8 December 2016

Could 2017 be the year of the muscle car?

Less than a month after the U.S. presidential election, one thing is abundantly clear—virtually everyone got virtually everything it was possible to predict wrong. Nearly every reputable economist predicted a sizable Dow and S&P 500 sell-off. And while one did occur in after-hours trading as the results of the election crystalized, the U.S. equities markets quickly warmed to the idea of President Donald J. Trump. The American collector car market also stands a good chance of doing the same thing.

Barrett-Jackson and Russo and Steele’s Scottsdale sales, and Mecum’s Kissimmee event will be the first 2017 auctions significantly focused on American muscle cars. I would be shocked if these three sales weren’t extremely successful. They might even bump up against their own record numbers for Scottsdale.

Here’s why: Based on purely anecdotal observations, I’d wager that the American muscle car market skews heavily towards 50-plus years olds who are white, male and somewhat conservative. Given that this demographic came out solidly for Trump, many of the players in the muscle car market are likely feeling optimistic about the election’s results. At the very least, they know that they’re not likely to see a tax increase from this administration. This optimism may well translate into a willingness to spend.

Past leaps in the muscle car market have been fueled at least in part by individuals who made their money in the energy and building sectors. With President-Elect Trump’s recent pronouncements of heavy infrastructure spending and removal of regulations on energy producers, business owners and employees of companies involved in these industries are likely to believe that they’re staring some very good times in the face.

According to Brian Rabold, Hagerty’s VP of Valuation Services, “If nothing else, the uncertainty of who will lead the country for the next four years has passed and many enthusiasts will likely be back to business as usual by January.”

Coupled with an economy that’s near full employment, solid real estate and stock markets, and interest rates that are still low, it could be the makings of a perfect storm in Scottsdale and Kissimmee, assuming the right inventory is there, (which it almost certainly will be). Stay tuned.

8 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Randy Davis Pennsylvania December 14, 2016 at 17:53
    I've already bought mine. I picked up a 70 olds Rallye 350 S hardtop. Has front power disc, Hurst dual gate auto , console with buckets, power steering and air conditioning This was the 3rd that I've had. This ones a keeper. .
  • 2
    joseph amodio Connecticut December 14, 2016 at 21:23
    Hopefully you are correct
  • 3
    Debbie Ontario December 15, 2016 at 14:41
    All the anecdotal observations or optimism or pronouncements won't change the fact that car enthusiests go to these sales with money in hand to buy a car that they love.
  • 4
    Stachoo Traverse City December 15, 2016 at 09:03
    Why would you say we're not likely to see tax increases with this administration? Look what Republican Snyder did for us.... my pension is now being taxed.... my property taxes have never been higher.... etc., etc. The working man will indeed be taxed while businesses get tax breaks. "Trickle down" economics does not work; the rich get richer and the middle class is being driven into the poor house. And, the poor.... well, I won't go there. And, one more thing: taking off regulations on energy producers will only further ruin our climate and beautiful natural resources. It certainly won't help future generations. I feel sorry for our grand children. Needless to say, I am not optimistic with a Republican run government. It is a sad day for Michigan and for America.
  • 5
    Erik Gregory Mythaca, NY December 15, 2016 at 12:47
    Reasonable assessment, until you get to the final paragraph: "an economy that's near full employment" — LOL. If you buy *that*, then I've got a shovel-ready job for ya...
  • 6
    Gary George Lakewood, Colorado December 19, 2016 at 19:48
    You guys must be democrats, jump on the happy wagon and smile. The good times are returning and the collector car market will soon show it.
  • 7
    Harry W Ostwald AZ January 2, 2017 at 12:09
    If you are correct, there is a greater majority of folks that are indeed hoping that things will not be "status quo", but really do change. I have taken my position with my fully restored Ford F100 with a stock from the factory 460 and AC, a special ride then and now..
  • 8
    Edward Collier montgomery Ala. February 4, 2017 at 10:48
    Would Like to repaint my 1984 corvett would like a recommendation for a good fiberglass paint shop.

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