LOCAL MARKET REPORT
The current situation in New Zealand is that prices for good-quality, authentic classic cars have remained steady, as has the resolve of real classic car enthusiasts. Markets go up and markets go down. What we are currently witnessing is that over-priced cars are remaining under pressure and we expect the best classic cars to continue to hold their value or even increase in value. The classic car hobby in New Zealand has a very solid foundation that can weather any storm, should there ever be one.
As a commodity, classic cars offer unrivalled flexibility compared with other investments such as property, not to mention great performance — in more than one sense. Yes, the dynamics of the market are arguably too complex to be able to make any predictions, but so far, the market has been good for classic car owners to remain positive with their investments.
An area of the market that has been expanding over the last 12 months has been equity release: the mechanism of releasing cash from a classic car. With low interest rates, high vehicle values, and appetite from lenders, we expect more classic car owners to release equity from their collections in the coming months, only to start collecting cars again.
Limited-production modern classics continue to attract the attention of investors and speculators, but sellers of average cars need to ensure that their cars are priced competitively, because only high quality, truly collectable, authentic classics are commanding strong prices.
Nobody wants average cars and projects unless the pricing is right, and nobody wants muscle and classic cars that have been converted into electric vehicles (EVS) either — there is certainly no collectable value there!
Trading in a combustion engine for an electricity-powered muscle car is sacrilege in the classic car world. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the electric muscle car being promoted by Julia Jack from Mercury — ‘Evie’! In a country like New Zealand, where one boasts of freedom and democracy, we are actually being told how to enjoy our hobby in future!
It was reported that Julia Jack said that she would like to see New Zealand become a leader in the adoption of EVS, but the lack of cool factor with these vehicles remains a hurdle for far too many Kiwis. I think she has a point. There is absolutely no cool factor, so I suggest you keep the matter in perspective and distinguish between hobby and daily use.
It’s not just the cool factor that’s a stumbling block for us car enthusiasts; it’s the nostalgia, the collectability, the value, the freedom, the character, the identity that our cars bring, the power, the burble that comes from that engine … it’s the whole package.
Ponder this. At the end of 2016 there were 18 producing coal mines in New Zealand. We have 15 billion tons of coal resources, more than half of which is recoverable. Coal production in 2015 was 3.4 million kilotons, almost half of which was exported. The biggest markets for coal are Japan, India, China, and Australia — perfect for our clean green image: dig it up and sell it to other countries to pollute on our behalf!
Another classic pollutant is plastic. About 300 million tons of plastic is produced globally each year — only about 10 per cent of that is recycled. The plastic that is simply trashed — an estimated seven million tons — ends up in the sea each year. What’s being done about this? Is it only greenhouse emissions that are killing our blue planet?
Is the birth of the EV truly for the sake of saving Mother Earth — or maybe there is not enough revenue to be had from trying to eliminate plastic from our daily lives? Would you not agree that there are more of us using plastic than driving classic/muscle cars? If we really want to improve on pollutants, let’s do it where it matters most and where the results are significant!
I say stop tampering with what’s close to our hearts and take your considerations elsewhere, as I think I can speak for most classic car enthusiasts of any age and sex. We do not want your so-called sensible, clean, and quiet rhetoric interfering with our hobby. We will support you on your mission where it really matters, when it is truly for the sake of our planet!
We love our cars just like they are — exciting, strong, and powerful.