By the looks and sound of it,Â I guess the economy has affected the Collector Car circuit. As I do each year, yesterday my good friend Willie and I attended the Collector Car Auction in Atlantic City, and not to my surprise, a lot of cars just passed over the block in vain.Â If you needed to sell your car then you better not have had a reserve price on it because you were taking it back home with you. I watched about fifty cars roll through and none of them sold with a reserve tag. As a matter of fact, most just rolled past and went back to the corral to be looked at once more. The few that sold were reserve removed or no reserve cars.
We did however, see a1969 SS Camaro that was fitted with ( I believe) an L78Â Big Block, one 0f only 311 made, sell for $135,000. Now I can really appreciate the ’69 Camaro, especially after owning three of them. I did in fact own two 1969Â Z-28 ‘s, one whose sale provided the funds to purchase my home and the second, sold some 10 years ago, brought me $12,500. At the time I was elated with the amount I received since I had $6500 into it. That guy worked me for three days before finally giving in and handing over the funds. I bet he either sold it for a big gain or is sitting on a pretty good investment as I write this. I have often been tempted to call him to ask him what he did with the car. It was a nice one too! It had all the good options like deluxe interior, wood grain dash, wood wheel, tilt steering, power brakes and steering. heavy sway bars and the cowl hood. The car was pretty cool and I miss that ride.
Funny thing about cars like that. I have bought, built and/orÂ sold eight cars since high school. Always the Chevy guy, I favored Camaros and Chevelles. They rewarded me for all my efforts every time I sold them. That’s the thing with these cars. You have to use your head when you buy one. I always look at it as if I were going to build one. If the price to buy one is about the same as the cost to build one, well hey, you gotta choose the buy option. Building one these days is a costly and usually, a long endeavor and can easily run you more than you might get in return at the time you choose to sell it.
Getting back to the auction, I saw quite a few cars sell for less than they would cost to build. And I also saw someÂ offers turned down at prices I just can not fathom. I have driven these Muscle Cars since my days in high school and they still drive and handle the same now as they did some 3o years earlier. That is why I can not believe that people are turning down tens of thousands of dollars for these same cars. How much money do they think they are worth? And why would anyone pay that much for a car that doesn’t compare in quality, modern techno advances and the speed of today’s cars. Yes, I did say speed. Today’s cars run as fast or faster and are sooooo smooth riding compared to yester years models. So why then do we still ogle and drool over the older models? We do it because it reminds us of our youth. It reminds us of a simpler time in our life. It reminds us of hanging out with our buddies and talking cars. It makes us feel good. That is why every time I sell one of my cars I always buy another one within a couple of years.Â Yeah I guess I can see why some guys are willing to spend so much on these rides. I bet a lot of them couldn’t afford one when we were younger or later in life, their families came first and now they have the extra cash to overspend on a dream from their childhood.
I am one of the lucky ones. I owned my dream car not once but twice in my life and I would love to have one more shot at a third. This time I want to build it myself like I did with my first Z-28 over twenty years ago. This time I will build it with today’s improved drive trains, brakes and suspensions. After all that is what Chrysler has done so successfully with the Challenger. Man that car is really cool. I almost like it as much as the older version. If it were a ‘Cuda I would be very tempted to own one and give up my dream of building a third.
So where is the market going with these cars? I guess if the economy stays like this we will see a lot more cars at very affordable prices. Its like anything else that people collect. You have to get in at the right time and sell when you DON”T have to sell. It’s a neat way to have your cake and eat it, but you just have to do it the right way!
The Regular Guy