PART VIII – STILL LOOKING!
I’m back after quite a hiatus from posting about my search for a classic car to buy. My last post was last fall and I realized that the search would probably take a little break for a while over the holidays and through winter. Fall and winter can be an enticing time to buy a car because the owners that want to sell generally do so after the summer cruise season. But living in the Chicagoland area I didn’t want to have to displace my regular driver from the garage to the driveway and deal with scraping snow and ice off it and the rest of the misery of leaving my car outside.
But I was and am looking every day for cars that I am interested in. It seems like the market for these cars has dried up somewhat though. When I first started looking a year and a half ago it seemed like there were plenty of great cars out there for sale. I’m not seeing quite as many good options. Part of my problem is my narrow search scope. I keep saying that I haven’t ruled out any make or model from the muscle car era, but I certainly have my favorites. Number one and two on my list is still the 1967 Plymouth GTX and Dodge Coronet R/T, the two high-end B-bodies from Mopar from that year. I also still have an interest in the Olds 442 from 1967 as well. I caught myself studying 1968 – 1970 Roadrunners, too! I’ve shied away from Chevelle’s, GTO’s, Camaro’s, etc. because they tend to be very popular with collectors and that drives up the cost. I love those cars, but I want something a little more unique than what you see at every car show or cruise-in. I’m also wanting to own a convertible if possible. Wish me luck with that.
I was very busy last summer and fall and missed out on the blue Coronet R/T that was for sale. I kept checking on it often and then one day it was no longer available. I regret that I didn’t pull the trigger on it. I regret not pulling the trigger on most of the ones that are no longer available. You can read about that car in this previous post: My Search For American Muscle – Part VI – It kind of explains why I was reluctant to jump on that one.
The two things that I have repeated in these posts before is one, I am a little picky (see above) and two, the hunt for the car seems to be the part that I enjoy the most. Maybe secretly I don’t actually want a muscle car, just want to satisfy my interest in them by acting like I do!
One thing that intrigues me about the cars I am interested in is their past history. I find the provenance, as they say, to be an important part for me. With that, here are three cars that are currently on my watch radar and what I know about them.
1967 OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS 442 W-30 CONVERTIBLE – Volo Cars listing link
Very high on my wish list right now is this beautiful 1967 442 W-30 convertible from the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois. The very first car I looked at in my quest was also a drop-top ’67 442, but after driving it, I felt like that particular car just wasn’t the one for me. It had a few little issues that I wasn’t happy with. (Read about it here: My Search For American Muscle – Part I) This one looks to be a lot nicer than that one. This car has an awesome blue paint job that is pleasing to my eye, is super clean, is a four-speed, and – drumroll, please – it’s a W-30 optioned car! What’s a W-30 option you ask? It’s basically a forced air induction system that funnels cool outside air into the intake through inlets under the turn signals and through some tubes attached to a dual-snorkel air cleaner. Also included was red plastic fender wells to reduce weight and to announce to everyone else that this car was no sleeper.
So what’s up with this one? The W-30 option was pretty rare in 1967, with approximately 500 of them made. From what I can gather, the W-30 option that year was not limited to just factory installation and the dealer could install it as well. While Volo doesn’t say that it is a true W-30 optioned car, they kind of leave it up to you to decide. Time to check it out.
I searched the VIN of this car and found it to have traded hands a few times. It appears that it was in Moline, IL in the early 2000s, then made it’s way to New Jersey where it was sold for $48,500. But it was this photo that told me that it probably had the option added to it within the last two decades:
The air cleaner and air hoses are present but the red fender wells are obviously not in this photo from a previous listing of the car. Plus, the ad listing doesn’t mention the W-30 option anywhere in the ad. Another ad had this quote: “THIS IS HOW A 1967 W30 EQUIPPED CONVERTIBLE WOULD’VE ROLLED OUT OF THE FACTORY HAD IT BEEN MADE.” That clears things up somewhat.
The car is an award winner, winning at a few Oldsmobile based shows, and it appears in a poster of 442’s, so it is a super cool and well-admired car, but the W-30 option probably wasn’t added on the car in 1967. That’s just my guess.
Another tell-tale sign that it’s probably not a true W-30 is that it was sold earlier for around $49,000. A true 1967 442 W-30, if it could be validated as real, would easily list at over $100,000 I would assume.
- Definitely a head-turner
- I love 442’s
- It’s local, about 1.5 hours away
- Current asking price is $65,000, which is on the high end for me
- W-30 option was added on later to this car
- I didn’t like the first one of these I drove and I am a little worried that this one would leave me feeling the same way.
1967 PLYMOUTH BELVEDERE GTX – Volo Cars listing link
Next up is this awesome 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX. There’s really nothing wrong with this car that I can find. It’s been restored to factory specifications and just looks awesome. It’s been certified Concourse Gold at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals, which means it appears to be 95-100% original to its factory condition. Here’s a picture of the car at the MCACN’s:
One fun fact that I found about this car is that it was originally sold new for $3365 to a guy in Idaho.
There are two things about the car that are keeping me from buying it immediately. First, it’s listed for nearly $67,000. That’s a lot of cash. The other thing is the car is so nice I would be afraid to drive it! It’s a super nice car.
Another thing that is a head-scratcher for me is that the guy from Volo Cars knows his stuff, and really knows the value of these cars. I’ve seen lots of lesser quality, non-Hemi 1967 GTX’s being sold for a lot more. What’s up with that? Maybe I should jump on this one!
- A super nice GTX, one of the best I have come across
- Another Volo Cars vehicle, which would be easy to go see
- Car has lots of paperwork including build sheet and original Certi-card
- It’s a trailer queen! I’d be afraid to drive it anywhere
- Not a convertible, but I could live with that
- I’d prefer the Magnum 500 wheels over the steel wheels with hub caps
1967 PLYMOUTH BELVEDERE GTX – Pacific Classics listing link
This GTX is in my wheelhouse! It’s being offered at a decent price, it’s painted Turbine Bronze metallic (one of my favorite colors), and is a 4-speed. The problem is that it’s in the Pacific Northwest, which is way too far for me to travel. I do know someone in that area though – maybe I could talk my wife’s cousin into going to see it!
Here’s what I found out about this particular GTX. A previous listing for this car revealed that it was sold in another part of Washington state just prior to this listing. The pictures show it undergoing a frame-off restoration, which I believe was done before the seller bought the car. The ad states that the car was a 2012 Mopar Nationals Silver awarded car. So I looked that up and found a name for the owner: Randy B. from Hebron, Kentucky. Turns out Randy was typical of the car guys from the 1960’s. He was a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran serving in the Marines. Medal of Honor recipient. Impressive. I learned that from his obituary. He passed away in 2016. One of the condolences mentioned, “At least 1/2 of our conversations were about cars & his pristine ’67 GTX.” I am kind of saddened to hear all that. I found a listing of the car for sale for $45,000 with Randy as the contact, so he sold it prior to dying.
If my buddy John takes the time to comment on this post he would say “JUST BUY THE DAMN THING ALREADY” or something like that. Of the four cars in this post, I would definitely be proud to own Randy’s car.
- A very nice GTX in Turbine Bronze Metallic paint
- 4-speed car
- Price is good – $54,000
- It’s out in the Seattle area and I’m not sure I want to go see it
- The only flaw I can see is a small little indentation in the hood near the “M” in Plymouth
- Not a convertible, although I do kind of dig the black vinyl roof
One last thing: The current state of affairs in the world concerning the pandemic associated with Covid-19/Corona virus may dampen my search for a while. Even the listing for the last car above said they are temporarily closed. Although my wife and I are still working and have the money set aside to purchase a hobby car, I’m not sure how things with the economy are going to turn out. It seems a little risky to make such a purchase right now. Time will tell.