A Great Story Can Add Considerably To Your Car's Value...Maybe

That's the title of an article posted on CNBC. As we are advocates of preserving the history, details, photographs and stories about all Classics, we were immediately attracted to the story. But after reading the content and watching the video, we think the article is very short on reasons of who, what, when, where and why.

Just The Facts Ma'am
Facts continue to have little value when valuing a Classic. The article portrays the increase in valuation (between 30% and 56%) of the three featured Classics is the result of absolutely nothing but a story. A "puffery" level story to boot. Yes, they could be factual, but what about other factors, such as quality and condition?

Do people actually pay these suggested prices without knowing their faults or factoring in the cost of needed restorative efforts? Something makes us think not. Then again, we could be wrong.

Is It Time To Bring Quality To The Table?
Inexplicably, YES! There seems to be a major disconnect between the quality of a Classic and what it's worth. We wrote about it some time ago, but it's time to revive this "argument". The linked article brings up the disconnect; why a popular Classic which has undergone a $125,000 restoration is valued at barely more than an average example. Yet in other examples, an obscure Classic that has undergone a $1M restoration is worth twice that much. So our main question remains why are there two standards?

Measuring All Classics Equally
We remain absolutely befuddled why two standards remain after all these years. Classics need to be condition graded just like their contemporary counterparts. You might not know it, but out of the approximately 10 million used car that are resold by the wholesale (Dealer only) auto auctions, nearly 100% of them have vehicle history and *condition reports. These condition reports, which have established grading standards similar to those used in the Collector car market, alert buyers ahead of the sale. They depict condition, a list of known flaws and the average cost to correct. And according to the latest 2017 Market Report...

Vehicle listings with condition information are up to THREE TIMES 
more likely to sell and can affect final prices by up to 20 percent 
 Manheim Auctions 2017 Market Report 

Another major item to point out, none of these reports include any kind of story. No one knows of they are bidding on a car owned by a four star general or the owner of a general store, nor based on available information would these details affect price. Which brings up another point to consider when looking for a Classic. What will the story (supposedly worth up to $32,000 today) be worth in 5 or 10 years? And secondly, are you willing to risk that much on hearsay alone?

Get Your Story Straight
Despite the logic involved, if people are willing to pay more for a "lightly storied" Classic, then you need to establish as much of your Classic's history as possible, including the "fluffy stuff". That doesn't mean you should make s**t up. It will come back you bite you in droves.

If you want a shot at your Classic being three times more likely to sell and with an improved price of up to 20%, the only proven method to extract the added value built into your Classic is to document every bit of information available to you or that can be researched and validated. Of course the opposite may also be true, if you car's condition is weak, the details may result in your Classic valued at up to 20% below average.

The second step is to organize, manage and protect these details for as long as you own the car and use them to promote your Classic when the time to sell arrives. Now you could use the "shoebox" method because it's easiest, it's also the most prone to be lost or damaged beyond recovery. That's exactly why we created Garagistry. It's like a digital fireproof safe with the contents available to you 24/7 three-sixty-five.

We again would like to invite every Classic car owner to open a fully complimentary Garagistry subscription and begin the process of documenting your Classic. For more details, click here.

Remember, Preserving Automotive History...One Car At a Time® is not just a slogan. It's what we do.

*Update "Factoid" - According to an August 16, 2017 Ward's Automotive article, every dollar spent on vehicle reconditioning within the auction process returns an average of between 5% and 10% profit, unlike similar Classic car reconditioning efforts.