Saturday, May 2, 2009

Immortalizing Collector Cars

Why is the 1968 Shelby GT 500 ("Kings of the Road" shown above) so collectible, while, say the 1976 Chevrolet Chevette is not. Okay, admittedly, that's an extreme example and the reasons are beyond obvious, but my point is, what makes one car soar in collectibility and value in the eyes of collectors and enthusiasts, while others are seemingly passed over? And what, if anything, can change a car's status?

Of course there are several factors that contribute to the popularity of an automobile; production numbers, horsepower, performance, aesthetics ... the list goes on. Once a car is immortalized, in movies, television shows, die cast replicas and art, however, it's status and value as a true collector car increases. I cannot remember the last time I saw a movie that didn't have a Ford Mustang in it. Or a Chevy Corvette. Or a Dodge Charger. Arguably, these are some of the most iconic and highly valued classics on the market today.

That brings me to the Mercury Marauder - specifically the 2003-2004 limited production models, designed by Steve Babcock. Many owners of this car are die hard enthusiasts. Many started with the Ford Mustang, and have since moved to the roomier Marauder. It may appear to some to be a luxury sedan, but make no mistake, like many "sleepers," this is a powerful muscle car!

So far, these cars are revered by the people that own them, but have not yet reached the collector values that some of their counterparts have. But that may be about to change. Working with the Motor City Marauders, Michael has started on a painting, entitled "Marauders of Woodward." It features all four colors of Mercury's sinister 300 hp 4.6 V8, racing down the famous Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan during the annual Dreamcruise. With plans to have it completed this summer, fans of the Marauder are in for a treat. This is the first time the car has been immortalized in this way.

Dave Popovich of the Motor City Marauders, having been a long time fan and owner of some of Michael's work, including "Shakin' Up The Street," (shown above) was instrumental in making this happen. It's his devotion to the car, the website, forum and its members, that helped inspire Michael. As always, Michael strives to be as technically accurate as possible, so a big thanks to Steve Babcock for his help in that area.

Limited Edition Prints, Artist Proofs with Remarque and Gallery Editon Canvases of "Marauders of Woodward" are slated to be released by fall 2009. I'll keep you posted. - Linda

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