In 2018, when Danny Thompson screamed over the bleach-white Bonneville salt inside Challenger 2 at over 440 mph, he probably didn’t think he’d end up sending that same car across the block at a Mecum auction just a couple years later.

Thompson had hit his mark by setting the speed record that both he and his late father had dreamt of, but it wasn’t without financial hardship. That achievement wasn’t cheap, quick or easy. The money it cost Thompson to Read More

Jim’s Blog: Will You Buy Online?

The car of your dreams is for sale and you’ve got the cash in hand. Only one problem. You can’t see it in person first.

That’s the challenge in front of a lot of buyers right now, and auctions are working to make that challenge less of a concern by being as forthcoming and helpful as possible. Still, how do you really feel about buying something like an LS6 Chevelle or Boss 302 without laying hands on it first?

What Read More

Jim’s Blog: Share Your Project With ACC

Big projects are great, but sometimes it’s the small stuff that makes the biggest difference. Most of us can appreciate a complete restoration job on a car that really needed it — but sometimes just finding a fixing a squeak or rattle on you weekend classic is all it takes to boost your peace of mind and the usability of the car. We’ve all had a lot of time on our hands lately, and it’s been the perfect time to Read More

Jim’s Blog: What’s Hiding in Your Neighborhood?

When I was a kid, there were rumors of a ’69 Hurst/Olds hiding in a little old lady’s garage up the street from my house.

It had belonged to her late husband, so the story went, and she never drove it. It was said to just sit behind that forever-closed garage door.

The young car guys in the neighborhood always wondered what was really behind those white curtained garage door windows, but as far as I can tell, the only Read More

Jim’s Blog: Snowballs in Spring

If there’s ever a time for a car project to snowball out of control, it’s right now.

We’ve all been there. Sometimes it’s as simple as a carb adjustment turned rebuild. Other times it’s a tune-up that turns into a top-end rebuild. Or maybe it’s that one little section of rust repair that becomes a complete body and paint job. Could we leave well enough alone? Sure, but where’s the fun in that?

Last week, I mentioned that I was Read More

Jim’s Blog: Share Your Projects

If there’s one takeaway from all these weeks of stay-at-home recommendations and/or orders, it’s this: Projects are a lot more important than they once were.

We all need stuff to do to recharge, and if you’re the kind of car person that likes to work with your hands, an old car is a great focus. Now, with the rest of the world on hold, your projects can get a lot more of your attention — and your days at home Read More

Jim’s Blog: A New Market Ahead

Last week, I talked about things to look for in your next buy — specifically things relating to cosmetically and mechanically restored cars coming out of the Coronavirus era.

But as reader Jeff pointed out, there are some larger questions looming out there as well, so let’s take a minute to look at them.

“With all due respect, I’m wondering if you’re avoiding the elephant in the room. For most, ‘your next buy’ will be affected by math, economically Read More

Jim’s Blog: What to Look For in Your Next Buy

Old cars are a great place to spend your time, especially when you have a lot of time. A project car can suck up a year or more of your life, which if we’re being honest is not such a bad thing right now. The guy everyone loves to hate — you know him, he’s got a ’69 Charger, ’70 Mustang fastback or ’55 Bel Air half buried in weeds and will “get to it someday” — is starting to Read More

Back to Basics

This month’s “Wrenching” feature is all about getting back to basics with drum brakes. It’s the kind of task I love to tackle, as it’s a blending of skills both old and new. This kind of job means I get to pull out a handful of my special tools — the stuff that sits most of the time — and go back through all the tricks I learned while fixing classic cars on a daily basis in the late 1990s Read More

Jim’s Blog: Substance and Style

I like to think there are three factors that make an old car desirable: Style, performance, and nostalgia.

To some degree, each old car sale is driven by those factors, even if they’re not always the same for every model. A classic Corvette has all three in more or less equal measure. A Model A pickup is way more about nostalgia than performance, but there’s an element of style there too.

But the pandemic has changed the equation slightly, at Read More