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What's my 41 Special worth?


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Hi, some feedback would be appreciated. I am planning to sell a 41 Special to fund another car and am wondering what it's worth from some others who are knowledgable and more familiar with pre-war Buicks. I got the car out of about 30 years of storage almost 3 years ago. The car has 8X,XXX miles.

I don't have good pics now but can provide a good description:

It's a Special 4 door sedan, 2-tone green (dark on bottom). This car has been garaged the entire 30+ years it's been in the family, and by looking at it probably it's entire life. It almost looks like original paint, but further inspection reveals it's been repainted probably only once decades ago pretty closely to original colors. There are no dents, is no rust through anywhere, and no evidence of body repair. I also believe there is nothing but surface rust anywhere underneath. There is hardly even any surface rust on body except for a small spot on the hood where the paint came off. Most of the chrome is pretty decent original for a 1941 but most of it would have to be redone for show. The front bumper is kinda rusty and is the worst piece. The interior is all original, and in fair original condition. The rear seat is hurting near the rear window but the rest of the upholstery is pretty good other than being dirty from decades of storage. The original radio still plays even!!!

I have done some mechanical work including 4 new correct whitewall tires, brakes, starter, fuel pump, oil change and a couple other odds and ends. The engine is smooth and the car is driveable now, but I haven't taken it on any lengthy drives.

As a pretty much ready-to-go unrestored driver, or easy restoration, what's the car worth?

Your input is appreciated, thanks!

Edited by lancemb
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Which four door sedan is it? There were 2 in '41 - one based on a Chevrolet chassis (series A, model 47) with a 118" wheelbase, or the original B series on a 121" wheelbase (model 41, 41SE). The latter is what I have with the Jetback or sloping rear like a sedanette. Both used the 248 cid straight 8.

From the August edition of Old Cars Report Price Guide, value estimates are as follows:

Series A

#5 - $3230

#4 - $5380

#3 - $12110

#2 - $18830

Series B

#5 - $3600

#4 - $6000

#3 - $13500

#2 - $21000

vmrintl.com and nadaguides.com are other alternatives to try to get an estimated value. I prefer to use at least 2 or 3 sources to come to my own estimate. Based on the description provided in the magazine, a #3 is a "20 footer", but is essentially fully functional, so that is probably a starting point to work from with respect to your car.

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Ok, I'll bite. First, without pics it will be a wide range but I'm guessing that the car starts up, runs good, no smoke, shifts well and goes down the road without having to be "herded." I'd say $8,000 tops with a $5,000 floor. In the last couple years, I've watched the value of these lesser collectible kind of cars go down by 25-40% and that also goes for some of the more popular 2-door versions as well. About all I can advise is to clean her up the best you can, make her sound like a sewing machine, put wheel covers on, and fix anything that really looks offensive.

I've seen the words "easy restoration" used before and I suppose that relative to "Ol' Rusty" or "Holey Roller", these original, unmolested, no-rust-through, cars could be called easy. But if you're spending money to make it nice, new upholstery costs about the same regardless of the condition of the old upholstery. Same deal with paint, chrome, glass, wiring, and engine. The cost to do these things continue to go up and nowadays, you can buy the car that has it already done for much less than doing it yourself. It's hurt the demand for cars like yours and commensurately impacted the value.

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OK thanks for the feedback. If anybody else has something to add then I'd appreciate it. I believe this is the series A.

Yes, this car is probably best for somebody who appreciates originality and just wants a nice driver that doesn't need too much work, or can be fixed incrementally while being driven.

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I bought my '41 Buick Century last summer from a guy that had it for sale for almost 2 years trying to get $5000 for it. He took considerably less than that, and I've been driving it almost every day since. The condition of the car may be a little less than the one you have, but the market is just not very strong for old cars right now. The market is all messed up on antiques right now and who knows how long it will be before things sort themeselves out, or what they will sort out into. I just sold a fairly scarce & desirable Seeburg coin piano for about a third of what it would have brought 10-15 years ago. I don't know of anyone in the business of those things that thinks the market for them will return any time soon. And with the cost of any kind of a restoration going up like it has in the last 15 years it really puts a damper on anyone wanting to commit to a project of any kind. It's too bad really, but if you are in the market to buy one you may feel differently about it.

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