Mar 16, 2009

Cultural Exchange

Photographed at Lyttelton on the 9th of March 2009 by Elaine Hardman of Wellsville, New York is about $400 worth of rather tatty BMC Mini, which is about to join another seven in a shipping container, before heading off to the United States of America.

Although we've long held the dubious distinction of being a world leader in the importation of second-hand motor vehicles, we're also a significant source for vintage and classic cars, which can often be acquired here for a fraction of their international value.

The above photograph would appear to indicate that this market is now widening to include small economical cars that we have a tendency to take for granted. Had one a predilection for an eminently useable investment, then it's quite likely that good examples of this trendy genre (in the USA at least) would prove most rewarding.

Note: a very good example of a run-of-the-mill Mini can be purchased on TradeMe for around $5,000, but the same car in a Yankee dealer's yard would currently fetch in the vicinity of four times that price. 

Now let's see, with eight to the box...


kuaka said...

Ah, arbitrage, what a beautiful thing. dabble in it a bit myself.

Utterly amazing to me that Americans want to buy these kerosene tins on wheels. At least they'll be off NZ roads or no longer cluttering up smash palaces.

Canterbury Heritage said...

In hot pursuit of arbitragional advantage chums from Barcelona recently pillaged the entire country of mid-twentieth century collectibles. so being a step ahead in the international market place would appear to offer lucrative opportunities, but thank goodness that dried heads are currently out of fashion.

Rob said...

I think you'd be hard-pressed to find many mini's in wreckers yards these days, they have to move with the times in order to stay in business so the vast-majority of their lots are made up of late-80s through to mid-00s cars.

This desire to own these soon-to-be-classic cars isn't just restricted to overseas - locally the prices of old corollas, escorts, coronas and cortinas have been slowly but steadily increasing. What were once cheap runabouts are quickly becoming (relatively) high-priced and sought-after collectibles.

Kerosene tins indeed! At least these old cars had character, which is more than can be said of the bland stuff that comes out of Japan and Europe these days.

Continuing to use (and maintain) old vehicles, instead of trading in for a new one every couple of years, is better for the environment too :)