Author Topic: Classic car values in the 1970's?  (Read 5086 times)

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10192
Classic car values in the 1970's?
« on: December 24, 2013, 01:30:21 PM »
In the for sale section someone referenced a 76 Eldo for sale asking $64K.   That got us talking about values and someone else said that the 76 Eldo's were often selling for $25K-40K in the next couple years being the last convert and all.   That got me and at least a few other members wondering....

Lets say you were an automotive enthusiast in the late 1970's with $20k-40k burning a hole in your pocket, what could you buy both new or used?  Anyone have a Hemmings or similar from that era?    I assume you could get a couple 59 Eldo's or a Continentals?   Maybe a Duesenberg?   Were there 'exotic' 'import' cars that cost that much then?   At that time in general it was only the higher end American cars that had just broken the $10K mark?
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

INTMD8

  • Guest
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2013, 01:46:32 PM »
Interesting question. I think the farthest back I go on "for sale" publications is mid 90's, and even that is depressing! Of course I was only 16 then so as cheap as they were.... still out of reach.

Offline Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

  • Posts: 7039
  • Name: Eric DeVirgilis
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 02:09:05 PM »
Hindsight is 20-20 but I think Duseys can be safely ruled out for $40K in 1976: A Dusenberg had been the first classic car to hit the $100K mark in 1971 or 1972.

Regarding 1976 ELCs, my understanding has always been that they briefly hit the $25K mark in the summer of '76, shortly after which began their precipitous decline when the initial hoopla had run its course.

I began following the old car hobby in the mid- late '80s - ironically enough - just before '59 values shot into the stratosphere, virtually overnight. As late as 1986, '59 'Ritzes had been regularly advertised in Hemmings for <$20K with OCPG assigning $16K for a #1 - in 1986 (IIRC). One had been sitting in a barn owned by local Cadillac dealer from 1972 (at the time it had been traded in) until 1988 at which time he sold it for $3,000 to a buyer on the west coast. (Imagine how that dealer felt a year or two later!)

I was only 12 in 1976 and hadn't developed an appreciation of vintage cars yet - so I'm afraid I cannot answer your original question of what I would have done with $25K - $40K in any meaningful way...   
A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for which there is no Acceptable Substitute

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10192
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 02:50:16 PM »
I work for a guy who was related to a one time owner of that first record setting Duesenberg.   Was the 100K one to the founder of Dominos Pizza?  Or was it a little later and it was a similar car for $1million?   The Dominos guy was the one the guy I know was slightly related to.   He has a photo of him in an Auburn that the relative was trying to sell his dad in the late 50's or early 60's for something like $2000.  Next time I see him I can confirm, he has the news article framed in is garage, its just been a while since I have seen it. 

Hopefully someone will have some ads from the 70's. 
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

  • Posts: 7039
  • Name: Eric DeVirgilis
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2013, 03:04:37 PM »
He could well have been the first $1M Dusey buyer - I cannot affirm.

I'd be less certain that he was involved in the earlier transaction.

I once saw a documentary on Tom Monaghan and found his success story very fascinating.

*A friend has Hemmings going back to the mid 1980s, possibly earlier. I'll see what I can find.
A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for which there is no Acceptable Substitute

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10192
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2013, 04:15:28 PM »
Did some searching and it was the $1M and it was in 85. 

http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/tag/tom-monaghan/

$100K, 1M what ever, who can keep track?

 The guy I work for was not related to Monaghan (Domino's), he was related to someone that once owned that car.   The guy did apparently have a few bucks but I got the impression he owned the car when it was likely at the bottom of its value curve whenever that was.       
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10192
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2013, 05:59:54 PM »
When did Self Starter start?  Someone must have older issues of those and those would at least have Cadillac prices in em?
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline Bill Ingler #7799

  • Posts: 1651
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2013, 06:35:23 PM »
It is always interesting to look back 40,50 or 60 years and look at prices. Then remember, if you go back in age that far, what you thought of those prices. I can remember my father and I attending D. Cameron Peck`s sale in 1951 and my dad saying no way someone will pay $1000 for that 1930 V-16 Cadillac roadster- but someone did. Hindsight as they say is always 20/20 so if you are young enough today, in 30 years you will say- why did I not buy that 76 Cad convert- it sure was a bargain. The first picture below was taken from an old copy of the CCCA Illinois Region Dashboard and look at the Duesenberg prices for 1955. The second picture is part of the auction flyer we were given at the 1951 Peck sale and notice the minimum bid for the 30 Cad roadster.  Bill

Offline B Garrett

  • Posts: 18
  • 76 Eldorado Convertible 2007 DTS
  • CLC Number: 26753
  • Name: BGarrett
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2013, 06:58:22 PM »
I bought a number 3  56 sedan deville around 1975-76 for 1,000. Sold it in the early 80's needing engine work for 600. In 1970 I was offered a Lasalle, I think it was a 1939 that was used by an Ohio Governor at one time, the seller was giving me a deal at 900 which was a fortune to me at the time.
Kids came before cars !
BGarrett  
CLC # 26753
76 Eldorado Convertible
2007 DTS

Offline David Greenburg

  • CLC #3830
  • Posts: 1997
  • CLC Number: 3830
  • Name: David Greenburg
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2013, 09:07:43 PM »
One of my first car purchases, at the age of 13 (no, I was not allowed to drive it) was a pretty nice, original '59 Coupe de Ville in 1972, for $350.  It was then, as now, tremendously appealing to me, but at the time it was just a big old used car.  I sold it after a few months because it needed a trans overhaul that was going to cost as much as I paid for the car, and I couldn't afford that on my paperboy income.  In '83, I bought my '59 60S as a complete, running but tired car for $1000. I have some Self -Starters from the mid-80s; I'll try and dig them out and get some prices.
David Greenburg
'60 Eldorado Seville
'61 Fleetwood Sixty Special

Offline C.R. Patton II

  • 1939 LaSalle C4D
  • Posts: 1209
  • Motor City, Saguaro, Socal & Switzerland
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2013, 12:18:22 AM »


Hello TJ

Interesting topic. Thanks for sharing.

I just found a CLC Self Starter January 1967

1938 Cadillac V-16 model 9029 Convertible Sedan Fleetwood. Factory radio, 59,000 miles, complete. Original maroon paint, good leather, new denmans, new radiator, 1966 rebuilt all water pumps, fuel pumps, carburetors and rewired ignition. Tuned and runs well. Asking 60¢ per lb. Terms for qualified buyer. Also would consider trade, particularly for construction or ranch equipment.

(The 2014 current price for this car is 150k)
I couldn't find any LaSalle vehicles for sale.

All good men own a Cadillac but great gentlemen drive a LaSalle. That is the consequence of success.

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10192
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2013, 08:32:47 AM »
So roughly 4000 pounds, thats $2400.     

Thats 1/2 price of a new 67 Callais which was $5k.    $2700 would have bought you a new base model Firebird in 67.   

I'm guessing in 67 many new cars were in that $2400 range so you could buy a new car or a almost 30 year old Cadillac. 
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline Gene Beaird

  • Posts: 1069
  • Name: Gene Beaird
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2013, 10:12:48 AM »
Just about any late-60's or early-70's Mopar with a hemi. They were still a bit expensive in the late 70's, but we're just about at the bottom of their value then.

And any Pontiac with a SD455 or 455-HO

Gene Beaird,
1968 Calais
1979 Seville
Pearland, Texas
CLC Member No. 29873

Offline Big Apple Caddy

  • Posts: 1332
  • Name: R. Langley
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2013, 03:26:45 PM »
$20K to $40K in the late 1970s, say 1978, would be the equivalent of about $72K to $144K today.  You should be able to get a couple of nice 1959 Eldos, certainly Seville or even pretty decent Broughams, for under $144K still today.

As far as brand new in 1978, I think the highest priced new American car was the Lincoln Mk V Diamond Jubilee Edition which was about $20K to $22K+ sticker price.  The highest priced Cadillac that year would've probably been the Seville Elegante at around $17K to $20K+ sticker price.

INTMD8

  • Guest
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2013, 06:14:43 PM »
  You should be able to get a couple of nice 1959 Eldos, certainly Seville or even pretty decent Broughams, for under $144K still today.

If we're talking a pair of 59 Seville's or 59/60 Brougham than I agree. 59 Biarritz or a Nice 57/58 Brougham could singularly eat up that budget of course.

Considering Eric's values of 59 Biarritz being sold for less than 20k up through the mid 80's I would say you definitely had a lot more buying power back then.

Offline Big Apple Caddy

  • Posts: 1332
  • Name: R. Langley
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2013, 08:06:56 PM »
Considering Eric's values of 59 Biarritz being sold for less than 20k up through the mid 80's I would say you definitely had a lot more buying power back then.

Sure but we are also comparing cars at different stages of the value curve.   20 year old cars, what a 1959 Eldorado would've been in the late 1970s, generally don't have high values as they are often considered to be too new for serious collector interest (especially today) and too old for reliable daily driver use (especially back then).  A 20 year old Cadillac today would be a 1994 model and not worth a whole lot for the above reasons but in the coming decades will see varying degrees of collector value more or less just as 1959 Cadillacs went through value changes over time.

INTMD8

  • Guest
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2013, 08:35:03 PM »
Sure but we are also comparing cars at different stages of the value curve.   20 year old cars, what a 1959 Eldorado would've been in the late 1970s, generally don't have high values as they are often considered to be too new for serious collector interest

Of course, I thought that was the topic  :D

Lets say you were an automotive enthusiast in the late 1970's with $20k-40k burning a hole in your pocket, what could you buy both new or used?  Anyone have a Hemmings or similar from that era?    I assume you could get a couple 59 Eldo's or a Continentals?

INTMD8

  • Guest
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2013, 08:40:12 PM »
That's what it seems like. More buying power in the 80's, does that mean the market now is generally overpriced and due for a correction?

As Big Apple Caddy mentioned, they just weren't old enough then to have appreciated in value. (Think mid 90's Cadillac prices today)

I think now that they are appreciated and recognized as iconic classics, 50's Cad's will continue to trend upwards in value. Of course there are always market fluctuations like with anything else but I can't think of any reason there would be any significant drop in value.

Offline Big Apple Caddy

  • Posts: 1332
  • Name: R. Langley
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2013, 10:27:07 AM »
Of course, I thought that was the topic  :D

Sort of but the OP's comparison question had two variables; not only different selling years (late '70s vs today) but different car ages (20 y/o vs 55 y/o) as well.  I was more referring to your reference to buying power and was essentially commenting that like age cars, eliminating one variable, would be a better buying power comparison "then" vs "now" due to value stages cars go through.

Offline Big Apple Caddy

  • Posts: 1332
  • Name: R. Langley
Re: Classic car values in the 1970's?
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2013, 10:34:47 AM »
I think now that they are appreciated and recognized as iconic classics, 50's Cad's will continue to trend upwards in value. Of course there are always market fluctuations like with anything else but I can't think of any reason there would be any significant drop in value.

I wonder really how much upward trend there will continue to be as people most connected to that '50s era age and eventually get out of the hobby and therefore remove some of the demand.

 

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13