There are a number of different resources you can use to help determine old car values. While none of these are the “be all, end all” authoritative resource, each of them can give you a guideline for antique car values. No two of them are likely to agree exactly on a particular car’s value, but several of them averaged together should give you a fair idea of what a given car is likely to bring at a sale. Keep in mind, these are only “guides”, and you have to accurately appraise the condition of the car you are looking at. The average person has a tendency to rate a given car higher on the scale than an expert appraiser or collector would, because the expert knows what details to look for when trying to determine old car prices.
Here are the most popular places to go for an old car price guide:
- NADA has officially replaced what was previously the most common old car price guide, the Manheim Gold Book. NADA offers free online lookup of individual antique car prices, or you can purchase a paper copy of a single guide to carry with you, or purchase a yearly subscription that gives you three updated paper guides per year. If there was a standard in the antique car values arena, this would be it.
- Hemmings Motor News is definitely a well-known name in the classic car hobby, and they publish a bi-monthly Collectible Vehicle Value Guide for vehicles manufactured in 1946 or later. It is a pocket-size paper copy that is perfect for taking with you to a classic car auction, and is available individually or by annual subscription.
- Collector Car Market Review also offers old car values online at no cost, and a bi-monthly subscription for a paper copy of their classic car price guide. They also will be offering an online version of their “Collector Car Market Review” starting in February of 2010.
- The “Collector Car Price Guide” book is published yearly by Ron Kowalke, a prolific writer in the classic car industry. It lists over 250,000 values, and even comes with a DVD containing a section on how to rate the condition of a collector car. It is available From Krause Books:
Books for Car Collectors
- Old Cars Weekly News and Marketplace offers several ways to get antique car values. They can provide a detailed report for a particular model for a small fee. You can get unlimited reports by becoming a member for a month or for one year. They also publish a bi-monthly old car price guide you can get by subscription. And of course, you can also subscribe to their weekly publication.
- Hagerty’s Cars That Matter is a classic cars price guide that bases their prices on cars that have sold at auction, and provides this data through printed books, mobile access, or both. They are the leading provider of Classic Car Financing and their guide is updated three times per year. Post-war (1946 and later) vehicles only.
- A relatively new resource is “CollectorCarPriceTracker.com” , which provides actual eBay auction data, average prices, details on the cars, and shows you the actual auction page with pictures. The first three searches are free, but after that you have to pay a fee. They have three day, one month, and yearly access packages with unlimited searches during the time frame you purchase.
Those are the most popular old car values resources available. All of them base their values on recent auction prices, and they each have a condition rating guide. If you are actively seeking to purchase or sell a classic car, I would highly recommend taking a look at several old car price guides to get the best idea of a reasonable price for a classic car.