Why do Collectors Favor the 1957 Bel Air over the 1957 Fairlane?

57 Ford Fairlane

Back in 1957, I was a high school freshman, not quite old enough to have my driver’s license.  Even though I could not legally drive, I was already a certified car nut.  The fall introduction of the new cars was a big deal.  When I first laid my eyes on the new 1957 Ford, my initial reaction was “Wow”!   It was love at first sight.

1957 was the year when most American cars, except for Chevy and Pontiac, were  dramatically longer, wider, and lower than their 1956 predecessors.   In the case of Ford, the new Fairlane series was five inches lower, had a two-and-one-half inch longer wheel base and measured more than nine inches longer overall compared to 1956 models.   The Custom and Custom 300 were three inches longer overall and had a one half-inch longer wheel base. The difference in dimensions and style is a good example of creating a clear distinction between the lower and higher priced models in the same brand (Ford).

One way to make the 1957 models looks was to change from fifteen inches diameter wheel rims to fourteen inches.  Another unique feature on all Ford Motor Company models for 1957 was a rear opening hood.  And 1957 was the year Ford introduced the mini-fin on all models including the Thunderbird.   These fins enhanced the side look of the Fairlane 500 series, especially when in a two-tone color combination.  The lines and
color flowed in a symmetrical ideal of great “Art Form.”

About ten years later in 1967, I had the distinction of owning two different 1957 Fords.  The first was a beat up Ranch wagon with the 223 cubic inch 6-cylinder engine with a three-speed manual column shift.  The car had lots of cargo room, comfortable vinyl bench seats, and rode well.  Also during this time span, I bought a low mileage 272 cubic inch V8 Custom 300 four-door sedan with the two-tone blue and white color combination. This was a solid middle class sedan that had reasonable pickup and passing power and, despite not having power steering, handled well.

To me and others, one of the mysteries in the collector car hobby is why the 1957 Chevy Bel Air’s are much more sought after than 1957 Fords.  The average values of each brand tell the story of this demand. While both 2 door hardtop models sold for within $200 of each other as new models, today the Bel Air sells for over twice as much as a Fairlane in comparable condition. The question remains: Why do collectors favor the Bel Air over the Fairlane?

~Submitted by Patrick Costello, AAG Certified Agent, Green Bay, Wisconsin

We’d like to hear from you!  Tell us which of these 1957 models you prefer – the Bel Air or the Fairlane and why.

1937 Cord Model 812

Tan Cord

The 1936 Cord 810 and the 1937 Cord 812 were in the second generation of Cords produced by the Auburn Automobile Company. Those Cords were the first to have unibody construction, hide-away headlights, concealed door hinges, taillights built into the car instead of being bolted on separately, no running boards, and the hood opened like an alligator mouth instead of a two-piece hood that folded over. Those Cords were also powered by a Lycoming flat aluminum head V-8 with 125 horsepower or 175 horsepower with the supercharger, which far exceeded Ford’s flathead V-8 with 60 horsepower during the same period. If you could see exposed exhaust coming from under the hood, it was a supercharged engine; if not, it was the basic engine. The Cord was priced at twice the price of a Cadillac or Lincoln.

In 1935, automobile manufacturers had to produce 100 cars of a given model in order for it to be eligible to be displayed at the New York auto show at the end of the year. The first 100 Cords were hand-made to make this objective. It was hoped they would save the Auburn Automobile Company during the great depression, but their quality suffered from this rush to market. New owners experienced many problems with the cars, and local service station mechanics did not want to work on them. Cadillac, Lincoln, and Packard dealers were flooded with used Cords on their car lots, and the Cords soon became worth close to nothing before World War II.

The Auburn Automobile Company produced cars from 1900 to 1937, 1964, and 1967 to 1981. The name was changed to Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Company in 1938. The first generation of Cords was produced in 1929-1932, when E. L. Cord was in control of the company, and the car was named after him. The price of the Cord was set in the range between the Auburn brand and the Duesenberg brand. About 5,000 of these first generation autos were manufactured. These cars have a very long aluminum hood due to the front wheel drive, and the hoods brought a premium in salvage values during World War II.

About 2000 second generation Cords were produced in 1936 and 1937, and the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg (http://www.acdclub.org/) club estimates that about 1,000 still exist today. The Cord was available in a 4-door sedan Westchester, a longer 4-door sedan Beverly, a one-seat Sportsman convertible, and a two-seat phaeton convertible. The third generation of Cords were produced in 1964, which is referred to as the Glenn Pray Cord because he bought the company in 1960 and moved it from Auburn, Indiana, to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
~Submitted by Joe Smith, AAG Certified Agent, Sand Springs, OK

Scottsdale 2014 Auction Value Trends

2014 Arizona Chart 1

Auction Results Comparison

¨ 2347 vehicles sold in 2014

¨ 2188 vehicles sold in 2013

¨ 159 more vehicles sold this year. $243M spent in 2014

¨ $222M spent in 2013

¨ Sales up $21M this year

¨ Stats are unofficial, includes buyer’s commission and does not include boats, planes, RV, trikes etc..


2014 Arizona chart 2

Top Arizona Auction Sales

in January 2014

¨ 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder. Sold for $8.8 Million at RM

¨ 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Series I Cabriolet. Sold for $6.6 Million at Gooding & Company

¨ 1951 Ferrari 212 Export Berlinetta. Sold for $3.2 Million at Bonhams

¨ 1966 Lamborghini 350GT early Production. Sold for $742,630 at Russo & Steele

 

AAG’s 2014 Value Trends Seminar is now available for presentation to your local car club or as a seminar at an upcoming event. The seminar includes Scottsdale Auction results wrap-up and forecast for classic car value trends in the near future. Contact our office for scheduling information. 800-848-AUTO

 

Tips for Buying a Classic Car at Auction

I love auctions. The crowds, the chant, the bright lights, the bids. We all know it’s easy to get caught up in the excitment and emotions. So what do we really need to focus on? Here are a few tips when buying a classic car or any vehicle at auction.

1. Buy the one you want with the equipment, engine, color, options and history that you want. If you settle for something else, chances are you’ll find the one you want next month.  Then you’ll find it may be harder to sell your initial purchase than it was to buy.

2. Buy the one with documentation. When was it restored, who restored it, what was done at that time, what was it originally before it was restored?

3. Look at the title before you buy it.  This may tell you the motivation of the seller and can help you price your purchase.

4. Have someone look at it for you or with you. Love is blind. We all know that. Let someone look at the car from a more objective point of view. A pre purchase inspection could save you from making a big mistake or help you buy with more confidence.

 

2013 ZEPHYRHILLS FALL AUTOFEST & COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION

Be part of the auction excitement on Friday and Saturday, November 15 & 16 at Festival Park for the ever-popular collector car auction. This auction sees nearly 300 cars cross the block and cars are frequently run in the following categories: Muscle Car, Street Rod, Classic Car, Antique, Luxury, Exotic, Race Car, Sports Car, Specialty Truck and Motorcycle. If you are interested in machines that fall in these groups, this could be a real buying opportunity. Stop by AAG’s booth to learn about our auto appraisal and prepurchase inspection services. Sellers, come talk to us about documenting your car. Documented cars sell for more than those with no documented history.  AAG can help.

 

Fall Car Show Recap

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  • Fall Carlisle—October 2-6

Beautiful weather, good crowds and enthusiastic hobbyists.  Looking forward to the Carlisle Events sponsored Zephyrhills Show in Florida Nov. 14-17  Expect easier registration with no up-front fees at the collector car auction.

  • AACA Fall Meet—Hershey, October 9-12

Very wet start but finished strong. After rain all week it cleared up in time for the judging on Saturday.

 

Mike Jones joins AAG Group of Certified Agents

Jones CertificationAACA’s National Director, Mike Jones has considered moving into the field for some time. After the class he told us, “I was impressed with the thoroughness, volume and breadth of information included in the class binder. The fact that there were six class members of varying ages and backgrounds-all coming from a diverse geographical locale-  speaks volumes. It is undeniably clear to me that the Auto Appraisal Group is the industry leader and that they far exceed what other agencies are capable of offering.”

The four day class includes a review of AAG principals and standards, appraisal techniques, photographing and grading automobiles, prepurchase inspections and some ideas about how to successfully build your local agency.

Are you Interested in attending an AAG Certification Class in Fort Lauderdale FL in November 2013?  Submit this agency application to our office and we will be in touch to answer all your questions.

 

Collector Car Insurance coverage Options

As with all types of insurance, there can be some confusion about what you’re actually getting.

Actual Cash Value

The most popular type of policy written for daily drivers will only pay out the value determined by the insurance company at the time of your total loss accident. Usually based on used car prices rather than the value in the collector car market.

Stated Value

Very popular with collector car owners. You determine the amount that your car is insured for. If you have a total loss claim, that amount is the starting point for depreciation or other adjustments made by the insurer before settlement. You receive the lower of the stated value or actual cash value amounts.

Agreed Value

You and the insurer agree to the amount of coverage and the premium is adjusted accordingly. If you have a total loss claim you receive the full amount of the agreed value for your vehicle.

Insurance for your Insurance

How do you know if you are insured for the correct amount? An AAG auto appraisal can help you establish proof of your car’s condition and document its current value for insurance purposes.