Classic cars

I notice that traditional muscle cars in restored or very clean original condition from the mid 60’s to early 70’s era, like Chevelles, Z28 Camaros, Corvettes, Cobra Mustangs, Roadrunners, Challengers, etc, are now selling in the $40k to $200k range. But luxury muscle coupes from the same era (Riviera, Toronado, Eldorado, Lincoln Mark III) in similar condition can be had for $10k to $15k. My question is, are these luxury cars with the same monster engines and nostalgic memories undervalued?

I like to hear lots of opinions.

In so-called classic cars the value is what people think somehting is worth and that is based on demand an PROMOTION. When the T Bird got 4 seats, the 55, 56 and 57 models became instant “classics”.

The early Mustangs were dismal cars, but they command a good pice.

If someone like Jay Leno started promoting big classic cars, they could increase in value. Until then, such a car is worth little more than what is worth as TRANSPORTATION. Very low production models, such as the ElDorado Biarritz, the first Buick Skylarks command more money than the higher volume conventional cars of that era.

My question is, are these luxury cars with the same monster engines and nostalgic memories undervalued?

They’re worth exactly what people are willing to pay for them so I wouldn’t call them undervalued.

Some years back, when the coupes of that era started to become more scarce, people turned toward their sedan counterparts. Soon, the auto mags were doing articles on sedans and how they were now the rage for restorations.

By and large, people typically long for cars that were “cool” when they were young but they couldn’t afford at the time. Once they have some disposable income, they tend to gravitate toward hobby cars they wanted back “in the day”. Luxury sedans typically don’t fit that mold…

If you’re getting your figures from the televised auctions, be careful for two reasons - first, most of those are replays from months ago, before the current downturn. Prices on all but the rarest are dropping steeply. Second, even before, it took a rare combination of options (highest power engine, convertible, excellent documentation, etc.) to get the big $$. The ‘muscle coupes’ you’re talking about normally didn’t have the highest power engines. Muscle cars with more ordinary engines, ones comparable to those in the coupes you describe, go for much less, often in the $20k rangs.

Many people think the cars you mentioned will be the “next big thing.” If you also believe it now’s the time to buy.

Don’t put too much credence into those TV auctions where those faux car guys are playing games with money. Most of those people are simply investors simply looking to turn a buck based on trends and perception and do not really “love” classic cars at all.
I can’t think of how many of those people I’ve seen actually state they were doing it for investment purposes only.

My opinion is that the luxury “muscle coupes” as I call them are not undervalued. It’s more of a matter of the Vettes, Cobras, Mopars, etc. being overvalued and some of those investment people are discovering this the hard way as prices have peaked and headed downwards.

A recent TV auction showed someone selling a very slick Lemon Twist Yellow Roadrunner Superbird with No Reserve on it. The car went for 70k dollars (a steal IMHO) and one wonders if the seller actually completed this deal or simply pulled out and chose to get blackballed by the auction company. Or maybe the seller had a buddy buy it back for him to avoid unloading the car on the cheap.

I’ve also seen several cars purchased at one auction for X dollars, put up for sale at another auction 6 months later, and bring nowhere near what the seller (investor) paid for it. That’ll learn 'em.

Personally, I especially love those early Rivieras. The 401 and 430 powered cars would flat haul. I own a Mark VIII and it’s the most comfortable, pleasant driver I’ve ever owned with more than enough power to get me down the road. To me it’s not really a classic at this point and sale prices on them are comparatively low but down the road who knows.

I think twinturbo has the right idea. Those overpowered land barges appealed to an older crowd than the typical muscle cars so the demographic they originally appealed to are by and large gone. And the baby boomers, whose collective mid-life crises has been a major factor in the inflated cost of muscle cars, were never really all that interested in them.

I think the only reason why the big luxury coupes are getting more valuable is that they’re getting rarer. A lot of those gas-guzzlers didn’t make it through the (first) energy crisis and most of them have been practically worthless since the early 80’s. Out here, you see a LOT of these moldering away in farmer’s fields.

Relative to market conditions ,supply and demand can make or break the classic designation of any item from furniture to base ball cards to guitars and cars. How bad do you want it and how much money do you have ? If “classic” is in question when selling start on the high end to see what the market can bear.
I’ve been offered $10,000 for my 79 chevy short stepside pickup that needs a paint job badly. And back in '82 I took my Ampeg Dan Armstrong clear acrylic bass guitar to the music store to trade in on something else and the store owner said he would GIVE me a Rickenbacker strait accross.

“I’ve been offered $10,000 for my 79 chevy short stepside pickup that need a paint job badly.”

I sincerely hope you took that offer…

Well because their not muscle cars. The Tornonado was front wheel drive. The others mentioned where just land yachts that don’t offer they performance and excusivity of a Hemi Cuda or Yenko Camaro. I don’t think such cars will ever be as desirable as real classic muscle cars. You may see them go up in value slightly, but nowhere near such lofty heights of the Shelby Mustangs or Chargers. People may buy them to get ahold of their engines for musclecar restorations. If the luxo barg has a 427,429 or 426 then it might be worth something to someone who needs a rare engine for another restoration.

Not yet , my wife won’t sell her “baby” and we have our other two daily drivers.

There are different reasons why luxury cars are being sold considerly less than muscle cars, many of which are already listed. One reason not yet brought up, IMOO, is that lots of these cars,muscle cars, are being bought simply to relive the glory days of one with a fat wallet and in the middle of a mid life crisis.

Just a couple things. I would not buy a car as an investment-just not a very good one. The popular cars are the ones that were popular or you wanted most when you were a kid and couldn’t afford. I’ve seen a lot of the stock cars of the 50’s and 60’s go for a pretty hefty sum depending on the condition so I think it depends on the level and the quality of the restoration. Those that manage to get their money out again and even make a little are few and far between. If you just BE you are lucky. The ones making the money on them are the ones doing the restorations. If you aren’t going to enjoy having and driving an old classic, don’t bother buying one.