Classic Cars, Muscle Cars and Antiques Cars Are Good Investments!

by Krantcents · 32 comments

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Buying a used car will save you money, but a classic, muscle or antiques cars may actually make you money. You still have to choose your car carefully, but these cars usually increase in value unlike your typical car which decreases in value as soon as you buy it. This is not your typical investment, but you may consider it as alternative after you cover everything else. What do you think?

It may be a guy thing, but I always loved cars! It started when I was very young. I remember doodling in my second grade class with my first design of a car. I have no artistic ability, but I did design hidden headlights before I ever saw my first one. It was years later that I finally saw a 1936 Cord that had hidden headlights.  Imagination is a wonderful thing, I wish I would have pursued it, but at six or seven years old it was just a doodle! A few years later I remember playing all sorts of car games.

I am not suggesting that I was special or even unusual because all boys like cars, but I may have been a little more fascinated than others. I particularly like the classic cars of their day. The 1950”s were filled with them such as a 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible, 1957 Ford Thunderbird, 1957 Corvette to just name a few. There are many more from other decades, but these are some of my favorites. The 1960’s had the Pontiac GTO, the original Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang and Dodge Charger, Porsche 911, Jaguar E type (XKE) and the Shelby AC Cobra.

If you bought any of these cars and sold it years later, it would fetch considerably more money that you originally paid for them. How would you know that any of these cars would increase in value? It helps if you knew something about cars! Cars as an investment is no different than any other investment, you need to do research to make good decisions. Luck has nothing to do with it! If you take the time to do a little research, you would find that there were signs, but you had to know where to look.

An old car does not equal a classic. It is in most cases, just an old car that you can pick up cheap. It usually takes twenty (20) years to become a classic. That is a long time to own a car to see if it will become a classic. The other choice is to buy one after it becomes a classic. The definition if a classic car is between thirty (30) and forty-nine (49) years old. Fifty (50) years and older are considered antique cars. The wells know names such as Ferrari or Mercedes Benz has done very well in recent years.

Lesser known names such as the American classics have done well too. The purchase price is generally much lower and they still increase a great deal too. A classic car is usually buying a classic car means you want to keep the miles driven down to maintain its value. Using it to commute to work or to go shopping is probably out of the question. You either should buy it in good to excellent condition or commit to restoring yourself. It will probably get other people’s attention when you drive it, so you may only drive it occasionally.

Buying a classic car requires scrutiny because it is not enough to just make sure it is in decent condition. You must make sure everything is original or it is worth considerably less. Service records, restoration work quality and attention to detail are very important. It is no longer just transportation, it is an investment! Research the car and all of its peculiarities. Find out all you can about the seller and have the car checked out by someone who knows about that particular classic car.

Buying a classic car is no different from researching a company when you want to invest in it. The more you know the better decision you will make. This kind of investment is not for everyone, but it is much more fun than just owning stock in a public company. At least you can drive around your investment. I would love to do this, but I do not know enough about cars to make it worthwhile. It becomes very expensive to outsource everything, particularly the expertise.

Many wealthy people will buy assets such as classic cars, coin collections, antiques, silver or gold, art and many other alternative investments to diversify their portfolio. It may satisfy some other part of their ego, but it also happens to increase in value over time. Buying assets that increase in value is the single characteristic of wealthy people. It is not the only one, but it does not have to be limited to only wealthy people. You can do these things at a much lower investment level and still benefit from the experience.

Final thoughts

Investing in classic cars has always been one of my goals. I do not need a collection or even the most expensive cars. One of my neighbors bought a 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster Carrera convertible.  I remember the day he brought it home. It was beautiful! I remember going over and asking him about it. I remember he said it was a lot of fun to drive although not as comfortable as the new ones. The thought of using it for a number of years and selling it for more than I paid for it just makes it all worthwhile.

The financial side of investments is important! No one like s to lose money! Cars are not your typical investment and require much more research than your average investment. Not only before you make the investment, but after. It takes additional capital to maintain the car, store or warehouse and perhaps restore the car. Unlike a stock, you may not be able to sell it easily or at a profit. Buying a classic, muscle or antiques cars may a great investment for the right person.

Photo by:  Flickr


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Buying a classic, muscle or antiques cars may a great investment for the right person.

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Holly@ClubThrifty December 5, 2013 at 5:39 am

My ex-boyfriend’s dad (from about 15 years ago!) had some antique muscle cars. I don’t know if they were a good investment or not, but he had a lot of fun working on them and taking them to shows.

Krantcents December 5, 2013 at 6:52 am

I just like the idea of cars increasing in value vs. the usual of depreciating. Cars can be a fun hobby besides.

Money Beagle December 5, 2013 at 9:11 am

My dad loves Corvettes and has usually had at least one through a good portion of life. He used to get them from GM, and would get a pretty nice employee discount, so he was able to keep them for the required 6-months, then sell them at a small profit, or at the very least, break even, so he had a good stretch where he always had one. At some point, he got transitioned out of GM and I think they cut the employee discount on Corvettes anyways.

Krantcents December 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm

That sounds like a noce perk!The corvettes I like are the original ones from the 1950s. I remember a high school classmate receiving one for graduation. I bet it is worth a lot today, but he probably no longer owns it.

Janine @ MoneySmartGuides December 5, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Another advantage is much cheaper insurance also! I’ve never been into it, but my dad is and loves it!

Krantcents December 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm

I imagine insurance would be tricky because of values. Typically, values are based on purchase price. Classic cars one restored would add a great deal of value. The saving grace is it would be driven very little.

Squirrelers December 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm

I like classic cars, but have zero interest in working on them or fixing them up. Actually, less than zero interest in working on them is more accurate. That being said, one would be fun to own, plus people can flip vehicles if they know what they’re doing.

Krantcents December 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I have zero ability to work on them! I am thinking purely of some day owning one. I just love the concept of the value increasing versus decreasing.

Kim@Eyesonthedollar December 5, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Don’t let my husband read this. He has been trying to talk me into a 60′s era Mustang for years, and we won’t even talk about Corvettes.

Krantcents December 5, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Don’t avoid it,embrace it if you can get a good deal. Rember,acquire assets is the best route to wealth as long as they increase in value. The Mustang is celebrating their 50th anniversary.

The First Million is the Hardest December 6, 2013 at 3:12 pm

My dad has a ’65 Mustang that he’s kept in perfect condition throughout the years. I know it will probably be worth some decent money if/when it ever gets passed down to me, but I don’t know that I’d ever have the heart to sell it!

Krantcents December 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Is it a convertible? I bet it is fun to drive.

101 Centavos December 7, 2013 at 10:57 am

I know a fellow at work that retired earlier this year. The retirement was financed in part by two sweet Shelby GT Mustangs that he had the foresight to buy in the 60′s (can’t remember offhand the exact model). One of them had less than a hundred miles on the clock, and sat on blocks in his barn for all these years. The other he took out occasionally when the weather was nice. When it came time to sell, he took his time and sold directly to interested buyers.

Krantcents December 7, 2013 at 11:24 am

I bet that took a lot of patience. The key is having some place to store the car(s).

SuburbanFinance December 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm

My dad has always been really into classic/muscle cars etc. The only hitch in his plan to invest in these things is that he buys them and then lets them sit there, and never does anything with them.

Krantcents December 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm

If he bought the right ones, he can still do something about it. The cars do not depreciate because you have not restored them. The cost of restoration may increase over time though which could reduce your profits.

Alexis Marlons December 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm

I would love to collect antique and muscle cars. This is actually one of my goals, though still very far from reality. These cars are really good investments.

Krantcents December 8, 2013 at 5:21 pm

My wife’s car (Honda Prelude) will be a classic since they no longer manufacture that model. It may be worth hanging on to it.

Barbara Friedberg December 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm

If we hold on to our existing (very old) cars, they will soon be antiques :)

Krantcents December 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm

I think you mean classic! LOL! My former car (17 y.o.) was approaching that too. My wife’s car (17 y.o.) is a classic because Honda no longer manufactures that model (Prelude). Maybe, I should keep it.

Maverick December 8, 2013 at 7:10 pm

From personal experience, it’s a hobby…not an investment. It’s a rare vehicle that you can really say is an investment after deducting all expenses. I do recommend collector car insurance (with limited mileage allowance). My latest collector car purchase was a new 2009.5 Pontiac G8 GT that is being garage kept and still has well under 3k miles. And a true collector never drives his car in the rain.

Krantcents December 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I agree that not all cars will be profitable, but this is when research has valua.

Stu @ Poor Student December 9, 2013 at 8:02 pm

My buddy has a classic car that his grandfather passed down to him, when he was in high school. It’s now worth $6K more than when he got the car.

Krantcents December 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm

It is so much better for the asset is increase vs. what usually happens!

jlcollinsnh December 15, 2013 at 6:49 am

Ha! Fun topic and thanks to 101C for pointing me over here.

I’ve often wondered about the idea of an old car as a daily driver just to avoid the depreciation would be nice, plus you’d have something a bit more interesting.

Like you, I also lack mechanical skills, so repairs would likely just take the cost place of depreciation. Plus the missing safety features and potentially less reliability…

Still I find myself scanning Craig’s on occasion…

Krantcents December 15, 2013 at 9:52 am

Thanks to 101C too! The one shortcoming to owning one of these cars is you won’t use it as a daily commuting car. Despite the restoration and repairs, it still should increase in value more than depreciation.

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