The Crystal ball.
Now that 2013 is in the record
books, itís time to look forward to the upcoming year and what it holds
in store. Predictions have become an expected component of automotive
reporting, and while itís relatively easy to forecast happenings in the
new car arena, itís considerably more difficult to prognosticate about
the collector car hobby. Armed with the lessons learned in 2013, here
are five predictions about the hobby for the year thatís about to be:
prices for high-end cars will continue to climb. From 2012 to 2013, the
value of the top ten cars sold at auction
grew by an
astonishing 63.25 percent, topping $140 million. Granted, $32 million of
that came from the sale of Fangioís Mercedes-Benz W196 racer, and itís
unlikely (but not impossible) that any single car auction price will
exceed this in 2014. While prices for rare and desirable models from
high-end automakers are on the rise, donít expect this to trickle down
to more ďcommonĒ models; in other words, just because Ferrari
250s are skyrocketing in value, the same canít be said for Ferrari 308s.
If I had to guess a number for 2014, Iíd say that the top 10 sales for
the year will exceed $150 million.
This 1983 Chrysler Town & Country Mark Cross Edition sold for $13,750
in September. Photo courtesy of Auctions America.
Seventies and Eighties cars
will become more attractive to hobbyists. The saying ďone manís junk is
another manís treasureĒ has never been more appropriate. As blue-chip
cars and sports cars continue to climb in value, look for those of us on
a budget to continue to turn to cars that werenít previously attractive,
such as big domestic sedans from the 1970s and even ďdisposableĒ cars
from the 1980s. Auction sales of well-preserved K-car convertibles
drew surprising numbers last
year, and itís safe to say that trend will continue as more children of
the 1970s and 1980s begin to embrace the collector car hobby.
A Cool Cruiser.
This is a late model 1981Toyota FJ40
The Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser
will become the next
Volkswagen 21-Window Samba bus. In the past three years, prices for
restored Volkswagen buses have shot through the roof, with the rarest
examples consistently realizing six-figure prices at auction. A similar
phenomenon is beginning to happen with Toyota FJ40 Land Cruisers; once a
rare sight at high-end auctions, their presence has become expected, and
prices for well-preserved or meticulously restored examples have risen
accordingly. I wouldnít be surprised at all if an exceptional FJ40
topped $100,000 at auction in 2014.
(21.January.2014): Three weeks into the new year, one prediction has
already come true: RM Auctions has sold a fully restored
FJ40 Land Cruiser for
$101,750, including buyerís fees
Gas prices wonít change
(much) in the coming year. If youíre looking for relief at the pumps in
2014, expect to be disappointed. Though supply of crude oil from
domestic sources now tops imported oil and U.S. oil consumption has been
declining in recent years, prices at the pump havenít dropped
significantly in the past year. Though fuel prices will surely rise
seasonally, or in the event of a natural disaster impacting production,
expect current prices to be the new norm for the foreseeable future.
5. Hot rods, street rods, and restomods wonít climb
much in value. Perhaps more shocking than the Petersen Museumís decision
to sell off cars
from its collection last year were the prices realized for high-end
street rods. Scrape, Terry Cookís renowned 1939 Lincoln Zephyr, sold for
just $66,000, a Chip Foose-built 1951 Mercury drew a winning bid of
$44,000 and a Boyd Coddington customized 1933 Ford Custom Victoria
traded hands for $38,500, all well below the cost to build such
creations. Even the Dick Flint roadster performed far below expectations
when it sold for $525,000 at RMís Art of the Automobile auction (against
a pre-auction estimate that ranged up to $900,000). Donít expect this
market to recover significantly in 2014, as high-end buyers want
originality over someone elseís vision of what a particular year, make
and model should be.