The 2019 Monterey auctions will go down in the books as a downturn year. Sure, there were a few spectacular sales, but compared with recent years, almost all numbers were down. Yet for some of us who ply in the lower end of the market, all we have to say is, “Welcome back.” As far as the lowest sale for an American car at each auction venue, things actually looked pretty good — especially if you are a fan of Read More
When the Fox-body Ford Mustang arrived for 1979, Ford had to deal with a market that favored economy more than performance.
The OPEC oil crisis had unfolded just as the Mustang II was introduced for 1974. While that car sold well, it was lambasted for lackluster performance. The lukewarm 302-ci V8 just wasn’t endearing to those who recalled Mustangs with Ram Air 429s under the hood.
A new governmental mandate called CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) was also in the Read More
Pontiac tried to re-establish itself as GM’s performance brand in the 1980s. To help it steer that course, they built the 1984–88 Fiero. Yet there was one model that had all the buzz before and during the era of the Fiero and today is all but forgotten — the 6000 STE.
For American automakers, it was a new era: Quarter-mile times were irrelevant — the new goal was balanced power and handling like the Europeans.
So began the American auto Read More
The Dakota was Chrysler’s reaction to the Ford Ranger and Chevy S-10. It was introduced for the 1987 model year and lasted until 2011, produced through three generations.
Generally a well-selling worker bee, the Dakota did make a splash with a convertible Sport version in 1989–91. In addition, since Carroll Shelby was working at Chrysler at the time, a Shelby Dakota hit the streets in 1989 with a 318 parked under the hood. Both the soft-top Sport and the Read More
Various pundits have claimed that the market is starting to stagnate going into 2019. Auctions in the Phoenix area in January generally proved that to be correct. Yet we’re no strangers to low prices in this column. Every March/April issue, that’s where we boldly go.
So, once again, and back by popular demand, I present the bottom of the sales chart from this year’s Arizona auctions.
(On star ratings, ★★★★★ is best)
1963 Cadillac Series 75 8-Passenger Sedan
Gooding & Read More
Lincoln cars traditionally had unique engines, dating all the way back to inception by Henry Leland. But the purchase of the company by Henry Ford, refinement by Edsel Ford, and restructuring in the post-World War II era by Henry Ford II all led to an all-time great engine, sourced from the Blue Oval.
The revitalized Ford Motor Company of the 1950s expanded the use of common components in production. Lincoln’s first overhead-valve V8 engine in 1952 was also used in Read More
With talk today of a soon-to-be-released pickup version of the Jeep JL-series Wrangler, it seems quite distant to think that Jeep had the first domestically built “compact” pickup. Initially, it was the CJ-8 Scrambler from 1981 to ’85, but the idea also continued from 1986 until 1992 with the Comanche. AMC billed that one as the first “midsize” pickup.
The Comanche is basically the 1984–99 Jeep XJ-platform Cherokee with a pickup box instead of a wagon body. However, there’s more Read More
When it comes to 1963–67 Corvettes, the 1964 model is just like a record screeching when the tone arm is pulled across it. It’s the mid-year that gets no respect.
It’s easy to say off the cuff that they are not a 1963 Split-Window coupe. But that doesn’t explain why 1964 convertibles sell for less than 1963 convertibles. Both years of drop-tops are quite similar. To get to the real reason for Read More
The big-block 440-ci RB (for Raised Block) V8 was Chrysler Corporation’s last bastion for hefty but inexpensive horsepower. Sure, the Hemi was the bad boy on the dragstrip, but anyone who espouses the credo of “Mopar or no car” will tell you that the 440 was the one to beat on the street.
One could almost call the 440 “Mopar Performance for Dummies” — unlike the Hemi, it was cheap, plentiful, and made reliable power all the time, with the Read More
Once again, back by popular demand, I present the bottom of the sales chart from Arizona 2018 — the lowest-selling street-legal American production car from each auction venue. As in previous years, we’ll rate each to see if they are actually cheap, thrilling or well bought. Or just a cheap, scary money pit. So, here we go, from the most spent to the least: (★★★★★ is best):
1953 Kaiser Dragon sedan
Gooding & Company Lot 25, VIN 001894
Sold Read More