JUST FOR THE SAKE OF DEBATE: What would you pay for a RUST FREE project car? That is, a rust-free rolling body. Most of us don’t want the original drivetrain unless you are going the full resto route. There are project cars out there for sale that have drivetrains where the owner has dumped a bucket full of money into the car and fell out of love with it- that or economic circumstances caught up with them.
I will be the first to admit that it is sometimes easier and more economical to buy someone’s completed ride. Usually because you could not build something comparable at today’s prices. But, what if you still want the joy or challenge of crafting something you desire?
You don’t have to be blind to see that anything resembling a classic musclecar is selling for idiotic money these days. Even the base models of the musclecars are climbing in value as it is trendy and relatively easy to create a ‘clone’ or tribute car. Since most of our pain these days is economic, how about a short tutorial on the subject from a university graduate? Yeah, I got the degree.
One of the first subjects you will cover in an economics class is the Law of Supply and Demand . As a good becomes more scarce, it’s value will rise. You know: 1971 Hemi Cuda ragtop. 1 0f 40 built… Bla, Bla, Bla. Unless one is totally thrashed, you are looking at several zeroes behind the asking price. Many times over the original sticker price. Time and attrition have made even the average muscle car that much more scarce and valuable. The fact is that the increasing value of ‘The Holy Grail‘ models has pulled the value of lesser models up with them. 4 doors are still a good bet.
What if you are not content to follow the herd? Tons of alternatives out there. Models from other time periods, trucks, different body styles, and off-makes come to mind. Then, there is settling for vehicles that need a whole lot of loving- condition wise. If you have the restoration chops or a willingness to extend the timeline of a project, you can still get what you want on a budget. Which brings me to my point: what is the value of a rust-free alternative?
I recently posted my ’75 MONZA 2+2 on a ‘Market Place’ web site and had to remove it because of all the negative comments. Granted, the Monza wasn’t everyone’s favorite car- some were junk from the factory. BUT some were built into respectable Hot Rods and drag cars. People like or hate things for many reasons- some not logical. A few days ago, I listed my ’85 Buick Regal, which is one of my personal “will get to it someday” project cars, just to test the waters. This car is also ‘rust free’, having come up from the States many years ago. I’ve had it for 20 years.
This is one of those ‘lesser’ substitutes for the classic muscle car- in this case, the Buick Grand National. My plan for the car is to stuff a 1970 455 from a Buick Wildcat under the hood and badge the car as a Gran Sport. Building a ‘what if?’ car is more palatable in my books than creating a clone or tribute. This time, people so much as said that I had rocks in my head for asking $5K. for a rust-free rolling body. What kind of Grand National will $5K. buy you? What then, will it cost to build it up to a higher standard? Remember, the world is full of critics.
With the law of economics on my side, what do I have to say to those trolls who dump on my rust-free alternatives? TWO WORDS…