Classic Car Watch
The Finalists (as of 2/23/2018) with Values Reported

NOTE: These are cars I am interesting in buying... I am not selling. Click this links if you are interested.

  ---- Value Guides ----

Here are the descriptions from Hagerty for #1, #2, #3 & #4 condition cars. I will be referring to them a lot in this column. I am also including NADA's explanation for High & Average Retail. The Average & High retail loosely correspond to #2 & #3, respectively. Most of the cars on this page are low to high #3. A couple I would consider very close to #2.

#1 Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is "concours."

#2 Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is "excellent."

#3 Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. "Good" is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.

#4 Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratched, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non-stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. "Fair" is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.

Average Retail
This vehicle would be in good condition overall. It could be an older restoration or a well-maintained original vehicle. Completely operable. The exterior paint, trim and mechanics are presentable and serviceable inside and out. A “20-footer”.

High Retail
This vehicle would be in excellent condition overall. It could be a completely restored or an extremely well-maintained original vehicle showing very minimal wear. The exterior paint, trim and mechanics are not in need of reconditioning. The interior would be in excellent condition. Some vehicles may be considered “matching numbers” vehicles. (Note: This does not represent a “100 Point” or “# 1” vehicle. A “100 Point” or “# 1” vehicle is not driven. It would generally be in a museum or transported in an enclosed trailer to concours judging and car shows. This type of car would be stored in a climate regulated facility.)

February 23, 2018
By Scott Lewis

It is time to get serious.

As if 8 articles prior to this didn't seem like I was serious. I have seen a lot of cars, and there are so many more I can't see because they are out of state. Below I am going to list the current Finalists. The cars located in Texas are first. These all have a very real chance. I am planning a trip back to Dallas on Friday, 3/2/2018. 6 of these cars are located there, and I hope to drive (or ride) in all of them. One dealer does not allow drives. They take you on a ride-a-long, since they don't own the cars (they are all on consignment).

Following the cars from Texas will be the cars from out of state. These are here in case I don't like the cars I drive in Texas. Or... I decide to really go for a special car. For instance, the the Monte Carlo SS454 in Florida leaps to mind. This car is perfect... if I want to spend my max on a car that has a big block and gets terrible gas mileage. There are also two red Mustang GTs from out of state that should be promising if all 4 Mustangs in Texas turn out to be disappointments.

I will be gathering all the pricing information I have retrieved from Hagerty and NADA before heading to Dallas. If I am particularly impressed with a car I will make an offer on the spot (and maybe wait around for the dealer to call the owner.). That would be fun.

Let's see these cars and what they "should" be worth. Though, these values are all over the place and it is hard to know what to believe.


---------------------  Texas  -----------------------


1969 Camaro - $33,995 (link)

Description: Green with Black over Green, 350, 4 Speed w/ console.

Hagerty #3 = $26,800, +20% 4 Speed = $32,160
NADA Average = $23,300, +15% 350, +$850 4 Speed = $27,645

Hagerty #2 = $34,100, +20% 4 Speed = $40,920
NADA High = $43,200, +15% 350, +$1,075 4 Speed = $50,755

Notes: I am currently in negotiations on this car. Weather has made it impossible for me to take a trip back to Dallas to test drive this and a few other cars, bit that will change soon. I have contacted the dealer and asked to test drive this car on 3/2.

I really like the outside. A friend reminded me why I should bring someone to look at the car with me. I was generally impressed with the cars form this dealership, so I did not go back out to my car and get my magnet. Shame on me! I will bring my magnet and check the body panels when I go to test drive this car.

If it drives well, I will likely start the buying process as we have already agreed on a price. I just need to be sure it drives well enough.

Stay Tuned!!!


1965 Mustang - $28,999 (link)

Description: Maroon over Black, 5.0, Auto, 4 Wheel Disc, 17" Wheels.

Hagerty #3 = $16,100
NADA Average = $23,200

Hagerty #2 = $24,000
NADA High = $35,500

Notes: I really want to drive this car. The late model 5.0 motor with aluminum heads should make this a pretty quick car. Does it handle well enough to match that power. The 4 wheel disc brakes should be all it needs, and an upgrade I would make. This dealer has a full shop, and can add aftermarket A/C as part of the sale. I am going to ask how much that would be (and compare it to a friend's restoration shop). All in preparation to negotiate on the price.

Putting a value on this car is much tougher than anything here. It is a RestoMod. You are paying for the quality of the work done. 4 wheel disc brake kits start at about $1,800 and go up from there. Do we account for that? Can we trust the work? Did they buy a nice aftermarket kit, or piece something together from parts from other cars? I just left the base values form each source.

I plan to drive this car first when I head to Dallas on 3/2. Why? Because if I like it enough I may skip the green Camaro above. Yea, I like this that much. If it had a manual transmission I would already have skipped the Camaro.


1972 Camaro RS - $29,900 (link)

Description: Yellow over Yellow/Black Houndstooth, 350, 4 Speed, PS, PDB, A/C.

Hagerty #3 = $16,500, +15% RS, +10% 4 Spd = $20,625
NADA Average = $15,800, +30% RS, +5% A/C, +$1,050 4 Spd = $22,380

Hagerty #2 = $20,400, +15% RS, +10% 4 Spd = $25,500
NADA High = $25,100, +30% RS, +5% A/C, +$1,325 4 Spd = $35,210

Notes: I still like this car. As soon as the weather clears I will reach out to the dealer and ask for a test drive. They told me they were going to repaint the rear stripes. Hopefully that is done. I should also use a magnet on this car. I know I had one with me the first time I saw it, I just don't recall using it as this car was so clean.

This car is ideal for a few reasons. 1) The price leaves me some room to tweak it to my preference (improved handling, braking and power); 2) It doesn't need anything, since it already has has disc brakes and A/C; 3) It has a 4 speed!!! Ultimately I need to know how fast or slow it feels. With 165 horsepower (Net) it might not feel fast by today's standards.

If none of the cars in Dallas impress me, I will drive this car and make an offer on the spot (assuming it doesn't disappoint me).


1965 Mustang - $27,900 (link)

Description: Burgundy over Black, 289, 4 Speed, Front Disc.

Hagerty #3 = $18,800, +10% 4 Spd = $20,680
NADA Average = $23,200, +15% 289/225, +10% 4 Spd = $29,000

Hagerty #2 = $25,700, +10% 4 Spd = $28,270
NADA High = $35,500, +15% 289/225, +10% 4 Spd = $44,375

Notes: I had written this car off because it seemed overpriced. Then I did my research on Hagerty and NADA. I hate this stuff. Hagerty in #2 Condition matches NADA's Average Retail. OMG!! Why can't these people get their acts together so regular people aren't confused by all the prices out there. Which one of these do I show the dealer if I want to negotiate? This car is a very solid #3, but I don't know if meets the criteria for a #2. Then again, the dealer will pull out the NADA information to defend their price as right in line with Average Retail. ARGHHH!!!

OK. We have here a very clean Mustang, with a 4 speed and disc brakes. It is under $30K, so I should have money left over to add A/C. This car is at the same dealer as the yellow Camaro above. I should reach out to the dealer and ask to setup test drives in both then make an offer on them.

This is the same dealer as the Yellow Camaro directly above. If the Burgundy or Maroon Mustangs above, nor the red Mustang below are good enough... and I decide I want a Mustang over a Camaro... this is the car.


1966 Mustang - $24,995 (link)


Description: Red over Black Pony Int, 289, Auto w/ Console, A/C.

Hagerty #3 = $20,100, -10% Auto = $18,090
NADA Average = $21,000, +10% 289/225, +10% A/C, +10% Pony Int. = $27,300

Hagerty #2 = $28,600, -10% Auto = $25,740
NADA High = $34,000, +10% 289/225, +10% A/C, +10% Pony Int. = $44,200

Notes: Once again.. this car is not a #2, so as a strong #3 Hagerty only values it at $18K. That seems ridiculous. Yet this car is priced below NADA Average Retail, which seems perfectly appropriate. Jeez!!!

I would take this car over the Burgundy Mustang directly above... but that car has a 4 speed. I need to see how this car drives. Let's say I get them down to $24K. And I put 25% down. Payments are about $280. If I go back and make an offer on the Green Monte Carlo of $17K and put 30% down that would get me a payment about $180. Together that's $460. Only $60 over budget... but with two cars!!!!

If this car had a 4 speed I would be done.


1972 Challenger - $29,995 (link)

Description: Red over Black, 340, Auto w/ Console & Slap Stik, A/C.

Hagerty #3 = $21,300, +10% A/C = $23,430
NADA Average = $17,700, +25% 340, +10% A/C = $23,895

Hagerty #2 = $32,400, +10% A/C = $35,640
NADA High = $26,700, +25% 340, +10% A/C = $36,045

Notes: OK, I had to cheat on the values for this car. Hagerty does not have an option for the 340 engine in the 72 Challenger, so I priced a 71 Challenger on their Valuation tool. They also did not give any allowance for the A/C, so I added the 10% myself.

Considering my cheat... this car has the closest price comparison of anything else on this page. Hagerty & NADA completely agree on this car!!!

Given the listed values for this #3 car (leaking tranny and power steering fluid), I would like to offer $25,000. I tracked a similar car with a black vinyl roof that took several months to sell and went from an asking price of $27K to an advertised price of $25K. Did it sell for even less, we will never know. This car would fly out of the dealer with a $25K price. Let's start there and see how the owner reacts.


1970 Monte Carlo - $19,800 (link)

Description: Green on Black, 400, Auto with Console, A/C (broken), 79K miles.

Hagerty #3 = $13,800
NADA Average = $13,130, +10% 400, +5% A/C = $15,122

Hagerty #2 = $20,500
NADA High = $21,000, +10% 400, +5% A/C = $24,150

Notes: This is still my fall back car in case I get the heebie jeebies for spending over $30K. Unfortunately, I think that won't happen. I am really liking the higher priced cars in nicer condition. However, if I buy a Mustang for cheap, maybe I can make a low offer on this car and park it next to a Mustang in my garage. Sweet!!!


1967 Cougar - $28,995 (link)

Description: Red over Black, 289, Auto w/ Console, A/C.

Hagerty #3 = $12,200, +15% A/C = $14,030
NADA Average = $16,800, +5% A/C = $17,640

Hagerty #2 = $18,000, +15% A/C = $20,700
NADA High = $31,400, +5% A/C = $32,970

Notes: I like this car. I just wish it was a little lower in price. Cougars used to always be cheaper than Mustangs, yet this car is right in the Mustang price mix. I think it compares nicely with the red 66 Mustang above for $25K. So in my head this car should be no more than, even less than, that Mustang.

This is a solid #3 car, definitely no more. Here Hagerty & NADA seem to reasonably agree that a Cougar in this condition should be lower than a similar Mustang. NADA is very generous for a high retail car. That is a huge jump of $15K.

If I take a second look at this car when I revisit the dealer, I will print the reports from each and offer $5K less than they are asking... $23K. That will likely be ignored, but I think it should not. The dealer should have done the exact research I did here and worked with the seller to set a price closer to its actual value. I get that the consignment shop needs to make a couple of grand to stay in business, but I think this car is priced too high.


1971 Corvette - $29,999 (link)

Description: White on Saddle, 350/270hp, Auto, A/C.

Hagerty #3 = $17,200, -8% Auto, +$2,000 A/C, +$900 Leather Int. = $18,724
NADA Average = $46,600, +5% A/C = $48,930

Hagerty #2 = $33,200, -8% Auto, +$2,000 A/C, +$900 Leather Int. = $33,444
NADA High = $58,400, +5% A/C = $61,320

Notes: This car is located in Austin, so pretty close. I emailed the dealer for some more information. Hopefully I will be able to get up to Austin when the weather improves to test drive this and see if I really want a Corvette or not.

I can't count how many times Hagerty and NADA are so far apart. It makes it impossible for people to get an idea what a car is really worth. These guys are approximately $30K apart at both levels. I QUIT!!!!


1966 Mustang GT- $31,995 (link)

For Sale: 1966 Ford Mustang

Description: Green over Parchment, 289 #'s Match, Auto w/ console, A/C, Pony Int, Rally Pak.

Hagerty #3 = $24,400, -10% Auto, +6% A/C = $23,424
NADA Average = $27,000, +10% A/C, +10% Pony Int., +5% Rally Pac = $33,750

Hagerty #2 = $35,100, -10% Auto, +6% A/C = $33,696
NADA High = $39300, +10% A/C, +10% Pony Int., +5% Rally Pac = $49,125

Notes: I liked this car when I saw it. It is a real GT loaded with options. This is not a #2 car, but is a strong #3. My friend with a restoration shop told me to offer $27K for this car. I think I would have a hard time doing that considering the Average Retail from NADA. What the hell... Hagerty deducts 10% for the auto and NADA gives 10%. Jeez! This looks like a nice $30K car to me.

This car is located at the same dealer as the Green 69 Camaro above. The dealer informed my that someone was arranging an inspection for this car, so it might be close to being sold.

Stay tuned. 



----------------  Out of State  ------------------


1969 Camaro - $29,900 (link)

Description: Blue over Black, 350, 5 Speed.

Hagerty #3 = $26,800, +10% 5 Spd = $29,480
NADA Average = $23,300, +15% 350, +$850 5 Spd = $27,645

Hagerty #2 = $34,100, +10% 5 Spd = $37,510
NADA High = $43,200, +15% 350, +$1,050 5 Spd = $50,955

Notes: Why am I looking at this out of state car? Because it is a 69 Camaro with a 5 speed... and the price is reasonable. I will have to pay for an inspection of this car. That will wait until I return from my Dallas trip. If I don't like anything (doubtful) or decide I must have a 69 Camaro and the Green one above disappoints too much... I will call and order an inspection of this car.

I like the color, but am undecided on the wheels. And consider there are drum brakes behind those huge wheels. Really? However, wheels are much easier to change than an ugly green interior. Granted, the ad is way to shallow on details and I need more photos. I reached out to the dealer through the web page. They emailed me with a link (I put it above) to their own site with more pictures. However, they are still low resolution photos (640x480). Come on! Send the originals. Anything is better than 640x480. Even phones are a lot higher resolution than that.

I didn't know what to do for the Hagerty pricing. They give +20% for factory 4 speed. Does that count here? I decided to go with +10% for the 5 speed. NADA just gives a dollar figure, which I consider too low. I will need to find out if the engine is original to really account for NADA's +15% for a 350. This car is at best a low #3. Given this car is at a dealer, and dealers need to make money to stay in business, I think we are close on the value here. I would wait for an inspection to see if the price needs to be negotiated.


1971 Monte Carlo SS454 - $35,997 (link)

1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

Description: Silver with Black over Black, 454 #'s Match, Auto w/ Console & Buckets,  Tach & Gauges, A/C, Florida.

Hagerty #3 = $22,500
NADA Average = $19,700, +5% A/C = $20,685

Hagerty #2 = $33,900
NADA High = $31,100, +5% A/C = $32,655

Notes: Why is this out of state car here? I can't go see it. Quite simply, because the photos of this car and the excellent video they provided allows me to consider buying this car without seeing it in person. It is the one vehicle here that I think I could buy without paying for an inspection.

Finally Hagerty and NADA agree on something. This car looks like it is right at a #2 (IMHO). We have a chance here to negotiate. I would straight up offer the $33,900 and send the Hagerty report with that offer. Or maybe... go $500 lower to help split the cost of shipping.

I have driven one Monte Carlo that drove very well. I would expect this car to drive just as well. Then there is the elephant in the room... I mean engine bay. Do I really want a big block, gas sucking car for my first classic? Kind of no. But this car is so nice, when would I get another chance at something like this. This is a serious first world problem


1969 Camaro SS - $39,995 (link)

1969 Chevrolet Camaro 1969 Chevrolet Camaro

Description: Fathom Green over Black, 350 #'s Match, Auto w/ Console and Gauges.

Notes: Why is this out of state car here? Because it is the perfect 69 Camaro (minus a manual transmission). It just needs A/C and I would love it forever. Here is the deal. This is the only car I have thought about going over budget with.

Hagerty #3 = $34,000
Hagerty #2 = $41,600

NADA Average = $23,300, SS + 30% = $30,290
NADA High = $43,200, SS + 30% = $56,160

Let's do the math. With 20% down and an 8 year load I am looking at payments of $440/month. I never did include the photography side work I do at a restoration shop in my budget. That pays me $200 or so a month. My budget could tolerate a little stretching.

As for value, this car looks like a #3+, but I can't say it is a #2 without a serious inspection. Based on Hagerty, this car should be between $34k-$41.6K. And it is... but on the higher end. If we split those numbers we get $37,800. I will use this information to make that my offer. But they are going to throw that high retail from NADA at me and say they are way below it. It does kind of meet NADA's description of High Retail. Keep in mind, NADA specifically says their High Retail does not include #1 cars, which implies that they think High Retail is for #2 cars. Is this closer in condition to NADA's Average Retail or High Retail. Again, a serious inspection/appraisal would be needed.

As stated, this does not look like a #2 car to me, but a very strong #3. Which value tool do I use? Hagerty's trend for these cars shows they took a pretty big hit from 2008-2010 (during the recession that impacted the auto manufactures and put some in bankruptcy). They have only started to come back up in the last couple of years. If another spike happens it could mean taking a loss if I had to sell this for some financial reason.

I reached out the the dealer and asked these questions: Is the mileage shown original? Has the engine ever been rebuilt? And.. is it on consignment? That last one being most important. If it is, they should present any reasonable offer to the owner. They also have the facilities to do work. Maybe get them to throw in a Vintage Air system and keep the price at $40k. I can live with that. Will they?

I am still strongly wrestling with going over budget. For less expensive cars I will have a little money left over for maintenance, repairs or modifications. None of that will be possible here. It will be harder to save for any of that as well, with a tighter budget.

Stay Tuned.


1966 Mustang Fastback - $32,995 (link)

Description: Blue over Blue, 289, Auto w/ Console, Rally Pak, A/C.

Haggerty #3 = $31,900, -10% Auto, +6% A/C = $30,624
NADA Average = $29,000, +15% 289/225, +10% A/C, +5% Rally Pak = $37,700

Hagerty #2 = $40,100, -10% Auto, +6% A/C = $38,496
NADA High = $52,600, +15% 289/225, +10% A/C, +5% Rally Pak = $68,380

Notes: Why is this out of state still on my list? Because this is a nice #3 car and it seems to be priced reasonably. It is also an affordable Fastback Mustang with A/C. If I am determined to get a Mustang Fastback this is the one I will pay to be inspected and buy without seeing it in person.


1970 Cutlass Supreme - $29,995 (link)

Description: Blue over Blue, 350, Auto on Column, Bench, A/C, 48K miles.

Hagerty #3 = $16,400
NADA Average = $12,050, +5% A/C = $12,652

Hagerty #2 = $25,100
NADA High = $17,600, +5% A/C = $18,480

Notes: Why is this out of state car here? Quite simply, this car looks to be in the nicest condition of every car here (including the SS454 Monte Carlo). I suspect this is a #2 condition car. If I decided I just wanted a super clean, low mileage classic car... this is that car. Both Hagerty and NADA agree this car is overpriced, though their spread is again... ridiculous. I can't imagine they would accept a $25,100 offer. Do they think this car is better than a #2, pushing a #1 (which Hagerty says is worth $40,200).

I have been tracking this car since October 2017. So it's not exactly "priced to move." Maybe I should offer the $25K.


1965 Mustang GT - $32,900 (link)

Description: Red over Black Pony Int., 289, 4 Speed, A/C.

Hagerty #3 = $25,100, +10% 4 Spd, +6% A/C = $29,116
NADA Average = $27,400, +10% 4 Spd, +10% A/C, +10% Pony Int. = $35,620

Hagerty #2 = $37,200, +10% 4 Spd, +6% A/C = $43,152
NADA High = $40,200, +10% 4 Spd, +10% A/C, +10% Pony Int. = $52,260

Notes: Why is this out of state car still here? Simple... it is one seriously nice, real Mustang GT with a 4 speed and A/C. It also looks to be comparable to the condition of the Fathom Green Camaro. Looks to be a high #3 car. The asking price seems right on the money to me.

Depending on how the local Mustangs go... I might have to reach out to the dealer if I want a real nice, real GT.


1972 GS - $24,995 (link)

1972 Buick GS 1972 Buick GS

Description: Orange over Black, 350 #'s Match, Auto w/ Console, A/C.

Hagerty #3 = $11,500, +10% Auto = $12,650
NADA Average = $22,300, +$1,500 A/C = $23,800

Hagerty #2 = $17,100, +10% Auto = $18,810
NADA High = $41,700, +$2,200 A/C = $43,900

Notes: I have been tracking this car since April of last year!!! Let's go past the color for a moment. This car had a frame off restoration just over 10k miles ago. Nice! It is a numbers matching true GS 350. Great. The interior was restored with Dyna Mat included. I like that. Power Steering, Power Disc Brakes, Cold A/C, and even some Hotchkis suspension components all contribute to a car you should be able to drive the wheels off.

So why hasn't it sold? I have to assume the color has a huge impact on this car's desirability. I am stumped by Hagerty on this one. They credit this car 20% for a 4 Speed, and 10% for an Auto. So what tranny doesn't get a value increase. Of course, NADA doesn't even come close to Hagerty's values. Shoot me now! I think this is the largest difference between average and high retail I have seen.

I have a friend that lives in Orlando. Maybe I need to reach out to him to check this car out. First question for my friend would be... what color is it really? When I saved the photo above from their web site it looks more eye searing orange/red than it does on their web site. This could be a white balance problem with their photos. I took the photo into Lightroom and tried to do a white balance adjustment and it looked better. Maybe I was trying too hard to get it to look less impactful. I would ask my friend to snap a couple of decent phone pics to see how orange this car really is. 


1966 Mustang GT - $27,995 (link)

Description: Red over Black, 289, 4 Speed, Rally Pac, Bench, A/C.

Hagerty #3 = $24,400, +10% 4 Spd, +6% A/C = $28,304
NADA Average = $27,000, +10% A/C, +10% 4-Spd = $32,400

Hagerty #2 = $35,100, +10% 4 Spd, +6% A/C = $40,716
NADA High = $39,300, +10% A/C, +10% 4-Spd = $47,160

Notes: Why is this out of state car still here? Because it is the the least expensive real GT I have seen in nice condition... and it has a 4 speed and A/C. If any of the local Mustangs disappoint me I will turn to this car and pay for an inspection. This is a fall back. The bottom line is that this car has the same drive train as the Burgundy Mustang that is local. I have seen that local car and can attest to its condition. This car has to sell me on photos alone. Oh, and the A/C and the GT equipment... most of which is easily added... for a price. So, is it worth it to go out of state for this car? That is the big question. 


I am stunned that I still have 10 cars just in Texas I am serious about. Wow! Of course, I can't seem to stop thinking about some of the best cars I like around the country with another 8 cars.

At this point this is the list that all other cars will be measured. If I get the heebie jeebies in Dallas and decide to just be more patient to wait for that just right car, any new car will have to displace one of these. Assuming they don't drop off just buy how they drive.

Dallas on 3/2. It should be enlightening.