QOTD: The Price Is Wrong?

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
qotd the price is wrong

Today’s question is brought to you by kitchen-table musing and grumbling by two gearheads at the Guy household on Saturday. As it always does, the conversation turned to cars.

“Nothing’s affordable anymore!” ranted my friend, waving his arms while expressing a desire to own old Alfas and other machinery with the structural integrity of wet tissue paper.

The man may have a point. Do you think the values of certain desirable cars are inflated beyond reason?

I argued that the auction site Bring-a-Trailer is doing to the values of certain oddball cars what Barrett-Jackson did to the values of Hemi ‘Cudas about 10 or 15 years ago. Those machines were always extremely valuable but, in the wake of televised bidding frenzies, those cars soon started changing hands for dizzying amounts, shutting out all but the 1 percent of gearheads.

Their values have cooled, as the demographics of those with car-sized amounts of money burning holes in their bank accounts starts to shift. Gearheads — the sloppy, misty-eyed dates that we are — tend to throw caution and good reason out the window when we find ourselves in a position to finally purchase the machine we coveted as a teenager or young adult.

Me? I’d very much like to have an Integra Type R — painted Phoenix Yellow, please. Not long ago, these little rockets were desired but not wholly unattainable. Now? The two currently on BAT are already trading well into five-figure territory. It’s not like either of them are perfect examples — one has crash history and 182k miles, the other is a ten-owner car with mileage discrepancies and an outstanding lien.

I’m glad for the BAT boffins; they’ve created a great gearhead community and are proving to be one of the premier stops for rare and desirable machinery. It’s great when people start a business and are successful. I am also glad for those who have found a way to put one in their garage.

Doesn’t make it any easier to get my Integra Type R, though. What car do you think is currently trading for nutso values? Are there any others you think will soon rocket into the stratosphere?

[image: Acura]

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6 of 68 comments
  • Bodayguy Bodayguy on Jul 31, 2018

    I bought an NSX last year. Yeah, probably the Gen X collector bug hit me or something. But I also have a 60s Riviera, so I'm not ONLY rehashing my youth. Also sold a car on BaT 2 years ago. It was fun. Anything interesting and in good shape will do nicely on there, problem is everybody thinks their garage heap is in that category now. Ran into a guy with a yellow Integra Type R at the coin-op car wash about five years ago. Practically ran up to him and lectured, "don't sell this!" He looked bewildered.

    • See 1 previous
    • PandaBear PandaBear on Aug 01, 2018

      @scott25 One of my friend mod his S2000 club racer for track (including a whole dry sump system) , but he is really using it as a tool for the job instead of collecting it and look at it though. He does keep all the original parts so when time comes it is going back to stock to be sold.

  • Mechaman Mechaman on Aug 04, 2018

    The last Accord I liked the looks of was the '07 model. Apparently some sellers think that no matter how many miles they put on theirs, the car never depreciated...

    • See 1 previous
    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Aug 13, 2018

      @volvo Especially if you have the six-speed stick on that V6 Sedan!

  • Hunter Ah California. They've been praying for water for years, and now that it's here they don't know what to do with it.
  • FreedMike I think this illustrates a bit of Truth About PHEVs: it's hard to see where they "fit." On paper, they make sense because they're the "best of both worlds." Yes, if you commute 20-30 miles a day, you can generally make it on electric power only, and yes, if you're on a 500-mile road trip, you don't have to worry about range. But what percentage of buyers has a 20-mile commute, or takes 500-mile road trips? Meanwhile, PHEVs are more expensive than hybrids, and generally don't offer the performance of a BEV (though the RAV4 PHEV is a first class sleeper). Seems this propulsion type "works" for a fairly narrow slice of buyers, which explains why PHEV sales haven't been all that great. Speaking for my own situation only, assuming I had a place to plug in every night, and wanted something that ran on as little gas as possible, I'd just "go electric" - I'm a speed nut, and when it comes to going fast, EVs are awfully hard to beat. If I was into hypermiling, I'd just go with a hybrid. Of course, your situation might vary, and if a PHEV fits it, then by all means, buy one. But the market failure of PHEVs tells me they don't really fit a lot of buyers' situations. Perhaps that will change as charging infrastructure gets built out, but I just don't see a lot of growth in PHEVs.
  • Kwik_Shift Thank you for this. I always wanted get involved with racing, but nothing happening locally.
  • Arthur Dailey Love the Abe Rothstein tribute suits. Too bad about the car. Seems to have been well loved for most of its life.
  • K. R. Worth noting that the climate control is shared with (donated to) the Audi 5000 of the mid-late 1980s.