My Search For American Muscle – Part XII

I’m up to the twelfth post of my search for a muscle car.  I never thought that I would be having this difficult of a time in finding something that would satisfy my old car desires.  But I am having fun looking, even if it means that I am more of a virtual tire kicker than a real one.

I am a little perplexed as to the muscle car market right now.  It seems that it has dried up somewhat.  When I first started looking for a car in November 2018 there seemed to be a lot more available.  My three top cars that I have spent the most time looking at are the 1967 Olds 442, the 1967 Plymouth GTX, and the 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T.  Right now on Hemmings.com, there are only five GTX’s for sale, the Coronets number eight, and there are only four 442’s currently for sale.  A check of eBay basically has similar numbers as most sellers cross list their car on both websites as well as many others.  When the pandemic hit I figured there would be a lot of sellers, but I guess people are holding on to their investments for as long as they can.  And to add to my woes, I’m still hoping to find a convertible, which really limits the numbers.

What has been listed is being snapped up pretty quickly.  This 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T from Southern Motors in Michigan came up for sale this week and it’s already listed as “Sale Pending.”  It was listed at about $7000 less than what they are typically listed for, so I’m not really that surprised that it was snapped up quickly.  I have trouble acting that quickly on a car.  I like to really study them before I can even list them as a “favorite.”  

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The car lacked a drop-top, the Magnum 500 wheels, A/C, and it was black. I was trying to like it for $43K, but it was snapped up before I could.

 

One of the mistakes I have come to realize that I am making is that I have been limiting my search to primarily Hemmings and eBay.  I have discovered that there are some other good dealers out there that don’t list their cars on either site and seem to be doing just as well.

One of those websites is Bluelineclassics.com.  I’ve seen a couple cars on their page that had grabbed my attention only to be gone from the available cars within a week.  

Another page that I check on frequently is Brown’s Performance Motor Cars.  They currently have a very nice white 1969 Chevelle SS with a blue interior that I really like.  I’ll keep an eye on it, but I prefer the 1967 and 1970 Chevelles more.

I’ll keep virtually kicking tires for now and keep you posted.  Thanks for reading!

My Search For American Muscle – Part IX

PART IX – Interesting Hemi Dodge Coronet R/T 

I’m still looking for a classic car, and I am just a picky as ever.  I saw this 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T Hemi car pop up for sale on an auction site and got really excited.

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A very nice Hemi-powered 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T in a cool turquoise color.  It looks like it won a couple national awards, too.

 

The auction site listed the car as “no reserve” and with an estimated selling price of $50,000 to $60,000.  That is a steal for a Hemi-powered original car.  The car was being auctioned online only and was in Indiana, so I was very interested.

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The info presented on the auction site.

Then I started looking at the pictures with the discerning eye that I have developed on this car hunt journey.  First thing I noticed was this VIN tag:

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I’ve looked at numerous pictures of Mopar VINs from 1967 and this one doesn’t look similar.  The black paint is not very clean and the rivets aren’t the correct shape.  Plus there are no Chrysler Corp. markings anywhere.  The number does decode to a Dodge Coronet R/T with a Hemi engine.
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As a reference, here’s a real 1967 Hemi Dodge Coronet R/T VIN plate.  I suspect that the top one is a fake.

Then there was a picture of the fender tag of the car:

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This fender tag decodes correctly to a Hemi-powered 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T as best as I can tell.

The fender tag seems correct for the car as presented, but I see a red flag.  My main issue with it is that it is somewhat weathered and worn.  This car is pretty well restored and the fender tag looks like it sat outside for thirty or more years.  Seeing that the tag is screwed on, which is how they were attached, it can be removed quite easily from one car and reapplied to another.  It is correctly stamped for a Dodge Coronet R/T (WS23) with black interior (P6X) and turquoise paint (LL1).  I can’t dismiss it as not being the real-deal yet, however.

Then there was this picture of the Certicard:

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Certicard’s were Chrysler cards that were used for warranty information that could be swiped for records purposes.  They were kept in a plastic sleeve usually in the engine compartment on the firewall of the car.

This is a major red flag.  The vehicle identification number (WP41G…) doesn’t match this car at all.  It decodes as – W=Dodge Coronet, P=Premium, 41=Four door sedan, G=383 2-barrel engine.  All of this is wrong for the car listed for auction.  But…  this card could have been from another car and just is along for the ride with this one.  Maybe someone mixed up the cards?  I don’t know, but I am sure I’m not gambling $50,000 on this car being the real deal.

Knowing all of that I now suspect that the car was originally most likely a 1967 Dodge Coronet 500, that had been cloned into a Coronet R/T with a Hemi engine.  It was a very good clone though.  The correct 150 mph speedometer was present, as was the bucket seats and console, and painted the correct trim and exterior colors that appear on the fender tag.  I’m just not buying that it is real.  What is a little puzzling to me is that it won two AACA awards.  Those judges know a heck of a lot more than I do about the originality of these cars and they still gave it a thumbs up.

I kept an eye on the auction and saw that the bidding was pretty slow and was in the $30,000 to $40,000 range for a few days.  It finally sold for $50,000.  The current market value for a real Hemi-powered version of this car would be closer to $90,000 or more.  Someone got a really nice but possibly cloned Hemi-powered Dodge Coronet R/T to drive around.  I just hope that they know that it may not be the real deal.

 

My Search For American Muscle – Part VI

PART VI – GETTING TAKEN FOR A RIDE

Buckle up for another rough ride.  I’m pumping the brakes again.

I was excited to find another 1967 Mopar B body convertible for sale on Hemmings the other day.  This one is a Dodge Coronet R/T and it looked awesome, light blue with a white top and white interior, and riding on period-correct redline tires.  This car was being sold by a Dodge dealership in Sioux City, Iowa and I clicked on an inquiry tab and asked about the car.  A salesperson got back to me really quick, and I was getting that feeling you get when you go to a dealership to kick some tires and get the “buy it now” pressure pitch.  I could almost picture her wearing a plaid jacket and white dress shoes.  I was trickling blood in the water, and the shark had sensed it.

 

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A recently listed light blue 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T convertible.

 

The car was described as being a favorite of the dealership owner, kept at his house and that he personally enjoys driving it.  It was listed for nearly $50,000, which is a little higher than what I have seen a few of them sell for.  I let her know that I was interested, but I had to consider taxes and shipping, and that the asking price was pushing me over budget with all of that.  She inquired as to where I lived and advised that I would pay taxes in my state.  Then she offered the car for $49,000 with shipping.  That’s still pretty high for me, but it was in line with what these cars typically sell for.  I was interested for sure.

After that sales pitch, I advised her that I was reluctant to buy a 50+-year-old car without seeing it run or at least a video of it.  The website had a short video, but there was no sound and the car wasn’t moving.  I asked if there was a video of it driving and she provided this:

 

Lots of wind noise, but it runs and drives.  Did you notice anything different about the car?  It was the first thing I noticed as soon as it came into view.  The dealership removed the period correct and totally awesome redline tires and replaced them with white walls.  Not a deal killer for me, but I dig that redline tire/Hot Wheels look.

Since there are only so many of these cars available out there, I decided to see if I could dig up any history or information on this one.  I Googled the VIN and got only two hits.  And the first one was an a-ha moment.  I had seen this car for sale before.

When I peruse the Hemmings classifieds I usually skip over the cars listed for auction, as I am just not familiar with buying a car at auction.  There are rules and hidden costs involved, and if you aren’t able to be there in person to see the car you have to rely on just a description.  Plus you still have to get the dumb thing home somehow.  But I do look at the listings of the cars that I am interested in, especially the ’67 B bodies.   This particular car had been listed on Hemmings about 4 months ago as part of a Mecum auction listing.  Here is a photo from that listing:

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The car hit the auction block in the Phoenix area in March 2019 at no reserve and sold for $35,000 plus a 10% commission, for a grand total of $38,500.

 

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No reserve on this car and the buyer stole it.

 

The other Google hit was for a website called Rick Carey’s Collector Car Auction Reports, and it provided a ton of insight into the car:

“Restored and clean underneath. Redone to appropriate standards for what it is, but done on a budget and indifferently presented with some age and a few miles since the restoration. – The Glendale bidders clearly saw this Coronet for what it is and priced it appropriately for its weekend driver condition.”

Mr. Carey thought that this car sold well for $38,500 and that the new owner will enjoy his weekend driver.

So how does this Coronet go from being recently required 3-4 months ago, to being a “favorite of the owner who loves to drive it,” to being turned around and offered for sale at a markup of $11000?!  I think the reason the owner “loves” it is because he’s trying to flip it, and he stands to make quite a profit.  This was not settling well with me.

Now this happens all the time, and I get it.  The Olds 442 I drove last year had a price of $45K and after I passed on it, I found it for sale in Ohio for $55K.  This owner runs a new car dealership, selling classic cars on the side, and is in the business of making a profit on those great deals he finds.  Truthfully the car isn’t really priced out of what the actual value is.  My last post about losing out on another one of these cars, almost identical to this one, sold for $48000.  So it’s a fair listing price.  It’s just that he stands to make a huge profit, and I’m not sure I’m the one that wants to please him in that way.

I decided to reply with what I now know about the car and offered a low ball offer, an offer in which he still stands to make a profit, but just about half of what he was looking for.  His salesperson rep wasn’t having it.  She came back with what she offered before -$49K and delivery to my driveway.  I’m mulling it over.

I’m looking to take a ride in a classic car, not be taken for a ride.

My Search For American Muscle – Part V

PART V – STRIKE ONE!  STRIKE TWO!

Welcome back to my dumb journey of trying to find a muscle car to own.  I say it’s a dumb journey because, well, in all honesty, I’m a dummy and I am in charge of this quest.  Once again I find myself sitting in a chair driving a keyboard, instead of feeling the wind blow through what little hair I have left on my head behind the wheel of a classic car.

I’m up to Part V.  Let that sink in.  I started this search back in October 2018.  I came close to owning what I thought was the one, test drove it, and then said I better keep looking.  That car is gone now, as well as the second one I had my eye on.  After that, I focused on a couple of other cars and had been watching them pretty closely.  Both were Mopar B bodies from 1967.  Both had been for sale for a couple of months.  Now both are gone.

(I had written about both of these cars before, you can read more at the links at the bottom of this post.)

 

STRIKE ONE!

The first car was a 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T for sale at Cruisin Classics in Ohio.  It had pretty good provenance, as they say.  The owner had been a Vietnam vet and acquired it when he got back home.  His name was on the paperwork that was in a posted picture and I researched him and found out he had passed away.  The car had been sold a couple of times prior to being bought and offered for sale at Cruisin Classics.  Tons of paperwork for the car as well.  I studied the pictures thoroughly and the only thing I could see wrong with it was a small paint chip on the front right fender.  Not a big deal, but I wondered why they didn’t try to fix it or at least cover it up with photoshop.  The trouble for me with this car was that it was in Ohio and I am in Illinois,  and I’m pretty busy to take time out to go see it.

I do most of my searching for cars on the Hemmings website.  I was checking my list of favorited cars and noticed it was no longer listed on there.  I double checked the listings for Dodge Coronet R/T’s and it was nowhere to be found.  I pulled up the Cruisin Classics website and sure enough, it was listed as SOLD.  To add insult to injury, I follow them on Facebook and they posted the car had been shipped to Phoenix, Arizona and enjoying new ownership along with this picture:

 

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Photo credit:  Cruisin Classics / Facebook

 

It looks like it is sitting next to a 1967 GTX convertible, too.  Now we are just pouring salt into my wounds.

 

STRIKE TWO!

The second car that I lost out on was local, and I had no reason to have not gone and looked at it.  Well, that’s not true.  The main reason that I hadn’t gone to look at it was that it was priced at almost $60,000.00.  This car was being sold by Auto Gallery Chicago and was located in Addison, Illinois.  I have followed this one a while as well and the dealer eventually lowered the asking price to $54,900.00.  Now I was a lot more interested.

 

 

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Photo credit:  eBay / Auto Gallery Chicago

 

 

They offered the car up for sale on eBay several times and I bid on it and won the auction two of the three times, with it going unsold after not reaching the reserve price each time.  It was put up for sale again on eBay just yesterday and I put in my max bid again.  I also promised to invest my Saturday and go look at the car.  I checked my email today and saw a notification from eBay:

Dear eBay Community Member,
The bid that you entered for the item has been cancelled. You can view the reason provided for the cancellation by selecting the (bid history) link from the individual item page.

What gives?  They canceled my bid?  Why?  A check of eBay revealed that the auction was no longer active.  Ah, now I am starting to see the light.  I checked the dealer website and sure enough, the car is no longer listed there.  Someone came in and bought it.

 

TIME TO DIG IN 

So it’s time to keep looking.  I’m still interested in the 1968 Buick GS and a 1966 Pontiac GTO convertibles that are being sold by Primo Classics Intl., located in Florida.  Both cars present themselves nicely but seem below market price for some reason.  I will have to look a little closer at them.

I used to tell the kids I coached on my baseball team that you will never hit a pitch if you don’t swing, and I certainly can learn from that.  I haven’t been swinging.  I’ve taken too many pitches.  Time to keep swinging, even if I just foul a few off.  Sooner or later I am going to connect.

 

Previous musings on my car search:

My Search For American Muscle – Part I

My Search For American Muscle – Part II

My Search For American Muscle – Part III

My Search For American Muscle – Part IV