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1931 Chrysler Phaeton Worth Another Look...


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Yesterday I was getting my truck smogged and had a little time on my hands. So I walked across the street to McCormick's Classic Car Auction to have a look around. I'm pretty sure someone posted a link to this car last year. It is a real beauty so I just had to share a few pics here. I have no connection with the car or the business. I just like to drop in from time to time and view the stock. Asking price is $110,000. How realistic is that?

Greg

 

 

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One of my dad's friends in our local Southern Ohio Chapter of AACA restored a 1931 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron roadster, when I was young. Worked on it for years and years. It was gorgeous when he got it done (at least, to my teenage eyes). He drove it around for a year or two, and then traded it for some cash and some Packard project cars to Leo Gephart, who used to be from our region near Dayton, Ohio. The car was blue with black fenders. It was a spectacular car, and reminds me of this one. I'll have to dig around and try to find some old photos. 

 

Edited by lump (see edit history)
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Hi Greg ! Does the car look as good "in the flesh" as the pictures portray it ? If so, and if it runs as good as it looks, my feeling is that at a  "C-note" and change that would be a good buy. On one hand, though, I am no where near as good as an automotive appraiser as I was a boxing judge. But, on the other hand, since that is a large, high quality DCP out of the High Classic epoch of automobile design, I really can't imagine doing any better than that. Also, the color looks quite good to me. The apparent blue-green is close to the color of my 1927 Cadillac. The ladies love it. I don't know if you are hitched, man. I say, a single wolf ought to make 'em an offer they can't refuse.   - CC 

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The problem with that car (appears to be a '31 CD8 sport phaeton--very, very rare) is the same problem that plagues my '31 CD8 roadster. It's not a Full Classic, but it's expensive like one. They live in a kind of no-man's land where the CCCA guys with the money won't touch it but the rest of the hobby has trouble justifying it. This roadster is a gorgeous car, beautiful restoration, and drives extremely well, but I can't get anyone to bite and I've had it for a long time. I sometimes get offers from people that say, "It's just a Chrysler, not a Packard, you're asking too much, I'll give you $25,000. You should take it." I don't agree that it's too expensive, only that the buyers are too narrowly focused. I suspect 93 out of 100 enthusiasts with this much money to spend would buy a somewhat ratty Packard instead of a really nice non-Classic Chrysler. I hate that this is how it is, but it certainly seems to be the case.

 

$110,000 is probably way too much for that car, especially since this one isn't selling at $75,000.

 

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7 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

The problem with that car (appears to be a '31 CD8 sport phaeton--very, very rare) is the same problem that plagues my '31 CD8 roadster. It's not a Full Classic, but it's expensive like one. They live in a kind of no-man's land where the CCCA guys with the money won't touch it but the rest of the hobby has trouble justifying it. This roadster is a gorgeous car, beautiful restoration, and drives extremely well, but I can't get anyone to bite and I've had it for a long time. I sometimes get offers from people that say, "It's just a Chrysler, not a Packard, you're asking too much, I'll give you $25,000. You should take it." I don't agree that it's too expensive, only that the buyers are too narrowly focused. I suspect 93 out of 100 enthusiasts with this much money to spend would buy a somewhat ratty Packard instead of a really nice non-Classic Chrysler. I hate that this is how it is, but it certainly seems to be the case.

 

$110,000 is probably way too much for that car, especially since this one isn't selling at $75,000.

 

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A thought concerning the non Imperial 8cyl Chrysler’s. With the CCCA letting virtually everything in now... has anyone taken a recent shot at applying to get them added as full classics?  A few years ago I barely understood why they were not included.... there is now really no reason not to let them in. 

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2 minutes ago, gossp said:

 

A thought concerning the non Imperial 8cyl Chrysler’s. With the CCCA letting virtually everything in now... has anyone taken a recent shot at applying to get them added as full classics?  A few years ago I barely understood why they were not included.... there is now really no reason not to let them in. 

 

I don't know if anyone has applied recently, but if so, I bet it will be denied again. As much as I love the car and as attractive as it is and as well as it drives, I don't think it's really in the same category as the Imperial or other Full Classics. I would liken it more to an 8-cylinder Oldsmobile or maybe a Buick 50-Series. It's rare, they didn't build many of them, it's incredibly attractive, it has great road manners, but it's not very big, it wasn't super expensive, and the engine is only 284 cubes. It's not Full Classic material, and I'll be the first to admit that I think they've been letting in too many cars that are on the bubble. Lovely car, but not really Full Classic material. I know that makes me sound like a snob, but that's not intended so please don't make it seem as if that's what I'm saying. I do think some cars are truly special and merely being pretty isn't really sufficient to make the grade. 

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Matt, I wasn't aware that this car is not considered a full classic. Can you tell me why that is? I don't think I understand the yardstick they use. This phaeton makes your roadster look like a bargain.

 

C Carl, the car shows very nicely in person. The color actually suits the car quite well. My wife loves it. As completely impractical as this car is, I've seriously considered selling a Corvette (or two) and making a deal on it. I really need to stop thinking about it. 😄

Edited by GregLaR (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

The problem with that car (appears to be a '31 CD8 sport phaeton--very, very rare) is the same problem that plagues my '31 CD8 roadster. It's not a Full Classic, but it's expensive like one. They live in a kind of no-man's land where the CCCA guys with the money won't touch it but the rest of the hobby has trouble justifying it. This roadster is a gorgeous car, beautiful restoration, and drives extremely well, but I can't get anyone to bite and I've had it for a long time. I sometimes get offers from people that say, "It's just a Chrysler, not a Packard, you're asking too much, I'll give you $25,000. You should take it." I don't agree that it's too expensive, only that the buyers are too narrowly focused. I suspect 93 out of 100 enthusiasts with this much money to spend would buy a somewhat ratty Packard instead of a really nice non-Classic Chrysler. I hate that this is how it is, but it certainly seems to be the case.

 

$110,000 is probably way too much for that car, especially since this one isn't selling at $75,000.

 

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Interesting, I didn't know they were Non Classic. Being a Ford guy I judge things based on Ford values and a 1932 Ford in the same condition Stone Stock or nicely Rodded would bring that or more. Bob 

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Well in that case, I guess the next step would be for the two of you to test drive the CD8. You really have to enjoy the feel of these old things under way. Some really take to it. For example, the first "ancient" car I ever drove was a fairly low mileage 1918 Cadillac. Somehow very different from what I expected. I was amazed by how heavy, stable and solid it was.  I call my two '20s Cads cheap psychotherapy. You also have to enjoy entertaining the throngs of people who are attracted to such rolling artistry. I am a very inactive CCCA member. I could not have imagined a Chrysler CD8 is not considered a "Classic". I think it is more of a true representative of the short glorious "Classic Era" than my "Full Classic" 1924 and '27 Cadillacs. I think that my old junk should be regarded as "Late Pre-Classic". But as inactive as I am, I don't make the rules. But hey : if terminology knocks 30 or 40 grand off the price of a very cool car, that opens up possiblities for the mere "common man". But for 100% sure, you can take Matt's advice/information to the (I was just about to say "bank", and then thought about the literal implications and held my................... whatever).       -    Carl 

 

P.S. We had a fine run of sunny dry weather here as Spring is just about with us. I drove the '24 Cad through the park down the hill from us. A beach bird gave me a pass, so I got in such a good mood that I started giving people rides around the park. Cheap psychotherapy, I say. And my old Cadillac is no where as expensive, and stylish as that Chrysler. 

 

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11 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

I don't know if anyone has applied recently, but if so, I bet it will be denied again. As much as I love the car and as attractive as it is and as well as it drives, I don't think it's really in the same category as the Imperial or other Full Classics. I would liken it more to an 8-cylinder Oldsmobile or maybe a Buick 50-Series. It's rare, they didn't build many of them, it's incredibly attractive, it has great road manners, but it's not very big, it wasn't super expensive, and the engine is only 284 cubes. It's not Full Classic material, and I'll be the first to admit that I think they've been letting in too many cars that are on the bubble. Lovely car, but not really Full Classic material. I know that makes me sound like a snob, but that's not intended so please don't make it seem as if that's what I'm saying. I do think some cars are truly special and merely being pretty isn't really sufficient to make the grade. 

Matt is correct, someone would have to apply and the person doing such better be on their game and properly plead the case as a slipshod effort would set the effort back for many years into the future (ie when something is rejected the next application that comes in 10 minutes later does not generally revive the effort). 

 

As to such as an 8 cylinder Oldsmobile or 50 Series Buick - you probably not going to see acceptance as the 1934 -1936 LaSalle was pretty thoroughly vetted as a no (and I want to say a moratorium was placed on revisiting such).

 

By the way, I will always recall asking a friend what was the fatal flaw to a Chrysler that I see so few Chrysler in CCCA and also in general - his response was that they are well built and engineered cars and people literally drove them into the ground.  

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12 hours ago, gossp said:

 

 

A thought concerning the non Imperial 8cyl Chrysler’s. With the CCCA letting virtually everything in now... has anyone taken a recent shot at applying to get them added as full classics?  A few years ago I barely understood why they were not included.... there is now really no reason not to let them in. 

A ggod argument to accept the CD-8 as a Classic Car of America is a Auburn 8 that is a classic. Auburns are great cars but I dont think on the level of the Chrysler in quality. If Chrysler had made a boatail speedster , they would of been on the CCCA list. (Just my opinion)

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8 minutes ago, mikewest said:

A ggod argument to accept the CD-8 as a Classic Car of America is a Auburn 8 that is a classic. Auburns are great cars but I dont think on the level of the Chrysler in quality. If Chrysler had made a boatail speedster , they would of been on the CCCA list. (Just my opinion)

 

It also helps to have your big brothers, Cord and Duesenberg, put in a good word for you.

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57 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

It also helps to have your big brothers, Cord and Duesenberg, put in a good word for you.

By that logic, post war continentals should be dragging the Model T across the finish line!

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41 minutes ago, gossp said:

By that logic, post war continentals should be dragging the Model T across the finish line!

 

Well, I dont know if THAT particular analogy holds water...

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2 hours ago, mikewest said:

Matt Im curious what is a comfortable road speed for your CD8?  Will it run 65 without to much labor?  I always wanted one.

 

It's really more of a 50-55 MPH car. It's quick and nimble for 1931, but it still has rather short gearing so it gets busy at speed. However, removing that limitation, it is otherwise sublime to drive. The brakes are notably better than any other 1931 vehicle in my experience. Torquey and smooth, and the size--to me--is just about right. It's not giant but it's not a little car, either and full-sized people can get comfortable in it. A good size that looks impressive from any angle, has plenty of room for front and rumble seat occupants, and fantastic proportions that are exactly right. I'm not joking when I say that I love looking at it and keep it outside my office so I can look at it every day. It's about three inches lower than anything else of the era except an L29 Cord (which, incidentally, was also designed by Al Leamy, hence the resemblance). 

 

As for the criteria required for Full Classic status, that's always kind of been a gray area and is why there's an application and approval process (I suspect it's also why the club got such a bad reputation for snobbery--it appears exclusionary). The actual goal was to create a club that celebrated the very best cars of the pre-war era. Not just interesting cars, not just cars that weren't built in large numbers, not just cars that had advanced engineering, but cars that represented the best of the best in every way. They are cars that offer cost-no-object engineering and design, built for people for whom cost was indeed no object. In the years since, there has been some watering-down of that ideal and in some cases I agree and many I don't, but the goals have always been to focus on quality, engineering excellence, and exclusivity (which goes beyond mere rarity and touches on cost), plus that intangible quality that I call "exquisiteness."

 

While this Chrysler may appear to have those factors in its favor, it doesn't really. Yes, the CD8, with the benefit of hindsight, may be rare because they only built it for one year. But they aren't going to approve just the "pretty" versions--if the CD8 were approved, the 95% of them that are 4-door sedans would also qualify. It was a mid-priced car, like a top-of-the-line 8-cylinder Olds or low- to mid-range Buick. The engineering was certainly advanced (mechanical fuel pump, hydraulic brakes, 4-speed transmission, etc.) but it wasn't really designed to be "the best possible car in the world, built without regard for cost, for people who can afford anything." It was a really high-quality mid-range car for a guy who was maybe a dentist or accountant, but not a captain of industry. It's a BMW 3-series but Full Classics are the Bentley GT and Rolls-Royce Phantom. And while the CD8 is pretty, it's not ground-breaking or especially unique or game-changing in its specifications. 

 

I love the CD8. I think it is superior on the road and there's nothing this side of a Cord L29 that is prettier. Period. It's comfortable and competent. But I must also agree that it isn't a Full Classic. It's maybe intangible and subtle, but it's just not. A good analogy might be the Packard 120: great road car, mechanically advanced, exceptionally well built, handsome like its big brothers, but not quite there. With all due respect to my friend Earl Beauchamp, I don't agree that the 70 Series Buicks should be included as Full Classics (although the fact that they are is a wonderful testament to Earl's exceptional preparedness and presentation when making the argument in their favor in the past--a perfect example of where an excellent case was made and it was very hard to argue against it on anything other than a "well, I don't know..." gut feeling basis).

 

Ultimately, what a "Full Classic" is seems to boil down to the way Edwin Meese described pornography: I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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17 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Interesting, I didn't know they were Non Classic. Being a Ford guy I judge things based on Ford values and a 1932 Ford in the same condition Stone Stock or nicely Rodded would bring that or more. Bob 

 

32 FORDS HAVE BEEN DROPPING LIKE A ROCK IN PRICE................................!

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Matt,

             Thanks for the explanation. It does seem a little vague but I suppose can understand the originator's want for exclusivity.

And, as the saying goes, in order to be exclusive, ......you must exclude.

I see now, using this additional criteria as a factor, where this phaeton is over priced. Too bad. Because, like I said, it's a real beauty.

G.

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I could be wrong but I believe CCCA is loosing active members and by increasing their span of Full Classic criteria may help solve the problem temporarily as we age. I see also that CLC and Chevy clubs have already done the same. It is a fight for survival one might say. Up north here clubs are having the same problem with dwindling memberships.  

 Saturday I was out on a HCCA garage tour seeing what other members projects  were hidden in their garages. I was surprised by the numbers of members that were in there 40 in the group.   

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

It also helps to have your big brothers, Cord and Duesenberg, put in a good word for you.

 

This is basically the reason that Auburn is in.  A middle to upper middle class chassis with great styling and fantastic siblings.   And nobody jump on me,  I'm an Auburn lover.

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

 

This is basically the reason that Auburn is in.  A middle to upper middle class chassis with great styling and fantastic siblings.   And nobody jump on me,  I'm an Auburn lover.

By the way, my AACA membership card arrived a few days ago, did I just get lucky or do they all have an Auburn Speedster on them? Walmart lot members must be impressed. Bob 

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16 hours ago, GregLaR said:

Thanks for the explanation. It does seem a little vague but I suppose can understand the originator's want for exclusivity.

And, as the saying goes, in order to be exclusive, ......you must exclude.

 

My misguided thoughts have always held exclusive and exclude tightly associated. Finally, it is written.

 

At 70 years old, my memories of Chrysler cars are just of the problematic cars in the used car row. Something was always quirky with them. Not as bad as French cars, but something in that vein. They had their own, very unique group of followers.

 

I like a wide range of cars. And my Wife has done many drive throughs of car lots and junkyards in the 43 years she has been riding with me. Recently she was talking about carrying a book to read whenever she got into the car with me. The person she was telling asked her if I ever drove through Chrysler dealerships. She thought a couple of seconds and just said "No".

 

If cars had genre's Chrysler products would be their own.

Bernie

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Matt, I agree your roadster is a great looking car.  I have always liked early thirties Chrysler Corporation styling - with the possible exception of the thin radiator shells at the turn of the decade.  Even my pedestrian 32 Dodge Brothers DL sedan draws appreciative comments, and I’m often asked how much I chopped the top.  Most folks are amazed when they discover it’s dead stock.  It’s also hard to beat the front styling on a 32 DeSoto.  Two things are preventing me from rushing to Cleveland to buy your roadster - the lack of having seventy-five large readily availible, and the color.  I just can’t get past those two-tone brown paint jobs that were so popular a few decades ago.  Just a personal opinion, not a dig at the car.

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This is an issue throughout the collector car hobby that I get passionate about. And I do tend to be on the less populated side. As background and illustration of my point of view, when I was fifteen, and just getting into this hobby (1967), I joined several of the major national clubs to get and read their magazines so that I could find my niche. For a short time, I was a member (non-active) of the CCCA. Frankly, for me, Most CCCA cars were simply too modern. The more I looked, the more I knew that I really wanted Horseless Carriage and into the mid '20s cars. Between that, and the fact that I could not in any way afford a decent CCCA car, I dropped that club after a few years. I still like them, and I very much respect their place in the collector car hobby. If I could afford it, I would probably have a CCCA car and participate in the club somewhat (many of my best friends do!).  At this point, since I cannot afford the cars I really want, I am certainly not going to pursue a car I cannot afford that isn't what I really want.

So why does my opinion matter? 

The HCCA is always debating the flip side of this issue. "Should we allow newer cars as active members in the HCCA?" I am always quick to say a resounding "NO!"  The clubs should be formed around the needs and interactions of the cars. Cars manufactured before about 1916 NEED special attention. They NEED tours designed around their limitations. They NEED experts familiar with how to repair them and maintain them. Some people in the HCCA believe that the '15/'16 cutoff is actually later than it should be. I would say I can agree with that, however today we have to work with what was decided half a century ago. So I argue to keep it as it is, and it does work fine. But if newer cars were allowed? I expect that tours would mostly become too difficult for some of the smaller HCCA cars. The situation is basically the same for the CCCA.

Frankly, I have seen a few clubs before become "more inclusive", only to run off and leave the cars and members they had behind.

Another example of what I see as the error of the thinking. In the San Francisco Bay Area, there used to be several HCCA Regional Groups (most of them are still around). Regional Groups are allowed by the National to set their own cutoff years for local events. What I find interesting, is that the largest and most active of those groups is a "strict pre'16" group. They have good turnouts of brass era cars, very active members, and quite a few member families that are much younger than I have become!

There used to be, just a Bay Bridge drive away, another Regional Group, that allowed cars up to about 1930 for their local events. But they disbanded about twenty years ago because they couldn't maintain an active membership. So much for allowing newer cars to solve the membership problem. 

 

Although I am not a member, and my opinion doesn't count for much? I feel that the CCCA has watered down their classifications too much already. While there were a few marques and models that many years ago maybe should have been added, and I might even agree that certain cars that a 1925 model was an accepted CCCA classic, the '24 or '23 of the nearly the same model maybe should have been allowed. My feeling is that they have stretched it a bit too far already.

As I have said in many such discussions on this subject, "Drawing that perfect-for-all line in the sand is not difficult. It is IMPOSSIBLE!" Both clubs have the same problem. Where should that line be drawn? No place you put it will be right and fair for all.

 

As for the Chrysler model here in question? I do not know the cars well enough to have a meaningful opinion and would willingly defer to Matt H's opinion. Although I do agree that they look beautiful!

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On 3/9/2019 at 11:36 PM, Matt Harwood said:

I do think some cars are truly special and merely being pretty isn't really sufficient to make the grade

I think Matt hit the nail on the head with this comment, regarding being a Full Classic according to the CCCA.

 

I have a good friend who collects and restores early Mopar, and some of the Chrysler's will take your breath away, absolutely beautiful cars, even the "small" series being discussed here.  But, by the original guidelines of the CCCA, being pretty isn't a consideration for inclusion on the Full Classic list.  By default, a lot of Classics ARE pretty, but that's not why they're Classics.

 

It's interesting that the fact of being a Full Classic adds to the value, I used to understand that, but the distinction is getting much more blurred these days.  And, depending on where you live in my opinion, being a member/participant in CCCA activities may not be all you think it is.

 

I used to really like the CCCA when I lived down south, went to many great events in Texas where the participants were down to earth.  Moved to Virginia, went to a Grand Classic in Baltimore, and was treated poorly because all I had there was a production Packard, "nothing special" (1938 Packard Super Eight 1604 convertible coupe, was a CCCA 99.75 point car). We also went on two Caravans, but unlike the ones down south we attended, we never really felt welcome, and the tours weren't geared for a "common folk" person who happened to own a Classic.   I've stayed a member of the club, but only participated in one other Grand Classic since, took my Pierce to Gettysburg last year.  Just my luck, I was a late registration, and when the magazine came out with an article about the meet, my car wasn't even listed as a participant.  When I pointed it out to the editor, the answer was dismissive, saying something like oh well, mistakes happen.  

 

I have three Classics, but the feeling of being "in the Club" sure isn't there, so it's just a side note to my collection now, not a matter of pride.  This is particularly true now, when the club has watered down the whole concept that built it in the first place.

 

Sorry for the rant, I'll quit now!

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53 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

Your Chrysler is as much a Classic in my mind as a '47 Cadillac, which is accepted. David, I was also at that Baltimore CCCA event and came away with the same impression as you.

I have 48 Cadillac Series 62 Convt that is not eligible while the 1947 and older series 62 and 1948 series 75 limo is. Cadillac used the same engine from 36-48 but for some reason they don't like the Harley Earl fins of 1948. Just wonder why? The flathead Caddys from 36-47 are very popular on CCCA tours and events. Why is the 48 Town and Country Convt in but not a ground breaking fin design from the P-38 airplane used in the 1948 Cadillac convt. It has the same drive train as the earlier cars and the 1948 limo that is CCCA eligible. 

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by that logic the 48-50 Senior Packards (same engines, envelope bodies) should also be in.  Should the 41 Caddy Series 61 be out as a lesser version replacing LaSalle?  I think it's difficult to find a hard line, but it makes for a fun debate

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1 hour ago, bryankazmer said:

by that logic the 48-50 Senior Packards (same engines, envelope bodies) should also be in.  Should the 41 Caddy Series 61 be out as a lesser version replacing LaSalle?  I think it's difficult to find a hard line, but it makes for a fun debate

 

Series 61 Cadillacs are not Full Classics. Model Ts are no more related to Lincoln Continentals than a 1932 Packard Twin Six coupe-roadster is related to a PT boat. Classifying what is and what isn't a Full Classic can seem esoteric and exclusionary and even arbitrary, but there is a method to the process and the decisions are not made lightly. I disagree with some of the cars they have let in, but I don't disagree with any that they have kept out, if that makes sense.

 

In the case of cars like the 1946-47 Cadillacs (and 1946-49 Cadillac limousines), they were granted Full Classic status because of the "essentially the same" rule. That is, they were more or less identical to pre-war cars that were already Full Classics. The 1948 Cadillacs, despite using the same powertrain, were essentially all-new cars. They were awesome cars, but they are outside of the club's scope. I suppose the same argument was made for the Town & Country, the 46-48 Lincoln Continental, post-war Bentley and Rolls-Royce models, etc. It is also why, in the time before they moved the window back to 1915, cars like a 1919 Locomobile were Full Classics--they were essentially the same as the 1925 models that were previously granted Full Classic status.

 

If a post-war car was substantially new, it is not eligible. If it is a carryover of a pre-war car that was already a Full Classic, it got Full Classic status. That's the gist of it.

 

The 1941 Buick 70-Series Roadmaster recently got in recently by virtue of using the same body as the Full Classic 1941 Cadillacs. I don't agree with the decision, but that's more of a gut thing than fact-based (the Buick is faster, more powerful, rarer, arguably more attractive, and has more advanced engineering, although it was considerably cheaper and aimed at a different market). The 1940 Buick 80 Series got in on a technicality because Buick renamed it the "Limited" in 1940 even though it was a carryover of the non-Classic 1939 Roadmaster line. All the 90-Series Limiteds have been Full Classics for a long time, and many of the 1930s 80-Series cars were included in that group by virtue of being virtually identical except for wheelbase.

 

There's a consistent slippery slope argument from within and without the club, all trying to increase membership numbers by increasing the numbers of Full Classics that are on the list. They moved the date back to 1915, a decision I am about 70% in favor of, and maybe that will help, but the truth is, the guys who own the expensive cars already own the expensive cars. Moving dates isn't going to change who owns the cars and who joins the club in any significant way. There's always a push to include things like the 1955-56 Continental Mark II, which was certainly a state-of-the-art hand-built luxury car, but at that point there's a good argument to include the Rolls-Royces of the same period (which were also expensive, luxurious, and exclusive). Of course, by the "essentially the same" rule, you may eventually end up with a fleet of 1978 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadows at Grand Classics and on CARavans with the CCCA. The club cannot, has not, and should not go down that path. It gets really stupid really fast.

 

The focus of the club was essentially "the greatest cars of the '30s" and it has been diluted at various stages by members who wanted their other cars to be included. Many of those cars were certainly worthy, some were not. But chasing increased membership by diluting the very thing that makes the cars and the club special isn't the answer.

 

It's like the Corvette club saying, "Membership is dwindling, but hey, there are an awful lot of Ford Mustangs out there--let's let them into the club so we can get more members." It's not the point and it's not a solution. 

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Good post, Matt.

I might add that the Classic Car Club was also not just about the cars, it was about an era that disappeared in the late 1930s ... an era  represented by the type of cars that were built for a specific type of customer, and that customer pretty much disappeared in the mid- to late-1930s. Excluding production cars was the main goal. When I was young, even the early 1940s Senior Packards and Cadillacs were kind of snubbed by the original organizers. Those were the cars that represented the slippery slope of allowing production cars into the fold. I think the club went as late as 1942 only because that was a good breaking point. Had it not been for the break in production during WWII, it's quite possible that the original CCCA organizers would have put the stop on accepted cars at around 1937 or so.

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On 3/10/2019 at 12:40 PM, Matt Harwood said:

Ultimately, what a "Full Classic" is seems to boil down to the way Edwin Meese described pornography: I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.

 

Matt, I am rarely called upon to make corrections to your very knowledgeable posts.  However, it was not Attorney General Edwin Meese who made that comment, but Justice Potter Stewart of the United States Supreme Court.  Here's the full quote:

 

I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.

 

From his concurring opinion in  Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964).

 

😄

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12 minutes ago, neil morse said:

 

Matt, I am rarely called upon to make corrections to your very knowledgeable posts.  However, it was not Attorney General Edwin Meese who made that comment, but Justice Potter Stewart of the United States Supreme Court.  Here's the full quote:

 

I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.

 

From his concurring opinion in  Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964).

 

😄

 

To be perfectly correct, Meese said it as well. But, some 22 years later.

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