We all know someone that’s a car guy or gal! Whether it be your parent, a distant relative or even your neighbor that you crack a cold one with and talk about “car stuff” on the weekends. No matter who it is, everyone who owns or has owned a car has bought something for it! Even if it’s something small like an accessory, cleaning product or air freshener. Those of us in the muscle car community strive to make our cars an extension of ourselves, and for good reason! So, from the cleaning products to the accessories, you could be sitting on a pretty penny somewhere in your garage and not even realize it. Let us explain…
What if we told you that you may have thousands of dollars’ worth of “junk” sitting in your garage? Maybe it’s been there for as long as you can remember. Or maybe you brought it home from your dad’s house when he cleaned out his “old car stuff” and didn’t want to throw it away. Regardless, get ready to dig through the cabinets, toolboxes and even the classic miscellaneous drawer with random things like keychains that exists in every house (ours is in the kitchen). Because we are about to take a look at the automotive gold in the garage that’s not on four wheels, but hiding behind the tire cleaner or the branded tchotchke dangling off the peg board next to that one stack of car manuals your neighbor gave you cause he thought you’d like ‘em! Or maybe it’s near those old employee badges or the car emblem casting from the foundry that the brand changed up that you got from your best friend’s dad because it was meaningless to him. Or by the photos from the auto plant’s softball tournament. Or it’s the coat hanging in the back of the closet that your dad got at work for being involved with the production of a new vehicle in the ’60s. Believe us, we could go on and on. The point is, the possibilities are endless!
Now let us start off by saying you’re probably not going to be able to retire with what you uncover hiding in your basements and garages. However, a nice weekend trip with family or friends financed by a can of grease your grandma gave you might be a nice start! The spectrum of value for different items is based on three things: market demand, rarity and two opposing egos. So, you’re probably wondering, “How do I get over three hundred dollars for five pounds of grease?” Well, if it was given to you from your grandfather from back when he worked at Dodge Main and he kept it until you cleaned the garage for your grandma some rainy weekend years later, then it’s surprisingly not difficult at all!
But maybe the process of locating some of the best old finds comes a bit more naturally for you. You could be sitting at home one quiet Saturday watching a TV show about guys that buy old, valuable pieces of history — then you recognize a familiar item. That short moment may be enough to grab your attention and pique your interest! Kind of like your own lightbulb moment that sends you on an adrenaline-based home scavenger hunt faster than a Dodge Challenger SRT® Demon off the starting line.
So let’s look into where we car people find these hidden treasures. First, let’s start by digging into the garage cabinet. And we know what you’re thinking … cleaning out the garage is usually saved for times you’re prepping for that garage sale or the in-laws are over and you need to excuse yourself. In all reality though, many items found that have begun a huge drive for collecting are the products people used and then disposed of the container. Not only because they are scarce and hard to find unused, but also because of the desire to display them with a collector car. Period-correct automobile paraphernalia will always have a market that demands higher values.
If you own anything that locks, you’ll need a keychain for it. And dealers have always been happy to supply you with a keychain. Not only to help keep you organized, but also to get additional promotional awareness whether it be via their Dodge dealership or the Coronet Super Bee your dad purchased in 1969. That little, seemingly unimportant keychain can be a great step toward a tank of gas or a full belly on a night out with your significant other.
This white sheriff’s hat keychain from The Dodge Boys is the perfect example of something with hidden value. The “White hat specials” were a part of the Dodge brand’s marketing campaigns in the late ’60s. And the white hats themselves signified an easy, pleasant, customer-oriented experience for customers and the keychain was a great commemoration of that! Obviously, we don’t see salesman and saleswomen walking around in these hats today and that is what makes these keychains so rare, and therefore, valuable — because you can’t get them anymore! This one listed online is priced at fifty dollars, and it was probably thrown in someone’s drawer for the past seventy years.
Don’t believe us yet? Start checking random items and then you’ll see how much profit small car items can bring to you in open auction. Use some popular sites online (you know the ones) to check a barometer of what the buying market is snatching up. So, what we’re saying is, you better start looking at the old “junk” you brought home either recently or many years ago. Because some of the things you have could be items that collectors have spent years searching for. The saying goes “never judge a book by its cover”, right? Well, at DodgeGarage, we think we should never judge a piece of “junk” by its layer of dirt and/or rust. Because all these aforementioned items can be your ticket to a solid porterhouse or maybe even a trip to Puerto Vallarta. And so begins our series into where to locate, find information about, place a value on and also sell items for maximum return. Let’s remember, looking around is always a great way to familiarize yourself with something highly valuable and learn some great history along the way.
Written By: Cheston Carson