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leadsled1953

Scrap prices and old cars

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i just got off the phone with a friend who has a towing yard.he just crushed all his 50s and 60s stuff.he said he got tired of people not wanting to pay next to nothing for the cars and with scrap high and zoning not happy that was it.he had some good stuff.i wonder how high scrap prices are affecting our hobby.i think we are going to lose a lot of great stuff in the next couple of years.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1937hd45</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Why keep stuff with no value other than scrap? </div></div>

The sad part is, all the scrap is going to China......

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Skyking</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1937hd45</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Why keep stuff with no value other than scrap? </div></div>

The sad part is, all the scrap is going to China...... </div></div>

Maybe the Chinese will "restore" all of the junk cars and sell them back to us like everything else, or if a market for it, they will set up tooling and copy the entire old cars and duplicate them.

Fred

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Kinda sad to think of what's being lost. But since salvage is a business I guess the owners can't afford to sell parts cheaper than they can get convert them to scrap. What's also sad is to see some businesses unwilling to sell stuff at all.

There was a yard near me that had almost 1000 cars. Most cars were driven there in the sixtys and seventies. This was a retired farm turned into a junk yard in the real sense of the words. Still, there was a lot of good stuff, but the yard owner passed and his wife did not want to get a dismantlers license so buying anything was a crap shoot. If they thought you were anything to do with the law they clammed up tight and pretended you just did not exist.

Last I heard the wife also passed and now everything is being pulled out and crushed.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fred Zwicker</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

Maybe the Chinese will "restore" all of the junk cars and sell them back to us like everything else, or if a market for it, they will set up tooling and copy the entire old cars and duplicate them.

Fred </div></div>

They'll probably come back as 1/18 scale models.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1937hd45</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Why keep stuff with no value other than scrap? </div></div>

Why trust that everyone who's seen the "scrap" knows what it is or what it's worth to someone who needs it (or may need it).

1968/1969 used Triumph coolant hoses, something no one would think to value in a "scrap car", sell for hundreds of dollars a set. If all rebuildable items (engine, tranny, axles, differential, shocks, carbs, etc.) are still with the most any Triumph, they'll be worth $800/car just in core charge values to rebuilders. Did any Triumph owners know of them before this (theoretical) car was scrapped?

This is more an information problem than a financial one.

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Guest BJM

I'm tired of the salvage yards with cars from the 40's through the 70's bitching and moaning that no one wants their parts. They get a car for free or $200 "back in the day" and then you go into get a part you are prepared to pay $20 for and the guy says $75 or $100.

You say no way and he can't get you off his property fast enough telling you to get the h*** out of here. Or you leave quietly and he just doesn't get it. Trying to make $5000 off a free towed in old car is not right. Let them moan, crush 'em.

That's why so many of those eastern rust belt yards have cars "too far gone" that we all cry about. The owners of the yards, many quite eccentric to begin with, toyed with potential buyers of whole cars or parts for years, now too late for everybody.

So I don't really want to hear about a yard gone crushing because the potential buyers were "too cheap". There's two sides to every story.

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There is another variable other than the value of the scrap. Many scrap yards simply liquidate so they can extract the value of the real estate, which is worth dramatically more than the vehicles sitting on it.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BJM</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm tired of the salvage yards with cars from the 40's through the 70's bitching and moaning that no one wants their parts. They get a car for free or $200 "back in the day" and then you go into get a part you are prepared to pay $20 for and the guy says $75 or $100.

You say no way and he can't get you off his property fast enough telling you to get the h*** out of here. Or you leave quietly and he just doesn't get it. Trying to make $5000 off a free towed in old car is not right. Let them moan, crush 'em.

That's why so many of those eastern rust belt yards have cars "too far gone" that we all cry about. The owners of the yards, many quite eccentric to begin with, toyed with potential buyers of whole cars or parts for years, now too late for everybody.

So I don't really want to hear about a yard gone crushing because the potential buyers were "too cheap". There's two sides to every story. </div></div>

Yeah. There are guys who expect their time to be worth something, and buyers like you who expect to steal something for next to nothing.

A junkyard is a business and it's not worth my time as an owner to hang around all day for you to buy one $20 item, wreck $500 in other parts to get to it, leave hoods and doors wide open and a mess all over. What I paid for a vehicle is irrelevant - I'm not going to make $5000 from parting out a single car, not after I deduct what the car cost me, what my property taxes cost, what my insurance costs, what my time is worth, what people ruin to get their parts, and so on. I think your attitude displays a fundamental lack of understanding of how a business works.

But the bright side of this scrap market is even pieces of junk are going to be worth their weight in gold as projects in 5 or 10 years - because that's all there will be. Even I have been scrapping cars no one's wanted parts from. My buddy with the '68 LeSabre scrapped it and didn't take a single part off it. Those parts you complained about them wanting $75-$100 for will be $150-$200 next year. The cars I want $500-$1000 for this year, will be $1500-$2000 next year. And so on.

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It is hard though when a person contacts a junkyard owner, tells them what they need from a junked car, is told it is available and agrees to the owner's price and then never hears from the owner again.

I can't tell you how many times that has happened to us. We pretty much figured out that one of the local junkyard owners here just wants to sit on his hind-end and do nothing. "I'll call when I get the parts off of the car". Yeah, right. (And yes the junkyard owner is still alive and "in business" and Bill did make callbacks to re-inquire about the parts he contracted for.) Still waitin' for that call to go get the parts....years later.

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I spent a few hours last Thursday, Friday and Saturday (in 100 degree heat) getting some parts for the '66 Country Sedan from the only really good junkyard left in town. Two cars in the Ford section were donors; a '65 Galaxie 500 sedan, and a '68 Country Sedan.

66_Ford_Parts.jpg

From the '65; driver's side front door panel (for recovering), all 4 doors bottom trim, 2 armrest ashtrays, 2 front door sills, and the front seat trim. The '68 yielded a perfect (for repainting) inside tailgate panel, and a <span style="font-style: italic">very</span> nice tailgate window with both channels. It'll all clean up and polish well until I can find (and pay thru the nose for) NOS pieces.

The cost for all (less sweat), a very do-able $110. His pricing has always been reasonable, I'm able to pull it myself, and I don't destroy anything in the process.

As for the prices, it may help that about 8 years ago, his preteen daughter & son were riding bikes around the yard one day, raising dust and having fun. As I was walking back to the office to pay, on the main drag I found a girlish wallet with scribbled notes and $45 in it, and assumed it was the daughter's. When I turned it in, after asking the guy if his girl carried a little wallet, it absolutely made his day.

And he's never forgotten; maybe all this junkyard stuff is just kharma, dudes.

TG

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Great junkyard story, sounds like you have a full understanding of how that business works. Most yards around here won't let anyone remove parts they want, lawyers put an end to that, I'm sure some poor guy lost a yard when some putz cut a finger playing mechanic. I'm at a loss for words and will not reply to some of the above posts. Junkyard 101 rule #1 is PAY whatever it costs for the part on your first visit, don't add to the list of jerks the yard owner has been dealing with up till your arrival.

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Guest BJM

Pontiac59,

I knew my post would bring you out of the woodworks. Missed you man! Look, you rparts won't be worth more 5 or 10 years from now. The same economics that kept these parts on cars for the last twenty years will keep them on there the next twenty years. Nobody will buy them at any price above what a person thinks they can afford. Of course, there is that ONE buyer that might ante up the money but it's a long wait, a long needle in a haystack wait and as Peter points out - the land underneath the cars is eventually more valuable.

Look, the landscape is changing in the old car hobby. Maybe these cars go away forever. Isn't that the reality of the back stock for 1910's to 1940's now? And the old car hobby adjusts and adapts. If you buy a 1925 anything that needs full restoration, there are no parts. You fabricate or create.

Same for these cars you want me to pay $200 for a trim piece. Fair is fair, look I'm NOT cheap. Somewhere in the middle is where to meet. Besides the weight of the scrap is in the body not in the trim and misc pieces most folks take off old cars. Even if you sawz alld a solid good rear quarter panel off a typical 60's car, and took most other trim off it, you would still have a hulk left over that would get you $400 for. And you would save an old car and make a sell.

I just think a typical old car can yield $2000 in parts at $20 to $50 a pop, on a car the yard has maybe $200 in, then the yard owner can scrap the hulk for $400 in today's market, win-win for everybody.

Or - let it sit for 20 years, sell no parts off it, raise the price on those non selling parts every year, then crush it.

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The way the steel market is going, the return on the investment in 20 years will be easily 500% or more. I've already made money scrapping cars I normally would have just kept around, and I am slowly stripping more of them. In one case, I made $200 on a truck after I stripped a huge amount of parts off it, enough to fix two others.

Crushing it seems to be what you want, though. It may take years to sell those $2000 in parts off the car. So you get two situations - one: It costs me money to keep the car there - licenses, liability insurance, taxes. It costs me money to hire someone to pull parts off the car. By the time someone spends an hour to pull your $20 part, I've spent $40. The idea of a business is to profit, or we'd live in Russia and the state would own the old salvage yards. That's why most yards turn over their inventory fairly quickly - 6 weeks in a you-pull-it yard. Processed as scrap they bring twice what they pay me at the gate, no questions asked.

Two: I already make plenty of money and don't have to sell anything to be perfectly happy. If you're going to get me to put down what I'm doing to get whatever item for you, it had better be worth my time. We found a yard where the car prices start around $2000 for just that reason.

I'm somewhere in the middle. I don't really have to sell this stuff to keep going - most of the time what I sell I use the proceeds to buy more things somewhere else, 9 times out of 10 I'm saving it from scrap. Just last week I bought a Model A doodlebug off a scrap pile to save a handful of parts on it. I already know I can't hope to sell the transmission or rearend for any sort of money - the same day it came home the trans went into a scrap car and the rearend came out to go on a load, with any luck it will knock $100 off my investment since that's where most of the 1600 lbs was. But at the same time, I spend money to keep these things. I spent $300 on a panel van just to use to store parts, and I keep it even though I could easily double my money on it and replace it with a cheap shed.

Everything I have, I bought somewhere, I didn't inherit it free or pick it up out of a trash pile - even if I did pick it up free I might have had to drive all day long to go get it, like the Model A and '40 Ford axles I drove 4 hours away to pick up.

So when you come to the swap meet and see I have good core carbs for $20 and want to give me $10 for them, you're wasting my time. It cost me money to buy those parts, I didn't inherit them for free. It cost me money to buy that spot I set up on for the day. It cost me gas money in a big truck to carry all that crap to set up there. And I see Speedway Motors selling the same carbs rebuilt for $160 with a $100 core charge - you're telling me my core should only be worth 1/10th of that? Even if I want $50 for it and you rebuilt it yourself, you're way ahead money-wise.

You can buy it, or not, but if you don't, there may come a day I get sick of people pawing over them and offering me pennies on the dollar and decide if that's all I can get for them I will just scrap them all. If it wasn't for me, they'd all already be scrapped anyways. I'm not going to stress myself worrying about it.

But it does get annoying to hear people [censored] and complain they can't find this or they can't find that and then when they find it they don't want to pay for it. I guess you really didn't need it that badly then. You not buying it won't change the price - either it's worth what I want or it's scrap.

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my friend wasnt trying to make $5000 off a "free" car. the fuel spend for his tow trucks makes nothing free.he was saving these old cars thinking people would want a 50s or 60s project for a reasonable price.i moved so buying that rustfree 54 dodge without a motor for $400 wasnt an option. but now its crushed.so there is one less 54 dodge to be restored ,rodded or as parts

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Guest BJM

All very good points. I think you hit on something in that you can pull rare trim parts and specific parts off a rusted hulk, save them and sell them for years while scraping the hulk.

I 100% agree that swap spots cost money plus gas, so if the price reflects that i am fine with it. Truth be told I don't squabble over prices if I need it. But that's why my 49 Roadmaster is taking 10 years to restore, because I can only afford a little at a time.

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Guest imported_MrEarl

Didn't take me long to figure I need my own parts yard. I use to have a formula for determining if I could afford a parts car or not. Actually I think my wife came up with it. wink.gif If the car was pretty much all there and the cost of it plus the miles to and from didn't exceed the number 500 then I could go for it. That would generally keep me in a price range of $2-400 for the car and the mileage within a 1 day round trip time. Worked OK until about a year ago.I haven't bought many parts cars lately and it ain't because the price of the car has gone up. In fact I haven't bought anything in a while and am in fact in a selling mode, but where are the buyers.More times than not they're not in the USA. It's really a shame what the economy is doing to the antique auto world. Especially the little guy who's just trying to have some fun.

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Once parts come off cars, pieces get lost, they get damaged, or labels/tags come off and there's no way to know what it's for. On the car, a tree or windstorm or hail could still damage it, but at least you know what the heck it fits.

Off the car you need to store the parts inside something, which means a structure or an old bus/van of some sort. Structures add to the taxable value of the property, so it costs you more to keep parts off the car, than to leave them on.

Once something is scrapped, it's never coming back, so if you want to finish the car in one lifetime, it's probably time to pony up for some of the parts. Or go custom and not worry about being correct down to the date code for 12 cents on the dollar.

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Pontiac59 has a lot of great points .people wont pay the price for the parts that getting fewer and fewer and then they act shocked that the cars were crushed.[ and then say "oh i would have paid that price"].the high price of scrap is going to put a real hurting on parts and projects. a funny note .july 5th i am in a demo derby.[hey i am using my Moms old pontiac plus my friend saved a few cars from being crushed just for that] the fair says its hard to get entries because people cant find cars cheap because of the scrap prices.

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Anybody that is in the auto salvage business is a gambler. He's gambling that the investment he just made in some trashed car will pay off IF he sells enough parts off of the 'amazing hulk' he just "rescued."

For him it's a business of profit and loss. Why should he share your impetus for saving old cars becasue you didn't know that someday there's be so many junked cars allegedly worth saving. You woulda bought more of them had you foreseen, right?

So this guy may or may not have recovered his investment in a wreck. Besides his actual investment is his overhead, tax insurance and all that. And of course the value of the real estate that he has deferred to negative use as per community standards or simply his original land purchase is pretty well frozen. Unless he sells out to someone willing to continue to deal in dimes as profits while he segregates several acres of valueable land or sells out all his stock (unlikely) he has no alternative other than shred it all.

After all, the salvage yard guy spent 30 years maintaining the yard which was there 30 years before. What more can be expected of him? Some of the same wrecks are still there when he bought it. He guesses if anybody was going to want them they'd have bought them by now.

He isn't subsidized by old car clubs to be a criptkeeper until the hulks virtually disappear. He's not aware that the next big hobby trend for 82 Granadas is just around the corner.

So this auto salvager/gambler has reached the end of his road. He made some good bets and some bad ones that still lie about mocking him. It is ashamed that his accountant who is handling the bid on his property has calculated that he could have done absolutely nothing with the property for 30 years and it would be worth the same. The salvager/gamber could have worked at a good paying job with full benefits and retirement while the junkyard land just sat and appreciated parlaying his end of work life payoff into a substantial sum.

Instead he worked physically hard out in the weather 6-7 days a week with no bebefits and only a rare vacation. Now he wonders if he made the right gamble. He'll be fishing for gar in the Muskogee cause that's the only place his retirement dollar will go far instead of cruising the Greek islands in a yacht.

He figured if anyone was still interested in owning a salvage yard as such, that someone would have stepped up willing to go through the rigors he went through, right? Well no one did. What does that tell us?

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