Domestic Affairs (19)

Authentic, "no excuses" cars hold their value even in a down market, and this result bore that out, with fierce bidding from the outset This rare 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS NASCAR Pace Car finished in Dover White with Deluxe Blue Comfort Weave interior features its original matching-numbers 396-ci big-block backed by a Muncie 4-speed. It is nicely loaded with options, including power disc brakes, power steering, factory air conditioning, power windows, console with gauge package, fiber optics, rear vigil light, steel wheels with poverty caps, front and rear spoilers, AM/FM Blue Dot stereo, tilt wheel, rosewood wheel, and more. Additionally,…

Restoration 101

Written by November 2008
I've seen $2,500 air filters, a $35,000 exhaust, $5,000 plug wires, $10,000 batteries, and $50,000 original tires It's a common misconception that domestic cars are cheap and easy to restore. Unfortunately, many people have found out too late that this is not true. Let's face facts: Most restorations are financial suicide. Unless you have an extremely rare and valuable car whose value will increase far more than the cost of its restoration, or a solid car now worth six figures that you inherited or bought so long ago your cost basis is near zero, restoring a car properly pretty much…
The Challenger is a surprisingly solid car, far better than the class-leading Mustang. And yes, it will do a smokey burnout Chrysler's latest entrant into the "retro-muscle" wars, the new Dodge Challenger, has been burning up Internet car chat forums and magazine covers since its introduction. It's a car I've wanted to beat the tar out of, but I hadn't found a willing owner until the last week of July in New York City, when I was invited to the 2009 Dodge Challenger Media First Drive. For the most part, I like the retro-muscle movement, but I feel something gets…

Triumphs of the Will

Written by September 2008
As Triumph TR prices lag behind Austin-Healeys, determined, well-advised collectors can find bargains The big news in British cars over the past ten years has been the rapid rise in prices for Austin-Healeys-from $25,000 to $75,000 for very nice cars, with a few magnificent ones bringing $100,000 plus. By contrast, Triumphs-which offer much the same highway performance and creature comforts-couldn't break out of the $7,500 to $15,000 range. Until this year. In the past twelve months, most of the Triumph sales at auction have been in the $20,000 to $35,000 range.Could it be, now that Austin-Healeys are no longer "affordable…
If somebody out there has a GT40 and a Daytona Coupe in the same garage, please, let me live there. I promise to take good care of your cars To celebrate SCM's 20th birthday, I hereby offer my take on a Top 20 list. The criteria were simple: I didn't focus on a particular era or type of car. I just picked cars I would like to see in my garage. That can be because they are historically significant, or really fast, or particularly pleasing to look at. No rhyme or reason; the common theme is they are cars I…

The Dandy Griffith

Written by July 2008
If not treated with respect, the car's 85-inch wheelbase and 289 Ford V8 will have you spinning like a dog chasing a laser pointer Unlike the environmentally conscious, fuel-sipping, ultra-low emissions, and utterly boring "hybrid" cars of today, a whole different group deserved that name in the 1960s. They consisted of European sports cars that fell into the hands of cottage industry "manufacturers," which took Italian and British sports car sophistication (or lack thereof) and shoehorned in American V8 lumps.The period is the 1960s, so we are skipping cars built by men like Cunningham and Allard, though all these creations…
The Shelby influence is very much evident on the Viper, and he is considered one of the car's "four fathers" The discontinuation of several Chrysler models to help stop the corporation's financial bleeding is no secret. Rumors abound about Dodge's Viper being on this list, and numerous Dodge "insiders" claim the Viper will be discontinued after 2009. Has the Viper been a resounding success, merely in danger of corporate cost-cutting, or would its termination brand it as a failure? To make that determination, let's look back at the Viper's history to see if it has stayed true to its original…
These homologation specials are among the most enjoyable muscle cars- they can actually dance, rather than just run fast From humble beginnings, by the late 1960s, the Trans-American Sedan Championship Series grew into one of the most popular events in SCCA history. Conceived as a sedan racing class for production-based cars with a minimum of four seats and engine displacement of between 2 liters and 5 liters, everything from Datsun 510s and Alfa Romeo GTVs duked it out with big American iron. Manufacturers such as GM, Ford, Chrysler, and even AMC jumped at the chance to get their wares in…

The Lost Generation

Written by April 2008
Pontiac Firebird SD, Buick Grand National GNX, Mustang 5.0­-highlights of the muscle flexed in '70s and '80s Detroit The American collectible car contingent has long argued over when the "real" cars stopped rolling out of Detroit. Collectible prices indicate Detroit's muscle atrophied with astonishing speed after 1971. What followed was a period of wheezy darkness that included 165-hp Corvettes, and it didn't fully recover until the horsepower wars of the 1990s.Things were so bad by the late 1980s, that pavement-pounding '60s muscle cars were sought by the younger crowd, which was my generation. But time marches on, and much to…
I fully expected Scottsdale to result in a dismal showing for muscle car prices. I couldn't have been more wrongLast year's Arizona auctions proved that we were indeed due for a well deserved and most predictable "adjustment" in many segments of the muscle car market. As such, 2007 brought us more headlines about the muscle car market "crash" than those of Britney Spears's need for psychiatric care. The last twelve months have been filled with intense scrutiny of the muscle market. Now that a full year has passed and we have another stack of results from this year's Arizona auctions,…
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