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Is thebest car in the world Crown Victoria?



  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,643
    Yes, all true of course, but you have a "valued-added" car. Your skill, resources and checkbook turned a basically worthless car into a desirable one. But nobody is going to take a stock 1980 Corolla that's beat to crap and do a frame-off restoration on it. You know that, BT, c'mon!

    Also, you can't order a new dashboard for it, or find the chrome trim pieces, or new seats. Nobody is going to tool up to repo '80 Corolla interior and trim parts!

    So the only way '80 Corollas will survive is a) time capsules that are originals and b) nuts like you who make them into something interesting.

    Same with your GTS. A few will survive at the hands of a devoted small following, but they will disappear in time because no one will endure the substantial cost of restoration on a $4,500 car full retail. You probably wouldn't even fix it yourself if (god forbid) it were totalled. You'd find a new toy (maybe another GTS).
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    can't speak for everyone, but Toysport collects every GTS they can get their hands on (they usually have at least 5-6 on hand at any given time, and they are usually pretty tired looking, although straight). The hatcbacks are the most popular because of the styling but the coupes (like mine) are preferred for their lightness and extra stiffness. They are used for drifting, and for that reason (and the 4AGE engine), they are now and will probably always be a collectible to Toyota enthusiasts.

    As for "value added", I guess that's true in the sense that it's hard to resist going to TRD for every single suspension piece and engine upgrade they have for the car, but my car is bascially stock, except for a TRD suspension, Weapon-R filter and TRD exhaust. Yet it will smoke a stock Civic, MP3 or Integra, and in terms of handling and driving enjoyment, there is simply no comparison. It is a mechanical wolverine -- a screaming, crazy little monster that will take all the abuse you can give it and come back for more. It is to me now what my Alfas were to me in the 60s and 70s.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    check out Club 4AGE's website. It's a window into another world for an MG enthusiast!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,643
    But you know that cars are restored with checkbooks, and nobody is going to put a pile of cash into a 1985 Japanese car that I can see. This has nothing to do with the car's merit or how much people love them. Whether a car becomes collectible or not depends on whether people will spend large sums of money on them when they are deplorable wrecks---not when they are running and together "bargain fun cars" like they are now, for a few in the "cult".

    They are no different that early RX-7s I think, or early CRXs or 240Zs. People buy 'em, love 'em, fix them up "to a degree", but nobody's restoring them (well Nissan restored some of them and took a beating, too!). I would have noticed in my biz, I think, if old Japanese cars were being restored. They ARE, however, sometimes modified or street-rodded, because they are so incredibly dull to begin with (back then I mean).

    When I start seeing $25K-$30K restorations on Toyotas at collectible car auctions, I will absolutely declare myself a believer, because that's the only proof I could accept that the cars will survive.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    I didn't mean to imply that anyone wants to restore an AE86 to stock condition -- they buy them to modify and race them. But even stock, they are marvelous cars, and I love the styling. Very crisp and nicely proportioned.

    As for dull, you are absolutely wrong about the 4AGE Corollas. Road and Track included them and their Supra cousin as best in class, and a hoot to drive. If you say they are dull, you will have a tough time convincing me you've ever driven one -- especially as a fellow Alfisto. They have a great gearbox, an engine that will happily pull full throttle from 2000 rpm in any gear all the way to a 7500 rpm redline -- and with decent tires, they corner like a scared rabbit. You really need to drive one and see what I'm talking about. There are plenty of Toyota nuts up there in SF, I'll hook you up if you're interested. We have a major show up there every year.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    We're about as off-topic as we can be. Does anyone have anything to offer about the Crown Vic??? =O)
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,643
    I think whenever you have cars that have a following, but not necessarily are subjects for big-buck restorations, you call them "special interest" vehicles. It's a tidy term that allows for a certain amount of devotion and might even possibly point to some future collectibility down the road.

    The Crown Vic, in my opinion, is neither classic, collectible or special interest. It's just an old used car to most people. That's okay, the world needs old used cars, too.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Plus, it makes it easier for mental cases like me who would restore a Grand Marquis (that, by Shifty's criteria, should be junked), obtain cheap used parts to fix my baby up.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,643
    We can't keep all the old cars in the world. Common sense dictates we must thin the herd to make room for the new. Some have got to go. So if you want Mercury Marquis parts, stock up now. This is exactly what I'm doing with my Mercedes 300D, because I know these cars are not going to survive or be saved. I've already got three crates of parts, mostly really hard to find, expensive stuff like lenses, chrome grill, fog lights, door handles, climate control modules, etc. I think Mercedes (and even Ford) will make basic mechanical parts for a long time yet., like shocks, brakes, pistons, belts, hoses, etc.

    Same with a Crown Vic. Ford will make mechanical parts for a long while, but not trim, lenses, glass, etc. That could get hard to find as the Vics go to the crusher.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    I've considered doing just that, especially with easily damaged parts like taillights, front turn signal lights, and those oh-so-delicate Mercury hood ornaments. I'm already wonder where I'm going to find original chrome & dark green trim for the doors and fenders to replacew those pieces that were casualties in my fight with a bobwire fence. Before I start packratting parts, however, I'm going to spend all my available car $$$ on getting the thing back into "nice old car" shape, and maybe coaxing more power out of the 400M smog motor.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,643
    Well, don't wait too long. You'd be surprised how cars "dry up" these days. I've noticed a marked scarcity in 300D parts just this past year. Ebay sellers are getting uppitty.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    is scrappage laws.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,643
    No, no, no BT. That's putting the cart before the horse. The cars are scrapped because they aren't worth anything. People "cash in" on the scrappage laws because the government or private company offering a price for "junk cars" is offering more than anyone would pay the poor slob who has this wreck in his back yard.

    These cars are lost because nobody cares about them. If they did, they'd pay the man more than the government for this "precious car".

    Supply and demand, plain and simple.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    sounds good, on its face -- but most people don't even sell their own cars when buying a new car, just due to the inconvenience. Beyond the fact that most people don't like to dicker over price, they also don't like weirdos showing up (or worse yet, NOT showing up) at their house to abuse their machinery and then tell them they're not interested.

    Also, parting a car out will almost always yield a higher profit than the whole car, and who's ready or able to do that?

    I clipped something about scrappage laws in Scandanavia that I'll have to dig up. This is not just an American problem -- it's all over.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    I don't feel like typing the whole in, and I don't have a scanner here, so I'll include excerpts.

    This comes from Jim Conrady, president, SIMCA Car Club of America:

    "Sometimes we don't know how good we have it compared with other places in the world. France, for instance, had an incredible country-wide bounty on turning in old junkers, and it has permanently destroyed many of the mainstream locations of old classic French cars -- some worth literally tens (and restored, hundreds) of thousands of dollars each in today's market.

    Delage, Delahaye, Hotchkiss, Tractions (Citroen) and other obscure, yet highly prized, cars were systematically destroyed.

    The purge has been gnerally done away with over time, but the effects created a permanent deep scar on the rebuilders' market in Europe. My friends from there have mentioned it repeatedly and just shake their heads in dismay.

    We don't want any ownership or collection of any kind to be crippled by this loss of freedom. It would be a travesty and take away a right that would be greatly missed. I would like my 6-year-old son to enjoy the hobby as I have over the years -- freely, and without restrictions of any kind."

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    ...of somebody who doesn't sell his old cars when he gets a new one. Well, probably an extreme example too, since I now have 7 cars registered in my name. Mine are at least all running, though. For the most part ;-)
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    not a redneck. In order for that epithet to be applied to you, at least 5-1/2 of them must not be running -- preferably up on blocks! =O)
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,643
    Well, it's a shame when worthy cars are destroyed, like Delayhe or Delage, but really there was no need to save every two-bit Citroen or even some of the uglier and more common Hotchkiss. These were everyday cars, and the only reason the few that are left ARE "somewhat" valuable is because there aren't huge numbers to choose from. If all the Tractions had been saved, they'd be worth very little today. As it is, they are only minor "collectibles" anyway, and Simca never made a car worth saving that I can recall (I'll keep thinking).

    I do agree, though, that crushing these old sedans will result in a loss of parts for the more desirable collectibles, but here again, I also think this works itself out. No American cars that are worthy of restoration today seem to be "starving" for parts that I can see. The aftermarket is vital and takes up the slack.

    As for the argument of "affordable" old cars to fix up as a hobby, the reality is that it costs just as much to restore a 4-door sedan as a 2-door convertible, so that doesn't really fly.

    What is lost by scrappage campaigns, though, is cheap old running cars to enjoy. That is undeniably true, that sometimes perfectly good old cars are destroyed.

    I think we need to look at the Big Picture here and see that scarcity improves value.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590 my '68 Dart. It ran fine when I parked it a few months ago, but then I had to move it because my uncle wanted to take a tree down. It'd crank, but wouldn't start. If I pour a little gas down in the carb, it'll run till it burns that gas off, then die. I'm guessing it's the fuel pump, or just a broken hose or clogged filter somewhere.

    I ended up chaining it to my NYer and pulling it to another spot in the yard. I guess that's kinda rednecky, turning what was Chrysler's flagship way back in 1979 into a tow truck!
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    (or at least I think I do) -- but unless I'm mistaken, you're approaching this from a serious collector's standpoint. Fact is, many of us are perfrectly content with a clean old car that helps us recall the days of our reckless youth -- even if they aren't classics in the purest sense of the word.

    Let's face it -- I'd love to have another 56 Pontiac (even though they weren't particularly attractive cars) if for no other reason than that's the car I first made out with my girlfriend in. And I'd love another 69 Road Runner because it recalls those long summer days in Michigan when I had nothing to do but hook up with my buds and go street racing.

    I'd also love another 57 DeSoto convertible just because the damn things were so outrageous looking!
This discussion has been closed.