Prime Time for Classic Car Investing

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Although the recession knocked about 30% of the value out of the market for classic and collectible cars back in 2007, the economy seems to have recovered and values of classic cars have bounced back too. As we reported here earlier this month, the Hagerty Blue Chip Collector Car Index saw a 37.4% increase in value between December 2012 and December 2013. After such strong a performance in 2012, many experts expected the collectible auto market’s bubble would burst this year, but the market just continued to grow from January 2014 to May 2014, and for many investors, classic cars have proven to be a very profitable way to store and gain wealth.

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1969 Cadillac Tail Lamp Lens

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The classic Cadillacs from 1969 are marked by their long hoods, proportional decks and clean, angular styling. The “new” look for ’69 would push Cadillac into the Seventies and beyond with crisp lines that ensured their long and low stance would be popular for many years to come. As a result, it comes as no surprise that Cadillacs from 1969 are still restoration-worthy symbols of style, luxury and quality today.

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Good News for Classic Cars

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Anytime a market has more buyers than sellers, the value of the goods being sold will rise. In the case of the collector car marketplace, it appears that is exactly what is happening right now. The demand for desirable collector vehicles is at an all-time high today and the values (as well as prices) are definitely rising. Collecting, restoring, buying and selling collector cars has always been quite popular in the U.S., but the whole scene has seen a real boom of expansion since the end of the financial crisis back in 2008 when the prices for some cars fell by as much as 30%.

In the collector car market, the recession is definitely over. The most desirable classic cars have been fetching record prices at car auctions for two years in a row now, and that activity in the highest tier of the market has also boosted both the popularity and values of all types of collector vehicles. It has also expanded the limits of what an accepted “collector vehicle” is today to the point that what were once considered “lesser” categories like four-door sedans, pickup trucks and station wagons, are all starting to show some new life in the marketplace too.

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The Sinkhole in the News – A Blessing in Disguise?

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Everyone has heard about the Sinkhole by now. Back on February 12th of this year, eight Corvettes fell into a giant sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It wasn’t the most threatening disaster in the news that week, but news of the sinkhole spread quickly and it was covered in detail by nearly every media outlet in the country, and along the way it captured the attention of the entire nation. There was something irresistibly fascinating about the mysterious hole that appeared overnight inside the museum’s “Skydome” building. Perhaps it was the loss of the eight pristine and historic Corvette sports cars, as everyone who drives a car could relate to shock of losing a valuable automobile in such a bizarre natural disaster. However, the real attraction was probably the way it looked in still photos and in video footage from the museum’s security cameras. The middle of the night video clearly showed the sinkhole opening up and swallowing the Corvettes one by one until all eight had vanished from sight. The many still images taken later of the cars in the bottom of the pit were so bizarre and unnatural looking that the scene just did not look real. The twisted and broken cars looked like Hot Wheels toys that had been tossed into a sandbox by a giant angry child. The surreal photos were undeniably fascinating and increased the public’s awareness of the Corvette Museum to the point that the great sinkhole disaster might turn out to be the best public relations move that could have ever happened there.

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Project Whistling Death

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As a leader in the classic car parts industry, Original Parts Group, Inc. (OPGI) gets to work with a lot of creative people like those at auto magazines and enthusiast websites, professional car collectors, restoration shops and of course, many individual car fans too. Not a day goes by when we don’t hear from someone who is starting a new classic car related project of some sort. One of the more interesting build projects we are participating in this year is called Project Whistling Death, a 1967 Chevelle being built by Hot Rod Chassis and Cycle (HRCC) in Addison, Illinois.

When OPGI learned that Whistling Death was planned to be a custom chassis-based, pro touring Chevelle that would be built from an unrestored 1967 Chevelle 300 platform, the project seemed like a perfect fit for its’ restoration parts and accessories, and OPGI quickly signed on as the primary build partner. Combining the best parts the industry has to offer along with media coverage by the folks at Bangshift.com and the automotive expertise of Kevin Tully and his Skunkworks crew at Hot Rod Chassis and Cycle, it was hoped that Whistling Death would “reset the bar for what a functional pro touring Chevelle should be.” Kevin and his partner Chad Hill, along with the Skunkworks team at HRCC said they wanted to build the most advanced pro touring car in the country, and make it one that would be “used, raced, and driven hard.”

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Complete Console Kits for 1966-1972 Chevelle & El Camino

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There are few aspects of car restoration that are more satisfying than returning a worn-out interior to its original factory fresh appearance. One area of interior restoration that has always been of prime importance is the appearance and function of a classic car’s center console. Serving as an interior centerpiece and housing for the shifter, the console is both highly visible and an essential control component. It is also one area of the interior that can really look outstanding when restored to original specs. Cars with worn-out or damaged center consoles as well as those that came from the factory without center consoles at all, will both benefit from the installation of a complete new console assembly. That’s why Original Parts Group, Inc. (OPGI) now offers complete center console reproduction kits to fit the 1966 to 1972 Chevelle and El Camino.

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Big Summer Savings

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New 2014 summer sale catalogs from OPGI now available with savings up to 30%!

Original Parts Group Inc., the industry’s leading supplier and manufacturer of restoration and high-performance parts for classic GM cars, now offers five new 2014 summer sale parts catalogs that are available online and feature thousands of in-demand restoration parts and accessories up to 30% off their regular price.

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Celebrating Collector Cars – National Collector Car Appreciation Day

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The U.S. Senate working in conjunction with the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and its Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) councils, have announced that the U.S. Senate has passed Senate Resolution 493 (S. Res. 493) designating July 11, 2014 as the fifth consecutive “Collector Car Appreciation Day.” The date marks the commemoration of a relatively new nationwide event designed to raise awareness of the important role automotive restoration and collector cars play in American society today.

Senate Resolution 493 was sponsored by Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus Co-Chairs Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), along with Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK). The Senators, who have long been advocates for the automotive restoration and collector car hobby in Washington, formed the non-partisan member Caucus to emphasize the cultural importance of collector cars and to help pay tribute to America’s ongoing love of all things car and motorsports related.

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1970-72 Super Sport Dash & Gauge Conversion Kit for Chevelle, El Camino & Monte Carlo

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The Chevelle, Monte Carlo and El Camino of the early 70s are among the most popular GM A-bodies ever produced, and when ordered with the Super Sport (SS) performance and appearance option packages, those three vehicles represent some of the most desirable and valuable muscle cars ever produced. When it comes to restoring and upgrading any of these great early 70’s classics, it is not surprising that many owners would prefer to fit their cars with SS option parts. Thanks to the availability of the Original Parts Group, Inc. (OPGI) Super Sport Dash & Gauge Conversion Kit, it’s now possible to replace your standard 1970 to 1972 Chevelle, Monte Carlo or El Camino dashboard with a complete, factory-accurate, reproduction SS-style dashboard.

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Black is Back

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A recent update from the California Division of Motor Vehicles regarding the state’s Legacy License Plate Program should make owners of vintage iron dating from 1963 to 1969 very happy. The California DMV has received the mandatory minimum 7,500 pre-orders necessary to kick start the production and distribution of retro-styled, black with yellow character license plates. The black plates were originally issued in the state between 1963 and 1969, and owners of cars from that era will probably be the most appreciative purchasers, but owners of any California car from any year can purchase and run the plates if they so desire.

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