[CR]Re: Vintage Bike Value, Historical Information

(Example: Events)

From: <BobHoveyGa@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2007 11:08:15 EDT
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Re: Vintage Bike Value, Historical Information

I agree it would be interesting to see some sort of list of vintage bike values out there, but I sure wouldn't want to be the one to do it, even if it were to be something simple like adding rough dollar ranges to an established list (like Lou Deeter's). Also, I suspect the vaguaries of condition and componentry and the market would probably cause such a thing to be so broad as to make it have rather limited usefulness and a very limited lifespan. That said, Mike Kone's list on Sheldon's site has always received quite a bit of mention so that means there must be considerable interest out there for even a rough guide.

Personally, I suspect that pricing of bikes may be too variable to make any but the broadest price list useful unless it was clogged with footnotes... Then too, one must constantly update the list to account for the fickleness of the market and what marques happen to be hot at the moment. And of course there is the emotional element that causes some collectors to zero in on specific marques or time periods... all it takes is a couple of them working against each other to drive the prices up and make the guideline prices worthless.

I get a lot of mail thru my website asking for Masi appraisals. And here I must acknowledge the subjective nature of this field, where reality is warped by one's emotional connection with it, and rationality at times takes a back seat. I must admit with some embarassment that I never met a Masi I didn't like (with apologies to Will Rogers), so I may tend to overvalue them when asked for an appraisal. On the other hand, I do try to track the prices in order to keep my estimates bounded in reality. I do this by saving notes of every eBay auction and private sale that crosses my path, with photos if possible, and this makes it easier to determine a ballpark value when a new bike appears (as well as to track how prices change over time) without my emotional connection with the marque getting in the way to an undue degree. Even so, I would hesitate to compile a general price guide for this one marque for fear that it would by nature be inaccurate and untrustworthy in assessing individual bikes.

Any sort of list that we were to compile would be a massive undertaking, regardless of how many individuals consented to be involved. And it would have to be updated frequently. Personally, I am not sure it is worth the effort. Given the limited amount of time we have (how many of you guys are full-time bike collectors?) I think we have enough trouble just getting out and riding as much as we would like. And if we do have extra time, I think there are better ways to spend it than on the monetary or investment aspects of the field.

For example, at least one person in this thread has mentioned the importance of collecting and preserving historical data on these bikes while it is still there to be preserved, and with this I could not agree more... I think for both present and future collectors this is a far more reasonable and worthwhile (not to mention pleasurable) expenditure of effort. Not a week goes by that I do not get an email from a total stranger thanking me for bringing Masi catalogs, articles, photos, registries, links and other data together on one site for easy access. This is a LOT of work, and I certainly don't envy Dale who took on the task with the CR site... not for a single marque mind you, but for ALL of 'em! As Dale has stated on several occasions, this could easily be a full-time job (for several people probably), and with all that this poor guy has to do we can understand why constant updates and additions to the site have become problematic as the size of the site mushroomed.

I would suggest that since web-design programs have become quite easy to use and since web space is cheap (as little as five bucks a month for 100 gigs), maybe it is time for some of us to step up and help Dale out. Do you have one favorite marque that you adore to the point of irrationality? Why not give it's own presence on the web so that Dale can link to it and we can all benefit from your efforts to preserve your favorite bike and its associated history? Just a thought. Think how cool it would be to see an old Torpado on eBay and wanting to know more, you type the name into Google and are immediately whisked to a site loaded with photos, timeline, and other goodies all lovingly compiled by... ooh... let's see... who would it be? <Church Lady voice>

Could it be Mark Agreeee?

Kidding aside, this is someteing I'd like to see fellow CR listers get excited about. Wool Jersey, CR and other "general" vintage sits are WONDERFUL resources, thousands of incredible bikes to drool over, but when you want to know something about Gloria or Condor, haven't you ever wished that there was one single place you could go where some anal lunatic had collected every available bit of information about that one bike and stuck it there in front of you? Just think, with a bit of effort, perhaps YOU could be that anal lunatic!

Bob Hovey Columbus, GA

In a message dated 6/7/07 9:01:04 AM, Gabriel writes:

> come on Mike, this is an atrocious idea.  currently, the impetus for
> collecting bikes is as varied as the amount of people participating.
> Codifying the values would suddenly make certain collections more
> 'legitimate' based on value.  The diversity and interesting approaches
> to collecting bicycles will suddenly drop because of the new influx of
> investment collectors.  The novice collector will not go by her heart in
> choosing the bike, there are those 'value' contingencies.
> setting values on symbolic items such as coins and stamps are one thing,
> but placing it on functional items are a completely different and
> diabolical to the discipline.   All of a sudden, every time one takes
> out a bike to ride they will be lessening it's value.  Personal
> attitudes towards amassing a collection  are now directed by a
> 'guide' as opposed to what one grew up with.  For example, the
> interesting debate on refinishing all of a sudden ends up as a mute
> point, because rarity will be the determinate.  The pristine out of the
> factory will  always trump the refinish.  Most of the subjective and
> interesting discussions on our list are essentially eliminated as
> collective judgment has more bearing on value rather than quirky
> individual assessments on other aspects such as ridability and looks.
> As i mentioned before, this happened with cameras eliminating the
> availability of certain types necessary for doing particular types of
> work back in the seventies. this has happened also with hand woodworking
> tools.  Try and find a good hand jointer plane for less than a fortune
> out there.
> It happened with those classic cars.  now they are only driven to and
> from shows.  what a great driving experience!

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