How do I value my car?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: How do I value my car?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 08:25 pm:

My parents are wanting to know how much my car is worth right now. They don't want me buying more pieces if the car isn't worth much. What would you say it is worth? This is the first old car that I've gotten to build.
I bought this touring car completely disassembled out of a barn. Someone had started to rebuild it but quit. The rolling chassis is in very good shape with solid wheels and new tires. The radiator and wheels came from Neil Jern right before he passed away. The radiator is in great shape. The motor is in pretty good shape. It has a starter and generator. The block is an early 1916 with standard pistons and no helicoils. The transmission is fine, but I have the mag plate out to be rewound. The body is unrestored and needs work. The fenders, running boards, and mud skirts are in pretty good shape. The car is half 1919 and half 1916 brass. I installed all new wiring harnesses. The wood is newer but not done perfectly, I also put some new wood into it. The seats are old but not for this car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 08:46 pm:

I am not sure but it looks to me you may have a wide track car. Restoring a car is an act of love coupled with learning and enjoyment. When you get it back together you will have a car you can enjoy and worth at least $10,000.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 08:50 pm:

It looks like it's getting close to being a running car. In my opinion, get it running and registered (worry about the aesthetics later) and the value will jump considerably in their eyes and yours. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Dufault on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 08:50 pm:

Boy, that's a tough one to answer.
Right up front I will say that you will probably put more dollars into it than will ever come back to you should you sell it.

That's the bad news.

The good news is that as you build it, restore it, resurrect it to somewhat of its former self, you will get priceless amounts of joy and satisfaction with your accomplishments.

In my opinion, the pleasure you get out of making her perform to your wishes is worth whatever you spend on it.....however, as in many things in life, do so in moderation. In your joy and excitement of success do try to not go overboard.

Best wishes for your continued success.

Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Matheny on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 08:56 pm:

Hard to put a price on someone else's car. One sold a lot like yours for $4,00.00 at an auction last month in Nebr. However, I think (just my opinion) yours is worth $1,000.00-$1,500.00 more.

Hope others will be brave enough to state an opinion as well. (remember you asked)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 08:56 pm:

Right now I have 1500 into it. What would I realistically be able to I sell it for in this condition? I had it running but am now installing the proper gas tank and fuel lines.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 08:57 pm:

1500 total investment into it, including getting the car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Matheny on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 08:59 pm:

should be four thousand, needed on more zero


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 09:08 pm:

I don't really understand the question. Obviously, the more work you do, the more it'll be worth. In its present condition I would say around $3k.

Since it's a half and half, you're never going to get true brass prices for it. At least, not from someone who knows what they're buying.

But if it were me, I'd keep working on it. Looks like you've done a lot of good work. Get it running and driving, take the parents for a ride, and it should buy you some more understanding.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 09:35 pm:

I really appreciate the input. The reason I asked is I don't want to reach the point of diminishing return. Would it be better to leave it with a starter and generator? I have the nonstarter hogsheads and timing cover without the spot for the generator! Does it add to the appeal, or detract from it if I leave the starter and generator? My radiator, and motor date to 1916, my wheels fit the time period, and the body is of the early style. I could pretty easily make it a mostly correct 1916. Is it worth the hassle? Is a restored half brass car worth a lot less than a restored pieced together brass car?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Plank on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 10:43 pm:

Personally, I can't worry about the money side of my hobbies. I have them because I enjoy them. Of course I don't let them get out of hand either. I think you have a great looking car that has real potential. You do not have too much invested in it. Take your time on it. There are a lot of things you can do to make it look nice without spending a lot of money. Save up for the bigger money things. As long as you have it safe to run and drive, have fun with it. It sure wouldn't bother me to run with you. I really like the survivor look.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 11:28 pm:

Robert is correct.

At this point in time it is worth 4-5K. Your satisfaction in putting it all together is worth another 5K. Unfortunately people do not pay for your satisfaction. You have done this much, you might as well keep on going until you feel you are done.

Looking good so far. Keep up the good work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 11:28 pm:

Having as much as you do for only $1500, you're financially ahead of the game. I expect you could easily sell it as is for three grand. As you proceed the value will increase, but not as much as the costs. By the time you get it mechanically sound and cosmetically looking good, you'll have more in it than you can get for it. So what? It's a hobby. That's something you do for enjoyment and satisfaction, and typically costs more money than you'll ever get back. As for what to do with it, I have enough purist in me that I'd want to sell or trade the 1916 parts to help finance making it all 1919. That would be easier and cheaper than making it all 1916. But there's nothing wrong with a Johnny Cash car. A majority of today's Model T's have at least some "incorrect" parts, some more than others. Would the starter and generator affect the selling price? Depends on who's buying.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 11:29 pm:

Thank you all for your input. I think I got some good advice. I hope you enjoyed the photos.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 11:29 pm:

Daniel,
You definitely do NOT have too much invested in it!Built as a "just for fun" car, finished I would guess in the $5 to $6K range (but just a guess--and I'm cheap!). Finished as a correct '16 or '15 at least double that if not much more. I can see that you are still missing some wood pieces around the cowl, and you are missing the hood former, which can be a little difficult to find--IN GOOD SHAPE (I have about 3 in poor shape).
It looks farther along than mine, and I have much more in it.
And, as others have mentioned here, what you learn in doing this is priceless; one should set great value in that part--some folks take a college course to learn this stuff!
And then there are the friendships you develop too, including romantic ones from what I read here!
I think you've found out we all agree here--press on!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 12:46 am:

Daniel, I have little idea of values Stateside, so can't help you there. Your description of the car puzzles me though. You report that it has a starter and generator, and an early 1916 block. That cannot be. The casting to accept a generator, introduced in 1919, is a different casting from a 1916 block.
If indeed it has a 1916 block, I would think it would be of more value than if it was a generator type block.

Hope this helps with your quest for more knowledge about your car.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 01:26 am:

The serial number is 1,057,xxx if I remember correctly.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 02:17 am:

D ~

Most Americans "value" everything in terms of dollars, which is a shame. So many aspects of a good life involve things of
great "value" that have no dollar value at all, ... a sunny day, a wonderful vista, a day free with nowhere to be and all the
time in the world to get there, or the simple pleasure of owning a relatively cheap hobby car that delivers a lot of pleasure
for any money spent on it.

If the T isn't that car for you, perhaps you are in the wrong racket ? If it is, savor every moment and nevermind its speculated
dollar value. It is worth the world to you ! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 06:37 am:

Do you "get a return" when you play golf? What about when you go to a movie? Visiting with family on the front porch - how much do you get paid for that?

All things in life are not about "getting a return" in money. There are some Model T businesses that are focused on "getting a return" and I understand that. For most Model T owners you will probably not spend much money but you also will not make any profit.

It is possible to make a bit of money buying and selling Model T's. Typically the trick is to buy low and sell high without spending any money on anything in the process. For me the rewards of T ownership are not tied to monetary value.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 07:36 am:

Buy low and sell high? Dang, I've been doing it wrong all these years.:-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 07:56 am:

Dan, I know a lot of the guys love the cars like yours, with what they call "Patina". Everybody has their likes and dislikes. Me, I like 'em to be restored close to "out of the factory". That said, if you can find someone who is good at painting cars, if you can put in the sweat-equity of blasting her, maybe even priming and sanding, you can quickly turn it into a $15,000 car with maybe no more than 2 grand in materials. Quite frankly, with the luck I've had with Valspar's rattle can paint called Paint plus Primer, after you get the body smoothed out, you'd be amazed at how good you can paint it with those, and at only $4 bucks a can, you can do a pretty good job for probably no more than 50 cans of paint. Seriously!
I'll attach a copy of one of my fenders on my Model A that I painted with this stuff. Absolutely amazing and a great way to get your car "off the ground". You can only get them at Lowes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 09:10 am:

That serial number indeed does indicate January 22, 1916. But as Allan pointed out, if a generator fits it has to be 1919 or later because introduction of the generator required a different casting. How can you have a 1919 or later block with an earlier serial number? Ford sold replacement blocks. They came without a number. When they were installed they were stamped with the number of the block they replaced. I suspect that's what you have.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 10:03 am:

I'm in the $2500/3000 area. Problems: Mix of parts/years. Not running & title & engine #'s. These all hurt. Any one who knows or checks will pick it to pieces. My advice is (if your selling) stop where you are. There's still profit there. As stated if you go all the way with a restoration profit disappears. Again this is because of the collection of parts from different years. There's no $ in a restored T. You'll spend more than it's worth. Especially in your case.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 10:13 am:

Thank you all for your help.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Sims on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 10:27 am:

If this were my car,I would make it into a 1920. Sell the radiator and brass headlight rings and find a good used radiator, and yes you can find used radiators that will cool good enough for normal use. the front fenders can have the skirt on the front cut off and rolled under. This would be much cheaper and much more correct than trying to make it a brass T.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John H. Nichols on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 10:49 am:

Daniel,

I say go for it. There are I believe several 1916 blocks you can purchase in the MFTCA classifieds and if not, advertise in the classifieds if you want period correct. I wonder if you should have your parents read this thread.

From your statement, "My parents do not want to spend any more money for parts tells me you are
of a younger generation than 90% of those who have answered or hopefully have honestly given you their opinion. I currently have in my garage
a speedster that right now consist mostly of a frame and body. a Long ways to go and a mix mash of parts.

Right now, like many others, I would say that at least 3 grand would be a fair offer, but then what I know I would do is keep it, if for no other
reason than those put forth in this whole thread.

Respectfully,

John


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 10:52 am:

Another way to look at this is: What would it cost to find another ?

In this scenario, I not only include a possible purchase price, but also the cost in time and travel and
general aggravation as I schlepp all over creation to look at people's overpriced/overhyped projects.

In the 80's, I decided that the best looking post-war car ever built was a 1958 DeSoto Fireflite convertible .....
total production 474. This was WAY before the internet, and I lived and breathed that hunt for YEARS,
coming up with lots of semi-similar cars, but never the right one. And if I did find one, it wasn't for sale.
Now, keep in mind, today there are six confirmed surviving examples, so this was a "needle-in-a-haystack"
mission of the first degree.

Well, I finally found a "close enough" car and had it delivered on pallets (it was SO rusty!). I then dumped
about three years and God knows how much money into it when, in my search for parts, I found the exact
car I wanted. At that time, these things weren't getting the 100-200K they are today, and I had been buying
ratbag similar examples for around $1500. The price on MY car ? $10K. I pulled the trigger without blinking.

So, the question is "What's it worth ?"

Well ask yourself, .... how long do you plan to live ? Divide those years by dollar amount of what they are
worth to you as you do what you get great pleasure out of ? .... or you can divide them out in terms of
aggravation and wild goose chases and never finding what you really want !

So, what IS that car really worth ? I am not a rich guy by any means. But wasting my limited time on earth
chasing half measures and pipe dreams is not a plan my Gunny would go for. I set a course and sail. No
settling for partial objectives. That kind of thing may work for some people, but not this cat.

It has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with knowing what we want in life and knowing
our time is precious.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John H. Nichols on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 10:54 am:

Darn,

I hate cold coffee. I got so wrapped up in this thread, I let my coffee go cold.

Not being a nit picker, but it looks as if he has
a speedometer gear mounted on right front spindle.

John


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 11:14 am:

John it does have a spedo great on the passenger side wheel. I got the wheels and radiator from Neil Jern.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 11:24 am:

Now that we've figured out that the engine is almost certainly 1919 or later, I would definitely NOT try to turn it into a 1916. Down that road lies a major money pit. It would be much less costly to do it as a 1919-1920 and use the earlier parts to help finance the project. Not only is there a speedometer gear, but it looks like an over-axle wishbone. Looks like an early chassis with a later engine and body. We don't know what springs, axle housings, drive shaft tube, etc., are in there. Based on what we can see, it could be quite a hodgepodge.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 11:33 am:


These are the springs and axels. What about the body makes it a later style body?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 02:13 pm:

The mixture continues. Tapered front springs are pre-1917. Over-axle wishbone is also teens. The brake backing plates with reinforcing ribs are later. The Ford logo stamped in the cross member is twenties, indicating a twenties frame. It probably has a battery carrier riveted in to confirm that. Speedometer gear is early teens. Round-felloe non-demountable wheels are teens. The front spring clip is 1920 & before.

Note the shape of the cowl where the hood would go. Does that match the shape of the brass radiator? Nope. A 1915-1916 body would have a hood former matching the shape of the radiator. The crowned fenders are 1917 and later.

I'm not being precise about the exact year on all these features because I'm not taking the time to look them up. Where I do mention years, I'm pretty sure.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 02:32 pm:

You have a put together car. This is no sin, there are a lot of put together cars. That's a nice looking brass radiator. What hood do you have? I think I would get a hood former and hood to match the brass radiator and have a "brass" car. Maybe some day you will have some extra cash and you can get a 15 or 16 cowl at Chickasha, or from Mark Freimiller. Use the engine and transmission you have. You will like having the electric starter. Get it on the road and enjoy it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 02:44 pm:

I have sold spare parts in order to buy this 15/16 firewall and I plan on getting the hood former and hood to go with the radiator.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Monday, November 03, 2014 - 04:13 pm:

Daniel,
BE SURE and get an aftermarket auxiliary wishbone!
This is a safety item!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Tuesday, November 04, 2014 - 12:17 am:

I got a lot more input that I had planned. Thanks for all the input! I will post more pictures as I progress.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Tuesday, November 04, 2014 - 02:22 pm:

Daniel,
It occurs to me that if you need some encouragement, and your folks need some re-assurance, there probably are T people here who would gladly drop by to provide same!
On second thought, maybe your folks shouldn't meet SOME of us. . . . (It's a Joke son, I say a JOKE!!)
As I said before---Press on!!!
PS if you don't get my Joke saying, you haven't watched Foghorn Leghorn cartoons,


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Tuesday, November 04, 2014 - 02:41 pm:

^ :-) I got it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, November 04, 2014 - 03:03 pm:

I'm so old I even know where Foghorn came from.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Tuesday, November 04, 2014 - 07:40 pm:

An egg?
Sorry, couldn't resist.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Tuesday, November 04, 2014 - 07:48 pm:

Or was it a chicken?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange on Tuesday, November 04, 2014 - 08:13 pm:

Here's what Steve is referring to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senator_Claghorn


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, November 04, 2014 - 08:23 pm:


Mark got it. Fred Allen, Minerva Pious (Mrs. Nussbaum), Alan Reed (Falstaff Openshaw), and Kenny Delmar (Senator Claghorn). :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Tuesday, November 04, 2014 - 09:03 pm:

Wow, now I'm more ed'u'kated! And I thunked I knowed radio shows!
Thanks!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Tuesday, November 04, 2014 - 09:06 pm:

Wow, now I'm more ed'u'kated! And I thunked I knowed radio shows!
Thanks!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Tuesday, November 04, 2014 - 09:07 pm:

Hmm, my dial-up hic uped!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, November 04, 2014 - 09:10 pm:

A Model T is worth what the buyer is willing to pay for it. Most people don't want a T and would not pay anything for it. Others would like a T and would pay for it. I think that it would be worth somewhere around $2,000 as is. If it is restored in perfect condition, somewhere over $16,000.

The important thing is: How much do you want to keep this car? If you like it and want to restore it, then keep it and enjoy it. If it is just a project which you would like to sell and make a little money on it, then sell it as it is.

I have seen cars which look like your pictures which get a lot of attention when we are out on tours. If they run well and are safe, they get more attention than the completely restored cars.

My suggestion would be to get it running good and in safe condition and then just enjoy it just as it is. If you plan to keep it for many years, you can do a little work each year and eventually restore it, spreading the expenses over the years. If you do decide to restore it, you will need to go all the way, because it just doesn't look good halfway restored.

I don't know if you have a hood for it, but if you do, you need to find a good low black radiator. You say the radiator is good. You should easily be able to find someone who would buy your brass radiator. If you drive without the hood, just leave it as it is. If you decide to replace with a black radiator, I would suggest a new one of the flat tube variety. A good new one would cost around $800 but well worth the expenditure. But if you drive without the hood, you don't need to rush to buy a new one.

Enjoy the hobby. That looks like a very good car and well worth what you have already spent on it.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Saturday, November 08, 2014 - 05:22 pm:

I bought a 15-16 hood and hood former to put on it since the wooden firewall is a 1915-16 from snyders. I got a 1916 round gas tank to put in it, and I found a set of early touring top irons as well as a three dipper pan, non electric timing cover and a starter-less hogshead in my pile of parts. I have a lead on potentially swapping out my windshild for a 15-16 one, and some of my side lamps appear to be around 1916. I think what I am going to do is put all of the above parts on it (with the exception of the motor parts) and drive it as is until I find some 16 fenders to put on it. I don't think that I will restore it anytime soon. Instead I think I will just add some better safety equipment and enjoy buying and selling pieces for it. While it may never be a totally correct brass car, I like the look of the brass cars better than the later model T's. This way I can have one without paying the price tag for a totally correct one. The frame is a 1919 and I cant find a for symbol on it, so with the exception of the holes added to it, I think it will fit in with my project. Thanks for the input and assistance.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Saturday, November 08, 2014 - 06:13 pm:

The frame does have ford stamped onto it, my mistake.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Saturday, November 08, 2014 - 06:44 pm:

Daniel -- '15 and '16 hoods are not the same. They look the same when painted, but 15's are made of aluminum and '16 ones are made of steel.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel Kraft on Saturday, November 08, 2014 - 07:02 pm:

Yes I know, I think I got a steel one coming.


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