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The great Classic Car price guessing game

Chris Haining February 28, 2017 Car Shows 14 Comments

Hows about we play a little game amongst ourselves? There’ll be no big cash prizes, we’re playing solely for the warm feeling of being right.

I visited the 2017 London Classic Car Show over the weekend, where I saw many cars, most of which were arguably classics – and most of which were for sale. The place was littered with blue chip, investment-grade material like Ferrari 288 GTOs, Gullwing 300SLs and vintage stuff of all kinds. And we all know that certain classics have ascended the stratosphere – it’s well documented that a 250 GTO sold at auction for over $38m, that’s more than Jeff Glucker earns.

So here are three cars, chosen at random. But can you guess the prices that they’re stickered at?

We start with something that I have barely any real knowledge of. This is a ’68 Dodge D100 pickup.

According to our handy dandy registration plate lookup system, it’s been in the UK since the turn of the millennium. Good news too is that it has a ‘5200cc’ engine, which suggests a certain amount of rounding up or down, but also spells V8.

It’s claimed to have a low, low 74,000 miles on the clock. Condition appears sound, good even, though there is surface rust in the loadbed. So what am I bid?

Well, the asking price for this fine specimen is £14,995. Right this minute that’s $18,656. A fair price? I’ve no idea.

So what about this next one?

The Ford Capri was launched in ’69 as ‘the car you always promised yourself’. It’s an uncomplicated car, based on simple rear-drive metalwork with much in common to the Ford Cortina. It’s kind of the European equivalent of the Mustang, but baked to a lower temperature.

This particular example is the 2.0 Laser – the biggest engine to be available in what was, in ’86, the entry-level model. While the fire-breathing 2.8 Injection had 160bhp, the 2.0 made do with 98. Not a fast car then. It’s pretty much our Mustang 2.3 base.

It is, however, in spectacularly good condition. with a mileage of not much over 4,000. But what’s the price?

£19,995. That’s $24,874 at 20:18 GMT. This is, incidentally, over ten grand more than it sold for in 2013.

So, on with the third.

It’s a Mercedes 280SE convertible from 1969. I remember getting one of these in 1:18 scale, and being delighted to own a model of such a ‘normal’ car. The kind of thing that real Germans – albeit wealthy ones – might have pottered around in, roof down, from golf club to Geriatric clinician.

This one is, it’s fair to say, quite a nice one. It’s been comprehensively restored by BRABUS Classics, a division of the Mercedes tuner turned corporation with more tentacles and offshoots than a squid versus Portuguese man o’war line dancing contest. Since restoration it has covered a total of 0km.

The full spec is impressive; with BEHR air conditioning and a Becker Grand Mexico stereo, and apparently only 1,232 of these were built between ’69 and ’71.

So the price?

Did anybody say £512,640? $637,724?

You do get a two year warranty.

(All images copyright Chris Haining / Hooniverse 2017. Photos not the greatest, admittedly – I blame harsh lighting, a phone camera and a lack of talent)

  • Wayne Moyer

    The Brabus 280 went for a half million?

    • outback_ute

      I think they are all asking prices, aka an opening point for negotiation especially with UK dealers. I agree with Constant Reader otherwise.

    • Rover 1

      And it’s a 280 not a 3.5 V8?

      • Inliner

        Even 280SE 3.5s don’t go for much more than half of the listed ask …

    • Inliner

      Someone seems to want to recoup their restoration investment costs at that asking price …

  • Alff

    What did the Series 3 Jaguar next to the Capri fetch?

  • Mason

    These are “My wife said sell it but I do not want to” Prices.

  • ConstantReader

    All over-stickered by a multiple of 2, at least.
    I would have said in USD, 9K for the Dodge, 11K for the Capri, and about 250K for the Benz. At the sticker price, none would recover that investment for several years, if ever. Least of all the truck.

  • jeepjeff

    The Dodge has a 318 LA small block. They’re the predecessor to the Magnum 5.2L V8 and use the same bore and stroke.

  • Maymar

    The truck seems overpriced, but at least the sort of overpriced that wouldn’t shock me in Canada (not sure how much nostalgia there is for the Dodge though, over its Ford and GM counterparts). The Capri seems ridiculous, but I imagine the four-cylinder isn’t the liability it is over here.

  • Roger Klopp

    the Dodge truck has a 318 v8, a very reliable motor, the rust is no durprise, that style did not seem to last as well as the next generation. Here in the states I thonk 10g would be a more reasonable price, maybe then even a little high.

  • David Peterson

    Let’s use some perspective here. I can buy LHD Jaguars with reasonable miles in the UK for half of the US price. I have seen Aston DB9’s for less than 40k and Vantage V8 for even less. The Mercedes suffers from a buyer with more money than brains. It seems that everywhere niche market cars are being bid to the stratosphere by nouveau riche because someone told them it was a good idea. Or some fascination with a brand. I cannot imagine a sometime driver who has little experience buying a $100k 1975 911, taking it out for a hard drive and being satisfied with the price/reward ratio. I personally enjoyed my ’72 240Z much more new than my ’75 911S.