How to qualify a car in a Barrett-Jackson Auction

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Updated: 2/22/2013 11:03 am

RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV)-- For decades Dave Finley was a trusted forecaster for Northern Nevada. He's a father of two and a proud owner of a 1964 Corvette Stingray.

It's the car that served him through his college days at the University of Nevada.

His classic car has a lot of sentimental value. Finley says he was driving a Corvette just like it when he met his wife.

He bought the car in 1966 for just $4,500. About 46,000 miles later, a new engine, and a few upgrades along with some wear and tear Finley says it's time to see what it's worth.

So we hit the road to find out what it takes to qualify Finley's pride and joy in a Barrett-Jackson Auction.

That's when we met Al Oppio owner and auto restoration builder at Al's Rod and Custom Inc. in Sparks.

Oppio has been in the business for decades. This will be his 27th year participating in Hot August Nights and he's our local qualification expert.

"They want good cars and they'll go through them to make sure you're buying a good car," Oppio says.

A Barrett-Jackson employee would be the one to sign off on an evaluation, but we had Oppio give Finley's car a quick once over to help shed some light on what they would look for.

First off, Oppio says there are four categories a classic car can be registered under: original, stock, modified, and custom.

Finley's would be considered stock, because it has original and reproduced parts.

Next, is the car ready to go up under the stage and lights?

"If you're going to enter your car in an auction, first of all, you have to make it look good," Oppio says.

Appearance comes first, then mechanics and safety.

An evaluator will also go through a car to make sure all the numbers match up.

"The vin number tells you where it was built, the time of year, the color of the car, the interior that it had, and the accessories that went on the car at that time," Oppio says. "It tells everything about the car."

Sort of like a birth certificate, a vin number tells a future owner everything they need to know and be able to prove.

"Once you clean it up, I'm guessing there's blue books we can go to to give you a real good idea. This car, as it sits would be about $30,000 to $35,000," Oppio says.

Not bad, but we're not sure if it's enough to get Dave to let go of his classic beauty just yet.

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