|My question was in '58, and remains, why would you pay good money for this? Any money for this? Gawdawful.|
Hotshoe continually reminds me that there are different strokes for different folks, and we're all car buffs in the end. His question to me is Rodney King's: "Can't we all just get along?" Hell, no!
A restored numbers-matching '58 Chevy convertible that looked like the one above went for $100,000 at a Mecum auction. It had a 348 engine with Powerglide (that's a 2-speed slush-o-matic for you youngsters). I drove cars like this. They were awful: huge, ugly, boring. Bad brakes and worse handling. Poor engineering and worse quality. There's a reason they're called "parade floats." I wouldn't give $5000 for it in 2013 money. Bill Stephens, a Mecum Auction commentator for Velocity Channel, loved it.
Within 2-3 cars of the Chev, a silver-over-white '32 Ford roadster with a modern Ford fuel-injected engine and an exposed, chromed, quick-change rear end went across the block. It had a Tremec 5-speed and the usual other goodies, including modernized suspension and brakes. It was a well-engineered, great looking car. A lot of money and thought had gone into the bodywork. For example, a perfectly raked and chromed windshield. I'd have chosen different wheels, but it was a stand-up triple, if not a home run. If I were a street rod kind of guy I'd have bid. It didn't meet its reserve price at $20,000. Bill Stephens didn't like the car, and hated the exposed rear axle, which charmed me.
Stephens is an expert appraiser: I've seen his TV work and trust his judgement. But he's also for me a reliable vector of taste. If Bill loves it, I will hate it. And for the same reasons. If I'm in doubt about a car going across the auction block (which is rare), I need only refer to Bill. He wouldn't know a good car, in the soul-stirring sense of the term, if it ran over his toes. (In fairness to Stephens, the rest of the Velocity broadcast team shills shamelessly, and vacuously, for Mecum. At least Stephens is sometimes funny.)