Anyone who follows the collector car market will tell you that prices are up, and demand is high. Indeed, Scottsdale's 2014 auction week, highlighted by the festivities at Barrett-Jackson, was a raging success, with numbers that were improved from the previous year in most significant categories. A look at the final tallies, though, shows that most of the big-dollar action happened in the foreign and exotic categories, with classic American iron from the 1950s falling behind.
In a recent column for Car and Driver, Rob Sass from Hagerty Insurance highlighted several examples of well-known American cars from the 1950s that have been showing an overall stagnant or even slightly downward trend in prices. Classics including the 1957 Chevy Bel Air, Ford Thunderbird and Chrysler 300C are called out, as are some lesser-known models like the 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk and 1953 Hudson Hornet.
Of course, as pointed out in CNN Money, collectors are urged to invest in the cars they fall in love with and to be proud of their machinery. Still, major questions remain as to how the next generation of auto enthusiasts will respond to the collector car market when it's their own hard-earned money on the line.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Late last month, we told you about a 1961 Volvo P1800 that had been stolen in Sweden. The thought of losing a classic coupe to an unscrupulous thief is troubling enough, but this wasn't just any P1800 - it was the very first production example minted, and the restored red-over-white two-door was owned by the vice president of the Swedish P1800 Club to boot. Chassis Number Two was pilfered from a Stockholm lockup on either August 21 or 22, and the theft triggered an international hunt of sorts.
Fortunately, that hunt has come to a (mostly) happy ending. According to Larmtjänst AB, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting vehicle crime in Sweden, the car was spotted by someone who had read about the missing classic. The P1800 was recovered in Hägerstensvägen, a municipality of Stockholm, after being found abandoned on the road covered with a tarp. The owner is reportedly very relieved that his Volvo is mostly intact, marred only by a broken ignition and a dirty interior.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The story of the Tucker Car Corporation is a tragic one. Its sole model, the 1948 Tucker Sedan, had a huge number of innovations, with a particular focus on passenger safety, but a catastrophic debut and the ensuing media firestorm it created caused severe problems for the brand. Other issues followed, with an SEC investigation and rumors of troublemaking on the part of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
Only 51 Tuckers were completed before the company went bust, making the three-eyed sedans some of the rarest American cars ever produced. With a unique, tail, complete with six exhaust pipes, a Tucker went for $2.915 million at a 2012 auction.
Martyn Donaldson takes Jay Leno's Garage through a brief tour of his Tucker, chassis number 1003, explaining just what was so innovative about these vehicles, along with what drew him to the rare cars in the first place. Scroll down for the full video.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Bertrand Delanoê, the socialist mayor of Paris, has submitted a proposal to the French capital's city council that aims to ban all cars and utility vehicles 17 years of age or older from use inside the A86 motorway. Buses and trucks 18 years old or older would also be prohibited from inside the city proper. The proposed ban is largely aimed at reducing emissions, though it also includes a stipulation barring motorcycles built before 2004. According to The Telegraph, Delanoê argues that such machines are "the most polluting and noisiest." But opponents of the measure say the proposal would only serve to exclude less wealthy individuals from driving in Paris.
In response, the socialist party has said it would introduce programs to help individuals update their vehicles through a program to swap old machines for new ones. Unfortunately, that seems unlikely given the strict austerity measures sweeping the European Union.
Delanoê's critics, meanwhile, have said the proposal is more likely political posturing than any real attempt at changing policy.Permalink | Email this | Comments