Classic Car Market Values

by Don Elliott on July 21, 2011

Determining a classic car’s used car value can be hit or miss at best. There are many variables including condition, rarity, restoration, and history. Several pricing guides offer estimates of value based on the condition of the car. The classic car industry also has plenty of “appraisal services” ready to offer an opinion on your car’s classic car value.

Every classic car is unique. Recent changes in the economy have created big changes in old car’s used car values, no matter the vintage or the quality. One of the best ways to determine market value is to follow classic car auctions for auction sale prices on cars similar to the one you desire.

Barrett-Jackson Auction is the best known of the classic car auctions. The most active classic car buyers bid on cars sold by the car auction service. Prices from previous sales are available, but it is necessary to look prices up one car at a time.

Mecum Auctions values are a little easier to follow. Run numbers and auction sale events display auction results. Registration is required to gain access to the complete list of car auction sale results.

Russo and Steele Auction makes it a little harder to find their auction results. On their home page, the “More” tab allows you to choose an auction event. From there you can find the car’s block sale price. At that point, it is necessary to register or log into the site.

RM Auctions allows you to see auto auction results from each of their events without registration. It is possibly the most friendly classic car auction sites. Results can be sorted by lot number, alphabetically, or by price.

Pricing guides and classified sites can indicate a car’s classic car value. All of the pricing guides also post information about old cars, trucks, memorabilia, and lots of other stuff.

NADA Classic Car Guides are the end product of an arrangement with Manheim Auctions, the original publisher of the “Gold Book,” and AutoTrader Classics. There is no cost for this service, but it more realistically finds the value of a used car. It does this with a formula that may or may not include real market transactions. Most car makes and models are included with prices listed as low, average, and high retail.

AutoTrader Classics is a listing site that includes over 11,000 antiques, muscle cars, classic cars, and exotic cars. There is no cost to search AutoTrader Classics, but it is important to realize the listings are for retail asking price rather than actual transactions.

Hemmings is the traditional place to go for information on all kinds of specialty cars. “Hemmings Motor News” is a well-known print magazine to people involved with collector cars. Digital editions of the 4 Hemmings’ publications are available online at a discount and searching the classifieds listings is free. Classic Auto Network is a forum of auto enthusiasts. Registration to the site is free, but requires quite a bit of personal information. It is a posting site for used cars for sale. It also gives the opportunity to interact with other classic car owners. Use this as a reference site to find more information elsewhere on the Internet about classic car values.

Determining classic car values may seem difficult. However, you can use auto auctions and pricing guides to estimate the classic car’s used car value. Have you found another way to estimate used car values? Share your experiences with us!

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