Classic Collector Cars and the Antique Business

1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible Offered Through 31 Gallery/Marketplace

As a dealer and collector, I am not usually interested in dealing with anything that is larger than a bread box, with the exception of paintings. But, every once in a while, I stumble across something and I’ve got to reconsider — at least for that particular item. No, I’m not interested in making furniture one of my primary items to deal with, but I might make an exception, if the money is right.

I’m talking about cars today. You see, a friend asked if I would buy or sell her daughter’s car, because she was away at college and didn’t need it. My first inclination was to say no. I appreciated that she had thought of me, so I had second thoughts. I wondered what kind of car it was, so I asked. Turns out it’s an early Cadillac convertible from 1968 in great shape.

Wow! I had just read where these convertibles from the 50’s and 60’s, with their huge tail fins and big headlights, were in big demand. All of a sudden my thoughts changed. I could just envision that Cadillac being a mile long with those huge fins as I took it for a drive down the highway. A real treasure was being dropped into my lap.

Today, that Classic Cadillac is listed in our new expanded Gallery and Marketplace. But many things can be gleaned from reading the back story.

When this car was being dropped in my lap, I had to decide what I’d do with it. Whether I bought the car myself or sold it on consignment, it was going to be a great find.

You see, if people know what you’re doing, don’t be surprised what happens. I just happened to be at church, and she approached me with this proposition. Keep in mind that we are in the money growing business. I wouldn’t want to become a used car salesman, but if I can purchase a real classic car or even sell it for someone, I would be a fool to turn it down.

Remember, it is always about what the item is. If I get a call on an old pump organ, I usually ask the person what they would pay me to junk it, but if the call is about a Steinway piano, then that is a different story. The rare and expensive items will make all the extra work you might have to do worth it. Don’t prejudge until you know what is being offered.

All the big name celebrities collect cars, and I am sure you’ve heard that Jay Leno has one of the biggest car collections in the country. When I was a child, it was the Model A’s and Model T’s that people collected, but today, the muscle cars and the large touring cars are popular and in demand.

When I was interested in cars as a teen, I dreamed about Alburns, Packards, Cords and other cars of that vintage. Not collectors today. They want the Corvette, GTO, Mustang and other vintage muscle cars. Even if you find a car with a with a special engine, it can add thousands of dollars to its value today. Believe it or not, I have even seen cars that needed total restorations sell for thousands of dollars.

Get a car magazine and just list the cars that are in demand. Then keep your eyes open. There might be one sitting right in your neighborhood that could be a great treasure for you. There might be one sitting in the driveway of the next estate sale you attend. Browse the Internet for prices of these treasures.

If you’d like to learn more about the antique & collectible business visit my 31 Club website at

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