More Muscle Car Value and Validation Sources
Is your muscle car value, both now and in the future, part of your buying decision? Or do you just have to know everything there is to know about your personal piece of American muscle? Then you can and should go further than a VIN decode.
Build Sheet/Broadcast Sheet
Build sheets/broadcast sheets provide the assembly information that was used at the factory when your car was built. Depending on the manufacturer, the number of build sheets hidden in a car can vary from two to five. They are in various locations, most typically under rear seat bottom or rear seat backs. Other typical places include under the front seat bottoms, behind cardboard on front seat backs, or behind the glove box liner.
The sheets are important because they can boost your muscle car value if the information on the sheet proves that your car was originally built with a specific trim level or option level such as Chevelle SS or GTO Judge. There are lots of websites that can help you understand the codes on the build sheet. Just type in your model name + decode in google or yahoo and you'll find multiple sites that can help you.
By the way, there are also many vendors that will create a build sheet for you based on your VIN. If you are going to put out the money for a build sheet I'd recommend using a manufacturer-sponsored historical record service such as those listed below.
When it became obvious that a growing number of muscle car enthusiasts had a desire to know the heritage or family tree of their muscle car, a handful of individuals began providing these services. Some use years of experience and extensive research to validate the originality and specific history of a car. Others, who are former or current employees of manufacturers, use their access to company records to do the same thing.
These services can provide you with copies of original build sheets, window stickers, production numbers, dealer orders, and more. They usually also provide a certificate of authenticity. These items greatly enhance muscle car value.
Here are a few websites that provide these kinds of research services or products.
Maintenance and Repair Records, Photos
There has been an increased interest in historical maintenance and repair records by both buyers and sellers in the last few years. In the past, if you got some receipts or records with the purchase, it was a nice-to-have and interesting information but wasn't considered too seriously as a verification or validation of the muscle car value.
Today it is not uncommon for a potential buyer to ask for these types of records as further evidence of the originality of the car so don't be afraid to ask. The seller most likely has a folder or envelope of receipts that they would be happy to provide.
In addition, any photos of the car in earlier years can further increase the perceived value.
Word to the Wise
Just because a seller has documentation on a car, it doesn't automatically guarantee that you've got a real find.
Unfortunately, just as you can ask a vendor to create a fender tag or bill of sale or build sheet for your muscle car without much proof of ownership, someone else can do the same thing using false information. You can go on eBay right now and find fender tags/data plates for sale. It would be very easy to buy a fender tag for a Challenger 440 and place it on a 383 to bring the muscle car value up. If you can't tell the difference in the motor by looking at it (and there is a difference!), looking at the fender tag alone would not help you catch an unscrupulous seller. It's sad to say, but they are out there!
For instance, we overheard a really interesting exchange at a car show when we were looking at a car for sale in the car corral. Another couple was asking the seller some of the standard questions about the car.
Couple: Are you the original owner?
Couple: Is the car orginally from this state?
Couple: Is this the true mileage?
Seller: Supposed to be.
Needless to say, we snickered and moved on. Obviously this was not the original owner and he had just told on himself.
If you have any concerns or uneasy feelings about a car, don't buy it. But if it is really worth some extra cash to make sure you are getting what you want, you can use an inspection service to ensure your purchase is sound. No seller should object to an independent inspection.
to go to the page with more information about pre-purchase inspection service companies.
To find out more on muscle car value and pre-purchase info, go back to What To Know.
To continue research on how to find your muscle car, return HOME.