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Value of rust free.


What is the additional value of a rust-free Reatta  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. What is the additional value of a rust-free Reatta

    • They do not exist (oh ye of little faith).
    • $0
    • $500
    • $1000
    • Priceless

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Guest steveskyhawk

Judging from the early results, a corrosion free car demands a premium value and price. Question is; what is corrosion free? There is a big difference between rust free and corrosion free (in my opinion). This difference is lost on some self loathing car enthusiasts that have always lived in rust prone areas aka "the rust belt". I mean no disrespect but the rust belt's climate spares no one but for a climate controlled garage.

In my opinion; "rust free" means that there are no gaping rust holes perforating the body panels and there never were. I understand that this type of rust can be cut out, patches welded in and filled with bondo to taste. The big question is that would you prefer; a car that has been repaired this way or one that has never needed this type of major work?

In my opinion; "corrosion free" means that a car is not only rust free but is so free of any type of corrosion that it can be easily disassembled with hand tools available at Sears. Last week there was a post that demonstrated my point. A guy was having difficulty removing a fender because he broke off or stripped a bolt. My contention is that there must have been a tiny bit of corrosion on the threads of that bolt which made an otherwise easy job hard. I have removed literally dozens of fenders (from Reattas) here in Southern California and never had that problem.

FWIW. The time, effort and expense wrestling with a corroded car is simply not cost effective. It would be cheaper and easier to start out with a better car. Prices vary but one might be surprised what corrosion free cars sell for. Here in California people get rid of cars because they are tired of them, not because they are bad cars. The only "premium" that I see would be paid in air fair and the transportation costs of getting the car home. Maybe I am different but there is nothing I like better than hopping on the Southwest with nothing but a craigslist ad in my pocket. That is my idea of "road trip".

My signature on this forum has contained an offer to help people find cars in Southern California that they might see advertised in any one of the periodicals. That offer still stands.

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I checked priceless. For everything else, there's MasterCard. What's in your wallet?

All joking aside, while a rust free car may be priceless, the good news is that a rust free Reatta is still reasonably priced, compared to a new car or even many other newer used cars. Our car of choice here still hasn't gotten it's due, which has kept the acquisition cost for even a really clean one out of the stratosphere. For now.


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I spent five years in the midwest (Michigan, Indiana) believe me I know the difference between midwestern rust free (the floorpan was replaced), coastal (saw new cars on a dealer's lot with rust), and central Florida (remove exhaust manifolds with a 1/4" driver). If from the rust belt and have trouble visualizing, look under a 6 month old car there that has not been through a winter.

BTW what really does a car in is snow/ice melt on a salted road that sprays the underside. The only possible answer is an immediate thorough spray over and under with enough warm soapy water to wash out the salt. Few bother.

It is nice to have choices.

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I collect cars that are eye-candy. And cheap (usually).

Back when ; Corvairs were cheap, almost free. I bought as many as I could.

Fiero's; same story.

Reatta's are fairly inexpensive now, and I've acquired 8 over the years, keeping 4.

Eldorado's are another weakness of mine. Also inexpensive. '89-98's are my current passion. Blown headgaskets plague these beauties and good examples can be had for $500-800.

All these are starting to climb in price. When I die, Carol will (hopefully) be able to pay off the farm.

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I think your poll will not tell a true story, regardless of the results.

When I consult a price guide or see high sales prices, I believe those are the near perfect, rust free cars and they have established the price. It does not seem right that you would add to the value (how did you establish the value?) because a car was rust free, any more than you would add to the value because it was loaded with option compared to stripped.

The only time you see a 1957 stripped Chevy sell for lots of money is because it is a 270HP or Fuel Injected car. But the others have all had lots of both factory and dealer installed options added to the car when it was restored. I guess we will never know how rusty the car might have been before they started the restoration.

South of the "rust belt" rust free cars are expected and the only time we see anything that approaches undesirable rust is on cars that have come here from the north.

If you are looking for a "keeper", spend your money on an airline ticket to buy a rust free car from areas that rust is not a problem. You will end up with less money in the airline ticket than you will spend on broken fastners, primer, patches, and bondo.

The exceptions are those cars owned by people that did not drive them in the winter and those do exist.

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My last 3 cars [1 Reatta, 1 Roadmaster, and 1 Chrysler 300] came from rust free states. Did as Barney suggested, jumped a flight and drove them back. The Roadmaster and Chrysler were dealer cars, the Reatta was a private party car.

The Black Reatta was also a southern car, but for that I just drove to Duluth [mini van and car dolly] as Jim bird dogged that one for me.

I enjoy the anticapation of finding the car , negotiating via phone/email, and going after it. Only had one bad experience. An old guy [in his 80's at the time], kept telling me what a nice car this Reatta was, so I flew to Dayton Oh. to look at what was a parts car that he wanted $3000.00 for. I talked him done to a low number, fired it up and watched as it started to leak antifreeze.

Cassette deck worked thoughlol!

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Eldorado's are another weakness of mine. Also inexpensive. '89-98's are my current passion. Blown headgaskets plague these beauties and good examples can be had for $500-800.

If you need some parts Harry, both U pull it yards have some. One I go to (the more expensive one) has 2 I think, and the other (the cheaper one, but further away) has 5 or 6. all decent rust free cars. One in the expensive yard looks like it had a bad engine fire though.

Anyways, sorry for getting a bit off topic. :o

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