Central Oklahoma Classic Chevy Club

The Dashboard A publication of the
Central Oklahoma Classic Chevy Club.
A not-for-profit corporation.
A chapter of Bow Tie Chevys
and Classic Chevy International.
May 1999

'60s dominate this list of collectible cars

Excerpted from
The Chicago Tribune

In a recent Chicago Tribune article Jim Mateja reported on the most collectible cars. He based his story on an interview with Dean Kruse, chairman of Kruse International, a famous auction house. Unlike years past, when vehicles of the 1920s through the '50s dominated his list, six of his latest choices are from the '60s

But even more important, he notes, "We have a new generation of buyer out there people in their 40s relating to the cars that were popular when they were teen-agers; cars that they now call afford to buy."

"And one thing about cars from the '60s: You can drive them from Chicago to Milwaukee, unlike cars of the '30s which you often don't see driven except once around the block," he added.

The list
1961 Oldsmobile Starfire fire convertible: "It shared the same wheelbase as the Olds 88' model and was powered by a high-performance 330-horsepower V-8 that was very responsive and more powerful than all other Rocket V-8 Oldsmobiles. It had straight-line styling that still looks good today. Teens who marveled at the car in '61 can buy one. But they aren't easy to find. Only 7,800 were produced in '61, few of them convertibles. You call purchase one today for $10,000 to $25,000, depending on condition. Expect the value to increase 20 percent in 1999."

1960 Chevrolet Impala 348 tripower convertible: "The factory price at the time was around $3,000. We've sold some '59s for $40,000 and the styling of the'60 is so similar to the'59 that the current price of $10,000 to $25,000 for a '60 is undervalued. The 348 tripowered convertible was the highest powered engine available that year, which makes it even more rare and attractive for collectors. The strong market for '58 to'59 Impalas over the last few years has investors looking at the '60 as they approach their 40th birthday. Expect prices to increase by 20 percent over the next several months."

1963 Pontiac Bonneville convertible: "The '63 has been a sleeper for too long. Collectors have been buying fully restored perfect examples of '57s through '59s for prices as high as $100,000, so interest from investors and collectors is expected to turn to the '63. The factory price when new was about $4,000. You call purchase one now for about $15,000. Expect prices to climb about 15 percent in 1999."

1963 Ford Galaxie 500X 427 V-8: "Many collectors would list this as one of the best-built cars of the '60s The most desirable colors are red or black. Hobbyists call tinker with this car because parts are readily available. The high-horsepower (400 plus) 427-Cubic-inch V-8 under the hood makes it undervalued at $6,000 to $12,000 in the current market. Look for it to rise by 20 percent in value over the next few months."

1969 Dodge Coronet Super Bee: "This high-performance car has been overshadowed by its sister Dodge Daytona. A 383-cubic-inch, 440-h.p. V-8 makes it one of the most powerful factory cars. Chrysler produced the Dodge Coronet Super Bee and Dodge Challenger to bolster its position on the NASCAR scene. The key to buying a Super Bee as an investment is to make sure the numbers match (meaning serial numbers to ensure, for example, that the engine is the original and not one added over the years that might never have been offered in the car). The car call be purchased today for $16,000 to $28,000 and should increase in value 15 to 20 percent this year."

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL convertible: "This short-wheelbase (94.5 inches) Mercedes is a performance vehicle. Keeping with the Mercedes tradition, it is a prestigious, high-quality car. Mercedes introduced the 280SL to satisfy the American market for more power under the hood than its 250SL predecessor. The'69 will reach its 30th birthday in '99 and the value should exceed current market prices ranging from $12,000 to $20,000 depending on condition. Values should rise 15 percent."

1956 Chrysler 300B two-door hardtop sports coupe: "The Chrysler 300 Series has been so dynamic that Chrysler introduced a 300M series this year, and interest in the old 300 series has been helped by the fact Chrysler has been using some of those old models in the ads for its new 300M. The 300 Series was known for its elegant style. Fun to look at, but even more fun to drive. The '56 technically was a subseries of the Chrysler New Yorker. The factory price of $4,300 was the highest dollar consumers paid for a Chrysler in 1956. Only 1,102 were produced. Prices today range from $8,000 to $17,000, depending on condition. Look for values to go up by 18 percent this year."

1959 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser convertible: "It has the well-known back window that went down and almost every option imaginable. The Holley four-barrel carburetor adds all extra power boost. Only 1,265 convertibles were produced. It's not unreasonable that these cars could bring $75,000 in a few years. There are very few fully restored perfect examples in existence. Today, prices range from $26,000 to $36,000. Values will appreciate by about 15 percent in 1999."

1957 Desoto Adventurer convertible: "The '57 cars were the beginning of the high tailfin design. The look was so well accepted the fins were raised for the next two production years. This car will always be desirable for its high power. It was chosen as the Pace Car for the Indianapolis 500 that year, an honor given only to exceptionally high-powered high-performance cars. One can be purchased for $12,000 to $24,000 today. However, with limited production of only 300 vehicles, value will appreciate rapidly by 20 percent in 1999."

1948 Chrysler Town & Country convertible: "One of Chrysler's best postwar cars, a limited-edition luxury car that's difficult to find today. Only about 4,000 were produced over a three-year period. The '48 was the most desirable because the wood used on the body sides was very elaborate. A 4,000-pound car built like a Sherman tank so it could last forever. Current price about $30,000 to $50,000 that will increase in value by 15 percent in 1999."

Mateja said that Kruse warns that his price and value estimates are based on fully restored models. Find one in need of parts or repairs, and you could cut prices and values in half, he said.

The misses
According to Kruse this list of low importance vehicles includes "Anything from the '20s or '30s that's boxy and square. For some reason, they've lost their eyeball appeal at this time."

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