Not Yours To Take

Wealthy people who “complain” that they are not taxed enough are just engaging in virtue signaling. If they really think they don’t pay enough in taxes then they can voluntarily give more money to government. They should keep their hands out of other people’s pockets because other people’s money doesn’t belong to them. “Fair” is subjective, but property rights are not supposed to be.


This article from Hagerty is titled, “The 25 cars buyers are forgetting about.” Below is a picture of the car at the top of the article:


See the source image



Here is a picture of the same make/model I took this past Sunday:



In case you don’t know, or even if you do, those are two pictures of the Buick Reatta. The Reatta was a failure; it cannot be described in any other way. Buick’s minimum yearly sales goal for the car was 10,000 units, but in four model years (1988-91) only about 22,000 were built in total. From Encyclopedia of American Cars by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®, “Reatta was a sad loss for those who appreciate interesting cars…”

It is not a performance car in any way, shape or form, but I think it is a stunning looking car. When I moved to California in the mid-1990s I needed to buy a car and went to a Buick/Pontiac/GMC dealer specifically to buy a Reatta. The salesman informed me the car was no longer in production (I wasn’t following cars much at that point having been turned off by the nadir of US autos in the late 70s) and he didn’t offer to find me a used one. Frankly, he wasn’t the friendliest salesman I ever met.

In the Hagerty article mentioned above the Reatta is shown as having the lowest Hagerty Vehicle Rating (HVR). I’ll let Hagerty explain the HVR:


“The Hagerty Vehicle Rating takes into consideration auction and private sales results, insurance quoting activity, and the number of new policies purchased to sort through hundreds of car models and compare them to the collector car market as a whole. Our valuation team then assigns each car a score from 1 to 100, with a score of 50 denoting a car that’s perfectly following the overall market trend. Popular cars that are gaining interest and value will score higher, while those with flagging interest or sale prices score lower. A vehicle’s position on the list isn’t a sign of future collectability—it’s more of a pulse marker on the current market.”


Some subjectivity seems to be a part of Hagerty’s rating, which is okay, but I always wonder about personal bias in such an endeavor. Anyway, here are the bottom 15 cars in the latest HVR (I know the article is about the bottom 25, but that seemed excessive to me):


Vehicle HVR
1988-1991 Buick Reatta 9
1967-1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 10
1963-1971 Mercedes-Benz 230SL 15
1968-1971 Lincoln Continental Mk III 15
1975-1980 MG MGB 15
1976-1989 Porsche 911 Carrera (Turbo 930) 15
1958-1959 Ford Fairlane 17
1968-1982 Chevrolet Corvette 17
1997-2005 Acura NSX 17
1965-1970 Cadillac DeVille 18
1946-1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster 19
1946-1951 Mercury 19
1958-1961 Austin-Healey Sprite 19
1977-1988 Porsche 924 19
1987-1993 Cadillac Allante 20


Remember Hagerty’s disclaimer that the HVR is not, necessarily, a sign of future collectability, but an indication of where a car currently stands in the market in terms of collector demand. Some of the cars on this list are a surprise to me, but I am not a devoted student of the overall collector car market. I am also quite sure that cars with very few transactions don’t appear in the Hagerty evaluation at all. Remember, too, that this is just Hagerty’s assessment. No one metric or system can fully describe this market.

Do any of you see cars on this list in which you have interest? I would very much like to read your thoughts.







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9 and 14





Friday Farrago

First a test to see if I can upload media files other than pictures:



I think this file will only work with Apple devices and I won’t know if it works until the post is published. If you’re viewing this on an Apple device please feel free to try it and then please let me know if it works. (It worked on my Windows PC! Readers have confirmed the file playing on non-Apple devices. I am the person playing the keyboard not very well although I can say this was completely improvised and recorded in December, 2006.)


I have not followed pro basketball in 35+ years. However, I have just re-ordered Loose Balls by Terry Pluto. The book is an oral history of the American Basketball Association, the league where players like Julius Erving and George Gervin began their pro careers.

I had to re-order it because I loaned my original copy to my best friend, Dr. Zal, and during his recent visit we realized that he has had the book for quite some time. I told him to keep it and I would buy it again. I am reading it again (for about the 10th time, can anyone say OCD?!) and am enjoying it immensely.


From this CNBC article comes these words:

“I talk to Chinese economists who tell me privately many of the things the U.S. demands is actually better for China; intellectual property protection, not putting state subsidies for state-owned enterprises. The irony is what the U.S. is forcing China to do in the short term will be good for the U.S., in the long term it’s better for China.”

Those are the words of Robert Kuhn, an advisor to the Chinese government and state-owned companies.


From this article by Hagerty comes this list of the cars with the lowest “Hagerty Vehicle Rating” at present. This rating is not a measure of the quality of the cars, but is an attempt to measure how the values are changing relative to the overall collector car market. The lower the rating, the worse it is. Brace yourself, American classic car fans:


1968-1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 9
1946-1948 Ford Deluxe 11
1949-1954 Pontiac Chieftain 12
1946-1948 Ford Super Deluxe 13
1946-1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster 14
1971-1976 Cadillac DeVille 15
1964-1967 Sunbeam Tiger 16
1949-1954 Chrysler New Yorker 16
1967-1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 17
1949-1954 Chrysler Windsor 17
1949-1953 Oldsmobile 88 17


Other cars in the bottom 25 include the C2 Corvette and the 1965-1970 Shelby GT350. Some think that for these two cars the reason the values are falling is simply that they had become unsustainably expensive and are now settling into their true “equilibrium” values.

For those looking to buy some of these “fallen angels” if the Hagerty assessment is accurate then this might be a good time to buy. Of course, in the stock market people are always being warned against trying “to catch a falling knife.”


What do you think of this car?


From a picture of a 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. I tried to capture a photo of such a car from CarMax, but they don’t allow their photos to be captured.

The reason I am asking is that I have decided to buy a used C7 Z06. I have also decided that I am tired of going to a dealer, even a “reputable” one, and doing the negotiating song and dance. A CarMax store is not very far from where I live and CarMax has a decent selection of these cars, most of which can be transferred from somewhere else to the local CarMax for far less than I would have to pay a shipping company.

I excluded from my search any cars with more than 20,000 miles. The one that catches my eye is currently in Florida, has about 16,000 miles and would sell for less than $60,000 including the cost to ship it here. Steve Dallas has suggested that I go to Kerbeck and buy a new one, which is a good suggestion, but even with Kerbeck’s prices I can still save $20,000 by buying a late-model used one. I think the drive train warranty on these cars is 5 years/60,000 miles so a 2016 would still have that warranty coverage.

Once again, what do you think?




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