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Discussion Starter #1
Sometime next year I think Im going to add a classic to the stable.

Im not sure what Im going to buy, but I think its going to be a GM product.

I want a car that has been professionally restored/refurbished.

What has brought me to that decision is the number of hack job restos I see for 30k + asking prices.

How does one start a search for a quality car, fairly priced and that will hold its value?

How is value determined? Appraisals and insurance value are only opinions, nothing more. Likewise, cost of restoration means nothing. A lot of people make bad decisions restoring cars.

Should I want until after the 2020 election, just in case the economy crashes? Im paying cash and cash is king.
 

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Dont buy a car as an investment...its a terrible investment, you are far better off buying stock or any number of other things that will actually make money instead of barely keeping up with inflation.

That being said...if I were to buy a classic GM, I think I would be looking for a Cosworth Vega...most of those lose the Cossie engine because shortsighted people swap them for v8s
 

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You really just need to know what you're looking at. Being able to spot shoddy work is a plus. Wavy panels are almost always a dead give away for a poor quality resto.

Once you *finally* find one that's laser straight, you need to look under and behind all panels to look for joints/welds/etc. I always bring a soft flexible magnet to check for bondo.

I know a lot of people will disagree, but I never bring cash or a trailer with me. I've saved myself from some poor decisions by sleeping on it over night. You might lose out on a good deal, but you might also save yourself a headache. The kind of quality car you're looking for (I'm assuming in the 30-40K range) don't normally sell overnight.

Also, believe it or not, I've found A LOT of reasonably priced cars on facebook. And, if you're near Atlanta, I'd check out Streetside Classics. Yes, they're a little high, and yes, they do have some lipstick pigs, but the last time I went to Charlotte they had well over 200 cars and you can get a better idea of what you're really looking for so you can narrow down your list and get a better idea on price.

If you want something that's going to be up and coming, I'd take a serious look at the 67-72 F-100s. They're one fine *** looking truck as a short bed lowered 2wd.

I have a 68 Firebird, and I looked at them for years before I finally bought one. Pontiacs overall have dropped in price over the past few years. You can pick up a pretty nice lemans, or even a firebird, significantly cheaper then their Chevrolet twins.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Im always looking for a good investment, but a car is a horrible investment, anyone who thinks otherwise is going to end up in a trailer park eating bennie-wennies 3x a day.

There is always a day when you sell, either by choice or necessity. When that day comes, I want to recoup as much of my money as I can, hense, Im passing on pro-street Pacers.

Im leaning towards a pre-60 El Camino or Ranchero.
 

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Rarity and desirability in a collector car may be a good investment like true low-number Shelbys, Yenko, COPO, etc kind of things but I'll never have that kind of capital and even if I did I don't think I would tie it up in a car. If the economy or power grids were to tank, and fuel itself became a rarity, the somewhat "practical" vehicles I currently have would be worthless until I got what I needed to make veggie diesel for my truck and convert my Mustang to run on wood alcohol...
The most important thing to have if all else fails will be clean water.
What's in my wallet? A band-aid or two.
What's in my safe? Things that go bang to get food, keep my family safe and make sure I keep what I have.
Seriously, cars are meant to be enjoyed however. Find what you like.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Rarity and desirability in a collector car may be a good investment like true low-number Shelbys, Yenko, COPO, etc kind of things but I'll never have that kind of capital and even if I did I don't think I would tie it up in a car. If the economy or power grids were to tank, and fuel itself became a rarity, the somewhat "practical" vehicles I currently have would be worthless until I got what I needed to make veggie diesel for my truck and convert my Mustang to run on wood alcohol...
The most important thing to have if all else fails will be clean water.
What's in my wallet? A band-aid or two.
What's in my safe? Things that go bang to get food, keep my family safe and make sure I keep what I have.
Seriously, cars are meant to be enjoyed however. Find what you like.

I dont understand how a word of your post is relevant to my thread.
 

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I have to disagree with the notion that collector cars are a bad investment. Bad decisions make bad investments. I've bought numerous cars and not lost a dime on any of them (knocking on wood right now). Being smart, educated on the vehicle at hand , examining carefully by knowing what to look for, negotiating well, and having the jingle in your pocket at that moment are all keys to a successful buy. Now this is assuming a buy for resale- not necessarily a buy for keeps. If I find the car of my dreams and I have to have it (to keep), I may spend strong money on it. If my intentions are to flip it, I'll typically want to be in it for 1/2 - 3/4 what it's actually worth. I do have the advantage of being able to do all repairs myself; body, mechanical, upholstery, glass, etc, which makes a big difference. As far as clean water and wood alcohol.... don't know what to tell you.... lol
 

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Restoration quality? Value? Prices? Scarcity? Desirability? Investment? The economy crashing? So I got off the rails when musing on how bad it could get and how worthless all the collector cars in the world would be without people having the disposable income to spend on them or the fuel and parts to keep them on the road. But find what you like didn't make sense? Ebay, Craigslist, AutoGurus, Autotempest...go to a Mecum or Barrett-Jackson and pay their premium. Whatever.
 

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I have to disagree with the notion that collector cars are a bad investment. Bad decisions make bad investments. I've bought numerous cars and not lost a dime on any of them (knocking on wood right now). Being smart, educated on the vehicle at hand , examining carefully by knowing what to look for, negotiating well, and having the jingle in your pocket at that moment are all keys to a successful buy. Now this is assuming a buy for resale- not necessarily a buy for keeps. If I find the car of my dreams and I have to have it (to keep), I may spend strong money on it. If my intentions are to flip it, I'll typically want to be in it for 1/2 - 3/4 what it's actually worth. I do have the advantage of being able to do all repairs myself; body, mechanical, upholstery, glass, etc, which makes a big difference. As far as clean water and wood alcohol.... don't know what to tell you.... lol
I doubt very much you never lost a dime on any of them...if that were the case...lets say you bought a T-code mustang new in 1966 for $3000 and sold it in 1986...the 1986 selling price would have to be $4200...just to keep pace with inflation....but interest doesn't really work like that...its compounded every year, so that price would actually need to be closer to $6000(dont feel like doing the math) and I dont think ANYONE was paying $6000 in 1986 for a T-code coupe considering you could buy one today for $8000 in decent running condition.

I bought a 2005 Mazda 6 with 150k miles on it about 4 years ago for $1200. I could sell it today easily enough for $1500 with 250k miles on it...but I will still have lost money on it...not only inflation, but parts, time invested in swapping the engine, etc etc, even if I sold it for $3000 I would STILL have lost money on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ahh simple math and a basic understanding of accounting principals.

The future value of a dollar is expressed as: FV = P(1 + r)n

That future value is determined by how much the dollar earns - inflation.

As a benchmark the S&P 500 averages an annual return of 10% - an annual inflation average of 3%. So a reasonable estimate of return is 7% - taxes owed.

"Investing" and thats a pretty loose term in an automobile:

Purchase price, taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs, storage, operating cost ect.

You can see where this is going. Yes a few people will make money investing in cars, but thats a very few and they will sometimes lose money on cars as well.

The real money in cars is to own a auto auction house or a auto consignment showroom.

Anyway, I just want a professionally restored classic to drive and enjoy. Its not an investment, its a hobby.
 

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I just completed the same journey last week. I was looking at all of the major dealers across the nation including local to me here in Texas. Didn't care if it was Ford, GM or Mopar. I was looking for a nice car, properly built and documented. I was close to flying to NC when this one appeared 20 miles away. Documents include the original broadcast sheets, a pile of many tens of thousands of dollars worth of receipts, photos of the body on the rotisserie and even copies of the $100 check for the deposit and one of the payoff check the following day. Stacks of original owner maintenance receipts from the original dealership (lots of oil leaks and tranny troubles...). I am adding power brakes to it. Short of that it drives great. I gave $35K for it. My word of advice is "patience".













 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wayne isnt the manager at Mighty-Mart who dabbles in buying and selling classics to make money.

But hey, go ahead with that and get back to us with an update on how much money you are making!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Nice car Box, my Mopar experience was a 67 GTX, one owner when I bought it. Nice car, nice cruiser. I sold it when I was stationed in FL and without AC no one would ride in it with me.
 

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Wayne isnt the manager at Mighty-Mart who dabbles in buying and selling classics to make money.

But hey, go ahead with that and get back to us with an update on how much money you are making!
That’s not even a good job on trying to walk it back. You may not be able to make money that way but plenty of others can.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Im walking nothing back. I say BS, few people make money buying and selling classics, unless it is a business specifically tailored toward that segment of the market.

Very few people are making money on classics buying and selling out of their garage, if there was money to be made there, we would all be doing it. My pockets are deep enough, but maybe thats why they are deep, I dont blow money on risky investments that have little chance of a return.
 

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Consider the cost to restore a car. It is made up of parts and labor. Parts for a "special" car may be more expensive but it takes no more labor to restore a 1965 GT350R than it does to restore a 1966 6 cylinder coupe assuming they start for similar initial condition. Spending 1,000 hours ($75-100k)for a concour restoration of the GT350 may make total financial sense as the car could likely be sold to recoup the investment. No way would you recover the same investment in 66 coupe. Your challenge is with "professional restoration". Those are very expensive. You are not likely to find a professionally restored car at a reasonable cost unless it is an estate sale where the owner died.

The Dart posted is a very nice looking car. I expect the previous owner had way more money invested than the sale price...unless they did the work themselves. Frankly, I find that car too nice to drive.

You also have to be careful of "professional" work from the likes of Gas Monkey (for example). While they are "pros", they are pros at flipping cars. Put lipstick on the pig and sell it for a profit.

Be prepared to look at lots of cars. Know which ones have parts available if needed. Buy what tickles you, as that is what this purchase is about.
 

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I bought and sold two 65 convertibles this year. After parts, insurance, registration, swap spaces, etc., I cleared $13k. No, it does not include my labor. I won't quit my day job, but it helps offset out-of-state college tuition, and I will continue doing it as long as "deals" come about. Been doing this off and on for 30 years, and it's been a self-supporting hobby.

Good luck in your endeavor. Buy quality. Research the auctions. Buy something you won't mind keeping in the event you have to sit on it for awhile.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I cant build that Dart or a similar car for anywhere near 35k, that was a really great deal.

I had a 69 Dart GT in HS, loved it and drove it until it was wore out. In those days its was cheaper to find another car vs repair the one you had.

As a skinny HS kid, I liked small cars, as a larger adult, I tend to like mid-sized cars.
 
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