Saturday Selection

Besides the Mona Lisa, is The Starry Night by Van Gogh the most famous painting in history? I am not an art connoisseur by any means, but Van Gogh’s work speaks to me.

This kind of art speaks to me as well:

Sorry for all of the carpet in the photo. I bought this from the artist at Corvettes at Carlisle. If you can’t tell, it is a portrait of GTOs. I think all of them are 1966s and 1967s, but I could be mistaken as the smaller cars in the painting are more difficult to see. It is still in its wrapper as I don’t have a frame with the proper size. Maybe this week…


From Hemmings a beautiful 1963 Pontiac Bonneville convertible for sale. The seller, a dealer, is asking about $49,000. According to the 2019 Collector Car Price Guide by Krause Publications, a concours quality, the best of the best, 1963 Bonneville convertible is worth $38,000. The Krause book is not right all of the time (for example, it lists the value of a BMW Z8 at no more than $41,000; good luck trying to buy one for $141,000), but if people are going to get into the world of car collecting they need to use an objective source of values in the process. I plan on taking the Krause guide to Scottsdale in January on the 1-in-100 chance I decide to buy something.

Of course, restomods and custom cars are not listed in the Krause book. As a very general rule, restomods usually sell for about half of the cost of the build once the original owner/builder decides to sell. A restomod build is not an investment in the traditional sense, but it is an investment in the enjoyment of life. How much is that worth? Monetary cost is often only a very crude approximation of value.

By the way, do you care if the photos are centered in a blog post? I don’t care, but I would like to know if you have an opinion.





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?