“Life really is stranger than fiction” is a frequent statement heard from our founder and president Larry Batton. Who could have ever imagined that the earth would swallow up some of the most significant Corvettes at the museum while most of us were asleep. The recovery process has been an engineering marvel in itself. Auto Appraisal Group is honored to have been chosen by the museum to assist with auto appraisals on each of the vehicles. The museum has extensive historical documentation on these Corvettes which will be utilized during our evaluations. Then we’ll continue to watch as the museum and GM work together to bring these cars back to life.
Check out this mini documentary by GM about the sinkhole.
The 1969 Camaro was significant for being the last of the first generation of Camaros, and the last year that a convertible was offered until 1987. It sold in the highest numbers of those first three years (almost a quarter of a million examples), and remains the most sought after year among collectors. To set it apart, the ‘69’s received restyled fender and quarter panels which changed the shape of the wheel openings; and to satisfy every taste, there were almost 100 options to choose from, along with 18 exterior colors This year of Camaro is also famous for the COPO options 9560 and 9561 which introduced either an alloy or iron 427 engine under the hood.
These were interesting days at Chevrolet, and all of General Motors. The engineers were struggling with how to meet new emissions requirements in future years, which would lead to lower compression ratios on all their engines in 1971 so they could run on unleaded fuel. New safety regulations were also presenting a challenge, and this would affect the designers as well as they started sketching the 1973 models which had to meet new impact (bumper) requirements. GM factories were increasingly dealing with labor strife, notably at the Norwood plant where Camaros were built, culminating in lost production due to strikes for better working conditions. This had an enormous impact on the early years of the 2nd generation Camaros and Firebirds.
The Camaro for 1969 is a popular choice for collectors both old and new. High production means that there are many to choose from today, although stock, unmodified examples are a bit harder to find. The buyer has a choice of two different appearances, standard, or Rally Sport (RS) like our featured car. Add that to the Super Sport (SS) and Z/28 models, along with the numerous drivetrain packages, long list of options, and the myriad color choices, and it becomes possible to create a unique car to stand out from all the other Camaros you will find at the shows. Strong aftermarket support also makes this a popular choice for restorers, as virtually every single part, including bodies, is reproduced. But buyer beware: SS and Z/28 clones are ubiquitous, so it is highly recommended that one employ the assistance of an expert when considering a purchase.
~Submitted by AAG Agent, Owen Griesemer, Maryland
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..
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
The Auto Appraisal Group will be running a series of articles about cars featured in one of our 2014 wall calendars. This month’s focus is on the 1931 Cadillac Sport Phaeton from the GM calendar. We asked AAG certified agent Tim Pawl of Detroit, Michigan, curator and past president of the Cadillac-LaSalle Club Museum & Research Center, for some comments about this noteworthy vehicle.
What was happening at Cadillac during the time of this vehicle’s production? This was a defining time for Cadillac. In 1930 they shocked the motoring world by offering the first V16 engine. In 1931, they followed up with a new V12 engine, which complemented the already successful V8 engine, and vaulted Cadillac to the top of the luxury car market.
What is significant about this model? In 1931, there were three engines available in the Sport Phaetons: V8, V12, and V16. Since the automatic transmission would not appear for almost another decade, the high torque available at low rpm in the V16 engine meant that the driver could launch the car in third gear and never have to shift again. Combined with its resistance to stalling, the V16 engine was a new driving sensation.
Why buy the 1931 Cadillac Sport Phaeton instead of any other cars available in 1931? With the advent of Cadillac’s Hydramatic transmission in 1941, the V8 engine became the model of choice. Until then, Packard had their ‘Twin Six’ twelve-cylinder, but the only competition Cadillac had for the V16 engine was Marmon. GM’s 1931 Cadillac remains a desirable collector car for that reason.
Because we care about the integrity of the people we work with and the quality of the auto appraisal service that we provide. When we started AAG in 1989, there were very few auto appraisers who weren’t also dealers. Today there are so many appraisers advertising on the internet that it’s hard to tell everyone apart. Add to that the fact that some of them have chosen business names that are very similar to ours, and the windshield gets pretty foggy.
As we’ve always said, they can copy our name, our brochures and even our inspection reports but they can never be us. We believe in what we’re doing and in the agents we work with. We know all of our agents personally and each one not only brings personal experience but has taken and passed our certification course. That’s why we welcome the opportunity for all pre purchase clients to talk with the inspecting agent before and after prepurchase inspections. After speaking with the agent, clients then talk with our Master auto appraiser about classic car values that pertain to their inspection report.
Don’t be fooled by look-a-likes. Call AAG @ 800-848-AUTO (2886) for all your auto appraisal and pre purchase inspection needs.
2013 has come and gone and during the year, the collector car market saw an up-tick in classic car values over all. It’s still all about condition, originality and horsepower (aka speed). Generally speaking:
¨ High end exotics are up 15 to 20%,
¨ Early 1920s and 1930s models are up 10 to 15%.
¨ 1940s are up 9 to 12%
¨ 1950s are up 8 to 12%
¨ 1960s are up 12 to 16%
¨ 1970s are up 8 to 12% and
¨ 1980s are up 4 to 8%.
Still the best bets are convertibles, hardtop coupes, limited production models and documented cars and trucks. Buy documented autos. If you’re selling, get the paperwork together before you attempt to market your vehicle. Watch for an early jump in values in 2014 due to the supply and demand at highly publicized auctions. Restoration is still a costly process. Better to buy a restored vehicle with documentation about who, what, when and where. This helps to increase the investment potential.
2014 may be a good time to buy at auction. Auction advertising that includes the vehicle ID number ahead of the sale assists in the pre-purchase inspection and qualification process. Some of these autos are going to be great investments in the future. For the right autos, classic car values could double in the next five years.
Remember to always buy what you like and will enjoy driving and sharing with others. Car guys and gals are some of the best people on the planet. I know this from my 45 plus years working in the automotive field. Also, remember that demand will continue to grow and supply will become less for the best.
Hope to see you on the road. As always, safe travels for you and yours. Larry Batton
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.
I originally joined AAG over 20 years ago when I was looking for some part-time work that would provide extra income. I’ve been involved in the collector car hobby most of my life (as owner, restorer and judge), and being involved in appraising collectible vehicles sounded like interesting and fun work, and so it has been. Not only have I seen some great cars, but you meet some fantastic people along the way.
Far and away the most fascinating assignment was being involved in the auto appraisal of the Harold and Nancy LeMay collection of over 3,000 vehicles. I took a week off from my full-time job to fly to Tacoma, Washington to work with a half dozen other agents. What an amazing collection, and a task that only a company with the reputation and the size of the AAG could handle.
Another interesting assignment took me to a remote corner of Utah to do a pre-purchase inspection of not one, but two 1963 Z-11 Impala’s, plus one of the eleven ’62 prototypes. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to examine these rare pieces of drag racing history up close, and I learned a lot about them through my pre-inspection research and the inspection itself.
One recent assignment of note came last year in 2012, when I went to inspect two Shelbys, a 1966 GT350 and a 1967 GT500. Not only were those two cars great, but the owner, president of a large trucking company, had a 50-60 car collection of Cobras, Shelbys, Boss 429 and Cobra Jet Mustangs, and was a personal friend of Carroll Shelby himself! You just never know what or who you’ll encounter on an AAG appraisal!
Submitted by: Owen Griesemer, Maryland Agent
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 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.