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What is this thing worth?

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,066
    Okay then, is a '74 Olds Ninety-Eight WITH the airbag setup worth more than one without? :P

    Actually, how stable would those airbags be after 30+ years. This actually is a relevant question, since I like those big mid-70's GM cruisers, and could see myself with one some day. And even though that was a rare option, I have seen them from time to time at classic car shows, so they're still out there.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    I certainly wouldn't count on it working. It's basically a non-issue for value but it might give you some bragging rights at the local Show and Shine while you're sipping a beer and talking about early air bags with other totally fascinated individuals who are no doubt hanging on your every word even though they might not look like it. :P

    If you ever want to join in a conversation about the increase in overall car value caused by having the proper bolt head markings on your left rear bumper bracket on pre-1930 2 door cars only, go to a Model A Ford owners meet. (ironically).

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,855
    i have to take the blame for that one, i posted in the wrong place. :(
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,855
  • armesarmes Posts: 32
    I have just inherited a 1917 Olds Model 45, 7 Passenger Cabriolet. It is a rare car as only 1097 were built. It also is rare in the fact that it has a Liberty/Lycombing Light V-8 engine with aluminum pistons, cylinder heads and intake manifold. Also making it rare is that it does not have the traditional Stromberg carburetor. It is equipped with a Pemberthy/Ball & Ball fuel injection system. I have been told that this engine was originally built for use in Bi-planes in WWI and that olds was in on building/ modifying their cast iron V-8 engine ( 1915 - 1923 ) for aircraft purposes and experimented with installing the same in a few of these cars. This car was stored for 48 years in a semi trailer. What is so great about this car is it only has 1,226 original miles on it and the engine has electric as well as crank start. It cranks with one hand!!!

    My questions are: where to find an owners/repair manual and what would something like this be worth? It does need the interior and top redone. It has new tires @ $250 each.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    I think you'll need to do more research here as some of it doesn't add up. You were probably given a lot of anecdotal info that isn't accurate.

    Does your engine look like this?

    image

    As you can see, stuffing a Liberty V8 engine into that car wouldn't have been very easy. And this engine never really went into production because it vibrated so heavilyl apparently.

    Penberthy/ Ball & Ball made carburetors, not fuel injection.

    And a Lycoming engine didn't power the first aircraft until 1929. They never made engines for Oldsmobile but did make engines for military trucks in 1917.

    What you might have here is probably the normal Olds engine, which is actually better for you.

    Hard to say what it's worth without really looking it over, since restoring a car this old is not going to be all that easy, if parts are missing. I'd guess a car like this in "Fair" condition, all there, not running, might be worth $5,000 to $10,000 dollars.

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  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Of course anything is possible, but I have to agree with shifty. If you could post some pics it would help greatly. It's not going to be hard to identify a liberty engine. Also keep in mind that very few 8 cylinder liberty engines were built, the vast majority were 12 cylinders, all overhead cam. The standard V8 in your car was an L-head configuration. Also, a liberty engine would not hand crank easily, but the low compression L-head would (well relatively anyway).
  • armesarmes Posts: 32
    I was cranking the engine with the plugs out and PB Blaster in the cylinders to make sure it wasn't seized up so there was no compression build up. I haven't tried it with the plugs in. I am still in the process of dropping the pan, cleaning the sump and pre lubricating all moving internal parts with moisture displacement oils. The oil in the pan had jelled over the past 48 years and I am forceing ( 30# pressure ) PB Blaster through the oil galleys followed by 5W40 motor oil to flush out the system. Clean oil is now flowing and I think I am ready to button her up. I also looked deep inside and it appears that the tappets have rollers riding on the cam. Seems awful high tech except for aircraft production. The spare cast iron engine ( 1918 cast date ) I have with this does not have these and the actual design of the oiling system is different includeing the oil pump which on the light engine appears to be a high volume like todays modern style gear driven pumps. The oil pan is only 3 1/4" deep and the external oil lines from the sump to pump to main galley is 3/8 copper tubing. The cylinder heads have fuel pre charge cups above each cylinder to put initial fuel for firing the engine. The car also has a large electric fuel pump with 2 glass filter bowls in line before and after the pump. These have ceramic elements and not paper.

    I removed the front wheel assembly and left tie rod end. The bearings ( actual roller bearings and not ball bearings ) and races look brand new and the tie rod shaft had no wear and shined like a mirror. The points, rotor and distributor cap look like new.

    I am thinking about going through the starter prior to applying power just to make sure that corrosion hasn't caused any problems.

    I have a digital camera, but do not know how to transfer to the net.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,647
    A alternative way to show us what it looks like it to Google appropriate terms, click on 'images', and paste a link to a picture of an engine that looks like yours. That said, you have listed a number of very specific characteristics of the car, and you'd have more luck finding an expert on brass-era cars at a web site specializing in them, such as the forums for the Antique Automobile Club of America: AACA Forums
  • armesarmes Posts: 32
    The info relayed to me was that Olds modified its own V-8 under specifications given by Liberty/Lycombing for their use. Could be erroneous. Highly unlikely that such an engine would be developed for a 7 pass Touring car in such limited numbers.

    I have discovered that this particular car was originally purchased by Flanner and Buchannon Mortuary in Indianapolis, Indiana for use as a funeral limosine definitely not as a high performance street vehicle.
  • armesarmes Posts: 32
    Further identifying information on the ;) "supposed fuel injection". This unit is 8" long from front to back of air inlet and 6" tall from bottom of unit to where it mount to intake. It is made completely of brass and has a large round brass fuel bowl ( holds about a pint of fuel ) that is sealed top and bottom with a small valve on top with a flat spring tab that sits on and over the valve. The main body has ( 2 ) 1" diamater solid brass air mixture adjusting screws that have wire tension springs that engage around the perimeter of the caps in indentations around the caps and are located at the air horn end of the unit. It is side drafted toward the rear of the engine and mounted under the intake thusly up drafting into the manifold. There are ( 2 ) levers (cable activated) at the air horn of the unit that I assume control air flow and choke ( haven't looked inside of the horn yet ). There is a throttle cable that extends down the driver side of the unit to the main body. There are no idle or air mixture screws anywhere that I can see yet. Casting date on side of engine is 5/20/1917.

    The only identifying marks are cast into the brass lid of the fuel bowl and reads
    " Ball & Ball, Pemberthy Injector Co. Detroit Mi. "

    Now, I have the spare 9/23/1918 cast iron engine he purchased somewhere. Here are the idendifiers for the fuel system:
    It has a 1 barrel carburetor that is only 6 " long and 5 " bottom to manifold flange. It has only 1 cable to control the throttle and 1 cable for the choke. There is only one fuel mixture screw and 1 air idle adjuster screw. It appears to be made of cast iron.

    The only identifying marks are cast into the sides of the fuel bowl on both sides and reads Stromberg, South Bend, USA.

    Now, tell me what you think we have here?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    I think...I KNOW....you have a Ball & Ball carburetor made by the Penberthy Injector Company! This design appears in quite a few of the old carburetor reference books.

    If you're going to do more research on this car, you'll have to get the names straight or you might waste time. It's PENberthy and LyCOMING, not "combing". FYI.

    As for the engine, we'd need pix.

    Also, as far as value goes, it would be better to have the original engine in the car. The UFE (Unidentified Flying Engine) could be put aside and perhaps, once ID'ed, it could turn out to be of some value to someone who has a car for it.

    Actually I wouldn't try to start the unknown engine either, as you might damage it and thus diminsh whatever value it might have.

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  • armesarmes Posts: 32
    This engine is the same basic design as the cast iron engine. This vehicle was driven before being put into storage and is hooked up to the same transmission, same bell housing and same type clutch as the 1918 version. The generator, distrubutor, magneto and the engine hand crank interlocks on the crankshaft are the same as the 1918 as well as the motor mounts. Also, all the controls going through the dash appear to have been factory installed. Curious why you would suspect that this is not an original engine?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    Well I thought you said it was an airplane engine or something with roller tappets and fuel injection and...whatever...I just thought from your description that it was some bizarre powerplant in there.

    Without pictures I'm easily confused :P

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  • armesarmes Posts: 32
    I will try my luck at adding some pictures.
  • otto8otto8 Posts: 116
    Too bad that 68 wasn't one of those one year only GTEs. Super rare and
    fetching over $100k in excellent condition!
    http://www.mustangandfords.com/featuredvehicles/95438_1968_cougar_xr7_gte/index.- html
    http://www.theclassiccougarnetwork.com/gte/

    My bud had one and let it go years back for $5000! It is in the GTE registry
    and is currently in SanDiego.
    He sure kicks himself now!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    $100K is a very unusual price for this car.Sounds like either an asking price or a one-time lucky sale. Right now I think you could find a very nice one for $60,000----still, that's not chump change. They only made 600 or so of them, but on the other hand, it's a Mercury so it will always have to fight that image.

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  • otto8otto8 Posts: 116
    No luck involved................

    A rare and unusual car and only one has been sold in the past few years
    according to the Marti report at $125k.
    I had met with Jim P. from the registry to supply info. on the car and if
    it had factory tilt and rim-blo along with add on a/c installed when my
    bud had the car in the 70s. Also by suprise there was another GTE
    that we knew about in a nearby town that had been sitting in a driveway
    for years. Turns out it was one of the early experimental mules and how/
    why it ended up in the Syracuse area.

    Both cars ended up with a Ford nut registry member in downstate NY.
    He kept the experimental red one and my buds dark blue car ended
    up with a collector in San Diego......................
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    I don't think so. I think $60K-80K is the current market, tops. The days of wine and speculation for muscle cars of this type are over. I even expect the price to decline further.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,010
    I suspect many cars, especially from that period, that legitimately sold for 125K 24-36 months ago are lucky to hit 80K today.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    It's hard to say what the market is when we have so few points of sale. Last result I have for a GT-E is late 2006 for a restored one selling for $82,000. The market for cars with few sales is particularly volatile since it only represents the opinion of two bidders in a room one time in one year---and they could have been in a grudge match that is not repeatable.

    Time will tell. In any event, it is a rare car so it's not going to tank thats for sure.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    SORRY OTTO!!!

    I had to remove the photo you posted. Way too big for our page. It throws off the whole format. There's a free software called VSO Image Resizer so you know next time.

    Anyway----asking prices are not market value. You can ask whatever you want for a car. Appraisers always try to search for validated sale prices, so that's why perhaps you and I are off by $20K-$30K. We'd have to follow through on the advert to see what really happened.

    If you find any "hammer prices" (SOLD!) post the link, that would be helpful.

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  • I have come across a 1966 Chevy Impala 2-door. The car has a 283ci engine and 2-spd Powerglide transmission. Mileage is about 114k. It is somewhat rare in that it is a factory A/C car, and when orignially equipped, had California emissions (smog pump).
    I can get an idea of what the car is worth, but few people have an idea of what real value the factory air adds to the vehicle.
    Any ideas?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I don't think in this case having factory A/C will make a big difference. The most important factors will be the overall condition of the car. Having the common 283/Powerglide powertrain won't help out in it's value, either. Air injection (smog pump) on a 66? Can someone else chime in on that? I don't recall that type of emission control that early......
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,647
    I'd agree the AC won't make much difference, many potential buyers would yank it all out and put in a crate motor. As for the smog pump, CA was early on this, so maybe it's appropriate. Not like someone would add it, that's for sure!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    Yeah, factory air might be worth a premium of 5% on a car like this. Being a '66, with a small block and automatic, there's not tremendous value here. If the car was clean and nice, maybe $6,000--$8,000. If it needs some cosmetics or body work, well under $5,000 and keep deducting. If it's a magnificent show car with a $50,000 restoration, maybe you'd get $20K. A local show #2 plastic trophy car maybe $12K.

    This presumes it's a 2-door Impala hardtop.

    Smog equipment doesn't matter one way or the other. Someone wanting a fanatically correct restoration to match a build sheet might want it, but then nobody is going to do that kind of resto on a car like this, so the point is mute.

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  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    California usually mandated emissions stuff a year or three before the rest of the country: PCV valves, smog pumps, etc.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    Yep '66 California cars can have smog on them. The Feds wouldn't mandate it so California did on its own, having more need for it than most of the country at the time.

    Really, these days, unless you start with a very nice and very important car that you inherited or bought 30 years ago, 95% of all restoration projects today are financial suicide, guaranteed. As one magazine put it, all you're doing is restoring it for the next guy to buy cheap from you.

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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,647
    " all you're doing is restoring it for the next guy to buy cheap from you. "

    Which is why the only thing I'll think about (in my daydreams, of course), is a 'rolling restoration', a decent running car that I can both drive and work on as I see fit to pour money down that drain ;)
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