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About Barret-Jackson, prices, resto-mods etc

696pack

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I wrote the below in Jan. 2009 It for the most part is still relative now 4 years later.



This was the first year in 28 concecutive years that I have not personally attended B-J. I did spend Saturday at Russo and Steele.

Here is my take on the events and the hobby as a whole right now, with some personal experience references as well.

While I did not attend B-J personally, I did watch a large percentage of it on Speedvision as well as studied the on line results.

Before I get into the treand of the auctions I will say this, The number of auctions that are taking place at the same time in the Phoenix area is definately hurting the overall market of these old cars. With as many as 4 auctions going on the same weekend for the last several years. The buyers simply can't be in two or four different places at the same time. This hurts the prices of others cars as there are no bidders for them as well as the buyers as they don't have an opportunity to necessarily decide which ones they WOULD have bid on if they had a chance to look at all of the choices.

Weather you like what auctions have done to the hobby or not, they definately drive the market for other old car sales throughout the year. Back when it was just B-J once a year there was no competition to foul the numbers.

Here is an an example of the poor economy and why some of us decide to sell during it. My good friend purchased a really nice 1967 GTO at the Kruse auction in Phoenix in 2006. It is a body off restored, California, rust free, original drivetrain car, that is loaded with equipment. PS,PB,PW, AM/FM 8 track, tilt wheel, A/C, Ram Air, Turquiose/White interior, White vinyl top. Everything works, he has driven it many fair weather miles and has kept it nice including the underside. It has trophied at shows and has been signed by Jim Wangers. GREAT CAR that he really does not want to sell, however being a Phoenix area realtor, and his income is down 2/3s for the last two years he feels that he must. This car that he paid $50K for 3 years ago only bid $30K at Russo and Steele at 2:45 on Sat. We thought it would be a GREAT run time. It turned out not to be. Why not? No bidders in the tent. As I said earlier, they were too spread out over the other auctions at that time. Like type cars to his sold the day before at B-J for $67K and $73K. BTW, the car is still for sale if anyone knows of anyone interested in a great car and it can be seen here. http://www.carsonline-ads.com/colsite/col?use=UC3_ViewPosting&cmd=showPosting&postingID=35481

Regarding Mopars, my friends tent neighbor (where his car sat at auction before running) had a 1970 440 six pack Super Bee. it was a really nice car. When it sold Russo and Steele reduced the sellers commision in the ring so he netted within $1000. of his reserve in order to put the deal togather. Many people are not aware of how many times this takes place in the ring or after the car runs. They certainly don't advertise it, but they are there to sell cars for commission as the run fees hardly pay their expenses to put these auctions on. The car sold for $46K. The seller told us he needed to sell the car as he had been feeding his construction company for the past two years in this economy. A few car ahead of my friends car was a very nice 1967 Olds 442 with A/C that sold for $16K. Super cheap, again, there were no bidders. I estimated that only about 25% of the cars were actually selling early until the evening hours of Sat. at Russo and Steele.

Now the below is based on the 2006 Arizona auctions results as the zenith year of the hobby for prices. The remarks below are based on sales at B-J as it is a no reserve auction and all cars sold so there is no having to speculate about bid prices of unsold cars being shilled up.

As has been the trend that started a few years ago, the restomods/pro tour/pro street, what ever you want to call them, were bringing big money. While tribute cars (that you would think might be in the same catagory in most people's minds) were down. These restomods were bringing more than many OEM restored numbers matching cars have been bringing.

Mustangs, especially Bosses and Shelbys were down from last year as they were the year before that also. Fords in general seem to be holding their own or possibly slight gains.

Corvettes were up for the 63-67 models as were many Chevys or at least holding their own. GM products in general seem to be holding thir own.

Mopars were down particularly in E bodies and ESPECIALLY in Hemi E bodies. This is not suprising as they had gotten rediculously high priced compared to other make cars with comperable sized engines. I personally think they are just settling back to reality in the comparable market. Other Mopars are down but no where near percentage wise what the E bodies are. The few Hemi B bodies that sold are down but really no more than they basicly were one year ago.

Street rods are down from where they were at their height three years ago. as they have been slowly declining the last couple of years.

Cars that were #1 V.I.N.s or very low V.I.N.s were big money this year. A 1957 Chevy 2 door post 6 cylinder three on the tree sold for $150K to a guy that appeared to be about 80 years old. Who knows what drives a guy of that age to pay a price like that for one of the least desirable 57 Chevys built. The only less valuable typically would be a 4 door.

There are always big surprises of specific cars that are either high or low but you can't judge like cars on just one example.

Throughout history nearly all old cars will have their day in the sun or 15 minutes of fame. I think that Mopar E bodies have seen that three years ago and the sun has set and the clock has ticked past the 15 minute mark. Sorry E body guys, that is just the way I see it.

I bolded the areas about Restomods and street rods because it shows what I mean by "trends." Throughout the history of the collector car market there have always been "trends." Streets rods were crazy money just a few years ago and we have been seeing the same thing with restomods the last few years. I my opinon restomod ARE the new street rods. What the crazy prices have in common is the quality of the build. The purist argue that they can't get their money out of their much rarer high level restored cars compared to something that may have started as a /6 car. The truth is that the guys with the restomods may be in the same boat as they spend big money on drivetrains, gadgets, body, paint, wheels and tires. I am not sure they are getting thir money back either. The restomod "trend" can die as fast as it came to be and it MAY swing back to original cars but I don't have a crystal ball. One thing I do know is that some of the highly modified restomods have taken some nice basic cars out of the purist market forever because of the cost of reversing it. So it too contributes to the dwindling supply of cars/parts for the purists.
 
its just a rich mans game. flipping a coin to see who is going to pay 4.2 million for the batmobile ? come on , really? what a joke. those auctions are nothing but detrimental to the hobby and should never reflect real world values.
 
its just a rich mans game. flipping a coin to see who is going to pay 4.2 million for the batmobile ? come on , really? what a joke. those auctions are nothing but detrimental to the hobby and should never reflect real world values.

Where do you think the real world prices come from? Do you have any examples?

Unfortunately those auctions ARE the real world values today. How do people determine what they are going to ask for their car when it is time to sell? They go to a book that gives them values based on condition. Where do these values come from? They come from actual sales results that ar PROVABLE. Where do they get these prices? They get them from reporting dealers that sell these types of cars and what they sell for AND auction reports. Many of the dealers also sell at these auctions just as indiviuals do. It has been this way for MANY years and the auctions have been effecting the market more than most people know.
 
BJ for too long has tried to set the bar for this Hobby which has created a divide between those with a little and those with too much. I dare say that the 4.2 mil sale last night is nothing more than a "Shill Bid" and actually never reached that stated amount. BJ a few years back was investigated for just such a thing and yet they still do it to this day. I enjoy watching all the rides out there and some are really fantastic. But to claim that BJ is what the reference standard is is just plain silly. Then again that is why the new year always starts with the "Silly Season" auctions....And Barret Jackson
 
B-J announced last night ,there wont be an auction in Orange County,It will take place in Reno Navada,Like you said to many auctions at the same time.
 
BJ for too long has tried to set the bar for this Hobby which has created a divide between those with a little and those with too much. I dare say that the 4.2 mil sale last night is nothing more than a "Shill Bid" and actually never reached that stated amount. BJ a few years back was investigated for just such a thing and yet they still do it to this day. I enjoy watching all the rides out there and some are really fantastic. But to claim that BJ is what the reference standard is is just plain silly. Then again that is why the new year always starts with the "Silly Season" auctions....And Barret Jackson

It is not just B-J it is ALL of the auctions that contribute to the book prices. You can't point to ONE auction as the ruination of the hobby. Everybody bitched when B-J went to a no reserve auction but it eliminated the schill bidding that everyone complains about.

Yes, B-J is the big dog in the auction scene. Yes, prices are effected by egos and alcohol. However the number of cars sold at the B-J Scottsdale auction (there only no reserve auction) is a small number in all of the auctions and dealer sales throughout the year.
 
Purist I hate that term

I have to somewhat disagree a little especially with, the dwindling the supply for the purists statement, yes it is somewhat but... IMHO I also highly doubt it, most the cars the Resto-Mods, Pro-Touring & even the old 80's-90's style Pro-Street craze, were usually {not always} made out of undesirable or less desirable, lesser or lower level, slant or straight 6 or 4 banger, entry level or less optioned levels of cars or models, not popular in the market place to begin with except to a very select few, they don't & wouldn't ever sell for the most part, for anywhere near, or for what the modified or Resto-Mods, Pro-Touring & Pro-Street versions do, there are the exceptions to the rule, of course, there is, was & will always be those that will remove a highly sought after rare car, to make what they want out of them, it's their car & I say "do what they want", to an extent anyway, with that type of car/truck etc., will usually just rot away in some hoarders field somewhere, to a pile of rust, with out these fads as you call them, I see it in a completely different light, they are saving cars, that would be eventually "crushed/scraped normally", would never be used or would just be just like most all of them, rotting away somewhere, owned by some hoarder guy who will never sell it, because they have dreams of grandeur or of restoring it back to it's glory days, then most of them don't ever do it, or can't afford to do it or can't afford to have them restored by someone else... then the car is gone for ever, at least a Rest-Mod, Pro-Touring or Pro-Street car is still around, not in some scrap heap or a pile of rotted rust, in some field or yard somewhere & with some effort, it could be restored back to original condition... Remember a "restored car" isn't original either, they are only original once, most or at a minimum anyway or near all of the Muscle car era cars, were original only for a very short time, there are very few untouched survivors cars today, they would usually have parts & stuff removed & then day 2 stuff added, modified in many ways, like rims, tires, manifolds, carbs, headers, exhaust, gears, rear ends/axles, trans, clutches, seats, shifters, traction, bars, suspension etc., and usually very soon after the original purchases, until about maybe 25 years ago, they weren't worth much, too most collectors or the general car buying public, they were just considered nothing more than, just another gas guzzling old used car & treated as such, discarded & hauled off to scrap yards or rotting away in some field by some hoarder/dreamer.... These auctions have sparked allot of interest with purist & others, allot of money going back into the car hobby, shop owners, suppliers, parts stores, & especially also sparked the aftermarket tremendously, to actually start to reproduce allot of parts, that were needed & usually you could never get or find before all the auction pricing hype, except without spending a small fortune on parts from some self proclaimed purists, that thought his parts were worth their weight in gold or were just overpriced worn out rusty junk {I know I knew of quite a few of these type guys especially in the Mopar side of things}... sorry if this offends anyone but that's my $0.02 cents, nobody even an auction flooding the market, or overpriced sales, is going to dictate, because of history, trends, rarity or even purity, tell me what I can or can't do with my own car, from any side of the hobby, regardless of value, I build for the love of cars, not some trend & don't care what the newest fad is or what purist think... Build them how you like them & drive them like you stole them...LOL... the part or car is worth just as much to the guy who wants to modify it, as it is to the so called purist, I really hate that term Purist, it sounds condescending to me, like it's more valuable to them or more important, then other type builders or something... I'm done, wow I'm winded....LOL...
 
I take no offense at your thoughts and opinion, unforunately many do on the internet and most of it it because it is hard to distinguish with the written word as opposed to the spoken word so sometimes feelings are hurt.

You have to hang a name on people weather it is totally and completely accurate. I have people refer to me as a purist and that is far from true. People see my cars and THINK everything is original. This is by design on my part as I try to use factory parts even though the may be correct for other years. As an example my 66 Charger has Magnum 500s on it that were not available until 67, it has a Pistol Grip shifter that was not available until 70 and I could go on. My car IS a resto mod with it's 523 stroker, Passon 4 speed overdrive, Classic A/C, front and rear sway bars, stereo, etc.

When I refer to purists I mean true purists that are into correctly restored as well as survivors.

I agree with the vast majority of what you have said above as I have been a day two guy since DAY TWO when these cars were new.

Regarding the cars that are removed for the purist with restomods I am referring mainly to parts. As you said MOST people doing a resto mod don't start with a rare desirable model but it DOES happen.
 
I take no offense at your thoughts and opinion, unforunately many do on the internet and most of it it because it is hard to distinguish with the written word as opposed to the spoken word so sometimes feelings are hurt.

You have to hang a name on people weather it is totally and completely accurate. I have people refer to me as a purist and that is far from true. People see my cars and THINK everything is original. This is by design on my part as I try to use factory parts even though the may be correct for other years. As an example my 66 Charger has Magnum 500s on it that were not available until 67, it has a Pistol Grip shifter that was not available until 70 and I could go on. My car IS a resto mod with it's 523 stroker, Passon 4 speed overdrive, Classic A/C, front and rear sway bars, stereo, etc.

When I refer to purists I mean true purists that are into correctly restored as well as survivors.

I agree with the vast majority of what you have said above as I have been a day two guy since DAY TWO when these cars were new.

Regarding the cars that are removed for the purist with restomods I am referring mainly to parts. As you said MOST people doing a resto mod don't start with a rare desirable model but it DOES happen.

I'm glad you got my main point & not offended... I agree with your comments too... especially the DAY TWO, when these cars were new...

- - - Updated - - -

I personally like them all & I can completely respect all sides of the hobby, all the hard work for a 100% correct OEM restoration {not really my cup of tea}, to the fab skills of a full on Pro/Mod Drag car {my cup of tea} & everything in-between, my cars are usually a "best of all years", it looks like the original body line {my pet peeve}, with mild mods or hidden stuff that was offered on other years/models, like my 6bbl set up or A12 6bbl lift off hood, on a 68 RR RM23 ala "best of all offered" allot of go fast stuff too, because of my being raised in a Drag Racing family, I raced Sprints off & on, Drag Raced for 35+ years all over the USA... In my street cars, I tend to fall into somewhere in the middle of Drag racen', Resto-Mod/Rod & Pro-Touring if someone would like to classify or pigeon hole me, I've even been called a purist...LOL, but have had all sorts & fazes of them, in many different makes, other than just my beloved Mopars... equal opportunity gear head
 
Everytime I have trouble falling asleep, I just put the Bareass/Jackson Auction on and I'm out like a light.
 
It is not just B-J it is ALL of the auctions that contribute to the book prices. You can't point to ONE auction as the ruination of the hobby. Everybody bitched when B-J went to a no reserve auction but it eliminated the schill bidding that everyone complains about.

Yes, B-J is the big dog in the auction scene. Yes, prices are effected by egos and alcohol. However the number of cars sold at the B-J Scottsdale auction (there only no reserve auction) is a small number in all of the auctions and dealer sales throughout the year.

I will continue to stand by my statements. BJ may be the "Big Dog" on the block but they are still way over the top with their expectations and claims. I will continue to watch their auctions and enjoy the cars. But I have very little respect for the entire BJ operation....
 
My take is that people like myself that are getting into the hobby could give a rats *** about a numbers matching all original car. And here is why...we are younger then the car....they weren't our first car, they are something we developed a love for but never cared for the nostalgia of a 4 speed, manual brakes, carburation, etc. We like the old style look with modern convenience. IE you put the key in, turn and it ALWAYS starts..whether its -25 outside or 120, or sea level or 5000 feet.... For us the numbers matching part is just an annoyance that says you can't afford that car. So we move on, pick up another one of the right price and start making it our own whether that be with big wheels, a different engine, or paint job. And if it happens to be a numbers matching hemi car, we with either do as we see fit or recognize the value to somebody else and sell it to buy another one.

So its natural that this trend will continue forward as the older generations (sorry guys) die off and the younger guys move in...the original cars will start to lose value to a point where the younger crowd finds value in them.

My take on the auctions, its like a big car show, when I see somebody pay $75000 for a car I laugh and think of how much fun I could have with 3 $20k cars...
 
I could not believe the hypocracy of Craig Jackson on the Green Hornet. He was selling it "because seeing it in his collection made him sad thinking of Carol Shelby" then turning down 1.7 million. Pure hype "the greatest Shelby" car indeed.

This car was essentially a test mule for Shelby and he probably has 250k total investment max. (bought it as a driver, documented it and restored it)
 
I was also watching almost all of the coverage of BJ, but came away with different conclusions. I disagree on the too many auctions issue. There's really no reason to even attend an auction any more. You can check the catalogs online, you can send an inspector to all the auctions to check all the cars you're interested in, and you can place your bid via phone or online, so serious bidders can "attend" multiple auctions at the same time.

What I find more telling about the situation is the number of auctions themselves continuing to increase. Aside from resto-mods, the big trend I observed was the decline of fresh restorations being sold going down, and the number of cars from owners going up. You couple that trend with the increases in the number of auctions, and I think it paints a picture of a market that's headed for a steep decline. Collectors are selling off their collections and not buying a lot of fresh resto cars like they used to, and the number of auctions is going up to meet the demand of sellers vice buyers. As I've been saying for years, precious metals prices are attracting more and more investment dollars, and the "collectors" who only collected cars as investments are bailing out of the market. They all use the same line "I'm just selling off my cars because I want to get some different ones", but I suspect they're only selling that because of they say "values are falling and I'm getting out before it's too late" wouldn't help encourage potential buyers.

As the investors are leaving the market, I suspect they are being replaced more and more by enthusiasts, which is why we're now seeing the increase in the resto-mod market. I think kb67mopar makes an excellent point. Most of the demand for all original cars was driven by resale value, which was mainly of interest to investment buyers. Now that the investment buyers are leaving, so's the interest in numbers matching, all original, cars, and that interest is being replace by buyers who want to buy a car because it appeals to them rather than what it's potential resale value is.

The investment buyers drove the market since 1987, and now it looks like that's finally changing. :)
 
I was also watching almost all of the coverage of BJ, but came away with different conclusions. I disagree on the too many auctions issue. There's really no reason to even attend an auction any more. You can check the catalogs online, you can send an inspector to all the auctions to check all the cars you're interested in, and you can place your bid via phone or online, so serious bidders can "attend" multiple auctions at the same time.

What I find more telling about the situation is the number of auctions themselves continuing to increase. Aside from resto-mods, the big trend I observed was the decline of fresh restorations being sold going down, and the number of cars from owners going up. You couple that trend with the increases in the number of auctions, and I think it paints a picture of a market that's headed for a steep decline. Collectors are selling off their collections and not buying a lot of fresh resto cars like they used to, and the number of auctions is going up to meet the demand of sellers vice buyers. As I've been saying for years, precious metals prices are attracting more and more investment dollars, and the "collectors" who only collected cars as investments are bailing out of the market. They all use the same line "I'm just selling off my cars because I want to get some different ones", but I suspect they're only selling that because of they say "values are falling and I'm getting out before it's too late" wouldn't help encourage potential buyers.

As the investors are leaving the market, I suspect they are being replaced more and more by enthusiasts, which is why we're now seeing the increase in the resto-mod market. I think kb67mopar makes an excellent point. Most of the demand for all original cars was driven by resale value, which was mainly of interest to investment buyers. Now that the investment buyers are leaving, so's the interest in numbers matching, all original, cars, and that interest is being replace by buyers who want to buy a car because it appeals to them rather than what it's potential resale value is.

The investment buyers drove the market since 1987, and now it looks like that's finally changing. :)

Yes, that certainly can be done but how many people do you think actually do it that way? I an betting very few.
Timing for that would be a mess. Trying to find an "expert" to do your field work that is likely working for others, communicating results in a timely manner especially if you are looking at mutiple cars. The vast majority of people still like to look at a car they want to buy in person and for many the auction is not just an auction but a vacation, car show, event all in one.
If you watched all of the auction think about how many phone or internet bidders participated percentage wise. Also I have always wondered how much of that is just another way of schill bidding a real buyer by the auction company who by the way have the right to and DO throw out occassional bids against REAL bidders when they think they can get away with it.
 
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