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Old Honda's and Toyota's Have Suddenly Become Collectible

Posted By Craig Whitley     July 1, 2021     356 views     2 likes     0 comments
Nostalgia plays a huge role in when or whether certain items become collectibles.  Take for example, the recent interest in collecting old Honda and Toyota automobiles and trucks.

So what is the newest fad in auto collecting?  Believe it or not, vintage Honda Accords, Acura Legends, Toyota pickups, Dodge Caravans and Volvo wagons.  These vehicles were once used everywhere, but rarely kept or maintained in pristine condition once they had been driven to hell and back.

They were often viewed as "disposable cars" that could be driven for many miles and sold or traded in when it became too costly to repair them.  They were often passed down to young teenage drivers and college students who rarely took good care of them as they aged.

Doug DeMuro, owner of the car auction site, "Cars and Bids," was interviewed for an article on this very subject by the New York Times.  In answering the question as to "Why have these old cars become collectibles, Mr. DeMuro pointed out that during the pandemic when people didn't have anytime but time on their hands and were looking for places to spend money on something they could enjoy, apparently a large number of them those to purchase items that were nostalgic to them, and chose cars from the 1980's and 1990's.

A very important point that Mr. DeMuro made as to why this particular era of common everyday cars have become such hot collectibles is the scarcity of ones in very good condition.  As he put it, “It’s actually easier to find a nice Ferrari from the ’80s or ’90s than a Honda Civic or a Dodge Caravan of the same vintage.” He added, “Almost everyone took good care of their Ferrari, but nobody bothered to preserve the ‘disposable’ cars.” 

What's wild is fact that these are really mundane cars that are attracting high values.  A look at the cars and trucks that fit into this category quickly concludes that these are vehicles that were once owned by the parents and grandparents of Gen Xers and Millennials.  These Gen Xers and Millennials are, like most collectors, buying fond memories of their childhood in a form of asset they can play with, drive, work on, repair and restore.  They are mentally taking themselves back to better times.

Being somewhat of a skeptic I did some research to determine how easy (or hard) it might be to buy a vintage Honda, Accura or Toyota from the 1980's or 1990's.  What I discovered on eBay Motors and Gateway Classic Cars was essentially no inventory of anything in any condition approaching something one might label as "Ok" or "Good."  They were sold out.

As one example of value for these collectible automobiles, the New York Times article that captured my attention on this subject, a forty-year old 1981 first generation Honda Accord that sold for $8,100 in 1981, went for $21,000 on an auction site called Bring a Trailer.  Bidding started at $2,100.  With a bit of research it didn't take me long to find an example of a 1982 Honda Civic that sold for $176,000.  Crazy, huh? But this is what makes collecting such a great hobby and why you should consider joining and tell the world about your collection.



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