16th Feb 2012, 10:43

Yes, but AGAIN an old Cutlass four door isn't worth much compared to a documented W-30 442. You are comparing apples and oranges, even in the cars you list from back then.

Either way... who cares? The Camry has more than proven itself to be a worthy car for those who just want to get around. In 30 years, those people will be driving a new Camry, and they will hardly be concerned with what their 30 year old Camry is worth.

These cars are not investments. They are a way to get from point "A" to point "B", like 90% of the import AND domestic cars are these days. I mean seriously do you think even a Camaro with a V6 in it will ever appreciate? Probably not, unless you buy one and keep it in the wrapper with 0 miles on it, and hold onto it for 40 years. Maybe you'll break even on it then.

17th Feb 2012, 10:28

That was the point. A basic appliance is how many vehicles today are considered. Turn the key and go. They rust, or lose a trans or engine, and go to the boneyard. Throwaway society at work.

It would be nice to be excited about ownership, as in the past. Cars go into wind tunnels, and the potato shape is common. Some designers do take it further, but I feel it will affect the pricing.

By the way, look up a 1967-69 Camaro with a 6 cylinder... It's not a problem selling over original MSRP. A 2 door Cutlass in good shape from that era, stock, can fetch around 10k in our area. But again, who cares about other sedans.

I was excited over one Toyota, and that was a 1977 Celica GT with its excellent styling, which resembled the Mustang. In all fairness, I would not be surprised if it would be worth more than its new selling price today, if any survived.

17th Feb 2012, 16:46

Today's cars aren't throwaway cars. The changes in engineering, metallurgy, paint, frame construction, engine management systems, and so on means that on any given day I can go down the freeway and see plenty of 80's era Toyotas, Hondas, and in some cases Fords and GM vehicles still in perfectly good condition. My Toyota is now pushing 15 years old, and so far no signs of any rust or deterioration.

You'd be hard pressed to have a car from the 50's-70's make it past 10 years before the things simply rusted out, which is fine, because back then the whole industry was heavily tied towards planned obsolescence, and due to cars being comparatively cheaper in relation to salaries of that time, people tended to buy cars every few years. Thus the cars weren't expected to last that long anyway.

The value debate I believe is purely via a car by car basis. My old 50's car is a four door, and is worth only around $2,500. Meanwhile the 2 door version is worth $10,000 - just because it's 2 doors. I do know that some of the Japanese cars from the 70's are starting to go for some serious money. That, and the 80's era 4WD Toyota trucks, especially the first generation 4Runner and the single cab trucks they were based off of. These were tough trucks back in the day, and people love them.

I've owned my classic for 10 years. It runs great, but only because I give it constant maintenance. That's something I seldom do with my newer cars. I usually just change the oil, air filter, plugs, and stuff in the new ones. The old one on the other hand requires constant maintenance. Most cars back then did.

Lastly, there is no way I would want to get in an accident in my classic. It's just a big steel box on a rigid frame with inadequate brakes, a nice, all-steel dash, a huge rock-hard steering wheel, and lap belts. Many didn't even have those anyway. There is a misconception that somehow super-solid frame and no crumple zones is better. The truth is that on impact, the frame would be more likely to sheer, and if hit just right, the steering columns and possibly the engine would go right into the passenger compartment. That was not uncommon back then. If hit from the side, the doors would probably cave right in. I've taken the doors apart on mine. There are NO structural safety bars inside. It's just a thin sheet metal shell. The rest of the body just sits on the frame, held on with nuts and bolts. None of that would survive an impact. Most would probably get destroyed. Modern cars are much better at protecting their occupants from collisions.

18th Feb 2012, 05:52

Fuel costs are a very strong factor on what people buy. Styling such as the hideous Prius is secondary if a lot of commuting or driving is involved. Gas is nearly 4 bucks a gallon. Fuel oil for homes in my area; many are paying over 600 dollars a month in the Northeast where I live. You can control fuel costs by cutting back and consolidating trips. I moved close to work, and we can basically drive whatever we want. A tank of gas still lasts a long time.

A car is the second most expensive item that people typically buy. There is also maintenance and insurance cost. When I retire, I will probably focus on gas too, and not even want to waste money washing it. It will be like a vacuum cleaner or toaster.

18th Feb 2012, 10:07

With few exceptions, I have done extremely well with classic cars I have owned. I have never bought a single 4 door. I like convertibles and coupes; all V8 4 speed cars.

Right now I have noticed 67 and 70 Chevelles are hot. I sought out expert advice years ago, so that I would not make costly mistakes. I haven't wrecked my cars, and there's a lot of booers at the large shows and cruise nights. I usually have cars with disc brakes and upgrades that are reversible to stock.

I disagree on imports that become 10 years old, and need engine or trans work. If you have a Toyota that needs a new 4k-5k trans or engine, are you going to put it in a 5k car? Doubtful. Is it worth the same in a 2k 4 door. Old car? Sure you can do so if you wish. I am sure there are some old Land Cruisers like the early Broncos, or maybe the small Toyota pickups may be worth restoring. But this is car focused.

18th Feb 2012, 21:55


If you like classics, then accept you might need to spend more on maintenance and fuel, won't be as safe in an accident with a comparatively sized modern car, might (if you're young like me) get the whole "they're just a poser" attitude from stupid people, etc etc THEN GO AND BUY ONE.

If you like the reliability, safety, 'newness' of a modern car, and can happily put up with depreciation, driving what is pretty much a bland, disposable consumer appliance (doesn't matter how many miles it can do, it's purpose is to sell at a profit.. nothing more), etc etc THEN GO AND BUY ONE.

I love reading the points and perspectives everyone has on this site, arguments over which company, model, make, trim level, front or rear wheel drive philosophy is better and all that jazz, but in my opinion, it's all just a bit beside the point, ain't it?

It's not about what company, model, car, etc is better or which you prefer. Its about waking up in the morning, feeling you have a happy and fulfilling life, and if driving your preferred new, old, classic, import or domestic car helps this be the case... then do it.


J Freeland

Auckland, NZ.