Originally Posted by Mike Paul
Two observations here. One: As an auctioneer I'm always amused by the old timers who got into collecting, (and it doesn't matter what category because it's all of them) on the ground floor and bought everything on the cheap. As in dirt cheap. And over a period of 20, 30 or 40 years they've managed to build a world class collection that is the envy of all for miles around. These are the guys who can pee and moan the longest and loudest about how the entire category is now being taken over by the greedy, speculating SOB's that are ruining it for everyone and blah, blah, blah. And all the while they're crying this song they are conveniently overlooking the fact that their collection has gone up in value exponentially because of all the people they're grousing about. When it comes time to sell out they're not much interested in passing it along to a young guy without a pot or a window but they are very interested in squeezing it for every last dime. Two: the buying market is heavily influenced by people buying what they remember. Grandpa's steamer, Pa's first tractor, the engine that was given to the neighbor at a time when nobody cared about memories or heritage. While old iron in general has enjoyed the rare luxury of being less affected by this than other collectible categories, it's not immune to market forces. Look at the drop in Ford N series tractors. The men who grew up with them are now at an age where they're no longer collecting, or worse, they're dying. The younger collector doesn't have the same affinity for these tractors. He wants that IH or JD that dad owned in the 60s or 70s. And for the the guy in his 30s that would love to own a steamer, a wife, kids and mortgage can put a real reality check on the wish list. Just like it did for every collector before him.
So much truth in this post. You'd think an old timer who got an engine for nothing would like to try to pass it along to a younger collector and keep the hobby and tradition alive, but greed usually takes over.
I never really thought about the value of what my collection will be worth later in life, since I've only started collecting a handful of years ago so I never got my engines on the cheap. Someone asked me recently if I thought there will be a market for these engines in 20-30-40-50 years and it struck me, will there be people wanting to still collect the way there is now? Now there are still guys who grew up with them or have the funds to buy them, but what happens when that generation has passed. Will the younger people even care? I collect for my own selfish needs so I don't have a sell strategy in mind, but that person asking me got me thinking.