Jump to content

1931 Buick Model 8-90-C (kind of a barn find)


Recommended Posts

Today my Dad is pulling his 1931 Buick convertible out of the Barn where it has sat for maybe 25 years, he has owned it for maybe 50 years.  It was in really good shape previously, it probably had a restoration in the 50's or 60's.  But mice and raccoons have taken their toll on it while it was sitting.  He is wanting to sell if but I am not sure on a price, I see some Auctions of similar cars in very good shape $150,000 -$250,000 but those prices are meaningless compared to this one.  Any thoughts or comparables that have sold?

 

Also, he is going to wash it and get it ready for sale...with the "Barn Find" quality of it should he leave the dust on? 

 

Thank You,

 

Jim

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wash it and get it running. Originality is valued, but not dirt and raccoon crap.  "Barn find" is sometime used as a euphemism for yard art, and I always assume that to be so unless pictures show otherwise. No notion of the value restored, but I'm guessing it's south of $100K. Auction results are easy to google.

Good luck with the sale.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Auctions are a different setting than anything else. Alcohol, egos, forced spontaneous decisions, are all factors that are involved with auction sales. These are not the normal factors driving prices in a typical sale. Many folks hear about the prices paid for a vehicle the same year and model as the one they own and often think theirs must be worth about the same only to find out that its not usually the case.

Edited by LAS VEGAS DAVE (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the opinions,  and here are the pictures.

 

It came out and rolled very well the engine turned over nice (while pulling it) clutch felt good.  Brakes, we did not really try, not wanting to lock things up.

 

Any more thought on the price to at least post, or start off at? 

 

20151010_104307_zpsunrj4kgy.jpg

 

20151010_104247_zpsboqhw3lr.jpg

 

20151010_104204_zpsh1oahr9v.jpg

 

20151010_104535_zpsczcmfyta.jpg

 

20151010_104218_zpsvfnsuifc.jpg

Edited by snowman0650 (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

When you see top dollar figures at an auction, you know that's for a #1 quality car that has been vetted and has an impeccable pedigree. It does not set the market for all such examples, nor should it. I can't tell you how many times I've talked to a guy in my showroom who tells me, "I saw one just like mine sell for elventy-million dollars, so that's what I'd like to get." And every time he's exactly wrong about how the market works. A high tide doesn't necessarily float all boats in the collector car market.

 

Any 90-Series Buick is a desirable car, a '31 90-Series convertible can be a VERY desirable car (I'd be interested), but if it's deteriorated and neglected, you can forget getting anywhere near top dollar for it. Being full of animal droppings is a big problem, because it's a health hazard and with wooden structures, it's hard to say whether the car has been compromised. It has already been restored once, so it's not a "survivor" in the strictest sense, either, so there's not much value to be gained or retained by leaving it in as-found condition. At this point, you're probably going to get a small fraction of what a restored car would bring at auction, so get those six-figure numbers out of your head right away. You do yourself no favors counting your money before it's in hand and all it will make you do is turn away reasonable offers because you don't think they're enough.

 

Show us some photos and we'll be able to give you a better idea of its value. Desirable car, yes, but you're going to be disappointed if you're expecting a six-figure score, because I can think of only one or two non-#1-condition 90-Series Buicks worth more than $100,000.

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger that, I just noticed that there were photos posted moments before I posted that message. The convertible coupe is among the most desirable of 1931 Buick body styles and this is a worthy car. However, it does need a full restoration and I think a reasonable price would be in the $20,000 range. The next owner is going to have a full restoration ahead of him and I don't see any advantage to keeping it in "as discovered" condition, so clean it up and make it look as presentable as possible. Barn finds are a great marketing gimmick used by auction companies on significant cars, but a buyer for this car is going to want to see what he's getting and you'll be ahead of the game if you get everything looking as good as it can. The forlorn, dusty, dirty, used-up "barn find" look is just hype and it usually only works at auctions where one rich guy doesn't want to be the only one in the club who doesn't have one. In the case of this Buick, your buyer is going to be someone who wants the car and is willing to invest in the restoration (in fact, I may have such a client and will forward this post to him).

 

Even better, if you can make it run and prove that the engine is sound, that would be a big plus, too. It need not be ready to drive, of course, but if the buyer knows there are no major engine issues with any parts that are virtually unobtainable, that will only help your marketing.

 

Good luck!

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Being pedantic it is a 96-C.    Rare I guess as only just over 1,000 were built and probably not many left. Very desirable though. Almost looks as if it could be just cleaned up and driven.  A full restoration might cost more than the car is worth, even if it is a CCCA recognised classic.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Matt, the 20K range sounds right.  If it hadn't been restored in the 50's or 60's, and was in that shape, more, but now it's a tough one to figure what to do with.  As mentioned, too, a restoration would be expensive. 

 

What a great car though.  Hopefully someone with the correct depth pockets will step up and buy/restore it.  Buicks are not only great driving cars, but that company built some really fine bigger cars.

 

Good luck with sale, hope you guys can agree on a fair valuation that finds it a new home....

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a 96 c like the car pictured.  

 

I'd scrub it inside and out.  Get it running, and go from there. 

 

At the Hershey auction last weekend I watched a 96c Mclauglin/Buick  that was restored stall out at 30 grand until people woke up and they milked it to 70k.  You couldn't begin to do a proper resto on the car for 70 grand.  

 

If you can get it running and driving you might get near 30k.  Collectors just aren't that interested in Buicks so only the top shelf stuff brings the money.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Yea I have to say the car is worth only about 15,000 to 20,000. I purchased my 1933 66s for close to 30K and now have 30K more into it and it still isn't done.  I'm not even going for a true number one. Just a reliable driver that looks good from 15 feet. The picture attached is as I bought it. Who ever buys your car is going to restore it.......... to keep and enjoy...........absolutely not to re sell it and make money because that's just not going to happen. Truth be known I should have bought one already completely done for 40 K from a widow or estate.  Restoring a car is like a slow blood letting experience.

post-90954-0-51418900-1449513567_thumb.j

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I always advise to buy the best you can possibly afford. In the long run it usually will be the cheapest to own. It just costs so much to do anything that needs doing and before you know it you have more in the car than the car is worth. If you love the car and don't ever plan on selling it then its a non issue. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Got an email that the car has sold :( Too bad because I would love to have a "full classic" Buick, especially a 35 or earlier (hint, hint.... if you know of any). I guess I have to keep lookin'.

I know of a 90 series Buick phaeton about a 34 or 35 I think that has been sitting a long time but in good storage and needs a good going over now. I think he has owned it over 45 years. Sold his 31 phaeton past August. Larry Norton a bachelor lives in Oshawa Ontario Ca. and you will benefit by the 35% dollar exchange. Also they may also be the dolled up MacLauchlan Buicks that were actually built in Oshawa so you could say they never left home.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

This`s what happen with this 1931 ser 90 Buick,it`s for sale on Hemmings.If that car will be sold for that much as $47500, you have been wrong when advised the earlier seller I think?

Leif in Sweden

 

http://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/buick/90/1798516.html

I think there's a difference. Unless the seller in the Hemmings ad is withholding information, that seems to be an unrestored car, while the OP's car was restored to some extent many years ago, removing the cachet of originality and significant value. And, asking $47.5K doesn't mean getting it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Plus one that the asking price is not necessarily (and rarely) the selling price.   I agree with the original 20-25k estimate, although there is always one among us that forgets what a sink hole cars become instantly and perhaps more is attainable.

 

This is a neat car.   What year 90 is the most desirable and I assume they came in different wheelbases?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd think a roadster or touring would be the most desirable, a convertible coupe such as this one is more comfortable, with the roll up windows, but most convertible coupes of the late 20's and early 30's don't look very nice with the top down.

 

As far as year desirability, that's so much up to one's taste...31 is a good year, 32-34 were some of the best years from an aesthetic viewpoint, after 34 cars of all makes began to lose the classic early car look.  I guess that's hard to explain, but look at it this way...a friend of mine likes 28/29 Model A Fords better than 30/31, because they look more like "old" cars, and not a newer, sleeker, version....

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there's a difference. Unless the seller in the Hemmings ad is withholding information, that seems to be an unrestored car, while the OP's car was restored to some extent many years ago, removing the cachet of originality and significant value. And, asking $47.5K doesn't mean getting it.

It is certainly the same car. Right down to the rusty hubcap on the side mount and the license plate.

As the saying goes the car is worth what someone will pay.

I do get a kick out of how many times some cars change hands until the music stops. Hopefully it will end up with someone who cares.

Edited by midman (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's see how long it stays on the market, and if we find out, what the final price might be.

 

A very desirable car, but also one that needs everything.  Shelling out 47K for an open Classic isn't bad, until you figure the restoration cost, and any buyer is taking a chance on this car.  Bad wood, cracked block, there are lot's of high dollar things that could be wrong with car, not even talking about the paint and chrome that we all know is expensive.

 

The first owner was apparently satisfied with money offered, a dealer bought it, cleaned it up, and now wants to make some money.  Fair enough.

 

Last week I bought a collectible object I'd been looking for, dirty and greasy, real condition unknown and a shot in the dark.  Spent some time cleaning it up, and now wouldn't take three times what I paid for it, it's so nice  Doesn't mean the seller made a bad deal, at that point in time the object was in a certain condition and he was willing to let it go at a certain price, and I was willing to take a chance on it.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

What amazes me is you rarely see a car advertised for sale where the speedometer has rolled over or replaced at one time. How do you advertise an 80 year old car for low mileage that was restored 40 years ago by a second party. I see a lot of broken speedometer's for sale at Hershey. I am referring to adds in general not pointing to this one.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

That's the same car in the Hemmings ad.  Check the license plate, seat damage and rust on the spare tire hubcap.  The dealer probably got it for 20 grand and then more than doubled his asking price once he cleaned the dust off.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend of mine just bought a 31 Roadster in similar condition but a different manufacturer.  Also a big C Classic.   He paid more than we probably would think but he wanted the unrestored car and they just don't exist.  So, somebody may come along for this one too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know for a fact that the seller got what I think is a fair price for the car in the condition it left his place. The seller was happy with the selling price, his only disappointment is that he thought he was selling to an enthusiast, when in fact it was a middle man for this dealer. I personally think any dealer should be above board with his dealings, not hiding behind middle men, guess that's how some people live their lives but it just seems sneaky...

The dealer will probably make a little money, but it's a shame it didn't go to a hobbyist for the first selling price.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It was bought up here on our site before any sale took place. Anyone on this site could have contacted the owner and made and serious offer or told a friend to hurry. Nobody did and so a middleman and a dealer got it. In the end a enthusiast will own it but not at the bargain it once was. The final owner will still be happy along with all the others involved since it rolled out of storage. Its a typical old car story with only the names of the participants changing.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend of mine just bought a 31 Roadster in similar condition but a different manufacturer.  Also a big C Classic.   He paid more than we probably would think but he wanted the unrestored car and they just don't exist.  So, somebody may come along for this one too.

 

I don't know what the price of buick's is like in the states but I think you raise an interesting point, at that price you are starting to get into some other desirable marques. On the face of it there is a substantial amount of work remaining to get the car to a show ready state, if you had to put $40k into the car to restore it you're starting to get into restored cadillac la salle convertible money  

Link to post
Share on other sites

The key thing is that the car can't be restored.  My friend has not intention of restoring the car he bought but he will get it running and moving under its own power for the purposes of showing.  An unrestored car at a show gathers lots of attention.  There are many fully restored ones and I think we sometimes get bored with them.   Also, to restore this car nut & bolt you are talking 150k with the owner doing all the work and 300k with a shop doing it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...