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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Is this the last hurrah for muscle car values?

Muscle cars have long been subject to booms and busts. They hit their first peak in 1970, when practically every American make from AMC to Oldsmobile offered a coupe with a rip-snorting V-8. A few years later, amid the gas crunch, they couldn't be given away.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/market-trends/is-this-the-last-hurrah-for-muscle-car-values/
29 REPLIES 29
mpzz
Advanced Driver

Yeah, but what happens when electric cars take over and gas is $20 a gallon? I have my 1969 Camaro in storage waiting for twenty or thirty thousand dollars of restoration, but I wonder if it's worth it if the electric car revolution is here in ten years as so many are claiming?
hyperv6
Racer

Gas will be around and a number of mfgs are working on synthetic fuel.

Gas is going to go up electric or not. I just pray the EPA just does not ban gas all together.

The 60’s cars prices are stabilizing as younger kids can’t afford them. They are moving to the cheaper tuner cars if they even have an automotive interest.

They could revisit these older cars as they become more affordable.
colsteve
Pit Crew

If the EPA bans gas, they'll be nearly out of business to harass the public. Government doesn't solve problems, they perpetuate them. No government program sunsets itself.
hyperv6
Racer

Note the synthetic fuels in my statement. May not be cheap but nothing to prevent them. Also Propane and other options should the extreme happen.
604birdman
New Driver

The Shift is in full effect. just look at the 5L mustang, camaro's, early 90's BMW's. A classic to a 21 year old (born in 2020) is something in the 80's, and 90's and that's a car 30-40 years old already. There will always be the muscle car nostalgia, the pinnacle. But you need younger people in the car clubs, events to bring in the younger crowds. but with too many older "purist" not willing to adjust to the changing demographic things will eventually die off. Or the people at least.
604birdman
New Driver

Sorry i meant born in 2000
SS_Chas
New Driver

I concur with your statement about getting younger people in the car clubs and at events. The very people that complain about their hobby dying off seem to be the older "purists" who refuse to adjust. I see the same behavior in a metalworking machinists forums in which I participate. If we older gray beards want to keep it going, it is our responsibility to to encourage them, coach them, mentor them, and help them, rather than ridicule their opinions.  I work with many fresh out engineers who are outstanding engineers, and do not at all fit the millenial stereotype.

 

It's up to us, not them.

hyperv6
Racer

Here is the deal. For generations the elders ruled the roost. We of the 80's had to listen to 50's music for a good while. We still do.

It is a matter of conforming. I have been at events where the younger folks show up with the subs blasting and not respecting the folks around the event. Often too they are the one showing poor judgment and often the ones hitting the pole leaving an event.

I know in my time the older folk self policed and often would get on us for doing things that were not for the benefit for the majority. Looking back they may have kept us from getting kicked out of an area of from being hassled.

The same thing has happened in each generation and today it is still going on. The real issue is most kids today can't buy a GTO numbers matching for $2500 today. To be honest you can make a 4 cylinder fast but at a great cost.

A number of things have changed and made it difficult so many of these kids are moving on to other things. It is easier to build a Video system with GTA vs a car.
Quincydubois
Intermediate Driver

Blah blah blah.
Talk cars and keep your uninformed political beliefs to yourself.
colsteve
Pit Crew

You are correct. Politics does affect our future so pay attention now to control the future.
Geok86
Instructor

THIS!!!
PaulTravers
Pit Crew

There is more than fuel for muscle cars to worry about. You have trucking industry, military submarines & ships. Other distilled products such as kerosene and diesel fuels are not all being removed so quick. The fight is on but it’s going to be tough when muscle car owners start to modify petroleum products to accommodate their cars thirst. Main ingredient is Hydrogen! It’s found everywhere.
eltonfan
New Driver

As an aging baby boomer I have confidence in the generations following us to continue the love affair of muscle cars. I know my son will cherish my car when I’m gone.
At first my comment was going to be a thank you for posting a rear view of my ‘72 Chevelle with the red/black paint scheme. I thought She was an instant star, lol. But I’m delighted to be an owner of one of the most popular collector cars.
13eagle
Pit Crew

"Ford Model As consistently rank among the top 10 vehicles Hagerty insures"
Interesting. How about breaking down that figure by age of the owner? And what's the ratio of stock Model As vs. hot rodded ones that you insure?
Mike_B
Intermediate Driver

You have to keep in mind that while Muscle Cars were "new" for the Boomers and hold a special place for them (and rightly so), they also hold a very special place in the hearts of us Gen-X'ers.
For many of us, "used but not quite used up" Muscle Cars were our first cars. Our high school parking lots were full of old Mustangs, Cougars, Camaros and Chevelles, with some Impalas and Darts thrown in the mix.
Gen-X'ers are coming into their own right now, making big bucks, paying off / down their houses, putting a kid or two through their last years of college, and planning for retirement. As well as planning what the heck they are going to DO during retirement.
For many of us, that "someday" Muscle Car they want own, or that "someday" restoration of the Muscle Car that's been "rotting" in the garage or side yard is quickly becoming a reality.

Also, you have the Millennials that grew up on video games featuring some of our favorite Muscle Cars. That is going to keep things warm for decades to come.

...unless they ban gasoline. In which case we will be relegated to track events and an annual "old car day" when you can pay $250 to drive your "planet killer" for one day only.
Corvettebaggs
Intermediate Driver

I believe muscle cars will continue to proceed forward with peaks and valleys in value and I believe the peaks will always outpace the valleys. Gasoline will continue an upward climb, in my opinion, because it will be not needed as much eventually. It will become a specialty item like race gas is now.
I can envision an "expensive carbon tax of some kind" put on them just to license them in the not so distant future. Which in turn will eventually kill the ownership for the average joe. I think they'll always be around. You just might have to go to a museum to see them.
KdFregistry
Intermediate Driver

There are cycles in everything. Real estate, cars, antiques, all go through cycles. Value is all about opinion. Always thought it was interesting how when house prices are down nobody is buying & how when prices are "red hot" and at record highs people out bid each other to get it. Human nature seems to feel much better about the decision to buy as long as 10 others are willing to pony up also. As a total car-guy I have noticed with myself that as I got older my taste for rarer, & better cars are what I want to own. It's just how things evolve. I see young people buy new mustangs and and the lust for an old Shelby begins. My opinion is that the up and down price trend will always happen, getting too hot and then the correction happens, (as it should) but that should never be mistaken as a signal that "its over". Buy the best car you totally Love and dont worry about it.
mjdart
New Driver

I'm very active in the car community and I see a strong move towards muscle & classic cars the have been transformed to Pro Touring or Restomods. This gives the look and excitement of muscle cars or classics with the reliability and creature comforts of modern cars. I also see many "modern" muscle cars being bought and brought to cruise ins and shows. A vintage car is not for the masses as they require attention to their maintenance and their range is many times limited. I have one of each and I enjoy them for how they fit in best in the world of car nuts.
Snailish
Instructor

Not disagreeing with you, but the interstate highway system was built for 1950s cars.

 

Where people run into reliability issues is not driving the vehicle enough and allowing items to age out (whether it has miles on it or not things degrade with time).

 

What is different is our expectations, not many want to drive across multiple states with no A/C and so on. Meanwhile, the vehicles could do it if we let them.

 

*The above does not apply to stock model T and other pre-interstate era vehicles as they weren't really meant to go interstate speeds,  but they can still runabout town.

Cirj44
New Driver

Baby boomers are dying off or getting rid of their classic cars. Fact. Post Boomers have many more nostalgia choices than we Boomers have. Their "bedroom posters" have mostly 80's and later, lots of Japanese, Euros, etc. Even if they are into the American Muscle scene, Fox bodies and such tend to be their thing. If you are a post boomer and muscle-motorhead, I would posit most should be looking at 300+ HP pony cars over the last 20 years or even C4's.
Bottom line, I would have to guess that 60's muscle cars are peaking; those that couldn't afford it when they were young, or even had one in the 70's have been "out of production" too long.
Cirj44
New Driver

Unless you're looking at factory spec restoration, the clock is ticking. Too soon to tell how long the resto-mod craze/fad will last. We've seen this before folks: Custom choppers, Pro Street....
Cirj44
New Driver

If we're talking about classic cars, gas prices are immaterial. These are not daily drivers.
CharlesP
Pit Crew

There is all this talk of the newer generation going to the European cars or the tuner cars and foregoing the muscle cars. I have a 68 Camaro that I have resto-moded and it wasn't till my kids were almost out of college till I could afford my car. I go to cars & coffee events and such and there is no lack of enthusiasm for my car and others like by the millennials and gen-z's, they just know that they aren't at a point in life to afford one. If anything, I can see the muscle cars becoming even more desirable and the next generations will get to the point they can afford them and it will even be more rare at that point as except for the repop's they aren't making any more and there are only so many out there to be restored and the worst cases will rot away. Overall, I don't care as I will have my car till I die and then my son can figure out what to do with it, hopefully, drive it and enjoy the hell out of it as I do now. I wish my dad had left me a cool car.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

I'm Gen-X but I doubt I will ever own a muscle car. Do I love them? Yes. Do I want one? Yes. Can I afford one? No. I have my Supra but it is not likely to get a muscle car garage mate. Also I cannot justify $50k plus on a muscle car. My mind won't let me pull the trigger even if I could right now.
DUB6
Specialist

@Gary_Bechtold - it doesn't have to cost $50K to be a muscle car.  Now, depending on your point-of-view, definition of 'muscle car', and standards, there may not be a car out there for less than that that would make you happy.  But you could certainly spend one heckuva lot less than that number and get a pretty presentable M-C.

Snailish
Instructor

I had a long reply saying similar. You say it better.

Snailish
Instructor

Previous eras of high interest have come and gone. I've never seen a great roadside deal on a "full classic". I have almost never seen anything pre 50s be driven aside from to a car show either.

 

Stock muscle cars will become more and more of the hidden investment/brag piece and less a thing you see out in the wild.

 

What will be interesting (and probably sad) is if we get to the point that it is "worth it" to restore a current six-figure restomod back to rental fleet spec six cylinder green interior gold paint...  --I think it is more likely that the restomods will drive on and it goes like the 32 Fords where there are more reproduction bodies out driving than originals.

zygotemrsmith
New Driver

The entire 60s/70s era muscle car market is overvalued at this point. Once it undergoes a correction to sanity then it will proceed. Most of these cars will be relegated to collections to be looked at and driven very little. Frankly, it is an era rapidly fading into obscurity. Waning interest and aging boomers are the facts.
Snailish
Instructor

I don't know...

 

The "Full Classic" collectors sort of started the hobby from the preservation/investment standpoint. And (as you say) most of those cars are relegated to collections to be looked at and driven very little. To me, those match up to the rare-spec muscle cars 30+ years removed (or like the Buick Skylark, Cameo pickup, Chrysler letter cars of the 50s if we need to fill in the in-between decades a bit). Same place that early exotics live in.

 

But the muscle car era also has the Model T plentiful examples situation going on as well as the Duece coupe/roadster thing where reproductions (and clones) are becoming common. 

 

So while we will see less and less "real" GTO Judges just cruising around, there may in fact be more GTO Judges cruising around than were ever made as I can see this passing the fibreglass roadster market as the cars are a better fit for more people and their uses.

 

I think this holds for Mustangs, Camaros, Chevelles... maybe we don't see repop bodies for Oldsmobiles muscle cars or AMC.

 

The bigger risk for us not seeing these old cars is you local/state/federal government restricting or banning their use.