Below are comments SX455 received regarding this topic:
First, let me say that I love my 1970 SX, of which I have been the proud owner for 31 years. It is a daily driver with over 326,000 original miles (no rebuild, as yet), currently undergoing a "rolling restoration" of sorts. But please allow me to take issue with your latest newsletter re Cutlass SX values.
Simply stated, our SX’s values are based on simple economics: Supply and demand, with exchanges based on arm’s length transactions where neither the buyer is under any undue compulsion to buy, nor is the seller under any undue compulsion to sell. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but no written protests on your part can change the axioms of economics. And you can’t blame the folks at Old Car Price Guide–they’re simply crunching the resale numbers.
For example, while you are correct that SX production is substantially less than comparable 442's, that ignores the fact that–like it or not–442's are simply more popular than SX’s and thus command higher values. The same can be said for the 1957 Chevy Bel Air vs the 1957 Chevy 210. To the untrained eye, the 210 and Bel Air look nearly identical. Chevrolet made many more Bel Airs than the 210, yet the Bel Airs continue to outpace the 210 in resale value. Likewise, I am the proud owner of a 1968 Ram Rod 350 Cutlass (aka, W-31, total production 742) which I bought 33 years ago at the tender age of 16. Despite the fact that 1) it is one of the rarest of the Olds performance car line; 2) that the ‘68 Ram Rod set F-Stock records in 1968; 3) that Dick Smothers raced one, and 4) it was the first year of the W-31 model run, they still lag behind run-of-the-mill 442's, and even further behind the 68 W-30's in resale value. To add insult to injury, they even lag behind 1969 W-31's and 1970 W-31's.
Do I begrudge this unjust set of circumstances? Hardly. I enjoy my cars for what they are: Fast, fun, and great head-turners.
The best way to increase a car’s value, by the way, is universal recognition, which begets increased desirability, which, in turn, begets increased resale value. How many SX’s have you seen in movies or television? A 1970 Olds W-30 442 was featured in the Sylvester Stallone flick, Demolition Man; the "Eleanor" 1967 Mustang fastback was featured in the remake of Gone in 60 Seconds, thus skyrocketing the prices of 67-68 Mustang fastbacks. (Oh, did I mention I own a 67 GT 390 fastback that I’ve owned for over 20 years? Thank you producers of Gone in 60 Seconds!). And then, of course, is the classic chase scene in Bullitt. Tell me that movie hasn’t increased the resale value of both 1968 Mustang Fastbacks and 1968 Dodge Chargers.
The only SX I recall in a chase scene was when a black 1971 SX chased Thomas Magnum’s red Ferrari 308 in a Magnum PI episode. It was nice to see an SX give a 308 Ferrari a run for its money, but unless you were paying close attention, those "SX" fender badges were easy to miss. Most viewers, if they even remotely knew anything about cars, probably thought they were watching just another Cutlass Supreme on the TV screen.
While I’m cc’ing Kevin Leonard and Wayne Owens with this letter, I hope you will forward it to the rest of the recipients of your SX-455 newsletter.
Take care and keep up the good work.
I'm with you 100%, on advising the Old Car Prices guide on the value and rarity of our SX's. Most guys I have talked to over the years say "what is an SX??” Hopefully your email will do some good, and our cars will starting getting their do. I still have my 1970 W32 Convertible, but have not worked on it in a couple of years. Now that I am retired and have a shop in my back yard, I will get her done in the near future. I plan on going to the 2010 OCA Nationals and hope to meet you there. I plan on taking my triple gold 1970 'S' hardtop if I get it finished by this summer.
Oklahoma City, OK
This sounds suspiciously as though someone has a W32 for sale, or will have shortly. Your letter sounds like a thinly disguised effort to tout the W32, for some reason.
My name is Jim Hrbek and I have a 1970 SX Convertible, black on black on black. I am not sure, but I think I registered it with your group over a year ago.
Your letter presents the case for the SX and then goes directly to plugging the W32.
Everybody knows the difference between a cuda and a hemicuda - and your audience can distinguish between a W32 and a plain old 455 in an Oldsmobile.
Thanks for the info. I think my 1970 SX Convertible is somewhere between Excellent and Fine and still for sale for $21,000 firm. Thanks again, Bill
Thanks for all your efforts in managing the SX Club and writing that excellent letter to Mr. Kowalke on the price guide. You are absolutely correct, as owners of the SX cars they have been undervalued for years.
I still have my 1970 W32 convertible. It is sad that a 442 clone can bring more money or even the same as an SX. I appreciate you educating the folks out there. It’s an Interesting concept to raise the blue book price to help raise actual prices. I thought about that 15 years ago when I bought my first SX. I've had three SX cars. A '1971 convertible and two 1970 Convertibles, one was the “L engine” model and of course my W32.
Now, how about getting the W32 recognized as a true "W" car? Think about it, what's the difference between a W30 and a W32? Five horse power and difference in price fo $100k for the convertible? Perhaps never an auto in history has been so unrecognized.
Another question I have is why haven’t the Olds Nationals never held in the South East? I live 10 miles from Oldsmar, FL, the town that Ransom Olds developed. When will The OCA see the value in holding the Nationals in Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater near the area that the founder Of Oldsmobile built?
Oldsmar's history dates to 1913 when automobile pioneer Ransom E. Olds purchased 37,541 acres of land by the northern part of Tampa Bay to establish “R. E. Olds-on-the-Bay”. The name was later changed to Oldsmar, then to “Tampa Shores” in 1927, and finally back to Oldsmar in 1937. Ransom Eli Olds named some of the original streets himself, such as Gim Gong Road. In recent years, Oldsmar has experienced a sudden drop in population, but still, a new downtown is being developed which its promoters hope will bring back the "old Florida" feel to the city. Oldsmar celebrates its history every year with Oldsmar Days and Nights, where residents and visitors take part in parades, car shows (featuring the Oldsmobile) and carnival rides.
St. Petersburg, FL
Thanks...keep those letters comming!!