Classic Automobile Appraisal And Resource Guide





Our rating guide for autos uses a 10 point scale with a 10 being exemplary or "a perfect 10".

However, we are only suggesting values for categories
S, 2, 4, 6 and 8.   We have intentionally omitted values for 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 for you as buyer or seller to use as a variable.   While it may be rare that most vehicles will ever approach a "perfect 10" in value, the "10" is listed to show what potential a really exceptional example could be worth.  It will not be surprising that some vehicles could exceed a "10"; for these vehicles and their values we recommend referring to their value as a "10 +" (plus).
On occasion you may come across a model that has all 0's for each value.  This often applies to exceptionally rare vehicles and should be interpreted to imply that an actual value has yet to be determined for this model.  If you can provide us with reference for an actual transaction price for one of these vehicles please contact us and we will take it into consideration.
Values for some vehicles may appear exceptionally low, this will be usually due to rarity and no recent sale of specific model.  Values are often times listed for these models as a minimum starting point until we have more information regarding sales transactions or supported value of specific vehicle.

S:  SALVAGEABLE:  May not be in running condition but physically salvageable with many parts in good condition but fairly rough physically.  Basically you have something here to work with that's more valuable than scrap metal or a model that possesses some rare qualities, possibly a parts car.
2:  RESTORATION PROJECT:  Good solid vehicle with great potential.  Either a total cosmetic restoration or major mechanical repair maybe needed.  A vehicle that requires some work to make it a driver or show car but not a hopeless case.
4:  DRIVER:  A complete auto in need of minor cosmetic or mechanical repairs.  Very presentable but may still need a fair amount of detail work to progress to show worthy condition.  A "driver" is a car that's very presentable and runs very well but may lack certain authentic original details or may possess minor flaws causing it to fall short of being a show quality car.
6:  VERY GOOD:  Good original auto or restoration.  Most restored show condition vehicles will fall into this category.
8:  EXCELLENT:  Show winner.  A near flawless auto or a rare vehicle in great condition needing very little.  Also an exceptionally original vehicle with very low miles.  Could also be an exceptional clone or recreation.
10:  EXEMPLARY or EXTREMELY RARE:  We expect that few autos will ever place into this category.  Extraordinary ground up restoration, flawless paint, excellent running condition, very rare, extremely rare, matching numbers, provenance, very original auto with amazingly low miles, documented rare color or optioned,  these are some of the possible qualities that a vehicle in this category may posses. 
10+:  We acknowledge that values are constantly changing and will from time to time exceed our top listed value of "10".    A value of "10+" can be used to describe a vehicle that exceeds "10".
CLONES and RE-CREATIONS are autos that originally may have been a lesser version of a certain model that was transformed to become something more than originally conceived from the factory.  For example;  a car that was originally a Pontiac Tempest that was modified to resemble a Pontiac GTO.  
FAUX CREATIONS are vehicles that have been transformed to represent a trim or version of a certain model that was never officially offered by a manufacturer.  For example;  an Olds Cutlass wagon decked out with 442 trim, or a model other than a Chevrolet Chevelle converted to look like an El Camino.  Most CLONES, RECREATIONS, and FAUX CREATIONS will rate out as a 6, 7, or an 8, but on rare occasion could rate higher.   

BODY PAINT and FINISH:  We would expect that a category
6 or better would have excellent body and paint with minimal or no dings, scratches or blemishes.  A category and above should have an exceptional body and paint finish with the exception only of very rare or extremely rare vehicles.  Vehicles rated around a category 5 should have a decent original finish or a good refinish.

CHASSIS and SUSPENSION:  Any vehicle classified as a category
4 or better should have minimal or no mechanical problems and be easily drivable.   Vehicles classified around a category or 3 may have may have some chassis problems but are repairable.

ELECTRICAL and ACCESSORIES:  We would expect that a vehicle rated around a 
4 would have few if any electrical problems but no electrical or mechanical problems of any kind that would impair the safe operation of the vehicle.   Any vehicle rated a category 7 or better should be virtually free of any electrical or accessory malfunctions.

ENGINE and DRIVETRAIN:  Any vehicle classified as a category
4 or better should have very minimal or no mechanical engine-related problems.  Since a category 4 is considered a "DRIVER" we would expect any vehicle rated as a category 4 to be easily drivable.  Vehicles with repairable engine problems should fall into category 2 or 3.

INTERIOR and EXTERIOR TRIM, WEAR and TEAR:  We would expect that any vehicle rated around an
7 or better would be a fairly complete auto with all correct trim in and in very good condition with the exception of very rare or extremely rare vehicles.  Vehicles around a category 4 should have fairly complete interior and exterior trim without much wear and tear. Vehicles around a category 2 or 3 should have restorable trim.

MATCHING NUMBERS:  Any vehicle rated as a category
6 or better should have matching numbers with the exception of rarity.

RUST:  We would expect that any vehicle of a category
4 have very minimal rust if any at all.  Category 6 and better should be free of rust with exception of extreme rarity. Vehicles around a category 2 and above should have repairable rust.

Under the VIN column we have listed when available either the part of the vehicle identification number that specifies the model or the model code that appears on a serial number plate.

How "RARE" is your car:
Rarity can be defined by a number of means.  For some vehicles listed here in caaarguide.com we have estimated the rarity of certain vehicles but for most vehicles produced after 1945 rarity may refer to low production numbers, limited or special edition models, rare optioned vehicles, or specially ordered vehicles such as COPO Chevrolets.   COPO Chevrolets are specially optioned models from the Chevrolet Central Order Processing Office.  Some vehicles qualify as rare simply due to a low production documented color choice.   Since production numbers can't be verified for some models, the rarity for those vehicles have been estimated.
R:   "Rare":  Model production volume around 3500 units or lower.

VR:  "Very Rare":  Model production volume around 1500 units or lower.

ER:  "Extremely Rare" or "Exceptionally Rare":  Any model or variation of a model with a production volume around 300 units or less.


2WD: two wheel drive

4WD: four wheel drive 

CAN: Canadian 

CFI: crossfire fuel injection

Cust: Custom 

ci: cubic inches

bbl: barrel, as in carburator

Bro: Brougham

E: European 

EFI: electronic fuel injection

exc: except

FWD: front wheel drive

hp: horsepower

HO: high output

H/O: Hurst Olds 

L: liter

Land: Landau 

Ltd: Limited

LWB: long wheelbase

MEX: Mexican

MPFI: multi-port fuel injection

p: passenger 

RHD: right hand drive 

RWD: rear wheel drive

Std: standard 

SC: super charged

SFI: sequential fuel injection 

SPFI: sequential port fuel injection 

SWB: short wheelbase

TPFI: tune port fuel injection

WB: wheelbase 

XLWB: extra long wheelbase 












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