We are well and truly in to 2019 now. It’s time we looked back at 2018 and in doing so made a few predictions. Here goes. Don’t judge us!
The wonderful classic car market has brought some memorable moments in 2018, for us at least. Let’s be honest it is all about us.
To start with, a few definitions to set us on our way. We’ll then talk about the broader picture and to finish we will stick our necks out and pick the Top Five Cars to buy and avoid in 2019.
You guys all know that the term classic car varies. Vintage classic, pre-war classics, modern classic, even classic-classic. Within that massive spectrum are markets within markets & trends & sub trends. We will be focusing on early 60’s to late 80’s ish vehicles.
First & foremost, classic cars are for life, not just for 2019. Looking at a review of a single year reveals only a small part of the picture and we’d be mad to base any long-term plan on a single year.
However, looking over several years from 2005 to 2018 we can see a very clear pattern.
The worst global economic crash in 2008 saw everything plunge. The bottom of that plunge, for classic cars at least, was the back end of 2009 (see graphic below). That was two years, give or take a couple of months, of finding ourselves at, and then bumping along the bottom of a recession. Then from 2010 the trend was a vertiginous upwards one. That crazy growth peaked in or around the last quarter of 2015. Nearly six years of incredible growth but then the air gently deflated from that bubble. The market could not go on climbing, in late 2015, it quite correctly, corrected.
That’s the big picture. Within that pattern we’ve seen some models defy the market & continue to climb, so-called Fast Fords are one example. But more importantly we’ve seen numerous mainstream marques give an early indication that the market in 2018 had hit the bottom. In our view, the last quarter of 2018 gives a good indicator of how the market will perform in 2019. The last dip corrected after two years, we’ve been in this correction for slightly longer.
If we look a little closer at the detail in that period between Summer 2015 and mid 2018 we see a number of special events that are unlikely to re-occur. Political and economic events have created uncertainty across all markets. In the USA, the Wall St stock market has tumbled and closer to home in the last 18mths, Brexit has played a part in everyone’s buying behaviour. Those have mainly stabilised.
Drilling down further in to particular models, we see some models took major hits, Ferrari, Porsche and all models above £500k for example. These models have, in part, spooked the rest of the market dragging down many other vehicles which would otherwise have been stable in our view. The market has factored the bad news in now. All our instincts tell us, we are now at the bottom and prices are rising. That means value is good at the moment. The graph below starkly displays that.
In a market that is on the turn, so to speak, the only question for us is this; what to buy and what to avoid in 2019. That as they say on Netflix, is to follow.