76ElectraInherited

Inherited 1976 Buick Electra Limited - What to do?

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My wife inherited a 1976 Buick Electra Limited a couple states away.  We have not yet gone to take a look at it, but understand it has been sitting in a garage since the 90's and has around 60k miles.  It has the 455 engine and is supposed to be in good shape.  We don't have much desire to keep the car, so what advice do you for us to get it up and running and sold?  What do you think the ballpark value is? Are there particular websites that specialize in classic Buicks that may be more successful than say, Craigslist?  I've had limited success searching Google.  Thanks in advance for any help or advice!

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Guest my3buicks

There is really no way to give you any kind of realistic ballpark without seeing at least good pictures of the car - so many things can effect the value - of course condition is key, but things like color, how it is equipped etc play a large role in value as well. 

 

You need to decide if you want to put some money into the car to sell it or just sell it as is.  If it is a particularly nice example you would probably be better off getting it ready and presenting it well - if it is an average car you may not get your $$ that you put in it back out of it so it may be better to sell it as it sits.

 

Depending on how and where it is sitting(stored) can play a large role in what you will or may need to do to get the car on the road as well.  If it is in good dry storage you may be able to out a fresh battery in, some fresh gas and get it going.  It will need tires for sure if it has been sitting on it's current shoes since the 90's, at least to make it safe to drive, but if they are in good condition and hold air fine you may want to just let the buyer know that they will need replaced.

 

So much depends on the condition of the car to guide you in the right direction.

 

See if you can get us additional info and above all else, pictures.

 

You may want someone that knows Buicks/cars to take a look at it for you - let us know where the car is and possibly a forum member would live close by and be able to take a look at it.

 

76 Electra coupes are huge elegant cars and there is a market for them if they are well preserved.

 

If the car is exceptionally nice you will probably get your best bang for your buck from eBay - no where will it get the kind of exposure than it will get on eBay.  Nothing wrong with a good Craigslist ad as well - with the national search tools available it also has it's merits.  Of course you can place a for sale ad in the Buy/sell section of this forum as well. 

Edited by my3buicks (see edit history)
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You will find a long line of outspread palms willing to help you get it moved, running, and sold.

 

It starts with "the street is too narrow for the transport truck and we need another  $200 for a tow truck to bring the car to a large parking lot. Can you coordinate the tow truck and the transporter?" Then it arrives, not running at a location near you; a few hundred into moving it around locally, then more getting it running, then insurance and licensing to create a transferable title. Some sort of transitional storage would be needed. By the time you are done, if you are not a seasoned car hobbyist, you will swear Bella Lugosi left you the car and he's biting your wallet.

 

If there is a neighbor, nephew, grandson, or anyone who has gazed into that garage over the last 20 years with a dreamy gaze and rose colored glasses, give them the car. What you never experience will be an unknown blessing.

Bernie

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Sitting in a garage since the '90's can mean many things. A clean garage? Is the car a 20-year repository of of old newspapers? The range is somewhere between a car sitting on four flat tires that's covered in crud and old cat litter bags (varmint droppings optional), to a pristine, pampered example that someone would love to own.

 

First, tell us where the car is. There are people in this hobby willing to help, like going to look at and photograph it to assess its condition. You're flying blind until this is done, so tell us more if you want our help. To start, there has to be a live person with a camera phone near that garage now, right? Get 4 or 5 pictures (front, side, underhood, front seat/dashboard, rear) even if they're cruddy ones, then post them here. 

 

The advice so far comes from experts, but we're all shooting blanks without more info.

 

Good luck with it,,

 

TG

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It also depends on where you are. Near a big city with an ethnic population, these cars have a good following and then the owners put 22's on them. I see more of these mid 70's Buicks on 22's on Craigs List then I do in nice original condition with the factory wheels.

 City? Them Pennsylvania Dutch paint everything green and put big yellow wheels on it. You'd swear every day was St. Paddy's Day, begorah.

post-89785-0-19407800-1439253422_thumb.j

 

Bernie

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One way of looking at the car is the value if it were up, running and in show condition.   

 

An example is the Old Cars Value guide (I have a year old copy) it shows the #1 condition between $7000 and $7,400 (coupe is listed at $200 more than the sedan)

 

Now make a list as if you were buying it and list everything that needs to be done to achieve the #1 condition and what it would cost.     Usually the cost is so high you will walk away from the car.  So if you think you have found a gold mine,  don't get too greedy.    

 

On the other end of the Old Car Value scale is a #5 car (they call it Restorable, complete but needs complete restoration)  that value is $840-865.

 

Until we see pictures,  it is impossible to give an opinion.

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Guest my3buicks

LOL my brain saw Coupe instead of Couple (as in a couple states away) 

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Guest my3buicks

As we noted we really need more - while I like Old Cars Price Guide as a "guide" (it's one of the few value guides that is half decent)  I have seen excellent exam[le far exceed those numbers.  Those figures will give you some solid ballpark figures for consideration though if your not sitting on an absolute gem.

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A big factor in the equation is how much mechanical and detailing work you are able or willing to do yourself. If you're paying a shop, its real easy to invest more in a car than you'll ever get back when selling. Imperative if you use a shop, that they be 100% trustworthy and knowledgeable on older cars. I've seen this happen many times. We've all heard "I can't sell it for $____ because I have more than that invested" . You want be careful to avoid this.

 

Right now you are in an excellent position because you have nothing invested. Getting a car roadable that has been sitting 20 years can easily be a snowball project. There is "running" and their is "safe and reliable" the difference in cost between the two can be $1000s.

 

Unless you have the time and are capable, I'd seriously consider selling as-is and let someone else take the risk. If you have the time and skills to do everything yourself, you can usually make your efforts payoff when selling by getting it running, driving and stopping. All this being said based on an assumption the car isn't plagued with rust, has decent paint, not wrecked, and a nice interior.

 

You already made a very wise decision to come here and ask for advice.

Edited by JZRIV (see edit history)

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Bernie Daily might be a buyer if it were painted green and had yellow 22" wheels. :)

 

All kidding aside, you've been given some good advice now it's time to sit down and discuss the realities you're faced with.

 

Good luck.  Let us know what you decide to do.

 

Ed

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Bernie Daily might be a buyer if it were painted green and had yellow 22" wheels. :)

 

 Yeah, I have strands of Irish genes so the green makes my lil heart pound. The green and yellow make it match my lawn mower. Some had that '70's Buicks neutral brocade interior and it looked a bit like potato skin. That would be nice.

My comment was inspired by the remark about ethnic groups. I was thinking of four that populate cities and wondering about more specifics.

Bernie

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)

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My wife inherited a 1976 Buick Electra Limited a couple states away.  We have not yet gone to take a look at it, but understand it has been sitting in a garage since the 90's and has around 60k miles.  It has the 455 engine and is supposed to be in good shape.  We don't have much desire to keep the car, so what advice do you for us to get it up and running and sold?  What do you think the ballpark value is? Are there particular websites that specialize in classic Buicks that may be more successful than say, Craigslist?  I've had limited success searching Google.  Thanks in advance for any help or advice!

 

 

If you can provide any pictures this would help with accessing the value of the Buick.  

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He's probably upset that we didn't tell him it was worth $20,000 and it was only going to cost him $100 bucks to get it to that point.  That or no one here jumped like his hair was on fire to buy it.

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Guest my3buicks

He only posted it a couple weeks ago, he didn't say the car was two blocks from the house that they could run over in a couple minutes to look at it.  It could be half way across the country from them as far as we know.  When he originally posted they had not even seen it yet.  Won't he be impressed when he comes back on and see's the negative Nellie comments.

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He's probably upset that we didn't tell him it was worth $20,000 and it was only going to cost him $100 bucks to get it to that point.  That or no one here jumped like his hair was on fire to buy it.

 

That's almost cynical. My first thoughts were more festive....... like thinking about The Rodeo Song.

 

(Bill the Butcher's version has Buster Keaton and old cars.)

Bernie

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