Many Thanks

Thanks to those of you who offered good thoughts after reading yesterday’s post. They are much appreciated.

 

This Hagerty piece is titled, “Will these 6 used cars be bonafide collectibles?” Although I almost certainly will never have any interest in the Chevrolet Colorado Diesel or the Volvo Polestar, these cars are interesting to me.

 

2019 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition

2020 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth front three-quarter

 

In case you don’t know, or even if you do, from top to bottom: Nissan 370Z, Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, Alfa Romeo 4C. Here are excerpts from the piece about each of these three cars:

 

“Considering many 350Zs were hot-rodded and turned into drift toys when they became affordable, the last of the 370Zs may a savvy pick to snap up before they meet a similar fate. Because the car was so dated in its golden years, Nissan wasn’t moving a lot of 370Z metal in its last few years of production, but as the saying goes, many sports car buyers won’t know what they’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”

“Naturally, the very similar 124 Abarth, built alongside the Miata in the same factory but with Fiat’s turbocharged, 1.4-liter Multi-Air four-cylinder turbo engine, maintains much of that same wonderful character and sharp handling…the Abarth was still an engaging drop-top that had a relatively short production run prior to its discontinuation following the 2020 model year. Even if it didn’t have pure Miata DNA, a relatively low-volume driver’s car is a good recipe to make an excellent collectible. When the answer you’re looking for is Miata with a turbo twist, the Abarth will start to look real good.”

“Now that they’re out of production…and there are few heirs to the throne of affordable mid-engine performance aside from the C8 Corvette, the 4C may hit the bottom of its depreciation curve. After all, when was the last time you could purchase a modern, mid-engine Italian car for the price of a full-size pickup?”

 

Hagerty has much data and much experience in determining car value, but this piece is still speculative. To be fair, the article is not a dogmatic prediction of the future. No one can really predict which vehicles will become “collectible,” whatever that means. I happen to think the modern Fiat 124 Spider is a gorgeous car. My wonderful wife and I test drove one and it’s a lot of fun with the top down, even on a 60-degree day, but like the MX-5/Miata it needs at least 50 more HP and 50 more LB-FT of torque.

The Alfa Romeo 4C has been written about and shown more than once in this blog. While I acknowledge its look is idiosyncratic (and I’m not a fan of the wheels), that’s a big plus in my book. Think about this car: given it’s powered by a 1.7 liter/107 cubic-inch (turbocharged) 4-cylinder engine and weighs only 2,500 pounds, it is rated 34 MPG on the highway. It will accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 4.1 seconds; the engine is rated at 237 HP/258 LB-FT of torque. Because of its light weight and mid-engine profile, its handling can be amazing with the right driver. Its performance profile is what the MX-5/124 Spider should have been.

Maybe it’s because we never had any children or maybe it’s an homage to my first car–a 1967 Pontiac GTO–but I have never been interested in sedans or pickup trucks or SUVs. I have owned a few of the latter for practical reasons, at least what I thought was practical at the time. Cars like the three shown here are what I crave. Hey, so many cars just one life.

 

#ManyThanks

#FutureCollectibles

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.

 

Many Thanks, Again

For WordPress, the platform that hosts Disaffected Musings, a week runs from Monday through Sunday. For the week ending yesterday Disaffected Musings reached a new weekly high in views and visitors surpassing the record set just the week before.

Once again, I am most grateful. Please keep reading, please post thoughtful comments if/when the mood strikes you and please share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com) with others. Sorry to keep asking for “the sale.” I hope my asking is not anywhere near as obnoxious as the ridiculously excessive number of times Velocity airs the one and only commercial for a show called Texas Metal. Here is the tweet I sent to Velocity:

@Velocity Enough of the ridiculously excessive airings for the commercial for Texas Metal. Even if I liked clown cars and trucks I would be sick of the commercial. I know others share the sentiment.

In what I can only imagine is censorship to please a sponsoring company this tweet has disappeared from the list of those I have sent.

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From motor-junkie.com is an article that interested me about 14 cars whose horsepower ratings were understated by the manufacturer. Why would a company deliberately undersell a car’s horsepower? I think the most significant reason is to “fool” insurance companies. By understating output the owner/driver of a car might not have to pay as high a premium.

The most famous instance of horsepower understatement, in my opinion, is the L88 option on the Corvette of the late 1960s. This option, which was installed on only 216 cars total from 1967-1969, was rated at 430 HP, which was not even the highest rated motor. The 427 cubic-inch L71 was rated at 435 HP. However, the L88 option cost more than twice as much as the L71: a whopping $947.90 in the first year it was offered (1967) while the L71 cost $437.10. Remember that the base price of a 1967 Corvette was about $4,300 so a $900+ option was very expensive.

A car equipped with the L88 engine had to be sold with no heater and with no radio. So, what was the real output of the L88? Estimates vary from 535 to 575. Since Chevrolet didn’t tell the truth and since the engine is so rare an accurate assessment is not easy to find.

To be honest, one of the reasons I want my restomod to be in the 550-ish HP range is so that it matches the real output of the L88.

https://i0.wp.com/www.corvetteblogger.com/images/content/101011_3.jpg

From corvetteblogger.com a picture of a 1969 L88 Corvette. Not sure if you can tell from this photo, but the L88 had a unique hood.

At a recent Mecum auction a 1967 L88, of which only 20 were made, had a high bid of $1.7 million but didn’t sell because the reserve was not met. Just think, the 1967 cost of an L88 was a little over $5,000. Even adjusting for inflation these cars have really appreciated in value. According to smartasset.com $5,300 in 1967 is equal to about $40,000 today.

Some of the other cars and engines from the motorjunkie article that interest me include the 426 Hemi (rated at 425 HP but probably 500 in reality) and the Buick GNX (rated at 276 HP but probably 330-340).

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings