1961 Austin Healey 3000 BT7
A 1961 Austin Healey 3000 BT7 graces our showroom.

In today’s economy, everyone is asking us how the collector car market is doing. Well believe it or not, here at British Sports Cars the market has been excellent and we see no sign of it slowing down. We did have a downturn that lasted about two months, but things quickly picked up and we’re right back in the swing of things. Today’s market is heavily influenced by the internet and foreign currency. The increasing growth of the internet has made it very easy for foreign buyers to find and purchase classic vehicles. Close to 90% of what we are selling is going to Europe. You would think that it’s not cost effective to ship a car to Europe, but in fact it is very quick and easy. We can ship to most European countries for only $1,000 and have it there in about six week’s time. The actual shipping takes only about four weeks but it takes an additional two weeks to clear customs. With the US dollar suffering and the Euro as strong as it is, not only is it quick and easy but there is a lot of profit to be made once you figure in the exchange rates.

1962 Jaguar MK2

Another frequently asked question is: Why is the market any different today than it was in the late eighties and early nineties? At that time we saw some of the most incredible prices we have ever seen in the collector car market, but the difference today is supply and demand. For example, at that time a Jaguar XKE Roadster skyrocketed from $25,000 to nearly $100,000 overnight for no reason other than the market would bear it. At the time, Jaguars were very easy to come by and simply were not worth the inflated amount at which they were being sold. When the prices went up overnight, prospecting owners looking to cash in flooded the market with cars. Today, that same Jaguar XKE Roadster is not as ridiculously overvalued, but its value has steadily risen to the $70,000-$80,000 range and continues to climb. These cars are also much scarcer than they have been in past years and good, rust free examples are very rare. We now have waiting lists for people wanting to get their hands on rust-free, accident-free California examples. If you are looking for a classic car, now is the time to buy while there are still a few examples available.

British Sports Cars Showroom
In the late fifties under licence from BMW, Isetta of Great Britain began producing Isetta cars at their factory in Brighton.

Another question we get is: If the market is so good then why are auction prices down? Well, we’ve noticed that auction prices are not down when it comes to the right vehicles. Good, rust-free, accident-free cars that are well-restored are bringing premiums; so are nice original examples. Like I mentioned before, the reason for this is simply supply and demand. Now, this is not true with all vehicles, but a good example of this is Classic Ford Mustangs. For example, a 1965 Mustang Fastback that was very common here in the US, went from being valued around $20,000 to nearly $60,000 overnight, much like we saw with European cars in the late eighties and early nineties. These cars have now plummeted in value simply because, outside of a spending frenzy, they were never actually worth as much as people were paying for them. There were far too many on the market. I do believe that if you’re looking for a classic American car, now is the time to buy as they will inevitably increase in value just like the European vehicles have.

1965 Ford Mustang Fastback
Some American iron muscles its way into the shop.

If you have the right car, they will always increase in value and will continue to be sought-after collector’s items. If you learn the market and play it smart, classic collector automobiles can indeed be a great investment.

If you have any questions or thoughts on this topic, we would love to hear your opinion, so please feel free to comment.