Why Prewar Cars Are So Valuable Even Today

Why Prewar Cars Are So Valuable Even Today

Today, the collector car market is replete with iconic models from different eras of classic/vintage automobiles. Driving these cars can be pure fun, regardless of your preference for style or age of the vehicle. A great deal of time has passed since the prewar automobile era, with classics from the 1960s or even 1990s attracting top dollar from many enthusiasts today. However, a recent collector market analysis by Hagerty reveals that prewar cars, from Duesenbergs and Bugattis to Delahayes, are still valuable and loved by many. Here are some key findings of the prewar car market study.

Apple-to-Apple Comparisons Difficult to Execute

The folks at Hagerty set out to assess the state of the prewar car market segment. They encountered numerous challenges, including:

  • Lack of comparables -It’s difficult to find two comparable prewar car models on the market today.
  • Infrequent transactions – Some collectors tend to hold on to their prewar collectibles for longer. This means fewer transactions and less sales data.
  • Private transactions -The report didn’t capture some potentially lucrative luxury vintage car sales executed at brick & mortar auctions or via exclusive dealerships.

Hagerty Repeat Sales Index for Prewar Luxury Cars

Due to the above-mentioned challenges, the researchers opted to base their analysis on historical sales data for prewar high-end automobiles. They used publicly available transactional information for these rare cars.  This enabled them to develop a repeat sales index for 750 prewar luxury cars that changed hands in the U.S. and Europe.

Their criterion is a better indicator of the prewar car segment health as it lets them compare multiple transactions instead of car models. It also enables them to take one-off sales out of the equation as these may not accurately portray the general pricing trend over time. If a specific vintage car fetches a good price but is never resold, you can draw a conclusion about the state of the market. However, a repeat sale indicates something about the value and demand for the vehicle in question. It’s still possible that many enthusiasts are paying top dollar for high-end prewar models behind the scenes.

Findings: Prewar Car Segment’s Mature and Stable

The Hagerty sales index for expensive prewar machines demonstrated that this market segment is and has been healthy and stable for a long time. Some of the study’s key findings and conclusions are:

  • One-off sales have fluctuated dramatically over the past decade or so
  • Repeat car sales at public auctions have stabilized at about $500K on average for more than 10 years

The finding that prewar car prices have remained stable for more than a decade, doesn’t surprise many collector market analysts. For starters, the buyers are usually wealthy individuals capable of affording expensive high-end collectibles, despite any economic depression. They are also well informed and properly understand the value of their rare, antique investments.

In a nutshell, the prewar car market has come of age and is still active and lucrative after so many years. As such, these classics aren’t about to lose their appeal among enthusiasts in the foreseeable future.

As the Hagerty sales index of prewar luxury cars shows, automobiles from this era still have a significant fan base and can fetch a handsome price on the collector market. Consider getting the right insurance policy to protect your vintage automobile if you own one. For help selecting adequate auto insurance coverage for your classic car, engage our experienced team at CAV Insurance Agency, Inc today.