Saturday, November 11, 2006

Determining Value
Used Car vs. Classic Cars

We've all heard of the "Kelley Blue Book", the long-time standard automotive price guide for dealers and consumers alike. Now Kelley is using the Internet ( to make that information even more readily available. For 75 years, they've brought pricing and value information to buyers and sellers.

Most people are familiar with the consumer editions of the New Car and Used Car Guides, which can be purchased twice a year in almost any book store. The Kelley Blue Book New Car Guide contains pricing information on current year vehicles and The Used Car Guide offers charts and tables to calculate the price based on the condition of the car, the mileage, and other factors that help to determine the overall value of the car.

But, where do you go to find the value of a classic? Many are forced to rely upon word-of-mouth or appraisals by classic car dealers. There is a little-known handy reference tool out there, however, which serves as the "Kelly Blue Book" of the Classic Car marketplace. Information on older used cars is presented in a separate "Kelly" book entitled, .

How did Kelley Blue Book come to be the country's foremost source of automobile values? An interesting piece of history: Les Kelley, with the help of his younger brother, Buster, began by selling used cars in a Los Angeles parking lot, starting with three Model T's in 1918. The Kelley brothers turned their small lot into a thriving used car business Within a few years the Kelley's turned their small lot into a booming used car business. Les began making lists of used cars that he wanted to buy, including how much he was willing to pay for them. He sent these lists to other dealers and area banks. These lists were soon on sales manager's desks all across the county and people began to rely on them for accurate appraisals of an old car's value. In 1926, Kelley published his list in book form for the first time, naming it after the popular Social Register, a list of the important and elite people in local society often referred to as the Blue Book. Over the years, the Kelley used car dealership continued to expand, becoming the largest in the country. By 1962, The Kelley Blue Book was the car value guide for dealers across the country and, deciding to focus entirely on the book, the Kelley family sold off all of their dealerships and haven't looked back. The publication continued to expand into specialty editions and the internet.

Motorheads Performance performs appraisal services on cars and trucks of the 1920's through 1970's, including antiques, classic cars and trucks, vintage cars and trucks, hot rods, musclecars, street rods and customs. Utilizing industry guides, as well as assessing specialty items, vehicle condition, improvements, and area trends, we will provide documentation to assist in selling or trading, insuring or otherwise putting a value on your vehicle. We're happy to include assessment of engine and chassis components condition and relative functionality at your request. Appraisal fees range from $300-500 on average. For more information, visit or contact 830-424-3883.

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