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Correlation Between Classic Car Prices and Financial Markets

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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Any tree shade market observer has witnessed the inverse correlation between fuel prices, and home and equity prices. It seems logical that fuel prices would also have a similar inverse correlation to collector car values. One reason is that, as a result of higher fuel costs, it's more expensive for hobbyists to travel to car shows, either to display their cars or to attend the show. It's also more expensive and, therefore, more difficult to justify purchasing a car that's a long distance from where you live. These limitations tend to reduce the numbers of bids for cars, which, in turn, negatively affects collector car prices.

    As Shifty has pointed out, in terms of the correlation between the financial markets and collector car values, the lower end collectibles are affected more than the high end ones. Similarly, one must assume that the marginal collectibles are being hit hardest by the higher fuel costs. As more marginal collector cars are scrapped, the reduced supply will tend to have a positive effect on the prices of the cars in the next tier up, which is how supply and demand adjusts to the higher fuel prices.

    Look for the scrappage rate on older gas guzzlers to rise. One upshot is that fewer gas inefficient cars that serve as both transportation and show cars for their owners, will appear in car shows. Trailer queens will be relatively unaffected by all this, since the fuel costs are a minor factor in the overall cost of ownership for these cars.
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    lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    ...people might have done is take out a HELOC to buy a classic car. Glad I was too smart, too cheap, and too lazy to explore this option or who knows what overpriced 1950s or 1960s Cadillac might be in my garage in Philadelphia.
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    lemko, what do the last two letters of HELOC represent(home equity loan??)?

    "...who knows what overpriced 1950s or 1960s Cadillac might be in my garage in Philadelphia."

    Well, you know the saying, "timing is everything." Maybe some time between now and mid-'09 will be a good time to load up your garage with vintage Cadillacs at bargain prices.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,687
    HELOC is Home Equity Line Of Credit. It's where they open up an account where you can borrow against your house, up to so much, but you don't have to take it all out at once. You can borrow as much or as little as you want, and pay it back as quickly or slowly as you'd like, as long as you at least cover the interest payment each month.

    They tend to be variable, tied to the Prime Rate, and usually adjust a month after the Fed jiggles their rates around. I have an HELOC (house is free and clear otherwise, so it can't get me into TOO much trouble), and in the 3 years I had it, the interest rate ranged from as high as 8.5%, to its current low of 5.25%.

    They can be very tempting. At 5.25%, you can borrow $100K and only have to pay $437.50 per month...although at that's just the interest so you would never pay it off.
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    euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Does not the lending institution require you to buy a term life insurance policy to cover the balance due on your HELOC when you suddenly die?
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    texasestexases Member Posts: 10,708
    "Does not the lending institution require you to buy a term life insurance policy to cover the balance due on your HELOC when you suddenly die? "

    No, I think they make you buy it before you die. :P (sorry!)
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,687
    No, I think they make you buy it before you die. (sorry!)

    LOL. I guess some of the less reputable institutions might try to strong-arm you into getting life insurance or find some other way to rip you off, but mine didn't.

    The only thing I really did for "insurance", was to put my uncle as the sole beneficiary of my 401k. If I died, the house would go to him and my grandmother (Mom didn't want to deal with it). The 401k is enough to pay off the HELOC. Or at least it was, until the economy started tanking, and I pulled some more money out just in case they decided to freeze my HELOC. Still, it would pay most of it off...or could at least easily make the monthly payments until the market rebounds.
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    euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    cover balances due on loans and mortgages and saves the survivors a lot of grief. ;)
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    And most importantly, it siphons off a little more money to the insurance industry :P
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    parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Nope, rather than the bank requiring an insurance policy, the loan is secured by the value of home. That's why the "smart" bank will only loan 80% of a property's value for the primary loan and perhaps 15% on a "second" aka. a home-equity line of credit. Worst case scenario if the mortgage payer dies? The bank sells the property and, if they've "loaned well", the sale proceeds will cover the outstanding debt. But, I digress . . . . . .

    Shifty, have you encountered an appraisal assignment where you've appraised the very same collector car today for less than what you appraised it for five years ago? As an appraiser of commercial real estate, I've run across this situation more than once. Amazingly, the borrower "gets it" and doesn't pitch a fit.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    No I haven't run across that situation but it is certainly possible. I have appraised cars that would have appraised for more 2 or 3 years ago, that's for sure, and I have appraised cars for less than the owners paid for them at auctions (or claimed they paid).

    Usually, with a fresh auction car, I ask how much they paid and if I can't justify such a price, I won't even appraise the car, because the buyer gets very upset that he paid $30K over for a Barrett Jackson car.

    Unfortunately, there are plenty of appraisers who will appraise a car for whatever the buyer tells him to. I try to be as liberal as possible, but I also have a reputation to uphold with insurers, banks, etc.

    One thing I run into on occasion is when the owner has much more in restoration costs than the vehicle is worth. Wives don't like those appraisals very much.
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    hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    "One thing I run into on occasion is when the owner has much more in restoration costs than the vehicle is worth."

    Do these cars generally represent good values for buyers, or did the owners simply invest a lot of time and money without adding much value? In other words, is it possible that the market may be inefficient in this niche, in that it misprices these cars by basing the value on price guides of unrestored or lightly restored cars, thereby creating a buying opportunity?
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    parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Just to chime in on an earlier thread discussion, I stopped through Frankenmuth, Michigan (on my honeymoon BTW!) last month and there was a Mustang Club car show at the local park on a beautiful Saturday during the town's annual German Festival. Not wanting to "slow down" my wife's shopping excursion, I walked over to the park to check out the show. In short, it was a pathetic showing. There were less than 10 cars there and only 3-4 were older than a 1972. The rest were very modern examples of the breed (geez, who cares about a '06 GT coupe?). By this time, it was around noon and at the height of the show's participation level (one would think). I asked the organizers if that was all the cars they expected and they said, "Yeah, probably. We think gas prices are keeping most cars away. Last year, the turnout was considerably more." To be fair, it was Father's Day weekend which may have contributed to the low turnout, but I doubt it. And, Frankenmuth isn't what you call a booming metropolis. But still, the low number of "classic" Mustangs was quite surprising to me - given I was standing only an hour away from Detroit. So, perhaps gas prices are impacting how far collector car owners are willing to travel these days to show their cars - and, I would think that will eventually (if it hasn't already) trickle down to (ie., deflate) the prices people are willing to pay for a collector cars these days - particularly in the $20K and under range. My little experience might not be overwhelming evidence. But, I'd say it's an interesting barometer.
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    texasestexases Member Posts: 10,708
    "deflate the prices people are willing to pay for a collector cars these days - particularly in the $20K and under range"

    This seems to be showing up at the televised auctions - saw one over the weekend, with about 80% no-sales.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I see used "modern" Ferrari prices dropping--that is, cars from the 1990s. Lots of "price reduced" ads, except for the super-rare models like the F40.
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    texasestexases Member Posts: 10,708
    I was surprised to see a spotless, fully restored Camaro SS with a 396, I think, go for about $25K, they talked the seller off of his $30K reserve. Can't imagine how much money he sunk in it :sick:
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    euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Mustangs Northwest, Seattle/Bellevue, WA don't seem to be affected by gas price.

    July
    17th - Autocross - Evergreen State Fairgrounds, Monroe, WA
    18th - Pony Trails - Leavenworth WA
    19th - Judged Show - BCC - Registration Closed= THIS FILLED UP EARLY
    19th - Saturday Night Banquet - Redhook Brewery
    20th - Peoples Choice Show - Bellevue Community College

    Sunday's Show usually totals 1200 Mustangs from all over including Canada.

    BE THERE!
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    texasestexases Member Posts: 10,708
    "Mustangs Northwest, Seattle/Bellevue, WA don't seem to be affected by gas price."

    Good to hear - gas money is the smallest expense there is for a old car nut, I'd think!
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    Old cars aren't that expensive, once the owner is happy with the condition.

    The upkeep for my old car is pretty cheap...insurance is about $8/month, storage is $50/month, I buy about 5-6 gallons of gas per month for it, and it gets a yearly oil change. There are far more expensive hobbies.

    I have a suspicion the starter is beginning to get old, and the Becker Europa is off being renovated, but even these aren't too bad. I could spend more simply by being a pack per day smoker.

    Maybe I'll stop by that Mustang show this weekend.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,687
    I just did a quick add-up, and figure that I've spent about $2050 for maintenance/repairs/registrations for my fleet so far this year. Sounds expensive at first, but that's for ALL of my cars. The Intrepid accounted for about $940 of that. The Silverado was good for about $383. My '79 5th Ave was about $310, and NYer #2 was about $375. The Catalina only zinged me for registration, $51 for two years. The LeMans and DeSoto haven't cost me anything yet this year. Although the DeSoto might go in the shop later this year for some brake work, a carb rebuild, and some other odds and ends, so I know that's going to add to the total!

    So for 7 cars, I guess $2050 isn't TOO bad for 6.5 months. That comes out to about $315 per month so far this year, plus gas and insurance. Insurance for the whole mess of them runs about $1600 per year. If I were to unload everything except the Intrepid, insurance would probably be around $600-700 per year, and the Intrepid's $940 in repairs would've amortized out to about $144 per month.

    I could save some money on insurance if I put the two New Yorkers over onto my classic car policy, instead of my regular. They currently add about $300 per year each to the regular policy, but on the classic policy would only add about $25 each. Only problem is one of them sits outside, and they both get driven around regularly. Plus, I think the lowest agreed-upon value you can insure a car for with my company is $3500, and I dunno if I could convince them that my NYers are worth $3500 COMBINED, let alone each! :surprise:
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    texasestexases Member Posts: 10,708
    "Old cars aren't that expensive, once the owner is happy with the condition."

    Very true, but getting to that point can be big $$ - that's my point. It doesn't make much sense to spend a bundle restoring a car and then keep it in the garage because of $4/gallon gas.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    I wouldn't know, my old car was cheap :P
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    A lot of people spend a lot more than that simply on payment and insurance for one car, so that isn't too bad. I am sure you know how to control costs - such as no frame off restorations on a 79 NYer :P
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    texasestexases Member Posts: 10,708
    "I wouldn't know, my old car was cheap"

    Speaking of reliable old MBs, Top Gear tested the AMG turbocharged CLS last night, thought it was great, but were concerned about the reliability based on the last ten years, since 'that's when MB decided to quit "over-engineering" their cars. That is, they decided to make them cheaper.'

    I remember when MB announced this, they seemed very pleased with themselves at the time.
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    lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    To me, the overengineering was what defined them as a company. Once that was gone, Lexus started looking a lot more interesting to me.

    Edit: Did I just say Lexus looked interesting? Bizarre comment on my part.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    MB really derailed for awhile. I am very leery of non-AMG cars from about 1996-98 through 2006 and some even later. The W210 is a mixed bag, but at least the AMG cars of that series seem to hold up well - better than the W211 AMG cars from what I have read. The old W202 wasn't horrible, but early W203 (say 2001-03) are risky. W220 S-class from 2000-02 can be nightmares, and later ones are still a gamble. The earlier MLs were really troublesome too.

    Many see the last "real" Mercedes as the W124 E-class. The W140 S-class has some old attributes, the R129 SL as well...but it seems when the round light look came in, things changed.

    On a positive note, the new S-class and C-class have been very solid so far, I hope this holds true as they age.

    Regarding Lexus....Toyota has proven it isn't immune from error...I believe Lexus will eventually have issues (other than blandness and the inability to sell in any numbers outside of North America).
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    I went by that Mustang show today...$20 admission to a regional Mustang show was a bit steep, so I turned around. The guy in front of me did too.

    The big Buick show here last year was free, and what is easily the highest end car show in the northwest - the Kirkland concours - is $25 and with that you get a nice high quality program, other free perks, and the ability to see some very significant cars up close, along with motorcycles and wooden boats, in a very nice setting.
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    texasestexases Member Posts: 10,708
    "$25 and with that you get a nice high quality program, other free perks, and the ability to see some very significant cars up close, along with motorcycles and wooden boats, in a very nice setting. "

    What, 23 '65 Mustang coupes, 12 with the Pony interior, don't qualify as 'significant'? ;) Yeah, you'd think $10 would be more like it. Ones around here are often free, course, they're just in a parking lot.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    I am sure there were some nice cars there - it is billed as a major event, but that price sounds more like an entrance fee for a shown car rather than admission for a spectator. I didn't see many people around, either...I am still kind of shocked. This one was just on the grounds of a community college, not at a country club or something.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    If that fee doesn't include parking, a T-shirt, a program, discount coupons and a raffle, forget it.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,687
    I think it costs me $40 to register a car for the Mopar show at Carlisle and $30 for the GM show. But that gets your car in for all three days, Fri/Sat/Sun, and also includes admission for two people. Just to walk in the gate, I think it's $10 per person for the Mopar show, and maybe $8-9 for the GM show. The GM show is still a "younger" show and hasn't really built up in size yet so they're still trying to grow it, whereas the Mopar show practically fills the fairgrounds.

    I registered my '76 LeMans for this show in PA in early August. It's a big show sponsored by the AACA, so that weeds out all the newer/heavily modified stuff, and keeps the cars out on the field mostly stock and original. I think it was like $12-13 to register for the show. Would've been cheaper but I missed a deadline. Just to walk in as a spectator, I think it's only like $5.00 per person.

    Considering the size of these shows, I think the prices of admission are pretty cheap. I think $25 to walk into a car show as a spectator is a bit too blue for my blood!
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    I've never put a car in a show before, and there are no AACA events in this area that I know of- only regional shows and club shows. Sometimes there are events at fairgrounds where admission is under $10, but these usually have a very non-diverse selection to view, and I have seen enough 57 Chevies, fiberglass 34 Fords, and T-buckets to last a lifetime. I have heard of all those east coast shows, too bad we don't have those here - I guess we just don't have the population base.

    The $25 show was on the grounds of a fairly high end resort, and it allowed you to get up close to some cars worth well into seven figures - nothing was roped off. Along with the program there were free magazines and other items. It was worth it to me. Last year the theme was French cars...hopefully it will be German cars this year, I just know one of the rich bastards around here has a 540K roadster sitting around.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,687
    Oops, I was getting that $25 mixed up with the Mustang show. Upon re-reading, it sounds like that high-end show might have been worth it.

    Do they ever have local cruise-ins or anything like that in your area? It seems like a lot more old cars survive out in your area compared to around here, so I'm surprised that there aren't more classic car events. Your fintail needs to get out and mingle!
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    The high end show was worth it if you like rare old metal...I linked pics from it on the show thread back when it was held in September. Even the parking area for the show had cool cars.

    There are lots of cruise-in type events, but it is mainly hot rod themed. The local MB club has a yearly show too, always on a weekend when I am out of town. It doesn't seem like I miss much though, from what I can see the turnout appears to be about 80% modern/20% vintage, and a lawn full of 2004 E320s and 2001 SLKs isn't exciting. I was considering bringing the old beast to it this year, but right now the radio is off for refurbishment, so I won't do it without the radio - the hole in the dash board looks like hell to me. It is interesting that the gentle climate here makes it so old cars survive better...but a lot of people just don't care.
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    euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    $20 was the entrance fee toshow your Mustang. I paid the 20 and took first in my class. Entrance fee was not $20 just to wander around and look. Did you try the gate at 148th? Steve Saleen was there and gave out the awards to the Saleen winners. My son in law showed up at the end and got in free. You missed the best Mustang show in the nation.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    So there was something wrong...I thought it didn't seem right.

    I entered on a side street off of 148th, I followed signs I saw on 148th...there was a guy talking to each car driving up. Guy in front of me talked to him turned around, then the guy asked me "going to the car show?" and advised it was $20...so I shook my head and turned around. Did he think I wanted to enter a modern Mercedes into a Mustang show? I wasn't even in a vintage car, I was in something that would be as out of place at a Ford show as a Packard would be at a Japanese import show. Maybe the event needs some more logical volunteers.

    Oh well, maybe next year. What class is yours? I was thinking of stopping by to harass you :P
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    euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    "Maybe the event needs some more logical volunteers.


    The MustangNW website has been begging for member volunteers. When I registered our 66 Coupe, the gentleman gave me a card for Class B so I asked what was Class A and he said 641/2 to 66 Coupes! Then a lady corrected it by scratching out the B and writing in the A. During the participants voting process I noticed more than several cars miscarded.

    The more authentic Mustangs were in the Judged Show held Saturday and seeing those would have been worth a couple of bucks admission. The Saturday show cars had to be on display Sunday. I'm not sure, but I think the spectator admission was $10 and parking free. The Sunday Saleen and Cobra section was well represented. As usual, we did a lot of meet and greet with other Mustangers and had a great time. (Getting into the plastic was a bonus) :):)
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    A Mustang organization calling cars "64 & 1/2" Mustangs? Shame on them.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    I would have came to see Shelby cars and maybe very well preserved original cars, especially those freakish low mileage survivors that always seem to exist, and maybe odd cars with every option. I value the unusual and I am a fan of preservation over needless restoration. I assume there were some non-Mustang Fords there too. Next year if I am in town that weekend maybe I will just wander around rather than follow the signs
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    euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    "A Mustang organization calling cars "64 & 1/2" Mustangs?"

    Agree with you, but one of the top cowboys of MustangsNW is also the national President of Mustang Club of America, Bill Johnson. There are other members of long standing and expertise that acknowledge the 64.5 Mustang. Maybe it is because it had a generator and a 260 V8 with a Falcon dashboard.

    "Mustang Does It" by Ray Miller, The Evergreen Press, authoritatively mentions on page 18, "Introduced as a "19641/2 Model Mustang was offered at only $2368 fob Detroit. His text devotes 27 pages to the 64 1/2 model.

    So, Ford did issue a 64.5 Mustang. ;)
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well 50 DMVs in America don't think so, and the Ford Motor Company doesn't list one.

    So I'm in the "no such thing" department.
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    andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,687
    So, call them "early 1965" and "late 1965". Same danged thing. Life's too short to get hung up on words. FWIW, I don't think the DMV will have a listing for a 2001.5 VW Passat or a 1977.5 Pontiac Can Am, yet in this case they actually went further than the Mustang because they ADVERTISED them as such! Actually, wasn't there some model of the Galaxie that was billed as a 1963.5?
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    Yep I think the Galaxie fastbacks were advertised as a half-year car
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    My objection is that people think they are different cars or that they are worth more. They are the same dang old Mustang and they aren't worth any more, so the designation is, to me at least, an embarrassing affectation.

    If the 64.5 designation were only to denote that it had a generator and generator light on the dash, well fine. Call them Gen-Stangs or something.
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    euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Rare Mustangs are definitely worth more than the run of the mill Stangs. Now, if the alleged 64.5 Ford Mustang has a VIN that starts out with a "5" such as in 5R07D123456, the "5" says it's a 1965. R= San Jose factory 07 = 2dr Htp and D is an early 4V V8 engine. I believe the D engine had 289 c.i., but lower compression heads. It was later discontinued in favor of the "A" engine which had the higher compression and rated 225 HP. :)
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    Looks like some rare Mustangs are still hanging around...a 68 California Special just drove by my window a few minutes ago.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You wouldn't price a California Special much higher (if any higher) than a regular coupe with GT equipment. It's not that big a deal because it's only decals and a different trunk lid and spoiler and some fake scoops and different steel wheels and I think sequential tail lights. They made about 5,000 of them, which really isn't "rare" by collector car standards. A deluxe convertible is even rarer, to give you an idea, and a deluxe fastback almost as rare.

    There was also a High Country Special which has even less equipment on it and consequently is more of a curiousity than anything else.

    The biggest "boost" in values has to come from actual performance options, like the Boss 302 or the K code.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    That's what caught my eye- the lights. I wonder why sequential lights never caught on, they look cool.

    Heck, my E55 is a lot more rare than that. I think a lot of those survived, too, this isn't the first I have seen.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Ford had a lot of trouble with sequential lights, or so I've heard. At least on the T-Birds.
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    fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,168
    In high school I knew a kid with a 69-70 Cougar that had the lights...I remember they worked. I remember he couldn't find a buyer for that car when he wanted to move on though, and this was back in the cheap gas 90s.
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