Why collectors aren’t buying Cuba’s old cars – CNBC

Posted: Monday, August 03, 2015

Hagerty recalled one of his first experiences with the island’s cars on a trip their 15 years ago: “When I went, I jumped in a 1956 Cadillac, and it looked really good. The guy turned the key and it had a Peugeot diesel engine.”


Hagerty likened it to a “Galapagos Island” of cars. “Because they’ve been cut off for so long, they’ve morphed into their own species. It’s not a Cadillac. It’s something else.”


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To use an example of how that affects valuation, Linden said a quintessential American car like a 1957 Chevy Bel Air four-door sedan, in perfect condition with original parts, could sell for as much as $50,000. The same model in Cuba, with a large dollop of Bondo body filler and substitute parts, would probably sell for only $5,000.


Additionally, the sweet spot of car collecting has moved from the 1950s to the 1960s. “What’s hot right now are the American muscle cars of the late ’60s and ’70s,” Magers said. Models such as Ford Mustangs from 1965 to 1973, Dodge Challengers, Chargers and Daytonas are hot, plus the Shelby Plymouth Superbird.


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