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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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WHEELS

The desire to own American-made automobiles remains remarkably strong, despite the grim announcements that General Motors and Chrysler will close hundreds of U.S. dealerships in a struggle for survival.

Across the nation auctions of classic muscle cars and vintage luxury vehicles are drawing record crowds.

It’s both a buyer’s market and a seller’s market, depending on the type of vehicle that rolls into the auction ring.

More than 1,250 highly in-demand models of Chevrolet Corvettes, Pontiac GTOs, Plymouth Hemi Cudas, Packard Woody Wagons and many more original American automobile idols were put on the auction block at the 22nd annual Spring Classic, conducted by Mecum Auto Auction recently at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Attendance was projected at more than 10,000 – in record territory, officials said.

The buyers, sellers and just-plain curious ranged from professional auto-restoration companies to independent high-rollers, husband-and-wife teams who needed to sell their prized wheels to pay mortgages and children’s college educations, to senior citizens subsisting on Social Security checks looking for an escape from their problems for a few hours.

Poor performance: Not all performance cars perform – on the street or the dealership sales floor.

That’s the reason enthusiasts shouldn’t be concerned by GM’s decision to drop a handful of performance models: the Cadillac STS-V, Chevrolet Impala SS, Cobalt SS, HHR SS and Pontiac G6 GXP.

There are a variety of good reasons to let the cars go, and little reason to see this as the latest dire sign for GM’s future.

•The STS-V accounts for just 2.7 percent of STS sales this year. It was doomed to fail.

•The HHR SS panel van goes away late this year, but the SS wagon could stay in the mix until the end of 2010 – not long before the HHR itself is likely to be replaced by a new model.

•The rollout of a new model also dictates the Cobalt SS’s demise. Chevrolet may keep the SS coupe in production until shortly before the 2011 Cruze compact debuts next year.

•The Impala SS was a performance car in name only. It accounts for a mere 2.5 percent of Impala sales.

•The entire G6 line will disappear as GM winds Pontiac down.

From wire reports

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