[DML] DeLorean among Top 10 KBB Orphan Collector Cars
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[DML] DeLorean among Top 10 KBB Orphan Collector Cars

Kelly Blue Book listed its Top 10 picks of orphan collector cars and 
the DeLorean made the list.  A positive writeup, and in the company 
of some impressive cars.

# 3002


Kbb.com Collector Car Market Editor and Automotive Historian Names 
Top 10 "Orphan" Cars 

IRVINE, Calif., August 29, 2007 ? Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) 
celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the day Ford Motor Company 
released the Edsel for sale to the general public, September 4, 
2007.  On November 19, 1959, just two years, two months and 15 days 
after the first Edsel was introduced to the American driver, it 
disappeared from the landscape.  On that day, it joined more than 
2,000 other vehicle brands that met with an abrupt demise. 

"For years, the Edsel was the brunt of cheap jokes on television, in 
the magazines and even as part of some off-color jokes; but out of 
those ashes, people who own an Edsel have seen interest in the 
vehicle and its values rise like the Phoenix," said Phil Skinner, 
collector car market editor and automotive historian at Kelley Blue 
Book and kbb.com.  "Today Edsel owners are very proud of their cars 
and some have even been financially rewarded." 

While original prices for a new Edsel back in 1957 ranged between 
$2,500 - $3,800, some Edsels have traded in collector circles for 
well above the $100,000 mark. In fact, a number of other American 
post-World War II "orphan" makes have also seen large increases in 
values due to their scarcity. Names that were once highly respected 
like Hudson, Nash or Desoto that lost their following and were 
discontinued, have seen their fortunes turn. Even a few cars that 
were barely able to get their feet off the ground, like the Kaiser, 
Fraser and Tucker, have today become crown jewels of the collector 
car market. Some of the most desirable models are those produced at 
the very end of their lives. 


(All Kelley Blue Book vehicle values and ranges for collector care 
values are based on perfect condition). 

1948 Tucker `48 Torpedo Sedan  
Original MSRP $2,450
Value 2007: $250,000 ? $450,000 

Hailed as the most revolutionary car of the post-war era, it was 
surrounded by controversy from its very start. After a lengthy and 
costly court-battle, founder Preston Tucker was cleared on any 
criminal charges related to stock investment fraud. However, all of 
the millions he had raised to produce the car had been eaten away by 
legal fees. As a result, just 51 of these cars were produced and are 
today considered icons of the era and by many the ultimate orphan  
car to own.. 

1957 Desoto Adventurer Convertible     
Original MSRP $4,272 

Kelley Blue Book Value 2007: $130,000 - $180,000 

With huge fins, flashy colors, bright trim and 345 cubic inches 
producing 345 horsepower under the hood, it was the epitome of the 
space-age-future America was looking for. Within four years, the 
Desoto brand was gone, but these cars remain a solid inspiration of a 
generation aiming for the moon. An estimated 500 of these cars were 
built that year and today are the most sought-after car of 1957.   

1958 Edsel Citation Convertible
Original MSRP $3,800     

Kelley Blue Book Value 2007: $64,000 - $100,000 

When Ford Motor Company brought out the Edsel in September 1957, it 
was to be a bright new future for those who sold the vehicle as well 
as for those who owned it. Besieged with quality issues, the name was 
tainted and it became an albatross for Ford.  However, 50 years after 
its release, its unique styling and features, innovative for the 
time, have made this flagship of the marque, `the' car to own. 

1953 Nash-Healey Roadster              
Original MSRP $4,063 

Kelley Blue Book Value 2007: $56,100 

In the early 1950s, American car companies were looking to Europe for 
inspiration and the Nash-Healey was just that, with solid performance 
from an American in-line eight. Produced as a traffic-builder for 
dealerships and patterned after a class-winning Le Mans race car, 
there was limited appeal and only 506 built when production ceased in 

1958 Packard Hawk Coupe        
Original MSRP $3,995 

Kelley Blue Book Value 2007: $53,900 

For many, the Packard died in 1956, but the name lived on for two 
more years in the form of gussied-up Studebakers. But there was one 
outstanding performer in the crowd, the Hawk, powered by a big V8 
engine with a supercharger.  Despite its power, its unique looks 
didn't appeal to buyers and with just 558 produced, it was the end of 
another prestigious American luxury automobile. Today, the Packard 
Hawk's power, Raymond Lowey-inspired design and legacy make it a very 
desirable car with values sure to continue in an upward trend. 

1981 Delorean DMC-12 Gullwing Coupe    
Original MSRP $29,500 

Kelley Blue Book Value 2007: $26,000 

As with the first car on the list, the founder of this company was 
mired by a legal battle as well. While he was eventually cleared of 
all charges, he came to find that expensive legal bills and a loss of 
interest by the public had left many of his cars unsold. With unique 
styling, a stainless steel body, peppy performance and quality 
construction, these cars had appeal long after the three years they 
were produced. Recently, a prototype Delorean sold for $110,000, and 
collectors are starting to realize that these performers are more 
than just a prop to go `Back to the Future' in, but are also a lot of 
fun to own and drive. 

1964 Studebaker Avanti Coupe   
Original MSRP $4,740 

Kelley Blue Book Value 2007: $24,100 

Considered one of the most important styles ever, the Avanti was a 
beautiful example of a last gasp effort. Styled by Raymond Lowey and 
company, this car's every line was perfect. While the company was 
hitting the skids, Avanti was on the Salt Flats setting record 
speeds. Current values put these cars at about a 40 percent increase 
just in the last five years. As more people turn to these original 
Avanti coupes, values should be ahead of the rest of the collector-
car pack. 

1957 Hudson Hollywood Hardtop  
Original MSRP $3,030 

Kelley Blue Book Value 2007: $17,500 

Lots of chrome and tri-tone pastel paint schemes were the hallmarks 
of the Hollywood Hardtops, but it was a little bit too much, too 
late. This would mark the last year of this long-standing and well-
respected name, but that didn't mean these last cars were short-
changed. A new modern V8 engine could be found under the hood, and 
the Hudson had the highest percentage of cars equipped with factory 
air-conditioning in the industry. Today's value of $17,500 is still a 
bargain compared to convertibles, as more people discover the stylish 
designs for this era, prices can easily double in the very near 

1953 Kaiser Dragon Sedan               
Original MSRP $3,924 

Kelley Blue Book Value 2007: $15,100 

Born in 1947, Kaiser was known for style, both inside and out. When 
the new 1951 models started to look a little dated and funds were too 
low to produce a new model, the use of exotic materials, such as 
bamboo vinyl roof coverings and simulated "dragon" skin interiors, 
were applied with ample amounts of chrome in an attempt to woo new 
customers. Unfortunately, all of America's independents were hurting 
and this last ditch effort wasn't enough. With collectors looking for 
something new and different, this model fills that bill, which is 
sure to drive prices up in a hurry. 

1960 AMC Metropolitan convertible      
Original MSRP $1,749 

Kelley Blue Book Value 2007: $12,300 

This is another example of a marriage between the American and 
British automotive worlds. Produced in England by Austin, these cars 
carried the basic styling theme of the American Nash, by which it was 
originally marketed. However, by the early 1960s, other imports were 
achieving more sales at a lower price, forcing the Metropolitan out 
of the marketplace. As more and more people look to early compact and 
economy vehicles, these are sure to go up in value, possibly doubling 
in price within the next five years. 

Kelley Blue Book produces the biannual Official Guide for Early Model 
Cars, which includes the values of collector vehicles from 1946 to 
1987.  For more information on collector car values, call 1-800-BLUE-

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