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What’s HOT on the Web?

The Virtual World Reflects the Real World

1970 GTO

note: this article first appeared in the October 2005 issue of Collector Car Market Review. C) Copyright 2005, VMR International, Inc.  All rights reserved.

It wasn't too long ago that the "experts" were predicting the decline of the big national swap meets like Hershey and Carlisle. The web, went the convention, would be the new “virtual” swap meet. Instead of finding that obscure part on the Chocolate field, you'd find it on the computer in your den. Auction and classified websites would make things so easy: a couple of point and clicks, a credit card, and a few days later the part shows up at your door. Why would you want to trudge around in the mud and rain, likely coming home empty-handed anyway?

Top 30 Model Lookups
(each model includes lookups
for all variations of that model)

 

1969 Camaro
1970 Mustang
1970 Barracuda
1970 Challenger
1970 Chevelle
1966 Mustang
1969 Mustang
1971 Barracuda
1971 Challenger
1965 Mustang
1967 Mustang
1968 Camaro

1967 Camaro

1957 Bel Air

1970 GTO

1969 GTO
1969 Shelby GT500
1971 GTO
1969 Chevelle
1967 Chevelle
1958 Impala
1970 4-4-2
1961 Impala
1969 Roadrunner
1970 Camaro
1969 4-4-2
1972 Firebird
1972 Chevy Pickup
1962 Porsche 356
1971 TR-6
1971 Camaro
1967 Corvette

The web has become an important part of the hobby, and many of us utilize it to find and buy parts and cars. But it will never replace the swap meet. Mainly, well, because they're a lot of fun! The web will continue to grow and become ever more important, but it can't replace the human element, and that's why it will coexist with traditional swap meets and not replace them. Besides, it can't address the inspection problem. If you're like most people, you want to see it and touch it first.

We've had a presence on the web since 1997, back when the publication was just a price guide and known as Collector Car & Truck Prices. We've seen traffic grow over the years to the point where our website generates over 200,000 page views each month.  We can generate site statistics based on user activity that tell us which areas are popular, which are not, how people find us, how long they stay, etc. We thought it would be interesting to compile that activity and present it to you. We did this exercise a few years ago, so we'll also compare today’s results with those to see if it things had changed.

Results
Who wins it? Chevy, once again, but the margin of victory decreased significantly. There were also some changes in position compared to the 1999 results, the most notable being the upward movement of Dodge and Chrysler. We attribute this to the incredible surge in Mopar popularity (and value) over the last couple of years.

Even stronger than last time, the overwhelming focus of visitors’ attention was on mid-sixties to early seventies vehicles . This strength came at the further expense of forties and fifties vehicles. Again this is very reflective of what we are seeing in the market in general.

 

The biggest change we saw since the last report was the almost total disappearance of cars from the fifties from the top 20 list of most frequently viewed models. In fact, only two, both Chevys, made the list. This is significant, and to us only underscores the current shift away from fifties and earlier collector cars.

Other notable web activity included an uptick in interest among imports. Although most didn't make the top 30 lists, as a group there was a measurable increase across the board. German and Japanese makes, in particular, made big strides. Although not even close to the leaders, they were way ahead of their showing in our last compilation.

Conclusions? This is just more evidence of a definitive shift in the collector car marketplace. Unquestionably, sixties and seventies iron is where all the action is right now. It is coming largely from the guys that had one in their youth and now have the money (or the equity line) to buy them again as a toy. A large percentage have been convinced it’s a good investment as well. It's a big group and right now this strong demand is driving up prices on a limited supply.

 

collector car model year graph


 

1950 Ford Crestliner Toyota Corona Dino Road Runner
Changing of the Guard? As a group, the flashy fifties fell across the board, while 60s and 70s imports--even ones you probably wouldn’t consider-- posted big gains. American muscle blew everything away.