Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weekend Quickies, Saturday, August 21, 2010

1961 Panhard PL 17 - This is a car I'd love to own.

Panhard started in the car business in 1887. The last Panhard badged car was built in 1967, 2 years after the automotive division of the company was bought by Citroen. (Panhard still builds military vehicles).

The PL 17 was built from 1959 through 1965. The engine is a 2 cylinder, air cooled, "boxer" style engine. It puts out somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 HP.

This is another great old French car, full of innovation and style.

Restoration appears to have been started on this car and the seller says that "95%" of parts are with the car, including "bumpers, glass, lights, carburetor, wiring, generator, seats, etc."

Located in Flint, MI, click here to see the eBay listing.

1980 Renault Le Car - Le Movie Star Car.

According to the seller, this car has been in a few movies and the TV show "My Name Is Earl".

You can read my January 2009 post about the R5 / Le Car here.

Here's your chance to own a car that's not only fun, but famous, too.

Located in Bellingham, WA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

1985 ASC / McLaren Convertible - According to, the ASC / McLaren was the brain-child of engineer Peter Muscat. It came about in an unusual way... "(Muscat) came up with the idea when his wife, a Ford employee, was not allowed park her Mercedes SL in the parking lot. In '82, he converted a '80 coupe into a 2 seat convertible, complete with a canvas top that folded underneath a hard cover, hiding it completely out sight. After the car was complete, he showed the car to Ford. Because Ford was planning a topless Mustang for the 1983 model year, it was suggested that he talk to the people at Linclon-Mercury. Since the Capri sales had been sliding and was being left out when the Mustang went topless, Mercury was sold on the idea after a version based on the Capri was made."

Muscat contracted American Sunroof Company to build the cars based on his original design. ASC contacted McLaren to help with the suspension.

These cars are extremely well engineered convertibles. They are also rare, with just 552 convertibles built in total.

Like the Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2 Aerocoupe I featured the other day, this is a rare domestic car that will most likely appreciate in value.

This car appears to have been very well restored.

Located in Michigan, click here to see the eBay listing.


Jon said...

THE ASC McVertible

I am a bit cautious regarding the ASC McLaren being a wise investment. I think I would just drive it and forget about its future value.

First off, there are a lot of ASC enthusiasts out there. In a couple of minutes of searching the net, I found a couple of well organized ASC McForums run by smart folks who generally take care of their vehicles. Their cars are maintained, garaged, and very well documented. Despite being a "small batch" limited run car, a quick search indicates there are a more than a few fine low mileage ASC vehicles currently available for sale.

While their prices are reasonable compared to a 1970's era musclecar, I can't help but thinking about the 1976 Eldorado Convertible.

GM supposedly announced the 1976 model as being the "last convertible," and talked up the investment value. Decades later, the market is still flooded with garage queens, many with under 10K on the clock. Judging from listings in a recent Hemmings, it seems that finally some of them "ended up in circulation" and were actually driven. However, there are nine 1976 models on ebay currently, and one has 2039 miles on the clock. The 1976 Eldo Verts never ended up being close to their initial hype as "sure bet" investment vehicles.

On the other hand, 14,000 1976 Eldos were eventually sold, compared to the few ASC cars that were built.

Imagine that you stuffed an ASC car in you garage and waited ten years. What will the market look like in 2020?

First off, even as a third generation Fox bodied car, the ASC will be out there with other collectible Foxmobiles, such as the Turbo GT, SVO (1984–86), Cobra, and Cobra R (1993).

Next up, there are the collectible fourth generation models such as the Bullitt and Mach One models. Many of these were purchased as "second" or "weekend" cars.

By the fifth generation, Ford and others got into the "limited edition" business in a big way. I'm still not sure what differentiates a SVT and a SVO. Then there are the Shelby models, the Cobra variants and so on. Added to this are cars from other companies like Roush, Saleen etc. who offered their own limited run modified vehicles. All of which could be considered collectible.

I'm no expert, but I wonder what the used car landscape would look like in ten years if the market were flooded with all these collectible Mustangs and their variants.

Just A Car Geek said...

Hey Jon -

I would never encourage anyone to buy a car as an investment. But, depending on what the price of this car is, I feel that the ASC / McLaren is a car that you could buy today, put reasonable miles on each year and, at the very least, get your money back in 5 years. (But, again, I am in no way qualified to predict the future value of any car, so don't hold me to that. It's just my opinion.)

As for its value vs. other Fox bodied cars, the ASC is super limited and has the extra bonus of the McLaren name - even if they weren't all that involved with the car. It is also a unique body. There was never a Ford built Mercury Capri convertible. The ASC / Mclaren is the one and only and it has the added "bonus" of being done with FoMoCo's blessing. I think it will hold its own in value against the cars you listed.

The Eldo debacle was really not entirely GM's fault. At the time it really did look like convertibles would be outlawed in the US. (Which is why the TR7 was first sold as a coupe. BL was also under the impression that convertibles were going away in the US.) I don't condone GM's inferring that the Eldo was going to be an investment, but I think anyone who bought a relatively high volume car - as you mentioned, 14,000 were built - thinking it was going to be worth big money in the relatively near future, didn't understand the collector's market.