Jim’s Blog: Buying on First Impressions

When you’re thinking about a new addition to your collection, what’s the first thing that you look for? 

Last week, I talked a little about project cars, and we’re covering that topic in the next issue of ACC as well. But that’s got me thinking about buying project cars that aren’t complete basket cases — and when we do that, what sorts of problems are deal-breakers?

Answering this question really gets to the heart of the type of Read More

Turbo-Boosted Investment

1982 Pontiac Trans Am KITT
Sold at $66,000
Mecum Auctions, Harrisburg, PA, August 2–4, Lot S139

A few years back, I was reviewing cars at an auction for Sports Car Market with a couple of older friends when we happened upon a Knight Rider KITT conversion. Everyone else in my group laughed at it. I secretly wanted it.

Why? Because I was a kid in the 1980s, when David Hasselhoff was Michael Knight, and his jet-black Read More

Jim’s Blog: Buy That Classic SUV Now

When trucks started a march up in value, so too did truck-based off-road rigs. Now, Blazers and Broncos have eclipsed trucks in terms of value, and I’m not just talking about the first-gen rigs, either.

I’ve been looking for a first-generation Blazer project for some time now, and with auction sale prices often well above $50k, most all of the project rigs have either been snapped up by builders or they’re priced similarly high — even rust-riddled beaters. 

That Read More

Jim’s Blog: The Best $10k Collector Car?

What can $10k buy you these days? It may not seem like much, but it’s enough to get you something fun to drive that’s also on the collectible spectrum. 

What do I mean by that? Well, unless you’re into a total project, you’re not going to find a ’69 Camaro for $10k. Muscle Mopars are out, too — unless you like trucks. And no, you probably won’t find a good ’66 Mustang, either. Although that one is worth investigating.

Read More

Jim’s Blog: Carspotting on a Wednesday Night

Portland is home to Beaches Summertime Cruisin’ — the largest weekly cruise-in on the west coast. A good night will see over a thousand 1974 and older classics take over acres of grass at Portland International Raceway — and on certain nights, later model muscle, trucks, and sports cars are welcome, too. 

I headed out to Beaches this past week to kick some tires before the thrash of Monterey Car Week set in — and to Read More

Jim’s Blog: Check Your Fuel Lines

I’m sure you didn’t wake up this morning thinking about the fuel lines on your classic car. Maybe you should have.

Most American cars utilize sections of rubber fuel line in several locations to allow engine and chassis movement — typically between the fuel tank and the carburetor supply line, from the hard line on the frame to the fuel pump, and sometimes between the pump and the carburetor as well. That’s fine in most cases — but what isn’t Read More

Fine-Tuning ACC

Everything seemed fine when I hit the key on the ACC Mustang. It had been sitting for months — a victim of deadlines, other projects and commitments that kept it parked in its stall after ACC installed Classic Auto Air a/c on the original 289. But that’s part of what I love about the Mustang. It’s an American car, and it just tends to work.

Even after months of sitting, it cranked like I’d driven it yesterday, but it wouldn’t Read More

Jim’s Blog: The Newest Classic?

I used to think that all interesting cars stopped in 1972. The gas crunch and impact bumpers really did a number on American cars by the mid-1970s, and with the introduction of the 1973 Chevelle and the 1974 Mustang II, the death of interesting cars seemed, well, permanent. 

It’s funny how perceptions can change, though. Lately I’ve been looking at more cars from the later 1970s all the way up through the mid-1980s. For years I more or less Read More