TMCP #539: Ask Rick – Good (and Bad) NPD Sponsorships, The End of of the Challenger and Camaro, and Investment Cars!


Rick Schmidt – Ask Rick:

Sponsoring Other Peoples Projects…Does It Make Business Sense?

May is here and car shows are starting up across the nation. Also Cinco de Mayo and Memorial day are around the corner and the official start of summer is near. I hope you have your car out or your project almost done to a point where you can drive it and enjoy the warmer weather. This time I decided to once again Ask Rick about six cars from two different categories.  The first set of cars are of “pedigree”and have either a track record or history that makes them special. The other category is $10k starter cars that are ready to go out and make some summer memories. Ricks take on these is always clear and to the point.

Rick’s Take on Sponsorship – TV, Magazines, Podcasts, and Builds:

This month I decided to Ask Rick about his experiences on both advertising and sponsorship, but specifically in the form of the “non-traditional” categories such as podcasts, car builds, and even YouTube videos. NPD has always had a successful advertising base with great TV shows like My Classic Car, and they have supported numerous high quality enthusiast magazines for years.

First off Rick said that sponsoring The Muscle Car Place has been a solid bet, but admittedly is one of the rare “alternative” form of advertising and sponsorships he’s done that have actually panned out. With car builds, when a celebrities “people” ask for support in an upcoming show or what they say is going to be a very socially visible build with lots of attention, Rick now takes a long hard look at what they are bringing to the table and how much risk they are taking to put out personally on this endeavor.

If they have no risk or “skin” in the game Rick just stops right there. If they are not willing to take a risk on it chances are very good that they are just looking to cash in some fame for a free custom car. Rick said that in the past he has supported some of these builds only to have almost no recognition for the support and the car just put quietly away. This make very little business sense to continue investing in projects that have zero return in advertising or recognition.

Rick’s Take on the End of an Era Muscle Cars, Charger, Challenger, and Camaro:

In Detroit related news, both Dodge and Chevrolet are closing out their muscle car lines. Dodge is going out with a bang by offering huge horsepower Chargers and Challengers as limited editions before they are gone. The last special Dodge model to be revealed was the “Last Call” model, the Challenger SRT Demon 170. It is pushing out 1025 horsepower on E85 fuel making it the highest horsepower production vehicle ever! That alone made it something Rick thought was worthy of collecting.

Chevrolet however seems to be letting its Camaro go with very little fan fare at all and no special editions to remember it by. Ford has not announced any plans to cancel the Mustang and it looks to be proudly rolling into the future with new versions in the works.

Rick’s Take on High Value Pedigree Investment cars and Solid 10K Starters:

This month, I once again asked Rick to review six cars from two different categories. The first up was investment vehicles with a pedigree or a story behind the slick muscle car lines that enhances its value to another level.

Segment 1 – Pedigree Investment Cars:

The first car is a Mustang that was built into a race car and actually road raced in the mid Seventies. Rick said that this car will appeal to people who collect race cars as it has an actual racing history. He did say that it is not as famous as say the GT40 that won LeMans so it is not going to appeal to a wide audience.

1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Competition Car


The Mecum Indiana auction is coming up on MAY 12-20, 2023. There will be 3,000 vehicles at this event but a few capture the imagination and excitement of classic muscle cars and recall the heyday of racing in the late sixties and early seventies. The Black Ghost is one of those vehicles of legend and it will be for sale at this event. The story goes that this car was purchased new by a Detroit Police officer Godfrey Quals and it soon became famous for showing up at races, wiping out the competition, and disappearing into the night without anyone ever knowing who was driving. Dodge has even released a special edition Black Ghost Challenger in honor of this car and of Godfrey Quals. This car Rick believes out of all three would be the one to buy and it would hold its value into the future. It has an amazing story and it stirs the imagination thinking of what it has done in the past.

1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T SE ‘The Black Ghost’


The third car is a 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge convertible. Rick said he does not know why GTOs have gained so much popularity recently with some bring record values for any muscle car. He likes the older cleaner cars that did not have all of the trinkets added to them making the later models a more gaudy example. There is a definite trend towards these cars though and I am sure it will do well in the auction.


1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air IV Convertible

Segment 2 – 3rd “Dallas Kibbe $10K Specials:

The next three cars were all hidden headlight cars coming in around $10k that would be great starter cars for Dallas. I found a 1989 Nissan 240 SX SE, a 1989 Porsche 944, and a 1989 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am. Rick wondered about the Nissan choice and dismissed it pretty quickly. He believed the Porsche I showed him in previous months would be better, and of course the next car up was a Porsche 944. He remarked on how low the price was for the German engineering and said that the suspension and driving experience was likey far superior than that of the other cars of it’s era. The last car I showed him was a 1989 Firebird Trans Am GTA WS6 that blew away my $10k limit by almost double, but Rick was still adamant that for its price, the Porsche would be the better experience.

1989 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am


You can find out more about NPD at the website National Parts Depot, or on social media via NationalPartsDepot or on

Thanks Rick!

-Rob Kibbe

This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!



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