15 October 2012

Anniversary Bumps: How your car's anniversary can affect its value

The classic auto press and lately even the manufacturers have taken to playing up significant collector car anniversaries. The 2011 Jaguar E-Type anniversary was the most recent biggie. Jaguar and the motoring press pulled out all the stops and the net effect was boosting the beautiful E-Type to top-of-mind for a lot of collectors. Numerous informative articles were written, some even dispelling the E-Type’s vastly overstated reputation and notorious unreliability (the producers of AMC’s hit show “Mad Men” clearly didn’t get that memo — an E-type was involved in a darkly hilarious suicide attempt that was foiled when the car wouldn’t start).

The net result of all the attention was a 10-20 percent bump in E-Type values. What goes up often comes down, and when the anniversary ended, E-Type prices did settle a bit, but not to the pre-2011 level.

Here are a few things to consider about automotive anniversaries:

  1. In general, significant anniversaries are 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, etc. Half decade anniversaries with the exception of 25th are usually not a big deal.  25th anniversary recognition is an exception because it is often the cut-off date for antique and classic registrations. Major 25th anniversaries will still be rare because cars don’t often acquire major milestone status in that short of a time period. In general, historic anniversaries with ties to living people in their ideal collecting range (35-65) resonate better than 75th or 100th anniversaries.
  2. Anniversaries can be broken down into three categories: 1. “Major Milestone”; 2. “Significant Anniversary”; 3. “Historical Footnote.” The categories are a bit subjective, but most of us recognize them when we see them. The Major Milestone cars will be the ones most likely to experience an anniversary bump in value.
  3. Foreign automakers tend to date anniversaries from the actual year of motor show introduction, Americans from the model year. For example, the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray was introduced to the public in mid-1962 and went on sale in early autumn 1962 as a 1963 model, so the 50th anniversary is dated from 1963. Conversely, the Porsche 911 was introduced at the 1963 Frankfurt Auto Show and went on sale in late 1963 as a 1964 model. Porsche dates the anniversary to the introduction date in 1963 rather than the model year of 1964.

2013 will see two Major Milestone anniversaries in the C2 Corvette and the Porsche 911. But not all models and sub-models of the above are created equally, and some will likely appreciate more than others. C2 Corvettes to watch next year will be the iconic split window coupe with desirable options like fuel injection and a big tank. Porsche 911s like early 1964 cars, short wheelbase 911S and soft window Targa models will be extremely desirable, but any long hood (1964-73) 911 will be worth hanging on to for the duration of the year.

18 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Fred Baumann Lexington/Versailles, Ky December 5, 2012 at 08:36
    I have a 1973 Big Block 4-speed Corvette Coupe. Corvette didn't really play up anniversaries until 1978 [25th]. I chose 73 year car because it was 20th year of the Corvette and it was the only year the Stingray [C-3] Corvette had a soft nose and chrome bumpers on the rear. I have owned this Corvette since 1996. I am the fourth owner of the car. Since I have owned it, it has been in the Evolution Display in the 50th Anniversary Celebration in Nashville/Bowling Green in 2003, It has been displayed twice in the National Corvette Museum [1] 2006 in the St. Louis Assembly Plant feature [2] 2008 , the World's Only Corvette 3's exhibit. This exhibit was all the 3 year cars; 1953, 1963, 1973, 1983, 1993, and 2003. It was the only true 3's exhibit because it included the only Vin Numbered 1983 Corvette in the World. GM has it on permanent loan to the National Corvette Museum. After the exhibit was over I purchased all three banners that flew outside the museum advertising the exhibit. I have since purchased a 2003 Anniversary Red Corvette Coupe.
  • 2
    Stephen Dow Reno, NV December 5, 2012 at 08:37
    I have a1980 911 SC Targa that I bought new. Since I don't drive it often, I am considering selling it. It is in excellent condition, around 66,000 miles, always garaged, new paint and tires, have every service record, have never had any major problems and runs beautifully. Would the 50th anniversary of the 911 summer of 2013 affect the value of my car? Should I wait until next summer to put it on sale?
  • 3
    ANDY COURNOYER RHODE ISLAND November 29, 2012 at 15:49
  • 4
    charles spear Houston, TX December 5, 2012 at 08:37
    I own a restored 1964 230 SL Mercedes Benz. Both tops, std shift, baby blue. What is it worth?
  • 5
    Rolston Ebanks Tampa, Fl. December 5, 2012 at 08:37
    I have a 1979 vette L82 ,I am the original owner, with full mechanical record, 81500 mls. All Original equipment, radio ( was sent back to AC delco thru Ecklers for restoration early 1990's ). Car has never been painted and is in excellent mechanical condition. Also the tee tops are smoked glass . Can you give me some idea of the approx value of this car. Thanks
  • 6
    sally bair seattle November 30, 2012 at 16:51
    Hi. I am the proud owner of an original 1963 356 convertable B Porsche S 1600 (my little p-nut), and was hoping you could giude me to a resource or resources to determine it's current value. And if it's 50th anniversary in 2013 will affect this value or not. The car has never seen a semi or full restoration, but it's in very good condition with minimal rust. The engine was just rebuilt as well as the brakeing system etc....I have never requested from Porsche to see if the tranny and engine are mathcing numbers either. Thanks for your help. Sally
  • 7
    Clyde and Pat Searles Gresham, Oregon November 30, 2012 at 18:13
    We have a 1972 Ford LTD, hardtop, 4 door, bought it brand spanking new, gold with a white vinyl top, now has a 460 motor, what a goin' machine. We will be 80 next year and are "thinking" of selling it. What should we ask for it? It has been in a pole barn for the past 20 years. Big old thing, rides like a dream, nice "trip" car. Thanks in advance for your answer. Pat
  • 8
    Dick Beckley Lewisberry,PA December 5, 2012 at 08:38
    2013 will also mark the 60th Anniversary of the 53 Skylark, in my opinion , the most collectable post-war car . The BCA will feature the Skylark next year for their National Meet in South Bend, IN. I own a 54 Skylark and hope to have my newly restored 53 ready for the BCA National there. It is also the 60th anniversary of the Cadillac Eldorado,Olds Fiesta and Packard Caribbean, other significant cars of the 50's. Just wanted to let everyone know that some US cars are in the 2013 limelight , also, and that the significant anniversary cars are not all foreign ones.
  • 9
    Robert wolf Indianapolis,Indiana November 30, 2012 at 21:35
    I have a 1978 Mercedes 450 SL with 99,000 miles that is in excellent condition, and I'm the original owner. It is silver with a soft and hardtop. What is it worth.
  • 10
    Ray Hays Jacksonville, FL December 5, 2012 at 08:38
    1963 was when the Mercedes 230SL "Pagoda" was introduced at the Geneva auto show and became the benchmark for SL style and luxury sport. This year there will be three celebrations of the 50th anniversary. One in April in Canberra Australia, one in August near Frankfurt, Germany that has about 300 cars signed up so far, and one in Williamsburg, VA in September. An anniversary is a great excuse for a car party...as if us car guys really needed one. More info can be found at www.SL113.org
  • 11
    Chirlene Frent Palmetto,FL December 2, 2012 at 20:13
    I own a 72 Pontiac LeMans (the last of that body style!) ... 40 years was this year 2012. Are you saying it's not a big deal ?
  • 12
    Chirlene Frent Palmetto, FL December 5, 2012 at 08:39
    I have a 1972 Pontiac LeMans (the last of that body style) and 2012 is the 40 year anniversary... Are you saying it isn't a 'big deal' ?
  • 13
    Ronald Pepin United States December 5, 2012 at 08:38
    what do you think of the 58 impala and thats a 50th anniversary for impale Will this car increase in value
  • 14
    John W. Ibsen Telford Tn. December 5, 2012 at 08:39
    Holy crap; How could you not mention the 1963 Studebaker Avanti? This vehicle was so far ahead of its time in 1963, that it was not the salvation that Studebaker hoped it to be!
  • 15
    Joe Failla Coxsackie December 4, 2012 at 09:55
    I still have my 1967 Mustang 4 speed coupe which I purchased on July 6, 1967. Happy 45th Birthday "Hidalgo." As far as I am concerned, it's priceless.
  • 16
    John McGowan Middletown,DE 19709 December 5, 2012 at 10:26
    How do I find the value of a restored 1951 Ford F2 pick-up.How many were built,how many survived. Thanks, Jack
  • 17
    中古車買取 Japan December 10, 2012 at 00:09
    I would like to introduce the website of car purchase and assessment in Japan.
  • 18
    中古車買取 Japan December 10, 2012 at 00:09
    I would like to introduce the website of car purchase and assessment in Japan.

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