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Clone value - Original vs Dynacorn

Discussion in 'General Mustang Discussion' started by Knapper, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Knapper

    Knapper New Member

    Ok, I don't want to stir a hornets nest and forgive me if this has been addressed. But I am curious on others' thoughts on the value of a "Clone". This is not about the virtue to the clone; I personally like them and would have no problem owning one...aside from affording one.

    I have been casually searching for an 67 390 fastback and have come across several that have been turned into Shelby clones...some of them are beautifully done and I wouldn't hesitate to buy if they weren't going for a king's ransom.

    Here's my question. Is the value of the clone enhanced by the fact the underlying VIN is an S code? To my line of thinking, why wouldn't someone just use a Dynacorn shell or more basic C code as the foundation for their clone? if a clone is well done, but obviously a clone, does it matter if it has a salvage title or state issued VIN? Isn't the S code valuable enough in it's own right to try and keep it original? In my opinion, once you have gone the route of a clone with a car, you have negated any collector value of the underlying VIN...maybe I am off base. Again, I am just newbie to the hobby.

    I find it very frustrating as I search for my dream and Benza wants $25k for what amounts to basically a VIN and a pile of rust. Vanguard wants 6 figures for a well done clone.

    Rant over, but interested in others thought. At this point I may just go the Dynacorn route and effectively build a kit car.
  2. Horseplay

    Horseplay Well-Known Member

    From a cost perspective many times a Dynacorn body would be cheaper as a starting point vs. having to do basically a complete metal rebuild of an original car. This is based on if paying others to do the work. If someone just wanted a bad ass fastback I see no reason to worry about originality. The real concern is titling of the vehicle. I would make damn sure I understood the local laws/regulations to the letter before I took step one. If a car is not titled as an original Ford product both desirability and value suffer quite a bit.
  3. Knapper

    Knapper New Member

    I guess that makes sense. I never really thought about what the title might say on it.

    For me, if I am driving a Shelby clone, I guess I don't care if the title says "kit" or Ford"...I know it doesn't say "Shelby"...but that's just me. My dad is registering his Cobra kit car next spring. It will be interesting to see what hoops he has jump through here in MN.

    I suspect I could build a dynacorn car with more ford parts than some of the "Restored" cars I've seen;)

    Thanks for pointing that out. It certainly something I overlooked!
  4. tarafied1

    tarafied1 Well-Known Member

    I think you might be answering your own question simply by trying to find a car. A 67 Mustang no matter what the VIN says, if nicely done will command a hefty price tag. I think Baby Boomers are more likely to pay for the "dream" car and not worry about originality and they want a car they can drive so often will pay more for a "restomod" than an original car. I know there are purists out there that will tell you an original car is worth more than a modified or cloned car but the market says otherwise. Millennials aren't the ones buying classic cars. It's Baby Boomers. They have the disposable income. Most of them don't care what the Marti report says, they want AC, modern handling, power windows and stereo, etc. And they want the look of the car they couldn't have when they were young. So that means a GT clone or Shelby or other well optioned Mustang doesn't matter if it left the factory like that. This isn't saying that a nice original won't bring a good price too but as you pointed out it will have to be an S code or some other well optioned original. C code cars with no AC or deluxe interior and such will not fetch the price of a nicely done clone or restomod.
    I agree with your statement that If I were building a clone or restomod I wouldn't care if it was originally a big block car or had AC or any of that. I also am not afraid of a roof swap car or Dynocorn body as long as the work is good quality and not a hack job. But I also prefer to do the work myself. But I have also had at least one Mustang since I was 15 and have had many 67's including the one I own now for almost 30 years. I have been modifying mine since the day I brought it home and have put up with the criticism of the grumpy purists who out of one side of their face will bash a modified car but then proudly show a car they say is "original" with modifications such as adding styled steel wheels, turn signal hood, console, etc. that did not come on the car.
    You are right in saying that total scrap is bringing crazy prices. Even a "roof" off of a fastback will bring thousands of dollars because people will pay for it. And it all goes back to the baby boomer. A guy can do a roof swap on a coupe, add AC and clone it and sell it to a baby boomer with money and the desire to have a cool car. As long as people keep buying them, they will keep going up in price. In my younger days the 32 Fords and 40 Fords were hot. They still have value but baby boomers want muscle cars and the "street rods" aren't the hot ticket any more. You can still buy a complete 32 Ford Kit Car and they will always be cool but how many do you see at the cruise nights and car show now? So the 67 Mustang will ride the wave. It will always be an iconic car and be valuable but the next generation might drive the price up on SVO's or Terminator Cobras...
    stangg likes this.
  5. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    Drive up the price of Terminators, they're already ridiculous.

    You need to ask yourself a few basic questions to help narrow your search.
    1. What body style do I want, coupe, convert, or fastback
    2. How far are you willing to go to get one?
    3. In what condition is your bottom line?
    4. What are you willing to put up with to close the deal?

    I've had my coupe for 6 years, I loved it then and still love it now. A random chance came up a year ago to buy a fastback and I jumped on it. I literally replied to an "ad" on a forum that wasn't even in the classifieds area that said "'68 fastback C-code for sale, clear title." No pictures, and when I asked for pics I was initially harassed and then received a ton of pictures of random stuff, including the car he was selling. Then once it came time to talk on the phone the guy hung up on me and said I was a scammer because my phone had a 260 area code (northern Indiana). It took about a week to get him to believe I wasn't a scammer. After that the guy told me the car doesn't come with wheels or tires (they belonged to another car, they were plain black but whatever), luckily I had the coupe so I put the coupe on stands and took the wheels. I showed up a few days later with a trailer, swapped the wheels, and drove it onto the trailer.

    I had offers to buy it twice (for more then I paid) before I even got the thing home (stopped for lunch and then fuel).

    That whole ordeal was a pain, but in the end I got the car for a great deal and have been working on it ever since. The guy there had a couple other Mustangs and a few other old Fords. So I'm sure others will have to go through that eventually.
  6. Horseplay

    Horseplay Well-Known Member

    I have to disagree in part with Craig. A coupe to fastback conversion just doesn't have the market value anywhere near a real fastback. I have watched sale values on fastbacks for years. Never seen a frankensteined fastback come close to real car value. Making matters worse, it can much more costly to do the conversion vs buying and restoring a real one. The more work you can do yourself the less the cost difference becomes but the end value is always much less. Sure you might be able to find a guy with deep pockets willing to buy but that is typically on a VERY well done flashy car. Most folks see the VIN and get scared off. By the time you spend a couple grand or more on a roof hack and all the other bits to make a coupe into a fastback hard to see how one is that much ahead of the game on initial project costs. Ever price a complete fold down seat assembly? Even repro is $$$ by time you get all the brackets, etc. (if they are even reproduced. lots of stuff is not). Quarter louvers/air extractors are not cheap either, for example. Easy to drop $4 grand or more just on bits to do the conversion.
    If you want to build one for yourself power to you. Just don't expect a market for it at a price point like an original. And those of us with originals know we get upside down fast just doing a basic restoration let alone making modern improvements.
    Buy what you want because you want it is the name of the game. Just know you lose your ass more one way than the other is all. :)
  7. tarafied1

    tarafied1 Well-Known Member

    I didn't mean to imply a conversion would be worth more than a genuine fastback but it will (if done well) bring more than the coupe it once was. Yes it costs more to do it but there are shops doing it almost like assembly line and getting good money. They buy up rusty coupes that need sheetmetal anyway and swap on a roof and quarter panels, floors, etc. And yes a "Mustang" guy might shy away because of the VIN but I know if two guys that have conversions and it didn't bother them a bit. They spent a little less than on a genuine FB and got a little more car (in terms of the upgrades that were done). But we can disagree if you like. You did make a good point that it's easy to get upside down. You can almost never build a car for what you can buy one for. But anyway, you can see by what they are selling for it will be hard to get into a classic Mustang cheap, especially a 67/68 right now (there are exceptions). It's an expensive hobby so you don't always have to look at it as an investment. You spend money to golf or fishing or whatever, you don't get that money back. Build what you want and enjoy it and don't worry too much about what everyone else says.
  8. Horseplay

    Horseplay Well-Known Member

    Completely agree this hobby is not about anything financial except losing on our investments. To that point, while fakes do not command the price of real fastbacks one has to wonder if they will not over time cause the value of the genuine article to decline. Supply and demand is a very real thing and if more people adopt the reasoning that fake is just as good as original to them those people hacking up coupes are also picking our pocket long term. Another reason to not be a fan.
  9. tarafied1

    tarafied1 Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure, the hobby is funny. I think your pretty safe for some time. The potential decline will be when all the boomers start kicking the bucket. Will the next generation want them? I still look at the led sleds, shoebox Chevy's, 40 Fords, etc. They still hold value. Even though the muscle cars are hot right now. A nice car will always be a nice car...
  10. Horseplay

    Horseplay Well-Known Member

    I hope as the younger generation ages and guys come into more expendable cash they will buy the older cars they wanted but couldn't afford back in the day when they were putting park benches on their Honda deck lids. Then again, by then the government may be forcing everyone into electric, driverless vehicles and they may not allow cars like ours on public roadways. :eek:
    Fst Blk and tarafied1 like this.
  11. Midlife

    Midlife Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    My opinion (as I'm now not providing facts) is that it is probably cheaper to start with a Ford Mustang for a clone vice Dynacorn, provided the car is relatively intact, not a rust-bucket, and has some interior and driveline pieces. With Dynacorn, you have to purchase everything to outfit your clone. There's enough old Mustangs out there for this to make financial sense. For some vehicles (think of the original AC Cobra), there are not enough originals and reproduction bodies are the only way to stay within a reasonable budget.

    Some may argue that the repro body for the Mustang means that the basic structure is probably better than any original Mustang, and that's probably true. For building a clone, I could go either way in this case. The real value of the clone will be in workmanship and faithfulness to the original, not what one started out with.
    tarafied1 likes this.
  12. JeffTepper

    JeffTepper Well-Known Member

    In thinking about the OP question, several thoughts come to mind. In no particular order:

    On the title question, in some states a Dynacorn is seen as a kit car and is titled accordingly. In places like California, under SB100, a limited number of kit cars that qualify each year can be titled as what they appear to be (most common are the Cobra replicas) with the key component being the smog regulations that apply to that particular car. At the end of the day, the Cobra kit car still gets a state issued VIN but, if done correctly, is exempted from safety and equipment requirements imposed upon mainstream new production cars. A nicely done Cobra kit car can command $40-$70K all day long depending upon quality of workmanship and what is under the hood. The real deal 427 Cobras are well into 6 figures and occasionally more;

    A clone is a clone so the investment grade buyer will still prefer the real deal over anything that was cloned. Like fine art, a collector will pay for an original Picasso, not so much for a print of an original Picasso;

    The Eleanor market is unique in that it is a clone of a car that never existed other than in a movie set. People who drop $120,000 or so into one of those tend not to be numbers matching and focus more on style and the comfort of modern amenities. Essentially they want a modern car (fuel injection, 500 HP, 4 wheel disc brakes, 5 speed trans, rack and pinion, coil over front and multi link rear suspensions, etc) that looks like a vintage car. The "S" is not likely to make a difference to this buyer;

    As discussed in prior posts, the boomer driven market is what I consider the "dream catchers". These are folks that more often than not never enjoyed a Shelby or a Mustang for that matter, when they were in high school, instead standing on the side lines dreaming about driving those cool cars back in the day. Today some would suggest those folks are trying to relive their lost youth. To that idea, I say, you really can't relive what you never had. Notwithstanding this observation, most dream catchers can create a vision of what never was and, be perfectly happy with their clone;

    When the Dynacorn bodies first came available several years ago, Mustangs Plus in Stockton got one and built a Bullitt clone in it's Restomod shop. As I recall, Ron Bramlett said he put about $70,000 into that build which did include an FE block engine. The bump in cost between the Bullitt clone and a Shelby clone would be mostly made up of the fiberglass body parts and a number of Shelby specific trim pieces.
    With the real deal in perfect shape going for $150,000+, a clone completed to a high level at slightly more than half that price may seem like a bargain. On the other hand, the average hobbyist is more likely looking at a budget of under $30,000 so dreams collide with reality in many cases and some compromises will need to be made.

    I suggest that other than the investment grade buyer who is focused on documented originality (provenance) the "S" in the VIN really doesn't translate into a significant factor for folks considering such cars.
    stangg and tarafied1 like this.
  13. Knapper

    Knapper New Member

    Thanks guys. It is interesting to hear others' perspectives. I have no aspiration of being a "collector", but i really want an original S code fastback. I understand they are not cheap and the condition will dictate the amount of premium I would have to pay, but this is a little crazy.


    Then you have these two beatifully done vehicles...

    First is an S code with the 390 in it:

    Second is a C code with a 428

    At this point, does the S code really add to the value, assuming workmanship is equal?

    I am not really looking for direction on which route to go. I was more interested in hearing others perspective...for that I thank you.

    I guess I will share my opinion at this point. I wish these builders of beautiful clones would use the T codes, c codes, or dynacorn; so the provenance of the A, K, and S codes can be preserved. However, I had not thought of titling issues.

    I guess I am just becoming discouraged that a reasonable S code is becoming unrealistic. The Benza car is very close to the original car I want. If I could get it for half the price they are asking, I might pull the trigger, knowing it's gonna cost an easy $50k to be show quality...and I would have to do a lot of the work.

    Just venting...thanks for the replies and giving me perspective....The search will continue.
  14. rbohm

    rbohm Active Member

    i think if you are going into this with the thought of making money, then your best bet is to do like gas monkey garage, or any number of other flippers do, and buy cars on the cheap, and fix them up enough to sell them for a profit.

    on the other hand, if you want a clone, or as i prefer to call them a "tribute car" of a shelby, or any other limited production mustang, then who cares what body you start with? the dynacorn bodies will make a great starting point because the vast majority of the metal work is done for you, and you can concentrate on the details of the end product.

    and yes you can make money off a tribute car, but you will have to control your costs very carefully, and you will have to keep an eye on the market place for these cars.
  15. Horseplay

    Horseplay Well-Known Member

    $50k to get that car to show quality...IF you do damn near EVERYTHING yourself. A show quality paint job is going to cost you 5 figures. And that only happens after all the metalwork has been done. You can be sure a car like that one will need some panel replacement, maybe cowl work and certainly at minimum floor patches. Spend an afternoon with a NPD catalog and add up the cost of every new part needed. For a show car that means everything that isn't welded to the body will need replaced or refurbished to as new condition. Gas tank all the way up to the front turn signal housings. I stopped adding it up when I hit like $3k with NPD on mine and there is very little stock left on my car!

    Have you ever priced out having an engine completely rebuilt? I'm talking just the machine work and new parts required. The assembly is the cheap part you can do yourself. Just a quick minimal overbore, engine refresh will cost you a couple grand all in. The second you decide to up the performance you can start doubling, tripling or more that cost. My very basic "souped up" 302 break-in engine done on the cheap with Craiglist stuff broke $5k. The real engine I built about doubled that price tag. Then you still have the rest of the drivetrain to deal with.

    A show car (not a winner but just one that doesn't look out of place) will need all the 50 year old glass replaced as well. All that stainless trim will need to be straightened out and polished to a mirror finish. A pro can cost you upwards of a grand for that little task. Bumpers being made new and rechromed aren't cheap but necessary for the end goal.

    My point in all this being that this is not an inexpensive hobby. To take a 50 year old car and make it into a "show" quality car is going to cost a lot and certainly more than you bargained for when the project started. Just the way it is. My advice to you is to get a welder (if you don't have one already) and learn to use it. Buy a base car with good bones and get to work. YOU get to work. Do as much as you can yourself and have a good time on the journey. This is the least expensive way to go and certainly the most rewarding. I have had my current car for nearly a decade. I have NEVER driven it. Bought it as a stalled project in pieces and have had a great time on the path which is now near completion. I have long forgotten about the dollars spent. Doesn't matter. This is not an investment other than one for giving me something fun I enjoy doing. In that sense, this is the cheapest form of entertainment I know.
  16. JeffTepper

    JeffTepper Well-Known Member

    Terry's post got me to thinking. What would it take in retail dollars to build a high end 67 Shelby GT 500 Clone from a Dynacorn body and a truck load of premium aftermarket performance parts?
    First, this is NOT scientific, rather an arm chair estimate of the cost of the components that would likely go into such a car if I was building it. Most significantly, the major assembly labor is not estimated here as the value of labor is a very fluid concept. Suffice it to say that if one is writing checks for this build to a high end shop, I would expect the labor would likely approach a similar number. For example for $25000 in parts, expect the total bill to include something in the neighborhood of an additional $25000 for labor. Obviously value engineering and the local labor rates will have a significant impact on the actual labor cost. Notwithstanding these adjustments, consider if you were in the business and are building this car for someone else, how much would you charge for sweating the fine details (labor)?

    The totals are staggering but, if you want a high dollar car, you need a budget consisting of cubic dollars. See below for the details.

    Shelby gt500 clone paint file.png
  17. Horseplay

    Horseplay Well-Known Member

    Add to Jeff's list all the other stuff that comes along during the build. Things like specialty tools not found in even the most complete home tool box. I know he included some gross figures for hardware but consider this little factoid. Wherever possible I elected to use GOOD stainless steel hardware both for looks and lasting appearance. I am not exaggerating when I write I spent over a grand on just that stuff. I also spent much more on sound deadening and such including spraying the full underside with Raptor liner. Interior finishes on a high end car can cost 5x the figure Jeff used. If you want leather, for example, break the piggy bank open. I sewed up much of my stuff myself. The cost of the sewing machine and such included I still saved a couple grand.

    Give Rich a call and ask him for a quote on building you a clone. That will be your high end, top notch bar. As far as others go, I would guess a fair average labor rate to be in the $80 hr range for this kind of work (this is the rate sometimes revealed on the Velocity show, Fantomworks). And that is simply a guess, I have never considered hiring anything out myself. I'm sure they are guys here who might have personal experience who could give specifics. Can you imagine dropping $50-70k on a car and parts only to have a labor bill on top of some $80k?! ouch.
  18. JeffTepper

    JeffTepper Well-Known Member

    Echoing Terry's comments about labor rates and fasteners, remember that some part of the assembly labor includes fabrication and fitting to make things look right and function correctly. When working with a 50 year old shell, you will likely find evidence of prior FUBAR repairs and short cuts that were taken when your shell was just another used car. Finding flywheel bolts of the correct thread pitch and length on a Sunday to allow the fitting of an aftermarket Big Block flywheel the car's owner wants to use to save money takes time. Do not forget the value of parts chasing, which in some circumstances can become a deep dark hole of lost time.

    FWIW I included the approximate cost of the AMK body kit and interior kit in my earlier estimate (!) and yes, there are many unique fasteners that may have gone missing over the years resulting in miscellaneous hardware store fasteners being adapted for a specialized use, and in some cases buggering up the part being fastened.
  19. kb3

    kb3 Well-Known Member

    Do not let my wife see Jeff's estimate, as I feel it is a fairly close representation as to actual costs. I can say the numbers will float up and down quite a bit, for example I had to pay nearly $1,000 just for a decent set of stainless window trim for the fastback. Since I built a car from a shell (albeit not a Dynacorn) I can tell you first hand how all the pieces add up. When I purchased the 65 shell, I could have purchased a complete car for about $3K more, but was tapped out at the time and felt I could find all the parts, boy how I wish I could turn back time.

    I am not foolish enough to think that I could ever sell the car for what we have in it, even if I discount my labor to zero. We built the car to own and drive. Hopefully the boy will keep it in the family well after I am dead and buried, then he can share with his mother how much we spent on it!
  20. janschutz

    janschutz Corn Hauler

    I tell Julie what I spend on her 59 truck. Last weekend she just figured this out. BTW, I have not told here every penny I have spent on my Mustang. That is just for me to know.

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