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What is this thing worth?



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    Given your description, certainly worth well under $5,000. I'd eBay it with a reserve of $2,500 and see what happens. If nobody in America meets your reserve, you have your answer, and then contact the highest bidder and try to work a deal. There is really not a whole lot of appeal in a '64 without AC and with cosmetic and mechanical issues.

    Tough sell---- get what you can and don't turn down any real money on the table, would be my advice. You can sell it cheap with a clear conscience that you haven't done something dumb, I assure you.

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  • brookej11brookej11 Posts: 2
    Thanks for your advice. I went and checked out NADA, but wanted more than their general figures for what I should be paying for low end/average/high end retail. The other site was even less helpful - it only had two listings and neither for a car in very good shape.

    I went ahead ahead and purchased the database at and it ended up being extremely helpful. The database had real sale prices for both cars sold in auction houses and through dealers. Having an idea of what a specific car sold for and what condition it was in at the time definitely helped me understand what I should be expecting to pay.

    Oh, I’m shopping for a coupe - preferably in close show condition, but I’m willing to fix up a thing or two.

  • cheeebscheeebs Posts: 1
    Hello All,
    I am preparing to sell my 1970 Pontiac LeMans Sport with a custom drivetrain. It is truly a custom car, so I'm not sure how to price it. It has a full race suspension and a handbuilt Chevy BB (468), for example. Provided below is a link to a page with a few pics and an info sheet. Please be kind enough to comment only if you read the info sheet carefully. By the way, this car has been on blocks, engine properly pickled, in an indoor storage facility since 2003. Thanks very much for your help...
  • genoivangenoivan Posts: 1
    i am looking to sell my project car and am looking for a price on what i should start with

    it is a 1971 pontiac gto with the gt37 lemans package
    i dont have an engine in it right now i have a picture of the body


    there is no rust on the body or frame of the car at all, the paint is a little faded and the leather interior is cracked but i know it would make a very easy restoration any input would be greatly appreciated thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    Probably $3,500 or something like that? It's kind of hard to price exactly, because at this point it's a 'dream' you are selling, not a running car. I think you could find a clean daily driver of this type for around $12,000 or so. Also 1971 is long past the GTO golden years, so it's not that much in demand. Best thing you can do is check Hemmings Motor News and for comparables. I think most "project cars" of this type will fall in the range I quoted you.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    Customized cars have to be valued individually, and also by comparing to "like" automobiles.

    By "like" I mean:

    1. same type of car (muscle car of same vintage, sports car, luxury car, etc)

    2. the quality of the workmanship (built by someone known, or home-built, or ???)

    3. the list of components and options (customs with disk brakes, AC, modern o/d transmissions, F.I. are usually worth more than those without those things).

    4. trophies & awards

    So best way to price your car is shop places like Hemmings Motor News,, and look for really accurate comparables.

    Another VERY rough gauge is that your value is rarely, if ever, going to approach the total of your receipts and in fact is often 2/3 to 1/2 of what's put into a custom.

    Why? Because one person's choices are very individualistic and don't appeal to a wide range of buyers.

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  • cougercouger Posts: 4
    I am liquidating an estate which owns a 1968 mercury couger/9,700mi/one owner/original interior. I also have the owners manual,canceled chk & purchase invoice. How can I know I am getting a fair price for it if I sell or am dealing with a reputable person if I donate to a museum?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    Well one way to determine a fair price would be an eBay auction. You could put a ridiculous hidden reserve on it (say $100,000) and then see what it is bid up to. If you don't like the final bid (the car will not sell of course since your reserve isn't met), then you can re-run it, or if you DO like the final bid, you can make an after-auction deal with the last bidder by contacting them through e-mail.

    Naturally, to run an auction you'd have to provide a lot more information that you have given us, such as:

    Is it an XR-7?
    What engine?
    What transmission?

    What DOCUMENTED proof do you have of the mileage? Are you the original owner or is the mileage hearsay?

    What is the condition of the vehicle. Collectible cars are rated #1 (show room perfect), #2 local show quality but not perfect; #3 clean daily driver #4, running decent car with needs #5 running or non-running, rough car #6 parts car only.

    Values for this car will vary enormously depending on model and engine and transmission.

    Unless it's a 427 or 428 GT I don't think a museum would have much interest. Besides, donating a car isn't as beneficial, tax-wise, as it used to be now that the donation rules have changed.

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  • cougercouger Posts: 4
    Thank you for the education! The only thing I do know is that it is not an XR-7. I can see that I will have to get a car enthusiast to take a look so I have the engine/transmission information. The owner was an old maid who led a very reclusive life and walked almost everywhere she went. I have no reason to think that she would have been inaccurate in her facts. I e-mailed pictures to another person earlier today and he said the interior had to have been replaced. I am quite sure that not one person has ever sat in the back seat of this car or the passenger side of the front seat. Your e-bay idea is great - - I will just have to verify my info first.
    Thanks again!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    I think that if you don't have good documentation you shouldn't claim the low mileage, since this claim would encourage someone to pay a premium price. If the facts later come out that the mileage was not original, but had rolled over one time, then you would be guilty of misrepresenting the car to the buyer. It's best to say you don't know but in your opinion the low miles are "possible given the condition of the car".

    RE: Identifying the car. The VIN number would have the 3rd and 4th digit as "91" for a regular Cougar and "93" for an XR-7.

    The 5th digit of the VIN represents the engine code. The normal engine is a 302 V8 and would have the digit "F" or "6"

    A 390 V8, which is worth more, would have the 5th digit as X, Y or Z

    The digits Q, 8 P or W would be a home run for you but I doubt a regular Cougar would have these engines.

    If you post the VIN #s and the numbers on the data plate (I think riveted to the drivers door), we can translate it for you.

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  • cougercouger Posts: 4
    It looks as though this couger is not anything special other than the fact that it is in darn good shape for its age. this appears on the door plate:
    65A D 1B 02D 31 5 w
    body color trim date dso axle tran
    VIN: 8F91C559040
    I am trying to contact a former garage owner wh inspected this vehicle for many years to verify mileatge.
    Thanks again for all of your help!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730

    So this is a 1968 (8)
    Built in Dearborn Michigan (F)
    Cougar 2D hardtop (91)
    302 V8 (the "c" must be a 6)

    Door Plate:

    This is a Cougar 2D hardtop, bright blue metallic, blue interior, built April 2, shipped to Buffalo DSO, with a 3.00:1 axle and C4 automatic transmission.

    As you say, nothing special except for condition and mileage.

    Here's a very similar car with similar low miles for sale (that hasn't sold BTW):

    Personally I think the car will sell between $8,000 and $15,000. Anything in there is possible. Naturally I'd try for the high end. It would depend on whether it has working AC (that's worth $1,500) and how good it really looks.

    If someone put "real money" on the table and made any offer in the teens, I'd certainly think twice before turning it down.

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  • cougercouger Posts: 4
    WOW! I spent hours searching the internet & e-mailing all over the place and you answered all my questions in a nutshell!
    Thank you again!
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    Would that not indicate a 2 venturi carb?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    My book doesn't show a "C" code, only a 6.

    cougar: good luck selling it.

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,631
    you deserve an 'atta boy for that!
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    Opps, I was thinking Mustang.
  • garv214garv214 Posts: 162

    What changes have you noticed in the collector car market over the past several months? I was curious if the recent spike in gas prices is redefining the collector market.

    I recently purchased a 1972 Datsun 240Z that gets in the low 20's in mixed driving, much better than my 1968 442 which got about 8 mpg. I was just curious if you have seen any trends towards for fuel-efficient collector cars.

    Gary B

    By the way, my 442 sold exactly for what you had estimated in the market valuation that you did for me last year. A great service that you provide to us in the Bay Area.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    Thank you Gary,

    The only CERTAIN trend I'm seeing is a healthy drop in prices of later model exotics, like Ferrari, Porsche, Lambo, etc. By this I mean cars from the late 1990s, early 2000s, which are just off lease or being discarded by their obviously affluent owners for 2009 models. These cars have dropped $30K-50K in a matter of months. They are also pretty wicked gas hogs, but modern enough to be used as daily drivers. So here, in this case, gas mileage matters.

    I realize it sounds absurd that the owner of a 2004 Lamborghini Murcielago worth 1/4 million 6 months ago and now willing to sell for $175K would be presented as a person interested in gas mileage, but you know, if you drive it 10,000 miles a year, and you're sucking maybe 8 MPG, that's almost $6,000 in gasoline a year in the California area. Not chump change. Especially when you add it to the $50K depreciation whack you just took.

    Another trend I think is *real* is a fall in value of generally "worthless" gas hogs from the late 1970s and know, those Lincoln Mark Vs and VIs, those big conversion vans, those old 3/4 ton pickups. I'm sure you could all add to the list of relatively unimportant gas-guzzlers from the Dark Age.

    But I don't think the owner of a valuable 70s Dodge Challenger, or a 59 Cadillac, is going to care about gas mileage. These types of cars are driven so rarely anyway.

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,631
    from the ad, i'm guessing these must be on the upswing?:
    my gut hurts from laughing
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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    GEEZ the seller hasn't a clue. The market suggests a top dollar of maybe $2,500 for this '79 Mercury Zephyr, if it was pristine, so he is asking 3X market value. The phone isn't going to ring, I'm sorry. Okay ASK $3,500 and you might at least get a nibble and an offer. But at $7500 all you will get is abuse.

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,631
    at least this is 5 years newer.
    80's car with a 50's name
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • texasestexases Posts: 7,651
    On a recent televised auction, seemed like many of the 'normal' muscle cars (not hemis, limited production, etc) were going for $20-$25k - not bad money, but nobody could be making money on their very nice restorations.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    Unless your car has 1) major horsepower 2) a magic "name" (and it's not 'Polara") and 3) documentation up the wazoo, don't be counting on any home runs in today's muscle car market.

    Not only has the term "classic" been horribly abused to the point of ridicule, but the term "muscle car" is now being applied to 1965 Thunderbirds, so you know the end of the world is close at hand. :shades:

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,025
    Not only has the term "classic" been horribly abused to the point of ridicule, but the term "muscle car" is now being applied to 1965 Thunderbirds, so you know the end of the world is close at hand.

    You mean to tell me my grandparents' '82 Malibu Classic wagon...WASN'T! What's next...the realization that my old '89 Fury wasn't so GRAN, after all. :shades:

    As for those Fairmonts and Zephyrs, I actually kinda like them. Not enough to over-pay for one, and to be honest I find the Fox platform a bit tight inside. They seemed like a good idea at the time. Intended to compete with the likes of the Nova and Aspen/Volare as a compact car (remember in 1978, a midsized car was generally considered something the size of a modern Crown Vic. CR actually classified GM's downsized '78 Malibu et al as compact!), they were about 500-600 lb lighter, yet had similar interior room. They were light enough to get by with 4-cyl engines and the lighter 200 straight six, whereas the Nova started off with a heavy 250 CID unit, and the Aspen/Volare a 225 slant six that weighed almost as much as some V-8s!

    I imagine that when equipped with the 302 V-8, these cars were pretty quick for their time. The only way to make a Nova fairly quick was with the 350-4bbl, or a copcar 360-4bbl for the Mopars. And then you ended up with something that weighed almost as much as a downsized Caprice. And while the 302 could probably break 20 mpg on the highway, I seriously doubt a 350 or 360 could!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    I'd prefer to avoid using the term "quick" as applied to a Fairmont or Zephyr.

    How about "un-slow"?

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,631
    can't remember where you posted about AMC cop cars but here ya go!: moving violation
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  • forgive me, older cars aren't really my thing. my grandpa has an old truck sitting by his house for sale. its a chevy, pretty sure 1956, its got a half ton front, one ton back he said it was a navy sceince project. the main thing i know is it has a corvette engine under the hood. i remember 302 being thrown around, but i honestly don't know the exact engine. he's asking 800 for the truck and it still runs. my question to everyone who understands this stuff is would a 350 out of a '69 El Camino fit under the hood? and would the $800 price tag be worth it? i'd appreciate some knowledgable input, and i can attain more info if needed
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,025
    Heck, I can't remember now anymore, either. I caught that movie, "Moving Violation", on tv about a year or so ago. As I recall, the gist of it was that the local cops were trying to blackmail the guy that played Grandpa Walton. One of the deputies wanted in on the graft, so the sheriff shot him. A drifter and a waitress, who were nearby doing a little backseat boogie were witness to it, and the rest of the movie was basically one long chase.

    Kind of a cool movie, as those types go. Lots of car chases, wrecks, etc. When I saw it, I thought that it might have actually inspired some of the stunts they did in "Smokey and the Bandit", a year later. For instance, there was a scene where they drove a police car under a tractor trailer, shedding its roof. And even a scene where they took a 70's airbag-equipped Olds and wrecked it, deploying the airbag. Must have been quite a sight for the time. In "Smokey and the Bandit", towards the end, they ran a '74 98 into a '77 LeMans, but the impact wasn't enough to deploy the airbag. About all it did was put a scratch on the Olds, while smearing the LeMans. I read somewhere that years later, that car was used in a crash test video, which did deploy the airbags.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    Andre, I'm counting on you to stay on topic here :mad:

    OLD TRUCK -- Well, I've heard the "corvette engine" story many times, but there's a way to tell.

    Face the truck. Open the hood. Look to the cylinder head on YOUR left side. Go to the front of the cylinder head, and you'll see a horizontal pad, just below the front of the head, with numbers and letters stamped on it.

    Get us those numbers/letters and we might be able to tell you what engine it has. You can use a toothbrush and some soap to clean up that pad so you can see better.

    Another set of #s would be the casting numbers, which you can see by going to the driver's side, lean over the fender, and shine a flashlight between the engine and the transmission, straight down from the driver's windshield wiper in other words. You will see LARGE numbers (about 8 or 9 of them). Get those, too.

    Also a VIN # would be helpful.

    Any old running pickup should be worth $800 if it's not badly rusted, and a '56 has collector truck value. But rust can kill you on these, if the cab is badly rusted where the door frame meets the truck frame. Also things like broken windows can be expensive to fix.

    You can put any Chevy engine you want in there, sure, as long as you mate it to the proper transmission or get the right adaptors.

    Most people hook up a Chevy 350 to a TH350 automatic, that's the easiest.

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