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How Safe is Your Investment?

In the last decade many owners of Cackle Cars have been able to restore or recreate their cars for a dollar cost that is quite reasonable. And even when the owner or owners friends donate their time to the project and parts have been "in hand' for a long time or are, likewise, donated to the project, the actual costs of the project has no relationship to the value of the finished product.

Recently an owner said he could sell his running car for $50,000 and build two more with the proceeds. This would be met with laughter from guys like Dave West and Don Trasin who had Pat Foster recreate or restore their cars, the Beebe-Mulligan car and the Jade Grenade. Costs for a complete recreation done by a craftsman like Foster could exceed six figures for a complete, painted, running car.

It doesn't matter, as long as it doesn't matter. But, as we all know - "life happens". If the car were stolen, destroyed in a highway accident, burned in a fire or put up for sale while trying to establish a value, neither the bare bones cost of an owner restored car like the first example nor the final cost of the artisan built car accurately reflect the current value. The obvious and best valuation method is to actually sell it. That sets the value. But for sales negotiation or the instances of loss of the vehicle, there is a way to set a value that would also provide a basis for insuring the car. It is an appraisal done by a qualified appraiser.

Recently, Ron Johnson, owner of and two highly regarded cackle cars decided that he wanted appraisals done on his cars. Ron wanted appraisals that would reflect the true value of the cars for some other purposes as well. An appraisal would also set a tax write-off value for the cars as a possible donation to a museum someday in the future. Plus, Ron wanted to be able to back up the "agreed value" on his off-track insurance policy in the event of a loss. Even with a "Stated Value" or "Agreed Value" policy in-place, should the unthinkable happen, Ron knew he could be asked by his insurer to provide verification for that value. He felt it best to acquire a credible value before "stuff" happened?

Ron got in contact with Jon Lundberg of Southwest Valuations in Arizona who had previously done an appraisal for Bill Turney's restored Starlite III dragster. Arrangements were made to get together at the 2008 California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield which was on both men's schedule already. This would allow for some time to gather information and take pictures for Jon without either party having to spend extra time and cost of travel.

So that you might better understand what's involved and how thorough the product is we have re-printed Jon's report here for your information. Email Jon at for answers to any questions. Please consider this action. In today's world it's as critical to your peace of mind as a Cackle Car that runs.

Sample Pages From Actual Appraisal



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