The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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March 9, 2014

Area businesses cater to market for replica, restored classic cars

GRANBY, Mo. — In 2007, a 1966 Shelby Cobra sports car sold at auction for $5.5 million.

If that’s too rich for your blood, Barry McGill has a couple of options. You can buy a replica built by McGill Manufacturing for around $40,000 or a kit car for even less.

McGill has been operating his shop about a mile east of Granby for five years.

McGill, who has one employee on staff — a secretary — is part of the burgeoning interest in classic automobile restoration and replicas. In part because of the proliferation of cruise nights and television shows such as “Pimp My Ride” and “My Classic Car,” older vehicles have become big business.

In 2013, for the first time, sales of classic cars at public auctions topped the $1 billion mark, according to CNN/Money, which compiled the data from Hagerty Insurance, which specializes in insuring collector cars.

A decade ago, in 2004, that figure was at $282 million.

The average price of a collector car sold at public auction has gone from $33,000 in 2004 to $61,000 in 2013.

Last year also witnessed another record when a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO blew the doors off all competitors and became the most expensive car ever sold, when a private buyer agreed to pay $52 million for it, according to Hemmings Daily.

That’s where McGill comes in.

Besides the 1966 replica Cobras and kits, McGill also builds finished replica cars and kits for 1932 and 1934 Ford Coupes.

The cost of a finished basic model replica Ford Coupe is $45,000 to $50,000. The finished basic Cobra is just under $40,000. McGill said the Cobra is a much simpler machine than the Ford Coupe.

Kits are usually from $8,000 to $15,000, but McGill said they can cost more depending on the level of customization. He said he can provide any level of customization that the customer wants. He said it just depends on how much the customer wants to pay.

McGill said American cars also are popular with collectors overseas. He said he recently made his first international sale.

“I just shipped a Cobra kit to Chile,” McGill said, noting that the shipping cost was more expensive than the kit.

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