Muscle Cars

Judging A Muscle Car’s Worth: Pricing Today’s Classics.

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By Mark Weisseg

Seeing a picture of a Corvette left in this condition makes my blood boil. Who could just park a Corvette in the back field and not give it a second thought?
There are usually many reasons. The most common seems to be they know the car is of some value, they are just waiting for the day to restore or sell it, but have usually forgot it has been sat there for years, slowly degrading.

With all the Corvette clubs both nationally, internationally and local, it should be an easy decision to either take care of what you have or advertise that car for sale, but that’s rarely the reality.
These Corvettes may have lacked power, had huge ship like steering wheels and a clumsy wonder bar radio, but they are in demand. It’s an easy sell and some would argue not to even restore it. The “just leave it alone crowd” might have a good argument to keep it as is. But, I can tell you the other side of the club would be giddy waiting for the chance to tear this down and make it a Pebble Beach on the lawn car.

The hard part would be getting the owner to agree to sell it and do so at a price that is fair.
The price jumps we have seen in the last few years are unprecedented and are still climbing. Fuel prices are low right now, the economy is looking good and when you factor those two important barometers into the equation, classic car prices jump.
Upcoming Barrett-Jackson auctions are always the super bowl of auctions. They are known for a lot of things, especially the prices some will pay for an average classic car. I understand they will have a large collection of older Mopar’s this month and anytime you throw in Cuda’s, Challengers, and such, the pricing will go off the scales.
Some say it is one fat cat out doing another fat cat for the title of I have more money than you. God Bless them, but this behavior trickles down to all of us at some point, bumping up the prices of the bottom end.
My all time favorite line when I am buying a car is when the seller says, “when Kelly blue book says it’s worth X”. My reply always is “Kelly is not writing you a check”. They are opinions along with some numbers that are to be a guide rail post. Is this Corvette worth 100K or is really worth 35K? There is a big spread here so you need some reliable tool to guide you.

The best tool I know is the Hagerty tool. It’s free and I believe has the most vehicles in their data base. It doesn’t feature every single optioned muscle car, from every manufacturer, but it is the nearest to get current guideline price.
If you agree with current car prices or not, keeping a handle on current pricing is paramount.

Education and information are the key to a successful purchase. Be armed, be fair, and buy your dream.

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