EP019 Chris Rockwell Talks Gateway Classic Cars

Coming up in this episode of Road Muscle Radio…fishing for muscle cars…the best way to know what  your classic is worth…happy Our Favorite Roads month…and Mad Max style auction action.  Then in Segment 2, we’ll talk with Chris Rockwell, general manager of Gateway Classic Cars in Olathe, Kansas, about the Gateway way to buy or sell you cool ride.




By Heather Leah, WRAL

Looks like a long time ago some folks won the Jaques Cousteau 5000 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  According to an article on WRAL’s website, two old cars were discovered submerged in Lake Wheeler

It’s not exactly unusual.  The article says Kerr Lake has an old train hidden in it. Lake Norman has an entire airplane at the bottom, which can be seen with sonar.

On July 26th, a fisherman using his sonar device in Lake Wheeler discovered a submerged vehicle near Lake Wheeler Dam.

The Apex Fire Department dive team was called in to investigate the sunken vehicle, and divers discovered two vehicles that “appeared to have been in the water for a long time.”

Divers were not able to find any identification or tags on or near the vehicles.

So what?  From the sonar image, the car almost looks like a muscle car and appears like it could have fins on the back. There’s a snap from depthfinder that is wayyyy interesting.  Makes the car look a bit like Hot Wheel.   Is that a fin- or a spoiler? Is that a fastback?

Local fire historian Mike Legeros posted images of the water rescue and dive team arriving on-site. In his tweet, he said the car was found in 10 feet of water.

It is uncertain how the cars became submerged or how long they have been beneath the water.

I aaaaam curious, and will try to keep an eye on this story.


Want to determine the value of your vintage vehicle?

You could use online appraisal systems to estimate the value of your car, but you’re much better off hiring a professional appraiser to audit your particular asset.

Far more factors influence a classic car’s worth than simply its age, make, and model. An accurate valuation also considers:


-any restoration work performed,

– thoroughness of documented records,

– trends in auction sales,

– regional interest,

– any one-of-a-kind traits that make your specific unit unique.

Some of this stuff is way beyond an algorithm, so your best solution is hiring a classic car appraiser with an established name. It doesn’t have to be a top-of-the-line auction house, but make sure it’s someone who has a reputation for accuracy and credibility.

Appraisal business listings on AntiqueCar.com are a good place to start.

When you find a potential appraiser, reach out and make sure they’re familiar with your model before hiring them. Ensure you’re working with an expert on your particular brand or production period.

Gather all the paperwork you have on the vehicle and discuss the best way to meet with the appraiser if doing so in person. Many trustworthy appraisal businesses also offer virtual appraisals that can take place over email if you can provide detailed photographs and documentation on your vehicle.

Knowing an accurate value of your classic car helps you select accurate insurance coverage and compensation if you ever need to make a claim on it for damages. You’ll also have proof of its worth if you ever sell the vehicle, use it as collateral on an auto equity loan, and for tax purposes during estate planning (it will greatly help whoever you bequeath the vehicle to if they have to claim it as income or go through probate).

You may have to pay a couple hundred dollars for the appraisal, but knowing the true value of your beloved car can bring a level of satisfaction that’s — frankly — priceless.


At journal.classiccars.com, August is “Our Favorite Roads” month.

This month, the editors of the Journal will share their favorite “let’s go for a drive” roads across the country.

According to an editorial piece announcing their series this month, it says, “We chose this profession as automotive scribes unanimously because we love the drive. That feeling you get when man and machine become one and we enter that zone of perfect awareness. The cars are great, but the roads make the difference.”

The writer talke with Last Open Road author, Burt Levy, who said the roads are more important than the car itself. “The real romance is not with the car at all… It’s with the road. The road is the piece of music and the car is the instrument with which you play it.”

What are YOUR favorite roads to hit?  Send us an email at drive@roadmuscleradio.com, or message us on our facebook page, @roadmuscleradio.

I love tooling down 169 Highway all the way to Cherryvale, and hitting some of the side-towns.  Early in the morning the road is mostly clear, the air smells of earth and field, and the music is whatever I want.

Most scenic that doesn’t require a full day drive just to get to the starting point, is heading into Arkansas. Take the Pig Trail south of Eureka Springs, and you’re in for a valley-to-mountain-top ride, with lots of twists, turns, and beautiful views.

Out of easy reach- Rocky Mountain National Park, specifically outside of Estes Park, Colorado- plus the drive from Estes Park to Nederland.  And as god is my witness, I WILL drive across Monument Valley.

How about you, Brett?


Mad Max, meet your Mad Mess

Let’s say you had an early 70’s Ford that you’d parked in a chicken shed for 30-plus years. Open to weather, dirt, and chicken poop.  Left to rust.  Never started. What do you think it would be worth?

If you’re in Australia- a heckuva lot.  A dusty and rusty mess of a 1973 Australian Ford Falcon XA GT Hard Top RPO 83 Manual Coupe Ford Falcon, left in a shed for over three decades was auctioned off this past week. It was a rare high performance model, one of 120 that were made.  If you’re wonder what a Falcon looks like in Australia, take a sort-of 70’s Cougar rear end with a sort-of 71 Mustang door/cabin with a sort-of early 70’s Ford Fairlane/Mercury Monterey front end.  You  know, basically the kind of mess AMC would build and call all good.  The model was effectively Australia’s version of the Mustang, but offered in several body styles, with two and four doors.

This particular coupe was one of just 120 high-performance models featuring a 330 hp 5.8-liter V8 that was good for a 160 mph top speed. This one is orange-ish, right-hand drive of curse, with a white-and-black interior, plenty of mildew, and a double-barrel dose of high-performance hantavirus.

It’s a predecessor to the original Mad Max interceptor car, if that gives you an idea. Except without the special Apocalypse accessory package.

Gordon Stubbersfield, the owner, refused to sell it despite great interest from collectors over the thirty-plus years, because it was the car he owned when he got married. He also enjoyed speaking to people who stopped by to ask about it until he passed away last year.

“He was adamant he didn’t want it touched – he loved it as it was,” Postle said.

The owner held on to the car for 30 years and rejected several offers reportedly because it was the car he owned when he first got married. The car was last registered for road use and started in 1988 and has since been rotting away in a half-open roadside shed outside Brisbane behind a chicken wire fence.

According to TradeUniqueCars.com.au, a 1973 Falcon XA GT Hard Top RPO 83 in fair condition is worth around $70,000 while those in excellent condition have an estimated value over $180,000.

This Ford Falcon in very original, very ugly condition?  It fetched 215 THOUSAND DOLLARS.

The buyer has not yet come forward or announced what they intend to do with the car.



If you’re searching for your classic gas or new old hot rod, you’ve no doubt seen an ad somewhere for Gateway Classic Cars.  They provide you access to over 3000 classic and exotic cars in locations all around the U.S., with show rooms in Saint Louis, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, Denver, Atlanta, and on and on. Plus- right here in Olathe as the Kansas City Showroom.  Joining us now is Chris Rockwell, General Manager for Gateway Classic Cars. Chris used to be a showroom manager in Texas, and is now involved in every showroom- so if you go in, this guy has his finger in the octane.  Chris, thanks for being here on Road Muscle Radio.

  1. As the world’s largest classic and exotic car sales company, what exactly is it that Gateway Classic Cars does? (as in, is GCC a dealership? A consignment facilitator? An auction site? All of the above?)
  2. How did Gateway get started?
  3. What are the requirements for a vehicle to be considered a viable listing on Gateway Classic Cars?
  4. If we sell our car on GCC, how does it get marketed?
  5. Walk us through purchasing a car at GCC. Also- what about financing?
  6. What’s the most unusual vehicle you know of that GCC has sold?
  7. What’s the “coolest” muscle car you’ve seen go through GCC?
  8. What happens when a car just, for whatever reason, doesn’t sell?
  9. Of course, COVID19 rules and regulations give the green/yellow/or red light, but tell us about the other things GCC does- like renting out space for events, and chrome and coffee events.

Visit gatewayclassiccars.com to find the show room nearest you, for contact info, aaand to cruise through their inventory across the United States.  Chris, thank you so much for being here on Road Muscle Radio.

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