As GM struggles to remain a financially viable company and continue to qualify for Federal bailout money, the ailing automaker has been selling off assets. These assets include vehicles from its extensive collection of classic cars.
The largest American automaker held a similar auction in January, when it sold off almost 200 classic and exotic vehicles. Most of the cars in the January auction were models from the 80s and 90s.
A recent story on NPR’s Marketplace interviewed Rick Carey, auctions editor of Car Collector and Victory Lane magazines. Carey is adamant that the classic car market is holding steady, despite the current economic crisis. He said that GM’s auction in January was a success.
“The collectors showed up with dollar bills falling out of their pockets to buy [the cars],” Carey says. “And they paid some very serious money for them.”
The current auction includes over 100 classic cars from GM’s private collection, and the fun begins today in Palm Beach, FL. The carmaker is selling the cars to raise additional funds and to avoid the warehousing fees for the vehicles.
Finding exotic car storage can be a challenge. While your minivan might have no problem with the conditions in your garage, exotic cars are a major investment and require specific storage conditions. Exotic car storage must be climate-controlled, and the storage facility must also be secure.
With a collection the size of GM’s, the cost of storing of these classic vehicles can add up. And since the classic car market seems to be one of the few areas in the economy that is holding steady, it’s a good time for GM to sell off parts of its collection.
Included in today’s auction are a 1920 Chevrolet Model T truck, a 1999 Camero Z/28 that was used in the film “Runaway Bride,” and a 1978 Corvette pace car from the Indy 500. The Corvette pace car was one of only four vehicles ever produced.
While not all of us can afford to head to Florida and participate in this exciting auction, we can still drive a classic car. For instance, it’s possible to rent a 1959 Mercedes 190SL right here in Dallas. Exotic car rental is a great way to drive your dream car without the hassle and expense of ownership.
Rick Carey says that classic cars can be a solid investment in difficult economic times. While new cars are notorious for depreciating as soon as they are driven off the lot, classic cars often only increase in value.
“The collector car market has been remarkably solid,” says Carey.
Kate Miller-Wilson is a professional freelance writer living in the Twin Cities. Visit her website or email her for information about her freelance writing services.