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Cars as assets
Old 05-17-2006, 09:23 PM   #1
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Cars as assets

In 1973 I bought a 1969 Alfa Romero GTV for cash. I think it cost about $3500. I still have it but it isn't worth much.

A mechanic in San Francisco was selling the Alfa for one of his customers. When I went to his garage to see the Alfa he also had another customer car for sale.

That car was a red Ferrari Daytona. He wanted $10,000 for it. I looked at it but the mechanic advised against it. "It drives like a truck," he said. "Impossible here in the city. Don't buy it, too much trouble".

The Daytona was capable of racing at Le Mans right off the showroom floor.

At one time in the late 1980's cars like it were selling for almost half a million dollars.

I don't know what it would sell for today but it would have been a good investment and a lot of fun.

Not all cars go down in value. Some go up, way up.

boont
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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-17-2006, 09:35 PM   #2
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Re: Cars as assets

One of my ideas for retirement (still working on it ... : ) is to buy and sell old cars, perhaps rebuild a few. It can definitely turn auto "depreciation" into "appreciation", financially and emotionally ... as long as you don't drive too much.

That deal sounds interesting ... on www.nadaguides.com, they estimate a '72 Ferrari Daytona Coupe is $127K low retail. 8)
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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-17-2006, 09:46 PM   #3
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Re: Cars as assets

I don't collect cars, but I do collect things bigger than a breadbox. Believe me, physical assets are a pain in the butt. Stick with electrons.
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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-17-2006, 09:48 PM   #4
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Re: Cars as assets

When I was a kid, I read Hot Rod Magazine. I loved the project cars. Later in life, I realized that Hot Rod had an incredible shop and could pretty much do whatever they wanted to do--and I couldn't.

Replacing some of the parts on those old beauties will eat you alive. Be aware.

But if you only plan to do it for fun, go for it.

I want to build Cobra replicars, myself. One at a time.

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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-17-2006, 11:03 PM   #5
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Re: Cars as assets

A good example of a Daytona would go for about 150k right now. Probably a steal at that price considering everyone is into muscle cars and ignoring italians. The convertable a la Miami Vice is going for about 300k. Your right they are very fast cars even by todays standards. I read somewhere that it could get up to 60 mph in first gear and over 100 mph in second and top out at about 170!

Needless to say, you should have bought it boont. However, not sure if I could have stomached the maintenance costs leading upto the million dollar payday of the late 1980s. 8)
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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-17-2006, 11:42 PM   #6
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Re: Cars as assets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
When I was a kid, I read Hot Rod Magazine.* I loved the project cars.* Later in life, I realized that Hot Rod had an incredible shop and could pretty much do whatever they wanted to do--and I couldn't.

Replacing some of the parts on those old beauties will eat you alive.* Be aware.

But if you only plan to do it for fun, go for it.

I want to build Cobra replicars, myself.* One at a time.

Leadfoot Ed
Got into trouble yet with speeding tickets in Alberta? The first thing I noticed coming back to Calgary 3 weeks ago is how slow everyone drives in the city (compared to Houston). What gives?

Can one burn the pavement once out in the wide open spaces? One of my favs to go real fast was #22 south of Longview or north of Caroline.
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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-18-2006, 02:15 AM   #7
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Re: Cars as assets

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Originally Posted by AltaRed
Got into trouble yet with speeding tickets in Alberta? The first thing I noticed coming back to Calgary 3 weeks ago is how slow everyone drives in the city (compared to Houston). What gives?

Can one burn the pavement once out in the wide open spaces? One of my favs to go real fast was #22 south of Longview or north of Caroline.

what gives is they have bloody radar cameras everywhere in Calgary.

It's when the Alberta drivers get to highway 95 in BC that they start driving like maniacs. No fear of death....theirs or mine. They'll come up behind you and pass on the curves without even slowing down. Logging trucks be damned....
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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-18-2006, 02:41 AM   #8
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Re: Cars as assets

Although a Daytona might not be my choice of car to drive in hilly San Francisco, I do not find them as heavy to drive as some would say, certianly not truck like.* I like them.* They were not really competitive in their day, although a few special cars competed, but with little success.* Nevertheless, a Daytona, or any 2 place Ferrari V-12, is likely to appreciate, but upkeep is expensive.* What a shame to think of these cars as a financial asset!* You let the fuel pumps fill the carbs, then fire it up to that glorious sound only a Ferrari V-12 can make, and you know you are in a rolling work of art.* It's an asset for your soul.

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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-18-2006, 08:20 AM   #9
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Re: Cars as assets

I agree with Ed the gypsy that having a place (and the tools) to work on these old cars is the key. You also need to start with something restorable......meaning (among other things) a frame with little or no rust, and a numbers matching engine. 60s and 70s vettes and other so called muscle cars restored to original condition are bringing big bucks and growing more expensive every year.

Before I became a member I saw a pic posted by a member here......JPatrick??....of a mid 60s vette I believe. Beautiful car......and the kind highly desired after by collectors.

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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-18-2006, 08:37 AM   #10
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Re: Cars as assets

I think nowadays a nice '57 Chevy Bel Air convertible, which is the archetypical '50's car icon, might fetch about $50-75,000. Well, with the right options, that car probably stickered for at least $3500 back when it was new.

Forget all this stuff you hear about cars costing $2000 in 1957. The only new ones you could get for that price would've been very basic sedans with no options, and something that if it was in even pristine condition, would be lucky to fetch $3-4K today.

Now, $3500 in 1957 is like $22-23,000 today, maybe a bit more. So factoring in for inflation, that 1957 Chevy has doubled, maybe tripled, in "real" dollars.

But then, consider that the thing had to be insured and maintained for roughly 50 years. And a '57 Chevy that's worth $50-75K is going to have been either meticulously maintained and cared for, or it is going to have a ton of money sunk into it to restore it.

By and large, cars are not investments. Sometimes you get lucky, but for the most part the name of the game is to LOSE as little as possible in ownership of a car, not make money on it.
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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-18-2006, 09:06 AM   #11
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Re: Cars as assets

I visit several car forums in which you often hear the term "barn job". These are unrestored originals typically found in the garage or barn of older people who have parked them years ago and are currently driving new cars. A fellow I know ran across one of these not long ago. He was helping an elderly couple clean out their junk stored for years at their place outside of town. In a storage shed he lifted a tarp on a 55 Ford Fairlane.......original paint (7up green and white) original 312 engine, near perfect interior. It was sitting on 4 flat tires.... was last inspected in 1972, and had 42K miles. These folks only drove it to town and back. He ended up buying it for $2500. I'm not into Fords much so don't know what the actual value of it might be, but would guess it's way more that $2500 to a collector.

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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-18-2006, 09:15 AM   #12
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Re: Cars as assets

Cars, like anything you collect, can be a lot of fun and maybe even great investments, but they are not assets in the conventional sense, at least not the way I understand the definition of asset. An asset is something that makes you money even as you hold it. It is an apartment complex that spins off income or a stock that provides dividends. Collections only make money when and if you sell them. I don't collect cars, but I do collect wine and even though it is very liquid, I don't consider it to be an asset. It's just something that I like to do, and even if I resell an appreciated bottle or two, it will never be an asset.

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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-18-2006, 11:04 AM   #13
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Re: Cars as assets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre1969
Forget all this stuff you hear about cars costing $2000 in 1957.* The only new ones you could get for that price would've been very basic sedans with no options, and something that if it was in even pristine condition, would be lucky to fetch $3-4K today.
My FIL still talks about buying a car in the 1950s Bronx for $25, but I think that was before you were required to have insurance & safety inspections.

He thinks it's still where he parked it. He's probably right...
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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-18-2006, 11:23 AM   #14
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Re: Cars as assets

My grandfather started out buying beaters, fixing them up, and reselling them (I think they were probably model-T's). It didn't take him long to figure out that he could spend the same amount of time and make much more money doing the same thing with real estate. And the real estate didn't clutter up the front yard.
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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-18-2006, 11:34 AM   #15
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Re: Cars as assets

All you need is to find a cheap Hemi Cuda, and you're all set... 8)
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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-18-2006, 11:40 AM   #16
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Re: Cars as assets

I sold my 1969 GTX Hemi super track pack car about 7 years ago. Just in time to miss the run up in prices.

Car values run up and down just like the markets. I seem to miss the run ups in both.
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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-18-2006, 11:47 AM   #17
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Re: Cars as assets

Yeah, I remember my parents, Granddad, etc, talking about cheap cars they got back in the day. My Mom's first car was a 1957 Plymouth that she bought for $75 in 1965, when she was 16. She doesn't remember much about it except that it was big, it was gray, and one of the windows shattered once when someone slammed a door. Of all the swinging, groovy color choices available back then, leave it to my mother to find a GRAY car! But she drives a white Altima now, so at least she's stayed true to her roots I guess.

When I was about 3, my Granddad found a 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 4-door sedan with a 352 that someone was willing to GIVE away. I think it just needed a new starter. Back then, my Mom was driving a '68 Impala and Dad had a beat-up '62 Corvette with a stick shift that Mom couldn't drive. Well, Dad had a habit of taking Mom's car and leaving her stuck at home with a car she couldn't drive. My Granddad got this Ford and got it running with the intention that my Dad would drive it, instead of Mom's "good" car. Didn't happen. : That Ford wasn't in bad shape, just an out-of-style car that nobody really wanted anymore, even though it had plenty of life left in it.

Back then the styles changed so much that even though a car still probably had years of service left, the styling was just so outdated that nobody wanted it. Mom's '57 Plymouth was a perfect example. The car whose ads proclaimed "Suddenly it's 1960!" (style-wise, it WAS about 4 years ahead of its time in 1957, and the Mopars that year made everything else look downright ancient) looked really outdated by 1965, with its wraparound windshield, towering tailfins, chrome, headlights above the grille, etc. Similarly, that '64 Ford, with its trim, crisp styling just looked out of date in the 70's, when cars were getting bigger, fatter, "hippy-er", pimpyier, etc.

So I guess if you took something like that free '64 Ford or that $75 Plymouth, just let it sit away somewhere without really doing anything to it, and then maybe getting $1000 or so for it today, THAT would be a pretty good return on your investment!

As for the '62 Corvette my Dad had, I think he paid $1000 for it. I'd guess a '62 Corvette with the right engine these days could go for $60-70,000 or more. But this was just an old beater, even back then, and I don't think it even had the correct engine in it.

After the Corvette, Dad got a '64 GTO 2-door sedan, which he paid around $350-400 for, around 1973 or so (about the same time we got the Galaxie). It was another piece of junk, and its engine blew. My Granddad helped him put another engine in it, a Chevy 400 I think, which pretty much killed any value for originality. I guess a '64 GTO 2-door sedan with a 389-TriPower might be worth something nice, and a hardtop or convertible would be worth way more, but this thing was just a rat-bastard.

As for cars being assets though, I'd say that they definitely have SOME value. Just don't expect to make money on them. And they're not something that can be sold quickly and easily to raise cash. For instance, I might be able to get $7-8K for my '67 Catalina convertible, and maybe the same for my '57 DeSoto. But if I needed that money say, tomorrow, I'd be SOL.
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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-18-2006, 01:20 PM   #18
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Re: Cars as assets

Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR
All you need is to find a cheap Hemi Cuda, and you're all set...* 8)


Good luck with that...
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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-18-2006, 08:30 PM   #19
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Re: Cars as assets

Hi, AltaRed!

Quote:
Got into trouble yet with speeding tickets in Alberta?
Nope. Not yet. I rent a car once in a while, is all, and I stay out of trouble. Most of the time. My sins are in the past.
Quote:
The first thing I noticed coming back to Calgary 3 weeks ago is how slow everyone drives in the city (compared to Houston). What gives?

Can one burn the pavement once out in the wide open spaces? One of my favs to go real fast was #22 south of Longview or north of Caroline.
Like he said, photo radar.

Once you get north of Edmonton, you can basically fly, all the way to Ft Mac on 63. Although, that may be changing. Too many grisly deaths on 63 in the last year or so and the province is beginning to take note.

Are you gong to stay for Stampede?

Cheers!

AltaEd
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Re: Cars as assets
Old 05-18-2006, 10:40 PM   #20
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Re: Cars as assets

"An asset is something that makes you money even as you hold it."

I guess that means gold is not an asset. Rather have my gold coins than most old cars though.

It is true than holding costs can cut into profit but I have had the Alfa parked at a ranch I own for 16 years. No cost there because I have a non-use permit from the state. Problem is that the Alfa didn't go up much in value.

That is why I wish I had bought the Daytona.

Oh well, I made worse mistakes in 1973. There was that three flat on Washington street in San Francisco. It cost $110,000. That was a lot of money in '73.

Don't buy that, "Only doctors buy that stuff, they can afford to lose money", I was told.

It took me nine years to wise up and start buying real estate. Now I'm glad I did.

boont
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