Europeans are buying literally tonnes of classic cars from the U.S.
American classic cars are quite popular in Europe. So popular, in fact, that Europeans are buying tens of thousands of them per year to send overseas, Hagerty reports.
About 30,000 classic vehicles left American ports last year with destinations in Europe, says Dmitry Shibarshin, marketing director of West Coast Shipping; 12,000 alone were shipped by his Richmond, California-based company, along with 2,000 newer cars.
Shibarshin explains how that data was collected: “We pull data from all vehicles and shippers, we look at shippers that specialize in classic cars, and we look at the volume of containers, plus our own data.”
Most of the vehicles that are being shipped overseas are domestic, American-made steel, with muscle cars and Corvettes being the highest in demand. Shibarshin says, however, that French buyers are also purchasing British roadsters from owners Stateside, while VW buses from the U.S. are also going like hot-cakes.
So why, and how, are Europeans scoping out cars from the US? Shibarshin has an explanation for that too. “The cars here are in better condition than in Europe,” he explains.
“There are more climates here that are kinder to the vehicles, and more cars to choose from.”
As to how buyers are finding these vehicles, Shibarshin says, “There’s so much competition to get cars that we have clients who employ people in the U.S. to scan Craigslist all day. Cars are selling within minutes of posting, or people are showing up at the seller’s door with cash.”
Southern California remains the largest exporter of classic cars.