I hate it when people do this on the forum yet, here I go . . . .
I have the opportunity to purchase a previously restored 1914 touring (3 years since restoration). The car is beautiful. Body restored by Ray Wells. I know it was built from a mixture of parts, some 1913 (engine 10-7-13) some 1914, and some 1915. Has 30 x 3 1/2 demountables all around, electric fuel pump which doesn't work and is draining energy from the battery, gas lights have been permanently converted to electric, no carbide generator, has electric starter. Drives OK, but will need some band adjustments, new plugs, carb leaks badly.
I have always wanted a brass car. I have no idea what it's worth, and neither do they. I want to be fair. Have I included enough info and pictures for you to give me your best estimate of it's value?
If the mechanicals are as good as the cosmetics, I agree with Jerry. With the Ruckstell and the external brakes it looks like a great car for touring.
By the way, that October 1913 engine counts as 1914. The model year began August 1.
In the Model T community $12,000 - $14,000. Tops.
If ebay'ed I'd bet on $16,000 - $18,000.or more. Just because it's shiny and shiny sells on Tbay...
Bob, bottom line it's only worth to you what your willing to pay...
It is a nice looking car. Too bad the horn is mounted upside down.
Some cars are restored as show cars and some are restored as drivers equipped with what it takes to tour dependably. I figure they're equally valuable.
For that reason, the same-size demountables are a wash. Some would say they're incorrect, others would say they make life a heck of a lot easier in the event of a flat tire on the road.
Same deal with the electric starter. I am sooooo glad my Flivver has one, especially when the engine is cold. It's also wonderful to have one when you stall in heavy traffic. Getting out and hand-wrestling the engine back to life while impatient drivers are whizzing by at close-quarters is a decidedly uncomfortable experience.
Replacing a non-operational fuel pump isn't a big job. If you don't like the idea of a pump, delete it.
My car also had a very leaky carburetor (an NH-type). I bought an overhaul kit from Lang's and fixed it, never having opened one up before. Tinkering is part of the warp and woof of Model T ownership, but if you don't wish to do this particular job yourself, you can exchange the carb for an overhauled unit. Again, no biggie.
If the bands need adjusting, adjust them. You can get plenty of advice on the forum as to how to go about it. It's another non-issue unless the bands need replacing.
A 3-year old restoration is a good age because these cars generally put on less than 1,000 miles per year, so it's probably just nicely broken-in. Judging from the photos, the top, upholstery and paint look first rate. Beautiful car.
Then, there's that Ruckstell and the Rocky Mountain brakes, both of which are very desirable items for a car that tours.
As to value, I'm going to disagree with most of my forum buddies who are accustomed to getting to-the-trade pricing. A 1914 Model T, with that beautiful cherry-wood dash and gorgeous gas lamps is worth a significant premium over a far, far more common '15. I figure this car is worth, at the very least, $18K due to all of the above and the freshness of the restoration (which I'm assuming includes a 3-year old engine).
I have to agree with Bob C.
First of all, it's a brass era car, and it's beautiful, aside from any issues with any of the "mechanicals". Secondly, looking at that last picture, I see something over $4,000.00 right there, with the Ruckstell and the Rocky Mountain Brakes.
That is one nice looking car. I could not restore one that nice for $18,000. I know one that is for sale at $22,000. I would say $18,000 would be a fair price, where are you going to get one that nice for less. The top and upholstery look great. What would that cost. The demountables are a plus. the more I look at that T the better I like it. Offer them $18,000 you wont lose money at that price.
In California, I believe that the car is worth around $18k, maybe more, depending on how it drives. New radiator, Ruckstell, Rockies, beautiful finish. Maybe the car would be worth less in a rural area where there are fewer buyers, but I've seen worse for more in SoCal.
Even with a Mickey Mouse fuel pump and wheels that make it look modern, it's gotta be worth at least $15K. My '14 is a well worn, 50s era cosmetic restoration of an original car that has had recent mechanical rebuilds to make it a solid reliable tour car. I would never sell it for less than $15K. The car you've presented has to be worth at least as much.
Looks like a really nice car. If it looks as good in person as it does in the pictures its got to be worth $20K or a bit more. I know if it was mine I would have a hard time letting it go for $20K.
On the other hand as a buyer I would make lower offers and hope the seller was desperate and unaware of the true value.
The Ruckstell and Rocky Mountain brakes are worth $4500 alone.
The upside down horn and electric fuel pump makes me wonder if there are other screwey things wrong with the car.
The good thing about buying a car all done like this, is: you couldn't duplicate it for the highest price anyone has mentioned so far. When you start adding the costs of tires, wheels radiator, lights, interior, engine, Ruckstell, etc. not to mention if you have to pay someone to do the body work and paint, you would be well over any of these prices. The negative is, sometimes it can be hard to tell how good the car was to begin with.
assuming both you & the car are in San Diego ...
You are one of the few folks with money if you are serious about the car that are in the area ....
The Seller has some idea of the value - as do you.
You cannot wear both hats ...
Ask what they are comfortable with and go from there ...
Thank you everyone for your help and advice. I kind of feel like a newbie when it comes to brass cars.
I do agree with Eric that cars in California tend to cost just a little more than other parts of the country.
Although they might not know this, they seem to be nice people and I want to be fair. Your comments have helped immensely.
Thank you again and happy T'ing.
I am agreeable to the value in the 15K + range BUT I would surely expect to see receipts for any mechanical work done ie: engine/trans. work & Ruckstell components. Paint & upholstery is big $$$$ around the Seattle/Tacoma area also.
It is shiney and most of us have a little "crow" in us that attracts us to such bright objects.
I'd throw a 14K offer out if it had some credentials.
We purchased our mostly correct, all original tin, restored from an original car found in the 60's and parked since 1976 for 12K several years ago.
depends on if you are buying or selling. that 14 last week in california sold on CR for 10k or best offer. no ruckstell, but still a very presentable car
So the estimates range from 12.5 to 20K, that's quite a difference. I guess it depends on whether you are buying or selling. If I were buying, I'd offer $12.5 K. Personally I'd have a hard time paying much more.
If I were selling and received $20K for it, I think I'd hit the jackpot. In my thinking, you could buy a nicely restored 1912 for that money.
A few years ago, I purchased a 1910 touring car restored with original parts with an enclosed trailer for $28.5 K, enough parts for a 1912 roadster, including a new body and new brass for $3.5 K (that was a good deal),a complete 1926 rolling chassis with a Ruckstell for $1200, a once restored 1907 Model N for $24 K, an unrestored but original 1908 S roadster for $12 K, just as examples. While those purchases were a few years ago, prices haven't changed much. Check out Model Ts that actually sold on eBay.
Here's a '13 in not quite as nice condition that sold on eBay a couple months ago. Similar cars have been selling at or near $20 K recently.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1913-ford-model-T-touring-/171171053720?item=17117105372 0&forcerrptr=true&pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item27da970098&nma=true&si=oCPEQDz%252F lKpk4R6T7uAwRDUPZcU%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
That was a local T here, Royce. Nice car but up close, it had quite some mileage on it. Came from CA originally and was my friends' Dad's T.
That '13 has what I call 1970's circus wagon brassification. All sorts of unnecessary and incorrect year parts. All those parts have value, so for example you could sell the 1912 lamps and buy the correct 1913 lamps and pocket a small profit. The water pump and alternator kits could be sold on eBay for a profit.
The profits could then be spent on a good top and a gallon of black enamel.
A lot depends on how it runs and drives.Is it a shaker and can you see anything in the rear view mirror? How much can the owner tell you about what has been done to the car? I know this is just me but i would deduct 3,000.00 if the engine has a ball bearing fourth main! Bud in Wheeler.
Car sales usually have an emotional component which has not been discussed here.
It's pretty clear why you would want to buy it... It's a nice car. But no clue why the seller would want to sell it.
If the seller has too many cars, has a new project in mind, needs the cash, etc. These facts will usually increase his motivation to sell. If on the other hand his reason to sell is because you asked if it was for sale... he may want to use you to get a feel what the "market" might be for his nice car.
I personally would offer on the low end... say $10K or $11K to see where the sellers heart is(ice breaker). If the seller says no you can always offer more. If he says "I've changed my mind about selling it", you will have learned more about his reason for selling, and offer accordingly, or walk away.
Remember, fair goes both ways... he's the "nice guy" with the car and you're the "nice guy" with the checkbook. I hope it works out for you both. - John
If you haven't already, do look at:
courtesy of Ed
We all have our price threshold and have all experienced regret at not purchasing, and all of us have probably experienced a little buyer's remorse.
For me, how well does she start and run? How well does she do at 30 MPH on a warm day?
As far as being presented as a 3 year old restoration with the assumption of a new engine, who did it and to what extent?
Ray Wells' body work is beautiful and as far as I know, accurate. So far, however, no mention of the mechanicals from the crank to the Ruckstell.
After I made an initial trip to Long Island, NY, to inspect the car that's in my profile, the seller assured me he had the title. We made arrangements to return a few weeks later to buy the car.
A few weeks later in July of '98, the second trip took place. Bank check in hand, I'm ready to buy and trailer home. It turns out the seller has a title (Michigan, 1952) and a couple of subsequent bills of sale. It was definitely his car to sell, but I've "been there and done that" with the DMV in Memphis and wasn't willing to do it again.
I told the seller to call when he had a current New York title showing him as the seller, and I'd be back. He told me, "Hey, it's easy for you to do this without my having to get a New York title". I responded, "Perhaps, but it's easier for you."
The seller got the title issued, and during Thanksgiving weekend of '98, the whole family went to get the car.
Bob, as far as the leaking carburetor, why hasn't it been fixed, and the car presented as completely tour ready? Are the people you're talking with the owners or are they representing an absentee owner, or possibly an estate?
I know that I'm not there with you, so I can't feel all that you're feeling. From my perspective, since I gather you want to drive and tour with this car, it seems that the mechanicals are paramount. Ask for receipts and examine them. In their absence, unless it's someone you know well and has a flawless reputation, it's far safer to assume that the work has not been done.
Again, I'm not there with you, but a good approach may possibly be to request of the seller that they get the carburetor fixed, the oil changed, go through the safety check list, tighten the grease cups, and go with you for a 75 - 100 mile drive. I believe doing this will likely help you, and them, get closer to a price.
Assuming that you and the seller do this, let the forum know how it went.
Lastly, is there a good, clear title? I know nothing of DMV in San Diego; all I know is that Memphis (Shelby County) is difficult, time consuming, and costly to get a title if you are buying a car without one from the seller.
Let us know, Bob.
Thank you all again. This is helping me greatly, and educating me on things I didn't think of. I've since spoken to several people in the area who know the owner and car, and are saying around $15,000, give or take. This figure has been greatly tempered by your info and advice above. Thank you.
Kenneth--At this point, even tho I've driven the car (it was a little shaky and underpowered compared to my '17 touring. . . maybe just me or the difference between cars? I'm not used to the really tight steering) and looked at it twice, I don't know what the owner is asking or expects yet. I have an appointment with him on Monday to make an offer.
Bill-- although it wouldn't start by cranking (and I'm use to crank starting a T with my '17 in profile pic), it started easily with the starter and, after warmed up, had no problems crank starting it. I think it was more of a carb adjustment question. The owner is in ill health, it's being handled by his son (who has no interest in T's), but both have stellar reputations in our area. As in Memphis, San Diego (CA DMV) is awful to deal with, and it took 6 months and some luck to get my '17 T registered. However, this has a clean title, is already registered, and shouldn't be a problem.
Dave-- thank you for the tip, but I've restored a car before and it's more difficult to do again since I'm now living in a condo with a lack of garage space. The '14 meets my desires and wishes, is already finished, and at the most I'll hopefully only have to make some adjustments or relatively minor repairs/replacements.
John-- after reading the above comments, I think $10,000 to $11,000 might be a bit of an insult if he knows more than he's saying, and I'll lose the good will I've built up and the chance to fairly negotiate (again, I want to be fair about this to both of us). Again, from the above comments, I'll probably start a little higher ($14,000?).
Richard--thanks for the tip on e-bay "solds". I'll check it out.
Again, thank you all for your help and advice. I'll keep you posted.
ps--if I get it, I'm still looking for an 8' x 14' used trailer for storage (see classifieds). Doesn't need to be perfect, just towable to San Diego and waterproof. It will only be used for storage and probably never moved again. Thank you.
Be careful about storing cars in enclosed trailers. A friend of mine stored his 1910 Brush in one. He didn't check on it for a while too long. A combination of humidity and solar heat pealed about half the paint off the wood body and wheels. The trailer did have ventilation. Maybe it was too much and let the moisture in? Or it was not enough and after a rain and fog it stayed damp too long and got warm? Part of the problem was also probably the paint preparation? I don't know. Just be cautious about trailers for long term storage.
Drive carefully, and enjoy. And GOOD LUCK!! W2
A friend's brother stored his Brush in an inclosed trailer along with his Corvette and some antique motorcycles. He lost them all when the trailer was stolen!
Good luck! TH
Nice looking car but, the demountables look really out of place. I understand why some people run them on pre '19 cars. I would at least paint them black in this case to help hide what they are.
I guess it depends on how much you want an "original". This 14 has improvments to make it a really nice driver and look good to.
Most of the time when the previous owner doesn't get back what he has invested in it. Sometimes but not all the time.
This may be one of those times.
A really nice 14.
Again, thanks for all of your suggestions and information. It has really helped me feel more comfortable about what I should spend and offer.
Wayne-- I've had my '17 touring stored in an enclosed trailer for about 7 years, and it's been fine. Maybe a little too ventilated??? It leaks a little in the rain, and I live at the beach. But other than the hubcaps tarnishing, it's been fine. Good info to know about tho. Thank you.
Dave-- that's one of my frustrations. I wish it had the original clinchers size 3 x 30 on the front and 3 1/2 x 30 on the rear like my '17 touring, instead of these 3 1/2 x 30 demountables all the way around. I'm kind of figuring that into the cost. May swap wheels with my '17 (car in profile pic) for awhile to see the difference.
Terry--as on my profile, I live in San Diego. In southern Calif, you lock up everything like Fort Knox. I've got wheel locks on the trailer wheels, locks on the hitch, uncutable locks on the doors of the trailer. My biggest problem is remembering all the keys when I go get the car or trailer!
John-- like all of us, I'm sure he has more invested than it's worth. That's life in the auto hobbies. Thank you all (even all y'all!)
Bob, might be worth your time to call Ray Wells and see what he knows about the car. Sometimes he knows quite a bit about some of the cars in the area that he has done bodies for.
All the problems you have listed are minor. The fuel pump is not necessary except for climbing very steep hills. Your 17 without one climbed Victoria Drive in Alpine. The Ruckstell and Rocky brakes are an asset even though not original. The wheels can be changed very easy if you wish to, however, I personally think they are also an asset if you plan to use for touring. If that engine was rebuilt 3 years ago and the owner is in ill health, it might not have been driven very much and not really broken in. Same goes for the tight steering. Be careful adjusting the bands. Loose is better than tight. They should be just tight enough to lock the drums with the pedal about one inch above the floorboard.
If you do decide to buy the car, know that I am available to help you with adjustments.
Kims assessment has my agreeance, $15k+
Very nice looking 14 touring, l think many of us would be happy to see it in our garage as is.
real worth - who knows, $18 - 22 K ??????
where's the pics of the car at your home ???