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Thread: General Price Trends

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    General Price Trends

    I know we owners love to talk endlessly about DeLorean prices; but I'd like to take a serious look at what's going on. As some of you know, I maintain a list of current for sale cars, and have been watching prices for about a year now, especially before I bought my own car. There's a couple of things that are clear enough:

    * Prices are definitely going up - but hugely? I don't think, but that's just my impression.
    * You now need, by the time you pay sticker price, tax, registration and miscellany, about $40K to get a good condition car.
    * The going rate for a barn find is now $25k - plenty will argue that's not justified, but people are clearly paying.

    Some low mileage, close to original and OK condition cars have fetched some pretty prices on BaT, despite the work they clearly need.

    I've also seen some very high prices - for example the Time Machine that sold at auction for $111K, and some other cars that are priced above $60k for
    various reasons.

    This is a slightly tricky thing to quantity - there are clearly different classes of car (barn find, good condition runner, time machine, etc), so a general statement
    about trends is hard.

    I'd particularly like to elicit feedback here from long timers; especially those who've watched prices for a very long time (and maybe bought and sold several cars)
    and also those non-owner lurkers (you know who you are) - if you're hanging out here instead of Facebook, you might be taking the whole thing a bit more seriously.

    Finally, I'd also suggest (and this is an impression, no more), that the classic car market in general is being driven by some high end collectors with no shortage
    of money. That's not a new trend, but it seems to be affecting our cars more.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DavidProehl's Avatar
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    I'd identify as mid-timer (bought my car in 2008 ) who has been watching prices casually since the late 90s when DeLoreanOne was listing overpriced refurbished cars for about $35k if I remember correctly.

    I think the feeling that prices have risen significantly comes from prices being fairly level from around 2005-2015 when "the rule of 25" was a thing. Around that time the thought was that if you bought a $10k car, you'd put $15k into it to get it solid. Likewise, $25k would buy you a very nice car. That rule blew up in 2015 when prices were regularly above $30k, and have slowly been trending up.

    Prices are moving up faster than they were before, but only a bit more than inflation. I paid $23k for my car in 2008, which would be about $28k in today's dollars. It is hard to say for sure, but I probably would have paid low $30Ks for the same car today. Yes, that is an increase, but it isn't massive.
    David Proehl

  3. #3
    Guy with a DeLorean Mark D's Avatar
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    Not sure how accurate Hagerty's valuations are, but you can at least see the trends. Here's the most recent update:

    Their free membership now only allows you to go back 3 years, but I had saved some data from a while back:

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    here are real sales from good cars.
    not asking prices
    the last 4 cars sold for over 40K.

  5. #5
    Sometimes Owner louielouie2000's Avatar
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    When I bought my first DeLorean in 2001 I paid $11,000; the second one in 2003 set me back $17,500. Adjusting for inflation, that would be $16,000 & $25,000 respectively. So I think itís safe to say these cars have increased at a rate significantly higher than inflation.

    That being said, I still know of plenty of owners who have picked up cars recently for well under 30 grand. Some of these cars are quite nice, too. Itís also well known Bring A Trailer is not indicative of reality. A 20 year old Civic Si recently sold for $52,000 on BAT... I donít care how nice it was, thatís just absurd.

    DeLorean selling prices are just all over the map, and have been for years. I think itís indicative of the type of car it is. It appeals to a different type of enthusiast. Not all DeLorean owners are well-informed ďcar peopleĒ at all. I suspect they might account for some of the more inflated sales. Yet many serious collectors still eschew the DeLorean altogether. Thereís this weird dichotomy which possibly explains to an extent why sale prices can be so varied.

    In any event, are there plenty of documented sales above $50k? Yes. Are there plenty of owners picking up cars for under 30k? Yes. Can you split the difference and assign a ďrule of $40k?Ē Not really... there are plenty of exceptions at both ends of that scale. Bottom line: these cars are worth what buyers will pay & sellers will accept. And those results often provide conflicting information.
    Louie Golden

  6. #6
    Guy with a DeLorean Mark D's Avatar
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    In one of the other threads on the board someone brought up recent values so I figured I'd post an update here to keep the data all in one place. This is the most recent from Hagerty, compare to values above from a year ago.

    Last edited by Mark D; 06-16-2021 at 08:37 AM.

  7. #7
    One of those purists you keep hearing about. sdg3205's Avatar
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    I've been an owner since 2010. We paid $12,000 for our DeLorean, which ran and drove but needed a lot of attention in the usual areas. I see non-runners being sold for much more than that these days. I've restored and sold 2 additional cars. The first was a low mile, immaculate car with absolutely everything upgraded. At the time, I listed it for $40k and people balked and laughed. I think I sold it for high 30's. The second car was in fantastic shape and sold in the mid 30's. I think both cars would have sold for far more in 2021.

    I've been involved with several other restorations and the initial purchase price of non-runners has been equal or more than a runner 12 years ago.

    Values are up. We may have seen a sharp incline recently but I think the slope will continue to climb, albeit at a much slower rate from here on out.

    Here, somewhere.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    It's not just Deloreans, every classic car has been climbing in price over the last few years.

  9. #9
    Motors about after dark Michael's Avatar
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    I would say if you have been (by your own admission), watching prices for the past year then you do not have enough data to make any assumptions on value changes. As most of us have been owners for years if not decades, you are not unique in your price watching. It is in our nature to keep an eye on values as it affects our insurance coverage limits. That said, values are indeed increasing, depending on how inflation and economic constants factor into the equation. In a good robust economy, I saw values rise and now with inflation rising, so do values, unless inflation spikes to panic levels and people must weigh making a mortgage payment vs. cancelling the family vacation and medical insurance and other essential costs rise then owning a DeLorean may not be on everyone's priority list fact owners may be forced to sell their car just to make ends meet.

    I have seen values climb about 30-40% in the past 6 years but in the past 6 months, inflation has all but caught up and we are pretty much even money.
    Last edited by Michael; 06-16-2021 at 11:39 AM.  9

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark D View Post
    In one of the other threads on the board someone brought up recent values so I figured I'd post an update here to keep the data all in one place. This is the most recent from Hagerty, compare to values above from a year ago.
    Thanks for the update out of Hagerty. The 1 year valuation jump is mentioned.

    The value chart you shared goes back 3yrs.

    Hagerty's 5yr chart today shows:

    Their valuation of a #2 condition '81 DeLorean was $33K 5 yrs ago; vs $55K in the latest update for a 67% gain over 5yrs.

    Valuation of a #3 condition '81 has gone from $26K to $37K in that time, a 42% increase.

    If one of the mods wants to group "valuation" as a topic someplace in the forum then it truly would be all in one place. The longest thread on the topic is over here. But the most recent post to it, #110, was over a year ago...
    March '81, 5-speed, black interior

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