Should You Consign Your Vehicle?
Absolutely! If you have had previous experience selling a vehicle yourself, you are probably aware of the struggles it involves. Throughout this blog, we will demonstrate the benefits of consigning your vehicle rather than selling it privately. Let’s take a look at why choosing to consign your vehicle with a repeatable consignment program may be the best option for you!
Negatives of Personal Selling:
Even I like to believe that I am the world’s best salesperson when it comes time to sell one of my vehicles, but the truth is far from that. I can spend hours capturing quality pictures, uploading them to social and classified websites, and writing a description. Before the car even has a single lead, my entire Saturday is gone as are a few hundred bucks that I spent to get my vehicle on paid listing sites. When I get an interested buyer, I am rarely able to take a phone call as I am at work or tied up with another task and often, people are just going to waste your time. We know how valuable your time is and that is why we want to take a dive into the benefits of consigning your vehicle.
When you consign your vehicle, you are allowing a third party such as the team here at GR Auto Gallery to sell the vehicle on your behalf. We handle the transaction from start to finish. This includes but is not limited to taking professional photos of the vehicle, listing it on many sites, scheduling viewings with potential buyers, negotiating with buyers, and arranging shipping following the sale of your vehicle. In summary, you pay us to sell your car for you saving your precious time and money compared to other alternatives.
Benefits of Consignment at GR Auto Gallery:
1. Ease of Use:
When looking for a consignor, look for one that requires minimal input from you while maximizing the output on their end. At GR Auto Gallery, we have made our process quick and easy. Simply drop off your car or arrange shipping, set your price, pay a $295 consignment fee, and wait for a phone call notifying you that your vehicle has sold. We will handle everything once it enters our climate-controlled facility ensuring that your vehicle has a professional an accurate representation. Consigning your vehicle will make it stand out from the rest! We will take professional pictures, list on nationwide sites, and provide a professional description all at no additional cost. If desired, our consignors do have the option to pay an additional detail fee if deemed necessary.
2. Global Reach:
A good consignor will have processes in place to get your vehicle in front of as many people as possible. Long gone are the days of posting a local ad or hoping someone regional finds your car on Craigslist. Buyers are now willing to scour the country and even world to find their perfect example. At GR Auto Gallery, we’ve sold a vehicle to six continents so far and if we can find a buyer in Antarctica, we will send one there as well! Whether your vehicle is a Model T, Ferrari, or Classic American Muscle, we will list your vehicle on classified websites that have an international reach. We sell a lot of our vehicles out of state and have plenty of experience working with reputable shippers. If you’re looking at consigning your vehicle, make sure the program you’re interested in can get your vehicle maximum exposure.
Here at GR Auto Gallery, we list our inventory on over fifty sites! Rather than paying up to $4,450 in listing fees, we will ensure your vehicle ends up on all the sites included in the $295 consignment fee.
Let’s be honest, there are a lot of cars I personally wish I could own but the reality is I do not have enough cash on hand to buy it at this moment. I am not alone in this with many car buyers across the nation opting to finance their new or used vehicle. Fortunately for you, the consignor, there are many lenders that finance classic and exotic vehicles for enthusiasts like you and me.
Here at GR Auto Gallery, we work with some of the best lenders in the classic car industry ensuring that our clients get to drive the vehicle of their dreams! In addition to coordinating financing for our customers, we can take in trades to our dealership using our resources. For example, if a potential client is interested in purchasing one of our vehicles that is listed on consignment, we will handle the trade regardless of the vehicle they are interested in. This is yet another way that we will go to bat for our consignors and get them top dollar! At GR Auto Gallery we also offer the first and only buyback program in the classic car industry. This provides peace of mind to our customers as they can return their vehicle for an agreed upon buy back price on any year, make, and model no questions asked.
If you have any questions regarding our consignment process, check out our consignment page that includes additional information as well as frequently asked questions! If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call at (616-855-6600).
We also have an easy-to-use vehicle intake form that can be found by clicking the button below.
When it is time to sell your classic or exotic vehicle, we recognize that you have many options for how to sell your special vehicle. With the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction this week, we wanted to point out the benefits of consigning your vehicle with GR Auto Gallery rather than consigning with a large auction house.
Auctions are quick. Other than viewing the docket and additional pictures of the vehicle online or in the print edition, or viewing the vehicle in person on auction day, there are not many opportunities for prospective buyers to fall in love with your vehicle before the live auction. We take over 100 pictures of each vehicle that comes into our facilities and list them on many popular automotive marketplace websites such as Hemmings,eBay Motors, Cars.com, CarGurus, AutoTrader, and more! In addition to this, we are open to the public meaning that prospective buyers can come to look at the vehicle anytime during our business hours and get assistance from one of our dedicated salespeople.
At all four of our locations, we have a dedicated sales team that shows up to work every day ready to sell your vehicle. Each salesperson is assigned a portion of our inventory ensuring that that salesperson understands the ins and outs of your vehicle. They work hard to make sure that no lead is unfollowed and that we earn top dollar for your vehicle. Additionally, they will work with you to properly represent your vehicle professionally. At a major auction house, there will simply be a brief introduction to your vehicle as well as a small write-up found in the docket then it’s straight into the action.
Major auction houses require the seller to provide their descriptions of the vehicle going up for sale. If you are a fantastic writer, this is no obstacle but not everyone can create an informative and compelling description for their vehicle. Here at GR Auto Gallery, we have a dedicated staff of car guys who have been writing descriptions of countless makes and models for many years. Not only does this take the pressure off the seller having to spend their personal time composing a description but having someone who has written many descriptions write your vehicle’s description, will lead to a very professional and compelling description that accurately represents your vehicle.
Lastly, auction houses take a set commission of the selling price which is often around the 8% mark. We do not work on a percent-of-sale basis. Rather, we consign vehicles on a net-to-seller model in which all our consignors set the price they want for their vehicle, and we add on a bit to keep our lights on. The main difference is we must work to earn our commission whereas auction houses aren’t working to get you top dollar as the auction house will be paid regardless due to their guaranteed percentage. For example, if you would like $75,000 for your vehicle, we may list the vehicle for $79,900. In addition to the set percentage the auction house will take, there is often an intake fee. We also have an intake fee, but that fee covers professional photography of your vehicle, the previously mentioned description, and storage in our facility for the length of the contract. We also offer detailing services for an extra charge to make sure that your vehicle is represented in the best way possible without adding an additional task onto your plate before bringing the vehicle in for consignment. At GR Auto Gallery we are a full-disclosure dealership. Once your vehicle sells, you will receive a copy of the bill of sale, a copy of the title, and funds usually within 48 hours after we have settled the deal. Not only does this ensure we do everything above board, but it also allows the seller to reach out to the new owner if they choose to.
If you have any questions regarding our consignment process, we’d love to hear from you! Visit our consignment page found here or give us a call at 616-855-6600.
Five Great First Classic Vehicles
Here at GR Auto Gallery, we love selling people their dream cars! But not everyone has that one car from their childhood that they aspire to own someday. Here’s a list of classic cars that we think are great for someone looking to purchase a classic vehicle but isn’t quite sure of what car is right for them.
The Volkswagen Beetle deserves a spot on this list for a plethora of reasons. Not only do they have a low initial cost, but the Beetle also has many other attributes that make it a fantastic first classic vehicle. With a production run of over twenty million examples, Beetles are readily available for under $10,000. Here at GR Auto Gallery, we love the Beetle for its cute styling and fun driving characteristics. Notable because of movies like “Herbie,” the Beetle is a recognizable vehicle that is likely to turn heads. But more importantly for gearheads like us, the Beetle is a blast to drive. It’s not fast by any means but they have a certain charm that is unlike any other vehicle. Combine that charm with the open-air driving characteristics of the cabriolet/convertible models, and it is an experience to remember. Another great highlight of the Beetle, especially for first time classic car owners, is the simplicity of the mechanical components. Everything on the Beetle can be worked on with relative ease and with simple tools. Parts are also readily available and affordable thanks to the seemingly countless examples that were produced.
1967 Volkswagen Beetle
Chevrolet Corvette (C3)
Another great classic vehicle for a first-time owner is the third generation Chevrolet Corvette. Sold between the 1968 and 1982 model years, the third-generation Corvette (C3 Corvette), is a true classic American sports car. As one would hope with an American sports car, the C3 ‘Vettes were only offered with a good ol’ V8. Engine options ranged from 305ci to 427ci but the most popular variant was the 350ci motor. Offered in both a manual and automatic transmission, there is a C3 Corvette for everyone and at every price point. We sell many of these vehicles every year and love them for their exterior styling. An interesting feature of this generation of Corvette was that the body was made from fiberglass meaning that the body will not rust. (We do advise all people to inspect the underside of any vehicle they are considering purchasing to confirm that the underside has not been completely rusted out. At GR Auto Gallery, we make sure to take underside photos of all our vehicles so that our buyers can be as informed as possible before making a purchase.) The Corvette also provides a thrilling experience behind the wheel. While certain variants aren’t the fastest thing out there, the 427ci engine produced over 400 horsepower and is a rocket. Regardless of the engine variant, the third-generation Corvettes have great handling and a very retro interior. These vehicles also have a large aftermarket support for both cosmetic and performance upgrades in addition to being relatively simple to maintain.
1968 Chevrolet Corvette
What’s another vehicle that has placed itself into the hearts of many Americans? The Jeep CJ-5. The CJ-5 was produced for nearly three decades and changed the off-roading world forever. CJ-5s are found at a variety of prices with some quality examples still being found for under $20,000. With their early beginnings as a military vehicle, the Jeep lineup has proven its dependability and all-terrain capabilities. Think about the great experience you could have blazing through two-tracks dodging obstacles with your buddies. There’s also a community of Jeep owners in nearly every major metropolitan area so if you don’t have other mud-loving, technical trail riding, or beach cruising buddies, you’re sure to be able to find some near you. Like the other vehicles on this list, there are plenty of parts available for classic Jeeps and they are relatively simple to work on as well. If looking for something newer, the Jeep CJ-7 is another great first classic vehicle.
1979 Jeep CJ-5
The Mercedes-Benz Super Light series (SL), specifically the R107 generation, is a wonderful sportscar that is plentiful here in the United States. Manufactured between 1971 and 1989, these classic European sports cars were fitted with a few different engine options meaning that in the used car market there are examples at nearly every price point. The 280SL was offered from ‘74-’85 with a 2.8L inline-6 motor that produced 182 horsepower. This variant had the smallest motor out of the lineup. For those wanting a bit more “umph” when the petal hits the floor, the 560SL is a great option. With its 5.6L V8 motor, the 560SL pumped out a hefty 227 horsepower which is still a respectable number especially when paired with the 287 lb-ft of torque the motor produced. In between these models was the 380SL which was fitted with, as you may have guessed, a 3.8L V8. All examples came with smooth shifting automatic transmission making these vehicles great for someone looking to experience a sportscar without having to worry about rowing their own gears. Another great highlight of the SL line from Mercedes-Benz is the convertible driving experience. When looking for an example of a Mercedes-Benz SL, one should look for an example with a good condition soft top and ideally a factory removable hardtop. Regardless of the type of convertible top the SL is accompanied by the open-air driving of these classic European sportscars is sure to put a smile on the drivers’ face. Not only do the SLs have great driving characteristics, strong motors, and easy availability on the used market, the SL also has a truly timeless appearance. If you’re considering purchasing a classic European sportscar, looking to the next generation SL is another solid option as they feature more modern features and updated styling.
1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
If searching for something more unique, the Datsun (Nissan) 240Z could be a great option. These Japanese sportscars may not instantly come to mind when thinking of classic vehicles, but they deserve a spot on this list thanks to their impressive handling, fun motors, and timeless styling. The 240Z was released as a response to England’s MGB GT and was offered with either a 2.0L inline-4 or 2.4L inline-4. Mated to these motors was commonly a manual transmission although automatic examples can be found as well. The lightweight nature of this vehicle combined with the previously mentioned impressive handling make for a great driving experience that really shines through on twisty back roads. While they may not have tons of power, the raw driving characteristics more than make this car worth the money. Additionally, these vehicles in good condition continue to rise in value especially as Japanese cars are becoming more popular by the day.
1971 Datsun 240Z
Each person has their own reasons to buy a classic car so this list may not include the right vehicle for your personal preferences and that’s okay! Classic American muscle cars such as the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, Dodge Charger, Chevrolet Nova, and many others can also be fantastic first classic vehicle purchases. Likewise, a quality original Miata or MG MGB would make for a good alternative to the 240Z. At GR Auto Gallery we want to help you get into your first classic vehicle and with 600+ vehicles in our inventory we are likely to have the right vehicle for you!
What is an OBS truck and why are they so popular?
There is no doubt that pick-up trucks have served an integral part in American society since their introduction as part of the Model T line-up in the early 1910s. Seemingly countless iterations of these vehicles have hauled, towed, and overall traversed America since their introduction. But among these millions of trucks still on the road today there is one generation that has captured the hearts of American’s more than any generation before or after. These trucks are commonly referred to as “Old Body Style” trucks or rather OBS trucks. Entering production in the late eighties and continuing through the late nineties, OBS pick-ups are a true American icon.
The Ford F-Series is commonly recognized as one of the most desired trucks from the OBS era. Beginning with the eighth generation of the Ford F-Series truck built from ’87 through ’91, this new generation was a major revision from the previous generation which some refer to as an OOBS truck (old-old body style).
1990 Ford F-250 (Eighth Generation F-Series)
The eighth generation did share a cab with the previous generation but many of the body panels were revised with the addition of a completely new front-end design. Additionally, the interior was updated, and the flare side (step side) bed option was discontinued. In 1992, Ford released the ninth generation of the F-Series which was another redesign of the platform introduced in 1980. These ninth-generation trucks are some of, if not the most, sought after OBS trucks.
1995 Ford F-250 Power Stroke (Ninth Generation F-Series)
Ford adapted design ques from the Explorer SUV that had been recently introduced. Additionally, the bed was redesigned to appeal to younger buyers by updating to a more modern design. The sleek front end of these trucks is, in our eyes, some of the best-looking trucks to have ever been produced. Ford also brought back the flare side bed and introduced the SVT Lightning performance truck to compete with Chevrolet’s 454SS C1500.
The Chevy and GMC trucks from the era are also very popular but differ from the Ford’s as the most desirable years are from the generation prior. The boxy looks of these General Motors trucks are commonly sought after as buyers love the boxy and rugged exterior appearance. GM, the parent company of both Chevrolet and GMC, released their trucks with either a “C” or “K” before the weight designation. A Chevrolet C1500 would be a two wheel drive half ton whereas a K2500 would be a four-wheel drive three quarter ton truck.
1983 Chevrolet K-20 Scottsdale
Any combination of drivetrain allowed buyers to choose what level of capability they wanted their new truck to have. The most sought-after GM OBS trucks are those of the third generation which was produced from ’73 all of the way through ’91. This generation of truck was dubbed the Rounded Line generation, but it commonly referred to as a “Square Body.” Beginning in ’88 General Motors released the GMT-400 which was the successor to the Square Body trucks. The GMT-400 was offered in both the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra variants as well as there being SUV models.
1994 Chevrolet C1500 (GMT-400)
In 2002 GM phased the GMT-400 out as the GMT-800 was released but the new-generation trucks were not met with strong first impressions. Many people preferred the older style of trucks, and it was not until a few years ago that people began to appreciate the GMT-800.
Two additional reasons for the recent rise in popularity of the OBS trucks is that they are easily customizable and very simple to maintain compared to today’s trucks. A quick search online will offer a virtually unlimited array of available aftermarket headlights and taillights for any of these trucks. Additionally, suspension modifications such as lift kits, engine performance modifications, tuners, wheels, and tires are all readily available for these iconic American trucks. Also, older trucks are far less complex than trucks currently rolling off the production line. While some may have a distaste for the simple interiors and lack of luxurious features such as ventilated seats, panoramic sunroof, or power folding tailgate, many enjoy the simplicity of the older trucks.
The OBS truck craze was not limited to just pick-up trucks. Highly sought-after models include the Ford Bronco, Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Suburban/Tahoe, and GMC Yukon/Yukon XL. These SUVs were produced throughout the same era in which the OBS trucks were. For those looking for the style and simplicity of an OBS truck but would rather carry extra passengers or even just those who prefer the overall look of an SUV, the OBS SUVs are a great choice.
With their rise in popularity within the last few years, the value of OBS trucks have skyrocketed as they have become harder to find. Rust free and low mile examples can still be found in the hands of private owners in pockets across the country but finding a good deal can be a real challenge. When it comes to selling an OBS truck, national attention will bring the most money. Here at GR Auto Gallery, we have sold 30+ OBS trucks within the past two years in a variety of drivetrain configurations. National exposure is the way to go when getting top dollar for an OBS era truck.
2004 Chevrolet Tahoe (GMT-800 SUV)
A Guide To Antique Cars
In the world of older cars, there’s some confusion between the terms classic and antique, not to mention vintage. Some people think these are just different words to describe the same thing: old cars that still have some popular status among modern buyers. Well, there’s some truth to that, but actually these three terms do have different recognized definitions, and it still depends exactly on who you’re talking to if you want to get very precise about it.
In today’s blog, we’re focusing in particular on the 'antique' moniker. What does this term mean? What are some examples of popular antique cars? These questions and more we will attempt to answer below. Check out our what is a classic car blog for similar information!
What Is An Antique Car?
Traditional Antique Cars
Traditionally speaking, in the US at least, the “Antique” era of automobile production was the period that started with the beginning of the automobile and ran up to 1920, at which point the “Vintage” era kicked in. The United Kingdom has a slightly broader view of that era, taking it all the way up to 1939, thus including the Vintage era within the broader “Antique” spectrum.
Contemporary Antique Cars
It may seem something of a contradiction in terms to have a contemporary “antique” definition. In the more common and everyday sense, “Antique” is a classification that refers to any that was manufactured 45 or more years ago. At the time of writing in early 2022, that would make the latest year of the Antique cars the 1977 model year.
“Classic” cars are those that are 20+ years old, so in a sense, all Antique cars are also Classic cars, but one further distinction lies in their use. The term Antique car tends to refer to models that are 45+ model years’ old, but also models that are not used for everyday driving. Many classic cars are still used as daily runarounds and general personal transport.
To be clear, Antique cars aren’t broadly unused because they can’t be driven. Most often it’s because the owner wishes to preserve their condition as long as they can, possibly to increase its value as an investment. The contemporary definition as a whole is perhaps more useful because it’s invariably how insurance companies classify these cars.
Examples of Antique Cars
1956 Porsche 356 Speedster
Only 1,171 Porsche 356 Speedsters were ever made before the model started to fall into decline. Since the 1990s, there have been numerous replicas created, so antique shoppers have to keep their eyes open for the real deal. Finding models with their original features is even harder, with many having been refitted. The typical powertrain was a 1.6L engine with 96.5 cubic feet displacement. It was a 4-cylinder naturally aspirated unit with dual downdraft Zenith carburetors.
1964 Chevy El Camino Coupe
The El Camino was unique as it offered coupe styling with truck-like utility in the form of a cargo bed at the rear. The 1964 coupe was the first car in the second-generation series which ran from 1964 to 1967. The 1964 model is notable because it carried both Chevelle and El Camino badges, but that model year didn’t have the most powerful engine options for the Chevelle-badged options. It was also the last of its kind before being facelifted in 1965.
The standard V8 engine was a 283 cubic-inch unit small-block engine delivering up to 195-hp. But, there were 2 more powerful limited edition V8 engines in the 1964 year, the most powerful of which got up to 300-hp.
1968 Dodge Charger
The 1968 Dodge Charger was the first of the second-generation models, receiving a full redesign from the previous Charger (1966-1967). The ‘68 model was initially estimated for a 35,000-unit production run, but demand skyrocketed and there were more than 96,000 models made in the end, making it great for collectors to find. The models with the newer 225 cubic-inch slant-6 engine are particularly desirable.
Antique Cars in Popular Culture
“Transformers” Film Franchise - Chevy Camaro
The Chevy Camaro got a major profile boost --- not that it especially needed it --- thanks to a (just about) Antique 1977 Camaro being the initial car form of fan-favorite Autobot, Bumblebee. The character later updates its exterior to a brand-new model (at the time of filming) in reaction to his passengers making fun of his seemingly decrepit exterior. The Camaro is one of the most popular classic muscle cars of all time.
“Bullitt” - Ford Mustang
Steve McQueen’s memorable picture, “Bullitt” featured an even more memorable Antique car in it, namely the 1968 Ford Mustang GT390…the Bullitt Mustang. This film helped propel Mustang as a marque to the furthest corners of the world. Even today, the Mustang enjoys even more popularity in China than it does in the US. That same Bullitt Mustang was sold at auction in 2020 for the princely sum of $3.4 million. That just goes to show the “pop culture factor” on these cars. The 1967 Ford Mustang has a similar popularity.
“The Dukes of Hazzard” - Dodge Charger
As a final example, who could forget “The General Lee” from classic TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard” which of course was a 1969 Dodge Charger. The 1969 Dodge Charger is a true pop culture classic, inspiring generations of horsepower lovers to get their own brightly colored Charger.
Chevy El Camino and GMC Caballero
Iconic American classic cars are always highly sought after by enthusiasts due to their rarity and unique personality. One such icon is the car-based pickup truck, the Chevy El Camino. Fully restored El Caminos are one of the more valuable classic cars these days, but few people are aware that America's most iconic car-based pickup had a sibling back then. The sibling, better known as the GMC Caballero, was very similar to the El Camino but some differences set both apart. Before diving into the details, let’s focus a bit on the history of both.
Chevrolet El Camino History: Design, Production, & Features
The first iteration of the Chevy El Camino made its way to the American roads in 1958 which was largely a hasty and unplanned response to the Ford Ranchero coupe utility. The “El Camino” name was Spanish in its roots and meant “the way”. Based on the Impala platform, the first generation remained true to the American custom of extravagant dimensions and huge rear fins. Sadly, the first generation’s reign lasted only two years after which it got scrapped due to being uncompetitive.
The car/pickup hybrid made another entry in 1964, this time, on the new platform of Chevelle and with some significant upgrades including the optional V8 powertrains. The 327 cubic-inch small-block V8 was modified for the performance SS-version where it produced a mighty 350 hp. The subsequent third, fourth, and fifth generations saw many changes, the most notable of which was the inclusion of anti-pollution components that dramatically reduced the output of all the powertrains including those of the V8s. The LS6 454 cubic inch V8-equipped El Camino of 1970 is truly the rarest breed, having power output rated up to 450 hp.
GMC Caballero History: Design, Production, & Features
The GMC Caballero didn’t enjoy as rich a history as its sibling and many today are still unaware of its existence due to its late entry and low sales figures. Tracing its roots to the early 70s, the GMC Caballero was earlier known as the GMC Sprint. The rebadged GMC Caballero made its way to the showrooms in late 1977. Just like the El Camino, the "Caballero" name was also derived from Spanish and translated into "knight".
GMC’s car-pickup amalgam underwent minor upgrades over the years till it got scrapped by GM in 1987. The Caballero, apart from having distinct trims, was largely the same as El Camino and therefore made somewhat little sense to customers at that time.
El Camino and Caballero Similarities
Both the Chevy El Camino and the GMC Caballero were largely the same. They were based on the same A-body platform of the Malibu from 1977 to 1982. However, the wheelbase was 9-inch longer than the Malibu platform to accommodate the bed. The internals, including the engine and transmission, were also one of the main converging points between the El Camino and the Caballero.
Chevy El Camino and GMC Caballero Differences
Only a true enthusiast can spot and tell the differences between the El Camino and the Caballero. The GMC's main differentiating factor was its front grilles that transformed from the egg-crate style to horizontal and vertical bars and then finally to full-width grille housing the headlights. The second major difference between the two was the wheels. The wheel design of the GMC was different from the Chevy’s, and it was one of the major visual differences between the two.
GMC Caballero Front Grille
The third and the most significant difference is the trims of the two coupe utilities. The El Camino had a performance version (SS Package) in 1968 that was equipped with the 396 V8. The engine was tuned to have three different output figures of 325, 350, and 375 hp. The Caballero, on the other hand, also had a performance variant back when it was sold as Sprint in 1971. The special edition was sold as Sprint SP and had the same 454 engine and hood stripes as the SS Package of 1970.
From 1978-79, the GMC Caballero had Laredo trim in contrast to El Camino's Conquista package. The Laredo trim was later renamed Amarillo and the decal also got changed.
The sporty Diablo trim for Caballero was introduced in 1978 and it continued till the death of the Caballero itself. Ironically, no V8 was offered as standard for Diablo trim despite it being marketed as the sporty trim. To rival the Diablo trim, the El Camino had a Royal Knight package which was essentially the successor to the SS Package. Unfortunately, the Royal Knight package was axed in 1982.
Those with a love for classic cars, and especially classic muscle cars, will remember well the GM brand of Oldsmobile. The Oldsmobile 442, also stylized as 4-4-2, was initially produced over four generations from 1964 to 1987. Smaller fifth and sixth generations were also revived in the mid-1980s and early 1990s as part of the Oldsmobile Cutlass range. It is not uncommon to see severall of these classic cars for sale.
Below is a brief history of this iconic muscle car, its development, and its legacy in the world of classic American cars.
Oldsmobile 442 Development
The 4-4-2 name comes from its carburetor, transmission, and exhaust setup. To be more precise, it had a 4-barrel carburetor, a 4-speed manual transmission, and dual exhausts. From 1964 to 1967, the hyphenated “4-4-2” format was used on the badging, but was changed to “442” in 1968.
Design and Origin
In the GM family, different divisions were competing heavily with each other all the time. It was this competition tradition that helped the Oldsmobile 442 to be born, specifically to compete with the GTO version of the Pontiac LeMans Intermediate. This was only a year after Chevrolet had success with their 1963 Corvette as well. Oldsmobile’s main plan was to improve the Oldsmobile Cutlass model. The main idea came from engineer John Beltz, who was helped along by fellow designers/engineers Dale Smith and Bob Dorshimer.
First Generation Oldsmobile 442
The first-generation 442 came as a 2-door coupe, convertible, sedan, or as a 4-door sedan. It was powered initially by a 5.4L (330 cubic inch) V8 engine in 1964, which was then augmented to a 6.6L (400 cubic inch) V8 in 1965 after the competition Pontiac GTO received the green light from GM on a similar engine upgrade.
Before the “442” name stuck, Oldsmobile called the 4-4-2 configuration the “B09 Police Apprehender Pursuit” option. The engine outputted up to 310-hp and 355 lb-ft of torque, and surprised many with its decent handling. This was thanks to the inclusion of a heavy-duty suspension system with HD springs as standard, not to mention a heavy-duty clutch. The 310-hp was strong for the time, with the 1967 Mustang boasting 335-hp. Power steering was not a standard feature, but was available. The package was later dubbed 4-4-2.
Through the mid and late-1960s, the 4-4-2 was facelifted with a new instrument panel, chrome body side scoops, higher and rounder fenders for a more muscular look, among other enhancements. It wasn’t until the second generation arrived in 1968, however, that major changes arrived which transformed the look of the 4-4-2. It was also the year it officially became the 442 instead of the 4-4-2. The current price of a classic 442 various based on a number of features, but if you find a deal it could be one of the more affordable classic cars.
Further Development: 1968 to 1980
From 1968 to 1971, the 442 finally became its own model as opposed to its original status as a configuration. The W30 engine package that outputted up to 360-hp was previously a niche option in the first-generation models, but by 1968 had become increasingly common and mainstream in the 442. The exterior was also made more athletic, particularly at the rear end where the formally boxy design was replaced with more coupe-like curves and slopes. The hood also received some rather fetching and powerful-looking vents.
1968 was also the year in which Oldsmobile partnered with Hurst Performance Research Corporation to co-develop premium editions of the 442. These editions didn’t just make use of Hurst parts, but would include them more closely in the development. These models were known as Hurst/Olds, and it included some top models, including the 1968 version that managed 0-60-mph in just 5.4 seconds. Hurst/Olds can be a very valuable classic car in todays market.
In 1970, the 442 became the Indianapolis 500 pace car, which inspired Oldsmobile to create a replica production model in gold and white that could be sold to the public. At its peak in 1970, the 442 muscle car was getting up to 455-hp as standard, but growing government regulations on horsepower along with increasing insurance prices, started to push muscle cars out of the public imagination.
The final 'muscle car' 442 was produced around 1972, and after that while the name did endure for a number of years (see below), yet it was never quite the same as it was in the early days. The third generation arrived in 1973, but the onset of the early 1970s oil embargoes and resulting energy crises saw the 442 fall into disrepute as a relic of the past. The drastic rise and fall of this Oldmobile make it an important vehicle to American automotive history, and you will commonly see the 442 at classic car musems!
Engines were downsized, and the overall muscle and prowess of the late 1960s era were stripped from it. It was eventually discontinued, but not before being revived briefly once again in the 1980s. In our opinion, the Oldsmobile 442 is one of the best classic cars of all time.
The 442 name and badge was brought back as part of the G-body Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. After the Hurst era of cooperation had officially ended (although Hurst/Olds models still arrived during the 1980s), Oldsmobile still wanted to have a sportier and more athletic option available in the Cutlass model range. The resulting 2 models were the fifth-generation 442, aka the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and the sixth-generation 442, aka the Cutlass Calais. As a classic car dealer, we typically see Oldsmobile Cutlass models in our showroom.
Within automotive history, there are certain nameplates that stand out as truly great. They're iconic and legacy-making machines that, even if discontinued, have managed to stand the test of time. The very best are still in production today in one form or another, and an example of those is the Chevrolet Corvette.
Below is a brief history of the 1963 Corvette, which was the first model year of the classic second-generation Chevy Corvette sports car. This model year, among most others, can often be found at most classic car museums.
Initial Development of the 1963 Chevy Corvette
The 1963 Chevy Corvette was the first production model of the second generation, known as C2. It was also the first time the Corvette was given the name Sting Ray, which in 1968 was contracted to a single word: Stingray. The Stingray name stayed until the fourth generation arrived in 1984, and was brought back for the seventh generation in 2014.
Returning to the 1963 Corvette, its design heritage included 2 main elements, namely the Q-Corvette and the racing Sting Ray designed by veteran GM designer Bill Mitchell. Mitchell is also responsible for the first 5 generations of the Cadillac Coupe DeVille. Taking these elements in hand, GM designers and engineers continued thinking about how to apply these concepts to mid-mounted engine cars like the Corvette C2.
A race car concept was developed in 1957 called the XP-64 and became the main ancestor to the model that would be known as the 1963 Corvette. It was this that evolved into the XP-87 race car project led again by Bill Mitchell. In 1959, after some further evolution of XP-87, a new project called XP-720 created the first model of a car that closely resembles the C2 Corvette.
The main idea for the 63 Corvette never really changed from its original 1953 concept: a 2-seat sports car with a fiberglass body that could deliver superlative power and appealing style all at once. The main question was how to differentiate it. After all, it was a new generation, so it had to have new features. The new features, found below, have remained so loved that this model of the Corvette will most likely never be considered an affordable classic car.
Corvette C2 Exterior Design & Features
The main improvements brought to the 1963 Corvette included an entirely new frame, a new nose with popup headlights, and a two-piece rear window. That last feature became one of the truly defining images of the 1963 Corvette. It was specifically ordered by Bill Mitchell to highlight the spinal ridge that ran like a bulge, dominating the rear end of the vehicle.
As you move closer, you start to see more interesting design details, such as the fact that the doors are cut into the roof of the vehicle, which make getting in and out of it much easier. There was also no trunk lid (a common feature of the Chevrolet Corvette until 1998) despite there having been some discussion about making the C2 a hatchback like the Jaguar XKE. Beyond that, the hood was dominated by the fake hood vents, the hidden headlamps, and their rotating housings. This was a feature not seen on any post-war American car up to that point.
The headlights and the fake hood vents were all meant to be part of the car’s overall aerodynamic efficiency, along with the optional side-mounted exhaust, and of course the general shape. On-road performance was also greatly aided by the brand-new steel ladder-type frame which replaced the X-brace.
The steel frame provided a lower center of gravity, which also placed more weight over the rear wheels. As for the traditional fiberglass panels, they had to have their thickness reduced to offset the additional weight of the frame. All of these exterior features combined make this an extremely sought-off model of classic Corvettes for sale.
1963 Corvette Interior
The C2 wasn’t just new on the outside, it also offered a completely refreshed and renewed interior. Arguably the most noticeable feature was the redone dashboard that now featured better gauges that were easier for drivers to read. On top of that, Chevy installed a cowl-ventilation system, a much better heater, and a new door for the glove box, which still served as the only main storage unit for personal items.
There was no trunk in the 1963 Corvette, which remained the standard until 1982. The main storage for larger items, was behind the driver and passenger seats. One additional option for this model was the Delcotronic electronic ignition system that had only first appeared on some Pontiac models by 1963.
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Performance
Every 1963 Chevy Corvette came with a 5.4L (327 cubic inch) small-block V8 engine that delivered up to 250-hp as the standard output. There were optional variants of the same engine that could get up to 360-hp at the top-end, with 300-hp and 340-hp in between. This was impressive at the time until the 1968 Corvette L88 came around with well over 500-hp, becoming a stand out classic muscle car.
The Z06 variation of the C2 Corvette was created as a higher-specification racing model. It featured a fuel-injected version of the 327 cubic inch engine unit paired with a 4-speed transmission and a limited-slip differential. Only 199 Z06 models were created, with those for long-distance races like the Daytona 250 having a 36-gallon fuel tank added.
The Legacy of the 1963 Corvette
To this day, the 1963 model is still one of the best classic cars ever made, mostly for the truly unique split rear-window design. Armed with its legendary name, the Sting Ray, it would set the standard and design philosophy for generations of Corvettes that came after it. This Corvette model and the 1957 Bel Air still remain as some of the more popular vehicles that Chevrolet has ever produced.
Cadillac Coupe DeVille
The Cadillac DeVille was one of the longest-running car marques in the history of General Motors. The first DeVilles rolled off of the production line in 1958. Production continued up to 2005, spanning 8 generations of in total. Below is a brief history of one of the most iconic classic cars, with a special focus on the Coupe DeVille!
Hopefully we won’t disappoint fans of Disney’s classic 101 Dalmatians too much when we point out that the DeVille name isn’t connected to the iconic villain of that story. The name comes from the French phrase 'de la ville' which means “of the town.” In other words, this was meant to carry the air of the traditional Coupe De Ville or private short carriage with a separated area for the driver. The Cadillac Coupe DeVille was designed to be a luxury town car.
The first concept and prototype model, called the 'Coupe de Ville', was shown at the 1949 Motorama show. The key standout features included the Cadillac Sixty Special chassis, dummy air scoop, chrome trim, a one-piece windshield, and black with gray trim interior. It was even equipped with power windows and a telephone! This model was owned by then GM President, Charles E. Wilson.
Early development models of the DeVille marque were dominated by the Cadillac Series 62 Coupe de Ville. It was first made in 1949, and then augmented in 1956 with a sedan version. It was always known throughout its development for its luxurious features and styling. It wasn’t until 1959, however, that the first generation of the formal Cadillac Coupe DeVille arrived.
Early Generations (1959-1984)
The first-generation models were still styled as the 'Cadillac Coupe de Ville' and it wasn’t until the 8th and final generation that the contracted form 'DeVille' was used. The 1959 Coupe de Ville’s most distinctive feature was certainly its enormous tailfins and bullet-shaped tail lights. It was certainly a head turner, but also quite typical of what was going on at the high end of the car market. The first 5 generations from 1959 to 1984 were all designed by veteran GM designer Bill Mitchell. He also designed and/or influenced the Cadillac Sixty Special, 1963 Corvette, the Buick Riviera, the iconic classic muscle car Chevrolet Camaro, and many others.
Along with cars like the Chevrolet Bel Air, the Cadillac Coupe de Ville in its earliest generations was built as a declaration of an entirely new outlook on automobile design. Gone were the warring days of pure function and efficiency of the 1940s and early 1950s. It was now time for style and decadence, and these tailfins were a big part of that.
First-generation models were powered by a 6.4L V8 engine and paired with GM’s world-renowned 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. After the wilder designs of the first production year, however, de Ville models from 1960 were smoothed out and toned down a little - but only a little. It gained a full-width grille, and the front bumper guards were removed, along with some of the chrome. The application of which had been set to “overkill" in 1959. If the owner has done a good job with classic car maintenence, these features should still be well in tact.
The second generation saw a new 7.0L V8 engine added to the powertrain options. The edges, grilles, and tailfins continued to be pared down and smoothed off to form a more coherent and unified design language. The design continued to be facelifted periodically through its second and third generations until 1971 when GM performed a major redesign on all of its models. This was the fourth generation of the Coupe de Ville. The earlier generations can be found at many classic car musuems!
By the last two Mitchell-designed generations, the Coupe DeVille had become distinctly more straight-lined in its design. It featured more powerful body lines emanating from the hood the large frame of the vehicle. Notable changes included, but were not limited to, the wide eggcrate front grille design and square bezels for the front headlamps. This model even introduced optional airbags in 1974, then known as the Air Cushion Restraint System.
Later Generations (1985-2005)
By the 1980s, the Coupe de Ville had already offered many impressive features and helped inspire design language that was emulated not just in other GM vehicles but even by other OEMs. Cadillac at the time was one of the world hallmarks for great luxury cars. The sixth to eighth generations saw the exterior design become somewhat more understated, and the powertrain reduced in displacement to powerful but smaller V8 units.
New designers Irvin Rybicki (sixth-gen), Chuck Jordan (seventh-gen), and Wayne Cherry (eighth-gen), each brought new design elements. The designers gradually updated the Coupe DeVille in the 2000 model year to include such features as Night Vision, which was a world first at the time.
The eight-generation DeVille was the final one produced, running from model years 2000 to 2005. The fact is that the Coupe de Ville actually died a little earlier back in 1993 with the end of the sixth-generation, after which time it became sedan only. Its legacy is one of pioneering style and luxury; one of the first true luxury cars built purposefully for more than just function.
The DeVille name was retired in 2006 and replaced with the DTS line, which is seen as the continued development of the DeVille model line. The price of the various DeVille models range, but are commonly one of the most affordable classic cars available. If you are a proud owner of one, check out our value guide for classic cars to get an idea for how much it is worth.
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GR Auto Gallery receives CarGurus 2022 Top-Rated Dealer Award for Excellence in Customer Experience
Grand Rapids, MI – 3/10/2022 – GR Auto Gallery today announced that it has received the honor of being named a 2022 CarGurus Top-Rated Dealer. The prestigious annual award celebrates car dealerships that consistently deliver exceptional customer service to car shoppers. In earning the Top-Rated Dealer award, GR Auto Gallery maintained a 4.5-star average rating or higher and collected at least five verified customer reviews through the CarGurus platform in 2021. CarGurus uses verified dealership ratings, along with other factors like pricing analytics to help shoppers search for a deal on a vehicle.
“CarGurus knows that trust and transparency are central to car buying, and we are proud to recognize the dealerships that reflect these values with our eighth annual Top-Rated Dealer awards,” said Spencer Scott, Executive Vice President at CarGurus. “The winners are among the best of the best, and the Top-Rated Dealer program gives dealerships like GR Auto Gallery the opportunity to showcase their outstanding customer service. We applaud them for maintaining their high standards, especially while navigating the ups and downs of inventory levels last year.”
“At GR Auto Gallery, providing excellent customer service is central to our business, and we are thrilled to be recognized as a CarGurus Top-Rated Dealer in 2022,” said Chris Hoexum, Co-Owner. “This award acknowledges our entire staff for meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations day after day. We’re committed to maintaining and developing trusted relationships, and we will strive to provide this same level of excellence in the years to come.”
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