Reader Question: Almost Antique F-Car Thoughts?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Alex asks: What happens with my 1995 Pontiac Formula LT1 manual w/115K when she is old enough for her Virginia antique tags? Any increase in value afterwards or more leeway to mod? I love her bone-stock’ness dearly. She’s the only thing in the herd I haven’t messed with yet.

Any thoughts on the ‘bird would be much appreciated.

My reply: The third generation Camaros/Firebirds are upticking in value as they transition from being old cars to antique cars. I suspect they will follow a trajectory similar to the second generation modes (1970-’81) with the low production models becoming the more valuable soonest. Some – like the ’89 20th Anniversary TA with the turbo V6 – have become extremely valuable already.

As a general rule, an antique is more valuable the more “stock” it is.

So the question becomes: Do you see this car chiefly as an investment (and a time capsule) or do you just want to enjoy it?

If the latter, put a crate  LS in the thing, add a Tremec six-speed – the works!

Actually, you can do all that – and more – without permanently harming the car’s value provided you don’t do anything irreversible and keep all the original parts. That way, you could return it to stock.

I’ve made a few judicious mods to my ’76 – the big one being the overdrive transmission, which has made it as long-trip capable as any modern car, even with 3.90 gears. But I could return it to stock over the course of a weekend, if I wanted to.

The main thing is to have fun with the car. It’s what they’re for!

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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