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are we killing our hobby? very very long

1459 Views 22 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  shelbyguy
i have touched on this subject before but it's really getting to me.......the prices of parts.... i seen a fold-down for sale for over 700 bucks, with i sold a fold down not too long ago a started the auction at 400 bucks..... i thought it was a fair price and it ended up selling for 756 bucks. i was shocked!!!!! but i would have been embarrassed to ask that price to start with, i was looking for a trap door with speaker holes cut in it.... cheapest price i got was 125 bucks!!!..i was looking into a set a clutch pedels for a friend.. cheapest price 375.. sheesh.... i know whole supply and demand thing but damn!!!!! i try to sell my stuff at a fair price or let the buyers set the price on an auction site....i can see making a few dollars on your parts but man it's shameful of what some of these people are doing to our hobby....i'll will be completely honest with you guys/gals.. i only net about 13 grand a year... i have to watch every penny.... and i just made an offer not to long ago to give parts away...... am i stupid? no, i did it because i wasn't going to use the stuff and i would be helping a fellow mustanger/vmfer, i did it for the love of the hobby... if i buy 1,300 worth of parts. thats 10% of my yearly income.... i'm not complaining or bitching about my income its the life/work i chose and enjoy it, what i'm saying is that if things keep going like they are.... i'm out of the hobby, the prices will drive me out whether i want to leave or not...i want to be able to help fix up an old mustang for my 8 year old son and step daughter when the time comes and they want one.. i know the mustang is one of the cheapest cars to build... thank god i wasn't a camaro or mopar fan, i would have never even got started in a auto hobby...... heres a copy of the a post i made awhile back.......... thanks for letting me vent

i have been reading through some old post about mustang few 67 fastback left,25 grand 70 mach,etc etc,i also always keep an eye on auto trader mags, ,local papers and such for mustangs even though i'm not in the market for onr right now....i agree that some of these cars are worth what the owner is asking...a concours boss 9,shelby,k-code convert, will always bring high dollar but on the other hand a guy that reads a car trader,looks on v-bay and sees what people are asking for classic mustangs then thinks his rusted down 1970 coupe setting in his back yard is worth at least 10 grand....this could keep young future mustangers out of the hobby....... i know a fool is born every minute but damn some of the prices i've have seen are out of this world.some of these people think just because their car has a pitted chrome horse in the grill its a gold mine and truth be known it's a parts car at best....i doubt theres anything anyone can do about it.. but i just hate to see future mustangers get scared out of our hobby because of price shock before they even get started......... just my thoughts

........heres a post from awhile back how i built my car so cheap.... because i had to :0)

i posted my pic of my mach a few days ago and as stated i only have about $5,300 in the car... thanks for all the thumbs up :0) but i got a few PMs questioning the money amount... so heres to the non-believers..... you can build a nice car for a fair price.. just as long as you don't set your standards too high...
1600....project car
1700 bodywork and paint
750 misc... motor, trans,brake work
160 new windshield installed
100 wheels/hubcaps
240 tires
150 front and rear spoilers
150 weatherstiping
70 dash cover
300 tilt steering column
100 misc, clamps,hoses,nuts,bolts,spraypaint etc etc

i did most of the work myself....i painted my of trim black so no need for 1200 plus in new moldings,bumpers and such
okay here is where the magic was worked ;0) wink wink
i bought 2 70 mustangs for 2 grand,one plain fast back and one mach, both rusted pretty bad, sold the fastback,parted out the mach
700 rolling 70 fb body
30 steering column
200 fold down seat
250 9 inch rear
100 head light buckets
100 console
130 origanal rear spoiler.... i used a repo on mine
250 bolt in door glass
50 door panels
65 sport lamps and switch
160 front fenders
50 front seats
100 shock towers

this is what i used off the two cars... and i still have a bunch left including a 351 c 4bl and fmx trans,302 three speed motors.
i used
misc. interior and out side trim
mach 1 rocker moldings
deck lid
shaker/hood/twist locks
gas tank/fuel lines
like new used shocks
all out side lights and bezels
front and rear valances
honeycomb panel/trim and gas cap
sport slats
traded a few parts for a decent rimblow steering wheel... leather (real) wrapped.....
.my point is this.... don't give up on that pony.. dreams do come true,even though i suffered a big set back with my stolen parts,i will not let my mustang dreams falter! we financially challenged folks can be just as proud of our steeds .I have more heart and soul in this car than cash and thats whats matters most isn't it:?
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Not sure if we're killing the hobby or not. Restomod prices are driving costs way up, because restoration part prices are following the speciality items in price. Which isn't good for a person who wants to just drive the car and keep it up.

The original quality of the parts, I think, is quite high - I should know, I've been pulling them off the car for a few months now (I slow at it!). I plan to reuse a large number of the parts because of that.

However, I expect to pay through the nose for NOS parts for the show and chrome pieces, to retain that long-term quality look. It's a choice I make, by having an older car.

If you want to keep costs under control for one of these cars, choose the most popular type and go from their. Choosing to restore a Mach (any year) invites price hikes on all sorts of mundane items.
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I have a nice fold down seat that came out of my 65 fastback. I can't get $100 for it. You want to know why? The chrome trim is not in pristine condition. Want to know how much a chrome kit is? It lists for $239.95. Its also missing the bumper stops and I think part of the latch stuff which would be maybe another $100 worth of stuff. Then theres the shipping cost if I had to ship it anywhere. I put new black carpet on it and the piano hinge is in great shape. It really looks great to me but nobody will buy it and that includes the seat bottom and back and not just the fold down part.

Is it the price of the parts what is doing it or is it the aftermarket prices for the things you need to complete something. How can you expect a 37 year old fold down seat to be perfect? Obviously you can't so you have to get new stuff to put it back together and thats NOS or aftermarket parts.

Another example is my 65 model bucket seat. I decided I had to restore it because I love the old seats but I could have bought a nice new racing style bucket cheaper than it cost me to buy the stuff to rebuild my old seat.

Shipping cost is killing us too. I would probably sell my std bore 351W block, crank, rods and pistons except who'd buy it with what the shipping would cost?

To me its the totally and completely outrageous prices the aftermarket asks for stuff and the ridiculous cost of shipping that is killing us.
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Quite an accomplishment, I must say!

Right now, we're seeing money moving into collectibles, vintage cars. real estate, etc. as the stock market implodes and folks look for other ways to invest. That, combined with continued interest in our cars and the wide reach of the Internet, is largely responsible, IMO, for any price escalations you've noted. Once the reality of the current economy settles in and folks come to their senses, things will settle down.

You actually just raised an interesting thought, when going into the details of your restoration...

I haven't been able to give away the race car (not literally *G*), but some enterprising Pony owner could take that pristine body and put basically the same panels back in that so many owners replace anyway (car is back halved and shock towers/panels are gone) and build themselves a heck of a stock fastback. I still have the original fenders, bumper, valence, etc...

Heck, I might do it myself! *G* OF reality sets in...well, nice thought anyway...

No, I don't think we're killing our hobby but, by keeping level heads, we're sure to ensure its survival...IMO
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I doubt seriously we are killing anything....we don't control the prices of parts...the market controls them (which you stated you are fully aware Prices have risen and will continue to rise, and there is probably little we can do about it. I mean...if I put a 68 trap door up for sale here for $50 bucks....what do you think will happen to will end up on ehay by someone wanting to turn a profit. And really, the parts to restore a base model car to nice driver status aren't that's the rare options that are so pricey.
Restoring a car has never been a cheap hobby...finances are the main reason my car is still sitting in the garage in pieces....I have to scrape together the money to get the work done that I can't do myself.
But...consider this...if you buy a beater...and invest a lot of your own time and energy and some of your money...10-15 grand later you will have a great car that probably won't bring you what you have invested in it...but it also probably won't loose it's value much either.
Now go out and buy you a new are gonna spend that same 15g's on a car that will be worthless in 10 years...
Now you may argue that old car will be more expensive to drive on a day-to-day basis...and sure your gas mileage will suck...but overall...if you burn a valve in the old car you will know how to pull the head and fix it, and it shouldn't cost you too much...but try that in a new car....big money in repairs.

I think if anyone is trying to kill this hobby it is the environmental and automotive industry lobbists in Washington....for different reasons.
Environmentalists want everyone in modern, fuel effencient boxes so they want all the old cars scrapped.
The automotive industry wants you to give them your money buying new cars and paying them to fix them.
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I remember a few years ago, saying to myself "Wow that guy is asking 40k for a 67 GT500, he is NUTS" Now people are taking hits off the e--bay crack pipe, and project cars are selling for near that. If you are dumb enough to pay 2000$ for a shaker, then why should I care? Dont think people are intentionally killing the hobby, but the days of the bargains at swap meets are coming to an end, and now there is sniping software for e--bay.
First let me state where i am coming from ....I am not into selling parts or trying to make a buck on original parts while destroying a perfectly good vintage car by restomoding it.

Si i am not trying to justify the high prices, but the question i am raising about your post is that i do not understand what the high prices have to do with "killing" the hobby??

Is there any rules anywhere that states that hobbies are cheap? in my own experience i have found that most hobbies are expensive by nature is that not the general feeling of others?

Personnally i am please with the increase value of everything and so should you, in the end won't it make your car more valuable in the end and therefore put more value in the work you so proudly have put in yourself??

Will that not leave your son and daughter with more value?

I can understand though that if one is not into collectible car but just having the privilege of owning a cool car then high prices would be frustrating or make it out of reach.

But on the other hand if items and car do not increase in value people with the means or skills to rebuild vintage cars of any make would lose interest in this poor investment and they would soon all rot away, when those with an interest in a cool daily driver or just a cool to drive car interest fades away

Just offering a different point of view

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well guys i totally see your points here but...

like cpegram just said (i don't know how to put in quotes and i don't have the time to learn quick)"we don't control the prices of parts...the market controls them (which you stated you are fully aware "

Sure the market controls it but if the consumers don't buy the product the market will be forced to sell at a lower price. IF they don't the group goes out of business. And someone who wants to sell cheap will start making parts at a reasonable cost but lower quality. And the prices along with the qualitly should rise again and then drop off and rise... Its kinda like a sine wave.

*while writing the below statement i noticed i used the word "you" alot. This is not singling out cpegram or anyone inparticular. It is simply written in the 2nd person because it would sound odd saying "one" or "certain people" alot. or is it first person. But whatever. I don't intend to offend anyone. Its just my opinion on this hobby.

And to your other things cpegram. (not that i am trying to flame you, but we have some minor disagreements.) your looking at it from a totally business stand point. with teh 15g's later that it will be an investment and the new car is worth nothing. now granted that is how people at Mustangs Plus, NPD, ect.... look at it. But from the hobbiest point of view. I don't think any of the true hobbiests/restoreres (unless its a business as stated above) are in it for the money. I surely don't go out to my car and work on it all the while thinking about whether or not i am going to turn a profit on it. I jsut go out and work on it. Let all my troubles fade away and have a good wholesome time on a sunday afternoon. Personally if your in the hobby to make money on your sunday restoration your in it for the wrong reasons and i think you should get out. Its the people you meet, the fun you have, and the ability to say "i did that" to your buddies that is what we all should be in this for. the pure joy of taking something 35 years old and making it new. the pride you have after finally figureing out how to get the pulley puller on without slipping. These are the reasons we are in the hobby of mustangs. Not the money. Sure its in the back of our minds when we go to sell and sure some people keep a tab of how much they spent. But if it was soley for the money would we just work on it in our spare time. No we would do it for a living. But we don't. I mean, when you buy your house, you don't think about turning a profit on it. No you think about living in it. But if you are a store owner. Thats what you try to make a profit on. This is what separates a job from a hobby. And after all most of us are in this as hobbiests not distributers/professional restorers.

Now granted professional restorers are the best. You guys do worry about profit but you have a good, fun job.
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i like how you worry about the first or second person in the first part of your post and then just take posession of the "we" in the second part to assume that your opinion represent that of all Hobbiest/hobbyhist with no concerns...

I am restoring my car for me not as a business but yes i am keeping track of cost and hope to not sink into it dollars that would not be recoverable with the proper patience and work!

Flame me for thinking that maybe in 20 years Mustangs won't be my thing anymore and it is nice to think i would make a profit... so please when you say "we" consult with "us" before /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
Yes, we restorer's do worry about the profit line, and quite honestly, that has what pushed me away from the mustangs and into my focus on the earlier Fords. Parts just became too costly, customers complained and business was lost. My suppliers raised their bottom line and reduced the created quite a few problems.

I still work on a couple of dozen mustangs, when time permits, but Ive found (from a business standpoint) that there is more $ in the A's & T's (and those houses that we buy and sell). I suppose it quit being a hobby for me when I hung out that sign, but I still enjoy the basic "fun" of being a gearhead.
I'm actually satisfied with the price of mustang parts for my 65 coupe. Coupes are so common that, relatively speaking, parts are reasonable, IMO. To be able to purchase a complete suspension and brake setup for $1,500, for example is entirely reasonable. Interior fix up kits are also in line. But yet.....I just spent $350 for parts and it didn't go real far, hehe. This is an expensive hobby no matter what...which is why SWMBO keeps such tight tabs on me.
Are we killing our hobby? No ... time is. And time will continue to kill it as restorable Mustangs become fewer and fewer. My first Mustang basket case, I rebuilt for about $5k 12 years ago. There's no way, you could completely rebuild one for $5k today. Not because people are asking too much, it's because the prices of classic cars continues to go up and probably will continue to for quite some time.

If these cars were getting cheaper to rebuild, their values would be going down, not up.

It's only natural that harder to find parts that are more unique to certain cars will get more and more expensive.

One thing I have noticed, though, in having built old cars for a hobby since I was a teenager, is that while the price of the parts goes up, so does the quality. Some of the repro parts you can buy today, you wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole 10 years ago ('65/'66 rocker panel molding comes to mind here). Who knows, maybe in another 10 years, you'll even be able to buy a sill plate that's not made of tin foil /forums/images/icons/wink.gif.
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I don't think we are in that much of a dissagreement there for "not buying" parts...I am afraid I don't have that luxury because I actually want to get my car done...and I need parts to do that. And believe me, I don't pop for ehay NOS parts....and have forgone a few modifications (like tilt steering and a tach) because I can't stomach the price of the parts I need.
As for the hobbiest point...I agree...I'm not in this for the money. I really don't see how you could be in it for the money because I can buy a finished car for less than I will put into mine. My point was more along the lines that you can console yourself on these expenditures by realizing that you are building something that will hold it's value in the long run and that overall can be considered a better long term value than buying new. I'm sure I won't turn a profit on my car, because I won't turn loose of it till they pry the keys from my cold dead fingers....LOL....
But if SWMBO asks...."How can you spend so much on a hunk of junk like that..?" I can answer..."Because it will cost me half as much as that Ford Explorer you drive and it will never lose it's value."
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And I thought I was the resident socialist here...LOL.

What you are witnessing may not strike you as "fair" but it is the way things go in this country.

For the longest time, 60s/70s American auto restoration/modification was the domain of blue-color, dirt-under-the-fingernails, salt-of-the-earth, common folk. These people wouldn't, and really couldn't - pay a whole lot of money to build a car. That demographic has been changing rapidly.

Here on this forum, there are people who've spent close to six-figures on restorations/modifications. There are also people who've spent well into 5-figures on cars for their children. That is hardly the domain of the working class anymore. So people who want to build and drive these cars have to be prepared to enter a market that is populated by some pretty well-heeled hobbyists. This is not intended to be a criticism, only an observation

IMO, several other things have simultaneously been working to change the prices and drive the hobby upmarket.

The hobby has become more popular - not only with the affluent professionals, but with everyone. A whole new generation of gearheads has taken an interest in our cars. It seems like half the forum here is made up of young people in high school or college. This has been a development of the last few years and is both good and bad. While it ensures that more cars will be fixed up and put on the road, it also means there are more people looking for cars to fix up. That drives up prices as sellers realize they can get higher prices for their cars (and parts).

Is that unfair? Only if you are buying. To a seller, rising prices may help him to fund his next project. And that is only the demand side of the equation.

On the supply side - there were only so many of these cars built.Perhaps one in 3 has survived in some form or another. For the most part, the very best of these cars have already been "done" by restorers or restomodders.

Look at the want ads here and count the number of "rust-free project car wanted" ads. Even in the most-produced 65-66 models, there are damned few of these cars left. When you narrow your search to convertibles and fastbacks, there are almost no unrestored cars left. So...somebody looking for a 6-7k project car, finds only 12-20k "restored" cars out there.

The parts buyers are seeing the same thing. If a part is not reproduced, and there are people out who have got to have that part - somebody is going to put it on Eboy and let the buyers fight over it. This is exactly why auction sites came into being. Online auctions have opened up markets (and competition among buyers) that didn't exist before. That is progress, like it or not. So demand is growing because there are more people looking and better sales communications tools to inform them of the availability of scarce cars and parts.

I have given many valuable parts away here for free. Others I have sold for a fraction of their market value, because other VMFers have given me a break on stuff and I want to keep that hobbyist/non-commercial spirit going. That is exactly why people like Whizco and myself put forward the idea of the "Exchange" that is part of this forum. As you can see, though, the exchange only gets a small fraction of the business that the classifieds here (or online auctions) get. Most people want to make a profit on their stuff. That is just the way it is.

IMO, as the number of cars and non-reproduced parts dwindle, the hobby is only gonna get more expensive. Like it or not, it will happen. So buy the stuff now, because it will be even more expensive later, IMO.
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This has been a topic throughout the years and one that will never go away. Everything is relative.
I don't know if we're killing the hobby, but it sure is killing me, financially, that is! I got a Boss car 3 years ago that looked pretty nice. I've already sunk at least $11K for engine and trans rebuild (OK, that includes a stroker kit for the worn out motor), plus missing parts and accessories. Haven't touched the body or paint, which are acceptable for a driver. I must admit, it's taking the fun out of it and I'm starting to wish I'd bought an 80's vintage Fire Chicken like a friend of mine and put in a 400 motor for about $5K.
I can agree with a lot of what you said. And it extends far beyond the Mustang hobby. I think it is a sign of our troubled economic times. A bud of mine is in the market for the OEM fresh air intake setup for his 69 Roadrunner. The parts are going to cost him about half of what I paid for my Mustang.

I don't think high prices will kill the hobby however. I have been working on my car on a shoestring. With a 10 year old son, private school, 4 dogs etc the budget is stretched pretty thin. It won't stop me but it may slow me down some.
I don't agree WE are killing the hobby. Some people out to drive up prices & make a lot of money are! Funny thing is, when I need something i.e. 429 Cyclone embloms($200) or 429 "Z" bar ($200) I just pay it. I'm on a tight budget too. My problem is when I have things to sell i.e. 429 SCJ [email protected]$100 no one wants them. I have done the same, given stuff away, but at bargain prices i.e. OEM used '65 [email protected]$150 you'd think I was a Jap in the '40's! I'm at the point of taking more things to the scrap yard at $40 a ton.
For twenty some years,every time I saw a part I wanted and could afford,I bought it.I do rather well horse trading for parts too,it's a necessity to offset the insanity of fooling with old cars.Many people thought I was crazy,since my attic was filled(and still is)with mustang parts.A few years ago,I built a loft in the garage for overhead storage,and sure enough,it was full in six months.No one thinks I'm crazy anymore.I have $23,000 plus in my '66 GT,and if I had to start the project from scratch now,there's no way it could be done with the options and features it has.I would refuse to pay the price for an 8000 rally pac,an original AM/FM,etc.There is a positive side to the supply/demand issue.Since demand remains high,the aftermarket is making more parts available to the hobby than ever before,and people in the hobby are much more quality conscious than in years past,and the manufacturers know this.I expect to see more available and with better quality.However,hardheads and old timers like myself are going to have to adjust to the idea that scratching around for original stuff is going to take forever and make projects move slower than ever.I really don't care about the value of my cars,I just remember when they were more fun because they weren't such a financial issue.I consider myself very fortunate to afford the ones I have.....
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