What will be the hot military items in 2009? I am no Nostradamus, but I will put my neck out and make a few predictions:
1. In military vehicles, lots of WWII jeeps will be hitting the market. Two factors will cause this: The failing economy will force many to part with superfluous toys. Those that bought their Jeeps at the right of the OD rush of the late 1990s will be in for a shock…prices have settled back down and a fully restored GPW or MB sells for $10-$15K instead of the $15-$18K of the last few years. The other factor is the “aging of the hobby”. Many of us are getting up in years and maintaining a GPW or MB is not as enjoyable as it once was. M151s are easier for old guys to drive, so many are considering trading in the OD for the Semi-Gloss.
2. Early slat grilles and GPs will continue to hold value but not as many will go to non-U.S. buyers as in the past couple of years.
3. Prices of large, softskin MVs will be dropping a bit. Due to high fuel costs, demand for large MVs has seriously declined. Simple economics here: Supply is the same, but demand goes down equals lower prices to make the sales.
4. Civil War market will continue to remain flat. Until dealers realize that the one-time crazy days of early ebay are gone and that common relics like cartridge boxes, belt plates and canteens aren’t selling for what they once did, the Civil War market will continue to stagnate. Like all markets, quality identified items will hold their value and actually climb. The common stuff, though, is going to fall in price if people actually want to move the items.
5. Common German WWII items will have a boost in value. This will be a direct result of the new book, Deutsche Soldaten by Augustin Saiz. It will do for German WWII collecting what GI Issue did for U.S. WWII collecting.
6. The Stolen Valor Act will rear its head again. The legislation was never altered from its original anti-collecting stance. It is just waiting for a zealot to employ it against collectors.
7. Vintage Class III weapons like Thompsons, MP-40s and MG-08s will experience a value spike. Factors behind this include an ever-decreasing supply and a less-than-friendly-to-firearms administration. Hang on to your Chauchat, boys…it’s gonna be worth more by the end of the year.
8. Collecting ordnance will gain a wider audience. As the likelihood of owning an 81mm mortar or a 75mm field gun becomes less for the average collector, they are going to turn to collecting the projectiles. The variety is wide, the cost is low—the perfect ingredients for collecting enthusiasm.
9. Military collectors will buy more books than usual. This isn’t so much a prediction, but rather, a trend that I have seen during previous economic downturns. A bad economy usually means that folks are spending less on their collection but turn to magazines and books to satisfy their desires. It should be a good year for publishers. It will also be a good year for readers, because writers and advanced collectors will be settling down to complete long-overdue research projects attention to serious writing.
10. And finally, my most “out there” prediction for 2009? A new web site will emerge for military collectors to buy and sell. As ebay moves away from being collector friendly, a new medium for buying and selling military relics will emerge and gain the strength and confidence of the hobby. I don’t know what that site is, but I am certain several will attempt to fill the role and by the end of 2009, one will have emerged as the obvious new choice for serious collectors.
That is all I see in the crystal OD ball right now. I would be curious to read what other soothsayers might predict to be hot military collectibles in 2009. Use our “comments” section below to make your own predictions for 2009 or to share your views on the ones I have made.
Military Trader & Military Vehicles Magazine