Archive for December, 2013

Where I Have Been And Why I Am Back

December 26, 2013

1970-Ford-Mustang convertAs 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.

1986-Pontiac-Trans-Am 305 ttop 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.

1971-Dodge-Demon-GSS 340 tripower 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.

70 Torino 351 4v convertible 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.

Davey Boy

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Expanding The Hobby and What Needs To Be Done To Save Collector Vehicles As a Business

December 23, 2013

ImageImageAs the photo from the January 2008 Gooding Auction in Arizona depicts, the “Collector Car Hobby” is decidedly an “Old Caucasian Guy Hobby”.  Therein lies the problem.  Whether anyone likes it or not, and despite claims to the “increasing” health of the  hobby of “Collector Vehicles”; there needs to be fresh blood or the “hobby” will eventually die.  That is because the hobbyists are eventually going to die and as every auction has shown the heirs seem to be more interested in “cashing in” than they are in continuing the legacy that was started.

While everyone in the “hobby” dreams of finding that million dollar car that puts them on the map as a collector, most simply collect cars that mean something to them personally.  The Auctions that come every January in Arizona are big draws for buyers as well as the casual fan of the “Old Cars”.  But those over priced multi million dollar Ferrari’s and the like are not helping to draw anyone new into the hobby.  A first time buyer sees the auctions on their Cable ( or Satellite ) Television feed and thinks these are what the “hobby” is all about.  The truth is they amount to very little in actual count.  There are somewhere around 10,000 cars a year that are run through “major” auctions and few draw the million dollars you see on television.

Average prices are closer to the $50,000 mark and even that is a steep price for admission to the hobby for a first time buyer.  I don’t have a solution to the problem of getting new people into the hobby, except to say the way to grow the hobby is to bring in a bigger demographic for your base.  That means “minorities”.  Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, any minority.  The Rappers and “Hip/Hop” artists seem to be into flashy big dollar vehicles that are new and the “Pro Athletes” are as well.  Most Hispanics in my area are into vehicles that cost much less than the $50,000 for an average auction vehicle.  I cannot count the number of $2000 cars I see daily with $3000 worth of rims and tires on them.  Hispanics who are into cars still want “flash” but are on a budget it seems.  The 1972 Ranchero with it’s 351 is a great choice for a vehicle with “Hispanic Appeal”.  There are “Rappers” who are into cars as well.  Snoop Dogg comes to mind with his Bonneville convertible and for athletes we have Reggie Bush with his Shelby Mustang to name 2 off the top of my head, but there is a serious shortage of “Color” in the collector ranks.  And that needs to change.

I would like to partner with someone who belongs to a “minority” to put a new “face” on the hobby and bring this “Collector Car Business” to a whole new level.

davey boy

Again With The Auctions

December 9, 2013

ImageThose who have read posts from me before know I am a fan of Mecum Auctions.  Their just completed Kansas City Auction sent many reasonably priced vehicles to new homes.  Those who have read my posts also know I prefer to deal more with “fringe” vehicles rather than “popular” Muscle Cars.  The reason is simple.  Instead of forking out $50,000 or more for a single car, I can find 3 or 4 to buy with that amount of money.  And to be honest, a 1971 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler with a 429 CJ is as quick as a Chevelle SS 454 from the same year with the average driver behind the wheel.

The 1969 Dodge “flat-nose” pickup shown is not close to being a “Muscle Car” but is still a very good “Collector Vehicle” with a large following and for the mere $5750 spent for its bid price, the new buyer should have enough cash left to repair or replace it’s needed interior.  It did have a 318 V8 engine with a 3 speed manual transmission for some pep…. most common for the vans and the van/trucks during this era were straight 6 cylinder motors.

1972 ford econoline 100 super van- $ 4250Another “flat nose” would be this 1972 Ford Econoline 100 Super Van.  It had the aforementioned 6 cylinder with a 3 speed manual transmission and for the $4250 winning bid its new owner can afford to get a nice “Hippie Van Mural” paint job done on it as well as the shag carpeting and 12 volt mini-fridge.  You simply do not find a lot of older vans still running around even at “Car Shows” anymore.  Somewhere there needs to be a “Restorer Shop” that still cranks out “Hippie Van Conversions” for those of us who still appreciate them.  Maybe there still is on the West Coast.

1965-Plymouth-Sport-Fury- $ 12000 1966 Mustang conv. floodcar-$ 13500 1966-Ford-Mustang-$ 9750Then we have a trio of interesting vehicles.  The red Plymouth Sport Fury with a V8 engine went for $12,000 despite being a convertible and also being a Mopar.  They tend to go for twice that amount and that is when they are in a lot worse condition as well.  This one with its decent paint and new convertible top should be valued in the $30,000 neighborhood.

The “Powder Blue” 1966 Mustang Convertible had a 289 under the hood and went for $13,500 which was not a bad price even for a car that had been in a flood.  The 1966 models did not have the extensive electronics we have today so minimal damage should have occurred to the vehicle.  Early Mustang convertibles usually run in the low $20,000 range due to the fact there are so many still around.  During the 1965-1966 model years the Mustang was the best-selling convertible in America in fact.

The red 1966 Mustang went for $9750 with its 289 V8 and automatic transmission which is about $6000 less than its value in most areas of the United States.  Again this is because they built 607,568 total 1966 model Mustangs.  First thing to change on this one would be to return to the stock 14 inch tires and rims and get rid of those 17 inch ones.

1991-Cadillac-AllanteThe final entry for this post would be this 1991 Cadillac Allante which sold for $4750.  Even missing its hardtop this car values in the $12,000-16,000 range and with a hardtop can fetch close to $20,000.  Hardtops can be found for around $2000 and paint it for another $600.

So basically for the price of that $60,000 big block Chevelle, here are  6 vehicles with potential to double your money on and that is something the Chevelle will take years to do.  But none of these can outrun the Chevelle…… even with a bad driver.

Davey Boy

Absent and Off The Rails

December 1, 2013

1971 Mustang Mach 1 Limegreen

Despite the larger size in appearance, the 1971 Mustang only gained 1 inch in it’s wheelbase.  While looking much bulkier than it’s previous incarnation, it was Ford’s attempt to bring the Mustang into the actual “Muscle” class and out of the “Pony Car” class that was named for it.  Length went up slightly more than 2 and a half inches as well and width gained just over 3 inches.  All this added 50 pounds of weight as well compared to the 1970 version.  Base price went up only $4.  The catch was that the 351 Windsor with it’s 2 barrel carb as the base engine was now replaced by the 302 with a 2 barrel.  This meant a loss of 40 horsepower in base model configuration.  Horsepower was down slightly on most engine options but the former Boss 429 engine with its 375 horsepower was now an engine option instead of a special model vehicle.  While not named as a “Boss 429” it still carried the formers 375 horsepower when optioned with the Ram Air option.  The base 429 without Ram Air chimed in at 370 horsepower as well.  The trick model for 1971 was the Boss 351 which due to gearing changes and lower weight was actually the quickest Mustang to date….with only a claimed 330 hp.  The Boss 351 was a much better handling car for the street as well without all the added weight over the front wheels creating push when attempting to turn around corners.

1971 Torino Mediumgreen

The other “news” for Ford for 1971 was the Falcon/Fairlane/Torino conglomeration was now cleaned up into the Torino model.  Sales dropped to only a few hundred less than the Chevrolet Chevelle model but would rebound for 1972 and outsell the Chevelle by over 100,000 units.  The Torino offered most of the Mustangs engine choices and with it’s longer wheelbase was a true midsize vehicle at the time and therefore a full fledged “Muscle Car” when properly equipped.

I realize it has been a while since writing for the blog here but time has been scarce for me and other business ventures have taken priority.  I hope to get things sorted out and return to more timely contributions in the future.  In the meantime, keep the faith and most of all…. enjoy life.

daveyboy