There are a lot of similarities and common themes between vintage car collecting and the world of high-end, luxury watches. For one, both automobiles and fine timepieces are harmonious collaborations of dozens — even hundreds — of components that require routine maintenance in order to stay in proper working order. However, both well-made cars and high-quality watches — if properly maintained — can offer their owners decades worth of trustworthy and reliable performance.
Additionally, much like iconic and desirable classic car models, certain have risen to legendary levels of value and collectability. Recently, Paul Newman’s reference 6239 Rolex Daytona sold for a (including buyer’s premium), making it the most expensive wristwatch ever sold.
With the exception of an engraving on the case-back that reads “Drive Carefully Me”, the record-breaking watch itself is not unlike other reference 6239 Rolex Daytona watches of the time that were fitted with exotic dials that featured an art deco style font for the numerals. However, these exotic dials – which are now highly collectable and known among members of the watch collecting community as “Paul Newman” dials – are referred to as such because of this very watch and its legendary original owner.
In addition to the desirability of “Paul Newman” dials and the important influence of this exact watch on the entire world of contemporary Rolex collecting, also comes with an amazing backstory. After receiving the watch as a gift from his wife, Joanne Woodward, and wearing it for many years, Paul Newman gifted the watch to James Cox, who at the time was dating Newman’s daughter, Nell. Although James and Nell did not stay together, they remained good friends; and after wearing the watch for a few decades, James decided to sell the watch with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Nell Newman foundation.
Although Rolex does not manufacture the absolute most-expensive wristwatches among the various luxury manufacturers, they are certainly the most well known, and some of their vintage timepieces have a remarkable ability to reach stratospheric prices at auction. Any example of a “Paul Newman” Daytona will rank among the most valuable and highly sought-after Rolex watches ever manufactured, and Paul Newman’s very own, “Paul Newman” Daytona is about as ultra-collectable and expensive as vintage luxury watches can get.
In the world of automobiles, Porsche fills a somewhat similar position that Rolex occupies within the watch industry. Both Rolex and Porsche manufacture high-end, performance-oriented, products that are luxurious in nature yet still practical and reliable enough to use on a daily basis in everyday life. Although Rolex sells far more watches each year than Porsche sells cars, both companies are arguably the most well known, high-end manufacturers within their respective industries, and both brands have become household names that have universal connotations with luxury, performance, and exclusivity.
If a reference 6239 Rolex Daytona is like , then a “Paul Newman” Daytona is the timepiece equivalent of an all-original, Porsche 356 Carrera Speedster. Today, any vintage example of Rolex’s Daytona will bring in a decent sum at auction; however, if that same watch is in good condition and fitted with one of the exotic, “Paul Newman” dials, then it immediately becomes among the most valuable and highly sought-after vintage timepieces on this planet.
In regards to the collectable vintage market for both cars and watches, condition and originality are always going to be the two greatest factors influencing the value of a specific piece. Additionally, just as not every classic Porsche is a 356 Carrera Speedster, not every vintage Rolex is a “Paul Newman” Daytona. It is really only when scarcity, all-original condition, and a wonderful backstory/provenance come together that auction prices start to exponentially escalate, and reach such immensely high values.
12 Second-Tier Classic Muscle Cars To Consider For Your Collection, Part 2
These American classics made a name for themselves in a field dominated by Mustangs and Corvettes.
In Part One of our article on second-tier muscle cars, we looked at six of 12 models that are certainly considered genuine muscle cars but failed to make the waves that some of their bigger-engined brothers did. Here are the remaining six lesser known gems of the muscle car era.
1967 Dodge Coronet R/T
The R/T was a special model produced to make a statement. While a more domestic version with a 440 CID engine was available, buyers had the option of a monster.
Yes, according to , the Dodge Coronet could be optioned with the 426-cid Hemi. Drivetrain options were Mopar’s excellent heavy-duty three-speed TorqueFlite automatic or a four-speed manual.
1964 Mercury Marauder
The debuted in the middle of 1963 to take part in the horsepower wars. It was available with the 390, 406, and 427 cubic-inch engines, which could be paired with a 3-speed or 4-speed manual, or a 3-speed automatic.
1968 Chevrolet Biscayne 427
The all-new 1965 Biscayne was available with just one engine, a 250 cu in inline-six. That all changed in 1966 when the in-line six became the entry level engine, replaced by the Big-Block 427 cu in V-8 as the top engine.
The high-powered, high-revving 425 hp V8 version with solid lifters proved to be what the doctor ordered.
1965 Pontiac Catalina 2+2 Sport Coupe
Introduced in 1964, the Pontiac Catalina was 2+2, a full size coupe based on General Motors’ iconic B-body chassis. It sourced its power from a 421 cu in powertrain with dual exhaust, heavy duty front springs, a 3-speed synchromesh manual transmission (a 4-speed with a Hurst shifter came as an option), and a 3.42:1 performance axle ratio.
1970 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400
Built by Pontiac from 1967 to 2002 — yes, it was around for that long — the Firebird was a very capable machine. Two Ram Air 400 cu in engines were available for the 1970 model year: The first was the L74 Ram Air III model (335 HP) and the second was a 345 hp LS1 Ram Air IV (370 HP) that were carried over from 1969.
The was capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 6.4 seconds.
1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt
The Fairlane Thunderbolt introduced in 1964 as a limited production, factory experimental model. A total of 100 units were produced — forty-nine featuring a 4-speed and fifty-one making due with an automatic — which was enough to secure Ford the 1964 NHRA Super Stock title.
The Thunderbolt’s combination of Ford’s light weight, intermediate-sized body with a “high rise” 427 cu in V8 powertrain and dual Holley four-barrel carburetors proved to be a force to be reckoned with in NASCAR.
12 Second-Tier Classic Muscle Cars To Consider For Your Collection, Part 1
They lurked and even prospered in the shadows of the Mustangs and Corvettes of the world.
During the automotive halcyon days of the late 1960s, there were all sorts of muscle cars being optioned with powerful big-block engines and performance accessories. Not all cars coming out of Detroit were quite so outrageous, though.
There were many smaller-engined cars — typically with small-block V-8s — that were sold by the thousands. Today, they make for great collector cars and you can get one for a fraction of what the big boys go for.
Ford Torino GT
Produced between 1968 and 1976, the Ford Torino was most popular as a 4-door and 2-door hardtop. The high-performance version was made with the enthusiast crowd in mind and could be ordered with engines such as the 428 CID and 429 cu “Cobra-Jet.” The GT was also available as a 2-door “SportsRoof” and convertible.
The Demon was introduced in two versions. The first was an econo-car with a 198 CID slant-six and the second was a performance version packing a 340 cubic inch V8. In addition to having more power, the V8 Demon featured special paints and cartoon devil and trident decals.
According to , the one everyone wanted was the 340. It was equipped with a synchronized floor-shifted 3-speed manual transmission, all-wheel drum brakes, a Sure-Grip differential and dual exhaust. This particular Demon is still highly sought-after model today.
In 1964, Ford released a performance version of the Comet called the Mercury Comet Cyclone. That name was used until 1967, when the “Comet” part of the name was dropped and wildly-popular options such as GT, Spoiler and Cobra Jet were added. In 1971, the Cyclone lost its unique identity when it was integrated into the Montego line
The full-size Buick Wildcat was produced from 1962 to 1970 and took its name from a fiberglass-bodied 1953 concept car. It had a high-performance 325 hp version of the 401 cu in Nailhead V-8 motor — the “Wildcat 445”, as it was known — and produced 445 lb-ft of torque.
Chrysler 300 Hurst
In 1970, Chrysler built the “300 Hurst” with input from the uber-popular aftermarket parts manufacturer Hurst Performance. Only 501 units are believed to have been built. Today, genuine 300 Hurst models are worth in the low six-figures.
AMC Rebel Machine
In 1957, American Motors Corporation (AMC) introduced a beefy version of the Rambler called the “Rebel.” Powered by a big V-8, the was the first factory-produced lightweight muscle car. The Rebel name was eventually used on all performance versions of AMC car, and in 1967, the company’s entire intermediate line took the Rebel name.
Mopar Unveils ‘Hellephant’ 1,000-HP 426 Crate HEMI Engine
The mighty engine was showcased in a incredible 1968 Dodge Charger restomod at SEMA.
For those that find the 840 horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon inadequate on the power front, Mopar just might have what you need. Chrysler’s performance division has unveiled a new crate engine that pumps out a massive 1,000 horsepower and 950 lb-ft. of torque.
The aptly-named “Hellephant” 426 HEMI engine is able to achieve those lofty figures thanks to a bulked-up displacement with 4.0 inches of stroke and bore specs at 4.125 inches and an improved supercharger with a high-efficiency rotor that is mounted on the all-aluminum block.
The all-aluminum block was borrowed from the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak race vehicles.
As for the name “Hellephant”, it draws inspiration from the 1964 426 HEMI engine that was nicknamed the “elephant” engine for its power and size, as well as the 707-horsepower Mopar “Hellcrate” Engine Kit.
Mopar says the Hellephant engine is very easy to install. It is available as a kit that includes a powertrain control module, an engine wiring harness, a chassis harness, an accelerator pedal, oxygen sensors, a am bus interface device, and a number of other parts needed to set it up.
A Front End Accessory Drive Kit is also available and includes an alternator, a power-steering pump, belts and pulleys, among other components.
Mopar calls the “Hellephant” 426 Supercharged Mopar Crate HEMI Engine Kit an “almost turnkey” solution for enthusiasts seeking power.
At the 2018 SEMA show, Mopar’s gear heads dropped the engine into a heavily-modified 1968 Dodge Charger (pictured) named Super Charger to demonstrate its potential.
The car is further distinguished by a revised front end with a sinister-looking full-width grille that conceals a set of headlights from the Challenger Hellcat, a full body kit that adds a front splitter and a spoiler on the trunk lid, fender flares, a lowered suspension, and dual exhaust tips borrowed from the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
You will be able to get your “Hellephant” 426 Supercharged Mopar Crate HEMI Engine engine starting in the first quarter of 2019.