New Investor’s -Here Is My Help On Picking A Car


  When I get asked the question of what someone should purchase for a first Muscle Car or investment grade collector car, I apologize to whomever asks the question.  The answer is one that is different for almost everyone and to give a proper answer I would need to ask you about a dozen questions just to get any clue for what would be your ideal car.

How mechanically inclined are you?  If you are a gifted mechanic with a garage full of tools and equipment then a project vehicle to build and put together yourself would be something to consider.  If you cannot change your own oil then you need something totally reliable and simple to operate.  If you are a normal person and fall somewhere in between these extremes then you would be suited for a vehicle that is already in road worthy condition and maybe needs a few finishing touches such as new carpet or seat covers, or maybe some exterior chrome replaced.

Next question would be what have you got to spend?  $20,000 or less and you can get a nice early pony car such as a Mustang.  Pick a straight 6 and you can get a convertible top.  Pick a nice 289 and you may find a fastback but odds are it would be the coupe.  The same money will get you a Cutlass with a 350 but not a 442.  Or a LeMans but not a GTO,  or a Skylark, but not a GS….although I have run across a few GS350’s with bench seats in the $20,000 range.

This 1969 Fury III shown here should also be a car in that price range.  With either a 383 or in this case a 440 for power it moves well for a large car and being a “fringe” Muscle car it is one of the least expensive Mopar models out there.

This 1966 Mustang with a 289 V8 and automatic trans is what the $20,000 can bring to you.

A 1969 Impala convertible with the standard 350 will also get you into a nice classic car but do not expect a SS Impala for $20,000.

So what if your price point is $30,000 ?  You now move into the territory for real choices in Muscle Cars.  A GTO or GS400, Chevelle SS396, Camaro, Mustang Mach I, and an occasional Mustang Shelby 350 with the 289.

Something like this 1965, maybe.  If you find the right-minded seller, that is.  There are also a few Mopars at the $30,000 range.  Cars like the Road Runner or the Charger or the Barracuda (not a ‘Cuda) or a Challenger.  Granted they won’t be Hemi cars and they won’t even be 440 vehicles.  But a 318 or the 340/360 are nice reliable powerplants and the body work is almost the same as their big block brethren, at least to anyone except the die-hard gear heads out there.  And a lot of the “clones” fall into this price point as well as some of the non numbers matching vehicles.

This nice numbers matching Camaro convertible with its 327 is probably in that range as well.  The sister vehicle to it a Firebird 400 would also be in that range.  Don’t expect to find too many SS396 Camaro’s or any early Trans Ams in this price point.

This 1970 Road Runner will probably be $35,000.  For the $40,000 price point you enter the realm of cars like a 442 and can even find convertibles for the money.

This 1971 Oldsmobile 442 convertible is an example of the type of car in the $40,000 range.  The GS 455 is also a great vehicle that can be bought for $40,000.  Certain options and engine combinations may be off your list but for the most part even my beloved Chevelle SS454 can be had.

Since I always have Chevelle in my blog posts I decided to show an interior photo for this one.  It is what the interior of a 1970 SS454 Chevelle would look like.  Buckets are a premium over bench seat and the floor mounted “stapler” shifter is also, but still available in the $40,000 price point.  Working air conditioning or even an air condition equiped model may be harder to find.

Remember that unless you are mechanically inclined you do NOT want to deal with multiple carburetor engines or engines that have been heavily modified for added horsepower.  Sticking with stock power plants also helps keep the cars value.

Speaking of value, the big question people ask is what will be the big value cars to hold onto for the next 5 years ?  The answer is if I knew, I’d have 10 of them sitting in storage right now.  There are several cars that are under valued right now and we can get into those…….in my next blog.

And in case you were wondering, every one of these cars shown in this blog are for sale at the next Mecum Auction in July over in Des Moines, Iowa.

Davey Boy

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2 Responses to “New Investor’s -Here Is My Help On Picking A Car”

  1. Your Garden Says:

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