TMCP #579: ASK RICK – Summertime Parade Car Businesses; Evaluating a 4-Year College Degree in an Automotive Restoration; The Biggest International Muscle Car Parts Customers; OEM Retirements and a Changing of the Guard!

Rick Schmidt – Ask Rick:

It is June and time for another riveting Ask Rick segment where I ask him the tough questions! The big event for the month is Flag Day! It is also the start of summer and time for vacations and traveling around to see this great country of ours or maybe another country. This month we dug into the realities of shipping to international customers (by the container load), the retirements of BIG names at Dodge and Chevy, and the value of a 4-year college degree in automotive education. The we followed it up by guessing at the best vehicles to buy for the summer – to use as parade vehicles – that you could sell at the end and make a great ROI!

It is the fifteenth year for The Muscle Car Place Podcast and it has come a long ways since it’s lowly beginnings and I thank you, the listener of coming along on the journey. I have been blessed with some amazing opportunities and the connections to meet incredible people and to share it all with you The Muscle Car Place audience.

Rick’s Take On International Customers:

Rick said he might do some international traveling this summer and mentioned he may even visit a customer or two overseas. He said that NPD has many customers in many different countries and some are very interesting. One such customer is in Norway and they resell restoration parts for American vehicles. It is very beneficial for them to be able to order all of the parts from one source and only pay for one consolidated shipment instead of multiple small packages from numerous locations. At the high price of a sea container it is best to stuff it full and maximize returns on shipping.

Rick’s Take On Automotive Programs In College:

This year my oldest daughter is moving on to college. I asked Rick what kind of impact specialized automotive restoration programs will be on the future of one’s career if they attended one of the schools.  Rick said there is less and less people with this kind of knowledge and anyone with a good education would be able to find a job in one in this field fairly easily. McPherson College has garnered nationwide attention for their auto restoration program and their second place win a Pebble Beach for one of the cars the kids worked on. You can find out more at

Rick’s Take On Detroit News:

Some of the heavy hitters that formed the high performance market we know right now are retiring. Tim Kuniskis is bowing out at Dodge and he is the one responsible for all of the high horsepower goodness we just witnessed and enjoyed the last few years. The Hellcat, the Demon 170, and the variety of other high performance offerings were under his leadership and would not have been believed ten years earlier. Tadge Juechter, the executive chief engineer of Corvette since 2006 is also retiring from Chevrolet. He was responsible for seeing horsepower in the Corvette skyrocket and headed the mid engine all performance platform release not that long ago. I wanted to ask Rick if he thought these changes heralded a change coming at the automakers and what this will mean for the future of the collector car market. Are we at the end of one road and the start of the next? He believes the push to force drivers to buy vehicles they don’t want will drive up the values of the cars they do want from the past. There will be more reason to restore and maintain the older vehicles so they can continue to drive what they love.

Ricks Take On Summer Parade Vehicles:

Which of these cars would Rick buy to drive in summer parades? It has to look good, drive quiet, and be able to hold a highly visible passenger without breaking the bank for maintenance. Best ROI wins.

1964 Power Wagon

Car #1:

1964 Dodge Power Wagon in blazing orange and black. It looks ready to tackle any off road project but probably never will again due to its way above factory quality paint and restoration. It would however haul a small band through the city streets quite nicely.

911 Carrera Convertible

Car #2:

1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Convertible in classic white with black trim. This beauty is ready to tear up some twisty roads or carry the town parade queen in style sitting up on the back deck. Rick said while he loves the 911, he cannot get past the fact that the convertible top ruins the iconic roof line of the car. Over all though, from the vehicles presented here, dollar for dollar, the 911 will return most on the investment.

1976 Cadillac Eldorado

Car #3:

1976 Cadillac Eldorado this light tan on tan survivor car was the epitome of 1970s luxury and style. Rick was wowed over the styling and said he loves these cars as an investment  and believes there is a future market for them. The added bonus is with the convertible and huge back seat, you can fit the queen and her whole court back there.

Bonus Car #4 – But it’s not a convertible or a truck….:

1972 AMC Gremlin

1972 AMC Gremlin It may  just be so ugly it is cute! This survivor low mileage Gremlin may not be for everyone but it is definitely an eye catching head turner. I am just not sure where we would put the parade people though…

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