Volume 1, Issue 1

by Cara Barrett on August 24, 2011

Welcome fellow hobbyists, friends, and automotive businesses!  I consider myself very privileged to be able to communicate with you.  I hope that through this communication you will get to know more about me both personally and professionally, you will learn something new that will benefit you in your journey, and that you become more in love with classic cars than ever before!

If you have received this newsletter by mistake and would like to unsubscribe, please email me at alancolvin59@gmail.com


Alan Colvin


I recently did a Level 1 Inspection on a very cool ’69 AMX and it will be posted on my website later this week. For any type of inspection/appraisal done on any car, please contact me at services@alancolvin.com.


In this inaugural issue of our brand-new newsletter (and the ones to follow), I will be discussing some topics that I believe are very important issues to my readership. These issues include the restoration at cars which may never appreciate in value beyond their restoration cost. Another issue to be addressed is the fact that many restorers are asking the advice of a few “experts in the musclecar arena and are receiving varied and sometimes very erroneous statements on how to correctly restore their car. Giving the “experts” the benefit of the doubt, most restorers just need basic specific information which should make good common sense. Follow along now as I discuss some misnomers of the car restoration industry.

One of the most unnoticed problems arising in today’s car collector market is the restoration, or to put it bluntly, the over-restoration of cars that will never appreciate in value above their restoration cost. With the emphasis of original documentation being almost a necessity in high dollar restorations today, many restorers have decided to restore cars which do not have the appeal that other more desirable cars do. Let me give you a prime example. Bob Harris, owner of Camaro Specialties in East Aurora, New York, states that, “A lot of my customers are willing to put a lot of money in a car, which in my opinion, is just not worth it. A guy may have a fully documented 1968 6-cylinder Camaro tint is full of options. He is willing to spend $20-25,000 to restore that car just because the car has paperwork. It’s their money, but there are more desirable cars out there to spend money on.” The collector/restorer must come to the realization that decisions like this can only be made with the full knowledge of the consequences of an over-restoration to the wrong car.

There is the complete opposite approach to restoration as well. There are many car owners who have chosen a car which deserves a correct and costly restoration, but they have absolutely no documentation for the car. This fact does not disprove the car’s validity, but may shed some doubt any time the car is shown or represented in public. The general public must realize that cars which have documentation after 20-30 years are the exception, and not the rule. The public’s expectation for this documentation has too many times resulted in a great car being passed by.

A third scenario revolves around the collector/restorer who has a correct, very rare car, but decides to go the “cheap” route. Bob Harris adds, “I can’t understand these people either. They have a great car, they shop for months for the correct part, finally find it, and pass on it because it was $10 too much. Then they buy the inferior part and gripe about it when they get put in a non-original class or lose a car show to the guy who took the time and effort to correctly restore his car.”

Part 2 of this article will be coming in our next newsletter! Stay tuned!


Before I purchased what I believe to be an original 1970 Chevelle SS, I bought your book, Chevrolet by the Numbers 1970-75, in an attempt to decode the VIN# and data plate on the car. I believe I was successful in decoding the VIN and most of the data plate except for the accessory codes. The codes I need identified are: 353113  41C450 . Also, the VIN# of the car is 136370A159806 and the engine VIN # is 10A159806.  I believe that the engine is the original for this car, based on the matching numbers shown above.  This is how I have come to the conclusion that this car is an original Chevelle SS. I am hoping that the information I have  gathered is correct.  Any information you could give me to fill in the blanks would be greatly appreciated. – J.W. Brewster, NY

From all indications, it looks as though you have an original engine in  the car. The codes you are needed decoded have nothing to do with the options of the car. Many assembly plants used internal control numbers to track cars within the plant and these numbers would sometimes be imprinted on the trim tag. There is no correlation to the cars options with this sequence of numbers. It looks like the car is a matching numbers car from the info you have provided me. Good luck.


I’ve bought your book , Chevrolet by the Numbers 1960 64.  It’s very well written although I have two questions that I hope you may be able to answer. I have a  1960 Chevrolet Nomad with VIN # 01835L157845. The trim tag  has 3 accessory codes on the trim tag which I do not understand. What does  EZI, IP, and TG  mean?  Also, how would I get a copy of the build sheet on my 1961 Corvette.  Can you help me? – M.E. Kelso, WA

The EZI refers to the tinted glass installed in the car, the IP refers to the instrument panel or padded dash and the TG should refer to the Turboglide transmission. The TG accessory code has not been totally substantiated so let me know if your car is so equipped. Unfortunately, there are no known ways to acquire an original build sheet from General Motors. A few years ago, I did an extensive study within GM and several government agencies to see if the records could be acquired but to no avail.

For more Chevy Q & A, visit www.alancolvin.com

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