I can't tell you how many eBay auctions for Redlines that I've seen where the seller was claiming the car was "Mint" or Near-Mint", when it was painfully obvious that it wasn't. The inherent problem lies in the fact that many collectors/sellers aren't really familiar with the grading system (or they might just be hyping the car up for the sale.) In any case, they might see a decent car and consider it to be in "pretty good shape" for 40+ years old, sooo...it MUST be Near-Mint. Problem is, it doesn't work that way. The truth of the matter is, a true Mint Redline is going to pretty rare. But, that doesn't mean you have to be disappointed in accepting less. Even slightly imperfect Redlines display well!
What follows is the generally-accepted formula for grading cars. To me, it seems a tad on the picky side, but hardcore collectors pretty much swear by it. What might be considered a C-6 or even C-5 by this chart might still be a very sweet Redline. Think about it...it's minus-1 point alone for a little wear on each tire. That already puts you down by 4 points, but the paint might be outstanding, making it an excellent display piece. Take the chart with a grain of salt, and make your own determinations when deciding to buy a Redline. When using the chart, simply subtract the assigned points for each designated flaw, and compare it with the second chart to get an idea of your car's condition.
Or, have some fun and click on the Condition Calculator below. It might be slightly more accurate! (Don't worry about the file...it's been scanned, and is virus-free. Just follow the instructions to run it.)
When you click the link, a box will pop up. Click "Run." Next, a box will pop up saying "The publisher could not be verified." It's ok...just click "Run" again, and you'll be up and running.
Small, barely-noticeable scratch or chip
Slight wear on decal
Slightly tarnished base
Minor wear on wheel chrome (one point for each wheel)
Up to 3 barely noticeable scratches or chips
Noticeable wear on decals
Substantial wear on decals
Wheels w/considerable chrome wear (3 points for each wheel)