Middle-Child Corvette

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

Big-Block Land Yachts

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

Arizona Fun in the Cheap Seats

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

The Upmarket Maverick

In 1959, Ford bought the rights to use the name “Comet” from ambulance and hearse builder Cotner-Bevington’s Comet Coach Company, with high hopes for a new compact car that was to be sold by Edsel dealers. But with the Edsel line euthanized barely into early 1960 production, the new upmarket complement to the Falcon that shared most of its components was sent to Mercury dealers.

That Falcon-based Comet compact was built from 1960 through 1965. In 1966, the name moved Read More

Where the Bucks Stopped in Monterey

As America’s ultimate example of collector-car opulence, the Monterey Car Week auctions lean to multi-million-dollar, limited-production cars.

Monterey 2017 was a slightly lower year for sales, with some world records established on the high end. All the lower-tier cars pretty much treaded water.

In light of this, my annual look at the least-expensive American car at each Monterey Car Week auction gains more relevance. There is always a car that sells for the least amount of money.

How low did Read More

Benz Bones, Mopar Soul

The Chrysler-Maserati TC of 1989–91 may have been Lee Iacocca’s pet project, but it did show Chrysler a thing or two about trans-oceanic undertakings.

But when the Crossfire was introduced at the 2001 North American Auto Show in Detroit, Chrysler wasn’t exactly calling the shots, thanks to the DaimlerChrysler merger.

While the TC was more a case of spreading out the workload between two continents (actually three, if you count the Mitsubishi V6 engine in later production), the Crossfire is Read More

DeLorean’s Italian Vega

When the Vega program was introduced in 1970, GM’s CEO Ed Cole also went forward with a program to build the Wankel rotary engine under license from NSU. The original intent was to offer it in a sporty new fastback hatchback design called the Monza 2+2 for 1973, and then later offer it in the Vega as an option.

While sharing the Vega’s body pan and wheelbase, the 2+2 was four inches longer overall and wider between the front strut Read More

If the Shoebox Six Fits

If you can call Henry Ford one thing, it’s persistent. His disdain of 6-cylinder engines dates to the teens of the last century, mostly out of spite of his competition.

When Ford’s son Edsel pleaded with him to expand from the Model T and Model A 4-cylinder platform, Henry wouldn’t hear about a six. Even odd and exotic combinations such as Henry’s fascination with the X8 were always up for consideration, but never a six. Indeed, he leapfrogged past any Read More

This year, my boots were on the ground at all seven auction venues, searching out the cheapest American cars available. Be it expensive and exotic or cheap and neurotic, every auction has a high and low winner.

So once again, back by popular demand, I present the bottom of the Arizona sales chart, class of 2017:

(5/5 is best)

1911 Ford Model T Speedster

Gooding & Company Lot 2, VIN 50170
Sold for $26,400

This car’s engine block Read More

A Panther Stalks the Market

Chevrolet’s 1994–96 Chevrolet Impala SS created a performance following. This high-performance car built on a full-size 4-door platform generated an immediate cult following among those who wanted a potent LT-1 but needed the practicality of a sedan over a Camaro SS or Corvette. Today, the car’s status as a true collectible of the 1990s is cemented.

At Ford, there were occasional rumblings of a Police Interceptor for the masses to hit that Read More

Page 1 of 212