Having a full blown classic car inspection done, coupled with a certified car appraisal is where you should start if you’re serious about selling your muscle car or antique car in today’s on line market. Buyers typically expect that the one’s selling their own car will reveal the car in a very favorable fashion….to be expected. This process gets worse when you add in a broker that hasn’t really seen and studied the car. Most of those deals fall apart mid flight, due to lack of confidence on the buyers part. If they do end up selling, it’s for a lower dollar than they should have sold for, because smart buyers don’t overpay for a car they are not confident in. The key to success? Earn the buyer’s confidence. Not just through salesmanship, but through honest, accurate depiction. Having the car inspected by an outside, professional 3rd party inspection company will reveal the car’s strengths and weaknesses, and help both parties get down to the truth, which leads to a truthful and favorable outcome for both parties. Our process includes jacking up the car and test driving it when possible, along with magnet test results, and in some cases video presentations, when personally conducted by the owner. Even if you have some computer skills, the management of a successful selling campaign on line can be a arduous process. Having the time to send out 100’s of photos, over and over to different prospective buyers, teaching them how to link to and or view videos, answer dozens of questions, and continually follow up with people is what is required. You can utilize the reports and photos that Autoappraise.com will create for you on site to sell your car, or better yet, you can let us step up and handle the whole task for you. We have sold EVERY car that has been consigned to us, through our unique process of thorough accurate depiction. Don’t just take our word for it. Auto Appraise will put you in touch with the actual sellers of the cars we’ve consigned, so you can hear the stories of our success from them….which is really their success. Put the hard work and skills of certified auto appraiser Jason Phillips to work for you. Please call us to discuss your unique situation. We offer discounted service for car collections. Auto Appraise Inc. is well reviewed in the Classic car field, so check out what our client’s are saying! Call us to discuss your needs. 800-301-3886, or 810-694-2008. M-F, 9am-7pm, Sat 10-2pm, EST.
Posts Tagged ‘Classic car chat’
This 1963 Ford T-Bird is a wonderful survivor car. The owner, who recently passed purchased it in 07 for close to $50,000, according to the records. It has excellent magnetic adhesion all around with visible factory spot welds present everywhere. It’s had one nice repaint in the original medium blue metallic. Paint underhood and inside trunk appears original. All trim is still very presentable, some with varying grades of patina present, but all very acceptable on a 2-/3+ show-able driver car. The complicated top system has gone through the typical $3000.00+ rebuild of all the solenoids with a replacement canvas that is very nice. This top works flawlessly, see pics. You’ll see in the YouTube test drive linked below that the 390 c.i. engine runs very well and the tranny shifts nicely. The underbody and trunk remain very solid. No patch panels, no repairs, no rot. All is very solid underneath. It could use a good long day’s worth of steam cleaning and paint detailing to the underbody on a hoist, to really make the bottom stand out. All dye holes are clean and uniform on the frame rails, and the spot welds from the rail flanges to the pans are easily seen. It’s obviously a collision free body. Interior is a combo of mostly new vinyl components and carpet, mixed in with well survived original pieces. The whole car presents in a really nice fashion. The previous owner, spent a lot of time and money in upkeep, and it shows. Links are posted below to youtube videos of the car. Autoappraise.com conducted a 3 hour long inspection on this car. We have over 200 photos and a well written detailed narrative report that will soon be viewable on our blog, see link below. The best thing about the car….just get in and drive, it’s ready for summer without delay. We are asking $35,000. 800-301-3886 or 810-691-2664, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.autoappraise.com
In this article, Auto Appraiser Jason Phillips breaks down the 1-6 “condition numbers” that often get assigned to determine a vehicle’s worth, and the general weakness of this approach in a real attempt to place a proper value.
The first question one should ask would be…”is the car untouched and all original”? From my past experience, it’s very rare when a buyer runs across this situation. This is the easiest situation to assign a single number to a car with equally aged components. Seller’s often unknowingly represent their cars this way, when in fact they have been partially or fully repainted, or modified in some amount they consider not worthy of mentioning. Sometimes, they’re not even aware of previous changes, due to purchasing the car in that condition. Other times alterations are “bolt-ons”, absent the original parts accompanying in the trunk. Sometimes a beautiful exterior re-paint has left the door/trunk jambs in single stage, unattended condition. Sometimes those new base/clear repaints get reacquainted with their old; patina soaked or pitted original bright work. One thing is for certain; other than an untouched, unaltered “barn find”, it’s very difficult to describe most cars with only ONE NUMBER!
After 21 years in the hobby/ workforce, I consider myself a veteran auto appraiser. Appraising and training others to appraise is my full time career. I say this not to establish bragging rights, (though my mother is very proud) but to help establish a foundation of where my opinion comes from. I’ve had the honor of creating an education from inspecting over 6,000 vehicles. Of those, I can count on two hands (O.K., maybe three) the number of actual untouched original vehicles viewed. While a multitude of these appraised cars were close to “bone stock originals” improved upon minimally, the vast majority had at least one exterior repaint, re-covered seats, replacement carpets coupled with some interior paint freshening and re-plated bumpers. The rest fell somewhere between frame up and frame off restored, excluding the “street rods” and “resto-mods”. On cars such as these, it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to assign just one narrow, categorized number for valuing! To further complicate matters, consider the following; of those touting “frame off” restored, the quality of workmanship varied between that “at home” amateur father and son first project look, all the way up to “House of Kolors” over-restored dialed in to the max beauty look!
If my past experience as an auto appraiser has taught me anything, it really all comes down to this: most cars have a “split personality” regarding value. That is to say varying levels of new and aged improvements made on various components, and the quality level at which said improvements were tastefully executed plays a huge role in determining value. Ill-fitting poorly made Chinese reproduction parts are no substitute for true OEM components and or nicely restored original pieces. Stop signs and home heating duct do a sufficient job of patching holes in a trunk pan, but are not equal to a replacement trunk pan that’s been properly installed. New seat covers and carpet DO NOT equal a restored interior. Neither does spray canned black control arms and coil springs with new yellow shocks installed inside them equate to a rebuilt suspension. And NO, roofing tar does not make a sufficient frame repair, regardless of how smooth you may get it to look over the rust holes!
In summary, breaking down the car by each major section and assigning a number or grade is the way I come to a logical conclusion on placing value. Having a solid basis of knowledge on restoration costs, OEM parts expertise vs. aftermarket parts and their associated value, as well as a good eye for quality workmanship are the key factors you should apply when assessing values on your own. Just for grins, Try numbering your own classic car by section and see what you discover. If you end up with mostly #1’s and #2’s, well then……ask your best car buddy to do it for you again, JUST to be sure you’re not missing the mark or showing any subjective favoritism!
In the previous article, auto appraiser Jason Phillips noted that once you confirm power at the jamb button switches and their functionality is correct, it’s time to move to the rear. In the subject car, a 1979 Pontiac trans Am, we opened the trunk, and look to the driver’s side wheelhouse. Just beyond it and above, is the wiring harness to the taillights. It’s in this same location on many GM 70’s cars. The dome light plugs in here. It’s a two white wire connector, black end. Unplug and test. Ground one side of your tester. You should have 12 volts on one side, doors closed. when a door is opened, you should have power on both leads. If it tests out, then check the continuity to the dome light itself. With the bulb in, it should have continuity. Obviously, you have made sure that your bulbs are all good first! Always Always address the cheap and easy first, right? That’s it. That’s the whole circuit. In our particular case, we purchased an aftermarket plastichrome plated housing and harness from NPD Parts Warehouse, and it was poorly made. The chrome coating was grounding out against the steel posts in the roof of the car that the housing slides up onto. Our headliner began to smoke when we put in our light bulb! Thank GOD for quick ground disconnect switches!
In your older GM car, are your courtesy lights stuck on? auto appraiser Jason Phillips notes that most GM button switches located in the door jambs, used to break ground to the circuit operate the same way. The switches are threaded into the cowl jamb post, and are spring loaded. Often, the left switch is a two wire, one side to the courtesy lights, and one to the ignition buzzer. Both are supposed to be hot leads, so do not be confused, thinking that pushing in the switch will cut power to the other side of that switch. Most switches on the passenger side are only a one wire connection. You can un-screw the switch and pull the wire spade connector right through the hole on either side. You don’t normally need to remove the kick panel to remove the switch. Pull them out, un-plug them and test switch for continuity. Use an electric wire wheel to clean them up while their out, freeing them of decay and possibly old repaint build up. Where the wire spade connectors are now hanging out of the holes: if you have 12 volts at all three spades, and both switches check out for continuity by breaking the circuit when they are pushed in, then you should rule out those items as the source of stuck on or off dome light problem. The follow up diagnosis is posted later in this blog.