So Long 2013. Hello 2014.

2013 has come and gone and during the year, the collector car market saw an up-tick in classic car values over all. It’s still all about condition, originality and horsepower (aka speed). Generally speaking:

¨ High end exotics are up 15 to 20%,

¨ Early 1920s and 1930s models are up 10 to 15%.

¨ 1940s are up 9 to 12%

¨ 1950s are up 8 to 12%

¨ 1960s are up 12 to 16%

¨ 1970s are up 8 to 12% and

¨ 1980s are up 4 to 8%.

Still the best bets are convertibles, hardtop coupes, limited production models and documented cars and trucks. Buy documented autos. If you’re selling, get the paperwork together before you attempt to market your vehicle. Watch for an early jump in values in 2014 due to the supply and demand at highly publicized auctions. Restoration is still a costly process. Better to buy a restored vehicle with documentation about who, what, when and where. This helps to increase the investment potential.

2014 may be a good time to buy at auction. Auction advertising that includes the vehicle ID number ahead of the sale assists in the pre-purchase inspection and qualification process.  Some of these autos are going to be great investments in the future. For the right autos, classic car values could double in the next five years.

Remember to always buy what you like and will enjoy driving and sharing with others. Car guys and gals are some of the best people on the planet.  I know this from my 45 plus years working in the automotive field. Also, remember that demand will continue to grow and supply will become less for the best.

Hope to see you on the road.  As always, safe travels for you and yours.   Larry Batton


Tips for Buying a Classic Car at Auction

I love auctions. The crowds, the chant, the bright lights, the bids. We all know it’s easy to get caught up in the excitment and emotions. So what do we really need to focus on? Here are a few tips when buying a classic car or any vehicle at auction.

1. Buy the one you want with the equipment, engine, color, options and history that you want. If you settle for something else, chances are you’ll find the one you want next month.  Then you’ll find it may be harder to sell your initial purchase than it was to buy.

2. Buy the one with documentation. When was it restored, who restored it, what was done at that time, what was it originally before it was restored?

3. Look at the title before you buy it.  This may tell you the motivation of the seller and can help you price your purchase.

4. Have someone look at it for you or with you. Love is blind. We all know that. Let someone look at the car from a more objective point of view. A pre purchase inspection could save you from making a big mistake or help you buy with more confidence.


Collector Car Insurance coverage Options

As with all types of insurance, there can be some confusion about what you’re actually getting.

Actual Cash Value

The most popular type of policy written for daily drivers will only pay out the value determined by the insurance company at the time of your total loss accident. Usually based on used car prices rather than the value in the collector car market.

Stated Value

Very popular with collector car owners. You determine the amount that your car is insured for. If you have a total loss claim, that amount is the starting point for depreciation or other adjustments made by the insurer before settlement. You receive the lower of the stated value or actual cash value amounts.

Agreed Value

You and the insurer agree to the amount of coverage and the premium is adjusted accordingly. If you have a total loss claim you receive the full amount of the agreed value for your vehicle.

Insurance for your Insurance

How do you know if you are insured for the correct amount? An AAG auto appraisal can help you establish proof of your car’s condition and document its current value for insurance purposes.


What’s up with Mopar Values?


1960-61 Dodge Dart CVT—up 8%

1961-64 Dodge Polara CVT—up 7%

1962-64 Custom 880 CVT—up 9%

1965-69 Dodge Monaco—up 9%

1978 Lil’ Red Express PU—up 5%

1953-54 Chrysler T&C Wgn—up 7%

1960-63 Imperial Crwn CVT—up 10%

1969-71 Chrysler 300 CVT—up 10%

1969-71 New Yorker—up 10%

1955-56 Plymouth Plaza—up 7%

1965-66 Plymouth Fury—up 8%

1967 Plymouth Fury—up 7%

1970 Plymouth Fury CVT—up 8%

1971 Barracuda CVT—up 7%



Appraisal aids in Divorce Settlement

After 7 years of marriage, Joe & Cheri Williams (names have been changed)decided to call it quits.  They both admitted that they were miserable and it was time to part ways and move on.  During those 7 years they had acquired a couple of collector cars that they drove to local cruise-ins and car shows.  Now it was time to divide the assets. They agreed that Joe would keep the Chevelle and Cheri would keep the Camaro. But now they couldn’t agree on how much each one was worth.  Cheri contacted AAG for independent appraisals on the two vehicles.  After on-site inspections and market research, she received an unbiased appraisal for each vehicle.  Once Joe and his attorney saw the detailed appraisal report, they were able to negotiate an amicable settlement of personal property which included the vehicles.  “We are very grateful to find a professional and independent appraisal company to help this couple determine the fair market value of their collector cars. The local agent was very prompt and the report gave us everything we needed to finalize the property settlement,” said Joe’s attorney.

AAG can assist you with independent auto appraisals on any type of automobile, motorcycle, RV or other vehicle.  AAG also has value expertise in automobilia items like gas pumps, vintage signs or other types of collectibles.  While Joe & Cheri were able to settle their property without going before a judge, AAG also has experience with expert witness testimony should the need arise.

Appraisal services assist in property settlements for estates and divorces or for claims involving diminution of value or totaled vehicles.


What’s Up in the Collector Car Market?

Early auction results across the US show a continued interest in collector cars. And along with that continued interest we’re seeing an increase in classic car values as 2013 gets underway. What should we be watching this spring?  Here are a few of my picks for cars with the potential to see a reasonable increase in the near future:

  • 1955-1962    Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce CVT
  • 1955-1962    Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce Coupe
  • 1986 Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio Spider
  • 1968-1970 AMC Javelin Coupe
  • 1969 AMC SC/Rambler Coupe
  • 1961-1968 Amphicar Convertible
  • 1950-1952 Aston Martin DB2 Convertible
  • 1979-1985 Aston Martin V8 Volante Convertible
  • 1961-1962 Austin Healey 3000 Mk II BN7/BT7 Roadster
  • 1971-1975 BMW 3.0 CS Coupe
  • 1971-1975 BMW 3.0 CSL Coupe
  • 1949-1953 Buick Super Convertible
  • 1951-1953 Buick Special Convertible
  • 1958 Buick Limited Convertible
  • 1967 Buick Wildcat Hardtop Coupe
  • 1954-1955 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible
  • 1961-1962 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible
  • 1955, 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible
  • 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS 2D HT 396
  • 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS 2D HT 427
  • 1956 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
  • 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
  • 1956 Ford Thunderbird
  • 1957 Ford Thunderbird “E” Convertible
  • 1957 Ford Thunderbird “F” Convertible
  • 1955-1963 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster
  • 1957-1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

As you can see there are a wide variety of vehicles that are showing good potential at this time. And it’s not just because spring is around the corner that you see a lot of soft tops on this list.  They will always be more sought after in the collector car market.

Watch for more of my picks in future issues. “Like” our page on facebook to see what’s happening in the collector car world and in your local community.

Happy motoring and stay safe.  Larry Batton, AAG Founder and President