Vol. XVI


June Newsletter


Before the Tri-Fives – Where it all started

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As with so many cars that move thru our dealership, I learn something new. The Bel Air name is one of the most well known models in car history, most famous for the 1955 to 1957 years that have become symbols of American classic cars.

But, it did not start out as a model, but as an option! 1950 was the birth year of the famous icon. In an era before hardtops were available from most major car producers, this early Bel Air hardtop was created. The Bel Air was a trim option on the Deluxe model, just like the Galaxie / Fairlane and Caprice / Impala cars that followed later. All three “trim” packages became iconic, long tenured models.

These early Bel Air hardtops were created by Chevrolet starting with the convertible bodies and welding a hardtop on to them. This was a very unusual way to build a car with a roof. Chevrolet created a unique three piece rear window and very small C pillars, different than the rest of the coupe offerings in 1950.

This beautiful example below is rarely found in this condition. I doubt Chevrolet had any idea in 1950 what this moniker would become a few years later. Click and enjoy all the pictures of this well restored example of the first Chevy Bel Air.

Want to make your classic drive better?

Many of our clients ask for guidance on what improvements could be made to help the operation of a classic car. Especially for older fifties and sixties cars, before some of today’s options were regularly part of the industry. We have a full shop and often complete these types of upgrades. Although some of the upgrades below were available in this era, they were infrequently part of the cars built. Also, early luxury options do not perform as well as the more advanced systems available today as upgrades.

Take a look at this list. If buying a car from us, we can complete any of these as part of the purchase. Already have a car? Easy to find a shop that can complete them. Do your research on what costs should be and options for you to make an informed decision.
Power steering – an easy addition to most cars. Power steering was not a part of the vast majority of the fifties cars and many of those from the sixties. Easy upgrade to complete, making the car easier to handle.
Power brakes – with today’s higher speed driving, adding power brakes is an easy upgrade and helps with safety. Power brakes have been standard so long it is hard to adjust to driving a classic with manual brakes again.
Disc brake conversion – again, adding front disc brakes is easy and likely your best safety improvement. Kits made to convert most fifties and sixties cars with not much problem. Much better stopping power over original four wheel drums.
Air conditioning – probably the best dollar return upgrade. Just about everyone wants A/C and we install many of them. Our requirement is also adding electric cooling fans (in the next section) when we add A/C to any car
Radiators & cooling fans – Original radiators typically rust from the inside out and many times undersized for hot climate driving. A/C blaring only adds to the strain. Upgrading to a new radiator and sometimes adding higher capacity will help your car stay cool and protect your investment. Adding a supplemental electric cooling fan will also help the car stay cool in traffic.
Radial tires – older fifties and sixties cars had bias ply tires when new. Many times people restoring these cars mount new bias ply tires. Honestly, if you drive your car, adding new radials in the proper whitewall width and pattern will make the car more drivable and safer.


1985 Buick Riviera

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Just arrived, this is an outstanding example of the top of the line Riviera. Museum quality, mint condition, maybe the nicest original left. Rare color combination. Two owners since new. Now it is ready for its next owner to love and pamper. Take to Buick Nationals and win Survivor Class.

Sold new in Butler, Wisconsin by Rank & Son Buick in 1985, it remained with the original owner until bought by Owner #2 last year. We acquired it, brought it to Florida for a mechanical refresh. These luxury coupes are some of the best driving cars to come out of Detroit in the 1980's. 

Immaculate original paint in the factory Sage Green Metallic. Original Sage Green landau vinyl top in perfect condition. Mint factory Dark Sage Green Velour interior in excellent condition. Factory door panels, dash, carpet, & headliner all in as new condition. Museum quality car!

Ice cold factory air conditioning. Factory 5.0 Liter V-8 and overdrive automatic transmission. Full slate of the luxury options including lots of power options you would expect with this top of the line model.

2003 FORD F-150 

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These Anniversary Editions are sought after by collectors and this is one of the nicest examples left. Sold new in Washington State in 2003 and has remained there until arriving in Florida. Rust and accident free, clean Autocheck report.

Loaded with about every option including adjustable pedals and message center in the driver's visor. Also equipped with the moon roof option. Original Black paint in excellent condition including special striping. Four bucket seat leather interior and dual consoles. Harley badging and #3370 SE plate on the front console. 

The car is equipped with a Supercharged 5.4 Liter V-8 engine. Factory automatic transmission. Lots of factory power assists & options. Ice cold factory air conditioning. This car has been detailed and serviced, ready to drive or show. 


Click here for more information!
Since we began in 2007, we have always taken the business approach that our clients want their vehicle to arrive ready to drive. We want the excited client to receive their new purchase, gas it up and take it for a drive.The classic car business is typically a very different model. Most dealers buy their cars on the weekends at classic car auctions, wash them on Monday and advertise them on Tuesday. How they bought the car is how you buy it. In most instances, your new purchase from them arrives and goes to your repair shop to be fixed so it can be driven.

At MJC, we have a dedicated person in our twelve man shop that does nothing but check-in cars. Whether a consignment vehicle or one of our purchases, he completes a 100 point inspection, test drives the car, and pulls the wheels to inspect the brakes. All his list of needs, typically 15-30 fixes, are listed on our inspection form. This list follows the vehicle thru the different departments in our shop and is used as the checklist of repairs completed. Whether a consignment or owned car, our cars arrive ready to drive.

We sell our cars for slightly higher prices than buying from our competition, but our goal is for you to know what your investment will be, not a purchase with open ended repairs after arrival. We also know we can make these repairs with our expert staff at a lower cost than you paying retail at your local repair shop.

Please click the picture above and see the repair facility at our new location. We believe our new repair facility is the finest of any classic car dealer not taking in outside work. We only work on our own cars.


Click here to consign with us today!
MJC Classic Cars has been selling not only our own cars, but vehicles for consigning clients We’ve been able to consistently sell luxury cars,  muscle cars, and custom hot rods for clients from all over the USA and Canada.
We only consign very nice vehicles, no rust buckets or projects. Our rule is we need to have the vehicle present for photographs here in Lakeland, Florida and can safely store the car until sold. We do not take offsite consignments as many cars are visited pre-sale by buyers and inspectors, so we limit consignments to cars that are with us.

MJC Classic Cars is an established company selling about 300 classics this year. We have found eBay, Hemmings Online, Classiccars Online and Autotrader Classics to be the most cost effective and result oriented places to advertise your car. Our website www.mjcclassiccars.com confirms the quality of the cars we sell to potential buyers. Fees paid after we sell your car...Most consignment companies charge you up front and then ongoing marketing fees. We charge our selling fees after we sell your car. There are no storage fees or marketing fees paid during the selling period. We get paid when we perform.
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Pristine Classic Cars For Sale