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What's my classic worth?



  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    "General Motors' cash problems could give car buffs the rare opportunity to buy some of GM's most unique vehicles at auction next week, giving gearheads an extraordinary chance to own some of Detroit's history.

    The auction is part of an effort to raise cash for the struggling automaker but also done to manage GM's fleet of historic and unique vehicles. GM's Heritage Center in Sterling Heights has about 200 of the automaker's 1,000 historic or special vehicles on display.

    More than 200 of the center's vehicles will be put up for sale at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.

    Tom Freiman, manager of the Heritage Center, estimated the sales could generate less than $5 million. The auction will run from Sunday through Jan. 18 and include hundreds of rare and valuable vehicles.

    "We're trying to get the collection to the right size," Freiman said. "At the end of the day, I think we're going to end up with a better mix of heritage vehicles."

    The vehicles for sale include cars done to serve as pace cars in races or made for car shows, including high-performance vehicles made for the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association show. GM declined to give a complete list of vehicles to be auctioned, saying it is still being determined. But they include:

    • A white 1998 Cadillac Brougham convertible made for Pope John Paul II to use. The vehicle has a step-up, throne-like chair and platform that rises and falls by hydraulic lift. It was blessed by the pope 'but deemed unsafe by the security team,' according to the auction house's Web site.

    • A 1986 presidential limousine replica that has been in movies such as 'In the Line of Fire' and 'The American President.'

    • The 1967 GTO used in the action movie 'XXX.'

    • A 1925 House Car. It's an early version of a camper made before RVs became commercially available. It has mahogany trim and maple floors and is built on a Chevrolet 1-ton chassis. No mention of fuel economy.

    • The Buick Blackhawk, a hand-built vehicle made to celebrate Buick's 100-year anniversary."
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Most of it is random junk and show vehicles, the 'back-of-the-room' crud. Most interesting one is the Pontiac Grand Prix/El Camino.
  • berriberri Posts: 7,743
    You're more knowledgable than me about these things, but I thought Wildcats were on LeSabre platforms with Electra drivetrains?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    I dunno. It's uses a Le Sabre body but I'm not sure about the rest.

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  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    Now here's a replica retro-rod that I'd like to own... The Buick Blackhawk
    and GM is selling it from their collection? Wonder what that car will bring at auction. Nothing close to what it cost to build, I'm sure.


    Here are a few more pictures.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    So nice and CLEAN. Ironic that it is meant to typify Buicks, which generally have been so cluttered up in the GM styling department.

    It has a kind of 50s sportscar look to it, very nice.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,920
    That'd be a real attention getter for sure...a retro theme based on the 39-40 Buick, which was an excellent car as well. I'm sure they sunk well into seven figures into it. I wonder if it has an engine.
  • texasestexases Posts: 7,770
    Does it have an engine? I think it does! (more info here: Blackhawk page)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,920
    Hell yeah:

    " Its powertrain is a 1970-vintage 455-cubic-inch Buick GS Stage III V-8 engine, heavily detailed and mated to the latest electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. The naturally aspirated, overhead valve, fuel-injected engine generates 463 horsepower at 4600 rpm and 510 lb-ft of torque at 4200 rpm."

    That machine might bring more than most GM is letting go.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    The overall shape is very pleasing. The popup headlights look unsightly and fit poorly, (yes, it's a prototype). The taillights and the fender mounted running lights need to be re-thought.

    The interior is just awful, the steering wheel belongs in a Caddy, pimp-mobile. And why, Why, WHY do people take interior photos with the wheel upside-down???? (That makes me crazy, somehow).

    Overall, I give it a solid "B-". :P

    "A critic is someone who knows the road, but can't drive the car"

    "Opinions are like.... everybody has one."
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    In addition to the car, I think "Wildcat" is what Buick called the 425 CID V-8 in those days. IIRC, the air cleaner top read "Wildcat 445" on it. The 445 referred to the torque rating, rather than displacement, but would confuse people into thinking it was a 445 CID engine.

    In the past, the Wildcat had been on the shorter LeSabre wheelbase, rather than the Electra's, but for 1965 they moved it to the Electra wheelbase (126", vesus 123" for LeSabre) It would stay there from 1965-68, but went to the LeSabre's wheelbase for 1969. However, the Wildcat still used LeSabre rooflines and rear doors, so I'm guessing the car was more like a Pontiac Bonneville versus a Catalina, where they made it longer without making it bigger inside. In contast, a "real" C-body, like an Electra of 98, was bigger inside than a C-body...about 3" more legroom in the back seat.

    But anyway, back to engines. The LeSabre had a 300 CID V-8 standard. Wildcat/Electra/Riviera had a 401 standard, and it was optional on the LeSabre. The 425 was an option on the Wildcat/Electra/Riv, and had either 340 or 360 hp.

    Would a 425 Riv carry much of a price premium over a 401?
  • texasestexases Posts: 7,770
    "The 445 referred to the torque rating, rather than displacement"

    Or to horsepower..this is the only time I've heard of a manufacturer using the torque rating as a selling point - are there any others (ignoring diesel trucks, that is)? Thanks for the info!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    As far as I know, Buick was the only manufacturer to do that, and I think they only did it with the 401 and 425 V-8's. According to Wikipedia, the 401 had torque ratings of 375 (de-tuned version that ran on lo-test), 410 (2-bbl carb) or 445 (4-bbl carb).

    The 425 had a "465" sticker on it for the 4-bbl. If you got the dual quad option, the carbs and intake manifold were delivered in the trunk, and installed by the dealer.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    The GS package on a Riv would carry a substantial increase in value, yes.

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  • berriberri Posts: 7,743
    I really enjoy reading the stuff all you guys write in these classic car forums. I'm always learning something new that I didn't know about the cars I grew up with. Thanks!
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