Sunday Support

I’m not exactly a fount of original material today, so I will “borrow” heavily from other sources.


The developed world madness continues unabated. This piece from Why Evolution Is True is about the student “government” at Emory University denying a request for a free speech society claiming it might cause “harm.” Uh, freedom of speech does not only apply to people who agree with you. That being said, freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

This piece from the same source is not directly about the madness of the developed world, but about views held by Richard Dawkins, a famous biologist, author and atheist.


See the source image


This is a picture of the legendary Hirohata Mercury custom, built in 1953 by the famous Barris brothers. The car was offered for sale at the recently concluded Mecum auction in Kissimmee, the first time the car was sold since 1959.

The Hirohata Mercury may be the most famous custom car ever. It certainly is the father of all lead-sled Mercury builds and has influenced literally thousands of builds, Mercury lead-sled or not.

Indicative of the action at Kissimmee, the car hammered for $1.95 million, way above the pre-auction estimate of $1 million. At least 12 vehicles sold at a hammer price of $1 million or more. The auction set a record for Mecum Kissimmee sales, BEFORE the last day even started.

One example that really blew me away happened on Thursday the 13th. A very nice 1965 Buick Riviera GS was offered at a reserve of $60,000. The reserve may have been $55,000, I’m not 100% sure. Of course, the reserve is not known to bidders before the lot crosses the block.

Quality examples of this car have usually sold between $50,000 and $75,000. This car hammered for $150,000 or $165,000 all in!

A 1936 17-passenger White tour bus with a pre-auction estimate of $500,000 sold for $1.43 million all in. Maybe I should be glad that, as of now, no Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk is consigned for either the Barrett-Jackson auction next week or the Mecum auction in March, both of which we plan to attend.

This piece about the 2022 Mecum Kissimmee auction was written a week ago before the really high dollar cars were sold. Richard Reina offers a few examples of cars he feels were bargains. He does write “The collector car market is very strong right now; selling is favoring the sellers.”

Unsolicited, I have been offered a five-figure amount more than I paid for my car. That valuation has more evidence in a recent AutoTrader listing where a 2016 Corvette Z06 with very similar mileage to mine, but without the Z07 package, had a list price of $15,000 more than I paid.

At Mecum Kissimmee a 2019 Corvette ZR1 hammered at $270,000 ($297,000 all in). These cars were about $150,000 when new. John Kraman remarked during the auction that interest in the C8 Corvette has led to a revival in interest in all Corvettes. Of course, I have no interest in selling my car at any “reasonable” price. What would I do if someone offered me an “unreasonable” price, as in unreasonably high? As I have written before I am not a fan of hypotheticals with extremely low probabilities AND history is replete with examples of the folly of human beings trying to predict the future.

These articles from Hagerty (Article One, Article Two) are also about the collector car market and Hagerty’s Bull Market List. They show data that their Bull Market List, which is really a prediction about the future value of certain cars, has been quite accurate.

I do not believe in buying cars as a financial investment, but as an investment in the enjoyment of life. However, I do not have a monopoly on truth or wisdom, on good judgment or good taste. Just like some people seem to have a knack for buying art that will appreciate or for successfully investing in the equity and/or fixed income markets, some have a knack for buying cars that appreciate substantially in value. More power to them.

It seems right now that a rising tide is lifting all boats, if you will, as it is virtually all segments of the collector car market that are experiencing real price appreciation. How long will that last? I have no idea.







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6 thoughts on “Sunday Support

  1. Collecting anything these days has become profitable because money has become both fungible and less valuable. When I can buy Bitcoin at $0.13 and sell it at $40,000, well a one off copy of the Wu Tan Clan’s album at $2 million is just bragging rights. A condo in NYC once owned by a famous hedge fund manager bought at $90 million gets listed for $190 million, and will probably get bought by some mook who made $2 billion with a SPAC/IPO. I just bought a DAC for my stereo that costs 3X more than my current one because I can sell my old one for what I paid for it plus am getting paid for a project where I didn’t have to do any significant work.
    It’s a good time to be alive and to own something of value.


  2. The classic car market and the used car market are running amok at the present time. Please remember that if you sold your Corvette for an unreasonably high price, you would then have to replace it with another car also priced unusually high. The demand is much higher than the available supply. This not a good time to be in the market for a car, either new or used.

    The market for used historic race cars, hot rods and customs is enormous. I am not surprised at the sale price of the Hirohata Merc. An historic car like that very rarely comes on the market, and anyone who would want to buy one will be competing for and bidding against the big name auto museums like the Henry Ford and the Petersen Museum. Many owners of these cars sometimes will approach the museum venue they prefer and privately negotiate a price.


    1. Thanks, Philip. Of course, you are right about replacing my car with something else whose price has increased dramatically. That’s one reason, among many, why I have no interest in selling.


  3. I am looking forward to Barrett-Jackson, but I admit to not paying a lot of attention to prices of vehicles sold. I do like to browse the lots on Thursday when many of the cars that I could afford have already been sold and their price noted on the window tag. Generally, those are cars that I some some semblance of being able to afford. >grin<


    1. Thanks, JS. All of these auctions can be something other than “watch the price.” I think they are great car shows, period. Although being at the mercy of consignors and buyers means a sameness exists to the dockets, every now and then you will see something you’ve never seen before.

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