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Re: 1954 Packard on eBay
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Tim Cole
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That hood ornament and those lights are ghetto.

Right now asset prices across the board are reflecting the central bankers having created asset bubbles. Tax breaks given to corporations are mostly used to manipulate stock prices and not reinvested in the business. One exception is auto manufacturing which requires reinvestment to stay open. In the old days most corporate earnings were reinvested in the business. Thanks to that crackpot Milton Freidman who created a philosophy that appeals to the least altruistic of motivations most earnings are now used to buy back stock in the Wall Street ponzi. Inflation is putting pressure on free cash flows so buy backs are declining.

I like pretty much all the Packard products, but would never buy one thinking to make a profit. However, after working in Detroit I pretty much don't even like cars anymore.

Posted on: 5/22 12:28
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Re: 1954 Packard on eBay
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

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While many later collector cars are appreciating in value (like 60's muscle cars), prewar and early post war cars (late 40's-1950's) are generally stagnant and even decreasing in value as the generation which grew up with these cars slowly fades away. I don't think that this trend will reverse, in fact, it will probably accelerate. As a case in point, here are the actual results for Packards from the Mecum Indy auction which concluded yesterday:

1931 833 Sport Phaeton (AACA Natl. first): Sold at $93,500

1932 903 Club Sedan (full restoration): Sold at $82,500

1937 115C Convertible coupe (looks like a really nice older resto, very pretty in light yellow): Sold at $31,900

1938 Twelve Convertible Sedan (CCCA award winner): Top Bid $150K, no sale

1938 Twelve Limo (stunning original car) Sold at $46,200

1946 Clipper Super (356 CI, full restoration, beautiful in silver with red interior): Sold at $25,300

1956 Patrician (Holland blue, full restoration, virtually flawless): Sold at $22,000

None of these appear to be very good results for cars of this caliber. I was particularly shocked by the low winning bid on the 1937 115C. Several years ago, I paid $40K for my 1939 six Convertible Coupe and this car appeared to be much nicer than mine, condition wise. Also, I will concede that a '37 is more desirable than an equivalent '39 because of the rumble seat and the floor shift transmission.

In my experience, the price guides in general and the NADA book in particular, are totally wacked when it comes to Packards and other prewar or early postwar cars. I used to be a Packard consultant for them but stopped participating because I kept writing them to say that the prices were being set too high based on what I was seeing in the market, and they apparently didn't want to listen. I later learned from an insider that all they did every issue was to automatically bump up the prices by an inflation factor. This is not how you should be putting values on collector cars.

It is also important to consider that values for classic (and I mean CCCA recognized) and prewar cars in general have not kept up with inflation, with very few exceptions. Here is an example. I had a friend John who was a long time Packard collector. He probably owned over 100 in his lifetime, everything from award winning CCCA classics to beater 1950's sedans which served as daily drivers until they died and were pushed into the woods behind his house. In the 1960's John had a 1929 640 Phaeton. It was professionally frame off restored by a nationally known restorer and won multiple AACA and CCCA awards. Photos of this car were used on calendars. In 1970, John sold the car for $40K. About 10 years ago, John found out that the car had been sold for $150K. John was very upset and bemoaned the fact that he could have gotten a lot more money if only he had held onto the car. By now, he was in his 90's, in poor health and financially strapped. I tried to explain to him that $40K in 1970 was worth a lot more than $150K in 2012 and that he made out better by selling the car when he did rather than waiting 42 years for a nominally bigger payout. According to a source I consulted, $1 in 1970 would buy about $6 worth of the same goods in 2012, so his 1929 Packard should have sold for about $240K in 2012 to have kept up with inflation. It didn't. Today, the gap would be even larger. Something to think about.

Posted on: 5/22 12:34
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Re: 1954 Packard on eBay
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packardsix you're right about the inflation. My point wasn't that cars in good condition should keep up with it as some magical benchmark, I just thought it was a useful comparison.

For example, the 1929 Phaeton, MSRP $3175, would have cost $7200 in 1970 adjusted for inflation, yet sold for $40,000 (41 years later).

Whereas as you know, prices for almost 70-year-old Packards today are topping at around $25k for most models, compared to an initial cost of even double that (inflation-adjusted). So obviously things have changed some since then. I agree that in the short-term I think this trend will accelerate.

Just for fun, if he took that $40k and put it in a Dow Jones index fund, it would have been worth $690k in 2012.

Posted on: 5/22 19:33
Owner of '55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: 1954 Packard on eBay
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Thank you, packardsix, for the info on actual prices received for the cars you listed. I have been of the opinion, and you have put some numbers to it, that prices should start to fall as the people who remember these cars start/continue to shuffle off this mortal coil. I was talking to my son about "classic cars" and he meant muscle cars. He doesn't even know that there is a CCCA. But - he's learning.

I still butt heads regularly with people selling their stuff on the "my stuff is gold and yours is lead" approach. Like the guys who want $2K for their disassembled engine and here I bought one like it in the frame with a tranny and differential and suspension which I paid a quarter of that for. Or their $500 tranny which can be got the equal of for $200.

"I'll junk it first." "No, you won't. Your heirs will."

I hope to Allah that they post it for sale "OBO" first.

Posted on: 5/24 10:55
If you're not having fun, maybe it's your own damned fault.
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