Believe it or not, there are resources which even search engine (and soon to be world government) Google can’t provide. Though it’s a damned good place to start. And that weird dichotomy pretty much sums up what you should think about when it comes to collectible cars.
Yes, the web is a spectacularly good place for seeking out people, groups and videos. But it’s far from being the only option, or even the most valuable. You know what is? The original paperwork that came with the car.
More often than not, the issue is we don’t understand how worthy something is until long after it’s been tossed in the bin.
Let me give you a modest example, involving the Mighty Kingswood – a car we’ve owned for 33 years (but who’s counting).
Now I’m pretty sure we kept the service book it came with, though we might have lost the owner manual.
Around 30 years ago, the book was dead weight and might have been given to one of the kids to chew on during a particularly long and difficult drive.
What the hell, was the thinking, we’ll ditch this car the minute we can afford a new one. How wrong we were.
Then there was the Zupps dealership sticker on the rear window, which was looking a bit crap. Anyone from Brisbane (circa 1970-80) will remember the distinctive elephant logo of the time. In this case – again 30-ish years ago – it was looking tacky and faded, so I scraped it off. (That unpleasant noise you hear is car collectors sharpening stakes to put through my heart…) Now original dealers stickers are highly prized – the tackier the better.
What brought this to mind was a recent discussion with Hayden Pilgrim, the owner of the violet HQ SS that features in this mag.
Not only did he have the good sense to keep all the original documents with the car he bought over 40 years ago – even when the kids were spreading their ice-cream across the upholstery – but he’s been collecting ever since. Now he has a model library to envy and has become the national source for all things HQ SS.
Along the way, he’s picked up evidence his example is among a handful of demos that were built before the production cars. That obviously has an impact on its value. How much?
Who knows? Probably not a fortune.
But he did make an interesting comment when talking about another HQ SS he helped broker recently.
He said the car itself was not far off being a basket case. However, the fact all the documents came with it, including original sales contract, owner manual and service books, added $3k value to a $15k project.
So, think twice before you toss away that rubbish you reckon you’ll never need again.