“Quality is Remembered Long After Price is Forgotten”

Appraisal Resources

Meaningful, useful appraisals require good information, easily-accessible which is applied by experienced personnel with judgment.

AAE has over 5,000 volumes of automobile data and regularly-updated information about market conditions for collector cars, truck, and special interest vehicles. The utility of this information is enhanced with our modern data-processing systems. These resources are coupled with my forty years of active involvement in the automotive hobby and the judgment that comes from day-to-day involvement in vehicle restoration and the showing and judging of cars.

Appraisal Procedures & Value

All appraisals are accompanied by a written report complete with a color photographic record of the vehicle as appraised (24 photos are supplied). Vehicle appraisal is based on a 108 category, 341 point-based system which ensures the maximum degree of fairness in judging the vehicle. If certain components are properly missing from a car (for example a hardtop does not have a convertible top or boot), the total points possible are reduced appropriately. Each component or condition is assigned a number of points ranging from 2 to 5 based on the relative importance of each which are the most points that can be granted for a perfect component or condition.  These items are grouped into six major categories:

  1. Engine Compartment -- radiator, finish of components and details, lines & hoses, decals, and presence of oil/water leaks;
  2. Undercarriage -- tires, wheels, brakes, suspension, frame, lines, exhaust system, fuel tank, and underbody;
  3. Interior -- seat, doors, headliner and door panel upholstery; instrument panel, pedals, mirrors and running boards/sill plates;
  4. Trunk -- Paint, upholsteries (if applied), spare tire, jack, and tools;
  5. Exterior -- body components fit and alignment, bumpers, grille, trim and emblems, paint, lights, glass, and convertible top; and
  6. Operability – engine, transmission, and related components, horns, instruments, and operability of lights, windows, and accessories.

Documentation of uniqueness, history, etc. is to be supplied by the owner. Value is based upon an assessment as compared to current (when appraised) market conditions.

Typically, the appraisal provides the Market Value of the subject vehicle. Although this term is imprecise, there is a general consensus that it is the most probable price a vehicle will bring in a competitive, open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale -- both buyer and seller acting prudently and knowledgeably and under no duress to buy or sell. Generally, market value should be obtained with adequate marketing if six to 12 months are allowed for selling the car.

Other valuations are replacement value and liquidation value. Replacement value represents what it would cost to acquire and restore, as appropriate, the acquired car to a condition equal to that of the appraised vehicle; few collector cars have market value exceeding their replacement cost due to the cost of components and restoration work.  Liquidation value is that dollar amount a car owner might expect if forced to sell the vehicle in a short period of time.

In addition to the typical appraisal supplied for normal valuation purposes, such insurance acquisition, buying or selling, appraisals can also be provided when a car has been damaged. Accompanying such appraisals is expert testimony if required.

Appraisal Fees
Collector Cars      $150
Street Rods/Custom Cars   $160
Trucks $140
Accident Damage Valuation $180
Consultation  $75/hour
Expert Testimony   $100/hour for preparation and court time

To all fees quoted above are added travel expenses and travel time to and from AAE offices at $35/hour.         

Typically, 50% of the appraisal fee is required when the appraisal is commissioned with the balance due when the appraisal report is ready for delivery. For consultations and expert testimony, other arrangements are required.