Beautifully unrestored or complete hunk of junk.
While age makes some cars seem majestic, others simply look … old. And that can affect their price on the resale market.
On a recent episode of CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage," world-renowned auto appraiser Donald Osborne and Jay Leno evaluate three untouched classics to see if the effects of aging impact their appreciation value.
What makes this first car especially interesting is that the manufacturer built these vehicles in the U.K. and sold them only in the United States. This was an early captive import, and it originally sold for about $1,445.
This particular car shows its wear. The paint is toasted off the roof, the upholstery is burned on the inside and the interior is falling apart.
But it's still a Nash Metropolitan. And it's original in every way.
Made by one of the oldest car makers in history, this particular model was a last gasp for relevancy. Though no longer in full operation, the French manufacturer can still proudly boast that it gave the world the first modern motor car, one with a front engine, four wheels and rear wheel drive.
The one being evaluated is in fair condition. The exterior doesn't look terrible, but it probably couldn't be shined any more than it already is. Fortunately, the interior is still largely intact, save for a few tears and rips. But best of all, it still gets about 40 miles per gallon.
It originally sold for about $2,763.
Finally, we look at a true American giant. This Imperial was built like a tank, though somehow it was referred to in its day as a sports coupe.
It originally sold for about $6,011, and Leno recalls that the size was always the car's major talking point.
"These were so overbuilt," he says. "When I was a kid, they used to have demolition derbies. And if you showed up with an Imperial, nine times out of 10 you'd be banned because you had an unfair advantage."
This one is more or less well maintained. It was previously owned by a movie producer who loved it dearly. The only restoration has been retouched paint from time due to scratches and fender benders. Otherwise, the tank is still original.
So which one of these untouched classics appreciates best? Watch the video to find out.
CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EDT.