The real value of "old" cars?

isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
edited August 2014 in Mercury
Maybe I'm just out of touch with the market?

Attended a local car show yesterday and walked around for an hour or so.

The Northwest Cougar Club was the sponser so, as you would imagine, Cougars dominated the show. I didn't realize there were so many in the area and the following they have.

Spotted a 1968 for sale. Base model, red/black vinyl top. Nothing special, 289 engine, AT no A/C or anything else that I could see.

Mediocre repaint job at some point in it's life. Not a "bad" paint job but not a good one either.

Reported to have only 50,000 miles.

So, I'm guessing he probably wants 5-6000.00 for it.

Nope! Asking price was 13,500!

Is he looking for a sucker? Is he nuts or am I totally out of grips with the reality of the market?

Anyone a Cougar expert?


  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,998
    Your estimate looks closer to reality to me.

    To paraphrase Shifty: asking prices are the ultimate expression of freedom of speech :shades:
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,641
    You're on the money, as far as Ebay's concerned. They get bid between $3k and $9k, sounds like your would fall in the middle somewhere. Of course, that was at a Cougar show, so lots of pride in that price...
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Took the Mustang to the Port Orchard Mustang show yesterday & the 66 Hardtop that was next to mine is for sale. 289, Automatic, Style steel wheel covers that imitate the real things. Tahoe Turquoise color, AT, PS, 100,000 miles - a decent looking car, no rust, and he was asking 10 grand for it. One family was seriously interested, but the owner drove it home.

    IMO, the reality of the Mustang/Cougar market is anything but standard. My experience is that the Class 2's usually have a too high asking price as do the Class 3/4's.

    13,500 should get you an XR7 with Leather, working headlights & sequentials, and a very decent exterior & interior in excellent detailed condition.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Thanks for the responses. I'm glad I was thinking right.

    There was a near perfect burgandy XR-7 there. Not for sale but it couldn't have been any nicer. Air cond, factory sunroof and most of the other available options.

    It had a 390 engine and when I took a look, I was reminded about what a B***H it was to change spark plugs in those!

    I forgot about those sequentials that they shared with the T-Birds. I saw one being worked on once and what a primitive setup those were!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Sounds like a stretch although I think Mustangs pull more money than Cougars do.

    More like 6000.00 I'm thinking it's worth.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Cougars are the "poor sister" to Mustangs and generally do sell for less.

    Asking prices are rather meaningless. It is not the owners, not the sellers, not the club members, not the concours judges, not the appraisers---who determine Market Value.

    The buyer determines Market Value.

    When an owner prices a car at exactly double the going rate, then my opinion is that the car is not seriously for sale. It's a trolling game of some sort, or some attempt to justify the outlay for the car or its restoration.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,998
    I think that loaded XR7 was at the Mustang show car, I like highly optioned unsual packages like that.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    You should come to the Triple X drive in in Issaquah. Cars tehre every Saturday night in the summer and on Sundays too.

    Yeah, it was probably the same car.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,998
    I've been out there a couple times for MB themed gatherings (which were of course small)...maybe someday I'll take my old Panzerwagen out there to mingle with the Detroit iron :shades:
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    I think you had to remove the master cylinder on the Mustang Boss 429 to get at the last two spark plugs on the left side of the engine.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    It's funny you would mention the Boss 429's.

    Just last night I watched a couple go through the Barrett-Jackson Auction on television. One went for 250,000! Add the 10% buyers fee to that!

    And, yeah, I'll bet they were a nightmare to work on!
  • otto8otto8 Member Posts: 116
    Do a search on a 68 Cougar GTE
    427 auto only Several sticks were made but had a 428 instead
    Around 375 of these were made.
    BIG money car IF you can find one!

    Another is a 68 Fairlane GTA 390 auto Another rare Ford!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Looks like $35-$40K could find you a real nice one. My book says 602 made, for whatever that's worth. Maybe nut and bolt restoration would get you $60K, if you could find a buyer at that price--but it would cost you more than that to get to show quality.

    GTA 390 would be worth about the same, maybe just a little less.

    The problem is neither one is a Mustang, so a smaller buyer pool. A '68 Stang GT 428CJ would sell faster IMO.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Those 390 Mustangs and Fairlanes handled horribly. About as bad or maybe worse than a T-Bird of that vintage.

    Very nose heavy as you would expect.

    Attended a car show today and someone had a 1964 GTO for sale. It was nice but nothing special at all. The "post" model. I didn't look but it was a stick so I'll assume a four and not a three speed. Mediocre repaint and, again, just a driver.

    For Sale! 34,500!! That's worse than that Cougar!
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,602
    My old man had a '64 GTO post back in the early 70's. I still barely remember the night he bought it...riding home with Mom, following Dad in that thing. The exhaust was dragging, and we were treated to a shower of sparks on a pretty regular basis. As a little kid, that scared the hell out of me! I also remember him running out of gas in it, picking me up from nursery school, a few hundred feet from the Shell station.

    It was primer black, and pretty crappy overall from what little I remember. He paid $400 for it around 1973 or so, and when he finally sold it he got $400, plus the seller threw in a bag of...umm...paprika? :shades: Hey man, it WAS the 70's!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited August 2010
    Sounds like a low $20K to mid $20sK at the very best. If the paint looks really crappy, and it's an automatic and no tri-power, it could drop under $20K easily, possibly down to $16K or so for a drab driver with cosmetic issues. For rust, body damage, incorrect parts, deduct accordingly even more.

    People can "ask" anything they want. It's the man with the checkbook that sets the real value of any car.

    don't tell me---nobody bought it.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    I didn't stick around to see if it sold.

    I suspect the owner just threw a For Sale sign on it to see if he could find a sucker.

    It really wasn't very nice. The dash had been repainted poorly for one thing.

    I didn't spend much time looking at it. I was afraid the owner would show up and that my shock at his asking price would show.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    A car like that is not really for sale, when there is such a massive disconnect between the owner's price and the readily available information on actual market value.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    You never know.

    Some Microsoft guy's dad may have had it's twin when he was little and it's a car he just HAS to have.

    That's probably what that guy was trolling for.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think the days of the naive ignorant buyer of classic cars is long over.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    Funny how cheap that car was back in the day. Even with a dragging muffler and a primer black paint, a 1964 GTO would be sold at a premium nowadays. My Dad had a maroon 1965 Pontiac GTO convertible with a white top. I think he sold it for the laughably low sum of $250 or thereabouts in 1975 because the top was ratty and the valve covers leaked.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    There was a 1966 "GTO" for sale at a Buy Here Pay Here lot on Harbison Avenue in lower NE Philly not too long ago. It was a post sedan with a most definitely non-factory color repaint that would make Earl Scheib blanch and was actually a LeMans or Tempest made up to look like a GTO with badges and such. It probably had the inline six. Wonder what they wanted for it and if there was anybody stupid and naive to go for it?
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,602
    Funny thing is, my Dad said that even nice examples of old cars really weren't all that much back in those days. He said that he probably could have gotten a much nicer '64 GTO for about the same price he paid for that thing. Adjusted for inflation, $400 in 1973 comes out to around $2,000 today. And think about how little car $2K gets you these days!

    We also had a '64 Ford Galaxie 4-door around that timeframe. Dad always had some piece of junk with a stick shift that Mom couldn't drive, but if he wanted to go out partying with his friends on the weekend, he'd take Mom's car instead. First, the '66 Catalina convertible she had, and later the '68 Impala 4-door hardtop that replaced it. My granddad got tired of that, so he got us this '64 Ford. I think he paid less than $100 for it, and it only needed a starter, or an alternator, I forget now.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    I'm not so sure about that.

    Take a look at this one on Ebay. 8700.00 with a day to go! AL-NR-/290461681269?pt=US_Cars_Trucks

    A nothing special 1960 Pontiac that is definatly a "20 footer".

    To the seller's credit, he did a good job of posting photos that are pretty revealing.

    The rockers are rusted out on one side and from my experience there is always a lot more rust than meets the eye, Even though it's a So. Calif car they can rust when the drains aren't kept clear and it looks like that is the case here.

    It probably needs a mechanical rebuild after all of those miles and who knows what else? Those were known for weak front ends and those Hydra-Matics weren't the best.

    8700.00? I was thinking 2500-3500 dollars tops.

    But, what do I know?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Oh well that's a pretty special car actually---it looks dead stock original, has a California black plate on it (which adds value) and the underside looks pretty darn good, too. That car is worth $12K all day long. And it's a Bonnie, and it's a '60.

    Here again, the bidders know what they are doing---this car has everything buyers want---originality, California known history, good year, good model, and hasn't been messed with by monkeys.

    Take the same year, lower trim line, lived in the Midwest, been slammed and has funny wheels on it---and the value would be 1/4 of that.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Well, if that's the case, I am totally out of touch.

    Yes, it's a CA black plate car and I know that is very desirable to some. Maybe because I'm from that neck of the woods, I take that for granted.

    It still has rust and needs a total restoration which would exceed it's value.

    It is a survivor but it just seems like it's going to need everything unless the buyer just leaves it as it is.

    I don't see 12,000 but it'sll be interesting to see where the bidding stops.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    The trunk lid area on that '60 Bonneville is huge and so flat. I've not seen a deck that large since the U.S.S. Nimitz. :P
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Here's an interesting item. How do you comp this?
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,998
    Presentable survivor cars are big now, there is a huge movement for patina and originality. I am not surprised at those bids, even with the needs of the car.
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,382
    edited August 2010
    It's been listed before on ebay with no sale. Hard to comp because of how few were built. There was another one on the market within the past year or so but I have no recollection of it's particulars.

    I'm an old Poncho fanatic and find it hard to see that kind of money for it (bidding currently at 26K) even given that wagon values have jumped over the last few years.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342

    That Safari Wagon is beyond fantastic!

    The 1960 Bonneville just looks like a ho-hum money pit but that wagon is something else!

    Those were few and far between to begin with and that one has some ultra rare options and super low miles!
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,998
    You can't comp it. The sales price is the market.

    Awesome wagon...GM sure knew how to do it once.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    I love those wheels! They were used mainly on Gran Prix's of that era.

    Thre trouble is, the finned aluminum part that you see is actually the brake drum!

    Back when I managed a shop in the mid-seventies they were near impossible to get from the dealers and they cost over 100.00 each then!

    Better than awesome! Incredible and irreplaceable.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Our son spotted this on Craigslist.

    I know nothing about these but it sounds like it would be a tough project.

    Shifty? anyone?
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,998
    The wheels and interior both on that car are very cool. That wagon is expensive, but if you are into it, it's a bargain - as you will never find another one.

    The Jensen-Healey...another reason why the British automotive industry in effect does not exist today. The pain required to get that thing up to 50K miles must have been huge.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    There's really no upside to restoring Jensen Healey. Parts are a b***ch and the car doesn't even have a soft top.

    I'd vote "parts car".
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited August 2010
    Nice old wagon, but.....

    ....the add-on for Tri-Power on a *convertible* is only 25%, so I can't see the add-on being any more for a station wagon of all things.

    My estimate for "show car" is $20,000 tops tops tops. Interesting history, but not 'celebrity' really. If it was Bill France's car, that might give it a bump. But seller's story makes no sense---if it was "built for a GM exec", why was it delivered to a dealer?

    He's absolutely batty not to take the $26K bid, or at least to drop his reserve immediately. This is 2010, and this is a station wagon. C'mon.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 19,106
    i thought the black and white picture was pretty funny.
    done in black and white, but has a www. address on the sign for the movie theater.
    2023 Ford Explorer ST, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,602
    edited August 2010
    Back in the early 90's, I worked at a department store called Hecht's (May company, and today they're all Macy's). It was built in 1958, and parts of it had not been remodeled in ages. Well, someone had written a poem on the wall in the stock room in the childrens' department, probably back in the late 60's or early 70's, about a Pontiac something-or-other (probably a Firebird or Trans Am) racing a Camaro Z-28. Unfortunately it's not there anymore, as I remember that part of the store getting remodeled around 1994 or so.

    The one line I remember was "Tri-Power's okay, but it's not enough. When racing a Z, you got to be tough."

    So, was Tri-Power not as big of a deal as Pontiac would have liked you to believe?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    I re read the ad and I think it does have a soft top just no hardtop.

    These were never very popular so I'll bet parts are near impossible.

    I know nothing about Webers or Lotus engines but I just smell nothing but big trouble and headaches. Not worth a resoration but I was thinking maybe a Sunday driver?
  • rtribrtrib Member Posts: 3
    Guy's, I wonder if you can help me. I've never chatted on one of these lines before so forgive me if I don't follow the right protocall. I have the chance to buy a 1967 GTO in real nice shape, 68,000 miles, no rust, many options... My question is, the car has an option on the original window sticker called economy engine. it has an original 2 barrel carb?? would this car be worth less or possibly more because it might be a rare car?
    If you can't help me do you know where to send me for this information?
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,641
    Erf - 2 bbl + GTO = ugh.
    Don't pay much, it's a Tempest with a trim pack.
  • rtribrtrib Member Posts: 3
    no, it's the real thing. All the paperwork is there, right down to the original window sticker. All the numbers are correct.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,641
    I guess I was a bit too sarcastic. I don't doubt its authenticity, just its value. Who wants the slowest GTO made?
  • omarmanomarman Member Posts: 2,702
    edited August 2010
    "My question is, the car has an option on the original window sticker called economy engine. it has an original 2 barrel carb?? would this car be worth less or possibly more because it might be a rare car? If you can't help me do you know where to send me for this information?"

    If you google search 1967GTO dot com you'll find a site devoted to stats, codes, and all other things related to that GTO.

    According to that source there were almost 3,000 GTOs built in '67 with the 2 bbl, low compression engine. Not rare or desired by collectors. But, hey, maybe a nice old cruiser without the fuel appetite (or auction price) of a high option Goat. And I agree with the price advice already posted: Don't pay too much for what you're getting. :shades:
    A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  • omarmanomarman Member Posts: 2,702
    Better than awesome! Incredible and irreplaceable.

    And the station wagon faithful rise again! I really like that Safari, too. Maybe we can't help it because we grew up with those pre-minivan kid haulers. It's funny how this always happens! :)

    Maybe in the future the next gen will text each other excitedly about finding one of those rare, turbo/5-speed Caravans for sale. And then comes the appraisal, "It's 2030 and that is a minivan. nfm."
    A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Much of the value assigned to older cars is related to nostalgia, and values change as tastes change. This makes it really difficult to predict future values of the vast majority of collector cars. The real classics, as defined by Shifty, may be the exception to the rule. As a practical matter, then, a buyer should assume that the mass produced '50s or '60s collector car that one pays more than its transportation value for, is only be worth ~$1,000 - $2,500. Anything above that rough range is nostalgia value.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    As long as you don't pay much and you realize this is the least desirable GTO they made you may be OK.

    I never understood why they even bothered making these? The purpose of a mighty GTO was brute power. These are a gelding in effect.

    Yes, it's defianatly worth less. A lot less and the GTO community scoffs at these.

    Still, I guess it might make a nice cruiser.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited August 2010
    The market value is set by supply and demand, not the "merits" of the vehicle. Some truly AWFUL cars are worth more $$$ than you'd think at first glance.

    Why can something that might be ugly, or incompetent, or poorly engineered, or shoddily made, be worth much more than a beautiful used Mercedes 500SL?

    Because more people want one of the "collectible" cars than there are for sale.

    PONTIAC SAFARI --- my main complaint with this auction poofery is the claim that "only 5 were made". This is nonsense. Many MANY more were made, but just a few with tri-power.

    Note that distinction.

    I could go buy a cheap Safari wagon and put tri-power on it easily. Then I go to the car show and park next to the guy with the "only 5 made" claim. He looks at mine, and says "IT's NOT REAL".

    I say "so what"? Our cars look identical, the people like both cars equally---so whaddya ya gonna do---spend all day waving your documentation in people's faces?

    If you *really* had a car that there were only 5 of, I couldn't possibly duplicate it for chump change, could I?

    Epic FAIL on "only 5 made" IMO.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    I would think that the bucket seat option in that Safari would be even rarer than the tri power.

    I thought it was odd that as well equipped as it is that it didn't have power windows?

    Crazy, CRAZY money for it!
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