Wondering about future value of C body cars

I think our values will go up some, due to inflation, and due to other options getting too expensive. 318 B-bodies, once ignored, are getting more expensive due to ability to clone to a musclecar. A-bodies were largely ignored except for specific factory examples, but now the plain-janes are getting pricey also. So our turn will be next.

Not that our cars will start to gain interest, but just that everything else got more expensive too.

OTOH, I think I am seeing a higher qty of lower asking prices on Letter cars lately, while asking prices on non-Letter seems to be going up. Weird.

Well, I bought my first Imperial in 1986 for $50 and a cheap used drum set... I suppose the inflation argument has some merit... I just bought the parts car for slightly less than standard formal pricing and it's in a bit better shape than that first Imperial was.
First let me point out that very few people even know what a C-body even is, I know I didn't until I'd owned one for nearly 30 years. Secondly, the new generation drive modern little rockets that easily out run our old iron so the desire to own "American Muscle" is some what diminished. Even people in my generation are less impressed. When I bought my 440 it was a "wow" deal, not so much now. Even my big clunker 2006 4x4 Jeep with a little 5.7L hemi is quicker and gets 25mpg. Many of the "car nuts" around me are into turbos and such in their 4 and 6 cyl rockets, all of which are easily capable of eating most of our best for breakfast.
So is there a market at all? Yes, but not so much here in North America. However buyers in Europe, South Africa, South America and even China and India are starting to show interest. The problem with this market is most of us have no idea how to "do a deal" involving tons of red tape so the sales so far seem to be to local "flippers" who are not afraid of paperwork. I suspect they are making some very profitable deals.
Another point, back in the day, if you wanted HP you migrated toward Mopar, if you wanted creature comfort and plush interiors you looked at GM and Ford. In the 70's wives started to influence car selection and they were much more interested in styling and creature comfort. During the 70's when the fuel shortages hit, Mopar sales tanked. Mopar cut a lot of corners and by the early 80's Mopars were looked upon as rust buckets. By the end of the 70's I had three kids and I switched to GM and Ford until I bought Hemi Jeep in 2006.
The long and short of it, few people in North America lined up to buy Mopar anymore.
My Fury, cost a lot more to restore than it's worth, but I don't much care since it's not for sale!
Although I am old enough to really remember these old cars ( at my high school there were 2 Superbirds amongst many other things) I did go through a phase in the 1980's that I still enjoy today with the turbo charger. My 86 Omni GLHS goes like stink and handles exceptionally well and just begs to be thrashed as it is pretty modified. But the only reason I built it was because it was small enough to fit in my garage and be worked on. Not possible even with a Nova in my garage that I was considering at the time. Now that I am abit older I really enjoy the purpose of the C bodies. Comfortable ,nice ride and still powerful enough,great looking, unusual etc. Between the two mopars I own I usually opt for the cruiser ,not the head banger.
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What people today don't know is that when the 72's came out, the Chrysler dealers were still loaded with unsold leftover 70's!
Chrysler was loathe to shut down production because at the time, tax laws allowed cars to be counted as Sold as soon as the car out the door, not when they were paid for. That IRS loophole got closed.
By the time the last of the leftovers (as you would suspect, triple green four door sedans) 30% discounts off sticker were the norm. This in an era of $5,000.00 cars. Talk about mismanagement.

So supply was tremendously greater than demand then and the stink of it still smells 45 years later.
Wow interesting Commando.
You had to be there... :p

The reason I remember this is because my father, the quintessential CPA, was an avid reader of Business Week. He devoured every word. He showed me the article where this was its story line.

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You had to be there... :p

The reason I remember this is because my father, the quintessential CPA, was an avid reader of Business Week. He devoured every word. He showed me the article where this was its story line.

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I bet that "No PA sales tax" line got lots of dumbasses in trouble back home...
Most of all car and it don't matter what brand are not worth what they are supposedly valued at. People will own them to enjoy for whatever their reasons are. If we all were to be worried about their value, present or future, we should probably not own a thing.
I think one thing will be true, our cars will never be an investment, there are other ways to make a return on your money. I do think we get a big bang for the buck, and we generally are the guys enjoy working on their own cars too. No one will get rich flipping c-bodies.
Several have touched on similar points already in this thread, but here's my opinion anyway.

Select original survivors and fully restored C bodies have increased in some value. That increase has been because of the higher prices and lower availability of the more desirable cars (muscle cars and specifically the skyrocketing of Forwardlook era vehicles). There is still a very distinct ceiling to what the average person will pay for a C body before they move up to the next price bracket and buy something else.

Another factor to consider when guessing the future of any collector car is the primary buyers. I believe the majority of people owning 50's/60's cars are in the mid 50 to 70 year age range. In 10 years, the older portion will be passing on or at least drastically downsizing their hoards. This will have a double edged consequence - Loss of a large portion of potential buyers at the same time the market gets saturated with estate sales.

To truly appreciate the high end of any market, look at the lowest end too. What's a typical, non-running C body worth? I don't see many selling for $1K or higher. Their values are still driven by scrap metal prices, demolition derby guys, and muscle car owners looking for donor engines. It's not realistic to expect #2 and #3 condition cars to break the $20K barrier when #4 and #5 condition cars won't sell for even 5% of that.

Based on those reasons, I think the market for the typical C body has peaked. It may hold current values for another 10 years or so but I don't expect increases above adjustments for inflation and certainly don't expect any spikes in prices.
I concur with the consensus that C bodies have plateaued and will basically hold at their current value relative to inflation for another decade or so. After that, as the percentage of mechanically apt americans starts dying off, I sadly prognosticate that desire to own these wonderful artifacts of Detroit's Golden Age will decline. Perhaps as this country "browns" the slack will be taken up by the Latin demographic, which still values manliness a bit more than these Gen X and Millenials do. Not a drive passes when I'm not commended for owning Mathilda in my barrio and many Euro-americans still likewise salute my efforts, but the vast majority of this latter group are aged, like myself. Few of the college pukes of any ethnos appreciate working on one's own automobile, and this has been so since the 1990s, when I earned my degree as an already weird old dude then. Since this element ever increasingly is the only one to have disposable income, aside from the ethno-botanical-pharmacopoeia entrepreneurs again of my barrio, then I foresee that fewer people will have the proper skill set even in the mechanics' profession to properly maintain and repair these cars. I'm planning on making it Family Tradition in our case, but I note that my now 20-ish nephew, who was once slated for my step-dad's '74 Ranchero has declined the offer, so I might yet wind up with that as the odd Ford in what I otherwise plan to be a solid Mopar pre-1967 tradition.

Why pre-1967? EMISSIONS LAWS! So long as one stays with 1966 or earlier in AZ, one can then legally operate a total DIY automobile! :D For a fellow who refuses to allow Micro$lop or Crapple to even connect to his home network, (DIY OS only, GNU/Linux or BSD!), the 1960-66 stuff is truly rolling gold, but few and ever fewer appreciate this perspective..... Young and old alike, most folks now don't care to be bothered with understanding their technology, let alone being responsible for it.
In the end, buy what you like, do it as you wish and enjoy. My 73 Imperial will eventually get checked over by a place that'll do something not keep it for weeks and do nothing. I'll likely keep it forever and love it.

Today's young folk will want what they grew up with, like we did, no surprise there.
I have wanted a '65 Dodge Monaco for close to 10 years and but it was never the right time for me to buy one. But while constantly checking the internet for cars for sale I noticed the price remained pretty consistent over that period of time. I finally purchased one, about three months ago, for close to 15k. I didn't buy it to turn around and flip it to make a few thousand dollars. I bought it because it was the same car my parents had when I was a kid. There's not a lot of good ones out there and the good ones are hard to find. I have been to quite a few "cruise ins" since I bought the car including an all MOPAR show with over 400 cars and guess what? Although I see plenty of Mustangs, GTO's, Thunderbirds, and Road Runners ....... I have yet to see another '65 Monaco. And other car guys at these shows love that it's so different. Don't think I'll ever sell this car because I've got that emotional attachment to it.

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(...) I otherwise plan to be a solid Mopar pre-1967 tradition.

Why pre-1967? EMISSIONS LAWS! So long as one stays with 1966 or earlier in AZ, one can then legally operate a total DIY automobile! :D For a fellow who refuses to allow Micro$lop or Crapple to even connect to his home network, (DIY OS only, GNU/Linux or BSD!), the 1960-66 stuff is truly rolling gold (...)

I would argue in favor of 1969-1972, and I went for a 1970 Polara.

By the end of the 1960s, car safety was better (presence of headrests, collapsible steering columns, better brakes, absence of sharp pieces in the dashboard) but the emissions equipment of the 1970s was not yet choking the engines. The hardened engine parts of the 1972 models arguably make them the pick of the bunch (assuming you like the styling and build quality, which is especially an issue on GM cars).

Of course, those are just my two cents.
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I suppose I SHOULD PAD Mathilda's interior a little more, which would help with some crash prep. Brakes are fine, and I LIKE mechanically SIMPLE systems which I can easily service and adjust. Lack of engine power doesn't attenuate my brakes at all. THAT is a "safety feature" which gets sore neglect in today's thinking. The dash is padded, and will get a bit more. I think this was the first year for that. I can add in 3 or even 5 point harnesses too. The latter for the Little People. I have to provide kiddy seating for them as the law dictates anyway. I have a 77 400 block w 452 heads which I will eventually flip in for the 383, but only after I find a 383 steel crank for that, along w the rest of the build. No hurry there. The 400 will be built on mid-60s guidelines as much as it can be, though I dig the hardened valve seats of the latter period heads. Aside from that, and more efficient alternators, I'm not too compelled to embrace 1972 over 1966. I do very nicely with breaker point ignition systems.
I'm 40 yrs old. I sold my '65 Vette 'vert due to always worrying about it getting messed up when it was outside the garage. I have a CJ8 Scrambler that is my pride and joy that I do drive but it's not for a family of 3 (another reason for the sale of the Vette). I was ready for another toy to add to the collection and I started looking at C-bodies. Whether I had the money or not, I knew I didn't want to fall into the same situation I had with the Vette so I didn't even consider the other MOPAR options.

I've always loved MOPARs but didn't want to end up with something like my Vette that I never drove. I know what I have into my '68 Sport Fury 'vert. When the day comes that I sell it if I break even I will be surprised. BUT, the way I look at any loss I will incur, that loss is erased when I think about the fun I had with the car. A car that I can actually drive. I made money on the Vette but I never enjoyed it. Potentially losing money on the Fury but having a blast while doing so.... worth every penny.
How much the car appreciates in the future depends on how much polticians debase our money supply.

But if its nominal price doubles in 10 years, and the the price of everything else doubles as well, did the car value really "appreciate," or did the measuring stick for value jus shrink by half?

The paradox is that even if you don't have an inflation-adujsted capital gain, the government will tax you on the gain anyway. One reason I like to buy cars with physical cash.