What a great show “Year One” put on at Road Atlanta April 20-23, 2006. I predict this muscle car event, in its second year, will get big. It’s got everything- a great sponsor and promoter in Year One, a big league track for the setting, great weather, a good location in the South, and incredible participation from the buff books. Just about all the hot magazines were there. I was shooting for “Corvette Fever.” I noticed editors there from Hot Rod, Super Chevy, Car Craft, Chevy High Performance, Muscle Car Enthusiast, Vette, Mustang & Fords and more. Chip Foose, the famous TV personality and car designer was present, too, along with other TV people- Chuck Hanson from Hot Rod TV. You want your muscle car featured in a magazine, then come here next year. You’ll get noticed. (See, the editors love to go to Year One’s show because they get a free Panoz racing school on Wednesday, the day before the show starts.)
Six miles away Milton Robson has a 500-acre estate with a large building housing one of the best muscle car collections in the world. I took the opportunity to photograph a 1957 Corvette “Air Box” fuelie for Alan Colvin at “Corvette Fever.” We got some great sunset shots on Milt’s place.
Milt’s full time restoration specialist, Joe, welcomed a big group of muscle cars to the collection on Sunday afternoon. I heard comments Milt sold one of his ’69 Trans Am convertibles for over a million dollars. Chalk up this rarity (8 produced) as another member of the million-dollar muscle car club. Milton was the first to crack the million-dollar mark on a muscle car when he sold his ’71 Hemicuda convertible (the blue car with the original interior) for a million. Since that sale 2-3 years ago, the ‘Cuda has sold for $1.3 million then for over $3 million at auction.
I heard through the grapevine about a Mustang bringing over a million. It was a 1965 G.T.350 Competition (popularity known as an R-model) with racing history. I heard about this sale from two different sources. The price was mentioned both times at $1,050,000. (One million, fifty thousand dollars.)
With prices so high, the trend out there is for some buyers to step down a notch, as follows. Let’s say you want a Shelby? The price is too high. Okay, so you buy a Boss Mustang, like a 302. If a Boss is too much, you buy a Mach 1, say with a Cobra Jet big block. If the Mach is too high, you step down another notch, say to a regular Mustang with a muscle engine. Boss 302s are one of the hottest muscle cars on the market today.
Speaking of Shelbys, did you see Tom Cruise driving the ’66 G.T.350H in the movie “War Of The Worlds?” Gino Lubbi owns this 19,000 mile original. He supplies cars to big time movies through his company “Picture Cars” in New York City.
Gino is a regular guy and very friendly. He told me they had a back- up car for that movie. I figured it was a clone, but it was a restored original. Cruise loves cars and relished driving the Mustang. Apparently, Steven Spielberg was intrigued with the Shelby. Gino told us Cruise bought the back-up G.T.350H model for $150,000 and gave it to Spielberg as a gift.
“Those guys operate in a different league,” Donald Farr (editor of “Mustang Monthly”) commented when I related the story to him.
Gino would like car people to know about his new TV show on “Speed.” It is called “Shooting Cars” and airs on July 12th. They have four episodes finished and will pick up the show based on ratings. The show is about cars they prepare for movies, like the $119,000 Mercedes Gino’s shop said they cut in half for a shoot. Later, they welded it back together and blew it up in another movie scene. What else do you do with a Mercedes sedan to make it hot?
Another trend I’ve noticed comes from Mopar guys calling me and asking if I can get them a Mustang. Is this weird? Roger Gibson, the famous muscle car restorer in Missouri, told me, “Mopars got so damned high, everybody is going- Wait a minute here. Maybe I can go buy some other cool stuff over here.”
Mopar guys sometimes go for Fords. I think that’s because it was always Mopar and Ford the underdogs versus the General in the muscle car days.
Another major Mopar muscle collector (I’ll have to keep his name secret) called me asking if I knew where there was a good restored Boss 302 for sale. I actually ran across a Boss 302 from another big collector. The car wasn’t for sale to the public. However, I knew it could be bought. The price for arguably the premier ’69 Boss 302 in the world is a hundred and a half. At this date, the deal hasn’t gone down mde, but the owner isn’t trying to sell. I just know where the car is. My info comes mostly from shooting features and writing my columns on American performance cars.
A certain famous ex-football player, who I also need to keep secret, and who is also predominately a Mopar collector, recently got the itch to own a Boss 302. He had to have a yellow and black Boss (Guess which football team has these colors?) Of course, he requested the shaker for ram air, rear window slats and rear wing. I hear a company will soon come out with a reproduction shaker for Mustangs. We’ve seen them before. I located an original yellow and black ’70 Boss 302 with 30,000 original miles in original survivor condition. The price was an even one hundred grand.
But, when it comes to Boss 302s, it seems like so many of the buyers want that great car (a driver) for cheap, like say $65,000. I’m talking about a pristine driver. My friend Rick Parker in Columbus, Ohio went to look at a Boss that had been hit. With body damage, but not frame damage, the price was 45K. Rick had one in his shop he would sell for 36K that needed a restoration.
Prices are all over the map according to condition. I write “Rare Finds” in “Mustang & Fords” magazine and am always amazed at the deals readers come up with. A recent find was a ’66 G.T.350H at $20,000. The car was rust free with about 60,000 miles, complete and still running from the original owner. Most owners won’t let me give out prices, but if I don’t reveal their name and just use the figures for their fact value, then I haven’t hurt my source.
You could be a source, too, for prices and rare finds. For example, one reader told us about the recent sale of a Limelight 1971 ‘Cuda Six Pack, 4-speed coupe at what must be a record of $285,000. Option wise, it was not really special. What made it special was the Roger Gibson restoration. You can e-mail me. Let’s get some numbers flowing in here. Plus, if you want me to find a buyer for your car and it is an upper end vehicle, then by all means, send an e-mail. The sale will make good copy here. I will protect names according to your wishes.