Thursday, August 23, 2007


Steve Parker
All you folks out there who have been taught through your TV and movie screens that there is something almost magical about the DeLorean, well, to quote a line from many other films, fuhgeddiboutit.
DeLorean wasn't a good car to begin with, and practically nothing which can be done to it now improves it abilities, either in speed, handling, comfort, dependability, etc. It fails, as a car, on many, many levels.
But that's like saying Paris Hilton shouldn't be famous because she's a lousy actress. DeLorean the car, and Ms. Paris, have this in common: Being famous for being famous; fame is drawn to them because of the extremely well-crafted marketing campaigns which swirl around them. If the DeLorean car had not been in the movies (ok, in case you don't know, it's in the many "Back to the Future" movies which, for the record, we really enjoyed, especially the first and second ones). it would have remained an automotive oddity, too new to be considered a "classic" at auction, thus never drawing high bids, and eventually to fall into the "auto orphan" category, with a factory which could never service the cars or make an adequate number of spare parts. But a guy in Texas (where else?) thinks he has the answer.
Here's part of a Salt Lake Tribune story on the topic from August 20, 2007:
"A quarter century after DeLorean Motor Co. began making its glitzy, $25,000 two-seater - an operation that collapsed after two years - Stephen Wynne's small automotive outfit plans to bring the vehicle back into limited production at a 40,000-square-foot factory in this Houston suburb. DMC eventually made fewer than 9,000 cars, distinctive for their gull-wing doors, stainless-steel exterior and rear-engine design. An estimated 6,500 remain on the road. Already, the Humble (TX) operation will take an existing DeLorean, strip it to the frame and rebuild it for a base price of $42,500. The company also handles routine maintenance, such as oil changes and tuneups, and ships between 20 and 50 parts orders a day to mechanics and individual owners worldwide." ---end of story quote---
Wynn is also planning to re-create fully-running, "better-than-new" with interior, exterior and drivetrain improvements DeLoreans for about $57,500. Even venerable old Carroll Shelby once told me, "Ya know, Steve, it takes just as much money to build one car as it does to build a million of 'em", speaking as he was of Federal regulations, crash-testing and all of those other little petty "annoyances" our government demands. We well-remember all the tooling for the Avanti winding-up in the hands of some midwest mall-builder, and living as we do in the area in Palm Springs, CA, where the Avanti was designed by a team of young, eager stylists striving to save the Studebaker Corporation in 1960, led by the incredible Raymond Loewy, we do feel for this guy. And other than, "Remember the Avanti!" our other advice is: "Good luck".

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hearing Postponed to Consider California

Hearing Postponed to Consider California Bill to Require ANNUAL Emissions Tests for Vehicles 15-Years Old An Aug. 20th Senate Appropriations Committee hearing to consider legislation (A.B. 616) to require annual Smog check inspections for vehicles 15-years old and older has been postponed. A.B. 616 would also require that funds generated through the additional inspection fees be deposited into an account which can be used to scrap older cars. The hearing will be rescheduled after the Legislature approves a budget for the state. We are aware that certain e-mail addresses for Appropriations Committee members are being blocked. Accordingly, we are providing phone and fax numbers for your use.

We Urge You to Call or Fax Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee (List Below) Immediately to Oppose

A.B. 616· A.B. 616 ignores the minimal impact vintage cars have on air quality.

A.B. 616 could entice vintage car owners into allowing these vehicles to be scrapped.

A.B. 616 ignores the fact that vehicles 15-years old and older still constitute a small portion of the overall vehicle population and are a poor source from which to look for emissions reduction.

A.B. 616 ignores the fact that classic vehicles are overwhelmingly well-maintained and infrequently driven.

A.B. 616 would increase costs by creating an annual inspection fee for owners of these vehicles.

A.B. 616 represents another attempt by California legislators and regulators to scapegoat older cars.

A.B. 616 would dramatically impact the ability of fixed and low income motorists from owning and driving their older vehicles.Please contact members of the California Senate Appropriations Committee immediately by phone, fax or e-mail to request their opposition to A.B. 616.

Please e-mail a copy of your letter to Thank you for your assistance.Senate Appropriations

CommitteeSenator Tom Torlakson (Chair)
Phone: (916) 651-4007
Fax: (916) 445-2527

Senator Dave Cox (Vice Chair)
Phone: (916) 651-4001
Fax: (916) 324-2680

Senator Samuel Aanestad
Phone: (916) 651-4004
Fax: (916) 445-7750

Senator Roy Ashburn
Phone: (916) 651-4018
Fax: (916) 651-4018

Senator Jim Battin
Phone: (916) 651-4037
Fax: (916) 327-2187

Senator Gilbert Cedillo
Phone: (916) 651-4022
Fax: (916) 327-8817

Senator Ellen Corbett
Phone: (916) 651-4010
Fax: (916) 327-2433

Senator Robert Dutton
Phone: (916) 651-4031
Fax: (916) 327-2272

Senator Dean Florez
Phone: (916) 651-4016
Fax: (916) 327-5989

Senator Sheila Kuehl
Phone: (916) 651-4023
Fax: (916) 324-4823

Senator Jenny Oropeza
Phone: (916) 651-4028
Fax: (916) 323-6056

Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas
Phone: (916) 651-4026
Fax: (916) 445-8899

Senator George Runner
Phone: (916) 651-4017
Fax: (916) 445-4662

Senator Joe Simitian
Phone: (916) 651-4011
Fax: (916) 323-4529

Senator Darrell Steinberg
Phone: (916) 651-4006
Fax: (916) 323-2263

Senator Mark Wyland
Phone: (916) 651-4038
Fax: (916) 446-7382

Senator Leland Yee
Phone: (916) 651-4008
Fax: (916) 327-2186

Terms under which this service is provided to you:'s mailing address: 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765Copyright 2007. Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)

6 Ways to Make the Most of your Classic Corvette Purchase

Terry Michaelis of Proteam Corvette fame has a great article on his Corvette Perspective blog on why purchasing a classic Corvette is a good investment and he backs up his points with some real world numbers. Terry has bought more classic Corvettes last month than most of us will purchase in a lifetime and there is probably no other dealer that buys and sells the cream of the crop like Proteam. If you are more interested in Corvettes as an investment as opposed to a driver, then here are Terry's points to consider when purchasing a Corvette:
1. Buy the best Corvette you can afford todayBecause the Corvette you buy is the Corvette you’ll have or want to sell some day.
2. Buy cosmetics Buy paint and chrome, unless you have a shop and knowledge to control your costs.
3. Research Arm yourself with knowledge provided in the numerous Corvette publication and hire a true expert to examine your potential purchase.
4. Don’t trade off cosmetics for a numbers match drivetrainIt will always cost more to restore (paint, trim, chrome, etc.) a Corvette needing restoration versus putting the proper numbers motor back in your vehicle, if that’s your venue. Numbers have become secondary to cosmetics, and it’s about time.
5. Realize that Corvettes are old carsThey require more attention than that new Chevy or Ford setting in your driveway (especially if they aren’t taken for periodic ("work outs").
6. Be a smart sellerHigh-profile events like the Barrett-Jackson and Mecum Muscle Car auctions will get you more money for your car than newspaper and trade publication advertisements. Plan ahead if you’re considering selling your baby: seek good lot numbers (pay a premium if you must) and baby-sit your car during the event to answer questions and show pride in your car – it is a reflection of you, and people simply pay more if they like the seller.
Terry provides an excellent analysis of today's Corvette Market and why the demand for classic Corvettes is so high right now - a demand he says will only continue as baby boomers hit retirement and start spending that discretionary income.
Click here to read The Corvette Market - Today.
Source:TMichaelis Corvette Perspective

Sunday, August 19, 2007


KL Nichols

First I should explain auctions for the novices; there are several kinds of auctions: There are local auctions by local auctioneers that auction off any kind of saleable property. This includes estate closings, realestate and personal property to name a few. There are also local CV (Collector Vehicle) auctions, most of which, are held by a national collector car auctioneer with the support and backing of a local collector or CV dealer, once or twice a year if your town or city is large enough. Then there are the Super CV Auctions, such as the Barrett-Jackson that is held the first of January in Arizona and the Kruse Auction in Auburn Indiana held in September over Labor Day every year. Both of these auction companies hold several other auctions a year, but only these two qualify as Super Auctions! Then there are Internet Auctions, the premier one being eBay Motors.

The quality of your collector car; and the time you have to sell it, along with the amount of money you have to spend get the ball rolling are just a few of the determining factors that will make your decision for you when and if you decide to auction your car off. For brevity we will refer hereafter to Collector Vehicle as “CV”.

Just a note here; to insure that your car sells fast; make sure everything on your car works and that it is clean. Sometimes a few bucks spent on your collector car for new carpet or to replace a window will add big bucks to the final price, but don’t over do it and if you car is a project car, none of this applies.

One other avenue; I am always amazed that not everybody knows about is the local and national CV magazines, you see these at your local convenience store, such as Auto/Truck Round-Up, Deals On Wheels, Auta Buy and Old Car Trader. These run from Free to around $40-$50 per month and take about a month to hit the stands, most have pretty fair websites and will include you vehicles photo and description on their website, with your ad, or for a few more dollars. This is definitely the cheapest and most effective way for most people to sell their CV! Some will even take the picture for you. One note here, if you do not have Internet Access, you will be at a disadvantage!

Let’s talk about Local Auctions; these run from Ma & Pa Auctions to fairly sophisticated auction organizations to local collector car dealers. These can run you from free to 10%-15% of the final sale, but it is local and you can protect you vehicle by bidding on it yourself from the audience or have a relative do the protective bidding. Some even accept Reserves. Of the local auctions, you may find actual Dealer Auctions, these cater to people selling everyday drivers, but will sell a CV, and may even have special CV event days. Unfortunately, your CV will probably see little action in this venue and if a sale results, it will be lower than the value of the car unless you use a reserve or provide bidder protection in the form of bidding on the vehicle yourself! With some local auctions, you may even see your CV selling side-by-side with tractors and lawnmowers, due to the fact that most of the Ma & Pa auctions serve the farmers and estate sales. Adverting the sale may help some, but no guarantee.
Local Collector Vehicle Dealers offer two or three CV sales opportunities.
The first one the local dealer who holds CV auctions in conjunction with a national CV auctioneer.
The second is the occasional CV dealer who holds individual CV auctions; this can be ascertained by talking to the local classic dealers.
The third is the consignment option. A lot of CV dealers take consignment CV’s for an initial fee ($100-$500 for advertising, storage and maintenance) and then a percentage of the final sale (3%-15%) all of which are negotiable. If your CV is a special, desirable CV worth a lot of money and smacks of a quick sale to the dealer, he may even not charge you anything or varying percentages of consignment and sales percentage fees, hoping to make a quick profit and not be bothered with advertising, storing or cosmetic care. Watch your self here, as some dealers have the contractual right to make repairs and charge you for the repair parts & labor at the going rate!

National or Celebrity Collector Vehicle Auctioneers; you will find a list of these at the end of this article, so I won’t go into that here, just explain your costs of using their services. The terms I will discuss are Listing Fees, Seller’s Fees, Buyer’s Fees, Transportation Fees, and Miscellaneous Fees.

Listing’s Fees; can be anything for $0 to $500 and up. The wide difference is based on the value of your CV, is it a special, desirable CV worth a lot of money and means a probably quick sale for the auctioneer, but the Listing Fee can cost can be influenced by the fact that the market is slow or down, the auctioneer needs a nice car to point at and influence other CV owners to list their CV’s with his auction, and on and on… This is something you can work with by either listing early or withholding your CV until the last minute.

Seller’s Fees; most are currently 8-1/2%-10% (Auctioneer’s overhead is fairly high) of the final sale and have the possibility of negotiation as with everything you deal with in this field.

Buyer’s Fees; most are currently 8-1/2%-10% of the final sale and only effect the buyer. But they do tend to factor in as the buyer ultimately is bidding for 108-1/2%-110% of the final sale.

Transportation Fees; this fee is self-evident and differs for every area. Naturally the further you have to transport your CV to the auction, the more expensive this cost will be. There are several ways to do the transporting of your CV to the auction. This is an area to be very careful! It is not unheard of for transporters to hold a car hostage for higher prices or to not deliver it on time. I speak from experience! So don’t chose the cheapest, choose the most reputable!

Do-It-Yourself; is probably the cheapest and most sure way! A $600 to $1000 trailer can be sold with the car or sold after the auction to recoup it’s cost fairly easily. That being said, protect your trailer, they are easily stolen and disappear almost instantly!

Hire Someone Else; possibly a local trucker that is deadheading back to the area of the auction. But you had better have good insurance on your CV to do it this way, and I don’t mean regular car insurance!.

Hire A Professional; there is a list of these at the end of the article so I won’t go into that here. I will go over the risks of this option. I once shipped a car to New York that didn’t arrive for 6 weeks and cost three times as much as the original contracted fee. Luckily the original transporter paid the excess fee! It seems that they had been busy and had consigned the shipping to an unknown transporter who proceeded to play hide and seek with my car. So be sure of the transporter that you choose to handle your precious CV!!

Miscellaneous Fees; this can include gas to and from the auction food, motel and fun expenses and can be quite expensive!

I add a word of caution here for the person who is still not put off by my fairly negative assessment of the Collector Auction Scene, the general consensus pf the people that I consider experts is that in order to come out on a CV auction requires to collector cars entered in to any auction to reach a break even point!


Copyright 2007 KL Nichols

Boyd's Folly?

Boyd Coddington thought he could get away with just driving anywhere he wanted to at Bonneville Speed Week. He got his motor home stuck in a no drive zone, and the trucks to the right got stuck trying to get to him just to pull him out. Look at the angle of the semi tractor! He was still not out at the close of the Friday session.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Take the quiz and see how you score as a true "Oldies Fan". Write down your answers and check them with the answers below.

1. When did "Little Suzie" finally wake up? a) The movie's over, it's 2 o'clock b) The movie's over, it's 3 o'clock c) The movie's over, it's 4 o'clock

2. "Rock Around The Clock" was used in what movie? a) Rebel Without A Cause b) Blackboard Jungle c) The Wild Ones

3. What's missing? _____Baby, Earth_____, _____On My Shoulder a) Angel b) Head c) Love 4. "I found my thrill..." where? a) Kansas City b) Heartbreak Hotel c) Blueberry Hill
5. "Please turn on your magic beam, _____ _____ bring me a dream" a) Mr. Sandman b) Earth Angel c) Dream Lover

6. For which label did Elvis Presley first record? a) Chancellor b) RCA c) Sun

7. He asked, "Why's everybody always pickin' on me? " Who was he? a) Bad Bad Leroy Brown b) Charlie Brown c) Buster Brown

8. Bobby Darin's "Mack The Knife", the one with the knife, was named: a) MacHeath b) MacCloud c) MacNamara

9. Name the song with "A-wop bop a-loo bop a-lop bam boom"? a) Good Golly Miss Molly b) Be-Bop-A-Lula c) Tutti Fruitti

10. Who is generally given credit for the term "Rock And Roll"? a) Dick Clark b) Wolfman Jack c) Alan Freed

11. In 1957, he left the music business to become a preacher. a) Little Richard b) Frankie Lymon c) Tony Orlando

12. Paul Anka's "Puppy Love" is written to what star? a) Brenda Lee b) Connie Francis c) Annette Funicello

13. The Everly Brothers are... a) Pete and Dick b) Don and Phil c) Bob and Bill

14. The Big Bopper's real name was: a) Jiles P. Richardson b) Roy Harold Scherer Jr. c) Marion Michael Morrison

15. In 1959, Berry Gordy Jr. started a small record company called... a) Decca b) Cameo c) Motown

16. Edd Brynes had a hit with "Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb. "What TV show was he on? a) 77 Sunset Strip b) Hawaiian Eye c) Surfside Six

17. In 1960 Bobby Darin married: a) Carol Lynley b) Sandra Dee c) Natalie Wood

18. They were a one hit wonder with "Book Of Love." a) The Penguins b) The Monotones c) The Moonglows

1. c) The movie's over, it's 4 o'clock
2. b) Blackboard Jungle
3. a) Angel
4. c) Blueberry Hill
5. a) Mr. Sandman
6. c) Sun
7. b) Charlie Brown
8. a) Mac Heath
9. c) Tutti Fruitti
10. c) Alan Freed
11. a) Little Richard
12. c) Annette Funicello
13. b) Don and Phil
14. a) Jiles P. Richardson
15. c) Motown
16. a) 77 Sunset Strip
17. b) Sandra Dee
18. b) The Monotones