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Classic Car Watch
Before & After - A Look At Mecum's Houston Auction

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.

July 1, 2014
By Scott Lewis

A couple of months ago we took a look at Mecum's Dallas Auction from September 2013. With the results of that auction, we should get an idea what cars might sell for. What can we do with a budget of $15,000... with a couple of rare exceptions for going a little over?

This month we are taking a before and after look at Mecum's Houston Auction that took place April 10-12, 2014. All the info about each car below I got two weeks before the auction. I then waiting until the results were posted and went back and added the price (if sold) and follow up comments.

I started this list expecting to narrow it down to about ten cars. What I would do if I were really going to the auction. I assume I would narrow it down to about 5 or 6 cars once I could inspect them in person. But then a strange thing happened. When I realized that the cars were listed in the order they would cross the auction block, I decided to leave all of them in.

My comments will be based on what or if I would bid on as the cars went through the auction. Keep in mind, I would be dong this with a $15K budget, but would expect to have at about $18-20K total cash available. This extra would allow me to "stretch" my budget on a couple of car I really liked, and would cover buyer's fees and possible shipping.

With the cars below listed in the order in which they go up for auction, I set 5 cars up as favorites. Cars that I really want, which would mean the cars before it would have to be screaming deals to get me to bid earlier in the auction. This gave this imaginary exercise a very real feel to it.

This is in preparation for 2017, when I expect to do this for real.

The price ranges below are what I thought these cars were worth to me, and the range I would be willing to bid for them (if I was in the market for such a car). Granted, I only had the web site to go by for information. If I really went to the auction I would take these notes with me and adjust those price ranges based on inspecting the cars. I would also expect to whittle the list down as well.

I also list the NADA Average Retail for each car. I did not put the High Retail (with a couple of exception in the comments) because if I wanted to pay High Retail I would find a good classic car dealer and just buy something in their inventory. Auctions are for bargains. At least that is what we are hoping to find out.


1972 Dodge Charger - Sold For: $17,000

- 400 CI engine
- Automatic transmission
- Factory rear window defrosters
- Air conditioning
- Power steering
- Power brakes
- Copy of previous title
- Original owner's manual

When: Thursday

NADA Average Retail: $15,405

Price Range: $10,000 - $14,000

Pre Auction Comments: Wow, this looks like all those Chargers I ignored in the 80's when I was buying cars. No one liked them because they looked ugly compared to the 68-70 Chargers. And this car is exactly what we would have passed by back then no matter how nice or cheap it was. That was then, this is now. Even orphan Mopars fetch good money today. This is also the first of my cars to go on the block (according to the schedule). Do I really want to buy the first car that I found interesting on their web site. Only if it is a screaming deal, which is tough with Mopars. I could easily see this car going for $15-20K, just without me. I want it for around $12k. Having go though this list and finding 5 FAVORITES, I am tempted to make this a favorite, too. I am not, because of how early this car is in the auction. I like it, but I like the others more. This is the dilemma you face when going to an auction. We'll see how this plays out.

Post Auction Comments: As I predicted... this car went for $15-20K. I would not have bid this high on this car myself.


1964 Chevrolet Impala SS - Sold For: $17,000

- Clean, older frame-up restoration completed in 1998
- Restoration nearly faithful to factory specs
- 283 CI V-8 engine
- Modifications to heads and cam
- 4-barrel Edelbrock carburetor
- Modified to use unleaded fuel
- Saginaw 4-speed manual transmission
- Hurst shifter
- Neon kit on undercarriage

When: Thursday

NADA Average Retail: $28,350

Price Range: $10,000 - $14,000

Pre Auction Comments: I like this car a little. But it is not my style. So I would only bid on it if I were able to get a screaming deal. I was stunned by NADA's price. Will this car really go for over $20K? This car would never have made it past the first cut. But since this is a hypothetical exercise, I left it here to see how it does.

Post Auction Comments: Sure enough, I thought NADA was off on this one. It went for over $10K under NADA's average retail. And it went more than I would want to bid on it.


1968 AMC Javelin - Sold For: $8,500

- 232 CI Inline six cylinder engine
- 3-speed manual transmission
- Dealer installed air conditioning
- Power brakes
- Power steering
- Original AM radio
- Looks as good from underneath as from above

When: Thursday

NADA Average Retail: $10,980

Price Range: $6,000 - $9,000

Pre Auction Comments: This car shows us why we do our research. I saw this car listed in the results for the Dallas Mecum Auction from Sep 4-7, 2013. It sold for $8,000. Now it is at the Houston auction in April 10-12, 2014. Why? I assume the person that bought it planned to flip it. When that didn't pan out he figured to just sell it at this auction.

I can't see putting much money into this car. At $8,000 it seemed like a neat, outside-the-box kind of car. But if someone is trying to flip it for a fast buck... well... not with me. With no other research I put this in the $6-9k range. And I am being generous. I would not want to pay much over the $8,000 the previous buying paid for it.

Post Auction Comments: If someone was trying to flip it, I think they probably took a loss with the fees and such. It sold for $500 more this time then it did back in Sept 2013. Maybe something went wrong the last time which is why it is up for auction again. I have no way of know why. I am pretty sure I would have bailed on this car the second it went over $8,000.


1977 Chrysler Cordoba - Sold For: $6,250

- Unrestored
- Original paint and upholstery
- 360 CI engine
- 2-barrel carburetor
- R-134A air conditioning conversion
- Manual sunroof
- Vintage alarm system
- Owner's manual, window sticker and broadcast sheet

When: Thursday

NADA Average Retail: $3,960

Price Range: $2,500 - $4,000

Pre Auction Comments: This is just a curiosity. I want to know what it would sell for. If I was really bidding... I would try to get this car under $5,000. NADA High Retail was $6,749, so this is a bargain hunter's car. Unfortunately, if you came to this auction to buy one car, and end up was this... you might regret not waiting for one of the cars below. But this could be neat at Mopar car shows.

Post Auction Comments: Well, it went for a little more than I would have bid on it. But still a reasonable price. I would only buy this car if i were going to buy more than one vehicle.


1967 Ford Galaxie 500 Fastback - Sold For: $6,000

- Mostly original with fresh paint
- Small block 289 CI V-8 engine
- Automatic
- Power steering
- Cloth interior
- 15" wheels and tires
- Rear wheel drive

When: Thursday

NADA Average Retail: $7,425

Price Range: $6,000 - $8,000

Pre Auction Comments: I would be bargain hunting here. No point going past average retail for a bargain.

Post Auction Comments: Well, this car is a dilemma. It sold for the low end of what i thought it should sell for. Would this been a good enough project car for me to buy it... and risk not having money left over for the cars below. It would depend on whether I had the garage space and desire for a project car. So probably not, but if I wanted a project... this would be just about right.


1969 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Coupe - Sold For: $12,000

- Lowered and debadged
- 1915cc big bore with fresh rebuild
- 4-Speed
- Mild custom interior
- Scat short throw shifter
- Tinted power windows
- Power locks
- Viper security with key fob
- Alpine 4 speaker stereo with CD player
- KYB shocks
- Front disc brakes
- New gauges, switches, wiring, windshield, weather stripping, ball joints and bushings

When: Thursday 1:30PM

NADA Average Retail: $11,450

Price Range: $8,000 - $12,000

Pre Auction Comments: These are neat cars. This one is modified, so it is real hard to say what that would do to the value. NADA's High Retail for this car jumps all the way to $20,100. But that would be for a very nice original or restored car, not a hot rod. So... again, bargain hunting I would get out if the bidding went past $12k.

Post Auction Comments: I pegged this one. Though this was right at the exact top of my price range for it. It might have gotten me to forget about the cars coming below... but I could only say that had i done a really good inspection of the car. I can't say from the pictures.


1979 Pontiac Trans Am - Sold For: $23,500

- Matching numbers 301 CI engine
- Automatic transmission
- WS6 package
- Factory T-Tops
- Factory air conditioning
- 4-wheel power disc brakes
- Power windows
- Power door locks
- AM/FM stereo with 8-Track
- Rare factory color combination Black with Gold decals and Red interior
- Believed to be 67,000 actual miles

When: Thursday 1:40PM

NADA Average Retail: $17,490

Price Range: $10,000 - $14,000

Pre Auction Comments: I don't think I would get this car. I suspect it will go for a lot of money. Hey, it is a Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am, or close enough. But I am curious how much it will go for.

Post Auction Comments: Wow! I did not mention this in the pre auction comments, but I did notice it... the hood scoop has TA 6.6 on it. I assumed since the description specifically mentions the 301 engine, that the 6.6 decals were for show. But the price this car went for... I would only pay that much for a TA with the 400 engine. So maybe there was an error in the description. Otherwise I can't understand why it sold for so much. Maybe it looks a lot nicer in person than in the pictures. Regardless... it was way over my budget.


1972 Chevrolet Nova - Sold For: $32,500

- Custom Black and Gold Pearl paint with four coats of clear
- Custom made Carbon fiber stripes
- 355 CI engine with 400 HP
- TCI transmission with 2500 stall converter
- Vintage Air and pulley system
- American Racing wheels
- Lots of chrome on engine
- Flowmaster exhaust

When: Thursday 2:35PM

NADA Average Retail: $9,800

Price Range: $10,000 - $12,000

Pre Auction Comments: A total hot rod. Some people think their hot rod's are worth a lot. This could have a very high reserve for all we know. I don't think a car like this is worth a lot... at least not without a careful inspection to see if the work done is very well done indeed. Especially the paint, since you will be looking at it for years... probably. I am sure I would bow out early on the bidding for this car.

Post Auction Comments: Yep, I would bow our early. This car must have been in really, really nice shape. Seems like a lot for a hot rod that you did not get to decide what was put on it.


1993 Chevrolet Corvette 40th Anniversary - Sold For: $11,000

- Ruby Red exterior and interior with special trim
- 4,204 40th anniversary coupes were produced
- LT1 350/300 HP engine
- Automatic transmission
- Electronic climate control
- Dual 6-way power sport seats

When: Thursday 2:55PM

NADA Average Retail: $16,000

Price Range: $10,000 - $12,000

Pre Auction Comments: I had a friend who owned one of these. I lost touch with him, so I don't know if he still has it (he seemed the type that might keep it forever). So I am curious. More curious... I just learned that NADA doesn't do mileage for cars from 1994 or older. Fascinating! I like this car, but I don't really care for it that much. So I would only bid if it was a screaming deal. I would prefer a C3 Corvette (see below)

Post Auction Comments: This is right in line with what I thought. I like this because I had a friend that had one (maybe still does). Without knowing the mileage (which I could easily learn in person) I would have to say I would pass.


1974 Plymouth Scamp - Sold For: $6,500

- 318 CI V-8 engine
- Automatic transmission
- Factory air conditioning
- Believed to be 27,000 original miles

When: Thursday 3:00PM

NADA Average Retail: $4,887

Price Range: $5,000 - $8,000

Pre Auction Comments: This is one time I think NADA is wrong. The post auction comment may prove me wrong. Regardless, I hate the large bumpers on these cars, and so I really don't think they are worth much... though a bit more than NADA. Personally... unless this car totally impresses me a the auction, I would skip it. But this is an exercise, so I leave it here so we can see what happens.

Post Auction Comments: Looks like I was right on target, and better than NADA here. Though I wouldn't buy it. I can't imagine this car would impress me that much.


1976 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe - Sold For: $12,500

- Matching numbers L48 350/180 HP engine
- Automatic transmission
- Power steering
- Power brakes
- Factory air conditioning
- AM/FM radio
- Tilt/telescopic steering column
- Power windows
- Leather seats
- Rally wheels with new BF Goodrich tires
- Correct code 13 Silver with code 192 Black leather interior

When: Thursday 3:35PM

NADA Average Retail: $9,790

Price Range: $7,000 - $11,000

Pre Auction Comments: There is nothing special about this Corvette. So why should we spend much money on it. An inspection might show it to be in truly excellent shape, but I can't see going much over my price range regardless.

Post Auction Comments: Sure enough... it went over what i would plan to bid for this car. And I see no reason to change my mind... I would have bailed on this car shortly after it broke $10K.


1982 Chevrolet Corvette Collector Edition - Sold For: $13,500

- 350/200 HP, Automatic
- Rare Collector Edition
- 1 of 6,759 produced in 1982
- Original price over $20,000
- Last year of this great looking body style
- Special finned alloy wheels
- CD player
- T-Tops
- Leather special interior

When: Thursday 3:50PM

NADA Average Retail: $17,930

Price Range: $12,000 - $17,000

Pre Auction Comments: This is the first car on this list that qualifies as a FAVORITE. This is a car I would try for... hard. That means all the previous cars have to be such a bargain they stop me from getting to this one. NADA gets in the way though with a price out of my budget. This car could easily go for $15-20K. You never know with an auction. Because of that... this is the first car I would be willing to "stretch" my budget and go up to $17K. It might not matter. We'll see after the auction.

Post Auction Comments: SOLD!!! This car would have been mine had I been there with my $15 budget (plus extra for fees and possible shipping). It sold right in my range, and I would not have even had to "stretch" my budget to get it. The cars below would have only been bid on if I lost this car for some unforeseen reason. Notice... this is the FIRST FAVORITE on this list, so I would have been looking out for it. I don't think anything above would have emptied my pocket, except possibly the Karmann Ghia (which I would regret when this went across the block).


1965 Sunbeam Tiger - High Bid: $30,000

- Original Sunbeam Tiger 1965 model
- Certified by The Sunbeam Tiger Owner's Association, Certificate #938
- Original engine and transmission
- 260 CI engine
- 4-speed transmission
- Brand new VTO wheels with Yokohama tires
- Approximately $4,000 spent on maintenance items in last two years
- Steel hardtop included

When: Thursday 4:05PM

NADA Average Retail: $38,800

Price Range: Yea Right!!!!

Pre Auction Comments: Hey... Get Smart's car!!! No way I can afford this!!! I had no idea these were worth this much. But I left it here because in this were real... I would at least watch the auction for this car.

Post Auction Comments: We were only curious about this car. With an NADA average retail of over $38K I don't think I would drop my reserve and sell it for $30 either. But what do I know... this is my first time trying to analyze an auction beginning to end.


1979 Chevrolet Corvette - Sold For: $18,000

- L82 350/225 HP engine
- Automatic transmission
- Power steering
- Power brakes
- Factory air conditioning
- AM/FM stereo with CB
- Power windows
- Power door locks
- Tilt/telescopic steering column
- Mirrored glass T-Tops
- Polished aluminum wheels
- Correct code 72 Red with Code 722 Red leather interior

When: Thursday 4:40PM

NADA Average Retail: $14,740

Price Range: $12,000 - $15,000

Pre Auction Comments: Here is my second FAVORITE. It comes up later in the day on the first day... and its average retail is right at the top of my budget. I need to see this car to see if the pictures do it justice. Also, I need to know the mileage before bidding. I like what I know before the auction, so this is heavy on my radar. Hey... it is a L-82 Corvette. The only thing that would be better would be if it had a 4 speed (see below).

Post Auction Comments: Ouch... just out of my reach. Seems a little pricey, but it might have looks really nice in person. Not a bad buy, but if I were still in the game I would have been neat out on it due to my budget. Good thing I would have already got my Collector Edition which has a higher NADA value. Although condition plays a lot in this and I can't judge it well from the pictures. You have to be there.


1978 Chevrolet Corvette Silver Anniversary - Sold For: $19,000

- Believed to be 2,097 actual miles
- Originally bought in Commerce, Texas and has spent all but a few months of its life in Texas
- L82 motor
- Numbers matching
- Automatic
- Power windows
- Power antenna
- Air conditioning
- Cruise control
- Tilt/telescopic steering wheel
- Aluminum wheels
- Original wheels and tires included, but not on car
- Original brochure, build sheet, window sticker, and evidence of factory QC marks
- Original Texas plates

When: Thursday 5:15PM

NADA Average Retail: $14,410

Price Range: N/A

Pre Auction Comments: With only 2100 miles you have to expect this car to sell for closer to its NADA High Retail of $23,650. I think I would be out on this one pretty quick if I were in it at all. I won't even venture a guess on the price range for a car with such low mileage.

Post Auction Comments: I should have pinned it down... I thought it would go for over $20K. $19K seems like a really good price for a car with so few miles. I would only be bidding on it if I had a large budget though.


1963 Ford Falcon - Sold For: $23,000

- 1963 Ford Falcon
- 260 V-8
- 4-speed
- Air conditioning
- 95% original, have original parts included with sale
- Dual exhaust
- National First Prize winner in 2000 Antique Automobile Club

When: Thursday 7:15PM

NADA Average Retail: $5,000 - $8,000

Price Range: $8,580

Pre Auction Comments: I don't actually like this car that much. OK, it is the same as a Mustang... just without the cool. But it is here as a cheap car that might be kind of neat. Hey, if I already bought a Corvette then this doesn't matter. Otherwise... it is the last car on my list for the first day of the auction. I also will have learned how some of the previous cars that I thought would be cheap did at the auction. That might influence my bidding on this car.

Post Auction Comments: Huh? I guess you really had to be there. This car is my biggest miss of the event. I am stunned how high it went. It must have been an amazing car to sell for $23K. I just can't see if from the pictures.


1981 Delorean - Sold For: $26,000

- Believed to be 4,339 miles
- Unrestored
- Same owner for 22 years

When: Friday

NADA Average Retail: $29,750

Price Range: N/A

Pre Auction Comments: There was no description of this car... just a few pics. It is here purely to see what it would go for.

Post Auction Comments: So there was a little bit of a description after the auction. Price is very nice for a car with less than 5K miles. But i would not have been bidding.


1980 Chevrolet Corvette - Sold For: $9,500

- 350 CI
- 4-speed standard transmission
- White leather interior
- Mirror T-Tops
- Tilt steering wheel
- Stock aluminum Corvette Rally wheels
- Goodyear Eagle ST tires with raised White lettering

When: Friday

NADA Average Retail: $13,450

Price Range: $8,000 - $12,000

Pre Auction Comments: Here is our 3rd FAVORITE... the 4 speed Corvette. The description is a bit light. It does not mention A/C so I have to assume it does NOT have it. And there were only two pictures. But what I saw I liked, and the 4-speed is a plus. Depending on how the Corvettes from Thursday did, this might be worth going for. I low-balled my price range because I would HAVE to put A/C into the car to enjoy driving it in South Central Texas. And I see this car a a nice driver quality Vette.

Post Auction Comments: SOLD!!! Yep, if I didn't get that Collector Edition Corvette the first day of the auction, it is highly likely I would just buy this one, my 3rd FAVORITE from the auction.


1995 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Convertible - High Bid: $17,000

- Formerly Owned by Astronaut Alan Shepard
- The only Astronaut Camaro owned by Mercury Astronaut Rear Admiral Alan Shepard, the first American in outer space and the only human to ever hit a golf ball on the moon
- Believed to be 66,000 actual miles
- LT1 engine package
- Leather interior
- Documentation to prove ownership by Alan B Shepard
- Original window sticker, license receipts and license plate
- Photos of Alan Shepard hitting golf ball on the moon and another photo of him with the car

When: Friday

NADA Average Retail: $4,350

Price Range: $5,000 - $8,000

Pre Auction Comments: Some day I will get a 93-96 Camaro Z-28. However, I would prefer red, and prefer a coupe. I also have no idea what Alan Sheppard's car would bring. The web site does not mention if the proceeds from this car go to charity. If so, it would drive the price way up. Even if si not for charity... I have no idea how to put a valid price range on this car. NADA's value probably doesn't mean much either. Almost all my FAVORITES are past, so we will check this out.

Post Auction Comments: Interesting sale price. I would not have paid that much, even with the Alan Sheppard history.


1966 Ford Mustang Convertible - Sold For: $26,000

- 289 CI engine
- Automatic transmission
- Power front disc brakes
- White power convertible top
- Factory air conditioning
- Red with White interior

When: Friday 1:30PM

NADA Average Retail: $34,430

Price Range: $12,000 - $15,000

Pre Auction Comments: OMG!!! NADA Average retail for a plain Mustang convertible is over $34K. I like the car in the pics, but there is NOTHING special about this Mustang. It is just a plain V-8/Auto Mustang Convertible. No special engine or trans. It's not a GT. Yet NADA puts it at $34K for average retail. Now, from our last analysis of a Mecum auction (LINK) we are pretty sure NADA is smoking Mustang Dope! Doing a quick search of AutoTrader Classic, I plugged in 65-66 Mustang Convertible and got 45 cars. Only 7 of those were over $34k. Setting AutoTrader Classic for $5-25K still had 21 cars... including a very nice red on black with a manual trans for $19K. So what do you do? You hope for a bargain... and bail as soon as it shows it is not. My price range for a car like this... is $12-15K. I have to know how much this car sells for.

Post Auction Comments: Well, it looks like NADA and I were both way off. I am a little surprised that this went so high, but I never would believe it would have gone over $30K like NADA values it.


1994 Pontiac Trans Am 25th Anniversary - High Bid: $17,000

- 25th Anniversary Edition
- 5.7L 350/275 HP
- Automatic transmission
- 1 of 250 convertibles produced
- Believed to be 10,978 miles
- Original manifest
- Air conditioning
- Power steering
- 4-wheel disc brakes

When: Friday 1:35PM

NADA Average Retail: $11,700

Price Range: $8,000 - $11,000

Pre Auction Comments: We have a conundrum here. IF I did not have a 93-96 Z-28, and IF I wanted something to hold me over, and IF I was going to get a Trans Am from the same era... this is the car I want. I love the white with the single blue stripe. Perfect! But this is not a car I am that interested in. So I would only buy it is it were a bargain. There are still a few cars left I like better.

Post Auction Comments: Another surprise. Too high for me. I like it, but not anywhere near that much.


1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo - High Bid: $20,000

- Excellent Black vinyl interior
- Heat, air conditioning and defrost
- Power brakes

When: Friday 2:10PM

NADA Average Retail: $10,050

Price Range: $8,000 - $13,000.

Pre Auction Comments: Here is my 4th FAVORITE. With nothing to go by except a few low res pictures... I can't put a high range on this. I like Monte Carlos because they are usually affordable. And I love me a triple black Monte Carlo. Sweet!!! Because it is my 4th favorite, and there are fewer cars left in the auction (for me), I put more than I would in the range. Normally i would try to get this for $10-11K. I increased tht to $13K because I really like the overall look of this car. I suspect it won't have A/C, so I do have to leave money in the budget to add that.

Post Auction Comments: Another car that had a description when I looked it up after the auction. I am surprised this did not sell. What was teh reserve? I think the seller missed an opportunity. This car should have sold. maybe it was super nice, but I can't tell that from the pictures.


1969 Corvair - High Bid: $29,000

- Unrestored with 15 original miles
- The original window sticker is still intact
- Delivered new to Dunlop Chevrolet in Macon, Georgia and kept in inventory
     as part of their collection until 1980
- Formerly on display at the Central Texas Museum of Automotive History
     in Rosanky, Texas
- Matching numbers 164/110 HP engine
- 4-speed manual transmission
- Original paint and interior
- Glacier Blue with Blue vinyl interior
- Strato-bucket seats with headrests
- Wheel opening, roof drip and body sill moldings
- Delco push button radio
- Auxiliary lighting group
- Uniroyal Laredo tires
- Last year of production for the Corvair
- The original sticker price was $2,822.05

When: Friday 5:15PM

NADA Average Retail: $7,950

Price Range: $8,000 - $15,000

Pre Auction Comments: This is super hard to pin down. On the one hand Corvairs are not very collectible. They are typically quite affordable. Even NADA High Retail only goes to $12,975. But a car with only 15 original miles... that's something else. Wow. OK. So if I made it to this car without buying something by now... I would bid on it. But I would not expect to get it. I mean there are only 2 cars left on my list. So I either buy this, or one of the next 2 cars, or go home empty handed. That will charge me up for this car. The range I listed is where I would have to stay. Based on a $15K budget with $2K to allow for some stretch, I would have to reserve that $2K to ship this car home. However, I suspect this car will sell for around $20-25K. We'll see. I love the idea of this car so much I can't ignore it.

Post Auction Comments: Wow... I was impressed. I even watched this car during a live stream. It stalled at $29K, and they said it had a reserve of $35K. It is a former museum car, but I think her should have taken the $29K. Even if I had a bigger budget... I still wouldn't go over the low $20's. Think about this... with only 15 miles it might not run. You probably can't drive it... surely you can't drive it much at all or loose that originality. So this is a car for a collector that will put it into a display, like another museum.


1967 Ford Mustang Convertible - High Bid: $27,000

- 289 CI V-8 engine
- C4 automatic transmission with console
- Power convertible top
- Power steering
- Deluxe interior
- Woodgrain steering wheel

When: Friday 6:25PM

NADA Average Retail: $30,700

Price Range: $10,000 - $14,000

Pre Auction Comments: Wow... again with NADA waxing poetic over Mustangs. I would be looking at this car to get a nice, driver quality Mustang. If it is nicer than that, so be it. But as a driver... I am also looking for something cheap. So my range reflects what I want to pay for this based on the information at hand before the auction. I could easily be wrong here. We'll see.

Post Auction Comments: Make NADA is right. This car went for way more than I would have thought. I just don't see it unless the car was in very pristine shape. But that could be me. Maybe I should just give up on Mustangs.


1967 Pontiac Firebird - Sold For: $20,000

- From the Schwarz Family Collection
- 326 CI engine
- Recently rebuilt automatic transmission
- Power steering
- Power brakes
- Modern air conditioning
- Sound system
- Dual exhaust
- $11,000 in receipts since 2013 show
- Factory console
- Correct spoiler
- 3 point belts

When: Friday 7:10PM

NADA Average Retail: $16,300

Price Range: $10,000 - $15,000

Pre Auction Comments: My 5th and final FAVORITE. OK. It is unlikely I will make it to the last car on my list. Surely I would have bought something by now. But... if I had not, for whatever reason... here we are. I like the look of this car. Keep in mind... I am a Camaro guy. I have owned 2 already. I look at the Firebird as a compromise. I look at THIS Firebird and see a real nice driver. A car that should not be worth too much and could be driven a lot because of that. My high bid here is lower than NADA Average Retail. That's because I would prefer something else. My hard stop at $15,000 is at the top of my budget. I would always have a little extra in reserve (like the extra money to ship a car with 15 miles home). But this car is not special enough (to me) to justify stretching my budget. In fact, the only reason I would go above $13,000 is because after this car crosses the block... I am going home. We'll see.

Post Auction Comments: I am a little surprised this car went for as much as it did, but it seems reasonable. I assume this car was in really nice shape. Just out of my price range.


Conclusion

I went into this with 5 favorites... cars I would have seriously liked to bid on if I had a $15K budget. Two of the cars would have been mine easily. This shows that you can get an affordable classic at a high end auction.

Doing the research in advanced is a huge step. However, you need to be able to be flexible. While looking up the sold for prices, I saw several cars I had not seen before. I also saw cars not listed on the web site during the time I was watching live. Such as:

Spitfire
Skylark Convertible
Barracuda Fastback
GS 455
Corvette Pace Car
Challenger 440, 5 speed
Corvette Two Tone Red, Auto, A/C

If you plan to attend, do as much research before hand as possible. Also be prepared to be flexible and do more research on the spot (with a phone or tablet).

I can't wait for 2017 to do this for real.

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