Hot rod vehicles have a special place in the imagination of the American people. This country has long been known for its seeming obsession with automobiles, and that is certainly true when it comes to hot rods. These vehicles are among the most prized and most treasured to those who collect them. That is why it just makes sense that there would be a growing number of people who want to know how they can properly evaluate the true value of their hot rod collection. We want to take a look today at some of the indicators of true value in a hot rod automobile and review some vital car valuation tips that you can use to appraise the real value of your automobile.

Start With The NADA Guide

The best place to start to understand the potential value of your vehicle is to reference the NADA Guide. This guide is considered the gold standard when it comes to the valuation of hot rod vehicles. Think of it as the Kelley Blue Book of sorts, but for specialty cars in particular. It should be thought of as a benchmark idea of what a vehicle might be worth, but it should also be taken with a grain of salt. The market for hot rod cars is very unpredictable at times, and this guide could be out of date by the time you look at it for reference. You should consider some of the other factors mentioned below as well before trusting the figures in this guide.

Rarity: How Precious Is This Commodity?

Throughout all of human history, scarcity has played a major role in the valuation of any good or service. If something is rare in nature or has legal restrictions placed upon it that make it hard to come by, it is going to have more value than most other things. Many hot rod vehicles fall into the category of being rare, but not all are exactly alike in this aspect.

Most hot rods fall into the category of being limited, but not entirely rare. Producers have to strike the right balance between keeping something relatively exclusive and at the same time producing enough of them to sell an ideal amount. However, there are a handful of vehicles that truly are rare and are incredibly restricted in their production. If you own a hot rod vehicle that perhaps had just one-thousand of fewer copies made in the entire world, then you are holding on to something that truly is rare. This could bolster its value significantly at auction.

Black hot rod parked in parking lot.

Restoration Quality

It is not as difficult as one might think to work in the restoration of vintage cars. People don't have to get special educational degrees or attend a fancy school to make this happy. Most people in the business are self-taught, and that is the way they like it. These individuals can be extremely talented in what they do, but it is always important to understand the value of a professional restoration compared to an amateur one.

A professional who restores a vehicle knows all of the ins and outs of what they are doing, and they can make the vehicle literally appear brand-new when they are finished. An amateur may cut corners due to a lack of experience with that type of vehicle or perhaps because they simply don't have all of the necessary tools and equipment to do the job perfectly. Either way, the restoration job comes out less than perfect, and that shows up in the final auction price for the vehicle. It might fall flat on its face when auction time comes. It is better to trust such a valuable object in the hands of a true professional.

LinkedIn for restoration shop: (99+) Classic Car Restoration: Overview | LinkedIn

Demand: How Hot Is The Market At Present?

Markets for any commodity are known to wax and wane given a variety of factors. It is often the case that they move a certain way due to the amount of freed-up capital that individuals in that market happen to have available to them at the time. After all, it is not always easy to buy expensive things if one does not have a lot of liquid assets (capital) available.

Currently, the hot rod market is very strong. There is a lot of free-flowing cash in the economy at this time, and there are plenty of people who are taking an interest in the hot rod market for perhaps the first time in their lives. Those with new capital are looking for new and interesting ways to spend it, and some of them are coming around to the hot rod market. It is a good time to be a seller in this market right now as the potential sale price for your hot rod might prove to be a lot higher than it normally would under current conditions.

Twitter marketplace for hot rods: Hot Rods For Sale (@HotRodsForSale) / Twitter

Seller's Natural Abilities

If one is to sell their own hot rod to try to maximize the amount of the profit that they get to keep for themselves, they should understand that their own abilities in sales will come into play. On the one hand, it is a good idea to avoid selling through an auction house to avoid the commissions that they charge for this privilege. However, it also means that the individual will have to prove that they have the chops to convince someone else to purchase their property. It sounds easier than it really is.

Obviously, both sides of the transaction want the best possible deal that they can get for themselves. Sellers who don't know what they have on their hands or who run into some other obstacles when it comes to making a sell could end up losing a lot of potential profit due to their own lack of experience. It is fraught with danger right from the very beginning, and this is not the path that most should choose if they are just now getting into the hot rod game.

Facebook Group specializing in hot rod sales: Buy, Sell, or Trade Street Rods and Classic Cars | Facebook

Black hot rod with flames parked in grass at car event.

The Buy Side

Finally, we should take note of the fact that much of the valuation that a hot rod does or does not have comes down to what the buyers in the market are looking to pay for it. No one is required to be interested in a vehicle just because it supposedly has great value. The real value of any of these vehicles is assigned by what the wisdom of the crowd decides it is. In other words, the fickle market can really dictate prices and what you inevitably get for your vehicle. Go into things with an understanding of what you should get under ideal market conditions, but be prepared to be surprised by what the final result may come out to be at the end of the day.

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