By on January 16, 2017

At the 2015 Palm Beach Auction, driver Herb – on his birthday – got to drive “Herbie” across the block. Image: Barrett-Jackson

This week, the deep-pocketed guys and girls of the car collecting world will descend upon the state of Arizona for the annual collector car auctions. From the televised glitz of Barrett-Jackson to the white-gloved stratosphere of RM Sotheby’s, there is something on the docket to fit everyone’s taste.

For years, I’d watch the events on television or follow the sale prices online with a certain amount of apoplexy. “They paid how much? For that?!?” I’d routinely fume, reliably waking my spouse and buying myself yet another night in the guest room.

A couple of years ago, though, I had a minor revelation.

My moments of most pious outrage were reserved for when a person would bid shocking amounts on something hideous like a ’59 Ford Thunderbird or ’63 Dodge Polara.

“Do these people not have eyes?” I’d bellow with incredulity.

Then it hit me: these models are probably cars for which the buyers either harboured pleasant youthful memories or stared at longingly when they were but wee lads or lasses. It didn’t matter what other people thought. That car, for whatever reason, made them happy. Now, flush with the fiduciary leeway, they were buying it, reason be damned.

Suddenly, it all made sense. My own automotive affections are reserved for the Lincoln Mark VII, specifically a 1989 model in LSC trim. I owned such an example in my early 20 only to make the boneheaded move of selling it during a particularly aggressive and ultimately unnecessary fleet reduction program. The big spender in the desert had it right all along. I stopped yelling at my television.

I won’t be raging into the night at my television in 2017, either. This year, I’m headed to the Arizona desert myself to check out the action and experience the madness firsthand. If I get swept up in the excitement, or accidentally purchase a Polara by scratching my nose, you’ll be the first to know.

One thing’s for sure, it won’t be my last trip. I’ll return in 2035, spending an outrageous sum on a cherry 1989 Lincoln Mark VII LSC … while someone yells at their television.

What car makes you feel that way, B&B?

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125 Comments on “QOTD: Yelling at the TV?...”


  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I have a real love for GM’s RWD A & G bodies. The Malibu, both in wagon and coupe form, along with the “high performance” Monte Carlo SS, the Regal Turbos, and the 442. All of these cars have become rare in Michigan – victims of salt and general abuse. I had a ’86 Monte and a ’81 Malibu wagon some 15 years ago – loved ’em both.

    When I was roadtripping through Tennessee, I saw a car dealership that had a mint looking ’78ish Malibu. That got my heart beating.

    I could see myself buying a mint 442 and keeping it as cruiser.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I want a “HURST OLDS” circa 1985 just for the Lightning Rods. That would confuse the heck out of the autostick generation.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      These were before my time, but I definitely see the appeal, and I definitely see these taking off in value. Even in the past decade or so the prices have gone from dirt cheap to reasonable-ish for the most part, with a few guys asking silly money for really clean ones. As it stands, here in Indiana (a GM Mecca), you can find a clean later Cutlass Supreme in good mechanical/cosmetic shape that is turn-key but not perfect for about $5-7k. Beat up chopped up cars are dirt cheap, $1000-3000.

      I see Box B-bodies going the same way. A clean late 80s sedan seems to fetch $3500-5000 around here, more for early coupes and such.

  • avatar

    1977 Lincoln Continental Mark V. I grew up in that car.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    There will always be autos that appreciate in value but cars as investments is largely a silly silly thing.

    If you can afford it and you are buying it to enjoy, godspeed. The guys who irritate me are the ones who are trying to put cars in a hermetic bubble on jacks thinking that it is their retirement plan.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Right. And we lose access to some really cool cars because of it. I definitely think that’s what Ford is trying to prevent with their selective purchasing program for the new GT. The executives want to place the cars in the hands of people who will act as brand ambassadors, yes, but they specifically *don’t* want them to get hidden away in climate-controlled garages, where they won’t resurface until some Barrett-Jackson auction in 2066, with an outrageous price tag.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        I’m torn on that, because no matter what, people with money will find something with a limited supply that they’ll decide is investment worthy. If it’s not old cars, it’s tulips or something. Better classic cars than real estate – it’s disappointing when speculation means we lose access to old 911’s, but it’s a legitimate problem when people can’t afford a place to live.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I used to think I wanted a collector car, but every time I get close to one, I realize I don’t. I’ve come to the conclusion that I like driving a lot more than working on cars and looking at them, and the new ones are better.

    It doesn’t help that what I’d want, a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, is stupid expensive. I suppose if I had to pick a more normal car from my youth, it would be a Porsche 914-6, but they’re in the stratosphere price wise as well. Even decent four cylinder 914s have gotten somewhat expensive, and they aren’t all that special to drive. I’d much rather have a late model Cayman.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I always get somewhat aggravated and envious at the same time watching “Chasing Classic Cars”, “Restoration Garage” and the like. People spending gargantuan sums of money either restoring a car in better-than-new condition, a barn-find and/or buying a classic car where the original owner has died and the widow wants to get rid of it or just another very well-off guy wanting something else.

    I think back to the early 70s when in the air force I owned the coolest car I would ever own – a 1964 Chevy Impala SS convertible) and didn’t keep it although I knew I was making a big mistake.

    All these years later, I still kick myself at times.

    However, IF I had the money, I would have an old car that I would ACTUALLY DRIVE and not relegate to a trailer, for I abhor trailer queens, but to each their own – and I understand why there are trailer queens in order to preserve these old heaps!

    What DOES make me want to throw a brick at the TV is the characters on these shows, because the “schtick” is phony, the “drama” is forced and some of these people look like criminals or escapees from the freak farm.

    • 0 avatar
      Snooder

      It IS always the widow too. Or sometimes a kid.

      Never the widower. Never some lady who held on to a shitty Buick for way too long and her winder wants too get rid of it too snag extra garage space for his harley

    • 0 avatar
      2drsedanman

      “because the “schtick” is phony, the “drama” is forced and some of these people look like criminals or escapees from the freak farm”—Zackman

      Agreed. I will usually watch anything automotive related, but some of these shows are really over the top. Not sure how TV producers came upon the backward hat wearing, tattoo covered, douche bag approach for these shows, but stop it already. You are a grown ass man, turn your hat around!

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Zackman, I have entirely abandoned TV shows like that and get my old-car-tinkering fix via various youtubers with channels focusing on just this. As far as TV shows, older Wheeler Dealer episodes are quite excellent. Realistic repairs and they actually focus on showing the repair/restoration work rather than the fake drama and nonsense of American hot-rod shows. They also follow a strict budget, which makes things interesting in terms of how/where they source their replacement parts.

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      @Zackman……+100 on your post.

      I too had a 1964 Impala Convert back in the day but it wasn’t a SS. I wish I could have somehow kept many of the cars I owned back in the day and put them in a barn: 1963 Pontiac LeMans Convert w/326 V-8, 1963 Corvair Spyder Convert, 1956 BelAir Convert, 1966 Buick Riviera, 1971 VW Squareback, 1961 Triumph TR3.

      I now own two old cars; a 1967 Pontiac Catalina Ventura 2drCpe and a 1991 Mustang GT Convert. I drive both in the summertime. I love the cars of my younger years. I think the guys of our generation had a love affair with cars that the younger generations simply do not share with “their cars.” ……..hence the reason these collector car auctions flourish. Us old guys are reliving their youth.

      Went to Barrett Jackson Scottsdale last year for three days, loved it. Was going this year also but changed my mind at the last minute.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    1976 Lincoln Mark IV Pucci edition. I have said it before and I say it again, one day a mint condition Pucci Mark IV will return to my driveway. And I will have the special gold plaque on the passenger side of the dashboard that states “Specially made for” once again engraved with the name of The Old Man and have mine added for good measure.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I would/will overpay for a Toronado Trofeo, Chrysler TC by Maserati, and ’91 Seville STS (only year for the 4.9L and smaller body).

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      I saw a TC the other day. In decent shape.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      The auto museum in Branson, MO has a TC for sale; like them too.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I have a family friend with a TC by Maserati, in a tasteful cream color. He has the removable hardtop, too. The poor guy keeps it tucked away, thinking it’s going to be really valuable in the future (ha!). But it’s still a cool car. I told him to just enjoy it instead of hiding it and letting it collect dust.

      And then my best friend and his uncle joint-purchased a different American / Italian-assembled-and-designed automobile, a Cadillac Allante. Fortunately, it was a 1993, so they got the better Northstar engine instead of the HT4100, which was a boat anchor. But, geez, holy torque-steer.

      I miss ridiculous and unprofitable cars like the TC, the Allante or even the Phaeton, which was last sold here in 2006 and which was only recently discontinued worldwide. Automakers used to be so daring, and we got to see neat cars. Now, these days, their idea of ridiculousness is charging $28K for a flimsy subcompact crossover like the HR-V (or maybe not so ridiculous, because people pay it).

  • avatar
    Fred

    I like old cars especially 50s & 60s British sport cars. I started out when many of them were $500 beaters. Now I’m happy that I can enjoy my little toy as I like, knowing that I wont lose money when I do sell.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I love the resto-mods. So much so that I have one. What shocks me though, is that people buy these cars and don’t drive them; I put the Dusenbergs, Pakcards and what not as artwork, not transportation.

    I drive mine regularly, albeit not this time of year. The classics do not depreciate like a new car. Spend $50k on a nicely done muscle car, cruiser, whatever drive it for 5 years and sell it for $40k or perhaps more.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    A ’66 Rambler American 440 4-door sedan, 232 2-barrel, automatic, and a/c, preferable in Frost White. Looking for the car I learned to drive in. That, and a zero-mile ’77 Vega GT with five-speed and a/c.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    My first love, an 84 VW Quantum.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Why wait until 2035? There’s a Lincoln Mk VII street parked in my neighborhood that looks to be in reasonable condition. It’s…not what I would spend my money on but it has a certain charm.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Well a 240z would fit the build, but they are already out of my price range , so I would move onto a 944 ragtop non red stick, but more likely I would part with good money for a 1986 Saab 900 ragtop 5 speed only about 100 came into the US spec like that of the 280 that were sent over, how do I know that ? I owned one for about 6 years sold it when I was out of work to a guy in France, I replaced it with another saab vert but it is not the same, so count me in for the Saab, gotta be less than my other 2 choices.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I had a ’72 240Z from 1976 until 1979. Previous to that, I had an Opel Manta, but my father didn’t like it and took it to use in his business and got me the 240Z instead. Honestly, out of all the cars I’ve had, that’s the one I’d least like back. Even though it was only four years old when I got it, the interior was starting to come apart, the springs had started to sag, and the suspension bushings had gotten soft. The engine had some driveability issues and was a booger to start in cold weather. I’d rather have been able to keep the Opel. It was slow, but the chassis was impeccable and very fun to drive.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    None. I’m past the age where I want to do tons of wrenching, and I won’t ever be able to afford to have someone do it for me on a toy.

    18 months ago, I grabbed (what I thought was) a screaming deal on a low-miles, one owner, 1990 Acura Integra. I bought it thinking I could drive it for a while and sell it for what I had into it.

    It turns out that a beige stick sedan is on no one’s dream list, so I’m kind of stuck with it.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    ’59 Chevy Impala 2-dr hardtop.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    1974 Pontiac Grand Ville convertible. Blue with a white interior. I’ll wear a plaid sports coat.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    It will be interesting to see what happens with the classic car business. The hobby was built on nostalgia for cars of our youth and/or cars showing great beauty (e.g. Deuce Coupes, Cord 810, 57 Chevy, Ferrari GTO), quality (e.g. Packards, Pierce Arrows, Porsche 356), or interesting features (e.g. 59 Caddy fins, Duesenberg J 32 valve staight eight) The baby boomers will start fading out soon as a market force that has driven 1960s muscle car values into the stratosphere, and their nostalgia was driven in part by the fact that most cars from the 1970s to the 1990s are either terrible to drive (e.g. low horsepower smog controlled motors), hideous to look at (e.g. poorly integrated 5 mph bumpers), very low quality (e.g. just about everything American), and/or extremely difficult to keep running/rebuild (e.g. biodegradable wiring harnesses and plastics). Newer cars are just so much better driving and looking than most cars of the 70s to 90s, so I really wonder if post-boomer generations will want to spend big money buying, restoring, or resto-rodding a 1978 Mustang 2, 1986 Cadillac Eldorado, or 1995 BMW 325i, when the newer equivalents are just so much better and likely much less expensive to buy and run.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      You may be spot-on. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to restore a Chevy Lumina, unless an early red/orange Eurosport coupe, a K-Car coupe or LeBaron convertible or an Old Cutlass convertible with the basket handle. Perhaps a bent-window Impala coupe.

      My choice is the Olds and maybe the Impala. The bodies of the LeBarons 2nd gen are solid as tanks, but many other parts are very delicate and have to be fabricated, especially in the window lift assemblies – I know and have done it.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Zachman, the 90s era cars to watch would be restomod of RWD BMWs and Mercedes. The bodies are pretty solid long after they become too expensive to fix. The more attractive coupes would be interesting homes for the LS V8. I also see a market for The Fast and the Furious cars. On the domestic side, the 90s pickup trucks have nice proportions in regular cab short bed form.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      People can be nostalgic about the weirdest things. A lot of 70’s and 80’s cars have already become a lot more expensive than they were when I were younger. So far it has mostly the more special cars, but even quite boring RWD cars from the 80’s are hard to buy for sensible money now.

    • 0 avatar
      ArialATOMV8

      It’s going to be amusing when that day comes.
      Could you imagine one day seeing a Pontiac Aztec, a first Gen Toyota Prius or a 2001 Dodge Caravan in a museum? Lol

      Of course on the other hand, even with newer cars, millennial petrolheads will rejoice over cars like the tastes of the agile MX-5 Miata the classic looking BMW purist 2000 750Li, and the aggressive last good lambo, the Murcilargo!

      I’m a millennial and, unlike many others, I have a good taste in cars. I’m already saving up my money for a little toy after I graduate college and my insurance rates go down. My gift will be no dull Prius, it will be small, a stick shift (which I do know how to drive) and beautiful stock without rice!

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    The car I wanted when I was in high school was a ’66 Pontiac LeMans with the 326 V8, 4-speed manual, buckets, a Hurst shifter, and four doors so I could afford the insurance. Instead, an older sister got married and left me her ’63 Rambler 770. As my dad put it, “take the Rambler or take the bus.”

    Now, years later, I’d like to have… the Rambler. I have fond memories of the Borg-Warner overdrive, the Weather Eye, and the split back seats that folded into a bed.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    ’62 Studebaker Avanti and a similar-vintage Triumph TR-3. Bookends of my automotive taste.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    1998-2003 Cadillac STS and the same gen Eldorado.

    Dad drove 3 of those Eldos and handed me down the STS. There’s a really heady leather smell and small-diameter gloss wood steering wheel that take me back to my childhood. Plus the Northstar has plenty of power, and all the safety items are modern enough to make it a safe daily driver. They’re getting up in age now, however, and it’s a potentially expensive collectible now.

    The 2004+ STS just doesn’t do it for me.

    In 2015 I found a 2002 white Eldo with 9,000 miles. I almost did it..almost made it my daily. If it weren’t for the fact I have a 5 year old kid and a rear door is a must-have… I would have.

  • avatar
    JohnB

    Not to go off topic here, but what is “B&B”? (sorry for being slow)

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    No collectible I’d want could be safely driven in today’s stampeding-cattle traffic and they’re too expensive a form of static artwork.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I have to agree with the logic. Especially as my kids near the age at which they can drive, no room in the garage for a 633 CSI, SC300 or 500E.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        “a 633 CSI, SC300 or 500E”

        I was thinking more Stude Starlight, Ford Starliner and Angry Buick. But you probably wouldn’t have spittoon-cans lying about your garage, either.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Well, you can buy a car and *not* drive it on the freeway. A 10 minute ride in town to get milk and bread is more fun in a 1964 Cutlass than it is in a Highlander or what ever other Ride Height mobile you regularly pilot.

      Any classic can be upgraded with power and overdrive to make it easier to keep up with traffic, overtake when necessary, etc. I personally would try to keep some version of what it had. If it was a 1950s Plymouth with a flat head six for example, I would explore building it or finding a different MOPAR I-6, the leaning tower of power.

      But, you just want to be an old sour puss, so I’ll just let you continue to wallow in your self-imposed misery.

      Have a good one!

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Any classic eh? How would one beef up a Citroen 2CV then while retaining the factory 2 cylinder? How do I make a 50+ year old design work in traffic?

        -Someone who’s actually driven one, and owned a few classics.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Convert to BEV. Done. Many have used stock transmissions when doing such. Don’t know if its been done on a 2CV.

          Notice I used words like “try” when saying I prefer to keep it as original or similar to what it was.

          I wouldn’t keep a Model T stock (unless already restored obviously its too valuable to hack up a nice one), but a Ford 2.3T would be an interesting way of keeping it a 4 cylinder Ford-powered T bucket. Obviously not all are so easy. No modern Studebaker or Packard engines I’m aware of.

          And I have driven classics, including ones with modern engines (not fully electric conversions, of course, it is doable but not common). I’ve owned old cars, but I doubt any would qualify as classics. Buick Wildcat? 1971 Tradesman 200 with shag and interior wood panels? Lol not exactly Corvettes and ‘Cudas.

          However, none I’ve driven were quite as obscure as your example, so I bow to your greatness.

          That is what you wanted, isn’t it?

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            This is not at all uncommon for older underpowered vehicles. People on the west coast are doing brisk business in converting older VW air-cooled cars (especially the Type 2 microbuses) to battery-electric vehicles. It greatly improves their performance, considering they’d previously had sub-100-horsepower flat-four engines with 0-60 times in the range of “eventually”. Plus, the cars are still common enough that it’s not a travesty (unlike, say, a Ferrari 250 GT), and the engines were never a significant part of these cars’ appeal, anyway, other than that they were agricultural and simple.

            One such Type 2 is seen on Wheeler Dealers, in the recent episode wherein Brewer and China buy a BEV Maserati Biturbo.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            And that’s what came to mind when I saw his example, Kyree. Get out of MY HEAD!

            I started looking for cars to do that to while/after watching it. I found a stripped 1967 Datsun roadster. DONE!

            I love that you can keep the manual trans. That’s so awesome.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Yeah, you definitely can keep the transmission. Theoretically, it’s more “efficient” to get the proper motor, then overhaul the entire driveline and remove the transmission, getting the gearing right at the differential, but that’s not always practical from a cost standpoint.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Oh I’m sure it is, but my Datsun wouldn’t be an alternative to a Bolt or such, its still supposed to give you the feeling and somewhat similar experience of driving something that old/fun, just with a silent and strangely torquey partner under the hood.

            Truer definition of a “motor swap” LOL

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I’ve never driven a Deux Chevaux, but I’ve ridden in one. It was scary.

          But fun.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            I rode in a Model T when I was at Ford’s Centennial in 2003. Obviously not a fast ride, considering I had to share it with a 12 year old boy and his mother lol, but yeah it gave me an idea of what transportation was like back then.

            Scariest “car” I’ve ridden in was a homemade one built by my cousin’s late husband.

            Chevy LUV frame, 351W Ford with a 3spd auto, welded pipe, plywood, and repurposed body parts (two hoods for a roof) body with no doors, glass, fenders, hood or grille except a welded piece of pipe with lights attached. Was a 6 passenger vehicle with no cargo area (just two bench seats one behind the other from old pickups IIRC). It had the most primitive controls and I think only a temp gauge. The dash board was literally a board. The floor boards were literal boards that made a sorta floor.

            Fun.
            Fast.
            Noisy.
            Scary.
            Crude.
            Illegal.
            Hilarious.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      At old man:
      The only “classics” I’d consider are the few cheap ones, the sedans, the obscure Honda 600s, Volvo’s, Corvairs, the stuff TV hasn’t glamorized.

      Something I don’t get, classic car buffs are nervous millennials won’t buy classics, and yet prices regularly get stupid, they complain when classics are actually driven, yet they expect a younger college debt ridden generation to afford an old paper weight?

      Rant aside, I watch Jay Lenos YouTube and occasionally Cars and Coffee. The TV stuff isn’t even about cars as much as bad acting and recap abuse.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        “Rant aside, I watch Jay Leno’s YouTube and occasionally Cars and Coffee. The TV stuff isn’t even about cars as much as bad acting and recap abuse.”

        Thank you. I couldn’t agree more.

        “Comedians in Cars” isn’t bad, as it’s only 18 minutes and we enjoy that.

        As to Jay Leno’s Garage”, the “recap abuse” is criminal. I mean, why not add more actual content and get rid of so much nonsense. We like Jay and have been in the “Tonight Show” audience three times, but we expect more from “Garage” than is currently shown.

        You would expect that with all the TV experience that Seinfeld & Jay have, they could do a much better job regardless of budget constraints.

  • avatar
    JohnB

    When I was a wee grasshopper, I saw the move “Risky Business” and I thought the Porsche 928 was one of the coolest cars on the road.

    “Porsche; there is no substitute.”

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    There are many for me. So few would care to hear them, I’ll skip the list.

    Thanks for reminding me to set the DVR.

    I absolutely cannot watch it live. It drives me nuts. I must be able to skip through the BS and the nealy endless advertising to see the few auctions I really enjoy.

    I respect the Corvette, but its not “my” car. And since there are always at least 73,529 at any given classic car auction, I tend to skip them. Also most exotics like Euro super cars. I don’t give a flying crap about watching some 1980s wedge-shaped fragile and frankly worthless vehicle to me get purchased for more money I’ll see in 10 years.

    I never had a Lambo poster on my wall. Or a 911, GT40, Ferrari, or anything else I had virtually no chance of laying my (eye)balls on in person, much less farting in the seat of.

    Yes, I’m quirky, but if you haven’t figured that out by now…lol I can’t help that I like what I like no more than you can.

    I do watch almost all others, though once I’m satisfied that I’ve seen enough, I’ll skip the extended bidding to see What it goes for.

    I get ideas and impressions on what people will really respond to, what they’ll lay down big money for.

    I’m far more interested when it is closer to a 1989 Mark VII than it is to *another” tri-year Chevy with a 350 in it. Ohh, this one has contrast stitching. Ooooo, ahhhhh.

    That has nothing to do with being a GM or Ford product. I’m only saying the Stinkin Lincoln is more interesting than another Xerox of a car we’ve seen 3 times in the last hour alone.

    I also skip when they put a SBC engine in anything but a GM product. If you want to restore a ’56 F-100, I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) Ford did make a V-8 at some point. Maybe leave that 1975 Scottsdale with its engine and find one of those elusive Ford V-8s.

    Again, not a Ford vs. Chevy thing at all, just everybody and their brother has put a 350 in damn-near every RWD vehicle since the Model T. BORING. Don’t cross pollinate, anyway. Plymouth? That’s MOPAR son, not Mrs. GoodWench or the house that Henry built.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Yes I agree – why not put in something from the original manufacturer. For the budget home-made rods I expect the 350 Chevy is the cheapest option for power upgrades, but when I see the various hot rod build shows (Coddington, Foose, etc.) build cars for big check-book clients and frequently use Chev V-8s in Mopars, Fords, Caddys, etc. I just don’t get it when new and old crate Hemis and Ford V-8s are readily available. I also don’t get why so many continue to use carburetors when plug and play FI is available for virtually all engines, including Caddy V-8s, Ford flatheads, etc. – I can only assume it is because they actually don’t drive them much.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I’m starting to see the appeal of 80s and 90s Ford land yachts. They definitely are cool.

      And yeah, stop putting 350s and LSs in *everything*, when those cars’ respective manufacturers had comparable engines for the time.

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    I was blown away when Hemi clone/tribute cars started fetching six figures at BJ. It used to be a big deal when numbers-matching Hemi cars crossed the $100k threshold.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Do you have the Big Old Chrysler you want, or is there another one you desire that isn’t in your collection yet?

      I like 1960/70s big Chrysler cars, at least a lot of them. They aren’t overdone nor underdone on the styling front so far as I’ve noticed. I love the clean lines on the one in your avatar, for example.

      The 1964 Galaxie was my favorite big Ford from the 60s/70s.

      • 0 avatar
        BigOldChryslers

        JohnTaurus: I have all the Big Old Chryslers I can handle at the moment (2), but there are several that I would love to add to my collection, possibly something from the Forward Look era.

        My avatar pic is my 1966 Chrysler Windsor 2-door hardtop. I’ve owned it for 17 years. It’s currently torn down for resto. If things go according to plan for a change, it will be back from the bodyshop in spring and I can finally start putting it back together.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Sounds awesome. I would love to see it when it’s finished. What powertrain does it have (or will have)?

          Its my contention is that every gear head should own some kind of property where storing the cars he (or she) loves isn’t an issue.

          I would love to have a collection again. Not cars to look at, cars to drive. I would have one of those big steel buildings (rounded top, not a square) with a row on both sides.

          “Time to go get groceries, should I take the Honda Z600 coupe or the Imperial coupe? Oh, I know, both. I’ll put the Honda in the trunk to drive in case the Imperial has a flat.”

          Lol
          I did find a sweet Imperial coupe a while back that I would love to have. It was stunning. I forget the year.

          As far as MOPAR, I would have to say Plymouth is/was my favorite. I love the 1950s Cranbrook (amongst othes).

          I had a chance to buy one but chose to buy a repo’ed 1998 Lumina at auction to lightly re-condition and sell for a profit instead. Which I did successfully (and decided to never own a Lumina again, unless it was an LTZ, and 28 knows why), but I regret not buying the Plymouth.

          Problem is, I would have wanted to keep it, not resell for profit, which undoubtedly wouldn’t have turned out well since a few months later, I was in the unfortunate position where I had reduce my collection of 7 or 8 cars down to two due to a move (one car was already at my destination or I’d have been forced to sell it, too).

          Maybe I’ll get the chance to own one again.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      The original idea for clones was to create a desired car that you would not be afraid to drive, unlike a numbers matching million dollar Hemi Cuda. But when the clones are moving into six figures it sort of puts them into the trailer queen category as well.

    • 0 avatar
      April

      The term “tribute” or “clone” really bugs me. I guess it’s a way to legitimize what used to be known as a fake.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        It might be a “fake” if you look at it cynically enough.

        But its actually a car someone poured their heart into building, that looks, sounds and provides the enjoyment and experience of the “real thing”, that you can actually drive to the store instead of keeping it behind 7″ ballistic proof glass, lest someone breath on it.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Assuming I had the money to burn, I’d pay a silly amount for an early 90s Mazda MPV V6 4wd with the unicorn 5spd manual. They actually got 2-speed transfer cases!

    Another nostalgia driven purchase, I’d be willing to pay a princely sum for a rust free, original 1977 Toyota Corolla Deluxe 2dr sedan in mustard yellow with a 4spd stick and silver painted steel wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I see 1970s Corollas in western states on craigslist. I have (or did have) a 77 on my list I believe. I have several old Toyota products I like, the Corona and the Stout from the 60s and the Corolla and *early* Celica from the 70s (and early 80s on Corolla, until it went FWD and got very ugly IMO), the Tercel until 1983.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Nope, no 1977 Corolla, but it was silver IIRC.

        Corona: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/cto/5893969750.html

        Stout:
        http://eugene.craigslist.org/cto/5933567854.html

        Tercel:
        http://ocala.craigslist.org/cto/5922605581.html

        Camry, for $itç and giggles:
        http://houston.craigslist.org/cto/5925653637.html

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I already got mine: 1991-95 Acura Legend sedan.

    But the one I got is an L automatic. The perfect one, if I could disregard cost and other practical factors, would be a GS manual.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      My Acura choice would be the mostly unloved Vigor. I wasn’t keen on it until I drove one (with 303k o, it!) and I liked it.

      I love the styling, just wish they made a coupe. I’d plunk down for a manual GS, with a Honda Vigor front end/badges to be added shortly thereafter.

      I like lots of older Hondas, too, but other than a late model Integra with the JDM front end to replace the bug eyes, the Vigor is my Acura fetish.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      The first gen Legends and Integras are already nearly impossible to find. I had one of each.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Not impossible, you just gotta know where to look:
        http://seattle.craigslist.org/search/cto?query=Integra&hasPic=1&min_price=100&max_auto_year=1993

        Not all 1st gens, but there are some.

        http://seattle.craigslist.org/search/cto?query=Legend&hasPic=1&min_price=100&max_price=2000

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    1975 Mustang II. Destined to become the rarest of all Mustangs.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      At least the V8 was back in 1975, even if it was making a whole 140 hp.

      I subscribe to Mustang Monthly and I’ll never understand the guys obsessed with keeping their 4 cyl automatic Mustang IIs preserved like they are the Arch of the Covenant.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Well, perfectly preserved examples of cars people once considered valueless can fetch a pretty penny.

        Find a perfect Datsun or 1st gen Civic. I found a 1970s Civic on craigslist in NYC once for $8000. It was posted a few hours before I stumbled upon it, and by that afternoon when I sent the link to a buddy, it was already deleted. I searched, it wasn’t reposted.

        I’d take $8,000 for a mint perfect Mustang II 4 cylinder/AT that an Uncle I didn’t know existed left to me.
        Much better than $1800 after I pay a shade tree $200 and a case of Budweiser to drop a wheezing junkyard 302 from a Panther in it. Would it be faster? Yeah, probably. Worth more? No.

        It is an example of what a new car was. Its not desirable because its a fast, fun, super cool car. Its because it represents the opposite, lol, but its a true representation of what more often left the factory.

        Plus, you get those kinda guys who have “dad had one JUST like it!” thing going on. Maybe they want it to be as the one they rode in/owned/knew was.

        I wouldn’t care to own a 4 cylinder/auto Datsun (I like period Datsuns more than IIs), but I’d snap up a mint one on the cheap in a heartbeat, roll around in it for a month, and throw that B¡tch on eBay. Lol

        @§§ for every seat and such.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Ark dang it, not “Arch” – freaking automatic corrections…

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “140 hp” wasn’t nearly as bad as it sounds. They were mostly sandbagged by very long gears in the rear end. With a swap to 3.73s (good all around), the light body was ready to scoot! Mine was a ’79 Fox with the 140 hp V8, probably at least 200 lbs/ft of torque.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I’ll add another: a ’90ish 300Zx twin-turbo. Those cars were around in the 90s but they’ve all seemed to have disappeared in the last ten years.

    300hp back then was considered amazing. I loved the car when it first came out. We used to get a lot of Nissan ads from the dealership since we had a truck and a Stanza in the family.

  • avatar
    Dave W

    I’ve already had mine in my first car, a Citroen ID19. In the long run it was the best car I’ve ever owned as it taught me all about reliability, and importance thereof. Wrenching, and how not fun it can be. Detective work and shopping skills required to own an orphan. And how little of the joy from owning a car comes from anything other then the joy you get from driving that car, and I’m too lazy and cheap to own anything much more then a competent refrigerator (I suppose I should mention my current refrigerator is Danish).

    I have what to some people is their dream job. When asked about it by prospective new hires I tell them to remember that dream job still has job in the description. When it comes to enjoying expensive art I’ll go to a museum.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I’ll tell you why I have a good reason to yell at the TV during these auctions.

    In the summer of 1976 I purchased a California plated, one owner, all service documented, white on white, 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, convertible.

    I flipped it within 24 hours and used my profit to help purchase a brand new Corvette Stingray. Which I kept for a little less than one year.

    Now if I had kept that Cadillac which in my estimation was the ultimate culmination of post-war American style and represented the peak of American power and confidence, do you have any idea what it would sell for now at one of those high falutin’ auctions?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      do you have any idea what it would sell for now at one of those high falutin’ auctions?

      Or just straight up to Count’s Kustoms.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        I like Danny’s enthusiasm, but in my estimation the paint jobs and colour combinations that they use are just plain awful.

        And taking survivor vehicles and drastically modifying them also is somewhat sacrilegious.

        Despite that I would still want to add a modern transmission and dramatically upgrade the horsepower on the Mark IV Pucci edition that I hope one day to acquire.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          @Arthur, you must have missed the episode where a gentleman wanted a classic Caddy customized and Danny checked the engine against the chassis because if it was “numbers matching” he was going to refuse to proceed so radically.

          Fortunately for him a little research indicated the engine was from a much newer car.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            PrincipalDan: Yes I did miss that episode. Bless Danny, always figured that his heart was in the right place. Just needs someone to scale back on those awful paint jobs.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I too share such a dream.

  • avatar
    readallover

    I will watch for my 4 favorite highlights from every Barrett-Jackson:
    1) The creepy guy who wears sunglasses 24 hours a day
    2) The girl with the pornstar name who adds absolutely nothing to the broadcast.
    3) The car that is relentlessly flogged for 5 minutes even though there is no interest in it whatsoever, just because the car owner is a friend of the owners of the auction company.
    4) And the guy who REALLY should be screaming – the car that goes to gavel in about 15 seconds even though there is real interest in it – because he is NOT a friend of the owners of the car auction.

  • avatar
    Boff

    Quite a few, but none of them all that collectible (lucky me!): 240Z, RX-7 (any), 944, E30 325i, M-B 190E 2.3-16…

    The one budget buster in my dream scuderia is a Porsche 930.

  • avatar
    SavageATL

    The cars that make me shake my head (I don’t watch television, so nothing to yell at) are the VW Microbuses which are apparently in the five figure range now. Growing up in the late 80’s, a family down the road had two or three of the things, 7 kids, and a 74 Dart. They never consistently ran hence the two or three of the things. Microbuses were not good cars when they were new, they were terrible used cars, slow, unreliable, noisy, and wretched to drive. I guess I can see the nostalgia factor but surely there were better cars from that era that you experienced. It’s quaint to see someone else’s, but I cannot imagine wanting to own and drive one.

    I think cars will always be collectible, to a greater or lesser degree, just because they represent so many important milestones in life and so many memories get formed around them.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    For me, it’s the ’79 – ’85 GM E-bodies, which include the Buick Riviera, Cadillac Eldorado and Oldsmobile Toronado. Maybe it’s because I was first brought home from the hospital in my grandmother’s ’85 Riviera with the 307 (that car was approaching ten years of age by then). And I remember that car fondly in my toddler and early-grade-school years.

    I was really ecstatic when I went to the cinema to view “La La Land” last week, and saw that Ryan Gosling’s character was driving an 80s Riviera convertible. Later in the film, he upgraded to a same-era Eldorado convertible, too.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      I agree – the last of the 1970’s classic GM mid-sizers.

      A work associate bought a 1981 Gran Prix new. A very nice ride, complete with T-Tops.

      The Riviera convertible would be my choice, too.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Those last classic mid-sizers were great. Some people complain about how much smaller they were (not much, really)…but even the A and G-body downsizing that the Grand Prix and other previously-larger cars saw in the late 70s…wasn’t a travesty. Those cars looked good and proved that GM was capable of styling cars that were somewhat smaller than their predecessors.

        It was when the downsized E-bodies bowed for ’86 (now transverse-FWD instead of longitude-FWD), where we saw trouble. GM evidently just threw its hands up and said “We don’t know how to style smaller cars” at that point. Aside from the styling, three other factors also hurt those cars’ appeal, which were:

        1) The fact that the anticipated fuel crisis did not happen, so now GM had these smaller personal luxury coupes that no one wanted

        2) The weakened effect of GM’s “formal look” roofline (which featured a vertical rear windscreen, principally) as it went from being extremely successful on the new-for-’76 Seville to tired and common by ’85, when it was seen on entry-level cars like the N-body Grand Am, and

        3) Speaking of the N-bodies, park an ’86 Riviera next to an ’86 Somerset and tell me they don’t look strikingly similar. Yes, the E-body cars were far more substantial and drove much better, but they no longer had visual distinction, which drove customers away. GM made efforts to bring some of the grandeur back to the Riviera in particular by adding length to the trunk, making the opera windows shorter in length and offering laudau tops once more, by ’93. But GM really missed a chance to capture some of the last meaningful strength in the affordable personal-luxury-coupe market before it started to die out.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      +1
      I drove (didn’t own) one of the Rivs of that generation for a while. Styling me think of Cuella deVille (sp?) from 101 Dalmations, or Lois Grifin’s mom, Babs, on Family Guy. Rich old lady car I guess.

      It was quite pimp. I remember that’s the first time I heard T.I.’s “Whatchu know Bout That” on KUBE Seattle driving that car. I loved it. My buddy and I cranked it up and put the windows down.

      Its pretty gangsta, very formal, like an 89-97 Cougar. Nothing beats a mid 80s Cutlass, or Regal to a certain extent for a G ride, though. That same friend had a Cut Supreme with the Euro front clip and 13″ Daytons.

  • avatar

    To be totally impractical I would like a minty fresh 72 Charger (68 thru 70 would be nice also), 84 Shelby Charger or a 68/69 Mustang. I’ve owned the first two and always liked the third. I’d use any of them as daily drivers – I don’t have to deal with the traffic some of you folks do as I am in a rural (mostly) setting. I’d take great care of whichever one I had and aim for at least 500K before giving it up. (Almost did that with the ’84.)

  • avatar
    carguy67

    Austin-Healeys.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    The one I’d be overpaying for in 2035 – 1991 Taurus SHO Plus. Make mine white with the 50/50 leather-suede seats and the police-spec slotted grille.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Find it and build it now while its going for decent prices.

      Store it if you have to. Or buy two and drive and love (and keep alive) one. Store the other so in 2035, you can auction it for mafia money.

      I really want a gen one Taurus in my fleet. Would love a 1986-1987 LX sedan and an MT-5 (2.5L I-4, 5 speed manual, standard decent equipment including a tachometer and full console).

      I had a 1988 Ford Taurus L, the stripper model with the Tempo I-4 slightly enlarged. and the Tempo’s 3 speed slush box.

      At the same time, I had a 1992 Tempo with a V-6, LOL, like a reverse world.

      • 0 avatar
        True_Blue

        I should, but I currently am flat-out in regards of space and time for one. But the call of Yamaha is strong. (I had a ’95 stick car – and a ’93 3.0L Vulcan AXOD. I was a moderator at TCCA for years and it’ll be that nostalgia that pries the checkbook open)

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          Hey, I thought I had moved on when I sold my 1993.

          God had other plans.

          And you probably remember my 1988 L on TCCA. It slipped my mind that we knew each other there. Ha

          you knew all that stuff about the MT-5, etc. Forgive my rambling. :)

  • avatar

    Through the years we all develop affinities for certain cars, pick ups, hot rods everyone for their own reasons. All these auction houses are on a mission to find cars that appeal to a younger generation than boomers or the established collectors with cubic money.

    The challenge is that for the younger generations there are more models from more manufacturers to consider. Muscle cars were easy for Boomers, now its air cooled Porsches at already ridiculous prices, twin Turbo Supras, 240Z’s, and so on.

    Plus the scarcer the car/truck the higher the value its always been the game with collector cars.

    Driver quality cars remain reasonably priced, the over restored cars are usually not driven since similar to a new car once driven the restoration work starts wearing off.

    The shops that do serious restoration will not let you in their shop, let alone photos or TV programs. The folks that do reasonable restoration work for a price are the one’s appearing on TV shows.

    Plus a lot of the folks with cubic money use their cars for the California Mille, Monterey Historic, Mille Miglia etc.

    What is the budget for the “toy” it goes from a few thousands to millions.

    The dude that could afford 1M for an Enzo can get 2M today its a decent return on the investment. Most Detroit convertibles from the are reasonably priced. What would you rather have a new German Convertible or a Corvette a 65 to 67 Corvette roadster with a 327?

    Yes… the rare L88 1967 Corvette roadster that Mecum will auction next week will go for big bucks.

    Once you have a few you also need the garage to keep the vehicles indoor.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I can’t truly justify a Hot Rod, rare collector or muscle car habit with my pay scale, but I just stumbled on to the perfect car (and solution) for sale, in my price range and somewhat justified! A late ’80s limo F-350 dually 4X4 crew cab XLT Lariat. Yes a legit limousine (6′ stretch) from a Hollywood celebrity builder, low miles and 95% restored! CA rust-free!

    She’s beautiful, all white, custom black interior, but otherwise stock, original chrome dually wheels. Friends/family/kids love her, and she attracts a crowd everywhere we take her. Drives like a dream!

    She’s a true work horse though, and I’m careful not to bang her up too much, working the old girl. Scratches/dings will be inevitable. Either way, she’ll be cheap and easy to fix/maintain, cosmetically and otherwise.

    Will she be worth a lot in the future? Who cares??

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I hate you.

      LOL *if* I go through Denver during my trip to Washington in the spring (subject to change,of course), you gotta let me check it out.

      In return, you can check out a well-used, high mileage midsize sedan from over 20 years ago. I’ll leave the make and model out, so it’ll be a surprise!

      It might be a 1994 Hyundai Sonata

      but I wouldn’t bet your limo truck on it. ;)

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        You’ve got a deal!

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Awesome! That is a very good body style truck anyway. Much better than the one it replaced IMO.

          I found and saved on my device A picture of a Brazilian Chevy crew cab, which had an extended area behind the rear doors. And, it was a long bed!

          I wish I could share it with you.

          I can’t find it on the internet again (so no link, it was some random Brazilian dealer website.

          obviously I can’t post it here. I sure wish we could add pictures here.

  • avatar
    John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

    Yes, I’m yelling at the T.V.

    The Edsel has transmission buttons “in the horn!”

    These people are idiots. They seem to get worse every year. I don’t expect everyone to know everything, I sure as hell dont, but c’mon. They talk about the 1948 Continental being “the last of the old technology” without mentioning it was a pre-war design, and how that all worked.

    The tiny tail lamps on a Beetle are “state of the art for 1956”. Really? The Ford after burners were bigger than the rear oval window on the VDub! Not really, but c’mon! State of the art for 1936 maybe.

    Lol maybe the mute button was made for this.


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