Discussion in 'The Bench' started by Jim Weise, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise 1000+HP


    Often times folks call me up at the shop here, and inquire as to a value on such and such a car they are looking to buy, and I typically ask what condition it is in, to help me determine what I may feel it is worth. Most often, the person on the other end of the phone is not familiar with the rating scales that are generally accepted, which complicates my ability to give them good information.

    The question came up in conversation today with my guys in the shop here, as we sat in my office having lunch, and I located this on the internet. It lists the definitions of a condition 1-6 vehicle, and I thought that it would be worth posting as a sticky, as it may help those of you who are buying and selling your cars, to properly identify the vehicle in question.


    RATING................. DESCRIPTION

    1 EXCELLENT/SHOW CAR A masterpiece, this perfect original car is in the same condition it was in when delivered new or better; or a professionally-restored car that has been restored to new or better than new condition. This car is not driven, and is transported to shows in an enclosed trailer. Normally stored in a secured, temperature and humidity controlled environment when not being shown, this car would be expected to come within a point or two of a perfect score when judged by professionals using current criteria.

    2 FINE An original car with very low miles that has been meticulously maintained since new; or an older professional restoration that has seen very limited use since restoration. Very close inspection by an expert may detect almost insignificant flaws or wear, but to most enthusiasts the car would look perfect. This car would come within several points of a perfect score when judged, and would receive the top award at a show unless a true Number 1 car were also being judged.

    3 VERY GOOD A well-maintained original car that has been driven limited miles over the years; is completely operable with all equipment working as designed, and at first glance may look perfect; or an older restoration that has been driven limited miles since the restoration was completed, and is showing minor wear and tear from being on display at car shows. Closer inspection may reveal minor wear on parts susceptible to showing wear, such as brake and gas pedals, and some thinning of paint and chrome finishes may also be noticed.

    4 GOOD Major components function properly, and the vehicle is completely safe to drive but may need minor repairs to mechanical systems. No parts are missing, but this car has been driven on a regular basis and may need a paint job and a few trim pieces rechromed or replaced. Amateur restorations usually fall into this category, as do very old professional restorations that have deteriorated due to use and exposure to the elements.

    5 RESTORABLE May or may not be running; everything on the car needs to be restored; may be missing minor parts, but the major components are there. Any body damage due to collision or rust should be minor; some surface rust may appear, but no holes should be present. The car is structurally sound, but needs cosmetic updating to paint, upholstery and top material, as well as repairs to various mechanical components.

    6 PARTS CAR Probably not running well, if at all; missing some major as well as minor parts; may have serious body damage due to wreck or rust through. Soft trim and rubber parts are most likely completely ruined from weathering and exposure. This vehicle needs many parts and has deteriorated to the point of not being a good candidate for restoration.
  2. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member


    Thanks for the guide! :TU:

    I think my car is a 5 and 1/2 :shock: :Dou: :ball:
  3. custom

    custom Got Kenora?

    Thanks for posting the guide.
    Such guidelines, when describing "restored" cars (especially # 2 cars) the quality of the parts used is not mentioned. " expert may detect almost insignificant flaws or wear, but to most enthusiasts the car would look perfect."
    Is there any conflict between the use of NOS or pristene original parts vs aftermarket repros that "look" correct when classifying a #1 or #2 car?
  4. 70aqua_custom

    70aqua_custom Well-Known Member

    Just so people know, there's a similar document in the back of the Year One catalog. :TU:

    Scratch that.... that was a 5 year old catalog.

    MR.BUICK Well-Known Member

    My car almost is maybe a 5 or a very close 6, w/ the exception that it is mechanically sound and runs great.(or at least will once I get my 350 in!)
  6. skylarkroost

    skylarkroost skylarkroost

    This is also available in the front of the antique car price guide available on most good magazine stands at bookstores. Most cars seen at local shows fall into the #3 category.
  7. tlivingd


    Brett, I hear ya on the 5.5 :ball: :ball:
  8. xhp734

    xhp734 Hearing the Voices again.

    1 + 1 = 1 ???

    My "parts" car is a 5, and the car I hope to restore is a 7. :ball:
  9. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise 1000+HP

    While I can only offer my opinon on this;

    I would venture to say that if the reproduction part is an exact duplicate to the orginal, missing only say date codes, then I would say this would not be a reason to not classify it at the top of the scale, depending on the rest of the vehicle of course.

    Duane would be a better guy to pose that question to, as he writes most of the rules for the judging for current clubs, based on the BCA stuff I beleive. While there has been some disscussion concerning a upper echelon classification for the judging at Buick events, that would incorportate date code checks, I am not sure that this classification ever went beyond the discussion state.

    n JW
  10. austingta

    austingta Well-Known Member

    I guess mine would be a 4. Well, if my front wheels were as shiny as my back wheels it would.

    Thanks Jim

  11. BadBrad

    BadBrad Got 4-speed?

    I've had some brand new GM cars that were probably a "4" or "5." :laugh:
  12. Stampy

    Stampy Well-Known Member

    Wow... this is a pretty harsh guide. My car's a complete 6... but I see worse cars being restored on here everyday. Hmm...

    '66 Skylark 340-4
  13. TimR

    TimR Nutcase at large

    OK, lets do this. Looking at my site and the pictures of my 72 ragtop, how would you rate it Jim?? Go ahead, be nasty!! :laugh:

  14. Rivman

    Rivman Senior Ottawa Buick Guy

    Classic / Vintage Rating

    This rating scheme is similar to one used by former director Ray Knott for some of the early ROA meets. It is also very similar to the guide published in Standard Catalogue of Buick. Gives everyone a good idea how to evaluate the condition of their car, or a potential car - also provides a great way to stick a pin in someones balloon when the asking price of a car is over inflated.
    Thanks for sharing Jim, excellent reference material ! :beer :TU:
  15. TimR

    TimR Nutcase at large

    The problem always has been, and still is, everyone sees things though different eyes. One mans showcar is another mans driver. One mans #1 is another mans #3. That is the problem, and you can't neccesarily judge it by factory paint, etc. One guy who likes original would hate modified cars even though they may be improved and updated and are worth more to some. to him its worthless.

    Don't stick pins, people can ask whatever they want for whatever they are selling. If you aren't happy with the price, then don't buy it. IMHO of course.

  16. buicks

    buicks Well-Known Member


    I would say why the heck would I want a # 1 or #2? If I'd be so scared to drive it? I would only want one so I could sell it and get 3 cars I could drive, plus gas money to boot! But to each his own.
    TorqueMonster1 likes this.
  17. bubba

    bubba Bubba

    Rating cars with upgrade

    So, if one were to change the brakes from front drum to front disc without hindering the overall look of the car the rating of the car could be no higher than a 3 no matter the quality of the rest of the car? Am I understanding the this rating correctly?
  18. gstewart

    gstewart Well-Known Member

    i have been told that in some major shows, there is no point deduction for upgrading the brakes as this has become a safety matter.
  19. Matt Randolph

    Matt Randolph buick junky

    fortunately for me my stage 1 is a 3 so i can drive it to shows! and my lark conv. is a 3.5 to 4 so i can load the kiddos in it and cruise town. my 69 GS is a big 6 but hopefully with all the good advice i get on this site i can make it a 3 on my 10,000 dollar budget. One question though, if my car is all original and number matching except for the top of the motor (intake and carb) should that have much of an impact on value? I wouldnt think so but some local guys around here do. :3gears: :3gears:

    71 Stage 1 455, 71 Lark Custom Conv., 69 GS (just found in a barn),70 Superbeetle Conv. (wife's car) :blast:
  20. gstewart

    gstewart Well-Known Member

    i would say that as long as the carb and the intake have the correct part#s for the model year, u should be okay.

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