The new Classic Car Craze comes to small town America

by Rick Duncan

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The new Classic Car Craze comes to small town America


For many years classic cars that were in poor condition have been purchased for parts and/or restoration, but over the last ten years a new market has been developing. That market is known as Patina Cars. They include cars from the ’40s, ’50s & ’60s primarily, and the new target audience for classic car auctions now include not only classic car restoration enthusiasts, but many people that have a new interest for these old and mostly original cars.

My father once told me, “A car is only original once,” and this term has even been taken to heart by major collectors. Whether a restored car is worth millions or less than ten thousand dollars, buyers are paying phenomenal prices for old patina and original cars. Some are high dollar cars that have never been touched, but are in need of major restoration. These buyers are paying six and seven digits for certain patina classics only to collect them just the way they look, with no desire to restore them.

Then you have the lower priced patina cars that are being purchased in mass for parts, due to there being no distributors for these highly needed classic car parts, from engine to interior and exterior. In the alternative, many buyers are buying rusty and patina cars and sanding the body only to shoot the car clear coat to preserve the old natural look with a gloss.

This past Saturday, Rick Dixon of Piney River Ford and Rick Dixon Auction Service of Houston, Missouri., conducted a patina auction just north of Houston. The auction consisted of all makes and models, including classic Mustangs, Lincolns, Cadillacs, Tri-Five Chevys, Trucks, Thunderbirds, Station Wagons and many more. One of the last showcase cars was a 1968 Camaro convertible 327 that brought $22,000.00 plus the buyer’s premium. The first year of the Camaro was 1968, and its value was increased exponentially due to it being a convertible.

After being around classic cars, I still find it amazing that just a few years ago one could have bought that Camaro for less than a thousand dollars. Who knows where classic and patina car values will go in the future with all the new regulations, but that’s a story in and of itself.



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