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Qestion for you guys...


Brandon Hunt
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We (my family) have a 1931 Model A Pickup that I told was used as a wrecker for a short period of time... Im trying to get a sense of the value of the vehicle. (Im looking to restore it to 100% original condition if possible)

It runs good, good shape, needs a little cosmetic work but nothing too big, about 90-95% original.

Heres the catch, from what I hear, there were only 27 of these specific vehicles built. Whats so special about them? This one has a 4 speed transmission in it (granny gear)... from what I hear, all but this rare 27 of them were built with a 3 speed transmission...

How true is this and who or where can I go to find the approximate value of it? And to certify the rarity of it?

About 20 years ago, the owner of a local Cadillac dealership said he'd give my grandfather $250,000 and any 2 Cadillacs on his lot in trade for the vehicle... this is the only thing that gives us a sense of how valuable it may really be...

We've been curious about this for years, but havent really been able to find anything about it... Soooo Im workin a little harder on it now, haha...

Thanks a ton for your help guys!

Brandon Hunt

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I think I would have taken the $250,000 and the two Cadillacs. My honest opinion is thet there isn't a Model "A" Ford built worth that kind of money. There were a lot of Model "A" Duel wheel trucks built with 4 speeds in 29, 30 and 31. Dave!

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Twitch</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Bingo, Dandy Dave! Maybe the dealer was fronting a purchase for Boyd Coddington who was planning on making it into a gasser. </div></div>

lol.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Brandon Hunt</div><div class="ubbcode-body">About 20 years ago, the owner of a local Cadillac dealership said he'd give my grandfather $250,000 and any 2 Cadillacs on his lot in trade for the vehicle... </div></div>

Not to dash your hopes, but I have heard this story many times over the years, attached to other old cars that came along. It is one of those legends that keeps reappearing over the years...

Not to say your truck isn't valuable or worth restoring, just pointing out a story we have all heard before, and doesn't really equate to actual value..!

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A guy at work has a 38 Ford flatbed that he insists is the only one left on earth. He says that he has been offered in excess of 100K for it, but knows that it is worth far more than that. He showed me a picture of it. It is an unrestored hulk, with the ubiquitous blue tarp over the cab. He plans to sell it to fund his retirement. I hope he has a nice IRA, just in case.

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Here is the thing, a Tucker (only 51 made and a famous movie made about it, + it is a notorious car) would sell for that much today, back then it was probably around 100 thousand or so. I have a 1921 Chevy '490' touring car that was my grandpa's in fully operable condition, but, needs paint and a convertable top. It was the FIRST car sold by the dealership in 1921 that my grandpa worked at from 1955 until he died in 2005 and he claimed that the new owner was going to give him 65 thousand for it in 2002! To buy and have on their showroom floor! and this was the FIRST car that they sold and now they are a multi-million dollar dealership near L.A. in Covina,Ca and it could be used for advertising,etc.. This car is worth a max of 6 or 7 thousand and I have seen perfect, flawless ones for 10-15, so, it is a tall story! People who are not in the old car realm think that ALL old Cars are worth lots of money, and this is not true, they are only worth the demand and what people want to pay for them (my '490' is not worth anything because of the archaic tech. brakes cannot be updated, etc. and people have no sentimental value attached to those anymore, the WWII generation is now dying out and the baby boomers for the most part have no attachment to those cars their attachment are to the '57 chevys and 'stangs not the cars of the 40's and before wheras 30 years ago 57 chevys were junk and the old brass cars were selling for more$). So, here are the questions you have to ask:

First- Why is the dealership not wanting to buy this vehicle now? Especially since the economics of today are far different. 200 grand is not worth what it was in the 80's

Second- How rare is this vehicle and how much is it desired? A vehicle can be rare but not desired. (my buddy has a studebaker that they only made 300 of and he got it for $1200!)

Third- Many of the cars of the 1920's are disappearing like my '490' because of the wood, etc. and the coachbilt cars that were speciallized and rare to start with and they were luxurious and had classic styling-trucks on the other hand are, Trucks! they do not have the same luxury and style as a car. So, I guess the question is, if I had a Deusenberg or a 'rare' truck both for sale for $200,000 which one would you choose?

Fourth and finally- My 1978 Mark V is valued by the insurance company at $6500, now, I could get no where near that if I want to sell it for that! So, even though a price guide says 50 dollars or 500000 dollars what price would you be able to sell it at? It takes the right buyer at the right time.

Do you have pics.? and info from Ford to back up the 'rare' claim? But, like I said a car can be rare but, worth only peanuts.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm trying to get a sense of the value of the vehicle</div></div>Whether it's the Barrett-Jackson Auction, E-bay, or the want ads in a local newspaper - a vehicle is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. You have people who think just because it's old that it is a priceless artifact, then on the opposite side of the spectrum you have people who say that it isn't worth anything based on being out of touch with current prices and/or trying to 'low ball' you so they can get it for themselves.

In all fairness to you, being a Model 'A' you can buy one already restored in good shape cheaper than you can restore one. With that in mind, if you look at restored Model 'A' prices that will give you an idea of what they're asking for them. Back to my first paragraph, what they ask for a vehicle and what the vehicle sells for can often be a big difference.

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48Lincoln- What you describe is partly why vintage prices have become obscene. Back in the 70s to the early-mid 80s the collectable car market realtive to hobbyists and the basing of values upon specialized appraisers, insurance companies and esoteric processes was non-existant.

The cars that we here own and see at shows and cruise-ins now were not much sought after. But the rich folks who owned Mercedes 300 SL Gullwings and 1939 540Ks, Horches, Bugattis, Dusenbergs and other already high priced exotica began playing a game to expand their worth.

They'd put them up for auction- with an insane reserve- and watch the cars get bid way up. They'd invoke their reserves not met right and then hustle to their insurance company to get them to elevate the value based on written bids. So their $200K car soom was worth 300K or more- remember mid-1980s that was a lot.

Of course most of these folks had collections of automobilias esoterica exotica so across the board their classics inflated in value on paper at least.

So these people with other business endeavours would use the alleged value of their car collections in part or whole as collateral for some hoky-doky venture they were involved in.

It took a while but the artificially increased values began applying to "regular" vintage autos too. Not so much there as a base for business capital but out of prestige and leverage when someone was selling so they'd be able to parlay as much cash as possible out of the creaky car they were selling.

Just because an insurance company will pay loss on a car of a certain amount does not mean the car is worth that on the open market. This second my insurance company is sending out notices to their customers saying how I can raise my coverage for a little extra.

They would evaluate my car as a #1 condition vehicle...as long as I pay more insurance. My car is not in #1 condition and this practice is yet another aspect of the things at work which artifically ruins the hobby for all of us. Rich a-hole auctions where quite average autos go for beyond the premuim price give rise to every yahoo out there proporting equality for his #4 dogmeatmobile.

And as we see with Tri 5 Chevies it has nothing to do with rarity or number existing. It has to do with popularity. Popularity real or conceived, actual or imagined.

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Torch,

I'm not sure I understand; if insurance companies are overvaluing cars, how does that change the market price? I can understand why "rich a-hole auctions" can impact market price, but I don't get how insurance valuations do.

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Once an insurance company gives you an evaluation it's set. If you go the opposite way and an insurance company wants to underpay you for a total loss you have to get an appraisal company to go against that. I've had to do it and you will get more $.

Insurance companies usually evaluate at less than standard because they obviously don't want to pay you more for a total loss.

Vintage insurance companies have a different philosophy though they still need to make profit. Many were begun by hobbyists and do operate by rules that benefit the owner.

But if there is a fairly universal practice of offering protection beyond the normal evaluation the result is an increase across the board in value.

You can't go to State Farm with a 2008 that cost $28,000 and get them to evaluate it for $35,000, ie., more than market price. You can't get your 1998 which cost $38,000 new evaluated for more than current replacement value of $12,000 either. Regular insurance doesn't work like collector where the agreed upon value is paid.

When collector insurance companies offer more coverage which equals higher evaluation on a given model of car it effectively is raising the perceived market value on ALL those cars.

Your #2-3 condition '49 Wazoo generally sells for about $20K on the open market. The collector insurance offers to cover your car at $25K which is what a primo #1 condition goes for. A precidence has been set by evaluating ALL '49 Wazoos at #1 pricing.

It clouds the market with people with junky Wazoos believing they should get premium price. It affects things when after a time people know that ALL '49 Wazoos are being generally valued at $26K.

Nobody is going to initally price their #3 condition '49 Wazoo at $20K when their insurance company insures it for $25K and they have it in writing!

I certainly can't tell how long it takes for this practice to subtley affect the market but it will eventually.

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Twitch,

A point that you don't make about insuring your 1936 Wasoo for $100,000 is that in the event of a total loss, the car is re-evaluated by the insurance company to be sure that they are paying you for your actual loss.

If they come up with $50,184, that’s all they will pay unless you can prove the actual loss that you sustained!.

The down side of failing to properly insure it for its full value is that in case of a total loss, the insurance company could pay you $5000, as you have valued it for, and then sell it for a $6000 salvage bid and pick up a grand for their troubles.

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Hobby insurance companies are very easy going for the most part. My friend recently had a total of his 1936 Chevy and the company basically sent him a check on his word of loss. He had it insured for $30,000. This is about double a normal car but he had modern running gear. Outwardly the car was stock and the interior was simply some not exact era plain gray material.

This is a car I couldn't imagine going for over $25,000 even here in So. Cal. but the insurance obviously thought it was worth insuring at 30K. Higest #1 NADA is $15,000 for this car.

Collector insurance pays for the agreed upon value at the time of the loss not by re-evaluating a wreck. You have been paying premiums at the valued amount agreed at $100,000. For the insurance to write up a policy for 100K at all they are agreeing in writing that you car is worth that much. The fact that you policy exists proves that they have already agreed that your car is worth 100K and they will pay that upon loss.

Classic insurance is NOT like regular stuff where the car you bought 6 years ago for $55,000 is now depreciated to $22,000. The insurance is going to pay you the 22K blue book value not today's replacement cost of $64,000. If you've noticed how your rate have decreased for no apparent reason it's because you regular car had devalued.

Vintage vehicles ARE at least holding their value if not escalating some small amount.

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