So, you take all the factors above, and put them together for a basic gauge of whether you should buy it, build it, or sell it? There are plenty of cars out there for most people and most budgets, so don’t let short sightedness or zeal get in the way of making a sound decision.
Using what we’ve talked about above, let’s take a look at our subject ’67 Chevelle, which will be our next project in Super Chevy, thanks to the fine folks at Auto Metal Direct in Buford, Georgia.
It was built in the third week of January 1967. While brave men were fighting in Southeast Asia and women were burning their bras, factory workers at Chevrolet’s Fremont, California, assembly plant were putting together an Emerald Turquoise/white vinyl top SS396. The car has a fair amount of rust damage, some in the usual places, some in some more difficult spots. Vinyl tops are notorious for causing oxidation on cars in humid climates, and this one is no exception. The top can be repaired, but will require some more intense and involved work than, say, patching a quarter-panel or putting in a new floor. Be prepared for this.
Being an original A/C-equipped, SS396/TH400 car does increase the value of it. Along with that, it’s a factory console/bucket seat model with power drum brakes. Discs would make it even more attractive, but this is a minor thing that can easily be changed depending on the circumstances.
Handling the restoration of the Chevelle will be Craig Hopkins and his crew at C. Hopkins Rod & Custom in Commerce, Georgia. Supplying us with fresh steel will be Auto Metal Direct. The AMD lineup of metal parts for classic Chevys is extensive and growing rapidly, including aluminum front clips and decklids for ’69 CamarosZ-11 guys eat your hearts out! Craig’s shop is AMD’s main installation and R&D center, so his knowledge of everything going into our Chevelle is beyond intimate.
Our goal is to show how any vintage Bow Tie can be saved. What, you thought we were gonna crush it?
Our overall goal is to end up with a fresh ’67 SS396 hardtop like it would’ve rolled off the assembly line. We’ll show you some restoration tricks and tips along the way, so if you’re building that 1,000-point car, you’ll have a great shot at bringing home the plaque from every show. For the things where factory can’t be duplicated, we’ll show you how to disguise it. Not everyone has factory-style spot-welding equipment in their garages after all.
Value vs. Value
Seems like the value of a restoration, be it monetary or sentimental, is almost as important as the pure desire to build a car. Virtually any automobile can be restored if you have a large enough checkbook. The quandary this raises now is, what’s worth restoring?
We talked to Jim Barber at Classic Automotive Restoration Specialists to get a restorer’s perspective on the subject. Jim is a past chair of SEMA’s Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) committee and has a chart he uses to measure the basic value of a car:
The subjective 1-10 scale has three factors: Rarity, Desirability and Value. Rarity’s pretty self-explanatory. Desirability is whether the car in question is a Victoria’s Secret model or the bearded woman at the local circus. Value is a combo of monetary plus sentimental value. For car guys, these two factors are almost never mutually exclusive.
Some examples: ’69 Camaro six-cylinder convertible - Rarity 10 (only 1,707 built out of 243,085 total) Desirability - 3 (convertible six-cylinder, not really a head turner) Value - 4 (unless sentimental value is enormous, monetarily this car doesn’t rank high compared to an SS396 or a 427 COPO car).