Some decent values at Glendale particularly if you wanted a Corvette.
Along with price guides and want ad transaction prices, auctions like Mecum and Barrett Jackson are part of the market analysis puzzle. So, what have we learned from Mecum Glendale this past March? While the 10th Anniversary Trans Am still commands big bucks, that is anything over $30K for the malaise era. Corvettes, particularly the C4, are a relatively hassle-free performance bargain. We cover a couple here but not even all of them. Curiously one low mileage 1984 Corvette with a “Prototype Paint” did not find a new owner at $15K.
This one has 61,000 on the odo, about $2K recently spent on maintenance and "upgrades" including a Borla stainless steel exhaust. Also said to have ZR1 wheels and be "loaded". It sold for $7,700 that is a bargain in my book.
1985 Capri ASC McLaren Convertible
This one looks like a driver quality car you can enjoy with no guilt on the road or at the local C&C. Showing 4,100 on the odo I can almost guarantee that is 104,100 miles. This sharp two seater with a Ford 5.0 sold for $9.9K, not a bad score. It is already being advertised for flipping with a $19.7K asking price at Country Classic Cars in Staunton, Il. While this Capri is certainly more unique, from a driving perspective that 1995 Corvette was a much better deal.
1979 Camaro Z28
The '79 Z28 is a malaise muscle all-star. This is one I should be excited about. Truth be told if these GM F-Bodies don't have T-tops I feel they are incomplete, just a personal preference of mine. So I probably wouldn't bid on this. That doesn't mean you wouldn't. Down side is the automatic transmission and maybe a little rough for some. It's basically survivor paint. Upside is apparently the 350 has been rebuilt and de-smogged to the tune of 425bhp. Described as mechanically restored with a Magnaflow dual exhaust and 57,000 miles. It hammered for $13,200 which isn't bad, these 3rd generation F-Bodies are starting to command big dollars.
1993 Corvette 40th Anniversary
This sharp looking, fun to drive convertible was estimated by Mecum to fetch $15-20K. It hammered for $14,300 and while I'd prefer the 6 speed manual I'd be happy to take this home at that price. It appears well cared for and with 74,000 miles there should be plenty of relatively trouble free years left in it.
1989 Camaro IROC Z
Like the 2nd gen example above this Camaro is a malaise era all-star. An icon of American performance cars and it was a glimpse of a hopeful future as the 80's was winding down. Like the 2nd generation of GM F-Bodies I'm only buying it with T-tops. This hard top is also an automatic but by this point you couldn't get the 5 speed manual with the top-shelf 350/5.7 V8. It appears exceptionally cared for with 69,000 miles and a Flowmaster exhaust as the only modification. It appears well optioned with A/C as well. The hammer came down at $15,400 not bad at all, perhaps T-tops would have brought more interest and a higher price.
1979 Trans Am
I really like the 1979 Trans Am. I just don't like this one, not for the nearly $19K sale price. This car looks rough, no engine pics and a low optioned automatic car. They are increasingly harder to find under $20K but it's doable with a little biding of one's time. Hard pass on this.
This one is a love or hate scenario like most heavily customized cars. Now this isn't my bag, cup of tea or style. It does scream Disco Era. This is a 427 with dual 750 CFM carbs, 11.5:1 Keith Black pistons do the heavy work. Are the wheelie bars necessary? Who knows. You won't see another one at Cars & Coffee. I don't know that the $25, 300 is a good deal. What do you think?
1978 Corvette Pace Car
This one is all about mileage. The 1978 Corvette Pace Car incorporates all the malaise era styling tricks, the base car looks boring by comparison. The 1978 PC is not cheap but not rare either, so if you want a PC driver passing this one up would be the smart play for your wallet. With 9,500 miles at $27,500 this was a pretty good deal. The L82 is the engine you want paired with the Gymkhana suspension.
1994 Camaro Z28
We reach our limit on price and the edge of the malaise era with this Z28. The hammer price of $29,700 is largely based on mileage, just under 4,000. Otherwise it's pretty typical, the LT1 with 275bhp and 4 speed automatic with T-tops. Today this car is still a fun spirited driver and cruiser but it's too pristine to enjoy that way. It's been treated to a mild over haul so it shouldn't leak all over the garage floor. I'd pass on this one too because of how nice it is.
If I had been sitting in at Glendale it would have been a C4 Corvette that I was after.
John is a GenX car enthusiast who grew up driving classic muscle cars. He enjoys the new modern muscle cars that can out perform the classics in every way. In the sportscar world his banners are Viper and Corvette. John has a guilty pleasure. The disco era street machine. Those unloved, underpowered cars festooned with scoops, spoilers and stripes.