Tag Archives: collector vehicle

1973 Porsche 911S Coupe

Early Porsche 911 ’s embody a combination that is rare among collector cars today. They have both unparalleled driveability and usability, especially when compared with other cars of the same vintage, but are also fully connected to an earlier era. There is a certain wholeness, cohesiveness, and agility that is only evident when they are driven, and it is no surprise that they have a fanatical following. They are simply a blast to drive, with the advantage of solid investment potential.

1973 Porsche - Front passenger side

  • 2.4 liter,
  • 6 cylinder,
  • horizontally opposed air-cooled boxer engine,
  • 190 HP,
  • 915-5 speed manual gearbox,
  • Bosch fuel injection,
  • independent front suspension on transverse links,
  • rear independent suspension on lateral links and transverse,
  • torsion bars,
  • 89.3” wheelbase

 

The 911S was introduced as a better equipped and more powerful version of the standard 911. It featured engine modifications that resulted in 30 extra horsepower, and in addition, the chassis was modified and bigger brakes were installed. An extra five pounds were saved from each corner of the car by using Fuchs alloy wheels. 911S models for 1973 gained a discreet spoiler under the front bumper to improve high-speed stability. With the cars weighing only 2,315 pounds, these are often regarded as the best classic mainstream 911’s ever, as well as holding the crown for being the longest running production sports car ever.

1954 Jaguar XK 120

The Jaguar XK 120 was introduced at the October 1948 London Earls Court Motor Show as a design exercise and showpiece for the magnificent new XK engine. This was the first British auto show in nearly 10 years due to the intervention of war, and although money was still tight and rationing was still in force, public interest was high. Chief Jaguar stylist William Lyons talent was more than justified as his new roadster design was the sensation of the show and the press acclaim was overwhelming and immediate. Sensing the opportunity and the promotional value of competition, Lyons immediately set about promoting the prototype car through racing and speed events, even before he produced and printed sales brochures and announced immediate production plans.

1954 Jaguar XK 120

  • 3442cc in-line six-cylinder dual overhead cam engine,
  • 160 HP,
  • four-speed manual gearbox,
  • Torsion-bar independent front suspension with anti-roll bar,
  • rear live axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs,
  • 102” wheelbase

 

1954 Jaguar XK 120

The press pundits were skeptical that the new Jaguar could achieve the claimed top speed of 120 mph as the model name suggested, and they also were doubtful that the car could be sold successfully for the suggested $4,000. Lyons had enough orders on his books to start a limited production line, hand-building the cars in the classic tradition of alloy body over a wood frame, and in the meantime set about the business of convincing the world that his new car could do everything he said it could and more. He built another three pre-production cars, painted them red, white and blue, and sent them to Silverstone for the prestigious production car event, which they won in great style coming in First, Second, and Fourth.

1954 Jaguar XK 120

In May 1950, with the world motoring press watched a production XK 120 with a smaller windscreen hurtle down the motorway in Jabbeke, Belgium at over 132 mph, and history was in the making. The news went out and within weeks orders started to pour in. Just 240 Alloy bodied XKs were built before the sheer volume of the orders demanded that production change to pressed steel panels to speed up the assembly process. Lyons had justified his faith in his new XK engine and his engineers and staff had built a great car around it.

1954 Jaguar XK 120

1954 was the final year of XK 120 production, and this fine Roadster was long part of the esteemed John O’Quinn collection. The restoration was obviously performed on a straight, rust-free car, as the panel fit and gaps are excellent. Finished in classic white, this superb XK 120 Roadster sports the original dash panel with its correct brass plaque and period instruments. The seats are fine black leather, and with the correct carpets and door panels in place, everything looks clean and proper inside. Take a good look underneath as well, and you’ll see a clean and properly prepared undercarriage. The boot offers the correct mat, spare wheel, and has a full original tool roll and jack, and throughout, it’s a lovely presentation of a significant early Jaguar.

1955 Jaguar D-Type

When the Jaguar D-Type debuted at the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans, it finished a narrow 2nd to a 4.9-liter Ferrari V-12. A year later, a D-Type with a long-nosed factory body and a revised motor won the race outright. Although Jaguar retired from racing after the 1956 season, the D-Type continued to flourish in private hands, winning Le Mans in 1956 and 1957 for the Ecurie Ecosse. Although not necessarily well-suited to every type of course, the D-Type proved to be extremely effective on properly surfaced endurance circuits, and it remains one of the most important Le Mans race cars ever built, holding a special place in Coventry lore.

Chassis XKD 530 offers a tale that is surely as intricate and fascinating as any surviving D-Type. This car, one of the fifty-four examples produced for privateer customers, was dispatched from the factory on February 13, 1956, and it was finished in British Racing Green, as confirmed by its Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate. The car was retailed through Finnish Jaguar dealer S.M.K. and delivered in April 1956 to Curt Lincoln, of Helsinki, a tennis player on Finland’s Davis Cup team who was known to the racing world for his exploits in F3 midget cars, and a Jaguar C-Type. Mr. Lincoln had the car modified for Ice Racing and campaigned it in Europe in several forms.

1955 Jaguar D-type front

In November 1966, chassis XKD 530, no longer competitive on Finland’s ice courses, was sold to English collector Nigel Moores, a historic racing enthusiast who owned a number of D-Types during his life. When the car arrived for him, it showed the symptoms of wear expected from such hard use, and the body had been modified to an open two-seater cockpit with a truncated tail. As rebuilding the original body was deemed to be too prohibitively expensive for a car of such value at that time, it was decided that the later D-Type construction manner, which involved separately bolting a front and rear chassis sub-frame to the monocoque body, afforded the opportunity to remove the damaged body and salvage as many original chassis components as possible.

Mr. Moores’ staff separated the chassis tub, mounted all-new bodywork in the factory long-nose style, and fitted the car with the wide-angle headed D-Type engine that had originally been used by the Cunningham team. The separated monocoque body, the original engine, and the gearbox were put aside and eventually sold, around 1984, to historic racer John Harper, who repaired the coachwork and mounted it on an all-new chassis that mostly consisted of various original Jaguar factory components.

1955 Jaguar D-type interior

As both resulting cars were stamped with the XKD 530 chassis number, a controversy gradually emerged as to the proper identity of each car and as to which was, in fact, the authentic original car. Ole Sommer, a D-Type owner and the proprietor of Sommer’s Veteranbil Museum in Denmark, eloquently summarized the situation; “It seems difficult to rectify the situation, unless some benevolent person should decide to purchase both cars and exchange the front sub-frames and the legal documents, resulting in only one single car claiming to be XKD 530.”

1955 Jaguar D-type hood

This is essentially the path that the previous owner followed after acquiring one car in 1998 and the other in June 2002. The consignor delivered both cars in late 2002 to Chris Keith-Lucas’s well-regarded CKL Developments in East Sussex. When disassembling both cars, CKL carefully noted the individual part numbers, and after comparing them to original factory parts numbering that had been supplied by a long-time D-Type expert, the parts were separated and color-coded to distinguish which were original to XKD 530 and those used as replacements in either of the two vehicles.

1955 Jaguar D-type

It was presented at RM/Sotheby’s Amelia Island sale in racing livery, with Dunlop centerlock alloy wheels, Dunlop Racing tires, dual wraparound Plexiglas windscreens, 4-point belts, RetroTrip rally odometer, SINN stopwatch and clock, three Salter digital timers, and a driver’s head fairing. It was in great useful condition at Amelia, with noted experts Gary Bartlett and Terry Larson both concurring. Sold by Christie’s in London in June 2002 for $517,979 while there were still two claimants to the chassis number, then sold after rectification by RM at Monterey in 2013 for $3,905,000. It left the RM Sotheby’s Amelia auction block unsold but closed post-block at $3,340,909 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $3,675,000 – surely an excellent deal on a D-type that is eligible for, and has participated in, many desirable events including four runs in the Mille Miglia Storica.

1959 Pontiac Catalina Tri-Power Convertible

A fully equipped Pontiac Catalina in 1959 was one of the most powerful and desirable cars available from General Motors, but car styling was leaping forward at a record pace towards the jet age 60’s. The Catalina represents the debut year for many of Pontiac’s trademark features that would propel them to record sales just a few years later. From 1950 to 1958, all Pontiac Hardtops were designated Catalinas, but in 1959, they created a one-year only lineup of multiple Catalina body styles, including sleek new sedans, coupes, Safari wagons, and convertibles. The Catalina wheelbase was stretched to 122”, and they all carried the distinctive split-grille styling treatment, which was a fortuitous design accident that became a trademark for decades.

59 Pontiac Catalina Conv

  • 289 ci Tri-Power V-8 engine,
  • 345 HP,
  • 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission,
  • independent front suspension,
  • semi-elliptic leaf springs,
  • four wheel power drum brakes, 122” wheelbase

 

9 Pontiac Catalina engine

Pontiac designers were experimenting with a design for a conventional, full width oval grille, containing horizontal quad headlights, and in frustration, they cut it in two pieces and transposed the halves. With the lights remaining at the extremities, this gave them the new split center, open-ended look for the ‘59 Catalina. Along with the wider body came a wide track chassis that was a full 5” wider, which really pushed the wheels outward to fill up the fenders. This not only improved the appearance of the car, but Pontiac engineers discovered that pushing the wheels further out also led to vast improvements in ride and handling – hence the term “Wide Track” which Pontiac would use in its promotional efforts for many years to come.

59 Pontiac Catalina Convertible

The Catalina also had more to offer than most of its rivals under the hood, where a 389 CI V-8 was the biggest engine in its class, and in the case of this rare convertible, when equipped with the rare optional Tri Power carburetion setup, where 3 Rochester 2 barrel carbs make a class-leading 345 HP. Coupled with the 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, this big 2-door convertible remains clean and correct under the hood, and a first class highway cruiser today.

1959 Pontiac Catalina

This factory-born Cardinal Red convertible was assembled in Canada and fully restored in 2012, with a lovely paint finish and sharp bodywork. The custom interior is very cool, the glittering chromed wire wheels and whitewall tires look new, and the dash is simply incredible. The big six-person convertible features both power steering and brakes, making it a comfortable boulevard cruiser that’s both reliable and very easy to drive.

1959 Pontiac Catalina interior

Pontiac enthusiasts know that the ’59 Catalinas are quite rare, especially the Tri-Power Convertibles, and will always be looked at as the start of the big, wide, powerful era at Pontiac, and these features propelled Pontiac to great success for the next several decades.

1959 Porsche 356A/1600 Super Convertible D

Before the onset of World War II in 1939, Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche was developing three Type 64 cars for a Berlin to Rome automobile race in 1939, but the event was cancelled due to the hostilities in Europe. Not until after WWII would the next Porsche be built – a mid-engine tubular chassis 356 prototype called “No. 1”, which remains on display in Stuttgart to this day. This prototype has led to some debate as to the “first” Porsche automobile, but Porsche itself considers the steel-bodied 356 to be its first production model in 1950. Its reputation as a lightweight and nimble handling two-door sports car with a reliable powertrain was the key factor in the post-war resurgence that Porsche enjoyed for many years.

59 Porsche 356 right side

  • 1,582 cc four-cylinder 616/2 Super engine,
  • four-speed manual transaxle,
  • four-wheel independent suspension
  • and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 82.7”

 

59 Porsche 356 engine

Little noticed at its inception, except for a small number of auto racing enthusiasts, the first 356s sold primarily in Austria and Germany. It took Porsche two years, starting with the first prototype in 1948, to manufacture the first 50 automobiles, but soon the 356 had gained some renown among enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic for its aerodynamics, handling, and excellent build quality. Porsche’s Class Win at Le Mans in 1951 was clearly a turning point in world recognition for the brand.

59 Porsche 356 driver side

By 1956, the 356 in all forms had been continually developed into one of the world’s most respected sports cars. This feat was quite remarkable considering that Porsche as a company was only celebrating its eighth anniversary. The evolution of the Porsche 356 was swift and further impelled not only by Porsche’s drive for technical improvement but also commercial success. By 1958 the Speedster model was four years old and sales were declining. Porsche realized that significant improvements were necessary to attract buyers, despite the market for a “weekend racer”. The Porsche 356A Convertible D was the replacement in 1959, and with Reutter coachworks straining to keep up with the demand, Porsche contracted with the Drauz Company in Heilbronn to manufacture the bodies for the Convertible D (the “D” stood for Karosseriewerke Drauz KG).

59 Porsche 356 right side

The new “Convertible D” featured a taller, more practical windshield allowing improved headroom, roll-up glass side-windows and far more supportive seats. The Convertible D model is arguably the rarest production Porsche 356 model ever manufactured for a full year, with just 1,331 produced between August 1958 and September 1959, with a fraction of those (estimated at 300) ordered with the high compression Super engine. It’s replacement came along in the form of the 356B Roadster Convertible, introduced in 1960. Alas, the sports car market’s love affair with top-down motoring was fading, and soft-top 356 model sales declined significantly in the early 1960s. Today’s market feels quite differently, and clearly the late Type A Super cars remain the high-water mark for 356 collectability.

59 Porsche 356 interior

The car we photographed near Dallas is the rare 1959 Convertible D, produced late in the run on August 7, 1959, the tenth from the last produced as confirmed by the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity obtained by the car’s long-term caretaker. It retains the original options of reclining bucket seats, chrome luggage rack, clock, and the factory safety belts it was shipped with in 1959, and with the factory Super engine, this rare Convertible D represents one of the most desirable Porsches of the entire era.

The Build – Buffing & sanding the firewall

In this episode, Rob Baker will take us through sanding the firewall and dashboard to rid the restomod of orange peel and/or dirt that may have gotten into the clear coat.

When they buff it out, it will provide that perfect showroom shine. Rob will use 2000 grit sandpaper just to give it a really smooth coat and eliminate any initial items in the clear coat, as the clear laid extremely well.

sanding the firewall

The buffer will now be used, after the 2000 grit sandpaper has completely sanded the firewall and dashboard. This will assist in bringing the shine back out with just a tiny amount of compound.

65 Chevy Malibu firewall buffing

When using the buffer, either the foam pads or the wool pads, be very careful around any edges or corners, as it will burn through.

65 Malibu Firewall - Buffing

Now that the firewall and dashboard have been sanded and buffed, watch as The Build team continues to put back together the 1965 Chevy Malibu restomod. Make sure to watch the other episodes on our YouTube channel, and follow the progress of our collector car on our Facebook page too!

1948 Chrysler Town and Country Convertible Coupe

Walter P. Chrysler founded the Chrysler Corporation on June 6, 1925, when the Maxwell Motor Company was re-organized into the Chrysler Corporation. The Chrysler was initially a six-cylinder automobile, but Walter steered them towards a full line offering, including everything from trucks to luxury cars. This period of great success earned Chrysler a place at the table in Detroit known as the Big Three.

1948 Chrysler Town and Country  engine

 

  • 323.5 ci Inline 8 cylinder L-head engine,
  • 135 HP,
  • Fluid Drive automatic transmission,
  • independent front coil-spring suspension,
  • rear semi-elliptic leaf springs,
  • 127.5” wheelbase

 
Many of the cars that brought Chrysler through the war years and beyond were designed by Raymond H. Dietrich with the aid of Chrysler’s Art and Color Department. As swiftly as the production of civilian cars came to an abrupt halt at the onset of World War II, it was resumed at nearly twice the speed in 1946. The Big Three scrambled to meet the imminent demand of excited new car buyers; however, Chrysler did so with a bit more creative gusto that helped institute immediate demand for some of their new models. The height of luxury at the time was the Town and Country convertible.
 
One of the most memorable post-war Chryslers ever built, the Town and Country’s steel front end was all Town and the White Ash wooden-bodied rear was all Country, and these elegant automobiles were equally at home in Manhattan or on your country estate.

1948 Chrysler Town and Country front

This fine automobile is freshly finished in the correct Chrysler Blue, with excellent chrome and trim throughout. The presentation of the car is top shelf from any angle. The 1948 Town and Country is highly sought after for CCCA Tours, as it is one of the most elegant and easy to drive Full Classics you can find. This car will earn the lucky new owner an entrance into any of their events, and would be a hit at the National Woodie Club shows as well.

The car features lovely new blue and cream leather upholstery that complements the new cut-pile carpeting throughout the spacious cabin. The elegant interior includes the fully original dashboard, which is one of the great designs of the era, complete with the factory heater, clock and AM radio. It’s all topped off by a new matching Haartz cloth top that is beautifully fitted and power operated, and even the trunk is restored in the correct materials, with the factory jack and spare.

1948 Chrysler Town and Country Conv  rear

The original woodwork is spectacular on this car, with ash slats that are neatly finger joined, and expertly refinished with just the right amount of gloss. All of the inserts are new, with the correct Di-Noc red mahogany being used, and the impact of the craftsmanship is immediate when you see the car.

The 323.5 ci L-head 8 cylinder engine readily finds a quiet idle upon starting and is very clean and nicely detailed, and mated to the innovative semi-automatic Fluid Drive transmission, the car runs and drives as new. The wide whitewall tires and hubcaps are all in fine condition, making it obvious to anyone that this is a beautifully sorted luxury car that is fully capable on modern roads.

1948 Chrysler Town and Country door

With only 8,368 built in 1948 and far fewer surviving, these big Chryslers have long been a top tier collector car, and that long history of increasing values is a testament to the Town and Country’s lasting appeal among enthusiasts who recognize post-war elegance at its best.

1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible

Beginning in 1961, Elwood Engle’s striking modern design for the newly named Lincoln Continental began an immensely successful decade for the big Lincoln flagship.  It was one of the last vehicles to be completely designed by one man, and soon, every other car manufacturer was imitating its cohesive style.  Certain features like the distinctive grille and front opening rear doors became Lincoln trademarks throughout the entire decade.

1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible front

462 ci V-8 engine,
340 HP,
3-speed automatic transmission,
independent front suspension,
semi-elliptic rear suspension,
front disc and rear drum brakes,
126” wheelbase

1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible engine

By 1964, the wheelbase was extended 3 inches, and in 1966, the first 2-door Lincoln since 1960 was launched.  The V-8 engine was pumped up from 430 to 462 cubic inches, and the car was also given all-new exterior sheet metal and a stylish new interior design. Parking lights and front turn signals went back into the front bumper, and tail lights were set inside the rear bumper for the first time.

1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible interior

The 1966 convertibles were improved with select technical changes related to lowering and raising the top. Lincoln engineers separated the hydraulics for the top and rear deck lid by adding a second pump and eliminating the hydraulic solenoids. A glass rear window replaced the previous years’ plastic windows. Sales increased to 54,755 units for the model year, but just 6% of those were the 4-door convertibles.  By 1967, the Lincoln Continental 4-door convertible was gone, the last 4-door fully open car available in the US.

1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible right side

The 1966 Lincoln Continentals were fresh, powerful, quiet, and smooth, and represent everything a luxury car buyer could have possibly wanted in 1966, and they remain just as popular among Lincoln enthusiasts and collectors today.

 

World of Wheels – Indianapolis 2015

We just wrapped up a great show, the World of Wheels in Indianapolis, where we worked with our partners at Classic Auto Insurance.

Classic Ford Mustang

Like most of the indoor shows over the winter, it gives car guys like us an outlet and provides a temporary fix until spring comes bouncing back.

Classic Chevy Corvette

World of Wheels showcased a lot of high-end customs, where the workmanship was simply exceptional. It was easy to be impressed with the cars that were on display. To complement, we also had the hardcore hot rodders with their gassers, hot rods, and customs. These guys love their cars and live for the hobby.

World of Wheels classic car

One thing is for sure, everyone who brought their car to the show (and every spectator) shares that same love for classic cars.

Ami G. received her share of attention too. Seeing the story of her rebuild brought smiles to many faces. We loved being part of the show and the people we met were great!

1965 Chevy Malibu - Ami G.

Stay tuned for the next Ami G. appearance. If she comes to a town near you, stop by and say hi!

Which do you prefer, stock or modified classic cars?

There’s an age-old argument about classic cars, keep them stock or modify them. Today, loads of different modified classic cars exist. From stock to modified, here are a number of different roads you can take. You can go with some slight modifications to make a collector car drive efficiently and more reliable, or go fairly extreme like we did with Ami G from The Build.

65 Chevy Malibu SS restomod

My advice is that if you find a “matching numbers” classic car, do what you can to keep it that way, by maintaining it as a survivor, or restoring it back to original specs. As far as long-term investment is concerned, you cannot go wrong with a documented original collector car. In most cases, the value will continue to increase over the years.

stock collector car

On the other hand, if you find a collector vehicle that does not have the original drive train or documentation, all rules are off. I suggest you build it into a custom hot rod:

• there are plenty of these types of cars available,
• it allows a lot of us to have fun in the collector car hobby and
• transform a classic into what we feel is ‘cool’!

modified classic cars

There are pros and cons to either direction you take, stock or modified. Are you someone who wants to own (and show off) a documented piece of history? Or do you want to own (and show off) a hot rod that is an extension of your personality?

Both ways are rewarding and fun. Which road do you take?