Rust never sleeps. In the old days of leaded gas, cars lacked the rust proofing of modern automobiles. That means that a lot of very desirable cars have either rusted back to the earth, or need a ton of costly work for restoration.
An example: I'm roaming the show this year with a friend and colleague of mine. His dad has five classic Ford Mustangs in a barn, including one he bought new. (And no, I'm not telling you where they are.) But, putting it charitably, they all need a good amount of work. Meanwhile, the price of concours-ready examples has skyrocketed in recent years.
But there is an alternative. Hanging above the Ford stand here at SEMA is an entire 1967 Mustang fastback unibody. Well, to be fair, it LOOKS like a '67 'Stang, but it's actually a brand-new body shell from Dynacorn Classic Bodies, Inc. Sitting underneath this is a complete "1967" fastback, built with 95 percent reproduction parts. Ford licenses the design to companies that build the components. It's not just Mustangs getting the everything-old-is-new-again treatment; sitting not far away is a '55 Chevy built basically new from the ground-up. For mail-order do-it-yourselfers, Dynacorn Classic Bodies also offers 1967 and 1969 Chevrolet Camaro coupe and convertible bodies.
This gets me wondering. Skip ahead 20-30 years. What bodies will companies reproduce for Gen X'ers to buy and rebuild? (Given the need for a thrifty yet fun cars, we could use a Honda CRX Si shell now.) Use the Comments function below and let us know. Who knows if there will still be a market for these classic Mustangs and Chevys when the original owners have also rusted back to earth.