Classic Car Watch
For Sale At A Car Show

NOTE: This column displays cars I have found on the Internet. I am not selling them. Please follow the links if you are interest in a car. Be mindful of the date this article was published. For an explanation why I do this read the original column here.

December 1, 2010
By Scott Lewis

This month is going to be different... and more realistic... than my usual run around the internet looking for ads. This month I am going to display a handful of cars I saw for sale at the Good Guys Lone Star Nationals the first weekend of October 2010.

Below will be pictures of cars I remembered the prices to after I got home. I do not guarantee I remember them all correctly. But if they are here I am pretty sure I do recall the asking price accurately.

Granted... prices at the Car Corral of a car show is very subjective. Sellers will ask a higher price on the hopes that people see something similar in the show and they "just have to have one." Sometimes they will price it lower than they would in an advertisement on the chance of not having to drive it back home and go through the effort of selling it the traditional way. So, take these prices for what they are worth... very subjective and likely very negotiable.

From the buyer's perspective it would be a very good idea to be able to look up the value of these cars while at the show. A web search on a phone with a web browser or a 3G equipped iPad would be very helpful.

Since I do not have the descriptions of the cars I am just going to guess on some things. Let's see what I liked and what I did not.

1969 Plymouth Fury - $13,550

Description: This was one of the large fuselage cars. This car was equipped with a 440 and I think it had air conditioning.

Comments: I prefer the versions of the Fury that had hide-a-way headlights. But the 440 engine with air conditioning are very compelling for a big cruiser like this. This is my favorite car from the show. I did a quick check on NADA and the 69 Fury III with a 440 and A/C lists at about $9,900 for high retail. I would want that information when looking at this car. If I had the NADA guide to show the seller I would offer $9,000 for this car and see where things went from there. I would probably not pay more than $12,000 for this car because it would be money you might not recoup if you had to resell it.

1965 Chevrolet Chevelle SS - $12,500

Description: 400 small block, 400 turbo tranny, Corvette rear end, disc brakes.

Comments: I put this in here purely for the Corvette rear end. I looked under the car when I read that. It was there... an independent rear suspension from a Corvette. I do not know the vintage of the rear end, but this is not an easy swap. So you are paying for the quality of the work. However, at this price I would be willing to look into this car. If the rear end in soundly in the car you should be able to make this a pretty good handling car. I like that. So I would consider talking with the owner if I had cash for a classic car.

1972 Chevrolet Chevelle - $19,995

Description: This looked like a basic Chevelle with SS appearance items. It did have the SS dash with the round gauge cluster instead of the bar speedometer. It also had some nice Foose wheels.

Comments: The paint seemed pretty nice on this car, but overall it was a plain Chevelle with some Foose wheels. I don't think I would pay $20K for it. If I had $15K in hand I would think about negotiating on this car.

1966 Chevrolet Impala - $18,500

Description: Nice paint on an otherwise stock appearing Impala with bling wheels.

Comments: This is just me, but I thought $18,500 was a bit high for a plain car. But maybe it was well restored. I did not ask. I would need to see more (like get the owner to show me the car in detail) before going that high. The wheels were not suited to the car and I would replace them with either an aftermarket wheel more in style with the car, or a set of Chevy Rallye wheels.

1972 Chevrolet El Camino SS - $11,500

Description: I believe this was a real SS El Camino. That being the case I thought this was well worth what they were asking. I think it was a 350 powered car with a bench seat. I did not see any rust on the car either.

Comments: This was at the top of my list for cars I would make an offer on. I thought the price seemed very fair (though I would always try to negotiate the price down). This looked like it could make a nice driver. Assuming the mechanicals checked out to match the looks I would offer $10K cash for this car. Money Talks, Bull Sh%$ Walks!

1972 Chevrolet Nova - $15,000

Description: This was a plain Nova with fancy wheels. Nothing more. However, it did seem very straight and clean. 30 years ago this would have been a $1,500 car. Today they are asking 10 times that.

Comments: The price is in my range, but I still think a little high. I did not spend a lot of time checking this car out. It looked to be a clean, rust free car. I would definitely look close at it and think about negotiating with the seller if I was ready to buy something.

1972 Chevrolet Vega - $11,500

Description: This is a V-8 swap car, with a small block Chevy engine. 

Comments: You would want to do a very careful inspection on a car like this, which would be difficult at a car show. You are really paying for the quality of the work done to swap the engine. Tread carefully here. If I were in the market for such a car I would want to get this car on a lift to carefully inspect it. Personally, I would prefer the standard hatchback to the wagon version of the Vega.

1969 AMC Javelin - $13,500

Description: This looks like a clean Javelin with some nice aftermarket wheels.

Comments: This is exactly why you need to know you cars or be able to do research on the spot. I have no idea if this car is priced right. So I would get online and check it out. Keep in mind this is a Javelin and not the more desirable AMX. So it has a back seat and the longer wheelbase. NADA puts this between $9,350 and $16,500 fro average to high retail, so they seem to have it priced reasonably.

1973 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 - $20,000

Description: This is one of the cars where my memory is fussy. I believe this car was priced at $20K and looked to be selling as a real Z/28.

Comments: At this price (if I am remembering correctly) for a real Z, I would want to make sure it is numbers matching. Certainly if you are in the market for an early 2nd Gen Camaro this was definitely worth finding the owner to take a closer look.

1967 Ford Mustang - $6,000

Description: A plain Mustang with numerous little paint issues.

Comments: If you look at the high resolution image you will see a paint chip above the headlight, and some pealing paint below the for sale sign. There were more of these around the car. However, at $6,000 I would definitely get the owner over to get a closer look at the car. Even if you have to pay $5,000 for some light bodywork and a paint job this might make a great little Mustang driver. It also looked like it would make a nice father & son project. If something like this is there next year I would be ready to negotiate.

1964 Chevrolet Corvette - $39,500

Description: This is a 64 Corvette with a big-block hood. However, they only started installing big blocks into Corvettes in 1965.

Comments: I put this here just for fun. The hood makes this car modified. I don't know if $40K is a reasonable price for a modified Vette. If you do then you can decide if this car is worth pursuing.

1971 Ford Pickup - $12,900

Description: 26,000 original miles. V-8 engine with automatic and A/C.

Comments: The sign on the windshield said to look inside. I did and it was impressive. This truck is in excellent condition. There was definitely some pitting on the trim, but overall it looks like an immaculate vehicle. If you are a truck fan you should take a serious look at something like this.

1978 Chevrolet Caprice Coupe - $7,800

Description: Nothing special here... just a two door Coupe version of the Caprice.

Comments: I remember during the 80's when the first major spike in Muscle Car prices happened. Non Car Guys would scoop up Muscle Cars purely for investment. This drive the prices out of the range of the average guy in his late teens or early twenties. It was terrible. It had the effect of driving up the prices of the regular cars from the Muscle Car era. When that happened these cars started to become popular for hot rodding because it was a very affordable car with a V-8 and a full frame. It was a bit heavy, but you could get these in really good condition for $1500 at a time when you needed more like $5K to get into anything nice from the 60's or early 70's. Does that mean these cars are now worth more than they were new. I don't know. But this could be an interesting direction for the car crafter with a little imagination. Muscle Car on Spike just finished a budget buildup of a 73 Buick Century for under $10K. If they could make that look cool you could do it with this car. But starting at $7,800 makes it hard to justify this as a project car that would need another $5-8K to be a cool ride.

1968 Chevrolet Camaro - $22,500

Description: Nice condition Camaro.

Comments: Quite a bit more than the yellow Camaro below. This is over my budget, but I want something special for over $20K.

1965 Ford Mustang Convertible - $22,500

Description: Just a Mustang convertible.

Comments: Seemed a little pricey for a basic Mustang convertible. Maybe I am wrong, or maybe I am tainted by not having enough money for it.

1953 Ford Club Coupe - $14,900

Description: I think this was a stock car.

Comments: An unmolested car from the early Hot Rodding days. This could be a cool custom. I have no idea if the asking price is reasonable.

1968 Chevrolet Camaro - $16,950

Description: A very plain and very yellow Camaro.

Comments: Bright yellow would have been cool for me twenty years agao. Now I don't think so. Otherwise it looked like a decent driver quality car.

1991 GMC Syclone - $10,750

Description: All Wheel Drive, 3.8 L Turbo V-6.

Comments: This is why you need to have access to information when buying a car at a show. I would never expect to find a truck like this at a car show for cars 1972 and older. These are somewhat rare vehicles. The engine is the same engine from the Buick Grand National. In this vehicle it was attached to a new all while drive system. This truck should still be a rocket. I would consider it, but I would want to look inline to get an idea if it was worth it.

1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS 396 - $13,500

Description: Real SS 396, but with a replacement engine.

Comments: This is not a numbers matching car, but it is a real SS 396 vehicle. I think the price was fair, but I am no expert. And you have to be very careful with real cars without there original engines. After all there difference between an SS 396 Clone and a real SS 396 with just any old 396 engine is not much. Only the buyer can decide if we knowingly want to get a non numbers matching car.

1967 Ford Mustang Convertible - $16,500

Description: Your basic Mustang convertible.

Comments: Price seems reasonably to me. Of course I would check it very carefully for rust before dropping this much on a plain Mustang convertible.

1966 Ford Mustang - $8,000

Description: Aftermarket air conditioning and custom paint.

Comments: There was way too much metallic in this paint. I don't know if that was on purpose. If made the color shift in the sunlight... and not in a good. way. It looked faded when the sun light was brighter. Notice the fender closest in the picture. It is not popping in the sunlight, it just looked faded. As you moved around you could see this was the case al over the car. I can only guess this is why the price was this low. Eventually this car would need to be repainted. But... as a driver and a father & son project I would consider it... assuming the A/C blows cold.

1966 Chevrolet Impala - $13,000

Description: Custom paint.

Comments: I remember seeing an Impala in Popular Hat Rodding or Super Chevy back in 1980 or 1981 with this same paint scheme... but in black and silver. I really liked that black and silver car, as it stuck in my mind for 30 years. However, I don't think I would want to drive around in an orange and silver version, but this car did catch my eye.