Classic Car Price Guides

Classic Car Price Guides can give you relatively reliable and up to date collector car values.  Though none are perfect and the market is constantly fluctuating, they at least give you a basis or a starting point.  It is best to look up pricing from several different old car price guides to get the best idea for collector car values.  This is especially important if you are considering financing a vehicle with a specialty loan.

In order to be able to get an accurate classic car book value, you must first know some details about the vehicle.  Of course, you need to know the year, make, and model to get started.  You also will need to know what size engine the vehicle has, and in some cases if the engine is a special high-performance version.

A classic car price guide may go into much deeper detail than that, and it may help to know if it has a two barrel or four barrel carburetor, or possibly fuel injection instead.  You will need to know specifically what transmission is in the vehicle (3 speed, 4 speed, 5 speed manual? 2-speed or 3-speed automatic?), and in some cases it may help to know if it is a close-ratio or wide ratio (manual transmissions only).

You will need to know if the vehicle has any special trim packages or if it is a high-performance version of a regular car (is it an SS or Z28 or Trans Am or Boss or …?).  Does it have air conditioning (and is it factory-installed or a dealer add-on unit?), power steering, power brakes, optional front or rear disc brakes, etc.  Does it have the standard interior or the deluxe, upgraded interior?  Does it have any special dealer-installed performance or convenience items? Was this vehicle ever owned by a celebrity, or does it have any historical significance?


One major factor in classic car book value is obviously the condition of the vehicle.  An old car price guide will rate a vehicle depending on its overall condition.  Is it all original or has it been restored?  How many miles are on the vehicle?  Before you purchase a vehicle, you will need to take into consideration any repairs the vehicle might need, and adjust your offer accordingly (or your asking price, if you are the seller).

In addition to a classic car pricing guide, another classic car pricing resource you should look at are the auction prices that cars have actually recently sold for.  There are several websites that provide the prices that cars have brought at auction, with pictures and some details about the vehicle that was sold.  These include Barrett-Jackson, Kruse International, Mecum Auctions, eBay, and others.

One thing to remember is that a classic car price guide is just that, a guide.  It gives you a starting point, an average, an educated guess.  The reality is that these cars have been around the block a few times, and in the course of 40+ years, a lot can change.  Each vehicle is unique, and you have to take a lot of different factors into account when you are looking at classic car pricing.

Old car price guides can give you some good information, but the bottom line is “What is the vehicle worth to you”?   If you look at all the factors above, you want the vehicle, and you are satisfied with a certain price, that is all that really matters.

Return from Classic Car Price Guide to Classic Car Prices home