Muscle cars have always been Jim Murphy’s passion. Like most, Jim caught motor fever early in his life and he remembers it vividly. One day in 1977, a friend visited him in a small block ’68 Camaro, loud and loping from a big cam. After a few holeshots, power shifts and long burnouts, his veins ran cold with gasoline. He was hooked. He started his first job at 14 as a gas station attendant. It was a time when you still had the oil checked and windshield cleaned. He quickly moved on to tune-ups, brake jobs and other mechanical work. After gaining a strong mechanical background and learning the art of diagnostics, he soon found work in an auto parts store, and then started fixing cars at home for friends and neighbors.
In college, he bought a dilapidated 1967 Camaro for $200 that he intended to use for daily transportation. However, it did not have a drive train, wheels, or tires. Oh, and someone had painted it with a brush, too. After building a fresh small block and learning about bodywork and fabrication under the tutelage of a local body shop owner, he morphed the car into the fastest and best-looking car in his hometown.
After college, Jim became interested in making a career out of appraising. In 1984, he embarked on what would become a 30-plus year career when he began working for a major insurance company. He soon took multiple positions in the claims office, including one at the total loss desk, before being promoted to Field Appraiser. He then moved on to working with a local independent firm and learning the ropes there. In 1992, he became a partner at the local independent appraisal company and took over the operation after his partner’s retirement in 1994. During this time, he also worked at a local speed shop selling go-fast goodies.
After the turn of the century, Jim continued to work as an independent appraiser for major insurance companies. He spent his free time drag racing with friends up and down the East Coast. He also kept busy by building 11-second naturally aspirated engines and 9-second nitrousfed engines. In 2017, Jim decided to follow his passion and devote his time exclusively to the muscle, classic, exotic, custom, restomod and hot rod markets with Muscle Car Appraisal.
Jim’s extensive background is good news for you. As the proprietor of Muscle Car Appraisal, he has the ability to perform many different types of inspections and appraisals on a wide range of cars. “Nothing beats a trained pair of eyes” is a phrase Jim believes in, and his expertise is so highly regarded that several law firms and insurance companies keep him on retainer as their expert witness for automotive-related cases. Jim and his team regularly attend many of the largest automotive shows and auctions in the country to inspect cars in person and monitor current market trends for everything from stock muscle, to resto-mods and even one-off customs. Have a look at our About Us page for more information to see what Jim and the team at Muscle Car Appraisal can do for you!