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Where'd They Go?  Affordable, Usable Collector Cars Tough to Find

As anyone who has recently been poking around for an inexpensive collector car will tell you, decent examples (#4 condition) at an easy to digest price are tough to find right now. You know; those cars we buy to fix-up, refurbish, and basically play around with on the weekends. There's no intention to make a show winner, just something to spruce up and enjoy on a leisurely weekend drive. The whole process gives many in the hobby immense satisfaction, and also provides a focal point for forging and cementing friendships among like-minded enthusiasts.

Tight Supply Driving Out Bargains

Since the pandemic hit last year, there's been a steady dwindling of supply of these types of vehicles, and values have jumped markedly. Some of the reasons why are discussed elsewhere in this issue, but suffice to say that what used to be attainable under $5,000 is now long gone, and what's left at that price point are mostly projects needing a whole lot of work--almost always (you might get lucky) too much work to fit in the “weekend fun” scenario we painted above.

Part of our pricing algorithm for our value guides use our proprietary Value-Track app, which collects and analyzes data from a variety of sources. We took this data and focused on the under $6,000 market and found an astounding loss of supply in this segment over the last year -- far more than any other price point.

Gathering data from several major markets, overall supply shows steep declines. Although this illustration shows aggregate numbers, this situation holds for every one of the metropolitan areas from which we pulled data.

Will we ever see a return to pre-pandemic supply conditions? We have to think so, as over time the many simultaneous external shocks to the market will mitigate and disappear. Until then, however, prepare to pay more for your weekend fixer upper.

Affordable collector cars tight supply

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