Published in February 2019 Classic & Sports Car Magazine | Written by Kenneth E Y Wong
KENNETH WONG 黃恩揚- Classic insider 創辦人，經營高級經典及跑車買賣。對處理高檔車種擁有豐富經驗。曾是香港首間經典車拍賣行的營運總監。經常參與高端古董及跑車的相關活動，貼近市場脈搏
我看見很多狀態、價錢好的經典車，都賣得不錯。不要再用以往的心態，想着就算叫天價，這部車也有人接手，價格永遠有升無跌。最近，我看到入門級數和頂級的經典車盤，都賣得很好。價格跌得最厲害的，反而是中價這些，價格不上不落。入門經典車的市場，波幅很大。近來不少入門經典如萬事得（Mazda）MX-5，本田（Honda）Integra Type R，標緻（Peugeot）205 GTI，和第一代豐田（Toyota）MR2等等，都有很多年輕人追捧。因為這些都是他們第一部玩經典車的最好對象。當然也像我之前在不少文章中提到，這班買家也是懷舊一族，想買回情意結。
這些經典車現時仍未算很貴，價格仍可負擔的。一些 20-30 年的經典車，在考慮買不買時，就要看買車的原因，亦要留意價格走勢，賣的時候價格會是跌或升。還要看市場對這部車的需求，以及它是否特別版等等。看了所有東西，就能決定是否入手了。
買經典車，每個人都有自己的理由。有些人真的用來作投資，買完就放入倉，完全不碰它，直至五年、十年後才賣掉，待它升值。有人會這樣做，也有人會做很多資料搜集，專攻升值的東西。不是每一部經典車都會升值，有時趨勢是可以看到的，甚麼時候甚麼車款升值，時勢經常轉變。我留意到每次有汽車在電影裏出現，通常都會紅起來。好像每次有《占士邦》電影上映，Aston Martin DB5的放盤就會紅起來，這是因為人們都會因電影聯想起這部車。
一部年紀達40至60歲的經典車，其實需要很多維修的。它們的年紀大，車內一定有部件會壞。如果買家買回來只是擺放而不開出去，其實也有很多東西壞掉。當大家以為：「我買車後擺放在車房，每個月有空發動一下，踩下油便ok」的時候，實情原來不是，因為老爺車一定要出街走走，抖抖氣，好讓機油和潤滑液在機件中循環流動，才是真正的「保養」。例如死氣喉是要heat up的，否則日子久了那些鐵會生鏽；煞車久沒使用，那系統會「食死」卡實。這就跟一個人沒有分別：不做運動，自然多病痛。如果某位收藏家擁有的經典車很多，那他便要為每部「做運動」。這時候，他不能自己一個人處理得到，一定要請人幫他去做，人工都是錢。這樣說，養一部車其實很貴的。有人亦會問，最近很多拍賣會上出現不少「Barn Find」，是否應襯低價入手一部，然後慢慢執靚。可是以我的經驗去看，復修比想像中貴很多倍。可以的話，就買狀態最好的那一部。
最後，說到經典車這領域，很多人每年都說某車升某車跌。最近一家專營經典車保驗的公司 Hagerty，發表了「2019 bull market list」，講述來年或未來市場最熱捧的經典車。這些車包括 1972-1975 年的寶馬（BMW）3.0 CSL、現時只值幾萬元的 1997-2004 年保時捷（Porsche）Boxster、2004-2007 年富士（Subaru）Impreza WRX STI，以及1985-1989年豐田MR2等等。事實上，上述這些車已被熟悉市場動態的買家入手，例如3.0 CSL現時已經炙手可熱。
呼應文章開首，今年起經典車市場是否現跌勢呢？據Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index，上年經典車價格跌了1%；可是在這十年間，經典車仍是比其他投資工具出色。又例如 Historic Automobile Group International 公布的 HAGI Top Index，資料顯示經典車仍是勝過其他投資工具，在十年間價格升勢最多。當然經典車投資的壞處，就是上述說到的保養和養車成本，很多時只是賬面賺錢而已。可是大家想想，由2000年到現在，經典車市場歷經數個金融風暴，價格仍好像沒甚動搖。於是對於「經典車是否穩定的投資工具？」這條問題，歷史好像已有所解答。價格未來會怎樣走？我們還要拭目以待，但現階段來說，絕對不用擔心。
Has the classic car price bubble burst?
The simple answer is no, but the softened prices have made classics more of a collector’s market again.
In recent months there has been much talk about classic, vintage and collectable cars not fetching the prices they were a year or so ago. This follows a big increase in collectable car prices in the past four, five years, where classic cars were being touted as the best alternative investment, outstripping the likes of collectable art and property by some margin.
There has definitely been a softening of prices in the past year, Speculators have fallen off the boat, and it is being driven by a collector’s market again. There is still plenty of interest, but cars are only selling if they are really good quality or really well priced. Of course, the entry-level classic cars always sell, and on the other side of this coin, the really top stuff always sells.
Is classic or vintage cars were still to be seen as good to excellent long-term investments?
People collect classic cars for a number of reasons. Some buy them purely for investment purposes, park them and hang on to them as they appreciate in value.
With the classic cars that is 20 or 30 years old, it’s all about your reasons for buying it, what you are going to sell it for, and what the market is doing at the time you want to sell the car. And then you couple all that with availability, because there are not that many truly collectable cars. All these factors affect the price and it’s supply and demand at the end of the day.
The Key is, if you buy a desirable car, there is always someone else that is going to want that car from you.
You have to do your research, you need to buy something that has value and is likely to increase appreciably in value. This doesn’t apply to all classic cars, so it is important to track the rise in values of a car you have your eye on and I notice there seem to be popularity trends that come and go. If a car has been in a movie, you see a huge spike in demand. Like every time there’s a James Bond movie, the DB5 is sought-after.
At the lower end of the market, it has been lots of movement. Cars like Mazda Miata, Honda Integra Type-R, 205 GTi and MR2 is drawing the youngsters into the classic car scene. A lot of these cars are driven by nostalgia, for example the — a youngster may have had posters of these cars on his wall when he was at school, and now he is completely obsessed to find one.
As far as the investment factor is concerned, you can argue that there is always a risk of something going wrong on a car that is 40, 50 or 60 years old. Even if you are going to buy it and park it, there is still some rather intensive maintenance to consider. You can’t simply start these cars up every month or so and rev the engine a few times; you have to drive them get the oil circulating, get the exhaust systems up to temperature, work the brakes. They are like horses or human beings, they need exercise to stay healthy, and if you are establishing a large collection, then you are looking at employing a staff of experts to look after your fleet of classics.
What about Barn Find or Fixer-upper?
Lately, there is a lot of press mention about barn-find, should you buy the example in the best condition possible, or should you opt for a barn-find?
My advice is to buy the best example you can, if that is the car you want. When it comes to restoration this can be very expensive. And restoring a classic is also a thorny subject. First prize would be to buy a pristine, untouched original example, unrestored, because these are the most valuable if they are in good, complete condition.
Sometimes these aren’t available in the model you are after, so you might need to buy a car that needs some restoration work. Obviously the quality of the restoration work to be done is important, so do your research, get hold of the experts or other owners for your car, ask questions before you spend a lot of money on a car that might need lots of work done.
The classic car field is diverse, and the definition of what constitutes a collectible classic car varies from year to year, and from country to country. According to a newly published report from Hagerty, the 2019 Bull Market List include Cars that are still affordable but are expected to have substantial price hikes in the next few years includes 1972-75 BMW 3.0 CSL, 1997-2004 Porsche Boxster, 2004-2007 Subaru WRX STi, 1985-1989 Toyota MR2. Let me tell you, these have already been snapping up by well-informed collectors.
Classic car is one of the best performing asset classes in the “KFLII” Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index over the past 10 years. The Historic Automobile Group International’s HAGI Top Index – a market-cap-weighted index made up of 50 cars is also used by industry experts to track this alternative asset class. Both indexes has clear evidence to the claim that classic car values have risen strongly over the past 10 to 20 years. The performance of classic car values has been relatively reliable since the early-2000s, and even survived the downturn caused by the 2008 global financial crisis largely unscathed.
But one of the biggest downsides of classic car investment is the associated cost. Given the complexity of classic models, not to mention the rarity of spare parts, it’s often considered a good idea to turn to a professional when it comes to their upkeep. This, of course, costs money and at best probably preserves the value rather than adding to it beyond the normal indexed performance of the asset.