Jump to content

How many are left?


DizzyDale
 Share

Recommended Posts

In having any discussion about old iron the question always comes up,how many of a particular marque or make or particular body-style are left.I heard that 10% of the units manufactured is a good place to start but there are so many variables,Age being the biggest consideration .All owners like to think they have the only one and if there is not another one in sight of where you are having this particular conversation who's to argue.Any thoughts?diz tongue.giftongue.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Case in point,1937 Ford Phaeton,second to last year of production,3,500 sold.Do you think that car is desirable today?In 1937 i think any car with side curtains should have also come with a bilge pump.We recently sold our Phaeton for almost 6 figures so i guess the question is, does lack of units sold in 1937 equal desirability and big dollers in 2002.Just my 2 cents probably all it's worth.diz laugh.giflaugh.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew Ford offered a Cabriolet (roll up side windows) and a roadster (RARE with side curtains) in 1937, but never knew there was a Pheaton with side curtains in '37, in addition to the convertable sedan body. Thanks for a new bit of Ford trivia! A friend sold a 1937 Ford roadster years ago, at that time there were less than a dozen known.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An old collector I used to hang out with said that if there are very few or no examples of a particular marque to have survived there is probably a very good reason for their disappearance. grin.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some good points are being made here. I own a Keller. Only 18 were made (as prototypes before they failed to go to full production) and mine is one of three known to still exist. One owner has asked $1,000,000 for his car which is the worst one of the three. No buyers. The other owner started asking $350,000 and the last time I heard still had not found a buyer at $75,000. The car was not a well made car when it was built and time has not made it better. I can assure you that I have a lot less (a lot!!) in my car and the only reason I own it was to get one back to Huntsville, Alabama, where it was made. The point is that rarity is not necessarily a factor in the value of an antique car. The survival rate for many very high priced cars is amazingly high.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is an excellent point. I have many oddball makes, pre-16's mostly, some of which may be the only examples extant but many of them were obtained quite reasonably for the reasons you outline. Additionally many people would be scared off by the problem of finding parts, many of which have to be custom fabricated. My '15 Interstate, nicely restored and very road worthy is realistically worth only about $12,000 to $15,000 tops, and would probably fetch maybe $9,500 on ebay, great car though it is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my case, Indiana Trucks were made for a long time but were high priced/ well built trucks. Thing is, they didn't build a lot of them and in 1925 they had 14 different models. That is why I think I have a one of a kind truck today. Also I have been looking for over 20 years to find one for a pattern. I wish someone would prove me wrong and show me another truck like mine. It is hard to find parts when you don't know what you need. Even some pictures would be nice!

I have no idea of a value on this thing but I wouldn't sell it if I did know. I am having to much fun with it even if I did have to drive 1750 miles for a few parts that might fit!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Well,

I have done some time in the junk business as well as antique cars. I'll tell you another big driver in disapperance is WEIGHT!!! Nothing better than a load of high priced HEAVY marques to make a days pay! Like at lot of old timers ( I know quite a few junk men 75+) said when you had to cut in the days before torches with a hack saw the heavier and better, as for the bodies...usually they were burned, crushed and buried.

I have personally seen several remote yards in CT heaped with bodies of convertibles and coupes from the 30's and 40's just piled in mess with all the frames missing, you can tell that 50 or 60 years ago there wasn't much wrong...but then they were just another old car.

Don't forget the countless cars that had an after life as saw rig prime movers, and tractors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I restored a Packard for a man whose father was in the cast iron foundry business. In 1937 he bought 1000 cars for scrap at .75 (thats 75 cents) each.

Burned them first to remove all wood, rubber, and God knows what else and melted them down. Common practice back then. Restoring a car that wasn't much good when it was new doesn't make it a good car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Restorer 32,Who is to say which cars were good or bad originally? FORD is still in business, they must have done something RIGHT the last 100 years.For the most part people restore the cars they REMEMBER when they were young.Most dont consider their value, they just know what they like.Just my 2 cents,probably all its worth.diz tongue.giftongue.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Several odd makes which I have restored come to mind...One was a locally built car...had a good reputation when new...their motto should have been..."Not Much of a Car"..but they're all historically significant and that's what I enjoy...preserving history..maybe has something to do with my degree in archaeology?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill, while I agree in substance about Pacers I think they will always be desirable from the standpoint of their wacky styling as I have already bought and sold 3 of them in the last several years at a decent profit. Sometimes a car's stylistic aura outweighs it's mechanical deficits, this is true of cars old and new.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Bill...

Interesting. Just sitting here, thinking about the mention of Pacers, Pintos, and, Vegas as applicable to "Future Generations", of whom, will not have a clue about these cars. There are young ones now, to include my 24 year old son, that, never heard of these 3 marques, let alone see one.

Cannot tell anyone what to deem historically significant, or, what to restore. None of my business.

Quality, Future Value, Investment Value, and, Customer Opinion in their heyday aside: Hopefully someone will restore/retain these for the future generations.

Just the spirit of the AACA and other Clubs the way I see it.

Regards, Peter J.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vegas and Pintos will probably be the Falcons and Corvairs of tomorrow,if not today. I just bought a '79 Chevy Citation, a cheap, underpowered and flimsy "pezzo di merda" {sic} for $200.00, mostly because of the 24,000 orig, miles, looks like new, a good wash'n waxing and I'll flip it for $500.00, some kid'll probably buy it and drive the hell out of it.

On the other hand such cars as Reattas, Allantes etc, already have an enthusiastic following and this will only grow in the future, not that I really care about these cars but nobody ever made any money ignoring trends.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LI...my point is forget the money, quick sales, and, so on. Not everyone within the hobby looks at it as a business. I certainly do not.

Let's refine it: "Samples of the Vegas, Pintos, and, Pacers for future generations".

I am only hoping someone retains/restores these marques for future generations.

Amen...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Bob. Point well taken about the Stock Car Era. Know it all too well. During the late '60's, I lettered/striped quite a few Central/Eastern, PA Modifieds that ran at the defunct Reading Fairgrounds, and, a few other local tracks. Due to my Army service from '67-'70 that created one hell of an attitude problem with my reception home, I lost interest upon my return totally. I concur, the Vegas, Gremlins, Pacers went on to the next generation level of Dirt Track Modifieds and chewed-up many of them.

Just hope someone out there is maintaining an example for the future. (Expecially the Gremlin. I recall them as roaster ovens with all the glass, however, if they made us cringe then, possibly, they would attract future generations curiosity.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our local track was the Danbury Racearena, part if the Great Danbury Fair, it is now a shopping mall just like the old Reading Fairgrounds.Every Saturday nite was filled with some real good racing, one of the last tracks to feature Ford flathead racing up into the 1970's! There is a yearly reunion with quite a few restored cars that ran there. During Fair Week in the 1920's & 1930's some of the top drivers stoped on their tour to race there when it was a mile on dirt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't name names when in comes to less than brilliantly engineered early autos...if I did I would have to go into a witness protection program...but how about a 1917 4 cylinder with no center main bearing...when you stepped on the gas you could feel the crank bend...or a 1910 model where there was no babbit whatsoever in the top half of the main bearings..the aluminum alloy of the crankcase served as the top half of the bearing...also worked on several XK Jaguars...beautiful design, strong mechanically, but if you hired a team of engineers and set them the task to design a car that would rust out as quickly as possible they would come up with something remarkably similar to an early Jag. And don't get me started on custom body builders...again, beautiful designs but often inconsistent and shoddy construction. If you ever restore a Locke bodied RR Silver ghost be sure to label all the door hardware carefully..it won't even come close to interchanging from door to door, even the dovetails vary considerably in size. My pet peeve is the rewriting of history..let the cars speak for themselves, they're all interesting artifacts of the times in which they were built..except for the Chrysler K cars..they had to have been built by aliens bent on the total destruction of life as we know it...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about those Northway V8's used in Chevy's and Old's circa 1917-21 split crankcase with only 2 END BEARINGS, no center support, thin,whippy crank that developed it's own destructive harmonics and torsional deformation{one old time mechanic I knew compared it to a child's jump-rope} necessitating frequent rebuilds,if you were lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't forget about the Chevette! It was no greenhouse on wheels like the Pacer but I had a few of them and drove them till they quit and then fixed them and drove them some more. I had a 77 Chevette and it was a throw away car but had over 200,000 miles on it before it changed hands several times and crossed the US who knows how many times after I sold it at auction for $150. I saw the darn thing for 7 years on the road after I wore it out before it ended up on the racetrack! Some of those worthless little junkers just don't know when to quit!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

REagrding "Little junkers that don't know when to quit":

I had the same experience w/ Ford Falcons (1962's) when I was just out of high school in 1985.

My first passenger car was a 1962 Falcon 'De Luxe' 4-dr, w/ 170 ci six and 3-sp. stick (much better performance than the 144 & doggy 2-sp Ford-O-Matic!), which was "just broken-in", at 189,000 miles!

I was attending college in Wilkes-Barre PA, and driving home to Baltimore almost every week-end to visit a grandfather who was hospitalized, so I put a lot more miles on the little "bird".

What finally killed it was a near-fatal blow from a '77 Buick Regal (still a boat, at that time!), which had run a light and caught me in the left front fender. The fender was fairly crushed and the radiator was pushed back into the fan, neatly shredding the core. The car still ran, though, and I nursed it a couple of blocks to the parking garage, where I had a monthly spot. It was the only wheels I had, so after some inspection, I decided to pound-out the fender, repair the headlight, pulled the radiator support out enough to get a new radiator in it (the heavy banging and hammering involved as I worked on it at night after classes did attract the attention of the gargage staff who thought at first that someone was vandalising cars on the upper decks!).

Finally, it was driveable enough to get through the rest of the semester, although the front frame rails were bent pretty hard to the right side of the car, and it steered funny and would wear the inside half of the front tires bald in about a thousand miles!

Always started, always got me where I was going, burned plenty of oil (bad valve guide seals & worn rings), would get 26-28 mpg on the highway, if I kept my foot out of the carb.

I took it to a couple of frame shops to see about having the front frame rails straightened and actually restoring the car, but five different shops all told me the same thing- the car was unit-body and they felt there was enough rust throught-out the rest of the chassis that it would pull apart as they tried to straighten it, and "it just wasn't worth the work". (Hate when someone says that!)

So the noble old Falcon was retired at 220,000 miles, and has been kept around as a parts donor for Mom's pretty white '62 Falcon 2-dr (with the 144 and the dog-o-matic!).

So, Ford's "disposable" compact from the Atomic Age would run forever or until cancer or a bigger car claimed them.

Don't know how many are left- they made hundreds of thousands - don't see hardly any on the road here in NE PA, except on sunny days, then the few garage queens come out, plus the occaisional "little old lady" still driving the Falcon she bought new in 1960 (know of a few Corvairs and Valiants from the early Sixties still going under "senior management" smile.gif )

Disposable? well, maybe....

Cheers,

De Soto Frank

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My car in graduate school (1980-83) was a 1960 Falcon. The 144 was the only engine available, and I was blessed with the 2 speed Fordomatic (too high & too low). The car was near-mint at the time, with 18K miles when I bought it.

The car nickel and dimed me to death, with constant niggling problems. I became <span style="font-style: italic">very</span> adept at installing points (Borg Warner lasted twice as long as any other brand), and that early model open element air filter gave me fits, especially in the winter. Below 10 degrees I had to park the car in the student lot (I commuted from an "apartment"/converted motel room) facing west into the setting sun so that it would start (w/ ether). Below minus 10 it would only start if I'd plugged in the donut heater on the lower radiator hose.

I only broke 25 mpg once, driving home to Pittsburgh out of Iowa with a sustained 40 mph tailwind accross IA and IL. From that tank I got 32 mpg!!! Normal milage was 20-25 mpg highway, 18 mpg city. The variation was mainly due to wind resistance, as the grille was a veritable catcher's mitt. I was once in a head wind on US 22 (now I78) in Allentown, PA where my top speed was <span style="font-style: italic">no more</span> than 50 mph. Normal top speed (flat out for 30 miles trying to get Rolling Stone tickets) was 75 mph.

The car was retired in 1984 with 53K miles on it. I restored it in 1989/90 as my first antique. The car (a pale blue loaded 4 door <span style="font-style: italic">exactly</span> like the car used in most of the ads and the manual) couldn't draw interest, even at Falcon Club of America meets (where I regularly won 1st and 2nd place trophies without notice). I eventually sold it to a guy who used it to sell resort properties on an island in Lake Michigan. I'm still working on the TR6 it bought me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An interesting thread!

Here's a data point for you. There were approximately 1400 BMW 327 and 327/8 cabriolets and coupes made between 1937-41. Most were cabrios, coupes were quite rare - maybe 15% of total production. My cabriolet is # 273, made in 1938, and there are apparently almost 300 that are known currently, with about 75 or so being in the US.

I think the high survival rate is due to the fact that the cars were held in high esteem when new and were pretty well made. Mine was in daily use until the late 1960's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's the same reason alot of '30's Alfa's have survived in europe, my father recalled seeing many fine vintage and post-vintage sportscars in daily use up until the '60's,particularly in France where most were in a state of utter neglect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The level of "improvisation" evident on my car is significant and apparently not terribly unusual, apparently due to the terrible economic conditions in Europe after WW2. The car wears an Opel radiator, VW headlights, and a rear bumper from an early 50's Mercedes. Interestingly, a friend of mine in Canada is restoring another example and his also wears a similar rear bumper. When we compare notes, we wonder sometimes if we're working on the same car. Of course in the 50's and 60's it was just another cheap, old car. Dad bought it for the equivalent of $250 and when he brought it home to the states, his neighbors asked him to park it in the garage because it was OLD!

Now, my neighbors wonder what the ancient car in the garage is and when it'll be done. How times change.

Anyway, if anyone wants to go to my little website to see more, it's at www.BMW327.com. It's nothing amazing, but there will be more to come. That, and I think the url is pretty cool.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...