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1931 Cadillac V12 coupe value?


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7 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

When I see that I know I'm dealing with someone that has limited experience in the hobby.   It is basically a worthless statement.  The more experienced guys will say "1 of 5 know to the XXX Club"  or something along those lines.

 

Yup.  A few years ago I tried to find pictures of all the still-existing '35 Packard 12 coupe-roadsters to see how they looked in different colors.  Several big auctions reported that only five of the cars still exist, out of about 50 made.  Just googling around, I found pictures on the web of at least 10 of them.

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3 minutes ago, 1935Packard said:

 

Yup.  A few years ago I tried to find pictures of all the still-existing '35 Packard 12 coupe-roadsters to see how they looked in different colors.  Several big auctions reported that only five of the cars still exist, out of about 50 made.  Just googling around, I found pictures on the web of at least 10 of them.

 

Orin, there is fault in your hypothesis.............the other half are repowered eights. The car is only a 12 with rock solid provenance, and the last two I looked at in the past five years we’re conversions. And they were at the big venue sales. 

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12 hours ago, George Smolinski said:

I always wonder when someone makes the statement "Only __(fill in the blank with a number) left in the world." I believe the person making the statement has been able to account for EVERY part or car he/she is making that statement about. In my world, that's almost an impossibility.

As to the car in question, if it is roadworthy after performing the usual services needed to make it so, why would anyone want to restore it? I would think it would attract way more attention left as is.

Both of these statements are IMHO.

Mister Kid does not have anymore and when I seen him last he has no intention of having anymore made as the cost has gone way up because of the tolerance.  Joseph  has 2 on consignment as of a couple of months ago.

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

"First, I will admit that I am always the first to say that it's cheaper to buy a finished car than a project. I will also say that I am the guy who rains on everyone's parades when they start a project and don't seem to realize they'll be over their heads before the first drop of paint is sprayed.

 

Nevertheless, I like this car a lot. It's rare, it's handsome, and it's an A-list car. I have long maintained that the Cadillac V12 is much more than 3/4 of a V16 for 1/4 the price. This is a worthy car.

 

That said, you WILL NOT make money restoring it. You'll "lose" a fortune if dollars and cents are all that matter to you. You have to do it because you want this car. It can be restored, it won't be easy, but when you're done you will have a car that stands near the top of the food chain in the Full Classic world. Anything with 12 cylinders deserves respect and the lovely OHV Cadillac V12 is an excellent car. They are challenging to restore for many reasons--parts, knowledge, and finishing, but they're also very high-quality and durable, and that car does not look like it has been seriously neglected or abused. Wood and the engine are, as the others have suggested, the biggies in terms of dollar investment required. But even if they're good, you will spend a HUGE pile of money no matter what."

 

I like what Matt said. There's a "right" person to buy this out there.

Somewhere there's a person who's going to buy a class A motorhome for a 1/4 million. Also, someone who could buy this V-12 and get it to near-new condition for the same amount. Ten years go by....then the 1st guy has a $40K bus, though he saved some motel money. The 2nd guy may have had some fun on the car show circuit or some tours. Though never getting to sleep in his purchase, he preserved some history. Person #1 and person #2 are just different, neither better or worse than the other. The ones taking the "V-12 Route" next year are a lot rarer than the ones doing the "Motorhome Route", I suspect.   

 

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2 hours ago, Joe in Canada said:

Mister Kid does not have anymore and when I seen him last he has no intention of having anymore made as the cost has gone way up because of the tolerance.  Joseph  has 2 on consignment as of a couple of months ago.

Your statement doesn't tell anyone how you accounted for ALL of the ones ever made, which is my point. You don't know for 100% if there are any others in someone else's possession. Because of that, you can't make a statement that there are only X number of whatever left in the world.

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2 hours ago, Joe in Canada said:

..............................the cost has gone way up because of the tolerance.  

 

Hi Joe. Could you or Ed please post a picture of this close tolerance bushing  ?  If very close tolerance is needed, you must find a shop that operates inside and outside grinders which can take your job. I have recommended in the past that such jobs can be done by companies which rebuild hydraulic cylinders. A good machinist can accurately cut to a significant fraction of a "tenth", (of a thousandth). If that will cut it for the transmission bushings. go ahead and whittle 'em out if the process is efficient. However, not everyone is familiar with the routine capabilities of grinders. For example In order for seals to hold against extremely high hydraulic pressure, the surfaces must be very smooth and accurate. After the surface is finely and precisely ground, it is then hard chrome plated. The grinders last job is to then take out the miniscule micro ripple inherent to the plating process. Man, you can't do THAT with cutting tools. Yeah, let's see what these bushings look like....................      Thanks,    -   CC 

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1 hour ago, George Smolinski said:

Your statement doesn't tell anyone how you accounted for ALL of the ones ever made, which is my point. You don't know for 100% if there are any others in someone else's possession. Because of that, you can't make a statement that there are only X number of whatever left in the world.

Now for your homework for over the holidays is see how many you can find for sale not how many there are. Only  2 very small lots were ever made with the problem being with the inside spline.      

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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Joe.....I’m not familiar with who made them or when, but they are sure a complicated part. Over the years I have fixed over a dozen of the Cadillac transmissions. They have several common problems that cause them to jump out of gear, and the second gear bushing is the hard issue that is the repair of last resort. Holding one in my hand, I knew right away they were a good value, and a royal pain in the axx to make, that’s why I bought a few. Thought they were a good investment, and my money was not only safe, but the part would appreciate over time. I think I guessed right. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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As far as Cadillac 8 to 16 conversions, and made up cars..........and new bodies on original open chassis.....look out. That’s why REAL, V-16 roadsters run well into the seven figures today. There are very few real roadsters with provenance. 

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6 hours ago, edinmass said:

 

Orin, there is fault in your hypothesis.............the other half are repowered eights. The car is only a 12 with rock solid provenance, and the last two I looked at in the past five years we’re conversions. And they were at the big venue sales. 

 

Good point!  I hadn't thought of that, but you're totally right. 

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I dunno about you guys but I do all of the work myself and I think some of the numbers being thrown about are more than reasonable that would allow you to get it to a good driving car.

 

If I had the space (and didn't already have a car) it would have been a contender for me

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Back in the 1970's there was a fellow whose name some of you silverbacks might recognize who basically made his living converting V-16 and V-8  Sedans to Roadsters and such.  I personally know of a V-16 Landaulet Convertible awaiting restoration that started live as an 8.

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Yup......there are lots of dead bodies buried in this hobby...............and with time, fake and made up cars are getting "new" histories and provenance. And with fewer and fewer experts.....the road to collecting big time cars is very hazardous. Recently a world class and "known" car was about to change hands for numbers approaching 8 figures..........a team of experts going over the 80 year history found a "typo" , and it turns out the foot note to a foot note proved the car was built/modified/changed/altered/improved/customized  in the 50's. Fact is, very experienced collectors still take it on the chin sometimes. On top of all the fakes and junk, having people who can evaluate a car correctly are getting very difficult to find........just like the people to properly restore, service, and maintain them. 

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11 hours ago, Joe in Canada said:

Now for your homework for over the holidays is see how many you can find for sale not how many there are. Only  2 very small lots were ever made with the problem being with the inside spline.      

I have no desire to find said bushing(s), nor do I need one or more. My point was & still is your statement: "Who ever buys this car tell him I have a second gear bushing and there is only two others left in the world." By that statement you know how many originals were made as extra stock for dealers, how many reproductions were made, and you can account for the total of all of them less the ones you mention in your statement. 

 

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

Yup......there are lots of dead bodies buried in this hobby...............and with time, fake and made up cars are getting "new" histories and provenance. And with fewer and fewer experts.....the road to collecting big time cars is very hazardous. Recently a world class and "known" car was about to change hands for numbers approaching 8 figures..........a team of experts going over the 80 year history found a "typo" , and it turns out the foot note to a foot note proved the car was built/modified/changed/altered/improved/customized  in the 50's. Fact is, very experienced collectors still take it on the chin sometimes. On top of all the fakes and junk, having people who can evaluate a car correctly are getting very difficult to find........just like the people to properly restore, service, and maintain them. 

 

Which really points out the absurdity of it all.

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A local dentist back in the 1980's had a 1931 Packard Coupe that had been converted into a convertible. He knew it was converted when he bought it but slowly convinced himself it was real.  He located the elderly daughter of the original owner of the coupe and after seeing pics of the now convertible with a little prompting she told him stories of pleasant sunny afternoons riding with the top down. A local newspaper even published a photo of the elderly lady along with her tales.  Documentation is easy to manufacture when necessary.

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This is a pretty interesting thread beyond the topic car. Condition, provenance, history, and costs make me reflect on my modest collector cars. In 1984 I was on a trip for work and walking "used car row"  in Davenport, Iowa at night. Five years before I had bought a nice 15 year old Buick Riviera. The Buick had moderate, or tolerant, acceptance at a couple of car shows. In the semi-darkness I realized that a clean, well maintained 10 to 15 year old car was what really fit me best. I am pretty good at maintaining, almost intolerant of refurbishing something someone else let deteriorate. I have three of those 15 year old clean car purchases now. In the spring I will have owned the first one for 42 years. And the newest for 2 years, middle one for 7.

That old, rough stuff, that needs restoration has come through my garage. When it left there was usually a little money to put toward a car that didn't need the work. I like it that way.

 

Somewhere above is written "even if it was given to you". Yeah, I'll agree with that. The Caddy coupe is pretty rough and sitting without attention. My adjusted cost for the three newer ones has been right about $10,000 on each purchase. They don't sit dirty and damp in a garage while I wonder if the engine will turn over this year. It's 40 degrees in there and I will probably rub a polishing cloth on one of them today. It's just the way I treat something I put a value on. Some "barn finds" look like the owner saw no value at all. And there are certainly hints whether it was health or hoarding that caused the abandonment.

Bernie

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2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Which really points out the absurdity of it all.


Matt.......it’s what we choose to do. Insanity helps make the time go by faster and offers a few laughs along the way. 

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

.it’s what we choose to do. Insanity helps make the time go by faster and offers a few laughs along the way. 

Certain lyrics of Helen Reddy's Angie Baby often run through my head in the garage:

"It's so nice to be insane
No one asks you to explain"

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I note the OP is low on postings, maybe on experience too? 

My tale of restoring a Cad in the 2000s. In 2014 I bought a 1929 Club sedan. (yes it is a V8 that's all they offered that year)  NICE car. painted in the early-mid 60s, (still shines with a rub & buff) Nice original interior (including the original Broadlace trim!) Sold about 1975 (running) to a guy who parked it in a warehouse in Eastern Washington state. (VERY DRY environment, excellent preservation) Sat until 2013 when the estates were all probated and I got it in 2014. (supposed to run - but never heard it actually run) 

 

I wanted a closed Full Classic and since the body & interior was so nice I (foolishly) figured that "Hey I can get anything to run, Its only a flathead V8!"  It was a nice car that only needed mechanics and it was only $25,000. (For that price, how can you go wrong?) 

Turns out it had stuck valves. (the engine squeeked when I first cranked it -VERY DRY) No problem I will just pull the heads. Turns out they are stuck on the studs. (Opps gotta pull the entire engine)  

 

The engine went to an excellent rebuilder who does Classic engines between his usual industrial work.

Did I say that it was just a flathead V8? Certainly it couldn't be any harder than an Early Ford V8 right?  Uhhh. . . no.

He had to pull the blocks from the crankcase and hammer the heads off the studs from below(!)  So of course I now gotta do a FULL rebuild. Fact: there are NO SHORTCUTS on a Full Classic engine.  Pour babbit, put new pins and rollers on the lifters(!), etc, etc. Total $14,000. 

 

OK now it will be ready to go right? No, the pot metal distributor shatters. (it had been glued together before) New cast distributor from Classic & Exotic $2000. (happy to get it, cause what else are you gonna do?)  Clutch repair, brake shoes relined, carb rebuilt, etc. Brassworks radiator $3000. Did I mention that there are no shortcuts on repairing a Full Classic?

 

Potmetal? If you havent done a Cad (or any cars) from this time you will be shocked at what it takes to get the bronze/brass re-castings for the steering wheel control levers, and taillight stanchions etc, etc. 

 

Cut to end: No tires, no paint, no interior. (they are all good) I now have $26,000 just MAKING IT RUN AND DRIVE reliability as has been suggested for this car.    Could I ever get $50,000 from my 4 door sedan? Unlikely. (maybe $30,000?) 

Equally important - Could the V12 coupe be "made to run and drive" for less than $25,000??? Unlikely. Maybe if you cut a bunch of corners but then it isnt REALLY gonna run and drive well. 

IMG_1753.thumb.JPG.93ff137ff12369dc4d283cd561713a7b.JPG

 

At the same time I rebuilt a very NON-classic 1966 Mercury convertible. New motor, (same shop as the Cad) trans and every single mechanical and operational part that I could possibly replace. (I wanted an excellent driver car) New paint and chrome. New top, upholstery and all new rubber weatherstrip everywhere. (its all reproduced) lots of NOS stuff too and its total is (only) $20,000. 

 

IMG_2801.thumb.jpg.4e72a69961e6fd5440d76591c0fb21a6.jpg

 

So, for anyone who thinks that they can make the V12 car 'run and drive' (further than just across an auction block) for less than $25,000 (probably more like $40,0000) please relate your experiences. 

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2 hours ago, m-mman said:

 Could I ever get $50,000 from my 4 door sedan? Unlikely. (maybe $30,000?) 

I am in the same situation with my original 12 T but  it is a hobby that I enjoy playing with and the money is an after thought. By the way you will never regret changing your lifter pins. 

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1 hour ago, Joe in Canada said:

I am in the same situation with my original 12 T but  it is a hobby that I enjoy playing with and the money is an after thought.

 

Oh yeah I (sadly) understand that it is a hobby, but the idea of at least 'breaking even' has been a myth in this hobby since the 1970s.   Before that I dont think any/many car people ever really thought of getting their money back. (I think the Harrah's sale really put the idea in peoples heads that there is money to be made in collector cars)

The understanding that you are guaranteed to lose money, needs to take hold in the hobby again. 

 

1 hour ago, Joe in Canada said:

By the way you will never regret changing your lifter pins. 

 

Yeah, I just let the qualified engine builder do whatever he suggested. Sticker shock? Absolutely! But that wound is healing slowly. 

The idea that it wasn't a Ford V8 took a long time for me to understand.  My point was that if you haven't actually done a done Full Classic, you don't understand. 

 

Example: the counterbalance weights are NOT cast as part of the crank. They are separate pieces that are BOLTED to the crankshaft, then the nut is tack welded to insure that it doesnt loosen up. To turn and polish the crank you have to cut the weld and remove the weights. Then clean the (damaged) threads, get a new nut and weld it again. 

Edited by m-mman (see edit history)
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Thinking about barn find Full Classics.  

When the CCCA hobby started in 1952 The cars were all either good running originals OR the barn finds were there because they were stored during the war. To get one going again all you needed to do was scrape off the ration sticker, put in new gas and start driving it again. At most they had only been parked only 25-30 years. 

 

Today the barn find Full Classics were likely parked 30-50 years ago, BUT 99% of the time they were NOT parked as good running cars, rather they were parked WITH A DEFECT. The 30s car was parked in 1960s -70s because. . . . 

. . . . It needed ignition parts, it threw a rod, it cracked a block or head, it needed some type of repair that the 1960s collector either couldn't afford or couldn't find parts to repair.

Even if it was a good car that was dismantled for restoration, the dismantling is now a big defect. 

 

Back to the V12 Cad. I strongly suspect that it was parked FOR A REASON. That reason still exists. Whatever the reason that it was parked, will still need repair. 

I think that it is best to assume that any long parked Full Classic, has a serious defect somewhere, and any potential buyer needs to assume there is a defect and factor it into the purchase price. 

Edited by m-mman (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, m-mman said:

Potmetal? If you havent done a Cad (or any cars) from this time you will be shocked at what it takes to get the bronze/brass re-castings for the steering wheel control levers, and taillight stanchions etc, etc. 

Try Mike Butters next time. 905-372-6926 top quality and very reasonable. He does a lot of V16 casting ships around the world. He does castings for Sonny Elliott and Jeff Pearson of Pearson Restorations if you want a reference.

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Yeah, I just let the qualified engine builder do whatever he suggested. Sticker shock? Absolutely! But that wound is healing slowly. 

 

 

all depends who is doing the work- if you are having everything done by somebody else, well sure you are losing money. Many of us on this and other sites have actually made a decent buck on the cars. Its knowing when and how much to sink into a car.

 

no diff then rebuilding a home. There is always a cut off point depending on location and scope of said project.

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As Ed once told me, it’s cheaper and easier to buy a restored car classic then to restore one.
 There was a nicely appointed and running ‘32 V-12 Town Sedan at the Hershey auction two years ago that went for just under $45K including the buyers premium. Yes it was a closed car but it was in really nice running condition. To start a 12 with unknown wood and engine at $50K will drain a pocket pretty quick. Just the jewelry will cost you well over $15K now and that’s something I know about! As stated, if it was given for free, you still won’t come out a head if money is all you’re after!

 

Wayne

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1 hour ago, mercer09 said:

no diff then rebuilding a home. There is always a cut off point depending on location and scope of said project.

 

Yup! absolutely.  However When to say stop or when to do things yourself is very much based on the type of car. 

 

If you are building in the best top notch end of town then you had better use the best material and most qualified, skilled individuals. People paying top dollar for the best product typically know the best and expect the best.

If you are building in the lower ends of town, then it is easier to cut corners and use a little cheaper methods. In fact you probably have to. 

 

Working on a Full Classic in not like working on a low priced or independent. Big money cars, take big money to fix. The parts are scarcer and the technology is different. Full Classics would have commanded a higher price when new because they were typically filled with advanced (for the time) technology. Technology and features that was later either standardized or dropped. Restoring what quickly became 'ancient' technology can be challenging and if you do it wrong, and you break something (which is quite probable) then it will seriously harm the end result.

Full Classic restoration is something that is best learned through an 'apprenticeship' not through experimentation. 

 

If you have a ratty Model A or T you can be well accepted by the respective clubs based on enthusiasm alone if not for your car. I brought a mint restored 1960 Rambler to a AMC gathering and I was kinda embarrassed because so many other cars were ratty. Enthusiastic Rambler owners driving and proudly fixing their own cars? Yeah! Not a professional repair anywhere, they were proud of their work. But they are Ramblers, there is no extra dollars to spend on their restorations. 

 

Show up with a ratty Full Classic and sneers will be heard. Bring a 8 or even a 12 cylinder Cad to a show and having someone tell you; "You know they made these in a 16 also, dont you?" would not be unheard of. I am sure the same thing must happen to less than perfect Corvettes at a major show. 

 

The car in question is a Cadillac 12. Nice coupe body style, but its restoration is an expensive and slippery slope. (remember there are two updraft carburetors and two vacuum tanks) It would be next to impossible to do it halfway. Costs must be accounted for and the repair & restoration costs come out of the sale price of the original project. This is what Ed and so many others were saying that unrestored cars will not bring much money. 

Edited by m-mman (see edit history)
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There are two more important considerations when looking at the original 31 Caddy V-12 Coupe that started this thread, and I will add them in now..............

 

I’m getting older now.......and my time is getting shorter, and my effort to fix things is getting much harder. I now wear glasses to read and fix things........makes it much more difficult to make repairs and diagnose problems.

 

All the good, competent shops and craftsmen are very, very busy. And most of them are older than I am, so they are working slower now.........both in productive hours per day, and the amount work they produce is rapidly dwindling. One of my go to guys for very difficult problems is getting cranky.............he doesn’t complain about the work, or the work load. He does complain about his hands, back, and knees hurting so bad he has a hard time thinking and getting through the day. This too I understand.

 

I did a heavy engine repair on a exotic pre war car last week. It took me 2 1/2 times longer to make the repair than it would have ten or fifteen years ago. My hands are slower, and my back is protesting............most importantly I still enjoyed the process of fixing something that 95 percent of the people out there can’t fix. The sense of satisfaction fixing difficult problems is not only still rewarding today, it is increasing...........at least for me. The pride in ownership and craftsmanship after all these years is still very much a large part of my enjoyment of the hobby. I still like to sit in the garage occasionally and just look at the cars. I recently finished another huge project, with the help of many friends and suppliers that I can’t share as the owner is low key and likes his privacy. The few who knew what we accomplished is a short time we’re all amazed and very kind and generous in their support and encouragement. When finished with the endeavor of making this very neglected car a sorted and fantastic driver, the owner and I were going over the project as we stood looking at it in the garage. As we started to walk away, I asked him to find another project...........

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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’m getting older now.......and my time is getting shorter, and my effort to fix things is getting much harder. I now wear glasses to read and fix things........makes it much more difficult to make repairs and diagnose problems.

 

 

sounds like someone is on a Geritol diet.............

 

:)

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9 minutes ago, mercer09 said:

 

 

sounds like someone is on a Geritol diet.............

 

:)


 

Not yet! 

 

I have enough iron (titanium) in my body from my surgeons that my new ideal weight is about two pounds more than it should be.
 

PS- By the way.......that comment dates you to being at least as old as I am! (54)

 

 

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On 12/22/2019 at 4:12 PM, alsancle said:

 

You would think that the prewar Rolls would have a bigger following considering you can order almost any mechanical part off the internet in 3 minutes.

They do have a big following, just not in the United States.  I bet http://www.realcar.co.uk/Cars-for-Sale.htm sells 200 plus pre-war cars a year.   And, up until the 80's they were heavily toured with in AACA and ... - near faultless on the road and require no modifications then to tour and still require no modifications today.  I think the issue is that they have always been expensive (even when they were "just" used cars) matched to always being rare and few people having exposure (out of sight out of mind is an expression that comes to mind - I will also tell you my focus changed when I became the only one with an X in the geographic area - not as fun to be the loner).   Also, as the economy in England has improved over the past few years there are plenty that have gone back home - surprising, they also like Springfield cars there too.    In Cincinnati, for eons it was now my group of friends - not too many of the friends left though via age catching up with them.  And, for 30 plus years we had one of the better Rolls-Royce restoration ships here in town via Ned Hermann. 

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