Catching A Classic... For The Right Price
Does investing in a vintage automobile make sense?
What put this into my head was lot number 118 at the Gooding Auction: A beautiful ivory-colored 1967 Maserati Mistral 4000 GT. It was valued at $70-$90K. But like many that night it was sent to the auction block without reserve (meaning the highest bidder gets the car, even if the price bid is under the estimated value). Guess what it sold for? Fifty thousand bucks. Granted, $50K is not an insignificant amount of money - far from it. But while you could get a bare-bones Mercedes E-Class for about that money, consider what this buyer got for that tidy sum: a rare, bona fide exotic machine, meticulously maintained and documented, and, as such, a great investment. The fact is, whoever bought that car in this down market could probably turn around in three to five years (after the economic climate has turned) and sell it at a profit (assuming proper maintenance, of course).
That's the thing about classics: they are a commodity like anything else. Sometimes they are over-priced, sometimes under-priced. And they don't immediately lose value once you drive them off the lot like their newer counterparts - the worth of a vintage car is determined by the desires of other collectors and auction houses.
Don't take my word for it: Men.style.com did a great piece on collecting classic cars (among other vintage items). Go read it (and start dreaming of yours) here.
(Photo courtesy of Gooding & Company)
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