They always say "I cannot afford the Camaro". Why is that I ask? The answer is usually along these lines: "You old guys still fight over these cars and we are priced out of the market..I cannot afford a Camaro that is not a 1975-1977 but I still want a good one.
The follow up is the kicker...I ask what are you going to do about it.... the reply is "get a better job and wait you guys out - we will get your cars eventually".
Here my take since I may not fit into the target of the "old guys" crowd yet.
I think "the old guys" may compete more for the numbers type of cars (i know I do). There are a ton of affordable first gen Camaros out there still, as well as mustangs, and most other base cars.
The issue isn't price as much as it is nostalgia, and wanting it bad enough vs. being content with an import or newer car:
I have always been around older stuff, my mom and aunt always dragged my sister and I to antique stores when we were young, my mom drove a 67 Austin Healy 3000 (which she still has) my dad drove a Volkswagen bus. My mom bought her car 6 months used my dad bought his 71 bus new, but I was born quite a ways after that, we never actually had a "new" car. In fact my parents drove both those cars as their daily drivers well into the 1990's, and still have them today. (It was safe to say we were on the bottom rung of the middle class
)I had hand me down hot wheels and the old style metal tootsie toys as a kid, and very once in a while I would get a nice 1/18th scale or smaller nice adult collector car for a birthday or Christmas. By the time I was about 14 and asked what I wanted I had no clue, and this perplexed me at the time, because the thought had never crossed my mind. So I looked at all my cars and decided on the 1962 Ferrari GTO. An awesome, beautiful car, and still one of my absolute favorites, BUT at 14 I had snuck into a concors de elegance, saw them on the lawn and then realized oh well theres no way thats going to work out. So what is the next best closest thing, I thought well maybe I could get a ..... wait for it......Fiero! thats right a pontiac fiero was the closest thing that looked like the Ferrari to me. But the more i looked at the fiero, (and it was on its way out at that time) the guys who drove them were posers, so I didn't want to associate with fags. I was with my mom one day when she asked again, I said I don't know maybe something older, and then I heard a car pass us, it sounded good even in stock form and I asked my mom what kind of car it was. She said "oh thats a Mustang, there good cars". (it was a 65 coupe with a 289) Well when I thought about it a moment, I asked how much were they, and said said she didn't think that they were all that expensive. So even though I could have saved up for a 80's Camaro, Fiero, but they didn't have the timeless class of a "classic car" (thats we called them then, not muscle cars). So I saved up money cutting lawns working at safeway and in the summers doing construction with my uncle and bought a project 65 mustang fastback. Through cleaning that car up, and then maintaining through high school I learned the hard way, and with the other car guys in high school in metal shop and auto shop we rebuilt transmissions and pulled motors, did drum brakes. I got a sense it was all very similar to the legos I had, and if you followed a plan of putting stuff together, it looked nice and functioned when you were done.
Once i had one car, then I thought the next best thing was 2 and 3 and 4 cars, and before long I had a 55 chevy 2 door post, a 66 Chevelle SS, and then I bought another. Life was good. It was the great times I had in high school with other guys that had a Chevelle, bug, and el camino, and doing the burn outs, and street racing/ sears point 1/4 mile drags on grudge night.
My point is I was around the cars. There was only me and like 5 other guys that had classic cars in high school. None of our cars was the HiPo version or SS. my mustang was a V8 the Chevelle my friend had was just a Malibu, and the el caminos were just plain jain el caminos. (the SS chevelles I had right after high school & I had one rich friend who's dad splurged and got him the 69 Z/28 when he wanted just a 69 350 car). All the cars we had in high school are not a whole lot more today, but our auto shop and metal shop got turned into a dance studio a few years after I graduated, and less and less guys drove older cars after I graduated. So to me the guys that see the Finished
first gen camaros now like them but do not have the memories of a friend having one, and have no clue how to wrench on them, let alone the beauty/simplicity of the small block chevy.
So this younger generation will wait until they have some money to buy a finished one when their older that they most likely will not know how to work on.
The only salvation right now is the kids of classic car owners who have a interest and the parents put a wrench or bond in their hand, OR the rat rod group has injected some new blood into the hobby lately.