AARchives - 1970 Plymouth AAR 'Cuda Price Guide
Various publications produce price guides
that include the 1970 Plymouth AAR 'Cuda. Here are some recently
published prices in $USD and the sources of these prices:
|EXCELLENT||FINE||VERY GOOD||GOOD||RESTORABLE||PARTS CAR|
|$38,000||$26,600||$15,200||$7,600||$4,550||$1,500||Old Car Price Guide - 2004 (Thanks Kevin)|
|$37,000||$25,900||$14,800||$7,400||$4,450||$1,500||Old Car Price Guide - Oct 2001|
|$34,000||$25,000||$13,000||$8,000||$5,000||High Performance Mopar - Jan 1999|
|$30,000||$21,000||$12,000||$6,000||$3,600||$1,150||Old Car Price Guide - Dec 1997|
CONDITION CODES DEFINED (Courtesy of Year One)
The standard of the automotive hobby for rating cars is the 1 to 6 rating used by the Old Cars Price Guide Just what is meant by the ratings is not so easy to determine and quite subjective. Of course, seller and buyer will always differ in opinion as to just what kind of horse they are dickering over. However, like American government, the rating system isn't perfect but it sure beats the next best thing. The Old Cars Price Guide gives a good run-down of the class structure in abbreviated form but is a bit unclear. The following should provide a better understanding with the end points delineated.
This is the one that OCPG left out simply because there ain't no such animal. This is the "perfect" car, the one of a kind, the national show winner. To rate a car, there must be a basis of comparison and this car would set the standard.
Since class 0 cars change hands at prices that have no relation to reality, there is no purpose to their inclusion here other than to say there is something above class 1.
Class 1 is the easiest to define and the hardest to determine. The car must be 95 points or better (preferably better). A class 1 car can go to a national meet and win or at least tie for the Best in Class if a class 0 is not there. This means that not only are the correct parts used, they are installed correctly, just as the factory did it-including mistakes.
To simply determine what it would take to restore a car to correct class 1 condition would take a non-expert six months to one year of research alone.
An expert would spend several hours to properly assess the elements required to make a class 1 car and would probably have to take some things apart. Non-obvious criteria would be option mix (some options required or prohibited other options), radio/instrument markings and color and style filters.
At this level, you have to be concerned with what the assembly plant was doing that week and be able to document it.
2 - FINE
This is what many people think of as a class 1 car. To anyone other than a fanatic, it looks great. It will win at a local show and place well in popular vote at a national meet, but it is not 100 percent right. This is the red convertible that sometimes beats a correct tan four-door.
A class 2 car might have a maintenance-free battery or even a 459 tar-top battery instead of the correct 558. The radio might be a correct-year Delco but have chrome push-buttons instead of black ones.
Date codes for added options may be wrong and non-factory wiring harnesses may be present under the dash. An 'SS' optioned car may have the stripes improperly painted. Seen on the road, you probably could not tell a class 1 from a class 2 car. Of course, you won't see a class 1 on the road.
3 - VERY
This is what most hobbyists keep garaged and waxed. A class 3 car looks good and makes up 90 percent of the local car shows. A class 2 that is driven on the street for 6 months without detailing will become a class 3. Additionally, a class 3 car will show the effects of non-fanatical maintenance. Decals may be deteriorated or missing. A Rochester Quadrajet may have been replaced by a Holley or Carter. The radio may have been upgraded with one from a different year or a '67 model may sport a LS6 engine.
The car still looks good but the finish is no longer perfect, some chrome or non-stock wheels may have been added and the driver's seat upholstery has acquired some creases. However, nothing major is missing and a winter's work and some bucks can make a class 2 out of it.
4 - GOOD
At class 4 we have a two-way split between the "original unrestored" and the "hot rod". On the one hand is the "little old lady" who bought a '66 Chev-elle new, had it serviced regularly at the local gas station and drives 4,000 miles a year, mostly on weekends. The tires are wrong, the battery is wrong, the belts are wrong, the generator is rebuilt and has a paper tag, a little rust (I mean Texas little, not Ohio little) may be present, and there are a few dings here and there, but nothing a good paint job wouldn't fix. The front end is loose but driveable. This is your typical California or Southern car seen in Hemmings. It is what I call a 20/20 car; at 20 mph and 20 feet away it looks good.
On the other hand is the SS Chevelle with the aftermarket fuel line and a Holley, headers, traction bars and turbo mufflers, plus a few decals for good measure. Somewhere along the way the LS6 was replaced by a 327 and Turbo 350.
There is a Dixco tach on the hood and a Grant wheel on the column. He probably spent five grand on accessories and the Imron paint job. It looks okay at the drive-in but it is going to take big bucks to make a showable car out of it, mostly for stuff the kid threw away. Remember, ignorance is curable.
This is not a junker despite what many people think. Rather, you see these at curbsides and in the classified ads all over America. It may need a trunk lid and some bodywork, the seats probably show their stuffing, it burns oil and the lights may work randomly, but it is still licensed and inspectable. Unless there is some overriding reason to rescue it, it will probably not be in a collector's stable even as a "future work", since the cost of a restoration to even a class 3 is probably greater than the value of a class 2. Most of our "beaters" fall between class 4 and class 5.
For most of us, our first restoration project is a class 5 and teaches us not to do it again. For me, this was a '68 OHC Firebird that was probably used to justify the base price ads. It had maybe two options, but I'm not sure about the radio. When I bought it, there was no reverse (did you know that a '73 Vega 3-speed will bolt up to a '68 Firebird?) and it had either been in one of the better Texas hail storms or it had been turned on its side and used as an infield for batting practice. It did run well, though...
6 - PARTS
This is the junker, the kind of car you pay $100 for if you take it away and $200 if you can leave what you don't want. More marriages have been broken over bringing home class 6 cars than any other cause in the hobby. It might make a good planter but isn't good for much else. (Like the '70 SS convertible a friend and I bought last year; it looked like the pictures brought up with the Titanic - including the bow and stem separation. We figured it must have spent the last five years in the ocean at Daytona).
As a rule of thumb, the cost of upgrading a car from one class to another is usually twice the price difference between the two classes, and the interclass relationship is exponential. In other words, to go from a class 4 to a class 3 (which is what most people do) is not too bad cost-wise. Going from a class 2 to a class 1 is merely astronomical. As far as class 0 is concerned, figure what it would cost to manufacture the car by hand. Then triple it.
Also, there are four axioms I've
discovered to be true about restorations:
No.1: The maximum increase in value after restoration equals one half of the money invested.
No.2: Labor invested is worth zero at selling time.
No.3: Maintenance/repair is also worth zero.
And finally, axiom No 4: The only way to make a profit in restoration is to restore other people's cars.
If you have any questions or
concerns please contact
-- Revised: January 22, 2006
Copyright © 1999 Larkco