Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Project Cars--You Get to Vote on "Hold 'em or Fold 'em"



  • fintailfintail Posts: 50,341
    I've seen concours 3.5 cabrios with asking prices pushing 6 figures. Of course, it would take 50 grand to get that one into show shape. I just wonder if it is real...chop jobs are common on earlier 11 coupes, I can't see it stopping someone from ruining a genuine 3.5 low grille coupe.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 37,015
    Oh. I had no idea they could be worth that much!


    Which then begs the question, if you woned a car tha was potentially worth that much, why would yo ulet it sit for years in that condition to deteriorate?

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD (wife's)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,792
    sometimes, when you see a potentially valuable car like that wasted away to nothing, but then find a mint condition Pinto or Chevette that's been lovingly maintained all its life.


    Only thing I can think of is that the previous owners just had no clue that it would ever be worth that? For instance, I would never have guessed in a million years that '71 Benz 'vert would be worth much. To me it's just an old car, a 70's car with a 50's windshield, a plastic rear window, and the type of door handles that the feds outlawed years ago on domestic cars.


    Now I'll say this: I think it's a neat old car, but when I look at it, I just don't see the potential for a $100K car! But then again, aren't people paying like one MILLION for '71 Hemi Cudas? I never would've seen that coming, either! ;-)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well I'm less amazed that the '71 Benz cab would be worth so much, since the '71 Cuda is really not much more than a mass-produced Plymouth 2-door with the build quality of a taxicab, BUT with a legendary engine and a mythology that's priceless. The Benz on the other hand, is a very high quality automobile made in limited numbers, with a precision V-8 and a million dollar ride and luxury.


    So beauty vs. the beast and both of about equal value.


    Why is that?


    Because both are a) limited in supply and b) high in demand, even though they are like night and day in looks, quality and power.


    Fact is, people decide ultimately what is valuable. While "quality" is objective, "value" is totally subjective. We'd like to think the two always match up, but they don't.


    This is why, for instance, a mint Barbie doll from the 1950s is worth ten times the price of a genuine silver coin minted by Alexander the Great.


    Go figure.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,792
    how much would something like that '71 Benz have gone for when it was new? And what kind of performance, like 0-60, for example, would that little 3.5 V-8 have?


    I dunno about the "million dollar" ride, though. From what I've heard, smaller Benzes rode like trucks back then. And isn't that just a little Benz? I'll admit straight up, I don't know jack about Benzes. To me it looks like a 'vert version of Fintail's Fintail, with the fins shaved down. Sure, they're nice little cars, but the only Benzes I really thought of as luxury cars were the really big ones and the little 2-seaters.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Having just driven one a few months ago, I would say they drive beautifully. That's the one major reason people pay big bucks for them. They are totally modern in feel and acceleration. It's an old Benz you can really enjoy on modern highway with no anxiety. Feels just like a year 2000 car. The 6 cylinder version strains too much and is too noisy but the V-8 is smooth and quiet, and the padded convertible top seals out wind noise.


    As for acceleration, I don't have the figures close at hand, but I distinctly remember we used to race them against the 280SL roadsters and beat them unmercifully, so I'm guessing that about 0-60 in 8.5 seconds is very close to accurate. Horsepower was about 200 DIN, and the MSRP in 1971 was a rather shocking $15,000, when you could buy the 280SL roadster for around $10K-11K.


    Basically the cabriolet is a "hand-built" car with tons of leather and wood. It's a nice ride.


     I'd imagine, that as with the Hemi Cuda, if you found one at the bottom of a lake, you'd dredge for it, raise it up and restore it.


    Both of these cars are going to be saved regardless of condition.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    Someone on the board bemoaning the loss of sporting Toyotas mentioned the "rare" 5-spd version of the Lexus SC300 as a Supra-alternative.


    So I offer you this: &item=4513139959&category=6300


    No clue what the reserve might be, but the question is: is this car worth restoring and at what price?


  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    I don't think this car needs a 'restoration', it's really in very nice condition for a twelve year-old car. It's got a few issues not uncommon to a car this age, but they're mainly wear and tear. I'd probably put the factory wheels back on (I live in the city and thus not a big fan of oversized wheels and low-profile tires, they damage easily), remove the window tinting and fix the nickel and dime stuff. It's hard to estimate what his reserve is, it's in nice shape, but still it's 12 years old and has 125k miles. I'm guessing $6-7k? Maybe $8k? I just checked, there are 15 or so in the nation on that site, ranging in price from $5600-almost $20k!!


    At this point, though the manual transmission is rare/unusual, this is pretty much 'just a used car', not really a collectible yet. In the future, perhaps, but I can't see anyone getting too crazy on the bidding just because it has a 5-speed. It's otherwise just an older Lexus coupe.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    While I agree with you on most of your comments, I wonder why you didn't touch on the fact that the car has a "salvage" title. Yes, the seller mentions that it received this title due to a fire (?) in the trunk, which required the replacement of some rear bodywork and bumper, but still, wouldn't you be concerned?


    Other than that, the car does look to be in good shape -- I, too, would get rid of the dorky looking SC wheels (I don't even like them on the SC430).
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    That salvage title makes the whole deal smell. I would certainly want to have a couple of people who know what they are doing look at it before committing any money to it.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 2,096
    I'd go $8k to have this as a nice driver. The ugly wheels would have to go and the explanation about the salvage title doens't hold water. If it wasn't on the other side of the country, I'd check this out.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 50,341
    Old 50s MB that were really warmed over prewar cars might have driven like trucks, but by the 60s they were much improved. For example, fintails were rally and sedan series champions throughout the decade. Sometimes I think my fintail handles much better than my 126...albeit noisier, but it is more willing to be tossed around. It's a surprisingly modern feel.


    I see that Lexus suffers from typical leather decay of that time period. That would annoy me.


    The salvage title will kill sellability no matter how meaningless the damage is. Beware, indeed. Buy it to drive and never sell.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    >>The salvage title will kill sellability no matter how meaningless the damage is. Beware, indeed. Buy it to drive and never sell. << My brother and I were walking our favorite lot on Thanksgiving evening at midnight. I saw this sweet Lexus sedan, a 2003 model. My brother asks me what's wrong with it. I thought it looked pretty good and being that the dealer is the type that sells the really clean stuff, I felt like it was a good deal. Not so. $12-15k in damages, nicely repaired. UCM bought it at the auction and neglected to run the Carfax. Sold it to a long time customer who later demanded (and was allowed) to return it. Might be a good driver but ... If it is not, I am pretty much stuck with it as someone will see the repairs when the car is up on the rack. Too much risk involved for my tastes. Ditto on the salvage title. Could have been underwater - both literally and figuratively.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Just a used car, now and forever, but I'd buy one if it were cheap enough. Wouldn't restore one, though. Fairly attractive as Japanese cars go.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ...that the Lexus had a salvage title, my bad. It's a nice looking enough car, and old enough that the salvage title isn't a *huge* deal as far as future resale goes, but at the same time, I'd hack at least a thousand off whatever price I'd originally imagined. Still, the fact that it has a manual transmission doesn't automatically change this from a regular old used car to 'collectible'. If someone were interested in this car as a future collectible, it's doubtful they'd buy an example with 125k, slightly worn interior, modifications (minor though they may be) and a salvage title anyway, right?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    It's going to be as collectible in 20 years as every 80s Japanese car is now, which is not at all. Of course, you can "collect" as many as you want in your backyard, but that's not what I think the term really implies.


    collectible generally means the car gets MORE valuable as it ages, but we aren't seeing this with Japanese cars.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    "...but we aren't seeing this with Japanese cars."


    'Cept, it seems, the last-gen Supra Turbo, if any exist out there that haven't been F and F'ed to the point of no return...
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Why, in your opinion, are we not seeing at least certain Japanese cars become collectible? This particular Lexus has many of the attributes that make European cars collectible, such as a relatively high MSRP and low production numbers, RWD, attractive styling, sound engineering, a reasonably powerful straight six, a coupe configuration, and a luxury name. Okay, it's short on pedigree and soul. These are important elements for collectibility, although the lack of pedigree may be largely attributable to elitism, don't you think?
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 2,096
    Just like all Lexuses... it's a nice car but it's sterile and won't invoke passion. That's why it's not collectible. Maybe the V8 version, but not this.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 50,341
    I don't see it as elitism at all. Some cars just don't excite the market.


    I can look at several similar Mercedes and see the same thing. I can take a SLC from the 70s...2 door hardtop version of the SL, always with a V8 in NA, well equipped, top engineering, high original cost, low production, unbeatable pedigree, etc....and you can't give one away. You can probably get a concours example for under 10 grand. And when you look at something like a 280CE from the same era, a smaller car with a 6, but every other factor, the price is half a SLC. The market just doesn't care for either car, no matter how many good attributes it has.


    You can even go older and look at a 111 coupe, say a 220SE from 40 years ago. Very competent 6, classic hardtop styling, wonderful interior, low production, high MSRP, great name...and 40 years old....and a really excellent one probably would be very lucky to hit 20K.


    And not to mention cars that are now worth so little, like Jag XJ6C and XJS, BMW 6 series, etc. The market just doesn't care.
  • if it was elitism driving the market, why would there every be valuable Fords, Chevys and Dodges? No, it isn't elitism that drives the market in my opinion.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,792
    becoming collectible? Like, say, the original Datsun 240Z, 260Z, 280ZX, and maybe even some of the 300ZXes? Maybe not high-dollar prizes like a Hemi Cuda or a '57 Chevy Bel Air Vert with factory fuel injection, but still considerably more than a 1982 Accord?


    Or what about those early 70's Datsun 510s? The little boxy ones that look kinda like a poor man's BMW?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    There ARE some japanese cars that people seek out, that it true, but they don't follow the general trend of real "collectibles", because:


    a.) They are usually sought out to be modified and or raced (Datsun 510, Supra). This is a big no-no in terms of keeping value for collectors.


    b) Or they are very stagnant in their "collectibility", in terms of pricing and overall interest. A Datsun 240Z in perfect condition can indeed bring a decent price, (perhaps $12,000) but really that's not a very complimentary pricetag for a 33 year old "collectible". You could get more for a beat-up Malibu.


    I'd hazard a guess that Japanese cars mostly (with a few exceptions) lack character and soul. You jump out of one into another and they look the same and feel the same. And way back when, in the 70s and 80s, they were pretty tinny cars with questionable styling and very good drivetrains.


    But people don't collect "reliability" and they don't collect "gas mileage". They collect "mythology", "race history", "styling" "Prestige", "power", etc., of which older Japanese cars have zilch.


    Of course, this may change....everything changes. When the Japanese start putting out 600 HP Vipers and limited edition GT40s, maybe then.


    But even now, the first thing most people want to do with a "hot" Japanese new car is change it and individualize it.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    How much are Acura NSX's going for nowadays?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    About $35K. They have bottomed out, meaning they aren't going much lower (at least not yet) but aren't going up in value either. Again, very competent cars, sort of ho-hum styling, but you still have that big "ACURA" name staring right at you on the steering wheel. I think they are a great buy and have no glaring faults (well, they eat tires), but it is interesting that every person I have known to buy one, sells it after a year or so. One problem is that nobody looks at you I think.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    Yeah, the Honda Accord of supercars. Great ergonomics, reliable as all get out, ho-hum driving experience (or so I've read).


    I wonder what would happen if Acura decided to adopt some sort of badge label, like the prancing horse of Ferrari or the snorting bull of Lamborghini?
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...that Lexus SC300 would make a nice daily beater car if you're not to picky. The leather is a bit more worn than I like and you can tell the wood trim's finish is cracking. I don't really have a problem with the wheels. Aren't they the ones that are used on the current SC330? Lexus did have a problem with those early electro-illuminescent (sp?) instrument panels. A new replacement is about $1,200, but I heard of a source for decent rebuilt units costing $600.


    As for a salvage title, I wouldn't worry too much about resale value. The person who purchases this vehicle will most likely be its last owner and will run it into the ground. The SC300 is a far more attractive car than its lumpy Audi TT wannabe replacement, but I can't see this car as a future collectible.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    I'm with you ... I've always admired the looks of the first generation SC's -- both the 6-cyl and the V8. At the time they were introduced, they reminded me, in a way, of a Japanese T-Bird.


    When my dad's truck is done, I should have him take some pictures and email them to me so that I can post them here; see what everyone thinks.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 2,096
    Since nobody got me a project car for Christmas, I'm back to critiquing other people's projects. Here we have a 1956 Buick convertible in need of total restoration:



    The seller says that this car runs fine and even has a "What the hell... it runs" bumper sticker to prove it.


    The bidding is at $4,6oo so let's call it 5 grand. I've got no idea what this could be worth but am aware that Buicks of the era don't really have a cache to them. There are aspects to this car that look good considering the age, but it's a total resto, just like the seller says. Maybe most of the panels could be saved.


    What do you guys think?
  • at $4,600......Nah. Junk it.


    Needs paint job, chrome is shot, needs new roof and the interior of the car has been exposed to the thanks.


    While I may not have a grasp of the 50's market, I'd say, if it is running.....$2000-2500 tops.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,792
    then I'd think it would really be worth something, but a Buick Special from that era? Well, it's just not all that "Special"!


    Still, it would be a cool car, all fixed up. I wouldn't be the one to do it, though!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    rust bucket...take off the hard to find goodies (the top bows!), snag the engine, and then junk it.


    Let's say you restored it to Pebble Beach quality, that all the bidders were drunk, the TV cameras were on----you'd probably get $40,000 for it.


    Now if someone gave it to you for free, and you were retired, and you just got a divorce and needed therapy, and you had all the skills to do the work yourself....ah,.....still junk it, nevermind.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    That car does look remarkably solid for a car that's clearly been sitting out in the rain for years (fenders look salvagable, interior isn't nearly as bad as some I've seen), but they're just pictures, so still, it obviously needs *everything*. I wouldn't junk it, this one looks like an excellent parts car, but since it's a Special (not so special), pretty basic, not low production, etc., you'd be in over your head financially before you were halfway done restoring this thing.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 2,096
    He's got two bidders on it. Think there is some pumping going on here?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 50,341 - - gory=6330&item=4513262949&rd=1


    This is an amusing one. The description could be picked apart endlessly. At least it didn't bring a lot.


    Hard to say what this car actually is without a VIN (pic shows 6.3, descrpition says 6cyl). It's European and has been federalized with a US speedometer. Evidently it is indeed a 109 (air suspended) car. VERY few 6.3s were made in 1968 so the believeability of these claims are a bit could have an M189 engine in it (evolution of Gullwing engine). The seller getting types of airbags confused is pretty funny.


    It appears to have a MB-Tex interior and yet has bundt wheels on it, which weren't available until late 1970 as options. It also has late US model rear taillight lenses (the amber lamps were stock on all Euro cars but only on US cars from the 1970 model year onward) and a Becker Mexico cassette unit in the dash which was only available from late 1970 onward. The taillights makes me think think that it was a Euro car that was imported. The trim on the driver's door pocket does indicate that the car is a real 109 rather than just a standard 108 SEL. Most US spec 109s had leather upholstery though, so either the Tex is european or it replaced the original US upholstery.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 2,096
    I never realized that there were so many old beater Benzes running around or that there was such an active collector market for them. Before the 80's, they always seemed like solid long lasting bare bones cars to me. I guess that alot of people see charm in these cars. I have no idea what any of them are worth. Give me a good Chevelle and I'll analyze it down to the lugnuts.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Generally they aren't worth much unless they are coupes or convertibles. Any old Benz beater is a money pit.


    The reason you see a lot of them is that many people are not aware that Benz is a monster producer of cars and trucks. They are not a little boutique company like Saab.


    Mostly the market seems to be folks who hope to look rich for cheap, and then the true lovers of the cars like fintail (and myself to some extent). But the latter group is smart and doesn't pay big money for old 4-dooors with lots of needs.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 50,341
    Yeah, you can get good ones for not much, and beaters are worth pocket change. Good for parts cars though, some MB people accumulate many of them at a couple hundred a pop. MB specialist I know had like 5 fintails and 10 108/109s sitting outside his place...but I think he's cleaning that up now.


    They are also pretty durable - aside from rust - so they survive. There is a charm to them...especially in older ones...they can be pretty fun to drive if you get a better engine example, they are reliable, and non-car people tend to think they are worth a fortune, which is always amusing. A solid one is a bargain for a driver classic.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,792
    I remember when I was a kid, I used to see Mercedes trucks all the time. It was mainly the short-nose style that was almost, but not quite, a cabover. Usually saw them as box trucks and the like, a market that seems to have mainly been taken over by Isuzu and Mitsubishi.


    When did Mercedes stop sending medium-duty trucks to the US?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Also depends on what models. You don't ever ever want a 6.3, 6.9, and most of the 68-77 models are kind of a pain to keep running right. The 190SL is a dog, too, although a very attractive little dog that is true.


    Best bet would be a mid 80s 4-door, or a 300E I think, or an old turbo diesel that hasn't had the guts run out of it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 50,341
    I remember those old short nose trucks too. They seemed to almost always be white, at least around here. Those must have stopped in the 70s sometime.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Here's a cliff-hanger. Save 'er or smelter?

  • fintailfintail Posts: 50,341
    For half the price, or with the mechanical issues solved...maybe. I bet it just sucks the gas down though


    Reminds me of the pimpy white on white 76-ish T-Bird my mom had wben I was very young
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 2,096
    Unless you're producing a movie remake of Cannon or perhaps one about 1970s pimps, this car serves no purpose. It looks decent enough, but what would you possibly do with it? It'll suck gas and be about as easy to drive or park as an Excursion.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,792
    on that one, because I'm waiting for the bank to open up so I can withdraw $2000! Depending on how much front-end work it really needs, I'd consider this one. If it's just ball joints and all the rubber junk, well hey, that's just maintenance and something any car that gets driven on a regular basis is going to need, eventually! If it's getting into more major components though, I'd have some reservations. And I'd also want to see just how bad the rust really is...


    I'm not that concerned about the other stuff. As long as the power windows are still working, I wouldn't be that worried about the a/c. The one downside to the '71-76 Mark, though, is that not all of them had rear quarter windows that opened. By the end of the run, I believe it was an option, and even on the earlier ones, they didn't roll down, but retracted about half-way, into the C-pillar. But they were such tiny little things by that time that even if they did roll down all the way, it's doubtful they would've helped much!


    As far as the reverse light switch? Heck, I've driven a '68 Dart for about 85,000 miles with faulty backup lights, so no big deal! Power mirror? As long as you can still push the mirror into place, I'm not concerned. Emergency brake? Just bring along a brick or wooden block and keep it in the trunk! ;-)


    I guess one reservation I'd have with this car is the color scheme. To me, white with a brown interior just does not sound attractive. In fact, it seems clashy. Now if it had an all-red, all-blue, or all-green interior, or an interior with white leather and red, blue, or green everything else, as was common back then, I might be tempted. But white with brown just sounds boring to me.


    Plus, normally I don't like white cars. I've had a white 68 Dart for the majority of my driving life, and my stepdad always bought white cars, so it's not exactly at the top of my list! I think it does look classy on a luxury car, though. Now that brown interior, IMO, would sound nice if the car were painted a tasteful creme, yellow, champagne, or light brown color, or various other subtle earth-tones like what Pontiac really got into in the early 80's.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 21,224 - /2170703


    How can you lose, everything's there except the driver's seat and the keys?

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • fintailfintail Posts: 50,341
    IF it is mechanically good, everything works, there is really no rust or damage, and the interior is otherwise OK...and the price is about 50% less...just maybe
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,792
    in the "New Versus Used" thread, but maybe it would apply better here. I saw a car today that really tugged at my heart, crying out for rescuing. For years now, I've seen this Mark V parked at the curb in front of somebody's house in my Granddad's neighborhood. Well, yesterday, driving by, I noticed that it had been hit, hard, in the rear. Bad enough to buckle the rear quarter panel from over top of the rear wheel, on to the back of the car. The trunk was also smashed, and the bumper. I happened to go by the same way today, and it was still there, so it hasn't been towed off yet.


    Now I don't know anything about the overall condition of the car, except that usually I'd see it there, but sometimes I wouldn't, so it could at least move under its own power. It didn't look rusty, although its midnight blue paint, while still showing a reflection, did look faded.


    For awhile now, I had entertained the idea of stopping by sometime, and seeing if they wanted to sell it, but now I guess it's too late! At this point, would something like this be worth saving, or would the body damage pretty much render it a parts car?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    the smelter, definitely. Think of it this way Andre--the molecules from its melted metal will one day find their way into a car you could actually drive.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,792
    it's just that sometimes I'll see something that, logically, I know deserves to be junked, but my heart ends up going out to it and I get this urge to try to save it from the crusher.


    Is a Mark V still at the point that the nicest one in the world shouldn't set you back more than $8K or so?
Sign In or Register to comment.