Will Gen Y Kill Classic Cars?

Values of classic cars have steadily increased over the last few decades, and proud owners of old GTOs, Mustangs, Jaguars, Porsches, and more have reaped the benefits of maintaining and restoring older cars.

Porsche owners, for example, have seen values skyrocket, particularly on their pre-1999 911s. Classic cars at auction continue to sell well and prove themselves as good financial investments over time.

As a new generation comes of age, though, we may see those classics begin to decline in value. In fact, some say it’s already happening.

While not often cited as an automotive authority, The Sun made an interesting point on this topic last week:

Since 2005, restored classics have shown to hold their value better than rare coins and other antique buys, but a lack of knowledgeable mechanics has seen this fall away.

In particular, classic models such as Ferrari, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Porsche, whose prices have risen more than 332 per cent and more than any other category in the last 10 years, significantly dropped in value.

According to classic car experts, the “old-school” art of restoring a car using its handbook and intricate operating knowledge is dying out, as a new breed of mechanics are now being educated using cars that base their servicing on computer diagnostics.

Essentially, young people don’t know how to care for these old cars and don’t have the desire to learn. This could have disastrous effects on not only the values of classic cars, but on their very existence. What if a trend emerges where young adults start swapping out original drivetrains in classic cars for modern ones? That already limited supply of original classics would be depleted, and the ones that are left could become undesirable.

There’s little to no incentive for young people to learn the mechanical skills needed to work on old cars, because there’s no practical application for those skills. They can’t make a living by knowing how to tear down and rebuild an engine and aren’t interested in learning for the sake of a hobby.

Classic cars certainly aren’t dead yet, but unless there’s a resurgence of interest from the next coming-of-age generation, their time as valuable investments may be limited.

Which classic car would you most like to own?


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1 Comment

  1. I say the “classic car” owners are the ones putting the newer generation out of having any interest. You can talk to anyone that bought these cars when they were 5-10 years old and had little value being bought for spare change. Every show and internet post bragging about scoring big selling these off has everyone with a rusty pile looking for WAY too much money for a car that needs a lot of work. The point of sweat equity is it’s cheap but you can still fix it up to something nice. Of course younger people with less cash to spend are going to invest in newer cars because they are cheap and no one cares if you modify it to your taste.

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