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1942 Chevrolet value?


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Called on an ad tonight for a 1942 Chevrolet sedan. Owner has had car for several years and stopped working on it after fixing the starter and doing a tuneup. Has some rust, upholstery not too swift, some chrome and parts removed but stored in trunk.

It's too late to get a value guide tonight and I am supposed to make an offer first thing in the morning. Any idea what a restorable 42 Chev is worth?

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My August 2012 OCW Price Guide show all Chevrolet sedan models for 1942 in #5 condition, $3540.

Includes Deluxe, Master Deluxe and Fleetline with all about $5700 in #4 condition.


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1942 Chevies, along with Fords and Plymouths are unique in that the 4dr models are more desirable than the 2dr. This is due to the fact that they can be made into military staff cars. Even if it's a 2dr you could possibly find a cheap 46 4dr and switch bodies. I don't know if that's what you would do but it's something to keep in mind.

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Like all "Price Guides", the NADA one uses the "WAG" system to report values in different categories. In this case they used Low, Average & High. The Old Cars Price Guide uses condition rating from 1 to 6.

With all pre WWII vehicles, they use reported sales to upgrade their values. Problem arises when there aren't

many if any reported sales in all the condition categories, especially the lower value collector cars that never make it to auctions. (Not many un-modified early vehicles in auction reports) Most cars sold in these categories

are owner to owner sales and not reported. Therefore it's back to the WAG system for seldom reported sales prices on early cars.

WAG = Wild Ass Guess............Better than nothing, but not reliable as an appraisal.

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My WAG guess is probably no higher than 3500 especially with rust. New paint , rust repair, an interior, probably rechroming of atleast the bigger items unless you go military black out will put you well over 20,000 into it. I don't see the car ever exceeding 20,000 in value when you sell it if that is the ultimate goal. The only bonus is that you can often buy NOS chrome pretty cheaply for it as there isn't alot of competition for parts. As a parts vendor I call it the 42 curse.

I still don't buy into the 4 door being worth more. That's a real limited number of guys looking for a military clone. The real deal with documentation maybe different. It's still boils down to rarity. I'm sure there were 10 to 100 times as many sedans built as coupes or convertibles.

Remember if it's not running either their is a whole new set of unknown risks. There is a reason they were called babbit pounders.

Good luck either way!

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I think when sedans that are ready to go seem to be well under $10K for Chevrolet 1940 - 1948 even $3,500 is a stretch for a project car needing that much. There is a guy in CT who has been trying to sell a very, very nice '42 coupe for $20,000 or a tad more and he has been advertising for about a year.

Agree with seeker - when I see the military versions to me I think it is a very limited market, I appreciate them but would prefer the civilian unit - it is just like people that make up police cars, limited appeal = tougher resale. Don't see sedans outpacing traditional "better" (from a merket perspective) bodystyles. I will say the sedan without the quarter window you sometimes see on these chevys are clean looking 4 doors.

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Guest myold88

^^^^^ Steve- I bet that's the black '42 Coupe I saw in Bristol Ct a few years ago. It was a solid original car but $20,000 is a stretch. I also agree with others here that a 4 door 1942 Chevy is not worth more than a 2 door because it's a '42. That's a new one for me.

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That is the one. I bought it this morning and it is sitting in my driveway now.

I call it a decent, unrestored car that does not have the major rust out usually seen in cars from the northeast. Some trim missing but you have a decent car to work with. Hub caps and a few bits and pieces are in the trunk.

Engine starts easily and runs with no raps or knocks, even the valve gear is reasonably quiet.

Originally tan as you can see by the firewall. Repainted dark blue a long time ago, then someone painted the fenders light blue.

Upholstery was redone in non stock material but at least seats etc are still there.

I would like to replace brakes, tires, etc and get it on the road this summer and think about a new paint job later.

Any new opinions of price or desirability based on new knowledge?

PS if you browse the Kijiji ads for this area you will see much worse cars offered at much higher prices. Basically whatever you would pay for a given car in the US, double it.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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One slightly odd feature, it appears it was all chrome trim, not a blackout model. But the grille bars and 2 trim pieces flanking the trunk handle are painted white.

Someone has painted over some of the chrome with aluminum paint but the white grille bars appear to be original never chromed.

This pic is supposed to be the last 1942 Chevrolet made in Oshawa Ontario and it is not a blackout.


Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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Ha ha ha vacuum shift. If I can figure out the mysteries of Fluid Drive the vacuum shift should be a piece of cake.

Just went out and washed the car. I think the white parts were someone fooling around, or ran out of aluminum paint.

Will see if I can make room in the garage tomorrow and start checking it over.

Thanx to everyone for all your advice and ideas.

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Another internet price guide that might be useful to

you is the one on www.hagerty.com.

The well-known price guides certainly can't give

a value with pin-point accuracy, but it wouldn't be

correct to say they are filled with "wild guesses."

They are based on documented private sales and

auction appearances, and for something like a

pre-war Chevrolet, they should have a fair amount

of data. It's likely that an appraiser wouldn't have

any more data than the major guides--or more information

than Hagerty, who is in the business of valuing cars for


When few data are available, they use "comparable" sales.

Want to price a 1918 Hupmobile, but no others were sold lately?

Its value is likely not far removed from other similarly sized cars

of its era and body style.

Values in the NADA guide are higher than most. In the preface to

their printed book, they acknowledge that fact, stating that their prices

are for ORIGINAL (unrestored) cars. I don't know that their website

gives that information.

Hope the car turns out to be a good one for you!

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Had the car running for a bit yesterday. Spent today cleaning the garage and making some room, and sorting out some stuff for the next flea market.

Took some paint stripper to the front bumper and found out why the aluminum paint. The chrome was very thin and worn with copper showing through. I suppose chromium and nickel was going into armor plate and they skimped on the cars. At least the paint preserved everything and kept off rust.

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Just for comparison. My youngest boy bought a 41 2 dr from the local junkyard for $500. No interior, needs chrome, but we bought a new battery some

brake fluid 5 gal of gas and drove in home. Myself I only paid for a manifold gasket set napa. Fast foward as usual the kid lost interest and I gotta

baby sit the thing. Then out of no where a guy pops in the shop with $2000 cash. End of story he drives off into the sunset & never seen him no more..


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