Jim’s Blog: Buy What You Like

When tracking the market, we often focus in on what’s hot, what’s rising, and what the best short or long term investment might be on paper.

Let this serve as your reminder: Buy what you like.

On Friday, I headed out to Mecum’s annual Portland sale to cover cars with ACC Data Analyst Chad Taylor for an upcoming issue of the magazine. Among the hundreds of cars on offer spread out throughout the Portland Expo Center’s sprawling halls, I found a handful that I would have bought on the spot: a 1965 Impala SS in red with a 4-speed, sold for $28,600. A ’69 Super Bee with a 440 and a 4-speed, sold at $41,250. A ’70 Plymouth Road Runner, also with a 440 and a 4-speed, sold at $38,500.

Any of those cars would have been a good investment and a lot of fun, but of everything I saw there that day, the one thing I left there wanting most was one of the most basic cars on offer: a 1970 Chevrolet C10 pickup.

It had been done up in blue and was fitted with its original inline six and three-on-the-tree. Other than the paint, it looked ridiculously original down to the bed wood, ancient maybe-original rear tires and fantastic door gaps. It was so basic it didn’t even have an oil pressure gauge, but it would be a great driver that wouldn’t cost much of anything to own and use. These trucks speak to me, and good untouched originals are just hard to pass up because they are so iconic, bulletproof and stylish. The market loves top-level trims and V8s in these trucks. This one didn’t have any of that stuff, but it didn’t matter.

I didn’t buy it, but I talked to the guy who did, and he was overjoyed at the $11,000 price and the overall condition of the truck. I would be too. This truck was a smart buy for a guy who knew what he wanted and intends to use it out on the Oregon coast.

The market is always on the move, and while speculation can bring good returns, don’t forget to have fun and buy what you like. After all, if you buy something you really want — not because it’s popular, or expensive, or top-of-the-line, but because it’s what makes you happy — you’ll enjoy your time with it regardless of where the market goes.