Like it or not, you probably have a drive (no pun intended) to try out vintage cars. In fact, for many men, there is a mysterious and intriguing force that compels them into not only appreciating vintage vehicles, but also to go out of their way to own them.
Whether we’re talking about the earliest Ferrari models or a , the average Joe and Jane just couldn’t begin to understand why such cars would appeal to a man’s sense of beauty and nostalgia. But it’s not all that intriguing if you really think about it.
For starters, unlike much of pop culture, cars are and will always be timeless machines. No matter the brand, engine and what not, cars have become an indelible part of the history of our transportation culture. Mankind has been mesmerized ever since the introduction of the first diesel cars and the innovations that followed.
Take for example, . When it first arrived on the market, it became a staple in every American household. Due to its affordability and simplicity, it also became a symbol of American inventiveness during a time when the world was reeling from the Great War. The Model T defined the 20s, and is still talked about on regular basis today.
As you may already know, cars are not emotionally one-dimensional. They not only serve a means of getting you from point A to point B, but also bridge the gap between the present and the past, providing everyone a glimpse into the lifestyles of the people living in previous eras. Believe it or not, but they are generally also a reflection of a person’s personality.
With that said, it’s worth appreciating history through the rearview mirror by looking at the things it has left behind. Cars are basically artifacts of a bygone era and can be most fully appreciated by looking at classic cars with a curiosity aimed at the peculiar epoch in which they thrived.
If you’re interested in owning classic cars, it is essential to know what is involved in maintaining them and using them on the road. Take note of the following:
- Care and Caution: Like the most fragile antiques, vintage cars are delicate and require hands that are capable of, well, handling them. Vintage car owners should always exercise extreme caution when modifying their rides or giving them a custom paint job because just about change can greatly affect their value for the worse.
- Join Communities: The appreciation for vintage cars is growing, and people have banded together to share their experiences and opinions on everything deemed vintage. It’s important for car collectors to take advantage of this by joining events and organizing groups that discuss classic cars, how to take care of them, and how to make the most out of them.
The story behind every car is worth appreciating, and that’s even more true with classic cars. If you’re lucky enough to own a vintage car, make sure to take proper care of it to maintain its appeal and value. Be careful in fixing what ain’t broke.
Buying And Collecting Classic Cars and Vintage Watches
There are a lot of similarities and common themes between vintage car collecting and the world of high-end, luxury watches. For one, both automobiles and fine timepieces are harmonious collaborations of dozens — even hundreds — of components that require routine maintenance in order to stay in proper working order. However, both well-made cars and high-quality watches — if properly maintained — can offer their owners decades worth of trustworthy and reliable performance.
Additionally, much like iconic and desirable classic car models, certain have risen to legendary levels of value and collectability. Recently, Paul Newman’s reference 6239 Rolex Daytona sold for a (including buyer’s premium), making it the most expensive wristwatch ever sold.
With the exception of an engraving on the case-back that reads “Drive Carefully Me”, the record-breaking watch itself is not unlike other reference 6239 Rolex Daytona watches of the time that were fitted with exotic dials that featured an art deco style font for the numerals. However, these exotic dials – which are now highly collectable and known among members of the watch collecting community as “Paul Newman” dials – are referred to as such because of this very watch and its legendary original owner.
In addition to the desirability of “Paul Newman” dials and the important influence of this exact watch on the entire world of contemporary Rolex collecting, also comes with an amazing backstory. After receiving the watch as a gift from his wife, Joanne Woodward, and wearing it for many years, Paul Newman gifted the watch to James Cox, who at the time was dating Newman’s daughter, Nell. Although James and Nell did not stay together, they remained good friends; and after wearing the watch for a few decades, James decided to sell the watch with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Nell Newman foundation.
Although Rolex does not manufacture the absolute most-expensive wristwatches among the various luxury manufacturers, they are certainly the most well known, and some of their vintage timepieces have a remarkable ability to reach stratospheric prices at auction. Any example of a “Paul Newman” Daytona will rank among the most valuable and highly sought-after Rolex watches ever manufactured, and Paul Newman’s very own, “Paul Newman” Daytona is about as ultra-collectable and expensive as vintage luxury watches can get.
In the world of automobiles, Porsche fills a somewhat similar position that Rolex occupies within the watch industry. Both Rolex and Porsche manufacture high-end, performance-oriented, products that are luxurious in nature yet still practical and reliable enough to use on a daily basis in everyday life. Although Rolex sells far more watches each year than Porsche sells cars, both companies are arguably the most well known, high-end manufacturers within their respective industries, and both brands have become household names that have universal connotations with luxury, performance, and exclusivity.
If a reference 6239 Rolex Daytona is like , then a “Paul Newman” Daytona is the timepiece equivalent of an all-original, Porsche 356 Carrera Speedster. Today, any vintage example of Rolex’s Daytona will bring in a decent sum at auction; however, if that same watch is in good condition and fitted with one of the exotic, “Paul Newman” dials, then it immediately becomes among the most valuable and highly sought-after vintage timepieces on this planet.
In regards to the collectable vintage market for both cars and watches, condition and originality are always going to be the two greatest factors influencing the value of a specific piece. Additionally, just as not every classic Porsche is a 356 Carrera Speedster, not every vintage Rolex is a “Paul Newman” Daytona. It is really only when scarcity, all-original condition, and a wonderful backstory/provenance come together that auction prices start to exponentially escalate, and reach such immensely high values.
Top 3 Future Classic Cars – 2016 Edition
2016 has been a good year for cars — manufacturers have managed to deliver impressive performance, refinement, and innovation, so the odds are that many of this year’s models will be future classics, ones to be remembered for decades to come.
We’ve put together a list of what we think are the top 3 strongest contenders for classic car status, and with 2016 now at an end, you can expect to see many of them in the showrooms of used dealers like . Those looking for a deal should swoop in before demand peaks.
3. BMW 1 Series M
Engineered with maneuverability in mind, the BMW 1 Series M focuses on suspension and handling over a lot of the optional infotainment features that are often touted as a selling point these days. But it’s the real motoring enthusiasts who decide what’s a classic, and in the end the thing that stands out the most to developed tastes is the quality of the craftsmanship and the driving experience. It’s no surprise that the first run of this model sold out as quickly as it did and it’s worth keeping an eye peeled in case any turn up in future, as demand is likely to be high. The 1 Series M is practically a classic already.
2. Nissan GT-R
As some Japanese cars reach a certain age, sometimes shines through, and the Nissan GT-R — with its truly stunning levels of performance — is the perfect example. This is a popular racetrack model, so scarcity might give unmodified examples a lot of extra value in the future. Pick up a recent model or one of the 2017 model years, keep it in good condition, and you’ll see the value soar over time.
1. Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Mitsubishi’s offerings from the 60s and 70s are beginning to bring in large profits at auction, and there’s no doubt that the now-discontinued Lancer Evolution (or affectionately just the Evo) will continue that trend well into the future. With the power of a heavy-duty rally car compressed into a compact and stylish sedan, a distinct look, and limited manufacturing runs, you’re definitely looking at a future classic.
Ford Edsel: An Automotive Failure of Epic Proportions
The Ford Edsel is generally regarded as one of the biggest, if not the biggest, automotive failures in history, and there are many lessons to be learned from the car that was supposed to be everything American buyers wanted.
First, let’s look at why Ford developed the Edsel: In the mid-’50s, Ford Motor Company had only one mid-priced car, the Mercury, unlike General Motors, which had three as a result of having several brands (Pontiac, Buick and Oldsmobile). The Chrysler group also had three stemming from its Dodge, DeSoto and Chrysler and brands.
Ford felt it needed another model and, with great ambition, began developing the Edsel in 1955. The company spent the year leading up to launch pushing a teaser campaign for the new car, whipping the public into a frenzy and leading everyone to expect the car of the future!
Finally introduced in 1958, the Edsel featured great styling, a V-8 engine, and distinctive technical innovations such as push-button transmission controls on the steering wheel. Ford even offered 18 different versions of the car, an unheard-of move at a time when most car companies offered just a few.
During the 1958 model year, 63,110 Edsels were made. For every two Mercurys sold, one Edsel was sold. As in Madison, WI, tells us, not bad for a vehicle in its first year of life. However, the situation changed for the worse 1959, as sales slumped harder than Ford’s top brass expected. Here are some possible reasons why it failed:
The Car’s Name
Some experts believe the problem with the Edsel was its name, which was a tribute to Henry Ford’s only son, Edsel, who died in the early 1940s. While no worse than some others on the market, such as “Oldsmobile” (a car for the elderly?), it was certainly not a great name for a car shooting for the stars.
An Internal Affair
Many place the blame on Ford Group Vice-President, Robert McNamara, later United States Secretary of Defense during the Kennedy Administration. McNamara always disliked the Edsel, believing it looked too flashy and didn’t resonate with anyone’s sense of what an automobile should be — a very practical car like the Ford Falcon.
In early 1958, McNamara disbanded the independent Edsel Division, folding it into the Lincoln-Mercury Division and effectively killing dealership support and enthusiasm. In November of 1959, a few weeks after the 1960 Edsel’s introduction, production stopped for good.
The Car’s Quality
The Edsel was saddled with quality and reliability issues from the moment it rolled off the assembly line, which certainly drove customers away. However, the 1950s were not considered a decade of fantastic automobile quality and many of the cars from Ford, Chrysler and General Motors were no better than Edsel in that regard.
High Price, Poor Timing
Simply put, the Edsel was launched at a very bad time in American auto history — the onset of the so-called ‘Eisenhower Recession’ that began in 1957 and extended through 1958. This was compounded by its high , which was much higher than anything offered by Ford at the time.
The Ford Edsel is remembered for its terrible design, bad reliability, too high a price and costing Ford some $250 million, but did it deserve the immense hate it received? Arguably. Regardless, if the subject of the “biggest failure of American auto industry” ever comes up, you can bet someone will mention the Edsel.
The “car of the future” is now a footnote in the history of automotive marketing and technology and a cautionary tale in business classrooms. Now you know…