Is the Dodge Demon an instant collectible?
It’s been a year since Dodge Demon owners began taking delivery of their 808-horsepower (840 hp with 100-octane fuel), 9.65-second land missiles. Did the well-hyped uber-muscle car turn out to be a wise investment for the 3300 lucky owners? Let’s take a look and find out.
At least a handful of initial buyers were speculators—buying simply to sell them at a profit—as 39 cars crossed the major auction blocks in just 12 months. There were cars listed on eBay as well, where at least nine have sold. 70 percent of the cars for sale had 20 miles or fewer on their odometers, which suggest a lot of buyers were merely investors rather than enthusiasts. From afar this looks like the Buick Grand National all over again, but that’s not exactly the case.
The first Demon to come up for sale had particular cachet, and January’s Mecum Kissimmee auction brought a 10-mile car, partially dealer prepared, and lacking the optional Demon crate. Sold price of $148,500 made it an impressive quick flip for the seller, though it doesn’t even crack the top five sales to date. The options, or lack thereof, could explain that what turned out to be a relative bargain price, or the fact that it was first to market merely set the bar low.
The Demon crate option is an odd factor in these sales. The $1 option included $6140 worth of parts and accessories according to Dodge, but in the open market buyers of the cars seem to value it at $5500, which is the premium buyers are paying for cars including the crate. Of the top five sales, just two did not include the crate. An even stronger sign of the preference is the sell through rate for all cars—92 percent for those including the crate, 50 percent without.
But there is more than just the minimal options to consider. The cars, like all new cars, ship to their destination with protective plastic that is removed as part of dealer prep. Traditionally delivery-miles-only cars sold better with this plastic still attached. It’s even a trend among Mopar owner to leave these on indefinitely. This does not hold true for Demon models. Going by the numbers, sales are all over the place and buyers don’t seem to care if the delivery plastic remains.
Mileage as a factor in price returns to traditional thinking, unlike the dealer prep plastic. Lower-mileage Demons command a premium, but not so much that we can recommend not driving the car at all. Drive it because you love it and it’s the most absurd street-legal drag car of this generation. “Delivery miles” seem to draw the highest prices, cars with 19 or fewer miles on the odometer had a median sale price of $143k, while 20-100 miles median price sits at $120k. The 20-100 mile range is a relatively wide window and allows owners some minimal experience behind the wheel without damaging future value (or enjoying the car past its break-in restrictions).
Overall, the data is telling an interesting story, holding a Demon and enjoying it for a bit hasn’t killed value. The expectation going into things was that sales would peak with the first car sold and then cool off, but two sales in June and September are tied for highest sale price at $198k—more than double the MSRP. Removing those two sales shows a linear trend moving prices $1600 lower each month, meaning the market is relaxing, but not so rapidly as to warrant a fire sale from owners.
Overall, it’s still early. These are trends based on a fairly small section of cars trading hands, leaving a large number likely still tucked away with their original owners. There are also Demons that are being driven with regularity, which is worth commendation. After all, not everyone can command 840 hp and keep the warranty.