People buy classic cars because they are true classic car enthusiasts or the car brings back memories of their younger years. With new cars straight off the dealership lot outperforming classics in every category, only extremely diehard car collectors or those with a true sense of nostalgia and appreciation for automotive history spend big money on old cars. This has created a marketplace where vintage cars, collector cars, and muscle cars in good condition are valued at more than their modern counterpart most of the time.
However, a 2017 report in Automotive News, citing classic car insurance company Hagerty, claims that auction prices are declining while the number of classics sold has increased. This looks like the result of aging Americans downsizing to smaller homes, living on a lower fixed income, or simply dying off.
A New York Times report shows that by 2030, 20% of the population in the United States will be 65 or older. Seniors will have to decide what to do with family heirlooms including antique cars. With newer generations showing less interest in classic cars and more interest in technology, we could see a vastly different classic car market in the near future as many of these cars will end up at car auction houses like Barrett-Jackson, further saturating the market.
Adding to the gradual decline in classic car value is the recent trend of classic SUVs and trucks. With millennials being the first generation to grow up in SUVs, we are seeing the market value of specific vehicles like the old Broncos and Jeep Wagoneers skyrocket.
There is no telling what classic car market trends will look like in the years to come, but if classic car prices continue the way they have been, this may be a good time to buy the classic vehicle you've always dreamed of, whether it be a classic Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang, or anything in between.