Are Hot Rods a Good Investment?

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Hot rods can be fun to own and drive. However, like any car, they can also pose problems. For instance, by definition, hot rods are powerful cars, but they’re not necessarily valuable. Here’s a look at whether they’re a good investment.

Appreciation and depreciation

As most car owners know, vehicles depreciate. There are a few exceptions, but by and large, cars lose their value as soon as they drive off the lot. That means a brand-new car’s $30,000 price will drop to a few thousand in a few years. 

The few exceptions, usually beloved classics, might actually appreciate, meaning they’ll be worth more as time passes. But when it comes to hot rods, the answer to the question of whether they’re a good financial investment is simple, according to Hemmings. Like most other vehicles, these special cars rods will likely depreciate, so they’re probably not a good financial investment. 

But exceptions exist — some hot rods age like fine wine. But generally, they’re like any other car. They drop in value over time, especially if the owner makes too many modifications. 

However, hot rods are a good personal investment

That being said, life isn’t only about making money. After all, most car shoppers buy a model that depreciates, and they seem to take it as a given. So hot rod owners probably don’t care much if their car depreciates, either, since it’s a normal thing for a car to do. 

However, owners might care about what their souped-up cars can do for them. Obviously, they fulfill a vehicle’s basic purpose — moving people from point A to point B. But that’s not their only reason for being. As Hemmings said, hot rods are also a hobby, and for owners, expenses are an investment in their hobby.

This is because hot rods aren’t like regular cars. By their nature, they’re unique. Plus, the hobby aspect makes these vehicles even more special to their owners.

Hot rods as a hobby

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Though it’s possible to buy a hot rod on the market, that’s not what many hobbyists do. After all, these vehicles are modified versions of old cars, and as Hemmings said, many hobbyists modify their hot rods even more. There aren’t many limits to what someone can do to their car as long as it’s still street-legal.

For example, owners can upgrade the engine to be even faster and more powerful. Other owners might want a custom paint job or a modified interior. 

Because these vehicles can be heavy thanks to their upgrades and mods, it’s not surprising they’re typically a bad financial investment. Buyers might not want a hot rod tailored to the previous owner, and that’s OK. After all, that owner invested in their hobby, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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