Sun. May 26th, 2024

    I admit my comments here doth not apply to Duesenbergs, Auburns, and many of the luxury American exotics. One exception: Packard. The closer you get to the Studebaker Packard years the more “backwards/upside down and just weird” applies to resale value.

    Go out to buy almost any other antique and low production item and that usually means higher price, more sought after. Not so automobiles. A 57 Chevy even in rough shape might bring a far higher resale value than say a Gremlin, or a 57 Hawk. The Studebakers are gaining, mostly because Studebaker has a strong, lasting, fan club. Even younguns are joining. Hell, maybe we qualify as a car cult!
    I am kidding, though I have this funny image in my head of worshipers from a Planet of the Apes sequel worshiping a rusted out Lark.
    I doubt overall Studebaker and other higher resale value cars will ever be the same, overall. Rambler American? No doubt there. Will probably always lag behind.
    I understand: it’s “the market price,” and “whatever the market will bear.” And we’re no longer talking about chairs or dressers. It’s more like guns, records or paintings. There are many artists: quite talented, whose paintings are close to worthless compared to say a van Gogh. A rare Beatles’ album worth more than say Eric Anderson or Peppermint Rainbow. Or even the more noted Peter, Paul and Mary. (Another Eric Anderson song, they also wrote their own.)
    Guns? I get it. I own a .43 Spanish Rolling Block, but because of history an M1 is far more valuable. People have a passion for AK’s now, so higher than some. Once you mix in passion value goes crazy. I have a Aubrey 12 Gauge probably worth nada. One out of 12 produced, from what we were told. Former gunmaker for Meriden Firearms Co. who retired to Newburgh, NY, but still worked on guns at home, mostly for friends. I always wondered if he got permission from Meriden Firearms Co to use the name, or if they went out of business.
    Back to cars…
    Despite what some think it has little to do with whether they were well built, practical. Ford Pintos were NOT well built, especially the first ones. Hard to argue with that. Practical? Hey, I LOVED my VW Thing. (Note: my arthritic fingers typed “Thong.” I just had to Google. Yup. They’re out there!) But “practical?” Plastic windows with a gap before the roof. Only a gas heater will save you in cold climates. Easily become rust buckets. Collapsible car: windshield goes down, doors come off.
    The VW Thing’s resale value is very high, considering. I got mine for almost nothing, in comparison, just a few years after they stopped selling them in this country. Have you seen what they’re going for?
    However, when it comes to foreign cars, especially Japanese, they share a similar fate with American indes. Check out how prices are all over the place for the Honda Civic.
    OK, foreign or domestic there are probably a few not worth even the lower prices, and rare because they were that bad. The asking price for the car in the meme to your right was over eight grand.
    WEIRD.
    The downside to all this is some examples of fine cars lay rusted to hell, unsaved. International made fine trucks for non-semi driving public, however far too many unsaved, rusted to hell, crushed. They even had an SUV planned that I think would have shot them forward in the market if they could have held on. Like the Thing maybe they’d have to wait for the car buying public to catch up.
    Kaiser? Henry J? Hudson? Crosley? Some of you born way beyond baby boomers may ask, “what?”
    Jeez, at least attend an Orphan Car Show if you can! Grand cars to be discovered some may not realize were out there. It’s like a boneyard with bones made of gold.
    So my message to young and upcoming collectors, forget the 57’s, the T-Birds (I admit the first ones I liked, but after…) or even Chrysler. Save the Indes!

51 Crosley Hotshot

                                         -30-

    The Automotive Critic is a column by Ken Carman, who has been writing a weekly column since 1972 called Inspection, and as a beer judge several beer judging and beer industry-based columns. Ken is also the author of Autocide: which he started researching over 20 years ago. Autocide is alternative automobile history filled with funs, odd twists and quirky characters. He has been into cars, working with cars as part of his job, since he bought his first car: a 61 Lark, at 14. Mr. Carman lives in Eagle Bay and Beaver River, NY with his wife, Millie, their 6th collie Payson and Harvey Robin Churchill their 63 Studebaker Champ truck.
©2023
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all rights reserved

By Ken Carman

Retired entertainer, provider of educational services, columnist, homebrewer, collie lover, writer of songs, poetry and prose... humorist, mediocre motorcyclist, very bad carpenter, horrid handyman and quirky eccentric deluxe.

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