Sunday Supplement

I thought this pair of comments by Steve Dallas and me were worth putting into a post:

Steve Dallas:

How about Christianity morphing out of Judaism? Everyone seems to forget Judaism is by far one of the oldest religions, if not THE oldest religion. It is an ugly time in the World regarding anti-semitism. And totally agree with your sentiments!

As for buy versus build, it is a trade-off as in anything. Buying a built car will always be cheaper. Nowadays, wheels are not very expensive so that issue is not an issue at all. Paint gets expensive but one could always “wrap” a vehicle for the same effect and at a fraction of the cost! Going with a “wrap” can offer many more color combinations and result in a pretty cool effect.

Guess, like I tell clients/friends…..what do you plan on doing with the car? The more power one installs the less reliability you will achieve in the long run. If all you want is the fun, cool driver, buy one close to what you want then make the changes and be happy till you find whatever HP you have is NEVER enough, you really wanted a manual tranny, not a slushbox or whatever the next build becomes.

Honestly, to build a righteous vehicle requires a lot of many hours, prep work and cash! Lots and lots of cash. You put something together and find it either wont work the way you thought or find something later that looks and/or performs better. No, today’s auction pricing has stabilized and maybe even dropped a bit as the times change and fresh younger buyers emerge. Look at Mecum-IL, prices were very reasonable and some nicely built resto’s were had for a fraction of their build cost. That will always be true of any vehicle one builds for love….what you like may not appeal to the next buyer(s).

And auctions like Mecum, BJ and such have limited times for so many cars to run across the block. They pick and choose what will sell in their minds as its all about the “numbers” and bragging rights (beyond the obvious money-making). How about an “auction house” set-up to mimic the street-corner car sale? Sell what ya brung….in a massive warehouse setting with online viewing and sales along with weekend auctions? LOL (sorry for rambling)



Steve, please don’t apologize. I very much appreciate the thoughtful comment and all of your thoughtful comments. If you ever want to write a guest post, that would be great. That offer is extended to all regular readers. I have posted 27 days in a row and wouldn’t mind a break soon.

It is highly unlikely that my restomod will ever be on the track. I can’t really afford a ridiculous HP build (1,000+) and I think 550-600 HP is plenty for the street. I want a modern, reliable car with power, handling and comfort. I disagree with calling modern automatic transmissions slushboxes, though. My wonderful wife’s 2015 Corvette has the 8L90E and its shifts are amazingly quick, not to mention much more precise than almost any human being could manage.

Like you wrote, more horsepower means less reliability. Another tradeoff like every other life decision. I don’t really want to put in writing how much I expect to spend on the restomod build, including the donor car. Besides, I won’t really know until I do it. I am going into this with my eyes wide open; I know this will be, by far, the most expensive car I will ever buy barring a huge lottery win.

Thanks again and I appreciate your expert view.


By the way, it’s amazing how the number of views/visitors doesn’t change on Sunday from 1 PM-7 PM Eastern during football season.




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?