Classic American Muscle Cars Offer a Hedge Against Stock Market
By Cam Benty
Are we looking at another big stock market crash? Could be. If so, is investing in classic muscle cars an alternative?
"The political climate and international tariffs are causing havoc with investor blood pressures and could cause another return to recession era downturns, said Brad Toles, owner of All American Collector Car Restoration in Palm Springs, California. "But we are finding that highly specialized American muscle cars, picked with great care, have been returning 50% or higher annual rate of return."
Classic American Muscle cars were built between 1964 and 1974 and featured larger than standard power-rated engines with high performance options. Chiefly American vehicle manufacturers such as Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and American Motors offered these cars. But two key points to achieving investment grade vehicle status are rarity and prominence - if you can get both elements working for you, the investment potential increased exponentially.
Continued Toles, "I personally collect 1968-71 Mopars, specifically Challengers, 'Cudas, Chargers and Roadrunners. Vehicles with high horsepower engines are currently very valuable with great potential for growth. Vehicles with dealer and manufacturer documentation and a known ownership history are literally as good as gold to the investor. Many of these cars are 50+ years old and require a full restoration, using original parts, to attain perfectly restored status. Hiring a specialist, such as a skilled restoration shop to do the work, is required to guard against improper execution and loss of value."
Both "tribute" and resto mod vehicles have garnered increased collectability by investors. Tribute cars are vehicles that many not have original documentation and/or were not originally equipped with high-end options, simply replicas of highly desirable cars. Case in point would be a 1968 Charger that may have been produced by Chrysler with a 318cid engine but is restored and upgraded with 426cid hemi engine and the R/T option package. Cars of this type are attaining well over $100,000 if they are executed correctly.
“What’s really hot now is the ‘Restomods,’” says Nickolas Cardinale, executive vice-president at Barrett-Jackson Auctions. "That means classic or vintage cars that have been retrofitted with modern engines, power steering, and even features like air conditioning. Old cars don’t drive well,” says Cardinale. “They don’t have air conditioning… People want their cars to look old on the outside, but they want them new on the inside."
Noted Cam Benty, former editor of Car Craft, Popular Hot Rodding and Muscle Car Review Magazines, "I once had an NCRS Corvette judge tell me that he had many Corvette owners come to me explaining the rarity of certain vehicle options that really were never attractive to investors. As he would bluntly explain, 'Polio is rare, but no one wants it.' That same logic holds with rare cars or options that have no public appeal. The point is you have to know what is attractive to investors and collectors."
According to Doug DuMuro from The Truth About Cars, "If you want to find a car that will have a steep appreciation curve, you need something loved by kids/young adults. The best choice is a car with a cult following, with bonus points for every movie or song about it."
Case in point are cars like the 1968-69 Chargers from the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard, the 1968 Mustang from the movie Bullet or the 1977-79 Pontiac Trans Am from the movie "Smokey &The Bandit." "Dodge Chargers received an added portfolio boost from the Fast & Furious movie franchise that features a supercharged Charger that is also part of the Universal Studios tour. Its a known fact that the biggest collectable for the F & F franchise were the American Muscle cars that were featured, the 1969 Yenko Camaro and 1970 Hemi Challenger from Fast & Furious II." noted Benty.
For more information contact All-American Collector Car Restoration at (760) 778-7674 or go online to info@allamericancollectorcarrestoration.
All-American Collector Car Restoration
AACCR is a professional restoration shop for owners of classic American cars with a high level of focus on collectability. Based in Palm Springs, California, owner Brad Toles is an automotive enthusiast with great knowledge of American Muscle cars. He prides himself on taking a personal interest in every customer and delivering excellent vehicle restorations that match the time he spends on his award-winning cars.
Brad surrounded by Hemi engines