flipper.

The 29 roadster was the first car I sold after owning it for 10 years, 8 years apart and 2 years putting it back together. That is after buying 5 cars, still have 4 and am getting a 41 woodie this week as all the restorations are done and I want to keep busy. I bought the cars without deciding what I really wanted as far as condition or even type of car. I've ended up restoring body off 4 of them. The 5th was a hot rod and supposed to be "done" already. It took more than 6 months of effort to make it driveable as the small fix turned into a quite extensive fix.

I'm way underwater on the 29 roadster. I threw out all the receipts as I don't want to know. Under water on 28 open cab pickup as well. Way under water on 63 corvette to the tune of what a 28 pickup is worth! I got lucky on the 36 woodie and have about the going price into it. Probably the same on the 41 woodie I'm buying this week. No, I'm not a car flipper. Car flippers don't restore cars.

I've decided I really want a car that is like new. Only one I have that meets the criteria is the 36 woodie and the 28 pickup. They don't meet the criteria of show car with every nut and bolt the same as when the car was new however. I enjoy driving them rather than looking at them. I can't load the family in the 28 pickup so it is going. I really like a 55 corvette better than a 63 so perhaps it is going.

It's so hard to decide what I really want! After the fiasco with the 49 woodie I've raised my level of comfort with higher purchase prices to get a better car. But as the saying goes if you want to make a small fortune restoring cars start with a big fortune.
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Old 11-17-2015, 01:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

It seems to me Model As have been relatively stable in price for a long time - a good supply and decent demand at market prices. I do think the market is pretty slow on prewar non Fords (Fords in good bodystyles still have a following - at the correct price, A, T, V-8) but sound for Fords, brass cars and most Full Classics.

Tough to say why certain cars take off as 700rpm points out. Not to criticize a VW bus, they are cool, but $50K? Insane, IMHO but the market disagrees. Same thing with air cooled Porsches and 190 SL MB. The 190 SL is a real mystery to me - nice enough to look at but under powered and ignored by MB enthusiasts forever - now more expensive than an XKE??! Strangely, I am a big German car fan but happened to rattle these three off. Maybe because I follow that market more.

I guess a slow market is all the more reason to worry less about nicks and such and drive more!
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Old 11-17-2015, 01:15 PM   #18
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

none of the vehicles I own were purchased as an investment, just for the pleasure of owning them. If you look at my late model vehicles that I bought new: 1996 F150 Eddie Bauer, 2002 Explorer XLT, 2003 Ranger 4X4, 2004 Ranger XLT 4X4 (wife,s truck) , 2005 Miata Speed, 2012 Escape AWD, and still have think how much money I have lost on those(at least 70K)! As to my "Toys" '29 Coupe, ,29 CCPU, '65 Mustang FB 289 4 speed, 1982 Jeep CJ7, 1992 Mustang 5.0 hatchback etc etc. They are just something to play in the garage with and take for a ride. If I kept score money wise I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. I am grateful that I have been blessed with the ability to have purchased these things and still keep everything else such as house, medical, kids college in balance. Sure I wish things were a bit cheaper than they are now, last time I looked at new ford pickups I got a taste of sticker shock! And I was just a working guy at Ma Bell with modest income.
I'll say one thing vehicles have been my hobby since grade school, I would have more money in my IRAs if it wasn't for them, but I might not enjoy life as much. Being retired it is nice to jump into my '29 PU and drive down to the local store for a biscuit and cup of java, the ride doesn't feel the same in the Explorer

Last edited by holdover; 11-17-2015 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 11-17-2015, 01:26 PM   #19
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

Ray, that has indeed been the trend with VW busses, the prices are going thru the roof for good ones. The Hippies from the 60's who condemned the Establishment and their $$, now are awash in cash themselves from structured corporate mergers, banking malfeasance, dope sales, whatever they do with their MBA's, and they want to spend on their memories

30-31 Roadsters, Phaetons, and Cabriolets seem to still do quite well. And the street rodders will be snapping them up as time goes by. '28-'29 Roadsters just don't bring as much money.

And, you never recoup your money anyway we all know that. Don't look back, go out and have fun with whatever you like. Going to a funeral visitation tonite for a good friend (57) who collapsed in his home Sunday morning, went into a coma, and died. We never know from day to day. I'm sure when he woke up that day he didn't know he'd never see Sunday afternoon--------------
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Old 11-17-2015, 01:31 PM   #20
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Default Re: Not much demand for Model As at any price or is it antique cars in general?

There is a difference between a "Flipper" and someone who likes to restore cars. For a lot of people, once you are done working on the car, the fun goes out of it. Other people like to own and drive the cars. Personal preference. I think there is also a lot of B.S. prices out there. Ads for cars that are posted at top dollar and they just wait to see if someone will bite. I see the same thing for parts. crazy money ads, and ads priced to actually sell.
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