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draganm

collecting militaria, what's the next big thing?

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so i think all would agree that WW2 stuff is to the moon, deep pockets and risk taking are just a part of it now.  So what would would a savvy collector do today to get ahead of the price curve?

   My thought is cold-war stuff.  This was a significant event in our lifetimes, maybe even eventually proving to be just as important in shaping the modern world as WW2.  It brought the end of the Soviet empire, created the (you could argue ) failed experiment of the EU zone,  will probably soon result in the collapse the American empire, and from the cold ashes of the cold-war we will in our lifetimes probably see what replaces it (well hopefully).

Seems like cold-war collectors are few and far between though. Are these guys ahead of the curve? Will we see the days when a nice T55 or M60 brings a million dollars? I think likely yes

what do you guys think?

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case in point; 1985-bought my first tank, now what will it be? Sherman or cvrt scorpion. Both £10k both running. Went for the scorpion. Values now?.......

Perhaps without the plentiful source of vehicles anymore at affordable prices (withams) we will see a drying up of the hobby with no new blood, no new stock, and only the financial elite cautiously  displaying their investments.

or is that already happening.....

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I'm not particularly bothered if a vehicle or any militaria I buy is going to be a profitable investment or not. I buy it because it interests me. If I buy up stuff to sell on sooner or later, it just drives up the price for people who have a genuine interest.

I have a vehicle that I have owned for 32 years which is appreciating in value,  which is fine when I or my estate come to sell it. But that is not the reason I bought it.

I have a large collection of books & archives including subjects such as the development of guided weapons & WW2 night vision that may well turn a profit when the time comes.  But I have a large collection of publications on sanitation & diseases in the British Army, these are not particularly popular subjects & probably won't turn a profit when the time comes. That doesn't bother me in the slightest.

But they are none the less of great interest to me, particular when you consider that in the 100 years before WW1 more British troops died of problems connected with sanitation & disease than through enemy action.

I avoid buying WW1 publications  as they are ridiculously overpriced as the result of speculation. Instead I look for publications pre-WW1 & of the 1920s-30s, in some quarters these eras are looked on with disdain. Consequently are priced more reasonably but what happened or didn't happen in these eras had a direct bearing on the conflict that followed.

So if prices are lowish for those eras that's fine, if they remain so when they come to be sold its not a problem for me. I didn't buy them as an investment, I enjoyed owning them & savouring some of the detail that often won't be found in a "author" written book because they tend to focus on an angle or particular point they want to make.

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Perhaps it is just me but I see the hobby of collecting MVs, associated kit and re-enacting rather static at the moment and not one that is actually gaining in popularity. I wonder what the average age of MVT members is? Most MVT meetings have a very high proportion of grey haired individuals (me included) so could it be we the current generation of owners have obtained our interest  as a consequence of our parents exploits and experiences in WW2, that our children or grandchildren won't share. How many of us can honestly say that everything we own (MV or Military related) will be gladly taken over and used as we did when the time comes for us to end our active involvement. I know of several individuals who share not a bit of interest in their father's collections.

Therefore I cannot see people clamouring for a Vietnam, Cold War, Falklands or Gulf War vehicle or kit in the same way we have over some WW2 German vehicles or armour found in France!

Edited by LarryH57

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Incidentally, the more modern the vehicle, the more specialist support is needed to maintain it, so will all those Land Rover Snatch replacements used in Iraq and Afganistan be preserved in 75 years time like a WW2 Jeep?

Edited by LarryH57
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8 minutes ago, LarryH57 said:

Perhaps it is just me but I see the hobby of collecting MVs, associated kit and re-enacting rather static at the moment and not one that is actually gaining in popularity. I wonder what the average age of MVT members is? Most MVT meetings have a very high proportion of grey haired individuals (me included) so could it be we the current generation of owners have obtained our interest  as a consequence of our parents exploits and experiences in WW2, that our children or grandchildren won't share. How many of us can honestly say that everything we own (MV or Military related) will be gladly taken over and used as we did when the time comes for us to end our active involvement. I know of several individuals who share not a bit of interest in their father's collections.

Therefore I cannot see people clamouring for a Vietnam, Cold War, Falklands or Gulf War vehicle or kit in the same way we have over some WW2 German vehicles or armour found in France!

You make some very pertinent observations here it's not an easy call and can be an uncomfortable truth. 

I guess for all of us of a certain age although we were not old enough to fight in the war we grew up with the effect it had on our parents and on the shadow it cast on our up bringing so to us it was a very real and tangible thing ranging from family conversations , war films that proliferated on big and small screens and of course not forgetting our comics plastic guns daggers, bayonets and hand grenades all openly on show in every toy shop and branch of Wollies in the country and yet we didn't feel the need to do it for real.  Odd to reflect on that last point now in this world of  Political Correctness  where real knife crime and real shootings are at an all time high....... Perhaps collecting old video games will be the thing to get into as it will be such a scary wild world outside of those tightly drawn blinds and curtains in the next generations air tight Eco houses

Take no notice it's just me.... it's getting dark outside already and it's raining and I've got my pre- Christmas grump on as usual so my wife tells me :pfrt:

Pete

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My interest in MVs had nothing to do with the experiences of my parents in WW2. In fact my mother tried to steer me away from toy guns & encourage me to follow my father's interest in making '0' Gauge locomotives. (Not playing with model locos but making them ie lathe & metal casting)

It was not of great interest to me, so my mother tried to get me interested in things like collecting butterflies & that didn't work! But playing with Meccano & government surplus stuff like Tele D, 38 Sets & mine detectors blossomed into amateur radio.

In later years amateur radio blossomed into operating from a Land Rover, albeit a civilian one but even that was horrifying enough to my mother who didn't like seeing the spare wheel on the bonnet that had traces of rust.

I then drifted into military Land Rovers as I was drawn to their utilitarian functionality. I'm beginning to drift from MVs partly frustrated being unable to get technical articles published  because apparently people don't like reading stuff but prefer looking at colour pics of MVs.

So drifting back into amateur radio I find that hobby is suffering from a predominance of grey hair with few youngsters drawn into the hobby.

It seems to be hobbies that require manual skills, ingenuity & a bit of working out problems for yourself that seem most vulnerable to decline in this day & age?

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1 hour ago, LarryH57 said:

Incidentally, the more modern the vehicle, the more specialist support is needed to maintain it, so will all those Land Rover Snatch replacements used in Iraq and Afganistan be preserved in 75 years time like a WW2 Jeep?

I very much doubt it, the amount of specialised kit needed to maintain the current vehicles is mind boggling, I once  saw a REME corporal almost in tears when his laptop crashed while trying to diagnose a fault on a Foxhound. 

Edited by johnwardle
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16 hours ago, fv1609 said:

It seems to be hobbies that require manual skills, ingenuity & a bit of working out problems for yourself that seem most vulnerable to decline in this day & age?

That is a very real problem Clive relevant both in the workplace and in outside activities I've just had my boiler serviced recently by a small family run local firm and the owner was saying he has exactly the same problems when he takes on school leaves they just can't handle tools and he has to start from scratch with them.

For nearly two generations we have turned out school leaves who have not had the opportunity to do hands on workshop practice.  For those of us who went to Technical Secondary schools prior to this we did focused courses and sat national exams at O level in wood work, metal work and technical drawing as a standard part of the curriculum, the work shop training included operating lathes, mills and basic welding brazing and soldering skills in the metal shop in wood working we operated planners, lathes, handled all forms of chisels and cutting knives, saws and learnt to keep your fingers out of the way, all of those things taught exactly the aptitudes you list above..  Most of this now would not happen either as result of safety concerns or through lack of funding.

The world has changed and maybe the likes of us who restore and collect old machines have not changed with it so perhaps the next collecting boom will be collecting Old Farts like me and putting them on display in hermetically sealed glass cases displayed in authentic stained overalls and greasy hands clutching a tea mug in one hand and fist full if Whitworth spanners in the other while reading an engineering drawing exhibited as a stuffed curio from a by gone age........"mummy did they really get that dirty??"..

Grumpy of Wales

Edited by Pete Ashby
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Every day, without even realising it, I draw on the skills my apprenticship instilled in me. There were times during the four years when I nearly threw in the towel and got another job, but I didn't and now reap the rewards.

Nowadays I work firmly in what can only be described as the 'knowledge economy' and work with software and what can only be seen as abstract ideas. Looking from the world of RR CV12 rebuilds (Piston A1 serves as a pen holder on my desk) and Ferret fluid flywheel seal replacement the skills needed in the world of IT and massive data management seem irrelevant, but they are not. Logical and considered thought combined with analytical skills were embedded by the apprentice master as we diagnosed the root cause of why the Bedford MK was blowing engine oil on the workshop floor via the exhaust pipe (early turbo version with failed seals). We walked the path, thinking things through before touching the spanners knowing that when we did the minimum number of bolts would be removed to fix the part. Same with computers and software really.

Learning a skill or a trade will always have crossover but this is completely overlooked by anyone looking from the outside. This lack of vision is indeed lamentable.

Do I miss the spanners? Short answer is 'yes' and thats in part why I am here. I read the restoration pages and love to see the antics of others rebuilding things. When the time is right things will come full circle and a piece of wheeled (tracked...please say tracked...you know you want it...) military history will be acquired, of that I'm sure. 

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Pete I hear what you are saying about technical training at school, I wish I could have benefited but it was not on offer. I became a licensed radio amateur receiving no help from school or the few radio amateurs I had briefly met. My journey was entirely self-training by reading, listening on the short wave bands, learning how to build things & take things apart, that gave me enough knowledge to pass the City & Guilds Radio Amateur's Exam in 1963.

At school there was a lot of emphasis on compulsory worship (as Prince Buster would say 7 days a week & twice on Sundays), compulsory sport &  compulsory military training. Generating a long term revulsion to these things, although there is a paradox here.

My first entanglement with military publications was to seek out the Combined Cadet Force Regulations 1955 & challenge the legal basis of being compelled to go on an annual camp & indeed my membership of the organisation that I deeply detested.

Little did I realise some many many decades later that publications such as that would be something that I would collect, to such an extent that I perhaps have one of the largest privately owned collections of British military  publications.

Just as well I wasn't forced to study the structure & management of these publications as that would presumably have really stunted any interest in them!

With very little automotive experience, whatever knowledge I have gained with MVs has been largely self-taught by having things go wrong. Although infuriating & depressing at the time, when enough things go wrong you gain  experience that you can pass onto others who mistakenly think you are knowledgeable! I've picked up lots of advice from others along the way, but also seen gaps or errors in available information/advice particularly in vehicle electrics. But there are always things to learn & great satisfaction to be gained in solving a problem for oneself or another enthusiast wherever they might be in the learning experience.

For a long time now radio amateur clubs have run courses to teach people how to become radio amateurs, the original concept of "self-training in wireless telegraphy" seems to have been lost. These days people want access to things straight-away, I think it would be quite unusual for someone to become licensed without having been on one of these, sometimes very short courses to obtain a rudimentary class of licence.

So there is in this modern ipad world the 'I want it now' with minimum effort view on everything in life & with the lack of inquisitiveness & manual dexterity many traditional hobbies will faire badly I fear.

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