A couple of items that crossed the Car Lust desk over the long New Year's weekend, both involving perennial Car Lust favorites.
First up is the 1986 Merkur XR4Ti Pace Car that is up for sale. According to C&D:
It’s a 1986 model prepared, says the seller, for the running of the ’87 Detroit Grand Prix. While the regular XR4Ti shared an engine with the Mustang SVO, the Stang got an intercooler but the Merkur didn’t. Roush plopped the SVO’s powertrain into this one, giving it 180 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. The suspension’s been upgraded with “special” Koni struts and high-rate springs. A full cage and racing belts were added due to the automobile’s intended purpose. It even features Jack Roush’s signature on the original title.
We covered both the Merkur and the Mustang SVO, neither of which are particularly common or highly valued these days except by a minority of enthusiasts. I'm not sure how much it might go for, but I'm guessing it won't break any records.
Next is an "Ultra-rare Muscle Car. . .That's Practically Being Given Away", which may strike an odd chord to some as it's supposedly going for $55k:
Why so little money? A mystery for the ages, as one would assume it's because the car just isn't in high demand like a Mustang would be. It's no slouch on the drag strip either, as for its time the Rebel with this 390ci V8 was meant for setting quarter-mile times of 14 seconds. It's fast, a sleeper, and damn cool. So with all this flare and retaining its ability to outrun police from the past, it begs the question of why cars like this are essentially thrown to the wayside for pocket change.
The sad(?) fact of economics is that nothing has intrinsic monetary value, neither people nor things; their value is determined by what someone wants to pay for them. Mustangs and Camaros go for a lot of money because people are willing to pay a lot of money for them. It's due in part to rarity, but not all. These cars are very emblematic of the 1960s muscle car era and that's something a certain segment of the population values very highly. Hence, they're willing to pony up (heh) the dough for them.
To outsiders, the "crazy" valuing of certain objects may seem strange. Why do people pay thousands (or even millions) of dollars for a bottle of wine they're never even going to drink? Why do emergency room physicians, who save lives daily, get paid far less than actors who play emergency room physicians on TV? Because there's a market for such things and people willing to pay money for them.
In my own little enthusiast area, vintage audio equipment, some items seem to be far more valuable than their intrinsic qualities -- age, sound quality, etc. -- would would seem to suggest. Old McIntosh equipment can go for hundreds (even thousands) of dollars.You've probably never heard of Dynaco speakers, but a really good pair from as far back as the 1960s will go for a few hundred dollars. A very good Pioneer SX-1250 stereo receiver from the 1970s usually go for at least $1000; I've seen a couple up for sale at estate sales, but I've never actually seen one since they're usually gone within the first 30 minutes. Though arguments about sound quality can sometimes get quite heated in some quarters (Heaven help you if you take a side in the Great Vinyl vs. Digital Wars), you're almost always assured to get better sound with modern equipment than vintage. But people don't buy that stuff for sound quality, they buy it for. . . .who knows? Nostalgia. Aesthetic value. Whatever, it's up to them.
Hence, feel free to discuss the Power of the Market or anything else automotive that springs to mind.