Buckley’s market matters
A recent visitor to my shed pointed out something I’ve never thought of before when it comes to American cars: they peaked in terms of technology in the late ’50s and ’60s (and simply got worse after ’69), because the best engineers had moved out of the motor industry to work for NASA.
I feel that there is an element of truth in that, although it is no easier to prove or disprove than the story about Porsche designing the flat-six air-cooled engine for the Corvair, another new one on me, but from a different source.
It’s usually all Astons and Jags on site at my neighbour Cotswold Classic Car Restorations (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but some more unusual stuff has turned up of late, including an Audi 100S Coupé, supposedly the ‘poor man’s’ Aston V8, hotly tipped to be a collectable: I think it was a bit pedestrian for my dad, who decided against buying one in the late ’70s in favour of a 3.0 CSL.
The Audi is not an exciting car, but it is a nice one and the cleanest example I’ve seen in years – and at £25k, the most expensive, too. A beautiful Peugeot 404 injection cabriolet has also appeared – it’s not for sale, but would, presumably, command more than double that. Not so an early (manual) Ford Thunderbird – a glance online reveals that these are curiously cheap for such a ‘significant’ design. It’s odd how they seem nowhere near as rarefied and unapproachable as in the late ’70s when I watched Vegas hero Dan Tanna (Robert Ulrich) park his red T-bird in his living room.
Back in the real world, I had the chance of a lovely, fully optioned 124-series Merc 320TE, but gave it a miss due to gearbox problems. However, the same very fastidious gentleman also had a Range Rover P38 he needed to sell (with the best history file I’ve ever seen). I can’t get that excited about it (it’s too new), but it had to be bought.
And it looks as if the R129 SL has been swapped for one of my old Gamma saloons. I didn’t want it back (it’s in bits, awaiting a paint job it didn’t really need), but it got the deal on the SL done.
Left: did Porsche design the Corvair’s flat-six, muses Buckley? Below: is it just us who are surprised by the Thunderbird’s relatively low value at present?