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Is A Model T A Good Long Term Investment?

How do Model T's stack up as long term investments? Really not that well. Not to pick on Model T's, as they would possibly be better over time than most other makes due to their popularity. While they appear to hold their own as an inflation hedge, how do they compare to conservative investments compounded annually over the same number of years? The chart below summarizes the prices from the previous chart as if rather than buying the cars or parts, the money had either been put in a savings account with an average annual return of 3%, or else in a conservative diversified portfolio with all dividends and capital gains reinvested in the stock market.(i.e. as in an Index Mutual Fund) No allowance is made for taxes- it is assumed that the money is still invested. All of the sources I have checked regarding the stock market returns agree that the market has historically earned around 11% over the long term, and that is the rate of return used.

Naturally this analysis does not take into consideration the psychic benefit of owning a Model T. (Searching, perhaps for years, for cars and parts, and traveling great distances in the process. Loading/carrying and hauling "it" home, taking it all apart, spreading it all around the garage,(or in my case spreading the parts on the kitchen table), leaving it to sit, sometimes for years, then cleaning, repairing, discovering pieces are not useable and must be replaced, derusting and painting, trying to remember where everything goes, and finally investing hundreds of man hours reassembling it and finally using or driving it. A price simply can not be put on these pleasures!)

Source Year Item Condition Price Then In current $ Investment Compounded @ 3% Investment Compounded @ 11%
VF0103 1966 1925 Roadster Ruckstell,wire wheels $1,500.00 $ 7,913.12 $ 4,097.86 $ 52,128.18
VF0103 1966 19-11 Frame Original $ 25.00 $ 131.89 $ 68.30 $ 868.80
VF0103 1966 1924 Sedan "Beautiful condition" $1,500.00 $ 7,913.12 $ 4,097.86 $ 52,128.18
VF0103 1966 Model T PU Bed No wood, good tailgate $ 25.00 $ 131.89 $ 68.30 $ 868.80
VF0103 1966 1926 T Sedan "Good condition for restoration" $ 395.00 $ 2,083.79 $ 1,079.10 $ 13,727.09
VF0103 1966 1914 roadster Complete restoration, AACA 1st prize $3,600.00 $18,991.48 $ 9,834.86 $ 125,107.06
VF0103 1966 1920 Centerdoor "Excellent original" $ 900.00 $ 4,747.87 $ 2,458.72 $ 31,276.91
Western Auto 1927 Laurel-Roof 40S VIH New $ 67.95 $ 646.51 $ 587.90 $ 138,282.40
Western Auto 1927 Locking steering wheel New $ 7.95 $ 75.64 $ 68.78 $ 16,178.74
Western Auto 1927 Replacement Fenders New $ 9.85 $ 93.72 $ 85.22 $ 20,045.35
Western Auto 1927 Hood New $ 3.95 $ 37.58 $ 34.18 $ 8,038.49
Western Auto 1927 Midget motometer New $ 2.58 $ 24.55 $ 22.32 $ 5,250.46
Western Auto 1927 Std size motometer New $ 8.45 $ 80.40 $ 73.11 $ 17,196.27
Western Auto 1927 Bosch Distributor New $ 9.95 $ 94.67 $ 86.09 $ 20,248.86
Western Auto 1927 Kingston Carb. New $ 2.15 $ 20.46 $ 18.60 $ 4,375.38
Western Auto 1927 AC speedometer setup New $ 8.75 $ 83.25 $ 75.71 $ 17,806.78
Western Auto 1927 26-27 Stewart Speedometer setup New $ 8.75 $ 83.25 $ 75.71 $ 17,806.78
Western Auto 1927 30x3 Tire New $ 7.95 $ 75.64 $ 68.78 $ 16,178.74
Ford price list 1915 Exhaust Manifold New $ 1.00 $ 16.59 $ 12.34 $ 7,119.56
Ford price list 1915 Radiator New $ 20.00 $ 331.80 $ 246.71 $ 142,391.20

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Last Updated on 02/18/2001
(c) 2001 AntiqueAutoArchive