Car Prices and the Internet
June 1, 2002
By Scott Lewis
As many of my long time readers know I have spent a fair amount of time searching the Internet for used cars. Not cars a few years old, but classics from the 60s to early 70s. I believe the Internet is to blame for a sharp increase in the price of classic cars in the marketplace. In this article I will show specific examples of outrageously prices cars. The sellers have no business asking the amount of money they do. In fact, a lot of cars are just junk... and should be junked. In my opinion every car in here is way overpriced.
For this article I will be using the CPI Collectible Vehicle Value Guide, April - June 2002 edition, to gauge what these cars should be worth. This is a thoroughly researched guide updated quarterly with the value of cars over a large span of years. I bought this guide to help me when looking for my own classic Camaro convertible. If you are in the market for a classic or collectible car you need this guide. When I quote prices from the CPI guide they are for three levels of quality, F=Fair, G=Good, E=Excellent. Read the sidebar for the description of each category of condition.
Excellent: Nearly perfect condition. The vehicle
has usually been professionally restored to the current highest standard,
but a few exceptionally well cared for originals may qualify. All
components are original or are exact replacements. Most excellent cars are
not driven more than a few miles per year, if at all. There are vehicles, usually due
to an interesting history or special circumstances, which will sell for more than
CPI's excellent figure, but these are extremely rare and would require extensive documentation.
Good: Very nice condition. In
fact, most casual observers would describe the vehicle as excellent.
"Good" cars show very little wear and are driven sparingly. Many are used
as weekend drivers. Many older restorations fall into this category.
Fair: Presentable condition.
Runs and drives and will pass a state inspection. May be driven on a daily
basis. Generally in need of a cosmetic restoration, but not a "basket
case", or parts car. There are many cars on the road that fall below CPI's
"fair" category, and will be priced accordingly. These are commonly
referred to as "beaters" and usually not worth restoring, as the
restoration costs will almost certainly exceed the value of the finished
Good: Very nice condition. In fact, most casual observers would describe the vehicle as excellent. "Good" cars show very little wear and are driven sparingly. Many are used as weekend drivers. Many older restorations fall into this category.
Fair: Presentable condition. Runs and drives and will pass a state inspection. May be driven on a daily basis. Generally in need of a cosmetic restoration, but not a "basket case", or parts car. There are many cars on the road that fall below CPI's "fair" category, and will be priced accordingly. These are commonly referred to as "beaters" and usually not worth restoring, as the restoration costs will almost certainly exceed the value of the finished vehicle.
If you want to compare these ratings to the 1-5 rating system sometimes used in other publications then Fair = 4, Good = 3, and Excellent = 2.
Crap For A Fortune
Let's start with the worst offenders. I believe these cars are the most to blame for the excessive inflation of classic cars.
Seller's comments: 65 Mustang: Restoration started by a gentleman who has since passed away. Needs to be completed. Running 6 cyl 3 speed. Many parts come with the car. $5,950.
CPI Rating: F= $7,750; G= $12,050; E = $19,525.
Scott's Comments: This is a joke. My guess is they got the car after the person died and they don't want to fund the restoration themselves. So they will unload it on some poor unsuspecting sap. CPI rates this car at less than $8,000 in fair condition. This car would cost far more than $2,000 to bring it up to fair, daily driver condition. This is parts car as it sits. With a 6 cylinder it doesn't have any special value. This is a pars car that falls into the trap that it will cost more to restore than it would be worth when it is done.
Seller's Comments : 66 Mustang: No motor or transmission, but new paint, $4,500.
CPI Rating: F= $7,825; G= $12,025; E = $19,250.
Scott's Comments : I didn't deduct the amount CPI says to for a 6 cylinder. How much do you deduct for no engine? How many other parts are missing? The dash is not in the car, nor is the interior. My guess is that he gave up when he realized he couldn't put it together. This car is basically a basket case due to its lack of parts to complete.
Seller's Comments : 67 Camaro: Shell. Rust free. Comes with rebuilt 12 bolt with 3.31 gears. Front end set up for 4 piston brakes. Power top works great. E-Bay bid of $3100, could buy for $6000.
CPI Rating: F= $6,725; G= $11,200; E = $18,475.
Scott's Comments : I saw this on E-Bay. This car, if it were in good condition should sell for $11,200. Remember good is near show quality, or excellent condition to the "average" person. Trust me the average person would think this is a pile of junk. Anyone that actually buys this car will spend a fortune tracking down all the parts to complete it. When I saw it on E-bay you could buy it for $6,000. The high bid was $3,100, and the reserve was not met... imagine that!
Seller's Comments : 68 Camaro: #'s match, 327, rebuilt powerglide trans, Rallys, SS hood, rear spoiler, PS, power top, needs body work & reassembly. $5,800.
CPI Rating: F= $6,650; G= $11,100; E= $18,325.
Scott's Comments: This car fully qualifies as a basket case according to CPI's value guide. It would cost more to restore than the car would be worth when finished, especially with a $5,800 starting price.
Seller's Comments : 68 GTO: 400, 4 barrel, dual exhaust, auto, his & her shifter, ps, pb, factory air, tilt; hide-a-way head lights, buckets, console, excellent body. $7.995.
CPI Rating: F= $5,400; G= $9,000; E= $14,850.
Scott's Comments: Let's assume for one second that this basket case really does have a good body, and it is just awaiting a decent paint job. CPI's Value Guide puts this car at $9,000 in good condition. Does this car look about a 1000 bucks away from good condition. It doesn't even come close to CPI's fair condition defined as a presentable daily driver.
Seller's Comments : 69 Camaro: 350 auto, cowl hood, front and rear spoiler, good glass, new brakes, carpet, dash pad, straight body in primer. $7,200.
CPI Rating: F= $4,325; G= $7,225; E= $11,925.
Scott's Comments: Let's take a close look here. The CPI value guide tags a regular Camaro coupe at $7,225 in good condition, and $11,925 in excellent condition. It would take far more than 25 bucks to bring this car up to CPI's rating of good (very nice condition, driven sparingly). Look at it. It is missing window trim and the front bumper. He painted strips on top of primer. What a joke. Now you have to strip the stripes off before you can paint the car properly. This is a beater.
As you can see, these cars are mostly junk. Asking $4-8 K for them is an insult. I have determined that these sellers fall into one of two categories.
Let's See What We Can Get For It - They have an old car in really bad condition. There is no way in hell they will ever put the time or money into it to restore it themselves. They don't want to get rid of it either, especially if there is any chance they could get something for it. The Internet provides many places to put up an ad for free. Since it doesn't cost them much if anything to let the world see it, they price it for whatever they think they can get for it. The more popular the model (if it where in good condition, even though theirs is not) the more they want for their car... even though theirs is in disastrous condition. If they sell it they probably think they found a sucker. If they don't sell it, it doesn't do any harm (to them) because the car wasn't worth anything in the first place. These cars are so far gone that 15 years ago you would have to pay to have most of them hauled off. Junk yards (I mean salvage operations) wouldn't even pick them up. Because they are a "classic" they must be worth something to someone... right? Wrong!
If He Can Get That For His Car I Can Get At Least That Much For Mine - These guys see similar make and model cars to their own for sale on the Internet and figure that if one owner can sell his car for a large some of money then their own car must be worth at least as much (or close). These guys should spend time actually visiting the cars they compare themselves to. You never know from an ad what the real condition of a car is. Also, just because someone else put up a ridiculous price in an Internet ad (because they fell into the "Let's See What We Can Get For It" crowd) doesn't mean you can get the same for your hunk of junk because you think it is in the same condition.
Both of these categories of sellers have one thing in common. They don't have any pressing need or reason to sell their cars. They are hoping to sell it for a small fortune and make a killing off some poor sap. The down side is that all the other sellers below are probably influenced by the prices asked for in the scrap metal above.
Nice Cars, But...
Next are cars that are in good condition (assuming what you read in the ad is true, and for the purposes of this article we will assume truth in advertising for these ads). See if you can spot the trend in these ad clippings.
Seller's Comments : 68 Mustang: GT California Special. 302HO, auto, ps, cold a/c, overhead console, floor console with roll up 8 track storage, reproduction dealer window sticker, correct stripes and badges. $15,600. Update: It has been suggested that this car may be a Clone C/S. If that is so, someone went to a great deal of trouble to be as correct as possible. Real or not it sure looks authentic. But the bottom line is that it is a very nice car. I have decided to lower the price to what regular Mustang GT's in this condition are selling for to $14,500.
CPI Ratings: Real C/S F= $7,725; G= $11,750; E = $18,575; for Coupe: F= $3,850; G= $6,225; E = $10,025; Add for GT: F = $2,475; G= $3,300; E= $4,125.
Scott's Comments: This is a difficult one. I do not know if the factory ever combined the C/S with GT equipment. Let's take this apart carefully. He thought it was a real GT C/S. I looked up CPI's prices for a coupe and a C/S with A/C. CPI rates a C/S at $18,575 in mint condition, and $11,750 in good condition. Add the GT equipment (if that is a real combination) and it rises to $15,050 to $22,700. He prices it at $15,600. That should mean this car is better than good condition. A show winner in a small car show. Then it is suggested it is a fake, a clone. So he lowers the price to that of a real GT. What should that be? CPI sets a 68 GT coupe at $9,525 - $14,150, for good to excellent condition, respectively. Since he is asking over $14K does this mean it is in "nearly perfect condition... professionally restored to the current highest standard... all components are original or are exact replacements," as CPI's value guide states for an excellent condition 68 Mustang GT Coupe? I don't think so. But it is not a real GT restored to original high standards. It is a coupe. What does that go for? A 68 Mustang coupe goes for $6,225 - $10,025, again in good to excellent condition. Oops! BTW... if you look at the value difference between a regular coupe and a real C/S you can see why "someone went to a great deal of trouble to be as correct as possible." For a couple thousand in bodywork he is trying to get 6-9 grand more than the car is worth.
Seller's Comments : 68 Nova: SS clone, 307 small block, fresh paint, nice! $12,900.
CPI Rating: Nova SS: F= $5,575; G= $9,000; E = $14,850; Nova Coupe: F= 2,575; G= 4,450; E = 7,250.Scott's Comments: His description is mild, so let's just assume it qualifies for CPI's good rating. A real Nova SS is valued at $9,000. A regular coupe is only valued at $4,400. I wonder if he spent $5K trying to get it to look like an SS. My guess is... No! Even in excellent (remember: professionally restored, all original) a plain coupe is only worth $7,350. However, an excellent condition SS has a value of $15,050. You can see why people create clones. This car is at least 5 grand over its value. I feel sorry for the poor sucker that buys it at this price.
Seller's Comments : 70 Cougar Eliminator. Showing 70,500 miles and believed to be true. 351/C-6 with Edelbrock intake and carb, cam, Hooker super comp headers, 2 1/2 mandrel bent aluminized exhaust with Flowmasters, cold A/C, pdb, ps, tilt, Pioneer Premier AM/FM/CD, show quality paint and interior and undercarriage. All chrome and bright work either new or outstanding original. Correct Eliminator apperance with a few exceptions. Priced many thousands below cost to build not counting labor at $16,900. Update: we are sure the car is a clone and I have lowered the price by $2,000 to $14,900.
CPI Rating: Cougar Eliminator: F= $4,975; G= $8,300; E= $13,700; Cougar Coupe: F= 2,125; G= 3,525; E= 5,825.Scott's Comments: Let's have fun again. He says "show quality paint and interior and undercarriage." That about describes an excellent car by CPI's guide. So here are the prices: Real Cougar Eliminator= $13,700, Regular Cougar= $5,800. Talk about overpriced. He wants more than a real Eliminator in excellent condition is worth. Notice that it is not even original with all the hot rod parts on the engine. The dash may be cut up to hold that CD player as well. You no you have a problem when a clone cost more than the real thing.
Seller's Comments : 69 Dodge Super Bee clone, 318ci, stroker, .340 cam, 4bbl Holley, MSD ignition, Hurricane A/C, all new cooling system, stainless steel super-comp Hooker headers, Mopar high-performance heads, Holley hi-rise intake, new Flowmasters exhaust. This car has close to 400hp! New interior, TorqueFlite, buckets, power steering, vinyl roof, new Red Line radials, and new Alpine AM/FM stereo CD player. $15,995.00.
CPI Rating: Super Bee: F= $9,900; G= $12,800; E= $17,100; Coronet 440: F = $3,475; G = $4,575; E= $6,100; Coronet 500: F = $4,250; G= $6,125; E= $7,725.
Scott's Comments: I haven't priced Mopars lately, so let's see what CPI thinks about this hot rod clone. For a 383 Super Bee in excellent condition we show a value of $17,100. In good condition (which a non-original hot rod should be compared to) is valued at $13,150. Based on the asking price you would think the care should be leaning toward an excellent restoration not a hot rod. Sounds like a bit too much even if it was a real Super Bee considering the aftermarket equipment. But what is a Coronet worth? A Coronet 440 (not the engine) is worth $4,475 and a Coronet 500 is worth $5,950, both in good condition. In excellent condition the 440 and 500 editions are worth $6,100 and $7,725, respectively. In other words, this car is way overpriced.
The common thread with the four previous examples is that they are all clones. 15 years ago you would be lucky to sell off a clone saying it was a clone. People want the real thing ... even if the real thing was in worse condition. Now every yahoo with a Year One catalog thinks he can put stripes and emblems on a car and get a small fortune for it. I remember when people used to create clones and pawn them off as the real thing. Today's buyers are smarter and check out the rare models before dropping a big wad of cash, so today's sellers tell you up front it is a clone (sometimes not, as in a couple of cases above). Big deal. Anyone can spend $500 to turn a base car, in good condition, into a clone of something more special. Why should clones go for almost as much as the real thing? Since when did using the word clone in an ad give you the right to charge as much as the car you are cloning? Shouldn't the car be worth less than when it was stock, because it is no longer original? Notice in some cases the clones are selling for more than the real thing is worth, according to CPI's value guide. There is definitely something wrong with that.
Take another look at the California Special Mustang Clone above. He wanted $16,900 for it when he thought it was real (or thought he could pawn it off as real, which ever the case may be). Then when he learned it was not real he lowered the price $2,000... to that of "an original GT in the same condition." What!?! Since when does a base car that has been hacked up, and is no longer original, fetch the same price as an original special edition car? Give me a break. This car will cost a lot to return to stock (the taillights & side scoops alone would cost a pretty penny in bodywork to get back to original). Why isn't he lowering the price to that of a hacked up hot rod? Isn't that what it is now?
Here is where you can through your CPI value guide right out the window. Dealers have a problem. They need to make a profit. To do this they must sell a car for more than they pay for it (we will leave out consignment sales for this discussion). I do not know if classic car dealers are as bad as new car dealers when taking in a trade. New car dealers low ball the crap out of your trade so they can make a killing selling it. But they have to deal with the risk of taking a slow moving car they might have to be pawn off to an auction. Classic car dealers might not be able to get away with that when doing trades. They probably need to be close to market value to get people to sell them their cars. But classic cars can sit for long periods, and be very slow movers at times. This costs the dealer for his time and effort to keep the car clean and stored while he has possession of it. What I am say here is that even if the dealer is complete honest, trustworthy, and fair he must charge a respectable profit on each car to stay in business.
Until a few years ago classic car dealers got their business mostly locally, and from word of mouth. With the Internet every Automaniac with a web hosting service can have a site that opens his market to a global level. Normally dealers have a small market. Today you regularly see classic dealers using catch phases like "fly in and drive it home." Do you think they do this to attract the local crowd?
Remember, dealers rarely do it to brake even. All dealers want to gouge the price, and they do. The global market now makes it very easy for the older crowd to find a car "that they drove back in high school." This kind of thinking in the hands of someone with a lot of disposable income is exactly what dealers are hoping for. They know the buyers can afford the cars or they wouldn't be calling, so they charge more. When hundreds of dealers across the country and Internet are all doing it, it raises the price of cars. These buyers are also largely to blame. They rarely lookup the value of such a car. They just have to have it.
I hate to pick on a single dealer, but I can't resist it. (If these links go away by the time you read this it would be expected, sorry.) Automania is in New Braunfels, TX. I pass it every day on my way to work. When I first found their web site I didn't even know they existed. I would check there site out a lot. They had a decent selection of cars, and I noticed they would get quite a few Mustang convertibles in the $12-14,000 price range. I liked them. I have been to their place a couple of times, but have noticed over the last 6 months or so that their prices have taken a sharp turn upward. I know I have seen Automania sell nicer cars than this 65 Mustang convertible for less than the $15,900 they are asking for this one. A quick look at CPI's value guide tags a 65 Mustang convertible at $12,800 in good condition. I saw the car, and it looked very plain, hardly a show quality car. This car barely fits into CPI's good category. Yet they are pricing it about $3,000 over its value. At the time of this writing they had a 66 Mustang Coupe for $10,900. CPI rates this car at $6,275 in good condition, $10,350 in excellent condition. I have not looked at this car in person, but I seriously doubt it is in mint, professionally restored condition to the highest standard. But they are asking more than that for the car. Clearly they are overpricing their cars.
Here is the easiest way to tell if a dealer is charging too much for his cars. The dealer leaves the sold cars on his web site with the prices they were asking. Why do this? If you want people to know what kind of inventory you have had, and might have again, you don't need the price listed for the sold cars. Why not put the price it actually sold for? They leave the prices on their web sites to validate why they charge the amounts they do. The casual buyer sees all these cars that sold for that price and he assumes the prices must be fair.
Put It All Together
All of these things do one thing... they taint the market. When a good intentioned seller thinks about selling his classic car, he will check the ads and dealers to see what cars are advertised for, which may or may not be what they actually sell for. If I were selling a classic 60's car and saw the ads above, I would think I should be able to get a lot for my car too. It is a cycle that feeds on itself. This is the main reason I think the Internet is driving up the cost of cars. The more people can see ads for cars all over the country, the more they think they can get for their own car. When buyers find so many ads at these higher prices they start believing they are the norm. Then the prices really do go up.
The problem with these guides is that nobody knows about them. Or at least that's the way it seems to me. Barnes and Noble doesn't carry the CPI guide. What with it changing every quarter you could hardly expect them to. Edmund's and Kelly Blue Book don't cover classic cars, just used cars for the last decade or so. These are well known price guides for there intended market. If Edmund or Kelly expanded their coverage it might help make the public more aware of the value of classic cars.
There are few price guides available. CPI is one of the best, and probably the authority on the value of collectible cars. Yet I hadn't heard of them. When I finally reached a serious level of frustration looking for a classic car myself I searched for a price guide. I wonder how many buyers ever do this. I was almost going to pay these outrageous prices, but a couple of well knowledged people told me I should be able to get a near show quality car for $12,000 (my budget). I had to be sure I wasn't crazy, so I searched hard to find the CPI guide. The CPI guide did validate that I was not crazy. People ask a lot of money for their cars. When doing my own looking I saw a 69 Mustang that was rust free (the first rust free Mustang I saw in all my looking). He was asking $12,950. The CPI Guide tagged it at $9,100 in good condition. I would have rated the car in good condition if not for the items that needed attention. Cracked windshield, power steering pump going (but not gone), needed brake job, A/C wired to a toggle switch, and a few other niggling problems. So he wanted too much for it. I didn't have the heart to tell him it was way overpriced. Fortunately I found my 67 Camaro RS Convertible for $13,000. CPI rates it at $14,000 in good condition. It is much better than good condition. I got lucky!
Hobby vs. Investment
Another problem with classic cars is those that buy them as an investment. When someone buys it for an investment they need to understand that a classic car should almost never be driven if it is expected to go up in value. But it costs money to store and maintain the cars condition. People mistake this cost as part of the investment. Let's say you spend a grand tracking down reproduction tires for your classic because the tires developed dry rot. This does not increase the value, it keeps the value from going down. Also, no matter how much money you put into a car it will eventually be worth only so much. At that point you should be doing it because it is a hobby. Classic cars can be an expensive hobby. If you spend a lot of money keeping your car looking good, you will have to make a huge decision. Do you drive the car and put wear on it, or do you store it (preferably in an environmentally controlled place) and preserve it.
When the hobbyist stops thinking of it is a hobby he shows receipts trying to justify the value. The value of the car has little to do with the money put into it. The value has to due with the condition. If I buy a car for $5,000 that is worth $10,000 in mint condition and pay a professional $8,000 to restore the car, is it worth $13,000? No It is worth $10,000, assuming the restoration left the car in the condition that deserve a $10,000 value. If you pay for labor you will almost always pay more than the value. It is the owner that puts his time into a restoration that can see it increase in value beyond the dollars he is spending. But if he counted his time as money he would be losing again. It is the satisfaction, the pride, the enjoyment that the hobbyist gets from working on a restoration that can't be put into dollars and cents.
If you want to increase the value of the car at selling time provide the trophies it has won at car shows, not receipts. A car in excellent condition according to CPI's price guide, or a level 2 condition car should be able to regularly walk away with trophies from almost any local car show, and even take a few trophies now and then from a large, regional event. This will justify its value much more than a stack of receipts.
People who treat classic cars as investments end up driving the price up. This happened in the mid eighties to early nineties, and the market never quite recovered. We have very high prices today because of the investment madness from that period. Not the Internet is starting that investment frenzy all over again. Leave cars to car people, not brokers.
Many times magazines write articles about affordable project cars. These used to be Malibus, Tempest, Cougars, etc. The lesser known or less exciting versions of popular cars like a Chevelle SS, GTO, or Mustang Mach 1. Now even the bargain basement stuff sells for a ton of money. Every seller with a 60's anything thinks it is worth a small fortune. After all it is a "classic." Even the crap from the 70's fetches high prices today. When I was growing up in the late 70's to early 80's Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds & Trans Ams were dogged for being the worst performance cars to ever come out of Detroit. Now these same cars are coveted and advertised as great classic muscle cars. What?!? When did they get the muscle (in stock form) to qualify as a Muscle Car. Road test magazines degraded them as mere shells of there former selves with fancy strips in place of true performance. Now we should all bow to them as the last great Muscle Cars. I like the late seventies Trans Ams, but are they really a muscle cars?
Mostly I hate auctions. I have written about this before. From my perspective most people today use the reserve of an auction to try and get more for their car than it is worth. If you want to sell it at a high price, then do so. Here is an example (sorry to pick on Automania again). I saw this 68 Camaro RS originally on E-Bay. I was surprises that it was being auctioned by Automania. When I saw it on E-Bay the car had a high bid around $15K. Of course, the reserve was not met. Let's see if we can tell why. First, look how much they are asking for it now that they didn't make a killing on E-bay. $22,900. I'll bet this was the reserve, they just thought it might start a bidding war and they could get lucky. After all, they had nothing to loose with the reserve system that let's them back off from selling a car if they don't get what they want for it. In my book that's just selling... not an auction.
Let's see what this car is worth. CPI rates a 68 Camaro RS Coupe at $11,175 in good condition. In excellent condition it is valued at $18,450. Remember, CPI's definition of Excellent: "nearly perfect condition... professionally restored to the current highest standard... all components are original or are exact replacements." This car is a major hot rod. It is very far from original, and I would have strong doubts to it being a serious show car winner. That puts it somewhere between good and excellent, if it is in show quality or nearly show quality condition. But they think they can sell it for $4000 more than a restored original is worth. Once again I feel sorry for the poor unsuspecting soul that ends up with this hatchet job of a hot rod.
This is the investment vs. hobby problem. Someone put a lot of money into this hot rod. That does not mean it is worth what he put into it. If he had spent his money on reproduction parts, instead of speed parts it would be worth a lot more.
But actions are getting better. I have noticed a trend lately. Cars are not selling as well at auctions. Apparently the buyers are getting smarter. You can tell this when you check the results for past auctions. They publish the highest bid for cars. When you consistently see cars reaching the same high bid and not selling, you can assume the car is not worth more than the high bids. We just have to wait until the sellers catch on to this then we will see a huge improvement in auctions.
If you go to an auction, do yourself a huge favor and bring a CPI guide in hand, ready to bid on cars with no reserve .
One last note... who would risk buying a car over the Internet... site unseen? If you see a car on E-bay you cannot inspect it for rust, or even know for sure it runs from a few pictures. What protection does a buyer have if he gets stuck with a falsely advertised car on E-bay? I'll stick to the auctions that let you inspect the cars before you bid.
Let's sum up the main points here:
All of the above, except the lack of price guides, are enhanced by the Internet. It cost nothing, or almost nothing, to advertise a car on the Internet. People abuse this and advertise at high prices with nothing to lose. Dealers can now get clients from far and wide, so they no longer have to be price conscience to the people they live around. People who reach the point in their lives where they would rather spend a few extra bucks for a simple way into a classic car can find plenty of dealers and cars on the Internet without any research. I used to partially blame E-bay and other auctions for raising the price of cars. This was true with the reserve system they have, but this trend is coming to a stop. Used properly the information gained from auctions should help bring prices back to where they belong.
All this leaves the real hobbyist, the guy that loves cars, with a very hard time trying to find a car that is reasonably priced for what he/she is getting.
I love this stuff. I am a huge car nut. I hate that it is becoming so expensive to own and work on classic cars. In my youth I could (and did) buy an almost decent car for only $500. I knew I would build an engine for it, and as soon as the engine was done I could drive the wheels off it. Now it seems that you can't get any kind of decent project car without taking out a loan. Now it is "investing in collectibles" rather than an enthusiast's hobby.
Let's see if the rest of the world starts seeing it my way. Maybe we can bring back the price of classic cars to the level of the enthusiast hobby once again.