Information related to auto appraisal services for insurance, estate, resale, diminished value purposes on all types of cars, trucks & motorcycles including classics, antiques, street rods as well as late model vehicles.
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 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!
AACA’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.
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.
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.
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.
After 7 years of marriage, Joe & Cheri Williams (names have been changed)decided to call it quits. They both admitted that they were miserable and it was time to part ways and move on. During those 7 years they had acquired a couple of collector cars that they drove to local cruise-ins and car shows. Now it was time to divide the assets. They agreed that Joe would keep the Chevelle and Cheri would keep the Camaro. But now they couldn’t agree on how much each one was worth. Cheri contacted AAG for independent appraisals on the two vehicles. After on-site inspections and market research, she received an unbiased appraisal for each vehicle. Once Joe and his attorney saw the detailed appraisal report, they were able to negotiate an amicable settlement of personal property which included the vehicles. “We are very grateful to find a professional and independent appraisal company to help this couple determine the fair market value of their collector cars. The local agent was very prompt and the report gave us everything we needed to finalize the property settlement,” said Joe’s attorney.
AAG can assist you with independent auto appraisals on any type of automobile, motorcycle, RV or other vehicle. AAG also has value expertise in automobilia items like gas pumps, vintage signs or other types of collectibles. While Joe & Cheri were able to settle their property without going before a judge, AAG also has experience with expert witness testimony should the need arise.
Appraisal services assist in property settlements for estates and divorces or for claims involving diminution of value or totaled vehicles.