Collecting Classic Cars with Ardel Brown

Collecting Classic Cars with Ardel Brown


Alan: I’m here today with Ardel Brown and we’re going to be looking at his car collection today.

Alan: Ardel this is quite the man cave that you have here

Ardel: Well it’s taken a little while to get it developed and fill it up, but it’s pretty full

Alan: So roughly how many car do you have in this shop

Ardel: In this building there’s about 75 cars in here

Alan: It looks like they’re all across the eras. you have some that are fairly old and then fairly recent.

Ardel: We got a little bit of everything. Mostly old but we do have a few fairly new ones

Alan: well maybe we can take a walk through and you can tell some stories about some of your favorites

Ardel: We love them all, they’re all favorites

Alan: Here’s a 1938 Ford-

Ardel: It’s a ’38 Ford, 5 window coupe, that’s been totally customized. Like most of these has a Chevy engine in it. Power steering, power breaks and air conditioning, leather interior and of course custom paint, as well as tires and wheels.

Alan: Are you restoring these when you buy them then?

Ardel: We try to buy them pretty well done. We used to do some restorations but that’s way too much work. I got way too old for that quick.

Alan: Now a lot of this collection is actively moving, are participating in a number of car shows?

Ardel: We’re trying to upgrade and lately we’ve been selling a few and tried to thin the herd a little bit.

Alan: In the last decade, cars have really increased in value.

Ardel: Yeah they’re going up all the time. Classic cars are going up, not the new ones.

Alan: What do you think is driving that market?

Ardel: Collectors. There’s a lot more guys out there collecting and are wanting to save them and keep them around. I think that this is the tip of the iceberg

Alan: Ardel how long have you been collecting car for?

Ardel: About 17-18 really collecting- but I’ve had a few for the last 50 years

Alan: What got you started in collecting?

Alan: I started out selling cars when I was 20 and I’ve been doing that for about 60 years now. When we run into one we want to keep, we end up making keepers out of a few them

Alan: Tell me a little about this car (1912 Model T Ford) and how long you’ve had it.

Ardel: We’ve had this one for about 15-16 years. It was a fresh restoration and everything had been done on it. It runs and drives very nicely, it’s a roadster with a back seat back there which is an extremely rare floor plan. You just don’t see many of those. They call that a mother-in-law seat. The couple could ride up in front and put the mother in the back.

Alan: There’s no windows or doors or seatbelt for that matter.

Ardel: They built the model with a pickup box back here, or they had some models with a back seat back here and the top went back further. They were pretty innovative back in those years.

Alan: Recently at auctions these would be valued at what right now?

Ardel: This car would be somewhere around $60,000.

Alan: A lot more than when they first came out.

Ardel: They were around $500 when they first came out. That’s true with most of the cars that we have here. They’re worth 10x-20x what they were when they were new.

Alan: As you go through the process of collecting car, how do you decide, I want to keep this one and I’ll flip that one over to another investor.

Ardel: That’s been a learning process but I’ve tried to save car that look like they’re going to be collectible in the future. Normally the convertibles, the 2 door hard tops, the popular models of whatever the brand or make was. We also try to collect car that are in as new of condition that we can find them or make them. Cars that normally will have great value in a few years than they have now, so it’s kinda like a 401K.

Alan: So Ardel this is a 1967 Austin Heely?

Ardel: Austin Heely that’s right. In the mid price range these are really really popular cars. and they’re doing really well, they’re a great car.

Alan: It seems to be in the European market it gets a little pricey there.

Ardel: Some of the high dollar car really get out of sight.

Alan: And where does this one fall under?

Ardel: These are $50k-$60k range. Its still an affordable car and its a great car

Alan: Lets jump down here, you got a 1977 Porche. Tell me about this car and where it’s price range would be today

Ardel: This is a ’77 Porche, actually its a 911. Its had some custom work done on it, there a 929 body conversion on the back of it. No that’s not stock and original but I really liked that when I bought it 20 years ago

Alan: It’s one of those keepers- do you get to drive it around?

Ardel: A little bit, I haven’t for a few years, but I used to drive it quite a bit, it’s just a beautiful car. The inside of it is exactly like it was brand new.

Alan: I bet that thing has a pretty good pickup too

Ardel: It does, just like a bullet coming out of a gun.

Alan: There you go, so on the auction market today, what price range would they be looking at on a ’77 Porche?

Ardel: We won’t get on the model, but those bring in $50 to $150k its just all over the board and depends on the model.

Alan: The model and the mileage are the two things.

Ardel: These are going crazy, and actually the little ones- the 356’s, they were the entry level, the bath tub porches are what they called them back in the 50’s and 60’s, they’ve gone all over the board.

Alan: It certainly is pretty and has a good solid sound. Love the body work on it too. I can see why you’ve heard onto this thing.

Ardel: It’s been a lot of work, a lot of work as always.

Alan: So in conclusion as we go through, as you look through the course of life and the collectibles that you have-

Ardel: It’s amazing

Alan: Has it been a lot of fun?

Ardel: Yes it’s been a great ride

Alan: And you would say that for a person aspiring to move into this direction, the market’s still pretty good?

Ardel: Oh I think it’s phenomenal

Alan: It seem that when you’re collecting though, there seems to be a certain theme on the cars that you focus in on

Ardel: I’ve done it a little different that anybody else that I know. Anybody else in the industry that I’ve run into focus on one specific thing. Either a certain year or a certain brand or certain country. They kind of get focused on one thing. And as you see, we’re not focused, we do the whole range.

Alan: So you run a dealership here in Middle UT, So if a person was interested in getting a vintage car how would they find you, do you have a website?

Ardel: Yeah, or they can just drive down to 8452 South State.

Ardel: It’s been a pleasure being here with you today.

Ardel: It’s been fun!

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