Jim’s Blog: Is it Too Late to Buy a Classic Truck?

After a whirlwind week in Arizona where a number classic rigs brought huge prices, I can’t help but wonder if it’s too late to buy a classic truck.

Just after the close of the ACC Seminar, I had some time to kill, so ACC Contributors Jay Harden and Sam Stockham and I wandered the Barrett-Jackson auction tents for an hour or so, checking out the consignments and kicking tires on things we once owned or have always wanted to buy. I gravitate toward classic trucks, so I was most interested in those.

One of the first lots I checked out was lot 780 — a 1970 Chevrolet Custom K5 Blazer SUV. It was done up as a really nice driver with an LS motor and stock-looking components. Sam and I spent some time talking about rare six-lug GM steel wheels and the later hubcaps, which this truck wore, and Jay took a closer look at the paint on the body and top, neither of which was perfect.

Later in the week, I saw it cross the block. It sold for $82,500. That’s huge money.

The next one we looked at was lot 499 — a 1972 Chevrolet Cheyenne Pickup done up in orange and white. This truck, by its VIN, started life as a 3/4-ton 2WD longbed. Someone built it into this configuration, which had all the right stuff: big block engine (which wasn’t available from the factory in 4x4s of this era), Super equipment, a/c, short bed, etc. I was drawn to it just because it looked like the truck I used to own, although in nicer shape overall. It sold for $55,000. Again, huge money.

Finally, one of the cars that B. Mitchell Carlson called out in the ACC Seminar as a must-buy from Barrett-Jackson was a nice 1972 Chevrolet Blazer sold as lot 1242. Done up in pretty much all-original specs, it made an impressive $59,400.

Granted, these are all top-of-the-hill GMs from a specific era, and there were cheaper examples both at B-J and elsewhere. But after looking at this year’s results, I noted a bunch of trucks bringing prices closer to what you might expect for well-optioned muscle cars.

So is the market fully developed here? That’s hard to say. But it does seem to me that the best time to buy a classic workhorse was two years ago or earlier, before they became popular enough to command record prices.

But maybe the second best time to buy one is right now, especially if you can find a well-optioned example with a few needs.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

2 comments

  1. If you’re buying in January Arizona (or anyplace in TV), you’re probably right. Like muscle cars and mud year Corvettes, the old truck ship has sailed.

    However, if you look at the smaller sales there are some good busy and good trucks.
    At one of its smaller sales, Silver sold a nice late 80s Blazer with spotless interior and fresh paint for under $10k. At another event, a slightly customized but stock looking Chevy truck went cheap enough for it to be bought by a Seattle dealer who promptly put a healthy mark up on it.

    Busy are still out there, you just have to look harder (and avoid places with free bidder bars).

  2. If a person purchased a high dollar truck,kept it for a 5 or 10. years. How do you resale @ a higher price or breakeven?
    How high will the market go?

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