Used car prices are insane right now. Between pandemic-related delays and a global microchip shortage, new cars are hard to come by, driving the price of used models through the roof. One auto sector that didn’t need any help from the pandemic or microchips, however, is classic cars. We’re including rad-era cars here, too, which includes anything from the 1980s and 1990s. Prices for these vehicles were on a steep upward trajectory way before the pandemic started, and this 1987 GMC Sierra is a good (sad) example of where we’ve ended up.
The 1987 GMC Sierra Long Bed 4×4 is listed on Facebook with a $50,000 price tag and a stern warning that the seller doesn’t have to sell for anything less than that amount. That’s a pretty sharp markup for a truck that sold for something like $11,000 new.
To be fair, the truck has just 70,000 miles, has had just one owner, and is in great shape. It features a neat two-tone paint job, four-wheel drive, and doesn’t appear to have been abused at any point during its 34 years on the road.
The big question here is whether someone will agree with the seller’s valuation of the truck. There are several for sale on Autotrader Classics with prices all over the map, but that’s no indication of what people are actually paying for these things, nor is it an indication of how many of them end up being sold at all.
These trucks were in production for 14 years, so it’s not as if they’re particularly rare or special. There are dozens available for sale at any given point in time, some in showroom-new condition and some ready to be driven. Maybe this one is worth $50,000 and we’re just being cynical, but the truck’s price is just the beginning of the concern here.
When a readily available, mass-produced vehicle reaches the heights that we’re seeing here, what does that say about the rest of the market? Those of us hoping to get ahold of anything remotely special – as in, not an everyday pickup truck – had better be prepared for sticker shock, and that’s the best-case scenario. We’ve gone from “I know what I’ve got” to nearly everything being treated as if it deserves white glove delivery. It’s an interesting time to watch the market, but it’s also a sad time to be an enthusiast, unless you’re flush with cash to pick up the next ’88 Corolla that hits the market.