what is the current market for buying one of these? I thought I saw in the classifieds just a rear, no drive shaft or radius arms go for over $3000k. Is that correct?
Looking through the classified I see two 12 rivet halves sold by Langís for $3250. Seems incredible. I donít understand if this is the going price or there was something particularly special about those items? Trying to determine what a complete rear end would cost
I am curious about this also. All of the pre-July, 1912 rear ends seem to have shot up in price the past ten years. I have not been able to attend swap meets like I want to for awhile, but one of the last major meets I went to was a Bakersfield meet about six years ago. You KNOW it happens this way often enough. There were enough rear housings at that meet to have put together at least eight early clam-shell type rear ends. I saw almost every variation there. Early early with no strengthening piece around the pinion mount, and as I recall, no rivets. There were a few with those added touches, but no reinforcements around the clam-shell bolts. Most were six rivet versions, but I saw a few of the twelve rivet ones also.
I didn't pay a lot of attention to them, didn't check much for condition issues, because I wasn't in the market for them. But I had never seen so many in one place before (or since), so I started looking at the different versions and adding lefts and rights in my head. It was amazing. Prices ranged from slightly under $300 for a single half (I did notice a few condition issues on that one, but nothing I could not have fixed), up to about $1500 for a single half (I believe those were the early early ones!). Most individual halves were priced at about $500 to $600 each.
Since then, I have seen few of these offered, with prices going higher and higher. A couple years ago, I saw a couple pairs (remember, pair, not single) selling for around $3500 (I believe Layden B sold one pair, actual price I don't know, but that was about the asking). Also remember, these were not complete rear ends, just the two rear housings.
One detail I see that bothers me in comments and questions about these. Matt, in your thread title, you do say "clamshell". That is good. Whether it is right or not, I don't know, but one should be fairy clear about the "12 rivet" rear ends. The July 1912 into early 1915 style rear end is also referred to as a "12 rivet rear end". However THEY are not generally called a "clam-shell" type. Those terms can be misleading to people that are not familiar enough with the parts being discussed. I think all of us need to try to be clear about what we are discussing here. The '13/'14 style (actually used from about July 1912 until at least some in March of 1915) have also gone up considerably in price the past few years. At that same Bakersfield meet, I bought a damaged but repairable pair of '13/'14 housings for (DRUM ROLL PLEASE!) $25. Yes, I said $25. I very much regret that I did NOT buy the other similar pair there the same day for the same price. I am however, pleased that I do have the pair I bought for my project pile. The 3 to 4 hundred dollar prices I have seen lately for '13/'14 style are a far cry from the $3000 plus for a true '12 style. We do need to not confuse values by being clear about which ones we are talking about.
That is my opinion. For whatever it is worth.
Matt F, To continue on some of your questions. The most visible and special pieces are the rear housings. Many people are satisfied to have the correct housings with later inner parts. Basically, all the later inner pieces will work fine in the early housings with careful fitting. However, people that know what they are looking at may be able to tell them apart out of the housings. Some people do try to use as many of the proper early parts as they can. They should be applauded for this. Some of us, simply cannot afford to do that. So we do the best we can.
Other parts that are different and visible as well, are the radius rods and torque tube. The proper two piece torque tube has also gotten rather pricey. There were a few changes from late '08 through early '13, however, most are the basic '10 though '13 style. The radius rods also had a couple early changes, but most early forged end radius rods that can be found would be correct for '12.
At that Bakersfield meet, I saw forged end radius rods for fifty dollars each for good ones (I really wish I had bought a few, but I had already spent more than I wanted to), and a two-piece torque tube for $200. Since then, I have seen the torque tubes sell for over $500, and radius rods for a couple hundred each. So, once you have your $3500 pair of housings, another grand for TT and RRs, plus the cost of repairs (I an't never seen any such thing that didn't need some kind of repair!) and straightening, other parts, and the full rebuild? One could easily be into a 1911/'12 rear end about five grand. (I remember when you could buy the whole car for that and drive it home!)
Matt, I was at Richmond this past weekend, ran into John Bell of Canada, he has a complete rear axle for a 12 for 3700. The hard part is a 12 is a one year only axle and rear to come by so when one comes up they do not last long. Just trying to help some one out that may be looking or buying. Thanks Joe Bell, oh no relations to John that I know of??