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A Horse With No Name

Survival rates?

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Probably the wrong place to post this but does anybody know where I can get any kind of info on survival rates of various models of GM cars?

I am curious about cars of the 30's and late 50's because it seems like these two eras have very low survival rates.

Does anyone here know if any models of GM car have gone "extinct"?

I am sure that with all of the color combos available during the 50's we've probably crushed the last lavender and pink model of "x" but I am curious to know if there are any models "gone for good."

Chris

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I have seen registries for the '53 Corvette, '53 Eldorado, and the '57-58 Eldorado Broughams- all 3 are... IIRC, over 50%, and I believe the EB is in the area of 70%. Of course- those are high-priced specialty models... but still those numbers surprised me.

Has any single '50s RPO GM year/model gone extinct? I sincerely doubt it.

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I'd have to agree with Balthazar on this.

I don't think that you can find any accurate numbers beyond the highly collectible models though, everything will be an estimate.

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I cringe at the thought of how many 1959 Buicks I've heard of

in just the past three years that have been crushed after their

owners decided all was lost.

It makes me happy to see the 1969 Camaros from CARS that

are being built right now, but what about the 1959 Imperials,

1939 Buicks & 1961 Cadillacs? Those type of cars, one year

only designs built in (relatively) small numbers are the ones

that I feel like mourning for.

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UPDATE: Documented '53 Eldorado survivors are in the 20-25% range, but Cadillac researchers estimate the true number may be closer to 50%. New survivors continue to pop up, but many owners either have no knowledge of the database or wish to remain anonymous.

Later is true of ANY registry of survivors.

Current documented '57 Eldorado Brougham survivors: 65%

Current documented '58 Eldorado Brougham survivors: 63%

Current documented '59 Eldorado Brougham survivors: 42%

Current documented '60 Eldorado Brougham survivors: 54%

The '53 Corvette registry is HERE.

In 1972-73, the Corvette community went about documenting all 300 of the '53s, and found them all. As of today, it looks like only 4 are known to be missing, but 10-15 (short on time here) have not been re-documented since the early '70s. Sooo, say 19 out of 301 (including the Motorama prototype) are gone or unknown and you have approximately 93% of the '53s remaining.

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Mark:

From what I have seen I would think the 1959 Buick survival rates are probably

not too bad... right? I mean there's dozens of them just on B-59.com, & recent

photos of hundreds more. But then again even if we documented 28,000 B-59s

it would still only amount to 10% opf the cars produced. Even if every one of the

285,000 made survived down to every commercial chassis I'd still say there's

not enough of these cars. It is quite shocking (to me) that in the past several

years I have seen thousands & thousands of cars at car shows but have yet to

see even ONE 1959 Buick. Maybe there's one or two at the Buick club meets but

even local Buick fanatics/owners/collectors just scratch their heads when I pull

up in my car & say it's been a while since they saw one. For some like my buddy

Kenny who collects Buicks and has a few GSX (including a $100,000 ragtop) and

a Grand National, it's been several YEARS since he saw a 1959 Buick.

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Actually the B-59 Started me thinking about this. I saw a 1959 Buick on the road...in 1972.

I would guess maybe 3% of the 59 buicks survive, if that. Out of 285,000 cars that would be thirty out of a thousand which would make...

Maybe 900 cars that survive in decent shape like yours?

I think survival rates for Camro, Mustang, etc are probably about 20% or so.

Suprisingly both the Corviar and the Cierra had very high survival rates for a very long time. Something like 80% of Cierra's survived to see their tenth birthday and 60% of Corvairs survived to 15-20 years according to a G.M. article i read several years ago.

Thanks for the link to the 53 Corvette registry. IIRC one of the (real) 53 Vettes is still racing as a rather radical drag car to this day.

Chris

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B-59s, I believe, may have actually taken a harder hit than average, tho this is pure opinion (mine). Tho I love the radical design, they were quickly dated even by -say- '62... and by the time the gas crunch of '73-74 hit- I would have to guess the euthanasia was running rampant {shudder}.

I bought my B-59 in '89, tho I was on the lookout for them a good 5 years earlier. Since then I've seen very very few, either 'in the wild', in junkyards or at car shows.

I've been in 14 different junkyards, from a small 100-some car yard to 40+ acres: I can remember.... 7 B-59s and 6 of those yards have been crushed out since then.

From shows maybe I've seen 3 more, plus a bunch of the 11 a buddy of mine owns.

'In the wild' or owned by individuals I've seen maybe 8, and 2 of them I bought (one since crushed).

I've never seen one just driving down the street that I can recall.

Sixty8- b-59.com is the clearinghouse for a bunch of fanatics (me included)... I think it paints an unbalanced picture as to how plentiful they are today. Look in Hemmings or autotrader and you won't see many. The BCA more often than not does NOT have one in the classified....

Still, 3% sounds low. Most 'non-especially-collectible' '50s cars were estimated to have a 10% survival rate in the early '90s... I don't think it's dropped that much lower since. The guy who put my B-59 in finish primer in '99 ($h!- has it been that long??) I just talked to last month- said he's been seeing more and more B-59s in custom publications. The values have tripled in the last 10 years... hopefully all this means that whatever ones are left, the majority will be saved.

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3% may be low but they sadly have a very low survival rate I am sure. My question I guess is why did these cars drop that far off of the radar? Even in the 1970's growing up people seemed to worship mid fifties as well as about 1964-1971 type cars. These cars (1958-61) have always seemed to fall through the cracks and I can't quite figure out why.

Yes, you are right they were quickly dated by even 1962 but this whole generation still does have some gems.

However, 10% survival rates for 50's cars? I just don't see very many 50's cars at all at shows and cruise ins anymore, even the evergreen 55-57 Chevrolet or the two seater T-Birds. hopefully you are right and I am wrong.

Chris

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I can add a little Firehawk info here, 100% of the 25 production 91/92 firehawks still exist and 50% of the 91/92 Firehawk racecars still exist ( only two were built and one was destroyed).

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I can add a little Firehawk info here, 100% of the 25 production 91/92 firehawks still exist and 50% of the 91/92 Firehawk racecars still exist ( only two were built and one was destroyed).

Good to know that they are still here. I think the Corvette Challenge cars that were raced in the SCCA also have an almost 100% Survival rate.

in general later cars that are interesting are much more likely to be saved because let's face it after about 1972 the number of interesting cars dropped dramatically. (and thus interesting cars were much more likely to be saved)

Chris

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