Archive for May, 2010

Volo Car Museum Car Corral on Saturday

May 29, 2010

Every year the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois has a bring your ride in and sell it for free deal.  They call it a “Car Corral” and for the price of admission people can come in and not only tour the Museum and see all that it has for sale but see what people in the area also have on the market block.  They actually do this once in the spring and again in the fall.  I believe the fall one is in September, but check their web site to make sure for yourself.

I am an annual member of the Museum so for me to stop in and browse for an hour or two once a month is no big deal to me.  Unlimited visits and I try to get my children to follow in my footsteps a bit as far as having an appreciation for the Muscle Cars.  At the very least they have an awareness. 

 The area where I live in Lake County Illinois is a bit of a hot bed for these cars.  There are no fewer than 4 dealers of quality collectible cars in my vicinity.  I frequent each one of them several times a year.  The largest by far is Volo.  The types of cars you can find will run from 1900’s up to 2000’s.  So whether you are like me and a fan of the 60’s and 70’s iron or if you prefer the 50’s or the 80’s take some time and view their web site.

Some of the people whom I have spoken with thinks that the web sites for these collector car sites takes too much clicking and navigation and my only advice would be that you are not buying a television so it’s better to be thorough in the number of pictures on a website than just a one view click and go.  That being said, they all have their eccentricities and even I prefer one to another.  I am not going into my preferences because I want my eventual website to be “my perfect model”, and not used by someone else.

So the Car Corral goes Saturday and Sunday with Monday being a make up date in case of rain.

They expect 400 cars for the “sale” and judging by the 150 or so I saw on Saturday at 11:00 AM they will probably have that.  Sunday is to be the biggest day.  I will likely go again tomorrow, why not since it only costs my time.

The 1971 Mach I Mustang was for sale in the neighborhood of $20,000 and the Pinto Country Squire wagon was not priced, but should sell for under $10,000.  It was a real beauty if you like these little cars, which I do.  I do not know why, but the Pinto is a really cute car to me and the way it had those low sitting bucket seats for all 4 passengers was cool for its time.  And I know there was nothing fast or performance about the wagons or the Pinto’s in general, but they are still cool and there are not very many around anymore.

And then for around $30,000 there was a 1969 Firebird 400 Convertible.  Nice car in every way and a sweet summer ride for somebody.  It will probably be sold before I get back there tomorrow, but it’s not a car for me anyway.

The prices I am quoting here are my remembrances and I did NOT write down the actual prices so I am giving “Ball Park” ranges.  Don’t sue me if I am off a little…I am 52 years old and am lucky to remember where I live and can find my way back home some days.

I do not remember if the Bronze GTO was a 1970 or a 1971, so whichever it was, it is…but again it was a car for the $30,000 range, if you are interested.

The one thing I noticed when I was roaming through the lot was that there were NO great bargains.  These are cars that are individually owned and since summer is already here you would have to wait till the end of the season to get a real super buy on something.  That is when the car guys start thinking about having to pay 4 or 6 months storage for a car they don’t want or don’t need anymore and will let something go for less than the sentimental value.

Generally speaking the best prices are in the fall-winter seasons and higher prices will be the norm during months when you can take these cars out and enjoy them. 

Another of the vehicles I like that are not Muscle Cars are the Cadillac Allante.  They had 4 there and ranged in price from $12,000 up to mid $20,000.  Thats a lot of sporty convertible style and class for the summer and for not a lot of money.  There was a really sweet White 1992 that was $16,000.  Maybe I should surprise the wife and pick it up tomorrow for her.  In Illinois, car dealers cannot sell a car on Sunday, but an individual can, so……..who knows ?

Maybe it will depend on how I feel in the morning.

Davey Boy

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Major Screwup On My Part

May 22, 2010

Okay, Okay…..I admit it.  I dropped the ball.  My personal dream car for all these Muscle Cars that I promote and follow and rant and rave about is the 1971 Plymouth GTX.  Not with a 440 six-pack or with a hemi 426 but just a reliable 440 with a four barrel.  I want to actually be able to drive the thing and keep it running.  The four barrel carb is best suited for such things and provides massive amounts of power.  Add the fact that the 1971 is the first year of a rounded contour body style and WAS the ultimate Plymouth Muscle Car, and you see why I am a fan of it.  Save the B.S. because I know a Hemi Cuda is worth tons more.  And God save the second mortgage if it has a convertible top on it, but those cars would make me a nervous wreck just parking it in a shopping center lot for a local car show.  And despite what people tell you a Cuda cannot “hook” up like a long wheelbase car can when you really want to get serious about racing.

Anyway, the screw up on my part was in my assuming the car being auctioned at the Mecum Indy Auction would go for around $40,000 since they are usually sold for figures well North of that.

Instead, the powers that be made someone a very happy individual who purchased this particular vehicle for $19,500.

That would put it on par for cost with the “normal” price point of a 1967 or 1968 Mustang.  Granted a Mustang in pretty good shape but they made hundreds of thousands of Mustangs those years. 

And no Mustang had the street cred of the GTX unless you start talking Boss or the name Shelby.

There are some thing that may have contributed to the fact that this particular vehicle went for such a “low” price.  Obviously the main reason would be the right buyer was not in attendance.

Then there’s the fact that whomever was selling this car made it a “NO RESERVE” sale which means that it was being sold no matter what the final bid was.

And obviously it was not the only Mopar being sold.  There were many Hemi and 440 6-Pack vehicles being sold at the auction.  These tend to draw the attention.

And finally there was the interior that the GTX had in it.

While it is a very clean looking and newer interior, I am not sure it would be the correct “original” interior.  And while cool to look at, it might tend to get a little bit “gaudy” for the owners personal tastes after a while.  Still, the vehicle had the fender tag so finding the correct color and texture interior would not have been an issue for a collector other than maybe the time involved.  After all the interior vinyl would run maybe $1,200-1600 and at a price of under $20,000 someone could easily justify putting a couple grand into the vehicle to make it original.

So, anyway, I screwed up and will continue on my quest to look at Muscle Cars and work towards my goal of building an “Empire” one day. And the missed opportunity here will just be motivational fuel to be used with future encounters of other missed opportunities.  These combined will keep the fire alive within me.

Davey Boy

Auction Action In Indy Starts Wednesday

May 17, 2010

Well, another great auction starts up on Wednesday, May 19, 2010.  This is one of only a handful that starts in the middle of the week.  But, while you and I may find it hard to get to an auction during the week, this one would be one to try anyway if you are in the market.  First off, there will be fewer bidders for a Wednesday auction, or so one would think.  This auction is a Mecum Auction, once again.  As I have said before they put on a really good auction for car fanatics and they always have plenty of Muscle Cars.

Here is a unique car for those who think I show far too many of my Muscle cars.  It is a 1957 Bmw Isetta with a 4 speed trans and should be sold for around 20,000 dollars or so.  They are fun to see and while they are not known for speed or handling, another Isetta is the car Jaleel White (a.k.a. Steve Urkel) drove in the series “Family Matters”.

The Auction will take place in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  They are expecting over 1,700 vehicles to cross the block, so it will be one of the largest of the year.  Whether you are looking for a collectible vehicle or just a “special” vehicle it will probably be there.  Check their website for listing information before you drive to Indy to see.  The website would be  www.mecum.com and you can click to find the links from their main page.

Now this would be a Muscle Car.  It is of course a 1970 Buick GSX with the 455 cubic inch big block.  It is scheduled to go for sale on Wednesday so if you want it plan on being there early.

These were the ultimate Buick Muscle Car and as a Stage 1 equipped version will sell for upwards of 45,000 dollars, so bring your suitcase of cash as well.  A perfect example can sell for $100,000 if the right buyer is in the audience.  This one seems to be really close to perfect, but without actually seeing the car in person, I could not say for sure.

There are going to be a lot of Chevelles and 442’s and GTO’s also at this auction, so if you are a General Motors fan, get to Indy.

The 1969 Gto shown here is a nother nice street car that will get a lot of attention where ever you go.  This one happens to have the added benefit of being a convertible.  Very cool.

And then there is a really nice Chevelle SS396 that is an unusual Copper color.  This is a color you won’t find at most car shows or auctions.  But yet it actually looks very nice.  Excuse me if I am a little biased on Chevelle’s.And you can’t have a Muscle Car Auction or any Auction really without a few Mopars thrown in.  This would be a Plymouth Road Runner with the 383.  Hemi’s are too expensive to buy and maintain if you want to be able to drive the vehicle.  I recommend either the 440 or the 383.  Also stay away from vehicles with the multiple carbs.  Even the professional mechanics find it hard to keep those beasts running perfectly from time to time.  Six Packs are totally cool untill they get out of sync and you start flooding cylinders and running lean in others and then you have to pay the repair bills.Next we get to a 1972 Road Runner with a 440 and a big 4 barrel carb.  This is a good street combination and although it is a year late for the “Muscle Car” designation, still would be a real head turner for the street.  1972 engines were decompressed versions due to a federal law to comply with safety and smog rules.  But it will still smoke the tires and kick you back into the seat.

Then we get into a couple Hollywood cars that go up for sale.  For fans of the My Name Is Earl show you recognize the 1985 Subaru Brat and also Earl’s 1973 El Camino with the blue door and primed hood.  Did you know the Camino packs a 454 under the hood?  Also, it probably has one of the best service history’s of any 1973 El Camino, and is supposed to run perfect.

Anyway, these vehicles and more all go for sale on Wednesday, May 19th and then many others follow on the block through the week and the weekend.  The auction is also being broadcast on the Discovery HD channel on Cable and Satellite.

For now, have a GREAT DAY.

Davey Boy

Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Memories

May 9, 2010

Well, this blog is mostly about Muscle cars and past memories of them as well as current ones.  So this installment I have decided to stretch the boundaries and let my keyboard loose.

What better way to acknowledge Mother’s Day than to reminisce about why some of the ladies out there are mom’s.  I am referring to the back seats of these Muscle Cars that I like so much.  Ahhhh, the fond memories.

We begin with one of my favorites from the year 1970.  This would be a Chevelle.  Not just any Chevelle mind you.  I don’t want you thinking that I put minimum thought into this blog post.  This is the “convertible” version.  Most of the Muscle cars were not designed for rear passenger comfort and as such the activities of their owners in the back seat usually took some creative ingenuity.  The Chevelle was a large enough car to accommodate most of the teenage kids in the day but for those with really long legs there is the option of putting the top down for added “leg room”.  Be advised that this was not a well received move at the local drive in movie scene.

The guys who had the full sized Bonneville’s and Galaxie 500’s and even the Impala’s could lay claim to having roomier cars but somehow fast cars seemed to attract the “fast” girls and this was one of the most important reasons to have one.  Let’s be real about this.

The pony cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, Plymouth Barracuda, AMC Javelin and others may have been very fast in their day but had limited appeal for any extra curricular activities.  Especially after you had tried to have any such activities the first time.  But then again, being young means you are still flexible so this did not deter everyone.

Speaking of the Camaro here would be a 1967 example with a nice Deluxe black and white interior.  Almost looks like a formal “tuxedo” doesn’t it?

Reminds me of the Senior Prom.  Ahhh, sweet memories.

Then we get to the rear seat in a nice 1965 Pontiac GTO.  About as roomy as the Chevelle and the added benefit of having a convertible top as well, just like my Chevelle example.  When you park in the woods remember that the leaves fall off the trees in the fall, so prepare to have to vacuum the car interior in such a case as needed.

I like to give those helpful hints.  Remember I am a guy with years of experience with these cars and as such I do have many helpful hints and reminders.

One of those helpful hints would be to make yourself at home and always remember that being kind and helpful to your lady friends is always appreciated.

That being said, we come to the next picture.

A 1966 Mustang with a set of throw pillow in the rear seat.  Kind of says “get comfortable” and “I got plans”, all at the same time.  Just another hint for you kids today….If you show up to pick your date up with pillows or blankets in the back seat of your car, her Daddy will know what you got in mind so make sure that you have already met “Dad” and he’s already checked out your ride.  You don’t want him coming out of the house to check out your Muscle Car and finding camping gear or pajamas and a Teddy Bear in your back seat.  Slippers and a blindfold are also bad ideas.

Later Mustangs came with the option of a rear fold down seat.  This would be a 1972 version and previous versions had this available for the “Fastback” Mustangs but when they changed into the 1971 to 1973 models the rear seat got a huge center bump where the driveshaft tunnel went up the middle of the car.  It basically made the rear seat unusable for “date night”.  But with the fold down rear seatback, you were back in business.  And with the added leg room from being able to use the trunk space.  Nice.

Among the roomiest of the Muscle Cars were the Mopars like this 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner.  Nice big roomy and flat rear seats were the norm for most of them, with the exception of the afore-mentioned early Barracudas.  And just to rub it in, my final photo shows the back seat for all you Chevrolet Corvette owners.

Oh yeah, that’s right.  Corvettes did not have back seats and it wasn’t until 1982 that you could even raise the rear glass.  Tough break for “those guys”.

Anyway……..Happy Mother’s Day and many more for all you fine ladies out there.

Davey boy

Beyond Removing The Gloves

May 6, 2010

Okay, my last post ruffled a few feathers for a couple of my friends on Twitter.  And I personally apologize to SloppyMcCheese as my intent was to get the conversation going without alienating anybody who is doing their part to keep the Auto Hobby going.

That being said, now it’s time to really get this rolling……What the hell kind of brain damage convinces someone to take a $6000 vehicle and put tires and rims worth more than the car on it?   What kind of sense does this make?   A 2004 Ford Explorer is a fine vehicle to get you to work and home but when you put 22 or 24 inch tires and custom high-chrome rims or spinners it becomes a big JOKE.  Same goes to the Honda Civics with the low rider suspension and the wide low profile tires with custom chrome rims…..and then the little 3/4 inch exhaust pipe tells everyone you got show but no go.

This bring us to the whole Japanese mini-car B.S. like they are trying out for the next installment of the Fast and Furious…..please guy’s, spend half the energy finding a nice classic muscle car that can run the streets and every year it will become more valuable and as an added bonus, the chicks actually dig Muscle Cars.

Then we come to the NFL players and their “TOYS”.   Man, you guys need serious help.  Not all of you, mind you, but MOST OF YOU.  Shockey in Louisiana has a nice black Dodge Charger and there are others.  But if you nimrods think the Lexus SUV or the bigazz Hummer H1 with all the custom goodies will impress anyone other than the “hood rats”, you are mistaken.  You guys may want to kick my behind up and down the highway, and you certainly have the physical capabilities to do so– But first you gotta catch me.  And you ain’t gonna do that with the slow azz SUV’s and just try to sneak up on me with your Maybach or your Porsche Carrera.  LOL.  

Find someone you got in your local area to help you find yourself a sweet Muscle Car.   If you are in the Chicago, Illinois area, look me up and guess what?  I WILL NOT CHARGE YOU ANYTHING.  I can help you find the car of your dreams, or something that will be an investment that you will love and be proud of.  And I will do this because I want more people in the marketplace.  I want you high profile and high visibility dudes driving these cars.  Because like it or not- you guys are ROLE MODELS.   And the future generations need to get into the Muscle Cars and carry this thing for the next 40 or 50 years.

I would love to help you find 2 or 3 cars or even a dozen of them.  The more cars people are buying the more the value goes up and I will make money from playing the car market.  I ain’t looking to sell anybody a car I have because I do NOT have one to sell you anyway right now.  I want to see you not throw your money away on vehicles that cost thousands a year in depreciation and while you still need your ride to work and the grocery store or the next autograph session, don’t piss away your money trying to be cool in something any Yuppie or Stock Broker can drive.

Like I said, most of you NFL guys are on Twitter and I am dwayne1957……. Look me up……Just don’t kick my ass….I am trying to help.

Davey Boy

Time To Take The Gloves Off

May 4, 2010

While I am a Muscle car fan and some might even say fanatic…..I do not deny any of this.  But increasingly I get asked questions about this or that new car and why it’s better than any of my favored relics from the past.

The whole issue is this….There are NO Muscle cars being built in the current market and haven’t been since 1972.  No smog-controlled engine ever qualified in my mind or any one elses mind who judges these things.  To be a Muscle car it must have been offered with a BIG BLOCK engine. From the factory.  Rule number 1.

It also has to have more than 2 seats.  This eliminates the Corvette from the conversation as well as numerous European cars.  These are SPORTS cars.  A fine breed in their own right but not Muscle cars.

Since I mentioned European cars there is rule number 2– That is it has to be an American car made by an American manufacturer.  Unfair maybe, but then life has never been fair, otherwise we would never have had the Enron scandal, the financial meltdown or any of the dozen wars we have fought during our 200 plus years as a nation.

Rule 3– It is a vehicle made for the public and sold through the local new car dealers as a street driven car.  Like it or not a Muscle car was made to drive home and drive to work as well as taking it down your local dragstrip if you so desired.  You could drive it to the strip, run a few times and then drive it home.  It did NOT go onto the trailer to be hauled around like it was “special”.  Today that can and does occur with these rare machines, but it was not the intent when they were built.  They were not perfect.  Many had glaring flaws that meant sometimes you spent more time repairing it than driving it, but they were still more reliable than any Ferrari or Porsche in their day.  Save the hate mail, I was there during the time and that is a fact.  In the 1960’s and 1970″s the only European cars that were made to be driven every day would have been either a Mercedes or a Volkswagen.  Maybe a handful of others but certainly no European made Sports cars.  Save your tears BMW people…. during that time the 2002 was your idea of reliable transportation and as such was not really that reliable.  It wasn’t until later that some advertising guy came up with the slogan “THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE”.  Another sore point since it has never been ULTIMATE anything.  Either something for less money out performs it or something for more money out shines it.  At best while a perfectly fine automobile, the ego of calling yourself the ULTIMATE anything makes me think you must have personal deficiencies you are hiding.  Just call yourself the ADEQUATE DRIVING MACHINE and that would be fine.

And the Japanese were not anything except economy cars that sold based on their ultra low price and quality to match.

I had the opportunity to be a participant on The Roundabout Show Episode 31, and that was really a lot of fun, although I always feel like I am definitely behind the times when people talk about the new cars out there.  Believe me, I drive a newer vehicle, because that is the economical thing to do.  My beloved Muscle cars are no longer “Daily Drivers” for me or anybody else living in the real world.  They are now “Investment Vehicles” and as such are relegated to parades and shows and the occasional cruise around town, but definitely not getting their wheels driven off to the tune of 15 or 20,000 miles a year.  While I do not know a lot of “celebrity” people… the only person who uses a classic car for daily transportation would be John Mellencamp and he drives a 1957 Chevy wagon I believe.  But maybe we all would if we had his money.

Automobiles today that are being built show what 40 years of improvement can do for reliability and handling compared to the 1970″s models.  Nothing back then could compare to todays cars in many areas.  But never compare todays cars to those for power.  The difference was that almost every car made in that era was a beast for power and today that is saved for the few models that are meant for performance.  Even the lowly 225 Slant 6 from Dodge had 145 horsepower and that was the least powerful engine they built at Mopar.  On the plus side I believe it did have the same torque rating as the Dodge 318 V8.

Any way, here’s another blog post to keep this alive and maybe you have an opinion that doesn’t agree with mine.  If so, look me up on Twitter.  I am Dwayne1957.  I also do a few call ins with the different web casts out there to keep the arguments alive and while I am not a regular with any of them, some of them cringe when I call in because they never know what I will say.  I am not going to quote any company manifesto or kiss any corporate heinie…. and that makes me a risk sometimes.  Either way I also am entertaining when I try to be, and on Twitter I insult as well as inform so to follow me may mean dealing with my quirkiness.

Well, for now…..bye…..and instead of watching the damn TV all weekend, why not load up the family and take a drive somewhere this weekend?  Somehow I think the Planet can survive the exhaust fumes.

Davey Boy