As an “Internet Journalist” I have the opinion that people want to hear what I have to say. Now that does not mean you have to agree with me. And it certainly does not mean you need to hang on every word I say or follow along with any of my business practices. What it does mean is that I feel there is something I have to share and to enrich you or the automotive community as a whole.
This being said, the internet is full of companies claiming to give a journalist the platform to share his or her opinions with the promise of actually getting paid for it. The problem is those companies all seem to be blowing smoke when they make their claims. They want you to be a member for months and months before you qualify for payment then they give mere pennies while they rake in dollars. Typical B.S. for today’s society yet sooner or later it all comes to light and those Multi-Million or Multi-Billion Dollar companies end up being worth the mere pennies they pay out and the only person who makes money is the guy who started the business and then sold out to “Investors” who now own “Toilet Paper”. The actual “authors” move on to the next new deal and keep plugging away. To them it is the words that drive them not the profit. In the collector vehicle business the money is in the cars and the concepts behind buying and selling and even restoring them, not in writing about how it was done.
Enough of my rants and ramblings and onto the subject of discussion. The New Year is almost upon us and January means the “Auction Season” is here. As I have stated in the past… to most it means Arizona but to me it means Florida. The hype and “show biz types” tend to go local and stay in Arizona since it is in their area of the country. That is fine with me because there are more cars and more bargains in Florida at the Mecum Auction. This has grown to become the “Largest Auction” of the year with around 3000 cars crossing the auction floor. And that number is still climbing every year. The 1970 Mustang Convertible shown is up for sale this year. Even with its 302 V8, it makes a nice summer driver.
Also crossing the block will be this 1986 Pontiac Trans Am with its 305 “tuned port” V8. These vehicles and ones from its era are gaining traction as “Collector Cars” due to the fact that in most states they are now “emission-exempt”. That means you are now able to retune or replace the engine without needing to install catalytic converters or smog devices. Despite the 200 to 300 horsepower available from “factory versions” of these, you can now legally get 400 plus from the GM small block V8′s without spending more than the value of the car. The added benefit of using this car over its 1960′s or 1970′s counterpart is that you gain better handling for the street or the track in stock form. You also get vastly improved brakes with discs VS. drums (for earlier versions). Third reason and most importantly for “new” collectors is that this car can be bought for around $10,000 in most parts of the country versus $20-30,000 for a “Bandit Trans Am” or even $50-60,000 for a first generation T/A.
Then for the “hard-core gearheads” we get to a vehicle that probably represents a “Last Hurrah” for the Muscle Car Era. This is a 1971 Dodge Dart Demon GSS. The GSS designation is due to it being sold and equipped through “Grand Spaulding Dodge” which was better known as “Mr. Norms” dealership. Mr. Norm was a “Muscle Car Icon” during the time of the Muscle Car Era and vehicles left his dealership with certified “dynamometer” papers to show what they were putting out in the power department. He was the driving force behind several of Mopars “enhanced” models. Because of the fact his dealership would drop a bigger V8 into your new car even if the factory didn’t offer it, he was also a driving force behind the “Horsepower Wars” of the 1960-70′s. This particular car has the “Six-Pack” setup on its 340 cid engine. And because it is a Mopar with “history” it will probably sell for serious cash and deservedly so.
Final car for this post is this 1970 Ford Torino Convertible. It retains its 351 Cleveland engine and 4 barrel carburation just as it left the factory with. The Torino does not get the following of the Mustang but it was Fords true “Muscle Car” representative. It was a midsize vehicle and every power option was available for it that Ford offered up to and including the 428 and 429 Cobra Jet engines. Add a top that comes down and for around half of what a Oldsmobile 442 hardtop or Buick GS 455 hardtop will cost you.
So while these are only 4 of the 3000+ cars waiting to run through Mecums January Auction, they represent a wide range of what is out there. Happy bidding.