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Correlation Between Classic Car Prices and Financial Markets



  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    The second paragraph of your response to the hypothesis I posed may indeed help explain the decline in the number of cars on display at many shows. The second sentence of your third paragraph, "People are just getting sick of looking at rows of Chevelles and doing hours and hours of detailing to win yet another plastic trophy worth $10" provides a second explanation for the reduction in car show entries. Frankly, I wasn't aware of these things, so it helps me understand what's going on.

    Although it's dangerous to assume, I'm thinking that fewer cars on display has a negative effect on show attendance. If that's indeed true - and I don't have any empirical information regarding show attendance - it would be logical to assume that this would result in fewer bids on the cars that are for sale. Now if this sequence of cause and effect is indeed valid, then I have fewer doubts than you that fewer bids equal less demand. This may not have had an effect on the prices of rare, and much sought after cars such as '57 Chevy fuelie converts, but how could it not have a significant effect on the prices of the majority of collector cars?

    Assuming fuel prices remain high, as many energy experts are predicting, then the price action in the coming months will tell us a lot about whether my logic is valid, and whether 2007 represented the top of a pricing bubble for collector cars below the top tier. It will be interesting to watch.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    that the high fuel prices are going to deal a pretty hard blow to the low end of the collector car market. Stuff like a '57 Chevy Fuelie, a 426 Hemi Mopar, etc is probably going to be fairly immune to gas prices. For one thing, if you can afford the $100K or more to buy the car, then you can afford the $4-5.00/gallon gas that goes in it. Plus, most people aren't using these things as daily drivers, so it's not like the 8-10 mpg or so is going to bankrupt them.

    Actually, what would be the demographic for the typical buyer of a high-priced classic? I'd imagine that it's mainly people that are well-monied, and can usually pay cash for something like that. I don't think your average working stiff off the street is going to raid his 401k and tap out his home equity just to buy that '57 Chevy he's always wanted. But I could be wrong.

    I wonder if the high gas prices will get people more interested in smaller-engined cars? For instance, would people start getting taking an interest in a 6-cyl Dart, Valiant, Falcon, Nova, etc, while shunning the V-8 versions? Now high-performance models, like a Dart GTS or a Nova SS327 or whatever, will probably always be a hot item, but then there's just run-of-the-mill V-8 cars, like my '68 Dart 270.

    When I bought my '76 Grand LeMans a couple years back, I really would've loved to have found one with a 400 or 455, instead of just the 350-4bbl. But, with gas prices so high, maybe that turned out to be a blessing in disguise! Anyway, I think the 400 only had 170 hp and the 455 had 205, compared to the 165 in my car...so the added displacement might not have translated to much more useable power. Although I still think a 455 would've been fun. :)
  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    For middle class guys like me, tooling around in an '60s MG or Porsche sounds a lot better right now than a Camaro or a Mustang. In the scheme of things the gas you buy for a car driven 1000 miles a year is nearly irrelevant but it just seems to wasteful to idle around town with big V8.

    The other side of me says maybe this is a good time to pick up an interesting guzzler.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    "The other side of me says maybe this is a good time to pick up an interesting guzzler."

    The implication of your statement is that now may be a good time to buy a guzzler because prices are depressed enough to at least partially offset today's higher gasoline prices. You give no hint of being willing to bid higher to get your dream boat. In fact, the opposite may be true; you may hold off a while longer, in the hopes that prices will weaken further, and that you'll incur less risk in making a purchase. Well, that kind of reasoning supports my premise that high gasoline prices are likely to continue weakening general collector car prices. Further, high fuel prices are likely to result in more marginal cars being scrapped, if they cannot be sold.
  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    Exactly. I only want one if it is cheap.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yeah, I think the lower-end gas guzzlers, clones, "not so classic classics", etc, will continue to get hammered in the under $20,000 price range.

    I do think gas prices will suck lots of money out of the economy. Also, the rise of energy stock values is quite ominous, as rising energy stocks are not the investors friend at all---when energy stocks go up, the market gets hammered as a whole. It's not like gold stock or internet stocks at all.

    So the average-income buyer, yeah, he is going to suffer indirectly from higher fuel prices and he's not going shopping for old cars---but he's in the under $20K class anyway.

    My impression is that the buyer looking for big-buck muscle cars is generally a prosperous blue-collar guy or small/medium business owner that does "hard stuff", aka "real work".....or used to do that before retirement. Also I see a lot of engineers, machinists, etc into Muscle.

    so yeah, it's BARGAIN DAY for under $20K cars, for complex luxury barges, for off-brands, weird cars and trucks, etc.

    But well-documented Muscle, 25 years and older Ferraris, vintage Corvettes---they haven't even noticed the economic situation, since the global market is ready to take up all the slack.

    Australians are hot for American muscle cars right now, as are, of all things, the Scandanavians.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    I guess if I wanted to I'd be able to load up on those 70's mastodons I love so much, at fire sale prices. :shades: Guess if I ever fell into hard times and had to unload them though, I'd be screwed.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    The golden rule is:

    "whatever gets you into a classic car cheap when you buy, will probably come to haunt you when you sell"

    exception -- if you hold onto it for 20 years and you bought a very rare car. And even then,it would be the rare car that could beat $10,000 invested in a good mutual fund for 20 years.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    And even then,it would be the rare car that could beat $10,000 invested in a good mutual fund for 20 years.

    Heck, I bet it would be a rare car that could even get back to its original purchase price, adjusted for inflation! For example, my '57 DeSoto probably sitckered for about $3800 new. Now I'm sure it would fetch well over $3800 today. But $3800 in 1957 is like $29K today, just adjusted for inflation! If you could've socked away $3800 in a mutual fund averaging 8% over those years, you'd have about $190K today!

    With many 70's cars, it's even worse. I think my '79 5th Ave had an MSRP of around $12,000. Throw that $12K in a mutual fund that averaged 8% over that time, and you'd be sitting on about $111K today. My buddy with the two '78 Diamond Jubilees says that they originally MSRP'ed for around $20K!

    Now, you could probably get $20K for the the nicest '78 Diamond Jubilee in the world (heck, I know my buddy would pay it!). But I know there's no way in Hades the nicest '79 5th Ave in the world would fetch $12K. Maybe $6K, at best? So I guess even with 70's hedonism, some choices are better than others. But jeeze...just imagine what $20K would've done invested for the past 30 years!
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,137
    Or if you had bought a RR Shadow for 70K in 1979...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    If you were THAT smart you'd be sitting on a cool $15,000 today!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    "Or if you had bought a RR Shadow for 70K in 1979..."

    What's the value of a '79 RR Shadow today?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    $8,000 to $14,000 depending on its needs, if any.

    Basically (IMHO) a sale-proof car at any decent price, given that even routine maintenance like a brake job is $6,000.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Sounds like a Dodge Shadow might be a better choice, although, for practical purposes, that may also be sale proof.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    Or if you had bought a RR Shadow for 70K in 1979...

    Heck, if I had $70K in 1979 to invest in a mutual fund, I'd probably be getting excited about my ever-nearing retirement, right about now! But alas, I was only 9, and that was a LOT of money back then! My Mom bought a house that year, for $54K. I still remember the monthly payment was $389. She hated it down there in southern MD though, and sold it a year later for $58K. Considering how inflation was running though, and the costs associated with the transaction, I know she lost money. It wasn't really a fancy house, just a 45x25 rambler with a carport, on a 1-acre lot. I guess it would fetch around $275-$300K today. Maybe more, but that area's still a bit cheaper than up here.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    Sounds like a Dodge Shadow might be a better choice, although, for practical purposes, that may also be sale proof.

    LOL...speaking of Shadows, I saw its twin, the Plymouth Sundance, a week or so ago. I stopped off at the local Giant to pick up some milk, and there was another customer in there who looked familiar, somehow. He had a sort of angry, miserable look about him, like he was fed up with his lot in life. We left the store at the same time, and I saw him get into this beat-up Sundance 2-door, with a huge dent in the door. Maybe that's why he was so miserable! But then, who knows? He may have noticed me getting into my '79 5th Ave, and thought about that poor sap being stuck driving a gas-guzzling disco-era mastodon like that.

    I still can't place that guy, though. I think he might've been one of the night cashiers at one of the local gas stations, back in my pizza delivery days.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    "...speaking of Shadows, I saw its twin, the Plymouth Sundance..."

    Yeah, Shadows and Sundances aren't rarities yet. You see them occasionally.

    Several days ago I saw a very well maintained red Dodge Daytona, driven by a young woman. Although I don't know what year it was, it was one of the newer ones, with the freshened, rounder body style. It was clean, and it looked pretty darned good. The average person who was unfamiliar with its humble K-car origins could have easily mistaken it for a newer, much pricier car. I would have enjoyed talking with its owner if we had happened to pull into the same parking lot, but she turned left and I went straight, so...
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    "The following from today's "Autoweek" supports the notion, expressed by a few of you, including Shifty, that the prices for the better, more sought after collector cars has held up, in the face of a general decline in collector car values:

    "MARKET: 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Sport Roof
    Russo & Steele, Hollywood, Fla.

    March 28-29

    302-cid, four-barrel V8, four-speed manual transmission and traction-lock differential. Good-year Polyglas GT tires on factory-style Magnum 500 wheels. Grabber orange with black exterior graphics and white vinyl interior. Very close to excellent paint; graphics also exceptionally well done and applied. Near-show-quality chrome. Interior shows excellently as well, with great seats, carpet, dash and console.

    Sold at $84,700

    In 1970, you could walk into your local Ford dealer and order a Boss 302 for a base price of $3,720 before options and freight. If you think that sounds cheap, it was $949 more than the base Sport Roof at the time and $449 more than a Mach I. This Dearborn-built Mustang was one of 7013 Boss 302s built in 1970; only 1628 were built in 1969, the only other year of production.

    In January's Scottsdale sale, Russo & Steele offered another 1970 Boss 302, which failed to sell at $80,000. In white, the Scottsdale car was not as striking, nor was it cosmetically as well presented as this example. The average Boss 302 led a hard life; most seen at auction have been restored, some to a better standard than others.

    The casual observer will tell you that the muscle-car market is down from last year, but good cars are still bringing good money. This example is Exhibit A: In a down market, own good cars."

    The last paragraph sums up the situation.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    Didn't they have a stripper version called the Sundance America or something like that? I was kind of hoping you were going to tell us the dude in the beat-up Sundance turned out to be the same dude who derided you for driving a "boat" like the Fifth Avenue.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    Didn't they have a stripper version called the Sundance America or something like that?

    Yeah, I think they did. I vaguely recall them having "America" versions of the Aries/Reliant and Omni/Horizon, as well. I don't remember what all that package entailed, though.

    I was kind of hoping you were going to tell us the dude in the beat-up Sundance turned out to be the same dude who derided you for driving a "boat" like the Fifth Avenue.

    Oh yeah, I forgot about that guy...old, grizzled looking chain smoking dude in the parking lot behind my building, watching with what looked like a combination of amazement and disgust as I docked my 5th Ave. After I got out of it, he just looked at me, looked back at the car, then back to me and muttered "Boat".

    I wonder if I'm going to start encountering more of that whenever I drive my old cars, with the way gas prices are getting? Sometimes people love to just come out of the woodwork to get up on the pulpit, and get all self-righteous to total strangers.

    I forget what that guy looked like now, which is a shame. It would be fun, if I saw him again, to really gun the engine in a display of conspicuous consumption. With no muffler on it, it sounds about twice as powerful as it really is. :shades:
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    He's dead due to breathing in your mufflerless exhaust.

    Recommend a pair of Flowmaster Delta 50's.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    He's dead due to breathing in your mufflerless exhaust.

    Nah, I still have the catalytic converter on it, so while the car is loud, it's not dirty. At least, not by 1979 standards. :shades:

    If anything killed that guy, it was a Camel, not a Chrysler. Well, okay, it might've been a Newport. :P
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    that reminds me of the South Park episode where everyone in town gave up their SUVs and starting driving a hybrid called the "Pious". They would go around and issue "tickets" to SUVs telling them they were harming the earth. And then, in typical rude, crude, pre-adolescent South Park fashion, they would be shown bending down and smelling their own farts and sighing with a smile---- AHHHHHHHH!


    Back on topic a bit more, it's a general rule (general) that, obviously, when the economy goes down, the toys leave the garage. This includes Harleys, ski-doos, snowmobiles, sailboats, pool tables, you name it. Any item not used regularly is up for adoption.

    I bear no prejudice about car size, based on SIZE or consumption. Probably I'm most uptight about single drivers in huge, totally empty, beautifully clean F350 diesel trucks with the exhaust pumping into my driver's window and that "clattering from hell" exiting from the engine bay, on a hot sticky day in traffic.

    Swell, really swell. I really hate those things.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Creative play on names there!
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    to see how the turnout is this weekend at the Ford Nationals in Carlisle, PA. I was at this show in 2006 and 2007, and it pretty much filled the whole fairgrounds. I'm guessing some people might just not go, because of the high fuel prices, but then I'm also curious to see if the asking prices start coming back down to reality.

    I remember in 2006, my buddy drove his '78 Mark V up there and I rode with him. He was complaining about the gas prices, even back then! He'd probably have a coronary if he made that trip in that car with today's prices!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    I'm curious about prices too, and I imagine others are also, so let us in out what you observe regarding attendence and prices, andre.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    We wonder what areas of the USA has the softest used car prices. It appears the Southeast is very soft compared to the Northwest, but what about the other regions?
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    The northeast is a tough market for used cars. Most places around here use the Galves book and it is a tough book.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,137
    From my observations, which are admittedly not professional, I sense western cars carry a stronger price than eastern cars. From looking at cars, I find better cosmetic condition in western cars, due to the mild climate (at least in the more populated areas of OR, WA, CA)...this probably has something to do with it. In looking at late model cars, the ones showing the most wear are never local.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    I forget what that guy looked like now, which is a shame. It would be fun, if I saw him again, to really gun the engine in a display of conspicuous consumption. With no muffler on it, it sounds about twice as powerful as it really is.

    And as you do that, say "Yeah, it's got a Hemi!"
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    Just wait. In two weeks I'm going to be bringing my 1989 Cadillac Brougham to the GM show. I'm bringing along an extra $100+ just for gas.

    I did the math for bringing my 2007 DTS out for the trip tomorrow:

    City = 17 MPG
    Hwy = 24 MPG
    Avg = 20.5 MPG

    Fuel Cost = $5/gal (erring on the side of pessimism)
    Distance Philadelphia to Harrisburg = 90 miles x 2 = 180 miles round trip.
    Cost = 8.78 gallons x $5 = $43.91.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    Simpler formula but disturbing results - erring on the side of pessimism of course:

    1989 Cadillac Brougham - possibly only 16 MPG.

    Distance from Philadelphia to Carlisle = 108 x 2 = 216 miles round trip.

    Cost = 13.5 gallons x $5 = $67.50!!! :surprise:

    Guess you gotta pay the cost to be the boss! ;)
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    Lemko, that Brougham doesn't guzzle THAT much, does it? IIRC, the EPA sticker on them was 17/24. Considering how well you maintain that car, I figure it would be running like brand-new. Unless you're drag racing it or something! :shades:

    I tracked the mileage on my LeMans and my 5th Ave last year when I took them to Carlisle. I forget which was which now, but one of them got 15.4 mpg and one of them got 15.6. When I got forced to drive that 5th Ave up there in April because the Intrepid died, I actually got around 18 coming home. But that's because the weather was so bad that everybody was driving slow, so I was probably averaging 45-60, where normally I'd be running 65-75, with an occasional jaunt to 80.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    I'm just looking at the worst case possibility. I'm sure the Brougham does better than that. I does have a huge tank - 25 gallons versus 18 for the DTS, Park Avenue, and the LaCrosse.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    I'm back, from a blazingly hot, but fun, time at the Ford Nationals in Carilsle, PA. It got up to 94 degrees, although down where I live it hit 97, so I guess I shouldn't complain. :P

    Considering the weather, fuel prices, and economy, I'd say the fairgrounds seemed about as busy as they've ever been. As for asking prices on the cars, some are starting to seem more reasonable, but there's still plenty of absurdity to laugh at.

    I do think a lot of people are just packing it in and leaving Saturday night though, rather than staying through till the end on Sunday.

    The diner we normally eat at after the shows was pretty dead again, just like the last time. So maybe people really are cutting back on expenses such as eating out.

    I'm also happy to report that my Intrepid got me up there and back without any nasty surprises. No stalling or acting up in any way. I filled up about two miles from home, and then filled up again on the way back. Somehow I managed to get 32.1 mpg out of that tank. I was driving pretty gently, though, maybe 58-65 for the most part, occasionally getting up to 70. And tires over-inflated a bit, to 40 psi. And not much a/c use. I guess there's the chance that the pump just shut off early, but when I got back home, the gas gauge had barely budged. Oh, and I finally broke the 140,000 mile mark with that car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    People also need to consider that escalating gas prices in the USA are tied to the very weak US dollar. The dollars we spend to buy oil are not worth as much as the Euros "they" spend across the pond, so their gas prices are not rising anything like ours.

    Our dollar is weak because we are in tremendous debt I must presume.

    this also accounts for so many collector cars going overseas--the weak dollar I mean.

    Yes, crude oil prices are rising but at the same time our dollar is falling in value, so it's a double whammy.

    Some old car owners might solve their problem by selling overseas. Others will no doubt drive their old cars less. I doubt though, that they'd "store them away", since they still have in insure and maintain them---might as well use them.

    No doubt though that it's a buyer's market in the under $20K range for old cars.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    Didn't manage more than 20.8 MPG in the DTS Performance, but I had the cruise control set for 70 MPH going 80+ in some spots and the air conditioning going full-blast. It was brutally hot, even at night. Weatherbug predict 99oF tomorrow in Philly!
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    Didn't manage more than 20.8 MPG in the DTS Performance, but I had the cruise control set for 70 MPH going 80+ in some spots and the air conditioning going full-blast.

    Oh c'mon Lemko, there's another reason that you only got 20.8 mpg. Fess up now, and tell everyone about it. ;)

    I tried to be masochistic and go without a/c on the way back home, but just couldn't handle it for more than a few minutes. So I had it running most of the time, but was able to get by with it on the low setting.

    I hope it's milder for the GM show! The first time I put a car in that show was 2005, and that was the LeMans. It got brutally hot that time, too, with temps getting up to around 95. Usually it's not TOO bad for that show, though.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    Well, there was this little Nash Rambler following me...

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Well, we're into Q3 of '08, and the housing and stock markets continued to decline. Does anyone detect a similar weakness in collector car values, or are they holding?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I'm seeing street rods, restored 4-doors, or cars needing lots of work dropping in value perhaps 25% or more. "Project Cars" are dead in the water. Under $20K American muscle is flabby.

    The really rare stuff, high dollar muscle cars, high dollar foreign postwar classics, seem steady and solid. But that's "rare stuff", not 450SLs or TR6s.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,704
    "The really rare stuff, high dollar muscle cars, high dollar foreign postwar classics, seem steady and solid. But that's "rare stuff", not 450SLs or TR6s. "

    Thanks to our foreign friends, right? They aren't interested in Bubba's '69 Malibu that's "90% restored"
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    One of my coworkers, who's a bit of a car nut, has been getting an itching for an early 60's Galaxie. Nothing too fancy...heck, he'd be happy with a 4-door, so that he could take the whole family for a ride. He has little kids that have to ride in car seats. He found one on eBay, a '61 or '62 4-door sedan that looked like it was in really good shape. It ended up selling for something like $3600. He thought that seemed awfully low, but I kept trying to tell him that it's just a 4-door sedan, and they're just not in high demand. Would even a showroom new, fully-loaded early 60's Galaxie sedan even fetch $10K?

    I had toyed with the idea of trying to hunt down another '79-81 New Yorker, such as if a really nice one showed up for sale at the Carlisle Mopar show. My plan was to buy it, and then get rid of the two that I already have, and hopefully that would satisfy my itch for these things. Heck, two years ago there was a 1980 NYer that only had 34K miles on it, and looked like a brand-new car. Seller wanted $4300 for it. It was midnight blue, "Nightwatch", the same color as the $500 NYer I bought last year, but it had a leather interior, whereas mine is just cloth.

    That was actually a bad time for me, financially. The stock market had just gone through a 10% or so "correction". My HELOC rate was also creeping up, and it just didn't feel like the right time to spend money.

    I'm starting to feel the same way now. Even though I got through that 2006 correction, and the two that happened last year (one around February, and one in the summer), and I'm better off financially now than I was two years ago, it still doesn't feel like a good time to spend money. Plus, the house needs a new roof, and I want to replace my oil furnace with an electric heat pump, so I need to prioritize. Do I want another disco-era dinosaur or do I want a roof over my head and semi-reasonable heating costs this winter?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    eBay cars are real risky. This is not necessarily a bad time to buy a nice old car, but it's a bad time to buy "blind" because parts and restoration costs are higher than ever.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,137
    I doubt a showroom Galaxie sedan would hit 10K. I too have seen really nice ones for around 5K. For 10K you could probably get a nice 62+ 2 door HT.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,704
    "I doubt a showroom Galaxie sedan would hit 10K."

    Market doesn't seem to much care about full-size '60s Fords. Even the comic strip "Baldo", the teenager's dreaming of a '62 Chevy.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    Market doesn't seem to much care about full-size '60s Fords. Even the comic strip "Baldo", the teenager's dreaming of a '62 Chevy.

    Yeah, I tried to tell that to my coworker, who was amazed at how low the price seemed on the Galaxie he saw on eBay. I guess for the most part, the only big 60's cars that are popular in all body styles and configurations seem to be Chevies, and to a lesser degree Cadillacs I guess. But otherwise, a big Pontiac, Olds, Buick, or Dearborn/Mopar big cars aren't going to bring big money unless they're convertibles or high performance models.

    I always thought the big '63 Fords were good looking cars.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    I just added up my finances, and I'm down about 11% just from mid-May! So yeah, I'm definitely not in a buying mood right now. :sick:
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    Would like to find a really nice 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 four-door sedan in teal blue with a black cloth/vinyl interior. Nice to see the prices are reasonable.

    As for replacing the furnace and roof, reality sucks, doesn't it? Well maybe one of those nice R-bodies will show up after you've taken care of those issues. Would you ever consider a Dodge St. Regis in lieu of a New Yorker or Fifth Avenue?
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,679
    Well maybe one of those nice R-bodies will show up after you've taken care of those issues. Would you ever consider a Dodge St. Regis in lieu of a New Yorker or Fifth Avenue?

    Actually, I prefer the St. Regis to the New Yorker/5th Ave. I like the more rakish front-end and the clear plastic flip-down headlight covers. And one thing I hate about the New Yorker is the design of the opera/quarter windows built into the rear doors. Their design lets them leak water, whereas the St. Regis, Gran Fury, and Newport seemed to seal better. The only down-side to the St. Regis, I guess, is that most of them were just 318's, and they tended to not be as well-optioned. The 360 is a lot more guzzly than the 318, but also a lot more fun...in the context of these cars, at least. I've heard there was a trim level of St. Regis that actually had a leather interior, but it must have been an elusive beast. Back in the 1979-81 timeframe, leather tended to be reserved for more prestigious cars like Cadillacs, Lincolns, Electra/Ninety Eights, and New Yorkers. Although Chrysler was sort of an early adopter when it came to offering leather. In '77-79, you could actually get it in a Dodge Diplomat!

    But yeah, I'd be more than happy with a nice St. Regis. Or a Newport or Gran Fury. I'd imagine an R-body Gran Fury would be really rare these days. I think they only sold about 18K of them in 1980, and maybe 5K in 1981. And most of them were police cars, taxis, or rental cars.

    And with the way gas prices are these days, I'd be willing to put up with the 318. My '79 Newport had a 318-2bbl, and it would get around 22 on the highway. My '79 New Yorker's 360-2bbl is more like 15-16. 18 if I really old-lady it.

    But, knowing me, I'd have a hard time parting with the two New Yorkers I already have. If I found another R-body and brought it home, with my luck I'd end up with three of the danged things! And I'm NOT building any more garages!
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