29 November 2012

What Hurricane Sandy means for the classic car hobby

Hurricane Sandy was unprecedented in terms of damage and loss to the collector car community; in fact, we estimate that between 8,000-10,000 collector cars were impacted, making Sandy the classic car hobby’s most devastating single loss event ever. Its effects on the hobby will continue to be felt for many years to come. It seems a touchy subject to write about the loss of objects that nobody really needs at a time when lives and livelihoods have been lost and basic necessities are hard to come by.

But car people see it a bit differently. We’ve talked to countless individuals who have been powering their PCs from portable generators and are already doing what so many of us do under far more normal circumstances — trolling Craigslist and eBay looking for cars.

Not surprisingly, the losses roughly track the popularity of certain collector cars in the Northeast part of the U.S. Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs were hit the hardest. 

Values May Be Affected


A cursory look at the usual sources of classic cars for sale reveals that between Hemmings.com, eBay Motors, Bring-a-Trailer.com and Craigslist, there are nowhere near 1,000 1953-82 Corvettes for sale. It seems likely that demand for replacement cars (at least in the short term) will outstrip the supply, and this can only mean one thing: Already, Hagerty clients are reporting dubious ads for collector cars for sale and meeting prices that seem in excess of what one would have expected to pay pre-storm.

The Hagerty valuation data team will monitor the situation and report our findings and what we hear from you via the valuation blog on the Hagerty Valuation Tools home page.

The upcoming Scottsdale auctions will supply an interesting barometer. An increase in the number of East Coast collectors looking to replace their losses could have an effect on the number of people bidding on each lot and thus final hammer prices. As with the above, Hagerty's valuation team will be onsite to analyze the auction results.

Parts Supplies


Although we have received no reports of it yet, with the sheer number of cars affected, it stands to reason that parts and materials for interior restorations may get somewhat scarce in the short term until suppliers re-order in larger quantities to meet increased demand. Things like door panels, sound insulations, carpets, seat kits, etc., will be in demand and inventories may become strained.

From a used parts perspective, the case is likely to be the opposite. There will be a boost in the used parts market as these vehicles hit the salvage auctions and are parted for everything except the soft interior parts. The Spring Carlisle and Charlotte Auto Fair shows will be the first example of this, and reputable vendors are sure to take the time to preserve the parts and will likely offer some great finds.

Storage


The concept of offsite storage may also get a boost as a result of Sandy. The vast majority of collector car owners store their cars in personal garages. Since it is conceivable that another event of this magnitude could take place, cautious collectors are beginning to take more seriously the notion of storing their cars away from their homes if they live in vulnerable areas, even if it means that it is less convenient to use them.
 

 

10 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Rifanf Buy Term and LOSE the Difference! Whole Life = no market risk? 5% reutrn? tax deferred build up? tax free withdrawal? Zero net cost loans? Self completes if you become disabled? Lawsuit and creditor protected in 43 states? tax free death benefit? No 591/2 rule on distributions? No RMDs? No contribution limits? And people say this is a bad product? Really? The truth be told it very well may be the best financial product you can own!!! December 4, 2012 at 08:18
    Buy Term and LOSE the Difference! Whole Life = no market risk? 5% reutrn? tax deferred build up? tax free withdrawal? Zero net cost loans? Self completes if you become disabled? Lawsuit and creditor protected in 43 states? tax free death benefit? No 591/2 rule on distributions? No RMDs? No contribution limits? And people say this is a bad product? Really? The truth be told it very well may be the best financial product you can own!!!
  • 2
    michael mikowitz queens ny December 5, 2012 at 03:26
    All this talk of these damaged cars but no information on the auctions selling these cars. Many of these cars are wanted by the public. The car auctions need to be advertised so these cars can be rebuilt or used for parts.
  • 3
    Ken Sommers New Hampshire December 6, 2012 at 11:59
    What will the insurance companies do with the cars? Will they pay the current owner to restore the car to pre-storm condition or will they pay the owner for his claim and take possession of the car? What then, the crusher? How will the usable parts get back into the hobby market? Will it be more cost effective to restore ( or re-restore ) a car or part it out? will owners be given a choice as to the disposition of these vehicles? And how many of these cars will be cleaned up, deodorized and run through auctions, Craigslist , etc. and purchased by unsuspecting new owners? Flood cars from LA after Katrina were surfacing all over the country if they weren't shipped overseas. Many questions, I know, but some system will have to be in place to address these concerns.
  • 4
    Ken Sommers New Hampshire December 6, 2012 at 12:00
    What will the insurance companies do with the cars? Will they pay the current owner to restore the car to pre-storm condition or will they pay the owner for his claim and take possession of the car? What then, the crusher? How will the usable parts get back into the hobby market? Will it be more cost effective to restore ( or re-restore ) a car or part it out? will owners be given a choice as to the disposition of these vehicles? And how many of these cars will be cleaned up, deodorized and run through auctions, Craigslist , etc. and purchased by unsuspecting new owners? Flood cars from LA after Katrina were surfacing all over the country if they weren't shipped overseas. Many questions, I know, but some system will have to be in place to address these concerns.
  • 5
    Stan Kryla Asbury Park NJ December 7, 2012 at 13:36
    If you are looking to High and Dry, Secure, Climate Controlled storage for your prized vehicle at reasonable rates, check us out! https://www.facebook.com/FastLaneMotorClub
  • 6
    Stan Kryla Asbury Park NJ December 7, 2012 at 13:36
    If you are looking to High and Dry, Secure, Climate Controlled storage for your prized vehicle at reasonable rates, check us out! https://www.facebook.com/FastLaneMotorClub
  • 7
    gretchen Michigan December 7, 2012 at 10:58
    Owners are offered the right of first refusal to either keep the car (minus whatever the remnant would have fetched at auction) or to let it go. I believe the insurance company uses Copart.com as a way to auction off salvage vehicles.
  • 8
    Dan Michigan December 10, 2012 at 13:00
    I would like to see the insurance companies set up a register of the vin numbers of cars for claims were made from this, and future disasters. Something that can be quickly referenced by the hobbyist.
  • 9
    JEFF @ body and fender shop COLORADO December 19, 2012 at 12:15
    I would like to know the process of total loss / salvage as far as were cars will be sold and who can buy them , and is it possible to buy these cars for parts / projects? I am a repair shop that repairs / rebuilds car and would be very interested to get on that list .
  • 10
    Dan Ladrigan Maine January 20, 2013 at 13:31
    I am Interested in bidding on damaged cars.

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