SEMA eNews Vol. 12, No. 7, February 19, 2009

Owners of '30s-era Cars are DIYers


Factory Five '33 Hot Rod

The '32 Ford Roadster is arguably the most iconic hot rod of all time. It continues to be a staple for gearheads seven decades after it was produced. Many '30s-era cars and trucks share the same inextinguishable fire that continues today.

SEMA polled a group of enthusiasts in January about their plans for 2009. Of the total group, nearly 100 hot-rod/street-rod owners of cars from '30–'40 submitted their forecast for the upcoming year, sharing thoughts on trends and their plans for the hobby. The largest congestion of cars were ’32–’34 model years, with roughly 40% of the group’s representation leaning heavily on Ford models (80%).

Enthusiasts value these model years and have forced the market to support the remanufacturing of bodies, chassis components and accessories. For example, Factory Five unveiled a ’33 Hot Rod kit at the 2008 SEMA Show that allows consumers the ability to own a modernized icon.


Christian Audienger’s Ford

When asked about the hottest segment of 2009, the majority stuck to their base and voted for street rod and customs, followed by musclecars and restored vehicles. Likewise, they believe the hottest trends will be do-it-yourself modifications, budget builds and high-performance street applications. While not surprising, these perceptions reinforce the concepts that outline this traditional segment: independent, creative and passionate about participating.

The most common modifications they plan to perform in 2009 are custom paint (10%), performance brake (6%) and transmission (6%) upgrades. Of the top 20 products, all but a few are performance related. Nearly half (47%) of those surveyed plan to purchase the greatest amount of products from mail-order catalogs or custom shops and installers.


DuPont Hot Hues Ford

While Internet avenues make up roughly 33% of the venues listed, the bias is towards brick-and-mortar establishments. Online auctions—namely eBay (12%)—typically revolve around rare, used or obsolete parts and reaffirm the collector status of these vehicles.


RCD Suspension '32 Ford

For more original market research, visit www.sema.org/research

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