JeepinMatt
JeepinMatt HalfDork
6/19/10 9:52 p.m.

I'm no professional investor. Hell, I'm no investor. But I've heard several times recently that cars bottom out in value at around 10-15 years and then start to appreciate (if they're collectible enough). That seems awfully quick. I always seemed to notice that cars bottomed out the depreciation curve closer to 25 years or so. But they had graphs. I don't have fancy graphs. What's more accurate?

Toyman01
Toyman01 Dork
6/19/10 10:01 p.m.

Yes you are, you hang out here don't you. Now what was the question.

I would say 25 years at least. You can probably make better money in a simple savings account.

Also not an investor, and I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn Express so pay no attention to me.

teamdixonracing
teamdixonracing Dork
6/19/10 10:13 p.m.

As much as I love cars, I wouldn't think (accept in the rare case) that cars are your best investment.

I'm pretty much just interested in when the value hits the bottom so I spend less money.

JeepinMatt
JeepinMatt HalfDork
6/19/10 10:27 p.m.

I'm not really interested in making money off of them. I ask because many of my favorite cars are 20-30 years old and, as a buyer, it helps to pick them up near their lowest price. I don't wanna hear that they're gonna shoot up in value before I can buy 'em.

NYG95GA
NYG95GA SuperDork
6/19/10 10:52 p.m.

I have never personaly bought a car as an investment, but my business-savvy father has. He bought a near pristine 1957 RHD Silver Cloud in 1975 for $3700. Kept it in a garage, drove it to church once a week to keep fluids up, re-upholstered the interior in new leather and had it professionally repainted to original colors (Beige/Sand w/ red pinstripes). In 2005, we took it to Calloway Garden Concours and scored well; and at the auction following, it went for $3400

Dad took it pretty well.. he figured it cost him $10 a year to drive it, not including maintainence. It was in a couple of movies: Betty Davis rode in the back seat, and he got to drive his little girl (my sister) from her wedding to the reception in it, which if you know fathers, is worth a bunch right there. Still, he didn't make a dime. Just fond memories.

It's hard enough to predict the value of a car from month to month or year to year.. to try to predict the market decades later is just darn near impossible.

MitchellC
MitchellC Dork
6/19/10 11:40 p.m.

There are a plethora of factors which seem to affect how collectible a car is. Two-doors typically fare much better than four-doors. "Pinnacle" cars seem to do the best; meaning, the highest performance or rarest variant of a common car that was desirable in the first place. "Garage finds" seem to be very sought after right now, but who knows what the moneymaker in the future will be.

I am convinced that early Civic Si's will hold their value very well, as will Integra Type R's.

96DXCivic
96DXCivic Dork
6/19/10 11:45 p.m.

I would never buy a car as an investment. It just seems like that would ruin that enjoyment of the car. As far as the actually reason that this thread was started. It seems like it would depend on the car but I would try to by them sooner then later.

JeepinMatt
JeepinMatt HalfDork
6/19/10 11:48 p.m.

Certainly there's a plethora of factors, but as a ballpark rule, I still can't think of many cars that start appreciating at 10 years old. I know a few exceptions, like the Ford GT, the Prius (ugh), Morgans etc... But for a typical or average amount of time, it still feels young. I've kept up on values for FD RX-7s, Dodge Vipers, Lotus Esprits, Alfa GTV6s, Corvette C4 ZR-1s, Porsche 924S's etc... and as sought after and highly regarded they are, they still kept right on depreciating past 15 years. Not quite as quickly or steeply as Grandma's Olds Cutlass or some Monte Carlo, but depreciating nonetheless.

(crosses fingers) Keep on depreciating Vipers... FD RX-7s... I want one of each

JeepinMatt
JeepinMatt HalfDork
6/19/10 11:49 p.m.

As a sidenote, the "A" key on my keyboard is suddenly extremely sensitive and I'm using my Backspace key overtime to keep from typing like an New York/Italian stereotype, but I'm getting tired of it and might start letting it slip. Wouldn't be all that ill-fitting; my extended family is made up of New York/Italian stereotypes.

thedude
thedude Reader
6/20/10 11:13 a.m.

investing in a car is just as safe as, say, a mutual fund. a mutual fund that is continually deteriorating, rusting and in danger of having a tree fall on it.

JeepinMatt
JeepinMatt HalfDork
6/20/10 11:00 p.m.

I'm just wondering if 10-15 years is the bottom of a typical, desirable sports car's depreciation curve, or if it's closer to 25 years.

integraguy
integraguy HalfDork
6/21/10 2:16 a.m.

Yes, you are nuts....but so are the rest of us here.

Next question?

Seriously, as others have stated, there are several factors that determine when/if? a car will have reached the "bottoming out" phase of it's POTENTIAL value as a purchase/investment. Age USUALLY, but not always plays a part in how soon the bottom occurs. Some cars can bottom faster than others, just by being a certain brand, having a certain level of sophistication in their engineering, or if they were popular/sold in huge numbers.

Ferraris and Porsches, depending on the model, won't necessarily depreciate, so much as lose value in the market when the economy turns "sour". The British magazines said that values on many 'top end" cars went through the floor after only 12 months on the road, due to the stock market meltdown in 2008. The values are slowly recovering....but there are still bargains in near new high end cars. In fact, it is often discussed here how 5 year old M-Bs and BMWs can lose value quickly, depending on the model.

To sort of re-visit your question:

If a car depreciates quickly(10 to 15 years), it probably won't turn around all that quickly. And if it depreciates quickly, there's probably a reason why. I thought that the Solstice and Sky would depreciate quickly, as both are GM products, and then both brands went down the drain. Maybe in 10 or 15 years they will have "done a Fiero" and be worth next to nothing....but I doubt it since neither was in production for very long.

Josh
Josh Dork
6/21/10 3:12 a.m.
NYG95GA wrote: I have never personaly bought a car as an investment, but my business-savvy father has. He bought a near pristine 1957 RHD Silver Cloud in 1975 for $3700. Kept it in a garage, drove it to church once a week to keep fluids up, re-upholstered the interior in new leather and had it professionally repainted to original colors (Beige/Sand w/ red pinstripes). In 2005, we took it to Calloway Garden Concours and scored well; and at the auction following, it went for $3400 Dad took it pretty well.. he figured it cost him $10 a year to drive it, not including maintainence. It was in a couple of movies: Betty Davis rode in the back seat, and he got to drive his little girl (my sister) from her wedding to the reception in it, which if you know fathers, is worth a bunch right there. Still, he didn't make a dime. Just fond memories. It's hard enough to predict the value of a car from month to month or year to year.. to try to predict the market decades later is just darn near impossible.

Really? A quick check of Hemmings shows the only Sliver Clouds under $26k asking price are in need of total restoration - and even those are priced from $12-19k.

Brotus7
Brotus7 Reader
6/21/10 6:50 a.m.

10-15 years doesn't sound right to me. The depreciation slows down after 10-15 years, so it won't cost much per year to drive from the depreciation expense stand point, but that is not the same as appreciating in value.

At 25 years the depreciate stops, but doesn't go up much from there, or at least not quickly. How much was a Datsun 240Z worth 10 years ago compared to now?

The other thing is that are we talking about cars that people drive?

nocones
nocones Reader
6/21/10 6:55 a.m.
Josh wrote:
NYG95GA wrote: I have never personaly bought a car as an investment, but my business-savvy father has. He bought a near pristine 1957 RHD Silver Cloud in 1975 for $3700. Kept it in a garage, drove it to church once a week to keep fluids up, re-upholstered the interior in new leather and had it professionally repainted to original colors (Beige/Sand w/ red pinstripes). In 2005, we took it to Calloway Garden Concours and scored well; and at the auction following, it went for $3400 Dad took it pretty well.. he figured it cost him $10 a year to drive it, not including maintainence. It was in a couple of movies: Betty Davis rode in the back seat, and he got to drive his little girl (my sister) from her wedding to the reception in it, which if you know fathers, is worth a bunch right there. Still, he didn't make a dime. Just fond memories. It's hard enough to predict the value of a car from month to month or year to year.. to try to predict the market decades later is just darn near impossible.
Really? A quick check of Hemmings shows the only Sliver Clouds under $26k asking price are in need of total restoration - and even those are priced from $12-19k.

If both these stories are true the guy bought that car off of the OP's dad stands to make a KILLING! He invested in cars well.

racerdave600
racerdave600 HalfDork
6/21/10 10:07 a.m.

It depends on the car. A car may bottom out in 10 to 15 years, but unless it's really collectible, it's going to take a while to start moving up with any real appreciation.

Unless you just happen to luck into one, say like a Hemi Cuda 40 years ago, you're not going to be able to retire on a car. Dollar for dollar, there are better places to put your money for growth, but of course, you don't get the fun a car gives you either. I just hate to lose a lot of money, so I tend to buy at the bottom of the depreciation curve, drive one a year or so, break even and move on.

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