When choosing an older car to purchase or restore as an investment,
remember there are old cars and then there are OLD CARS.
There are several reasons that a 1959 Cadillac is worth much
more than a sixties model. Using this car as an example, and there
are many others, some of these differences will become apparent.
Currently, a 1959 Cadillac convertible in very good investment
grade condition sells for $45,000 to $80,000. The 2-door hardtop
version ranges between $4800.00 to $10,000.00,while the 4 door
sedan is valued at $4,000 to $8,000.00. The very next year, 1960,
the same models are valued at an average price of $16,500.00 for
the convertible, $4,00.00 for the 2-door hardtop and about the
same for the 4 door sedan. The prices continue to fall each year
there after, as the height of the fins decrease.
First the 1959 Cadillac was a "landmark" car. It was
a big, heavy car with large motor and gaudy styling. It was so
different that Hollywood Stars of that time immediately accepted
it and it became a symbol of good times, wealth, and of the excessives
of the late fifties.
Second, the rarity of the car is always a major factor. Of the
142,272 1959 Cadillacs produced, only 11,130 units were the 62
series convertible. Convertibles have the potential for excessive
rusting problems, and this has further deceased the surviving
Third, the models within the same year fluctuate widely with the
sportier models always being more valuable. The convertible is
almost universally considered the sportiest car in the lineup,
and usually commands the highest prices. The 2 door hard top is
also considered more good-time orientated, particularly if it
has a high performance package. Most 4-door sedans are considered
a "family" car and as a result usually has by far the
highest production numbers. They usually are the least desirable
and therefore the least valuable of the cars produced within the
same model year.
Therefore, the 1959 Cadillac Convertible is the most valuable
because it is first a "landmark" car, second a relatively
rare car, and third is the "sportiest" car. The 1959
4 door sedan is likewise a landmark car, which accounts for the
price premium over the adjacent model years. However, it is not
a rare car or a sporty car. It is a "family" car. These
are the major reasons for up to $75,000.00 price differences within
the same model year.
Before investing in an old car either through purchase or restoration,
research the model thoroughly. Do not make the mistake of buying
or restoring an old car just for the sake of having an old car,
when you can have both an old car and good investment.
Remember these broad guidelines :
1. If it is unusual or radical in design it may more likely be a landmark car.
2. If the top comes off it is usually the most valuable.
3. If it has 2 doors it is better than with 4 doors.
4. The bigger the engine (high performance) the more valuable it may be.
5. If it has 4 doors and needs restoration, it may cost more
to restore than it will be worth.
Do your homework and be a wise and satisfied classic car investor.
Inventory in stock at Tifton for Sale (updated every business day)
Other published articles written by Bob Kennon
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