2010 – Mecum Returns to Kansas City

  For those who may be new to the idea of buying a classic Muscle Car, I am picking a few cars that should sell for around $20,000 and could possibly go a little higher.  But based on the current economy and what recent auctions have done, I feel the at the $20,000 ceiling should be adequate.  The blue car here is a 1968 Mustang with a 289.  This vehicle makes for an excellent starter car due to the fact that with over 2 million Mustangs built during the Muscle Car era, parts are plentiful and inexpensive compared to most of these “dinosaurs”.

Mustangs are small in size and fun cars to drive and even a little V-8 can really perk them up.  The 289 is the engine that later became the 302, or as commonly known today the 5-0.

The light blue convertible would be a 1965 Mustang.  Once again it has the 289 and this one is also a convertible so top down wind in the hair enjoyment comes with the price.  Early Mustangs are plentiful, so even though a convertible can double or triple the price of the average collector car, that rule does not apply to Mustangs.  Expect no more than $25,000 to become the owner of this little gem.

You never know if a collector is looking for a specific car in a particular color so should any of you actually try buying a vehicle I show here, remember my pricing should be used as a guide and if bidding goes crazy your best bet is to pass on the car, because the prices I quote are realistic.  Most collectors will end up overpaying for a car that they deem special to their collection, and they usually do not buy cars to sell them right away so if they end up $10,000 over value, they know they will make that back eventually.

The next car is a 1968 Pontiac LeMans with the 350 engine.  Once again it is a convertible.  Most people use the LeMans to build GTO clones and trying to find one in good condition that hasn’t been converted or relabeled as such can be difficult.

As a rule the LeMans would go for around 15-18,000 dollars. In Hardtop form.  A convertible can tip the $20,000 range.  This one should end up around $26,000 as a maximum.

Anyone who has read my blog postings would know that I have the utmost respect for the Chevrolet Nova due to its tremendous performance potential.  This blue beauty is a 1968 with a 350.  The owner has invested $30,000 in it to bring it back to what you see here.  The shame is he won’t get that back.  His overdoing it will become someone else’s prize.  With the 350 it won’t pull wheelstands but then it is plenty of engine to pull this little car around town on cruise night in the summer.  And the 350 from Chevrolet has probably more aftermarket parts than any engine ever made, so keeping it running will not be an issue.  Expect a top price of $24,000, and really it could end up around $20,000 even.

The white car is of course a 1970 Cutlass Supreme from Oldsmobile.  These like the LeMans usually end up being cloned into real Muscle cars.  In the case of a Cutlass that would mean labeling it as a 442.  Unlike the GTO this entails more than just buying badges.  The Supreme would not be a body that lends to cloning since it used the square top rear quarters, whereas the 442 used the rounded top “S” rear fenders, except for the convertible versions (they used the Supreme body).

Still the Cutlass and the LeMans and the Buick Skylark as well as the Chevrolet Chevelle were arguably the best looking intermediates built during the era.  All used 350’s from their division as a base V-8 and you could option a big block 400 and later years the 455 or 454 engines.

The 350 with a 4 barrel carb smoked the tires.  The 400 roasted the tires.  The 454 and 455’s just plain spun the tires untill the rear end was used up or the driveshaft broke free from under the car.  While Chevrolet and Pontiac tried marketing towards the young crowd, the Oldsmobile and Buick vehicles mentioned here were more the “Gentleman’s” Hot Rod.  And many people mistakenly thought that they were not as potent.  This Cutlass should go for around $20,000 with a top run of about $26,000.

An American Motors Javelin with the 360 is next on the page.  This is a 1971 model.  One does not normally think of AMC as a muscle car company, but during the 1960’s and early 1970’s, all the American car company’s with the possible exception of Cadillac and Lincoln had a model or two at the minimum for performance minded consumers.  The Javelin was the basis for the AMX which was basically a shortened Javelin with no back seat.  AMC also had the Rebel “Machine” which eventually morphed into the Ambassador (not the Coupe).  AMC did not sell the volume of cars that the Big 3 of Detroit did, so their engines and transmissions were a lot of times versions of Ford or Chrysler products.  This makes parts compatibility possible but some of the engines do not share parts with their more popular brethren.  Check for parts match if you want to build up an AMC.  Because of this the AMC performance models do not have the higher price tags of their competitors.  This beauty should sell for $24,000 at best.

Then we come to what could surprise even me.  A 1972 Dodge Dart Demon with the 340 engine.  Beautiful car with a bucket seat interior and the Mopars are among the hottest cars from the Muscle Car Era.  They set records every year with the original Hemi engines monsters.

This is not one of those and should sell for a reasonable $26,000 or less since it is a 1972.  Technically the Muscle Car Era ended with the 1971 Models, but Mopar still was offering 440 engines and performance packages into the late 1970’s when their Corporate mandate was to use the 400 cubic inch “Lean Burn” engine as its top choice except for trucks and vans.

Well hopefully this will give someone a little help with getting into the Muscle Car Hobby.  All these cars will be in Kansas City for the Mecum Auction and it starts TOMORROW.

Kind of short notice, but that’s how it goes sometimes.  I apologize to everyone for not doing a report on here for a while, but hopefully I will have time to give more timely, regular blogs in the future. 


Davey Boy


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2 Responses to “2010 – Mecum Returns to Kansas City”

  1. John Mullan Says:

    Back in High school I had a 1970 Olds Cutlass Convertible rocket 350 chevy blue white top white int. But it had a 4 speed tranny. Have looked around but never sen another like it. And the history says they came with 3 speed or auto only. Was it rare or are they out there

    • americanmusclecar Says:

      The standard trans for entry level F-85 and Cutlass models would have been a 3 speed column mount manual transmission. The Automatics being the GM 350 and 400 series would have been options as well as a 3 speed manual floor shift manual. The 4 speed trans were used being codes M-20 and M-21 and also a M-22 heavy duty unit. These could be optioned in virtually any model Cutlass but some required package or additional equipment to be ordered as well. Without more info on your particular car I would assume it to be a M-20 unit but not enough info to be sure. The Convertible body was based on the Cutlass Supreme body and the 4-speed trans would have been a rare option. Most recieved the GM-350 auto. Hope this helps.
      Davey Boy

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