Jim’s Blog: Project or Storage?

I’ve been watching the leaves change color in my neighborhood over the past few days, and it’s been prompting me to get out and drive my old cars as much as I can before the weather turns south. Here at ACC, we’ve already started work on our annual Scottsdale insider’s guide for the upcoming January auctions. These things together are my annual reminder that winter is coming. Soon.

For a lot of us, that means it’s time to put cars Read More

Jim’s Blog: Should You Buy Online?

The web has been a popular place to buy classic cars since the ’90s. But should you?

That can be a hard call to make — especially if you’re new to old cars, or if this is your first online buy. The pessimist in me likes to point out that a lot can be hidden in photos, and if you’re buying a classic sight unseen, you’ve got to make a valuation decision off of what the seller wants you to Read More

Jim’s Blog: The Super Sport Factor

Back in the day, SS cars were the hot ticket among the Chevrolet faithful. They were special, limited-run cars with more street cred than the rest — even if their only true differences were in the amount of bright trim outside, some interior upgrades inside, and usually — but not always — a hotter engine. Still, that SS badge mattered on the street, and it still matters when a car sells at auction today. Would you rather have a Camaro Read More

Jim’s Blog: Registering a Classic

It seems like auto registration rates climb more and more every time I look at them. But with more cars on the road each year, that makes sense. After all, somebody has to pay for the wear and tear on roadways caused the daily commuter grind. Here in Oregon, a new 2-year registration for a car or truck is $150, along with a $21 DEQ test fee if the car is newer than 1974. That’s comparatively cheap to what other Read More

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

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