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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

9 unexpected options that make a big difference in value

When a car comes up for auction, we've observed time and time again that the right options can tip the scales from a ho-hum, run-of-the-mill example to a record-setting sale that puts collectors on notice. Some cars get better results when painted a flashy color (Mopar muscle cars, we're looking at you), but it's most often the performance options that garner the biggest upcharge.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/9-unexpected-options-that-make-a-big-difference-in-value/
106 REPLIES 106
JPTL
Intermediate Driver

The lack of options can bring a premium in the world of collectable Porsche's. Factory deletes that would conceivably make a Porsche lighter at the track, like power windows, ac, power seats, etc. often bring a premium....even though the bare-bones versions rarely saw track days.
The 928 holy grail - the 928 Clubsport for example.
930Flachbau
Intermediate Driver

....and sunroof delete.
VictorK
Pit Crew

The cars highlighted in this piece are awfully rare / $$$ for we readers to ever think of owning.

Why no list of cars that we readers might actually own, you know, the common man?
I'm surprised that no American muscle cars were listed as I'd be very curious what the valuable options are: for instance Corvette C2 fastback Air Cond? Disc brakes for any model? Models' HP in general? 4 spd / 5 spd? Mustang "Pony Interior"? Corvair Turbo / non-Turbo? How about VW Beetle options? Classic truck options?


Or how about the Overdrive option in many British sports cars? Wire wheels option? Heater : -) ?

Perhaps Hagerty already had a piece that I missed or maybe one is in the works.

DaveA
Instructor

The cars were picked by two auctioneers. The goal was to find cars whose options made a huge difference in value. Perhaps there are no American cars that fit that category.
Padgett
Advanced Driver

Hagerty used to say two options on my Judge were worth an extra 40%
Padgett
Advanced Driver

My XKs had the Laycock OD but the E-type did not. Early ones had long gears to reach 150 mph think it changed in 65. Jaguar recommended the disk wheels for racing, not the wires.
Back when I was a kid in south Florida, AC was a luxury and Movie Theaters advertised "15 degrees cooler inside". Often in summer took a shower before going to bed wet. A "Florida room" was on the 2nd floor and open on three sides to catch any breeze. Today everything including some sidewalks has AC. Cars just followed suit.
Snailish
Instructor

The article focused on the extreme examples from a narrow group of vehicles but bizarrely doesn't equate with the NA comparables such as Shelbys, Cobras and other rare/unicorn spec muscle cars (for something auction data should have easily supported).

I would have preferred it be written by the options --so list some examples of cars that A/C really boosts the value, and maybe one that it does the opposite.

Manual Trans, continental kit (I personally don't like those) to maybe something quirky light the roof running lights that actually were available on many light-duty trucks back in the day but people will argue only heavy duty trucks had. (Granted that last example might not impact value enough).

Then the things that would defy stereotype... is there a car that 4 door is outpacing the 2 door (might be happening with 67 impalas due to the "Supernatural" tv show effect, a lower level trim that is worth more, etc.?

We know paint colour has traditionally mattered. Lots of gold and green gen 1 camaros were made, but somehow they get restored as red SS...

Anyways, consider the above suggestions for a follow-up article.
Mot
Intermediate Driver

Finally some good news. I just saved sixty thousand of my make believe 200K. I perfer the classic 911 nose over the 930 slant nose.
4RenT
Advanced Driver

Now, go out and spend that $60K on NFTs!
B^)
VictorK
Pit Crew

These super expensive options are an extra-vaganza!
uweschmidt
Instructor

the only real added value of a collector car however equipped or not equipped is or are SMILES per MILE not Hours Parked in aDArk Garage hoping for the Auction price for it to increase
Mike_E_V
Detailer

Lovely cars all. I was hoping to see things for our 66 Mercury Parlane like 428 cu. in. V8, factory 8 track tape player and factory tissue dispenser. Ah...The good old days.
hothmob
Pit Crew

Hey, let me know when Hagerty comes back to planet earth and starts discussing some "reality" cars. Like anything under a $1/4 mil? These are becoming absurd.

Daddy0
Pit Crew

There is always Hot Rod magazine!
zmega
Intermediate Driver

I don't disagree that the Silver Arrow Mercedes bring significantly higher value. I just question why they do. For me, silver/gray color has had its day, and having that both interior and exterior compounds the boredom. Maybe that's just me.
CanyonRed
Pit Crew

Wow! It's nice to know that my air conditioning pick as an option for my pristine 1985 Mustang GT H.O. will send it price into the stratosphere! 🙂
BigO
Pit Crew

AC… really? Wear a t shirt, put some sun screen on your left arm! Back in the day AC was a liability, sucking power… and it’s also something else to break.

As for standard transmission…. Certain cars, absolutely! My 2007 550i BMW sedan is a blast to drive with its 6-speed standard. Would not have bought this car with an automatic transmission.
Daddy0
Pit Crew

It quite funny to want A/C on a car that will only see sunshine at a Concours event or to show off to friends (or having your mechanic start and drive it 4x per year.
I prefer drivers. The 2002 Mercedes w/ the V-12 is my realistic fav. The Miura is perfectly designed, Mercedes 300SLs (any), and the Dino 246 GTw/ targa roof have been favorites of mine since I had Corgi models of them in the 1960's.
freia1943
New Driver

One of the big big options to increase the looks of the car are original hupcaps. since a lot of them are lost and fly off during a roadtrip, saving the orginals could become a deal or no deal. The same goes for the steering wheel and hood ornaments. Why do I want to look at a beautiful car that has those parts that I can get any ol' day on the internet and parts store? Are people who use replacements simply lazy to replace what were signature parts on so many classics? My Chrysler Pacecar has distinctive wheels, a square steering wheel that I finally found (at a price). Please don't take off the hood ornaments on the older classics. I would not bid on a car that used to have one and is now supposed to look better without one. Really?
4RenT
Advanced Driver

Did you notice the Mercedes SL was missing its hood ornament?
I guess that is why it was only #3 Value...
B^)
Daddy0
Pit Crew

This was pre-American bling. The ornament in the grill says it all.
avideo
Detailer

Air conditioning is a must in almost any car that will be driven here in Arizona. And having dual electric colling fans for the engine is also a smart option to have. The dual fans might not be "stock" but they are way better than having a vehicle you can't be driven on warm Arizona days.
AH3K
Intermediate Driver

What! No chrome-plated muffler bearings? I'm aghast. What's next.... [Lucas] electric door locks in my '60 Austin-Healey 3000? what a load of crap.
coop
Intermediate Driver

Electric locks? Haha. I'd just settle for locks. Or while we're at it, real windows on the ol' BN7.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

Funny how many are about air-conditioning. In Texas I would definitely agree.
BillHanlon
Intermediate Driver

That Rolls-Royce automatic transmission is a licensed from GM dual-range HydraMatic. Rolls used it until 1966. GM used it in Cadillac, Olds, Pontiac, GMC and Chevrolet trucks in the 50s. It was also used in various US Army light armored vehicles.
beeser
Intermediate Driver

Yep, and Rolls used it right up until the very end, when GM finally pulled the plug on Hydra-Matic production in 1967, long after their car divisions had switched over to Hydramatic 350 and Hydramatic 400. The original Hydra-Matic was not only the first successful automatic, it was also one of the best automatic transmissions this planet has seen. Only when transmissions got injected with electronics and computer controls have they bettered the original's efficiency. And it was the only automatic that was battle-tested in a World War. PS: It passed the test....

gtokdx1
Detailer

Enough with the cars that your normal (largest majority of) customers will never own. How about the Stage1 package on Buick's, RAIV package for GTO's, RS/SS, LS6's, 340 Six Pak's, any 4-speed anything...etc. Or, are those just "common" in this article?
Teampantera
Intermediate Driver

Back when men were men and had no AC or skinny jeans my series 2 E-type like every car I owned prior to the 80’s never had AC. My formative years were opening the windows while driving. 😉
Padgett
Advanced Driver

And most US cars had "wind wings" you could open far enough for a blast of air on the driver. They started going away in 1969 and my 72 wagon was the last GM car to have.
robertgarven
New Driver

these were very efficient!
DUB6
Specialist

The very moment we saw the decline of automotive civilization begin corresponds to the exact instant that they did away with the last wing window.  In addition to being excellent at moving air into the cabin, they were also cheaper to break and easier to replace than a full door glass if you happened to lock your keys in the car while it was running and you were stuck outside in a downpour all alone and far from home of any help.  Don't bother asking me how I know: I think you can figure it out...

Snailish
Instructor

Kick panel vents were important too.
Hacksaw
Intermediate Driver

Here we go again, all foreign cars.
Acdc
New Driver

1963 Corvette. 1st year for factory air-conditioning. Less than 1% had it. Adds at least 25k for the split-window today and possibly more for convertibles. The cost to add this option back in ‘63 was big bucks at $421.80. To give some perspective, the complete 327 fuel injection engine option cost nearly the same at $430.40.
St. Louis rolled out just 274 air-conditioned examples, most being coupes.
richard2
Intermediate Driver

When you say A/C adds to the value, I am assuming that you mean FUNCTIONAL A/C. Given the age of many of the featured autos, you'd need a garage like Jay Leno complete with the mechanics he has on staff/standby just to keep an older A/C functional. Then there's the very big possibility that parts for such a unit are unobtanium. If something is rare enough to add significant value to an already rare auto, then even junkyard parts are going to be unobtainium.

So basically you are paying 20-100% over value for ... knobs and a grill where the radio used to be.
FJA
New Driver

I agree with Reatta. How about showing some more attention to
American cars? And I have to admit I did own a European beauty, a 1964 XKE without A/C. I just cannot imagine driving it in moderately warm weather with A/C. Mine bubbled the paint on the hood louvers. Maybe a paint problem, geez it got hot!
I restored my originally owned 1971 Ford Ranchero with a 429 Cobra Jet engine with A/C and love the old beast!!
DougL
Detailer

The price of these options reminds me of a Porsche order form!
Zephyr
Instructor

Nice to see a photo taken in the tiny California town of Sunol!
Davidrm4
New Driver

Assuming Euro-cars is all you really care about....
SilentBoy741
Instructor

As usual, my humble Bricklin reads the rule book, tears it in half, throws in it your face and boxes you across the ears with the binding. I usually insist that my classics are factory orignal, but anyone who knows Bricklin history knows that you DO NOT want a Bricklin as it came from the factory!

The air door conversion is a must, having the factory hydraulic doors actually kills the value.
Bricks with the less powerful 175 hp Ford 351w engine command higher prices than those with the 225 hp AMC 360. Second-year automatics still go for more than the first-year models, even with the rarer manual trans. And a Safety Suntan Bricklin repainted Safety Red (actually bright orange - ?) will get you a better price than if you left the acrylic panels the original beige (blecch!).

Surprising options? That having a pristine, untouched, low number, first year, manual, 100% factory correct Bricklin actually makes its value go down!
4RenT
Advanced Driver

"As usual, my humble Bricklin reads the rule book, tears it in half, throws in it your face and boxes you across the ears with the binding. I usually insist that my classics are factory orignal, but anyone who knows Bricklin history knows that you DO NOT want a Bricklin as it came from the factory!"

Love that description!
pyasher
Pit Crew

How about a redo of this article using cars that most of us can afford. For instance C2 Corvette's.. GTO'S, etc?
FJA
New Driver

From the percentage of the comments relating to the absurdity of the amounts of money involved, one would think that Hagerty would come down to earth. I don’t begrudge those that have vasts amounts off money to buy these gold pits, but how about some articles for us common slugs?!
Iso_Grifo
Instructor

Save the premium for an air conditioned car and have a modern efficient one installed instead. Jay Leno does this on all his cars because he drives them. You can get reversible installs that hidden under the dash . Likely this has been pointed out on other posts, I haven't read them all.

You're rich enough to own your dream car and you intend to drive it, why wouldn't you get such a system installed to maximize you enjoyment?
Snailish
Instructor

One of the semi-fake TV shows did a resto on a very early Cadillac A/C system... that was tens of thousands of dollars to do (just the A/C).

Obviously the person footing that bill could afford to do it that way. I see no shame in us common people finding another way (i.e., aftermarket A/C --which in this case likely works way better anyways).
beeser
Intermediate Driver

The compressor on GM's original air conditioning system as installed in 1953 Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles did not have a clutch at the pulley; it was a drag on the engine full-time all the time. When the system was turned "off", a solenoid switch would shunt the Freon, bypassing the evaporator. The refrigerant was still pumped through out the system. And, the evaporator/fan assembly was huge, taking up a third of the trunk space. In 1954, Nash, using expertise from it's Kelvinator division, installed an electrical operating clutch on the compressor, and put the evaporator behind the dash, integrating the A/C with the heating system.

robertgarven
New Driver

I have two 308 GT4 Dino's, a 1974 Euro converted to R134 and a 1975 US version running R12. I can speak from firsthand experience that the air conditioners fitted to these cars even when working 100% properly do not in any way cool the cabin, or contribute to the general well-being of the driver or passenger. The problem is because of the large greenhouse effect, and the design of the systems, even when the AC is working properly the stock units do not cool at all. Also back in the day Freon or R12 considered harmless and it was suggested that you recharge the system yearly as the seals were not that efficient. Now it's a known greenhouse contributor and hard to come by, and converting to R134 cools even less... I keep all my components in good condition and mounted but I stopped recharging them years ago. I luckily live in Southern California but even if I live somewhere else, I would just roll down the window. I have friends with later built Ferraris where they designed it AC units more effectively, but not on these cars and I assume they're only 308 as well. I guess you could substitute a more modern system but I'm not into that. I would've given anything to have both cars come without AC but they were standard at the time. One caveat if the temperature is cool outside like 65° or less the system works very well, but of course you would never run it in that cooler temperature...

I think these are some of the finest designed and built Ferrari's that's why I have two, but I would be amazed if any of the early Italian air conditioning systems are any better, but I can't speak to other models.

Rob
Inline8OD
Technician

The above article betrays the writer's youth and inexperience, other than commenting on cars far removed from their original intent, element, times. The most devoted owner would hardly use quality and Muira in the same sentence, the Jaguar E-Type not of the quality of the preceding XKs, even Sir William Lyons, while still on Coventry's board, admitting, "We could never get our XK quality up to Porches levels," and Stirling Moss, long before knighted, suggesting "the E-Type is the dumb blonde of sports cars."

Anyone stuffing air conditioning in a sports or serious high-speed grand touring car counters the machine's purpose. Roll the windows down partially, or drive minimally attired. What part of "weight is the enemy" don't such folk grasp?

As for the idea all of the mere 18 Rolls-Royce Phantom IVs built better served by a lurching HydraMatic, it would seem Mr. Gillogly unfamiliar with smooth clutch and gearbox, silkier than the preceding in knowing hands. No mention that these F-head 346-ci (same displacement as 1937-48 Cadillac L-head V-8) the only straight eight powered R-R ever produced, the engine othewise used in airport tugs, Dennis fire trucks, military vehicles.

Perhaps young Brandan should experience a well fettled 1930s Packard or Pierce-Arrow 384-ci inline eight, the latter with hydraulic valve lifters, or a 1940-50 Packard nine-mained 356-ci with manual and overdrive.

Context comes in handy. Either have a vintage and/or performance car on its original terms, or stick with less interactive modern fare. Do not sully the former with attributes-- if that's what they are beyond laziness -- of the latter.

   Finally, and again: Might we have articles about just cars, regardless of price du jour or decade,   without endless money, money, money talk, as tho' hanging the latest price imbues understanding of a complex piece of machinery?

  

Brandan
Hagerty Employee

Give me a break, I've only been doing this for 15 years. Some day I may get the hang of it.