The Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction started in Scottsdale, Arizona this week with all of the fanfare of a Hollywood Premier and the wonderment of a Big Top Circus. This year promises to be one for the history books. The docket features everything from a drop top Ferrari once owned by the King of Pop to The Fast n’ Furious superstar’s personal treasures and even some amazing pre-war vehicles.
What’s that you say? After years of scrimping and saving your pennies, salivating over treasures from past classic car auctions, you’ve finally gathered the funds to buy your own American muscle? Have some of you decided to expand your collection and add that special something? Are you one of the prodigious masses who will be staring – wall-eyed at the television or computer monitor? Will you, like many of us, be salivating over the thought of owning the shiny metal treasures that take our minds off the frigid temperatures?
Since Auction Season has arrived, let’s say you’re going to a classic-car auction this year. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or spectator, you need to know what Motor City iron is not only treasured, but also profitable. Here is a quick guide to the high-buck muscle-cars that are sure to enhance your collection or make you look like a real aficionado to all your buddies around the big screen.
1970-1971 Plymouth Barracuda
Engine: 7.2-liter V-8 engine
Value: $200,000 – $3,000,000
Record Sale: One of these cars ( one of the 11 convertibles ever built, ) sold in 2007 for $2,500,000 and was said to be a steal for that price.
1964 – 1966 Shelby Cobra
Engine: 4.3-liter & 4.7-liter V-8 engine
Value: $500,000 – $800,000+
Record Sale: . A racing version sold for $1.2 million in 2005, but you could pick up a Mark I non-racing version for around $329,000.
1969 Chevrolet Camaro
Engine: 230 cu in (3.8 L) I6, 250 cu in (4.1 L) I6, 302 cu in (4.9 L) V8, 307 cu in (5.0 L) V8, 327 cu in (5.4 L) V8, 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8, 396 cu in (6.5 L) V8, 427 cu in (7.0 L) V8
Value: 1969 Chevy Camaro ZL1 & 1969 Chevy Camaro Z28 SS coupe –
With a myriad number of trim packages available at the time, having all the right options and equipment is essential to ensure value. These two models, properly spec-zed out and numbers- matching will no doubt require $300,000 from your account.
Record Sale: Other, more performance-oriented models are valued even higher. The 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1 has gone for $1 million and a 1969 Chevrolet COPO Camaro was hammered away at 1.1 million.
1968 Shelby GT500 KR
Engine: 428 cu in 7.0-liter V-8 engine
Value: they don’t change hands too often, but when they do, they are usually snapped up for somewhere between $150,000 – $220,000
1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429
Engine: 351 cu in (5.8 L) V8 engine (GT 350) /428 cu. in (7.0 L) V8 engine (GT 500)
Value: $120,000 – $180,000
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split Window Coupe
It wasn’t so much about the engine as it was the architecture. The rear window design was for one year only and makes this car valuable. Needless to say, the bigger the engine, the better the offering. In December 2013, you could probably find a nice L30 or L75 for $160,000-$180,000. The L76 or a pristine L84 would shoot to $300,000+.
1968 L88 Corvette
Engine: 5.7-liter 350 cu. in. V8 engine
Value: In mint condition, you could walk away with over 700,000 dollars. Well-maintained drivers could still fetch a nice $280,000 – $300,000 figure.
1964-69 Pontiac GTO
Engine: 6.3-liter V-8 & 6.5-liter V-8 The 1967 increased the motor size and traded in its six-pack for a single 4-barrel carburetor, with a possible “Ram Air” induction option
1970 Chevelle SS 454 LS6
Engine: 396 cu in (6.5 L) , 400 cu in (6.6 L), 402 cu in (6.6 L), 454 cu in (7.4 L)
Value: $140,000 – $250,000 you could find a nice driver for around $93,000
1970 Chevelle SS 454 LS6 Convertible
There were 50 of these cars built. This classic collector car out of the factory would have cost you $4,800. Now you can get one in mint condition for around $400,000.
1970 Plymouth Hemi Road Runner Superbird
Engine: 440-cu.in V8, There are, of course, two other engine options, the 440 six-barrel carburetor “Six-Pack”. The Grand Slam is the legendary Hemi: 426
Value: a 426 Hemi-equipped Superbird has sold for $420,000. Non-Hemi cars have been known to go for $90,000 – $160,000.
1970 Buick GSX Stage 1
Engine: 7.4 liter V8 engine
Value: With values between $80,000 and $120,000, expect a numbers matching, fully restored GSX Stage 1 to scratch the $200,000 mark.
1970 Oldsmobile 442
Engine: L77 455 cu. in.
Value: it has as much mystique and rare cache as the Buick GS and you are going to pay for it! Estimates are at around $130,000 – $140-000 to get in the door.
1969 Plymouth Road Runner
The operative word in muscle car has always been “muscle” and with the “Six-Pack” that increased the standard 383 horsepower to 390, or a 426 Hemi, you could possibly run a quarter-mile in 13.5 seconds and top out at more than 140 miles per hour in a no-frills Q-Ship. The hardtop version, without a central post, remains a favorite among collectors. The gold standard is the 1969 ragtop version; there were only about 2,200 ever produced.
Our numbers come from collector car websites, dedicated to the specific model as well as Hemmings Motor News and Haggerty Collector Car Insurance. They asked me to have you keep in mind that the Auction Market is not a stable one. Economic downturns, availability and history are all intangibles that cause prices to fluctuate. This guide is in no way a consulting tool. Please use discretion when purchasing a car and research the proper sources. Have fun and enjoy the Auctions!!