Cars or commodities?
Classic American|May 2020
Cars or commodities?
Evans looks at the impact of auction sales on the old car market stateside and whether classics are becoming simply another investment vehicle...
Huw Evans

As I write this, the big auction season in Scottsdale has more or less wrapped up. In America, the whole thing is televised live, but naturally it’s the weekend sales that bring the biggest attention, the biggest audiences and the biggest prices. These days it seems there’s a lot of emphasis on what a classic car or truck is worth and talk of “investment grade” collector cars stateside.

If you scan the classifieds over here, you’ll often find the seemingly best examples of a particular model tend to be earmarked for auction. The success of Barrett-Jackson and the big, televised auctions has changed the game in the last 15-20 years, which means that often the best cars get quickly snapped up and allocated for the auction block. Yet the classic car market is influenced by a whole range of factors and there are signs that demand for some models in particular, such as Hemi ’Cudas or Chevy Chevelle LS6s in particular, isn’t as robust as it once was.

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May 2020