I’ve done blog entries on the real collector cars with some of them going for millions. If I had the cash, which I don’t, at least until the pull my numbers for the Mega Millions, I’d pop for one or two. Won’t hold my breath on that though. The same is true for the promotional model cars. I think the last one I bought I paid just over 100 bucks for. If you’ve read my past blogs on this topic, you saw many cars going for mid three figures which is not really that bad. I’ve seen ones near or over $1,000 but this 1969 Ford Mustang Promo Dealer Promotional Model Car recently caught my eye when it was up for auction on eBay. Sure it was in super clean shape but what the seller was asking for it, around $1,700 right out of the gate was really what interested me. It eventually sold for $1,876.77!
So I shot a message to the seller. “The only thing I can tell you is down thru the years these Mustangs haven’t shown up often in original owners collections & therefore deemed “rare”. No one knows how many of any of these promo cars were made as no known production figures have been found. No one knows why fewer cars were made in some models & more in others.” said eBay seller promorog who sells other promo cars on the site.
Compared to the real deal
1969 was the year that Ford unveiled another restyle and three new models: the Mach 1, Boss 302 and Boss 429. Because of the lack of markings and small hood scoop, it’s tough to tell which car this would be modeled after. But the real deals are also not cheap either. On the low-end, in the middle 30’s and on the high-end all the way up to $100,000 plus. But hey, it’s only money, right?
The U.S. isn’t the only country which likes making promo models
Say what? So I’m perusing the model car auction sites, as I almost always do to see what’s up for auction and what cars in my collection are worth, when I come across a couple of Volvo’s, yup Volvo’s. Not from one of the plastic model makers here but actually made in Finland. By the way did you know that besides saunas the country is also famous for inventing ice skates, and virtual air-guitar. Bet you didn’t. But it’s most famous claim to fame is that it is the homeland of Santa Claus. That has to be pretty busy right now.
A perennial money-loser in a country with strong labor unions
The company started in Sweden which by the way claims on its web site “Discover a country where the moose is king, Pippi Longstocking is a hero and innovation rules”. OK, I guess that works for them. The car company was then sold in the early 30’s to, SKF, a huge company that makes tons of other stuff. Famous for safety innovations it was then sold to Ford Motor Company for $6.45 billion in 2000. Everything was hunky-dori until Ford decided that it wasn’t such a great idea to own the company and sold the Volvo Car Corporation in 2010 to Geely Automobile of China for $1.8 billion. The saga continues. I mean they make some really cool cars. Forbes magazine judged the 2013 Volvo S60 R-Design one of its top picks for “Fast Cars under $50,000”. It will go 0-60 in just over five seconds. That’s pretty quick.
Own a part of Volvo history
The cream-colored one looks like a 240 GL, Volvo’s best-selling car from 1975 until 1982. The promo model has some nice details to it like the wheels and recently sold for around 30 bucks. The red one, maybe a two-door version went for much more, around $140. Note the stamping on the bottom. I had to contact the seller eBay seller, edgedeepgreensea, to see how they got a hold of these cars who replied, “Yes interesting estate purchase the collector was in foreign services and lived in Italy for I think 9 years. He purchased lots of cars from all over the world. The collection was massive and I was only a buyer of a fraction of what he had. He seemed to love all cars”. He finished (no pun intended) by telling me that he has more cars on the way, this time from Russia. Can’t wait to see those.
Let’s end this blog entry with a language lesson
Anybody out there up on their Finnish? I liked this saying, “Älä osta sikaa säkissä.” Translated directly it reads “Don’t buy a pig in a bag.” OK, I guess, I get it, a saying, “Always make sure you know what exactly you are buying”. In this case it would be a promo model not built in America.
Because of that the auto manufactures took cues from the space race whether it was in the design or the name. Ford is a good example, specifically their Galaxie. Yes the word is spelled Galaxy but maybe Ford didn’t want to just rip off the word. The Galaxie was a full-size car built in the United States by the Ford Motor Company for model years 1959 through 1974. It was the high volume counterpart to the Chevrolet Impala. Some Galaxies were high-performance, racing specification machines, hello muscle car era while others were plain family sedans.
Sales of the Galaxie convertible
I couldn’t find 1967 sales numbers (because the car I will be blogging about is a 1967) but in 1966 the Galaxie 500 was the #3-selling convertible in the U.S. with 27,454 sold; it was beaten by the Mustang (at 72,119, by more than 2:1) and by the Impala at 38,000. The cars are moderately priced on the collector market in the 20 thousand dollar range. However one of the rarest is one with the 427cid/425hp 2x4bbl high performance package goes for just under $100,000 according to Hagerty and the market is trending up.
It was a top down day at the beach
I had ridden my bike down to a local beach near my house to get my hair cut and what do I see but a red 67. Of course I grabbed the owner and here is his story.
No garage, no problem
So let’s say you don’t have around 30 grand to have something like this. The next best thing is a promotional model car. I wasn’t able to find a 1967 like this but I came pretty close with the 1965’s you see below. This car is in pretty good shape with the usual issues like the posts and was reasonably priced on eBay going for just over $42. So there you have it. The big one or the little one? If money were no object, which it very much is right now, I’d take the big one since I love convertibles! To see another of my blog entries on a model Galaxie, click here.
While the Mustang was pretty much the king of the pony cars it was about to get some competition and in 1967, the Mustang saw its first major redesign. For the first time since its launch, the car faced some serious competition. This resulted in Ford evaluating the Mustang’s strengths and weaknesses. In addition to the Pontiac’s Firebird, Mercury’s Cougar, and Plymouth’s Barracuda, Chevrolet had plans to roll out their new Chevy Camaro muscle car. This resulted in Ford duking it out with its competition by creating a more muscular and powerful Ford Mustang. Sound familiar? More power is back! Hear the roar of the engine in this YouTube video!
OK, how much?
Well that depends on how much cash you have. According to Hagerty the average price is now to around 50 grand up from 35 grand a few years back. How many of your investments were growing like that? There, I gave you a good case to sell your wife on getting one.
Forget it, you won’t be able to sell your wife on getting one of these
As with any classic car, the rarer the more the price goes up. Are you ready for this one? A 1967 Ford Mustang used during filming of 2000’s hit movie Gone in 60 Seconds has sold at auction for a staggering $1 million. Can’t swing a cool mil? Well then check out this one I found on Auto Trader. An ultra rare, 1967 Ford Shelby GT500 C.S.S. This car was licensed by Carroll Shelby and it comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by both Carroll Shelby and Barry Smith (president of Legendary G.T. Continuation Cars.) This Shelby is number 014 of the Snake 3 continuation cars built and has just 206 miles on it. Yours for $650,000. Boy if you can swing something like that I will be your new best friend.
The promo model, a smaller, cheaper alternative
You never have to worry about rust, changing the oil, or putting a new set of tires on it. You can find “OK” promo models on the auction sites priced around 50 bucks but if you want a cherry example be prepared to pay more. I found this one with no cracked posts and the chrome is all good. This classic example went for $350. Now if you could add a chip to get that engine sound, maybe with bluetooth, and run it through your home stereo, that would be totally AWESOME. I can see it now. Speakers cranked and your wife just rolls her eyes.
So I dropped by the car show that I go to every once in a while not far from my house and this beauty caught my eye. A 1947 Lincoln Zephyr Convertible. This car is cherry and also famous for a huge V12 engine. I would have loved to hear the owner start it up but he wasn’t around. I posted the image on my Facebook page a short time ago and one of my friends commented that he works with the son of the guy who owns it. Go figure. I told him he should ask for a ride in it or better yet, ask if I could come along. These cars are tough to come by now because of their low production numbers. I saw a couple going for around $70,000.
G’day mates! Travel towards the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne and as you skirt Geelong on the new bypass you’ll cross the Moorabool River on the Lewis Bandt Bridge. It’s a name with great automotive significance. Bandt is credited with inventing the ute.
The story goes that in the early 1930s Ford received a letter from a woman wondering if there could be a vehicle in which her husband could take pigs to market during the week, and her to church on Sundays. Rough and ready trucks existed but Bandt, who worked for Ford’s design department, took a two-door 1933 Ford V8 coupe and grafted on to it a cargo-carrying tray. Ford released the Coupe Utility the next year and that’s how it all started.
Ute is believed to be an abbreviation for “utility” or “coupé utility”, a term used originally in Australia and New Zealand, then also South Africa to describe passenger vehicles with a cargo tray in the rear. Well aren’t these just like pick up trucks? Close but not quite. Pick up trucks are built on a truck chassis while the Ute is built on a car chassis. Utes are gone here in the US but are huge in Australia as my daughter will find out this summer when she travels there as a Student Ambassador in the People to People Program. Traveling there for me is high on my bucket list!
Ford vs. Chevy
Ford beat Chevy to the punch with the Ford Ranchero, a coupe utility produced between 1957 and 1979. Unlike a pickup truck, the Ranchero was adapted from a two-door station wagon platform that integrated the cab and cargo bed into the body. A total of 508,355 units were produced during the model’s production run. It was adapted from full-size, compact and intermediate automobiles by the Ford Motor Company for the North American market.
Seeing the success that Ford had going Chevy jumped in with the El Camino built 1959–1960 model years. Production resumed for the 1964–1977 model years based on the Chevelle platform, and continued for the 1978–1987 model years based on the Malibu. Although based on corresponding Chevrolet car lines, the vehicle is classified and titled in North America as a truck. GMC’s badge engineered El Camino variant, the Sprint, was introduced for the 1971 model year. Renamed Caballero in 1978, it was also produced through the 1987 model year. You can get the real deal for around 20 grand. I like the later years because many were essentially muscle cars. Zoom……..
I checked around on the auction sites found the scale El Camino promotional models very affordable. Both this 79 and 82 were priced around $20. The first-generation vehicles were available from SMP and AMT as both promos and kits in 1:25 scale, which continued after 1964, when the El Camino joined the Chevelle lineup. There were no 1973-77 models were not produced in miniature but starting back up in 1978, both promos and kits were once again available from MPC. The promos were done in many popular colors, and were produced until 1983.
Tardy to the party were Chrysler’s two entries the Dodge Rampage and Plymouth Scamp which was a subcompact, unibody coupe utility based on Chrysler’s L platform and manufactured from 1982–1984. First released as a 1982 model, the Rampage was later joined by its rebadged variant, the Plymouth Scamp. The Rampage borrowed the car’s unibody construction and the front fascia from the sporty 024/Charger variant. The market for “car-trucks” was fast drying up in the mid-1980s. The Scamp lasted just one year, 1983 while the Rampage production a year later as one after another was dropped from automakers’ North American product lines. Even the El Camino was not immune and it was also withdrawn from production before the decade was through. Needless to say there were no promotional models made for the Rampage/Scamp. I did find a Matchbox model though.
What could have been
Pontiac played with the idea twice. Once in 1959 and again in 2008. in 1959 GM experimented with a Pontiac coupe-utility based on the full-size Catalina sedan, coupe and wagon platform. Legend has it that Pontiac built two of these 1959 “El Catalina” utes. One was used as a parts-hauler around the factory for many years, but the idea was never OK’d for production.
The last effort by Pontiac to build a pickup was its most serious and over the top cool. It came in 2008 when the 2010 Pontiac G8 ST was introduced to the public at the New York auto show. The G8 sport truck was based on the Holden ute from Australia, where car-based trucks have long been popular. It would have come to market with a 361-horsepower V-8. This is something that gets my heart pumping. It was killed as part of GM’s initial restructuring efforts that caused GM to kill the Pontiac brand all together. I was able to find a Holden ute in HO scale but most of them are diecast in some of the larger scales but you can only get them from Australia. Postage is a killer. Humm, another item I’m going to ask my daughter to bring back with her.
Faced with competition from the Japanese n the early 1970s, American Motors (I know what you’re thinking, anyway to work AMC into the story) was planning a compact coupé utility (pickup) based on the Hornet to compete with the Japanese utes. One prototype called the Cowboy was developed. The prototype vehicle featured a modified AMC Gremlin front design and a cargo box with a Jeep logo on the tailgate. AMC’s I6 engine would be more powerful than the 4-cylinders found in the imported pickups. This is the only surviving prototype which was built using a 1971 Hornet SC360 with the 360 V8 and 4-speed manual transmission. It was used by AMC on their proving grounds for several years before being sold to an employee, who later installed a 1973 Hornet updated front end. I’ve seen this in Kenosha at the American Motors Association 100th Anniversary event. The Cowboy never made it into production because the Hornet was selling well, there wasn’t a 4WD system available at the time and in 1970 AMC bought Jeep.
Well since I had lots of promo Hornets lying around I decided to make my own Cowboy by essentially grafting a 70 Hornet, to the back of the front doors, with the back of an El Camino. I utilized the Hornet tail lights and the rear bumper. The roof line has more of a slant but I kind of like it better than the real deal. This was a fun project and it is a one of a kind promo model, well sort of.
Barn find is a term used when somebody finds a really special car which has been sitting in the corner of a barn all covered up. What the treasure hunter will do is restore the car to the way it came out of the factory. But restoration projects are not just limited to the barn finds for the real cars.
Ford invested $400,000,000 in its development and those were mid-5o’s numbers. Can you imagine what that would have taken in today’s dollars? Yikes. It would be enough to bankrupt a car maker. The Edsel is most famous for being a marketing disaster and the name “Edsel” became synonymous with commercial failure, and similar ill-fated products. Since the Edsel program was such a debacle, it gave marketers a vivid illustration of how not to market a product.
The public also had difficulty understanding what the Edsel was, primarily because Ford made the mistake of pricing the Edsel within another of its car lines, Mercury and its market price segment. Theoretically, the Edsel was conceived to fit into Ford’s marketing plans as the brand slotted in between Ford and Mercury. However there became issues when it was priced to close to the best-trimmed Ford sedan and $63 less than Mercury’s base model. In its mid-range pricing, Edsel’s Pacer and Corsair models were more expensive than their Mercury counterparts. Edsel’s top-of-the-line Citation four-door hardtop model was the only model priced to correctly compete with Mercury’s mid-range Montclair Turnpike Cruiser model. The Edsel was produced from 1957 to 1959 although some models were manufactured that borrowed heavily on other Fords and most notably the horse collar grill.
The Edsel did however offer several innovative features, among which were its “rolling dome” speedometer, warning lights for such conditions as low oil level, parking brake engaged, and engine overheating, as well as its Push-button Teletouch transmission shifting system in the center of the steering wheel. Other unique features included ergonomically designed controls for the driver and self-adjusting brakes, offered such advanced safety features as seat belts (which were available at extra cost as optional equipment on many other makes) and child-proof rear door locks that could only be opened with the key. I remember my dad taking me down to the dealership when I was a kid and vividly remember the push button transmission shift.
Even though the car bombed, more than a half a century after its spectacular failure, the car has become a highly collectible item among vintage car hobbyists. Fewer than 10,000 Edsels survive and are considered valuable collectors’ items. A mint 1958 Citation convertible or 1960 Ranger convertible may sell for over $100,000.
Plastic scale models of all three Edsel years were produced by AMT, in its usual 1/25 scale. Both promotional and kit versions were sold. The promo models are also considered valuable collector cars and they command premium prices today, especially the rare 1959 and 1960 models. Because of the way the models were molded, there can be some warping, especially on the earlier models. These images are from Wheat’s Nostalgia and were priced anywhere from $80 to close to $200. Not a lot of money for holding a piece of automotive history in your hand.
Here’s a quick question and I bet only the T’bird geeks will get it. Geeks in a good way. The T’bird might not have happened at all. Henry Ford II came up with a 2-seat concept and it was called the Vega! Wonder what Chevy would have had to come up with a name for their Vega? Henry’s had meager power, European looks, and cost, so it never proceeded to production. The Thunderbird was similar in concept, but would be more American in style, more luxurious, and less sport-oriented and it became an instant hit. Although the Thunderbird had been considered a rousing success, Ford executives felt that the car’s position as a two-seater restricted its sales potential. The car was redesigned as a four-seater for 1958. Though retaining a design as a two-door hardtop coupe/convertible, the new Thunderbird was considerably larger than the previous generation, with a longer 113.0 inches (2,870 mm) wheelbase to accommodate the new back seat. Continue reading Promo model: 1960 Ford Thunderbird→