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For Sale: 1921 Studebaker Special 6 Two Seater Roadster


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I have a 1921 Studebaker Special 6 in the two seater roadster form for sale, located in Southern Oregon. It was purchased by my grandfather in 1945 and he drove it around near his property in rural upstate New York, keeping it in a garage for most of this time. I acquired it 13 years ago and transported it out here. Its mostly been sitting on jackstands in a garage since. It runs nicely, though right now it is drained of gas and water. I unfortunately do not have the time or skills to give it a proper restoration and hope to find someone who does. It is the quiet unique and hard to find two seater roadster variety of the special 6. Includes some spare parts, original manual as well as one for a similar era Studebaker, and a reproduction shop manual.

I just had it appraised and am asking the appraised price of $13,500. You can find the appraisal report with pictures and details at: www.azeotech.com/greg/studebaker.pdf. Please contact me at 541-512-4747, or through the personal message part of this forum if you have questions. This is my business telephone number, but you can leave a message and I'll get it.

Edited by warsky (see edit history)
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Pretty car. I don't mean to belittle appraisers but I see that the appraisal is based on an average of a variety of "asking prices" for similar cars. People can ask anything for a car but the real value is what is paid for the car. Your roadster looks like it's in a #3 condition and according to the 3rd edition of Kimes & Clark's American Cars, the value is something on the order of $6,100 for the model EH (Special Six) roadster.

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Thanks. #3 is probably about right. I think the appraiser also looked at what it would take to fully restore and how much it would be worth then. As for what someone actually paid, I see a 1920 4 dr that sold on ebay for $15k about a week ago. Its definitely in better shape, in terms of the top, seats and paint job (though the paint on mine is actually not bad, it just looks bad in the photos because its dusty), but not much else from what I can tell, and I can't imagine those improvements run 9k. The roadster also appears to be a bit more rare than the 4 seater version (which I see a lot of). But either way, as you say, its only worth what someone is willing to pay for it and I never really expected to get what the appraisal said, but it was a starting point. I want it to find a good home, preferably to be restored, and am open to offers.

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Personally I think you started at the right price point, particularly when you (and the potential buyer) know up front that you may not get it...that's an interesting car that someone could clean up and have fun with...good luck with finding a good home for it...

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  • 1 month later...

Update: the car is sold. Though the buyer has yet to pick it up, he has paid, so I think its pretty much a done deal. Since its rather easy to find asking prices, but not so easy to find final selling prices, I thought I'd share. I listed the car on hemmings at 13.5 and got many interested parties, with offers all over the place. After a few weeks it settled down to three firm offers, two at 12.5k and one at 14k. The one at 14k was from Europe, and as a sentimental car, I just didn't want to send it that far even for the extra money. So, it went to someone rather close (600 miles) for $12,500, delivery not included. Of course after I accepted the offer, and over the thanksgiving holiday I got quite a few more interested parties, but I am happy with the settled price. I believe that a lot of the appeal of the car was the long family history, and that drove the value up significantly. The fact that its the rarer roadster didn't hurt either.

Alas, after completing the sale, I found out that I have to pay capital gains taxes on the sale. Since I have no basis (who knows what my grandfather paid in 1946, certainly not much), I'm responsible for 12,500 in gain. And since its a collectible, the tax is 28% plus 9% for oregon, so instead of $12,500 I'm going to net $7875 unless I can find some expenses to increase my basis. I'm still trying to determine with the accountant if the storage costs can be used.

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I am glad you found a good home for your family Studebaker.

I would check carefully the laws that determine capital gains. A sale to a family member (your grandfather to you) is not what they consider "an arm's length transaction." Unless you paid the appraised value for the car 13 years ago, part of the car was gifted to you at that time by your grandfather. That would increase the real price that you paid for the car.

The amount that you might have to pay in capital gains would be appreciation (gain) in the value from 2000 until now. In reality, it may very well have been worth more in 2000 than your current $12,500 sales price.

Edited by Dwight Romberger (see edit history)
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Thanks for the info, but its not an estate issue. The car was given to me 8 years before my grandfather's passing, so his basis was given to me at that time. It's kind of messed up really, if I had inherited the car at his death then you are right, the basis would be adjusted to the value at the time of death, but since he was alive, I get his basis. If he had sold the car and given me the $12,500 as a gift instead of the car itself then it would have fallen under the gift rules for close family and I would not have a tax liability either. Of course he would be liable for the gains, but his bracket was presumably much lower and I believe the tax is actually the minimum of 28% or your tax bracket.

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It shouldn't, but alas it appears to.... I will do more research and mention your modified comments to the accountants. Thanks. The car was never meant as an investment, either for me or my grandfather, so to get nailed with a $4500 tax bill is pretty brutal.

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Thanks for the info, but unfortunately you assertions are incorrect, and technically even that bankrate.com link is incorrect, or at least it makes an assumption that is not clear. Here's the part of that irs.gov page you linked that applies:

What if I sell property that has been given to me?

The general rule is that your basis in the property is the same as the basis of the donor. For example, if you were given stock that the donor had purchased for $10 per share (and that was his/her basis), and you later sold it for $100 per share, you would pay income tax on a gain of $90 per share

So, when my grandfather gave me the car, I didn't have to pay tax. However, in addition to getting the car, I got the basis for the car, which is what he paid for it in 1946. Alas, I don't know what that was, nor have any proof, so the basis is $0. Thus when I sold the car for $12,500 the total gain is $12,500. The value of the car when I was given it does not apply. It only applies towards the gift limit.

I'm guessing that in the bankrate.com example, there is the assumption that this is a newer car and that the mother originally paid more than $8500, so the basis is $8500 or more. The site is actually wrong then because the daughter would receive that basis as well. So, if the mother paid $11K for the car, then gave it to her daughter and at the time it was worth $8500, then a year later it appreciated for some reason (think VW camper vans) to $9500, she actually would owe no tax because the car declined in value from the original purchase price.

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No worries, it is confusing. Now does anyone have any idea if I can use the cost of the storage unit I used to store the car to adjust my basis? I would not have had that expense if not for the car, and leaving it outside would have certainly reduced its value.

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  • 3 months later...

get a new accountant!

What is considered a gift?

Any transfer to an individual, either directly or indirectly, where full consideration (measured in money or money's worth) is not received in return.

What can be excluded from gifts?

The general rule is that any gift is a taxable gift. However, there are many exceptions to this rule. Generally, the following gifts are not taxable gifts.

Gifts that are not more than the annual exclusion for the calendar year.

The donor can pay the tax. Here if the value was nil there would not have been any tax consequence.

Edited by Bob Scafani (see edit history)
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