I have posted a picture of this car before; it is from the Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson auction in January of this year. It is nominally a 1966 Corvette, but it just looks like a ’66 Vette and not even completely at that given the stinger hood. This car has a modern LS3 engine with a 4L65E automatic transmission and power disc brakes. Let’s put aside, for the moment, the fact that I think this is the best-looking and most desirable American car ever. Let’s focus on what it is: a restomod.

In case you don’t know (or even if you do), a restomod is a vehicle that has been restored with modern components instead of stock. Ten or fifteen years ago, restomodding was considered a sacrilege by most car collectors. Fast forward to the present and well-done restomods can actually sell for more than original cars. This car hammered for $100,000. According to “expert” valuation company Hagerty, a concours quality 1966 Corvette coupe with the L79 327 cubic-inch engine (the more powerful of the two 327 engines offered that year) is worth about $88,000. The same car in excellent condition is worth about $67,000.

If I own a car it is for the purpose of driving, even if it’s just 3,000-ish miles a year. If I’m going to drive it, then I want it safe and reliable. This is 2018. I do not want to drive a car with a carburetor or drum brakes or points-based ignition.

I, like everyone else who has ever lived, do not have a monopoly on truth and wisdom. My preference, albeit very strong preference, for restomods is my opinion. I understand the allure of a car restored to original condition. However, I wouldn’t want to own one.

What do you think?

State of the Auction

My wonderful wife sent me this link:

January is the big month for automobile auctions. Most of them are held in Arizona, but Mecum holds their giant January auction in Florida. The upshot of this article is that at the top of the market sales were a little slow, but perhaps because consignors “overvalued” their cars a bit. The rest of the market, however, appears set for a good year as prices tended to be above what is considered to be condition-appropriate.


From a picture of probably my favorite car from the Scottsdale auction: a 1966 Corvette resto-mod. Almost none of you reading had been reading my previous blog, but I have expressed my opinion that modern automatic transmissions are so good they make manuals obsolete. This car has a modern automatic and also doesn’t have ridiculous clown wheels, nor has it been slammed to the ground. The hammer price was $100,000, meaning the buyer actually paid $110,000 and that Barrett-Jackson’s total commission was $18,000.