Archive for May, 2014

Indianapolis Auction Over- Final Notes

May 19, 2014

Image Okay, so maybe it is the “Anti-Muscle Car” but this 1959 BMW Isetta sold for a very respectable $33,480.  Normally these go for closer to the $25,000 price point.  This one had what was called the “Deluxe” front door and both a rear outside luggage rack and an interior luggage rack behind the “bench seat”.  You may have heard/read me referring to these as “Urkell-Mobiles” before in reference to the Steve Urkell character from the TV show.

Image This beauty with its “Piranha Grille” would be a 1950 Buick Roadmaster Convertible and with its original 320 cubic inch Straight 8 cylinder engine and Auto transmission sold for a cool $96,000.  Considering its immaculate appearance, and original equipment this will go up in value in the coming years very nicely.  Wire wheels, and those “Gangster White walls” only add to its great style.

Image Similar in style was this 1949 Buick Roadmaster 4 door.  Since it was a 4 door, the price drops.  Despite having the same engine, and having went through a restoration 5 years ago, this one sold for a bargain to its new owner.  $13,000 took it home.  Plus sales commission.  Style and desirability are always the driving force for collectors and they pay accordingly.  For the seller this was a big loss dollar wise but it makes room for the next vehicle in their garage.

Image For the same $13,000 someone bought this 1972 Ford Mustang with its 351.  This particular vehicle had the somewhat rare “Q Code” 4 barrel edition under the hood which was the top dog for 1972 with a rating of 266 horsepower.  The previous year the “Q code” was the Boss engine and put a net 330 at the pavement.  Even the “M” engine for 1971 had a better 285 rating.  The drop in compression was very evident for the end of the “Muscle Car Era”.

Just to update previous picks from the auction……

The Blue 1970 Superbird failed to find a buyer even though the bid went up to $250,000.   Another (Yellow) 70′ Superbird did sell for $145,000 with a 440/375 hp engine under the hood however.  I think the seller should have turned the “Blue” one over to a new owner, but what do I know?

Also the Metallic Black 1969 GTO I listed previously did not sell despite a high bid of $35,000.  And the yellow “Split-Bumper” Z28 was pulled from the sale, possible a sale before the gavel, but I am not sure.

Davey Boy

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Quick Update

May 14, 2014

ImageFor those who tell me I rarely follow-up on my posts here is an update on recent writings.  The Mecum Auction is underway and while still far from over there have been a couple of vehicles to cross the block of note.  First would be this 1972 Oldsmobile 442 with its original 455 W30 package.  Prior years were the top performance vehicle you could buy in an Oldsmobile Dealership.  The 1972 could also be said the same thing despite being less “performance” than it’s predecessors due to the regulated compression loss for model year 1972.  This was the final year for the body style and this vehicle had the bucket seat interior and was quite nice as far as condition.  Most fans of the 442 view the 1970-1972 the best looking of the 442 lineage.  This car sold for $22,500.  That equates to less than half what a 1971 442 with a W30 package would cost.  They routinely run upwards of $80,000 in this kind of condition.

The 1966 Fairlane 500 with its 289 listed in an earlier post sold for a very reasonable $14,000 which is well under what the value should be.  Nice purchase for someone.  The 1971 Red Corvette Convertible got a high bid of $10,000 and did not sell. The deal with any auction is that you need the right buyer for a vehicle or nobody will sell anything.  Same deal with the  Green 1967 Dodge Coronet with the “Hemi Hood” which with a high bid of $12,000 was well under what anyone would sell this car for.  Check previous posts for pictures of these 2 since I see no need to repost photos.

ImageA pleasant surprise would be this 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible.  With its original 289 V8 engine it sold for a respectable $27,000.  While you would imagine an original Convertible should sell for slightly more you need to realize that the 1965 Mustang sold 559,451 units with 73,112 being convertible versions.  Add in the “1964 1/2” production of 126,538 with its 28,833 convertible copies and you have one of the few convertibles ever sold in excess of 100,000 copies.  Normally early Mustang convertibles run closer to $22,000.  Not outrageous but this shows where the market is headed and it is UP !

ImageMakes me curious where this 1971 Chevrolet Camaro “Split Bumper” RS/Z28 with its 350 small block will end up.

ImageOr better yet this 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge with its 400 cubic inch Ram Air 4 intake and 4 speed manual transmission.  Only thing better would be if it had the 455.

Davey Boy

 

 

 

Still Kicking Tires

May 12, 2014

1967 coronet 440 ci This 1967 Dodge Coronet with its 440 cubic inch engine should be a fairly desirable car at Mecums Indianapolis Auction.  The only visual knock against the car would be the “Hemi Scoop” on the hood when it does not have a Hemi under the hood.  Such things seem picky but for what Mopars routinely sell for even at Auction, the seller would have been better off with a correct hood.  Why spend $300 for a scoop when the buyer will discount a couple hundred because it has it?  Indianapolis is billed as the “Largest” Auction not just for Mecum but for “Collector Car Auctions” in general.  There have been times when the January Kissimmee, Florida Auction has actually moved more cars however.  Generally Mopars are among the highest value vehicles as far as American Muscle Cars are concerned, with the top prices being the 426 Hemi vehicles in particular.

1970 Superbird 440 commando Special vehicles such as this 1970 Plymouth Superbird for example represent the top of the mountain when it comes to cars from the “Muscle Car Era”.  This particular vehicle only has a 440 engine, however it was prepped for use by the EPA for running 100 mph+ down a runway to “sniff exhaust fumes” from jet aircraft during takeoffs.  People who know the history of engines from the “Era” know that from a standstill the 440 actually accelerates faster than the 426 Hemi.  It is only towards top end that the Hemi’s added horsepower pays off with higher speed.  Add the fact that the Superbird was more refined than the 1969 Dodge Daytona winged car, and had better finish quality and this becomes the “Winged Car” you want in your garage.  You also have to love the fact that Plymouth put simple “Dog Dish” hub caps and a “Vinyl Roof” on their top line Muscle Car.   SWEET indeed.

1971 corvette 350 This 1971 Chevrolet Corvette is technically not a Muscle Car, but rather as Chevrolet labeled it a “Sports Car”.  The fact it has 2 seats and no rear passenger area would be the requisite detail for that to collectors.  The other “drawback” is that although a convertible, it has a 350 cubic inch small block engine.  In 1971 there was an option to get up to the 454 big block engine in the Corvette.  Substantially more power from a substantially bigger engine.  Should you be in the market for a Muscle Car, do not be fooled by lower horsepower ratings on 1971 models compared to their 1970 counterparts.  The rating system changed from “gross horsepower” which was rated at the flywheel for 1970 compared to “net horsepower” which was rated at the rear wheels for 1971.  The 1972 model year was the big drop in horsepower because of federally mandated drop in engine compression.

These vehicles and a couple thousand more will be sold at Indianapolis in the Mecum Auction during the several days.  Get your checkbooks out and “Happy Shopping”.

Davey Boy

Indy Auction Set To Start

May 12, 2014

ImageThis 1969 Pontiac GTO with its 400 cubic inch V8 and 4 speed transmission goes on the block at this months Mecum Auction in Indianapolis.  With one repaint it should be a relative bargain for its new owner.  The knock against it for authenticity is the fact it has Metallic Black paint which was not yet created in 1969.  That would first show up on Dodge pickup trucks in the future.  Pontiac vehicles are even more collectible now that Pontiac has ceased to exist as a “Manufacturer”.

For some time now I have been trying to create a “Collector Car Mega Store”, and while not to any success so far, I continue on the mission. All while Banks pay return on your cash of 1 to 2 percent and act as if they are doing you a favor.  The stock market continues to churn your investments to buy newer and better homes for your broker.  Gold and silver continue to rise and fall and even your real estate has been plowed under in its value.  The lone survivor in investing continues to be “collector vehicles” overall.

ImageCars such as this 1971 Plymouth ‘Cuda with its 426 Hemi and 4 speed pistol grip equipped transmission are the “Holy Grail” for collectors. The engine and transmission combo make for a 1 of 56 combination for the year of production.  Total production for Barracuda/’Cuda in 1971 was a mere 18,690 to start with.  That makes it low volume to start with.  Add the expense of $1082 to the $3,155 base price and you see why few selected the Hemi engine.

The “Collector Hobby” has had its downturn and while new records continue to be set at auctions, there are plenty of vehicle to make money on.  The ability to routinely make money on buying and selling is all in knowing what to buy and where the market is headed.  My assessment is with the proper inventory and level of investment you can make a “Return On Investment” somewhere in the 25% range.  That is “NET” return before taxes and after paying your overhead, salaries, cost of inventory, insurance, and the actual cost of the building.  Between sales, servicing, restoration, consignment sales and other revenue sources the potential is there to even exceed that number given time to establish the business.

ImageEven this 1966 Fairlane 500 with its 289 and automatic transmission is a sought after “Collector Vehicle”.  While a GT or GTA version may be worth $20,000 and up the base model can still draw $15,000.  All in a car that stickered for around $2,500 when sold new.

So as it says in my “description”…… “INVESTOR NEEDED”

Davey Boy

Time Vs. Desire

May 7, 2014

Pontiac Woodie Wagon 1946 Streamliner 008 My time has been spent on restoring project vehicles and doing various car related matters that while unimportant for the global scale of life, they are very important to me.  Vehicles such as this 1946 Pontiac Streamliner Woodie Wagon with its original “Straight 8” engine and also original 3 speed manual transmission.  To someone who struggles to put food on their family’s table this may be just another waste of money, but to true “Car People” this represents the pinnacle of an era.  This was the station wagon sold after the end of World War 2.  Automobile production was halted and car company’s turned production to making vehicles such as Tanks, Half-Tracks, Jeeps and even Airplanes because the steel was needed for the military.  Every person in America was forced to support the “War Effort” through their employment, material rationing and even food rationing in America.  Today we cannot agree on even who the enemy is much less how to deal with them.  The end of the war brought back the American Car Manufacturing juggernaut to full production and also brought the advent of the “Japanese Auto Industry” as well.

America is and has been the only Nation to go to war with other countries and rebuild them back to better-than-before economic status after beating them into submission.  Today we routinely turn our backs on “American” cars and buy Japanese, German, and Italian vehicles.  These were all countries we helped put back on their feet after WW II.  Former enemies and now valued allies.  Times change.  At least here in America.  In other countries not so much.  Their domestic auto makers enjoy much more loyalty from their own countrymen.  French people are biased towards French vehicles -Germans buy German cars- Italians buy Italian cars and so on.  Not 100%, but to a much greater extent than here in America.

69 impala convert  By 1969 when Chevrolet had this Convertible Impala sitting in their dealer showrooms, the writing was on the wall.  Volkswagen Beetles were major sellers in America and the Japanese Honda Civics, Datsun 210 (now Nissan), Toyota Corolla and countless other foreign car makers were taking hold of the United States car market.  At first it was all based on price.  Cheaply made vehicles for less than domestic vehicles.  American car makers actually helped with this by buying minority stakes in foreign car makers to provide themselves with rebadged versions of small more efficient models to sell.  The problem was the “student” became smarter than the “teacher”.  They kicked our ass at our game.  And they got bigger and bigger.  Then they started working on their quality issues and building their cars better.  More durable, stronger, better fit and finish, more powerful.  Several factors helped speed the takeover.  Oil embargos and fuel shortages meant people had to find more efficient vehicles and that played into the hands of the Japanese who built smaller cars.  Arrogance from American car makers helped as well.  The upstarts were brushed aside while Detroit thumped its chest and turned out literally millions of shoddily assembled and poorly designed vehicles.  By the time Detroit realized the gravity of the situation the damage was done and Americans no longer cared where their cars came from.  That may be an understatement, since a large percentage actually had a bias FOR the foreign car manufacturers.

91 Allante  By 1991 the Cadillac Allante was the pinnacle of luxury. It used a foreign designed and built body shipped here from Italy and final assembly was done by adding the drivetrain and other parts such as interior pieces and glass.

There are still many who feel the “American Auto Industry” is the best in the world.  I am one of those people.  I understand that we need them to be a viable entity because it provides jobs.  Not just jobs but well-paying jobs.  Foreign manufacturers have blurred the lines between American and American assembled vehicles.  There is a difference.  An “American Auto Manufacturer” provides more than just a job.  They provide jobs in the future when you continue to buy their vehicles.  Those profit dollars stay here in America to keep manufacturing jobs here and not outsourced to other countries.  Foreign car makers send American dollars back to their home country and take care of their citizens.  Those citizens get “Government Health Care” for free in every one of those countries.  In America we are stuck on the idea that only well off working people should get Health Care.  And yet we end up covering those bills for the uninsured through some of the highest Health Care costs in the world.  And for paying more we still do not get the “Best” just the “most expensive”.  Why?  Because Insurance companies thrive in America and earn “Billions of Dollars” and spend as needed  to keep the status quo.

davey boy