George Smolinski

Anyone have “Old Cars Price Guide” handy?

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Have 2 cars I ran across. 1940 Ford two door sedan. Flathead, floorshift, restored years ago, #4 condition.

1946 Buick Special two door. Straight 8, All original. No rust, not even bubbles. #4 condition

Value of each please.

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Price guides are worthless...........

 

FYI........recently there was a bunch of chatter of the Ford V-8 market falling off a cliff as far as prices go........

 

I have no idea, as I don't keep up with that segment. I would look at Arizona  auction results this year, as that is where cars supposedly didn't do well.

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3 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Price guides are worthless...........

 

FYI........recently there was a bunch of chatter of the Ford V-8 market falling off a cliff as far as prices go........

 

I have no idea, as I don't keep up with that segment. I would look at Arizona  auction results this year, as that is where cars supposedly didn't do well.

I kind of agree about the price guides, however the operative word is guide. They seem to be helpful sometimes when making an offer on a car that wouldn’t be at some of the auctions. I am able to show the condition descriptions to the seller. Then, using the price listed in the guide, I have a base to work from. It’s worked for me fairly well. 

I think using Arizona auction results as in BJ, is more worthless/useless than anything else unless one is among the people with more money than brains that buy at these auctions.

Getting back to my topic, if you have an OCPG, can you post the values please?

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Hagerty has a "guide" online.

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Price guides might have some value when determining a value for a commonly seen, and traded model, but for a car seldom seen/traded it's a joke!

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Posted (edited)

I really respect Ed's knowledge of Classic cars.

But I don't think price guides are useless for

commonly encountered cars, where auctions and

private sales have sufficient data for tracking.

I agree that I've seen unrealistically low prices

listed for rare cars, though.

 

Isn't Hagerty, for example, who is in the business

of valuing cars for insurance, competent to put 

those values in a guide?

 

Or a person might ask a friend involved in Fords

what his assessment is for a car's value;   well, the

compilers of price guides say they similarly consult with

clubs or people experienced with certain marques

when doing their compilations.  

 

Here are values printed in the March-April issue of

Old Cars Price Guide, for whatever weight you want to give them:

1940 Ford 2-door sedan:  #4 condition $5720, #3 condition $12,870.

1940 Ford 2-door Deluxe sedan:  #4 condition $5820, #3 condition $13,100.

1946 Buick Special 2-door:  #4 condition $6200, #3 condition $13,950. 

 

There is a substantial difference, as George probably knows,

between #3 and #4 condition.  A car in #3 condition has minor

wear but looks great from 20 feet away;   most of the cars seen

at local shows are in #3 condition, the price guide explains.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

The problem with not only price guides but also cars in general with trying to find a value is alot of cars don't fall into a number perfectly.  I don't think i have ever had one that was a 3.  It was always a 3 plus or 3 minus,  which leaves alot of interpretation.  If it has all new chrome during the restoration,  but not everything else is on par for being a 3 how do you value it.  The chrome could be a 1 minus.  The car overall looks kind of like a 4.  Add on top of that a ratty interior but flawless paint,  or a beautiful looking car that doesn't run.  it's really tough to value.   Is it completely rust free in the case of the Ford before restoration or is there a bunch of bondo and bad work?   

I have a 40 Ford coupe that's probably a 3 plus maybe better that I'm getting ready to sell this spring to finance my concrete floor in my garage.  I watch them and 40 Fords in general.  12 to 15 will buy you a 3-ish condition tudor sedan.  I have found many #4 condition cars that needed a good detailing and maybe wet sand and buff to be a 3 plus car.   It's something you really need to see pictures of to get a good value.  Lots of nice 40 Ford coupes at 30G.  Many need paint work and alot of other stuff at 25G and it's hard to buy any kind of running driving even extremely needy ones with rust 40 ford Coupe for under 20. 

Colors and interior finishings can have a huge effect on the value and ability to sell as well,  thus driving the price up or down.  

Edited by auburnseeker (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, edinmass said:

FYI........recently there was a bunch of chatter of the Ford V-8 market falling off a cliff as far as prices go........

Just let me know when the Auburn market falls off the cliff.  I keep hearing the end of all old cars ,  then bam another bunch of sales records broken. 

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3 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

I really respect Ed's knowledge of Classic cars.

But I don't think price guides are useless for

commonly encountered cars, where auctions and

private sales have sufficient data for tracking.

I agree that I've seen unrealistically low prices

listed for rare cars, though.

 

Isn't Hagerty, for example, who is in the business

of valuing cars for insurance, competent to put 

those values in a guide?

 

Or a person might ask a friend involved in Fords

what his assessment is for a car's value;   well, the

compilers of price guides say they similarly consult with

clubs or people experienced with certain marques

when doing their compilations.  

 

Here are values printed in the March-April issue of

Old Cars Price Guide, for whatever weight you want to give them:

1940 Ford 2-door sedan:  #4 condition $5720, #3 condition $12,870.

1940 Ford 2-door Deluxe sedan:  #4 condition $5820, #3 condition $13,100.

1946 Buick Special 2-door:  #4 condition $6200, #3 condition $13,950. 

 

There is a substantial difference, as George probably knows,

between #3 and #4 condition.  A car in #3 condition has minor

wear but looks great from 20 feet away;   most of the cars seen

at local shows are in #3 condition, the price guide explains.

 

I agree. I bought a guide after I sold a bunch of dad’s cars. The info was on point, as long as you read what makes a 1,2,3 etc., there are enough comps (not some rare, low volume model), and that car doesn’t have some special quality for that model, that makes it more valuable to some, (owned by a celebrity, rare original high performance engine, etc). 

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I've always said If I could buy cars for the Price Guide estimates, I'd buy almost all of them.  But then I ask myself would I sell for those prices, Hell No!  is the answer.

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2 hours ago, auburnseeker said:

The problem with not only price guides but also cars in general with trying to find a value is alot of cars don't fall into a number perfectly.

 

The real problem with cars prices is that so many want to know, but no one will ever tell what they paid or got. It is comical to watch old car guys dance around the question of how much they paid, sold, or invested in their cars. You can always get an account of what some one else did though.

 

"I'm looking at a car similar to that one you just bought. What does a car like that go for?" "Ummm, oh, er, a, well, he had and asking price and after a discussion we came to an agreement."

"Thanks. I was looking for a number."

"Well, those aren't cheap. you know."

"Cheap is not the prerequisite. I just want a number."

 

Think I'm kidding? Go ahead, ask the man who owns one.

Bernie

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Posted (edited)

As useful as it is, the Hagerty Valuation covers a relatively narrow range, incorporating only certain makes, models, and years - essentially excluding anything Pre War (WWII).

For the areas Hagerty covers, it appears, of course, to be an excellent resource - especially for it recently created subscription/member service.

With all due respect, don't expect to find Nickle-, Brass-, and Class-Era vehicles. 

Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)

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21 minutes ago, Marty Roth said:

As useful as it is, the Hagerty Valuation covers a relatively narrow range, incorporating only certain makes, models, and years - essentially excluding anything Pre War (WWII).

 

With all due respect, don't expect to find Nickle-, Brass-, and Class-Era vehicles 

Someone suggested Hagerty. What a waste of time. No ‘40 Ford.

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Posted (edited)
On ‎3‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 12:11 PM, edinmass said:

Price guides are worthless...........

 

. I would look at Arizona  auction results this year, as that is where cars supposedly didn't do well.

 

 

Price guides are not entirely "useless."  

 

As for auctions--they are more useless than any price guide.  All they show is one guy was willing to pay more for a car than a room full of strangers.  

Edited by Pomeroy41144 (see edit history)
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47 minutes ago, Pomeroy41144 said:

 

 

Price guides are not entirely "useless."  

 

As for auctions--they are more useless than any price guide.  All they show is one guy was willing to pay more for a car than an a roomful of strangers.  

 

Price gudes have hundreds of values in them for cars that don’t even exist, auctions are actual sales. Not the asinine made for tv stuff, but real auctions. Fact of the matter is, it’s not too hard to value cars if you work in the industry. People asking the question most often think they have found a “bargain” or deal........and are out of their area of understanding. I have bought and sold hundreds and hundreds of vehicles and have NEVER used the term or condition code of one to five. It has no real meaning or reference. None. Auctions give a fair basis for what any one particular market is currently doing. I own a early Ford, and would never use a price guide as a basis for selling or buying it. As far as people overpaying at auctions......it happens maybe five percent of the time.......people bottom feeding at auctions happens every single time.......every time. Understanding current trends in the field of what you are buying or selling is more important than any number..........80 percent of the market is in a down or negative territory.........why buy anything that needs work unless it’s one off or very, very unusual. Projects are fine.........but most of the time they don’t make sense from a time/expense/aggravations point of view.

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I have always found it amusing when I have been at an auction and a car which is not a #1 sells for a price over #1 in the guide. Then an auction report comes out and that car is described as better than a #1 because it sold for more than the price guide said it should. Or when a #1 car sells for less than it should the report describes it as having problems to help fit into the value in the guide. 

 

Another thing that is strange. If a car sells at auction and no other ones have sold for a very long time the average selling price is stated as "not available". Wouldn't the average selling price be the price of the car that just sold?

 

I have also been in the situation where someone has come to look at a car I have for sale and tries to threaten me with the price guide. They get the guide out and break into a heated argument about how the guide is written by experts and is the law of the land. They explain that I have to sell them the car for X amount because this expert or that expert says it is only worth X amount and of course nobody but they would want to buy the car. After hearing this reasoning for many years my response now is "Call the price guide and buy the one they have for sale". But when I say that I am always told that I don't understand and that the price guide doesn't sell cars.

 

Another weird thing is when you have a car listed for less than the price guide nobody calls you up to tell you that your car is priced too low.

 

Price guides are only guides. Sometimes they are more amusing than the Sunday Comics. Other times I wish I could call them up and order 12 cars at the stated #1 value.

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price guides are relatively useless..............

 

I can buy a Mercer raceabout for about 140k according to a price guide, in #1 condition.

How about- Ill take 10 of them!

 

guy once brought a price guide to my house for a #3 model A coupe. told me that my car was worth an even 4400. because the guide said so. Told him I would take 10 of them..............

 

his mouth dropped, crickets, and then he drove away.................. idiot!

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Price guides really have no value.    Auction prices are the only mechanism you have to establish any range, unless you are a dealer turning a lot of cars.    If you can find a few recent public auction sale of the same model car you can use that minus about 20%.   You need to factor in options and conditions.   A private seller needs to realize they will never get close to the auction price of the same car.   If you see a car sell at auction for 100k,  assume the seller walked away with about 80k of that.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, alsancle said:

Price guides really have no value.    Auction prices are the only mechanism you have to establish any range, unless you are a dealer turning a lot of cars.    If you can find a few recent public auction sale of the same model car you can use that minus about 20%.   You need to factor in options and conditions.   A private seller needs to realize they will never get close to the auction price of the same car.   If you see a car sell at auction for 100k,  assume the seller walked away with about 80k of that.

 

 

Auctions don't help the value of any common or run of the mill collector car........IE......under 200K. Transportation, detailing, commissions, and the cost of the seller attending the sale all add up to HUGE numbers. Then, your every day common car is up against hundreds or maybe even a thousand other cars. Between the auctions and American Pickers I have a MUCH BETTER chance of buying any non running car, parts car, and the now no longer existing project car. I educate the seller on all the issues, explain that a non running car is very, very difficult to sell......if it has flat tires even better. The cost of a truck, trailer, fuel, tolls, hotels, and time are all added up and explained. Then I explain after I have had dozens of photos, IF I come and take a look, and IF I make an offer, it will be a one time on the spot number. I don't negotiate, and I pay on the spot. I will NEVER return if you call back in the future if you decline my offer. All of these are done in an open, calm, and fair manner. With cell phone photos today, I can sort 95 percent of the stuff into a wast of my time and not bother to go look in person. Often, I then put them in touch with some other people to help them out. The biggest issue is what the late owner, family or friends, or the local VW collector thinks their pre war car is worth. I have a very big success rate using this method, interestingly I am no longer in the "buy and sell" game or the parts business so I don't mind sharing the buying strategy. I still have a few other tricks up my sleeve......that I keep to myself. After buying and selling hundreds and hundreds of vehicles, its so commonplace to me I don't even think about it anymore. Now as to the true value OF ANY COLLECTOR CAR.....

 

Your car is only worth what you can sell it for in the next seven days with a guaranteed sale........no mater what the car is, it's quick turn it to cash it the actual value of the car. The last time I took my own car to a show / meet I was given a very fair offer on a great car I had owned for ten years, had no intention of selling it, none. A fair offer was made, and I sold the car on the spot, and came home empty...........the top dealers and brokers in the world will all tell you 95 percent of all cars are now an either stable or depreciating asset.........95 percent. The top stuff is still on fire and going strong, but trickle down isn't coming to 98 percent of the market like the pony cars have done to the other GT cars. Enjoy the hobby, show......tour.......vacation......forget values or you won't enjoy yourself. Money spent on cars is like money spent at the casino......it makes NO sense, unless you're are being entertained. I have made and spent countless dollars on cars..........seven figures for certain......... in the end between the gains and losses I figure I am about even. But in the world of fun, pleasure, excitement, travel, friends, people, and all the other thing that come along for the ride........"I'm wealthier than Bill Gates" and the rest of the DOT COM billionaires............because I am SURE I am having more fun than they are. Get in your car and drive......or show.......or whatever floats your boat. None of us are getting out of this world alive, and the only cure is to have a good time while we are here.........I know I am! 👍

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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16 minutes ago, edinmass said:

 

 

Auctions don't help the value of any common or run of the mill collector car........IE......under 200K. Transportation, detailing, commissions, and the cost of the seller attending the sale all add up to HUGE numbers. Then, your every day common car is up against hundreds or maybe even a thousand other cars. Between the auctions and American Pickers I have a MUCH BETTER chance of buying any non running car, parts car, and the now no longer existing project car. I educate the seller on all the issues, explain that a non running car is very, very difficult to sell......if it has flat tires even better. The cost of a truck, trailer, fuel, tolls, hotels, and time are all added up and explained. Then I explain after I have had dozens of photos, IF I come and take a look, and IF I make an offer, it will be a one time on the spot number. I don't negotiate, and I pay on the spot. I will NEVER return if you call back in the future if you decline my offer. All of these are done in an open, calm, and fair manner. With cell phone photos today, I can sort 95 percent of the stuff into a wast of my time and not bother to go look in person. Often, I then put them in touch with some other people to help them out. The biggest issue is what the late owner, family or friends, or the local VW collector thinks their pre war car is worth. I have a very big success rate using this method, interestingly I am no longer in the "buy and sell" game or the parts business so I don't mind sharing the buying strategy. I still have a few other tricks up my sleeve......that I keep to myself. After buying and selling hundreds and hundreds of vehicles, its so commonplace to me I don't even think about it anymore. Now as to the true value OF ANY COLLECTOR CAR.....

 

Your car is only worth what you can sell it for in the next seven days with a guaranteed sale........no mater what the car is, it's quick turn it to cash it the actual value of the car. The last time I took my own car to a show / meet I was given a very fair offer on a great car I had owned for ten years, had no intention of selling it, none. A fair offer was made, and I sold the car on the spot, and came home empty...........the top dealers and brokers in the world will all tell you 95 percent of all cars are now an either stable or depreciating asset.........95 percent. The top stuff is still on fire and going strong, but trickle down isn't coming to 98 percent of the market like the pony cars have done to the other GT cars. Enjoy the hobby, show......tour.......vacation......forget values or you won't enjoy yourself. Money spent on cars is like money spent at the casino......it makes NO sense, unless you're are being entertained. I have made and spent countless dollars on cars..........seven figures for certain......... in the end between the gains and losses I figure I am about even. But in the world of fun, pleasure, excitement, travel, friends, people, and all the other thing that come along for the ride........"I'm wealthier than Bill Gates" and the rest of the DOT COM billionaires............because I am SURE I am having more fun than they are. Get in your car and drive......or show.......or whatever floats your boat. None of us are getting out of this world alive, and the only cure is to have a good time while we are here.........I know I am! 👍

 

I will agree with much of this, particularly the part where you should forget values and just have fun with your old cars. Let the future take care of itself. If you're buying and need to "make sure you get a good deal" then I would suggest that you are the only one who gets to decide what a "good deal" entails. If you're happy with the car and the price, regardless of what "the book" says, then that's a good deal. "Overpriced" cars can be good values and under-priced cars can be a rip-off. Don't second-guess yourself, either as buyer or seller.

 

As for auctions, they do tend to artificially inflate prices simply because auction results report all the fees as the sale price, which makes sense, since that's what the buyer actually paid to take the car home (although as Ed points out, the seller probably only got 80% of it). As most of you know, the auction houses recently discovered the "buyer's premium" in addition to the "seller's premium" and most get 10% from both parties. I don't know how everyone just decided that was acceptable, but I find it a remarkable study in separating fools and their money. There will surely be defenders to appear in this thread who say that if they know about the premium, they stop bidding 10% sooner, but that isn't really the point. If I had a car with a $50,000 window sticker on it in my showroom and you said you wanted it, and my next move was to send you an invoice for $55,000, you'd lose your friggin' mind and complain until I knocked $5000 off the price. So don't tell me it's OK; it's just a sucker game that the auctions play because they've somehow convinced everyone that their cars aren't junk and it's the best way to buy. Oh, and the booze is free and maybe you'll get on TV.

 

But I digress. My point is, that even with their artificial fee-inflated values (which, in turn, feed the price guides' algorithms) auctions are pretty much the only real barometer for pricing because they report exactly how much money changed hands for that car. That's all we've got beyond our gut feelings. Some of us have well-tuned guts, some of us still think that Model As will continue to be found in farmer's barns and purchased for $15. Again, that's why I say if you think it's a good deal, it is. Screw what anyone else thinks. You don't ask people if they think your wife is pretty and if they don't, you divorce her, right? Why let someone else do your thinking for you?

 

I do disagree with some of these suggestions for buying a car. The moment you start to talk about your expenses or how hard it will be to get the car home or paying your taxes, I'm tuning you out. Those are expenses we all face if we participate in the hobby and it's not my job to underwrite your fun. I'll sell you the car, but all that other stuff really isn't my problem. Everyone else has to pay their own way, too. I always appreciate an offer but please don't be insulting, even if you and I don't agree on the value of the car. Don't show up with a "take it or leave it" attitude if you've already decided that I'm 40% too expensive. That just wastes my time and makes me dislike you. 10%? Let's talk. I've got my price up front, you shouldn't be surprised when my margins aren't big enough to finance your trip, transportation, sales tax, and a new set of tires. And please don't ask me to negotiate against myself--guys who simply ask, "What's the least you'll take?" usually don't get an answer and if they do, it's the asking price. Doing that kind of nonsense only shows you're a bottom-feeder looking for something on the cheap, not a sincere hobbyist.

 

You probably want this car more than I want to sell it to you. There are thousands of buyers, someone else will come along tomorrow. But how many cars like this are there for you to buy? Go ahead and walk away, I won't chase you--that's a game I don't play. Should you call back, the reception will be cool and you'll find me far less flexible and friendly than I was before you started playing silly games. Be sincere, be forthright, and you'll find I treat you the same and it tends to be a far better experience for everyone involved.

 

Remember that the purchase is just part of the ownership experience. A vast majority of buyers burn up all their goodwill trying to save a few bucks that are largely irrelevant in the grand scheme of owning a car. What they don't realize is that in two years, when they need to know something about the car or want a reference or need me to fix their paperwork because they tried to cheat on their taxes and failed, I'm really not going to be interested in helping them out. You used up all your goodwill with the low price you needed so badly. Anything after that is your problem. Treat me with respect, deal with me in good faith, be reasonable, and you'll find that you have a friend in the business for life.

 

Maybe this sounds harsh, but you should always keep in mind that there's much more to the old car hobby than merely getting a good deal when you buy a car: there's everything that comes after that one single moment.

 

And that's a lot of words.

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Posted (edited)

Matt......the comments of how I was purchasing were for resale or profit only.....and applied only to project or parts cars....not on finished or driving cars........my own keepers that doesn't apply. I agree with most of your above also. Usually the least expensive car you find that fills your want or need is the most expensive one you could have bought after getting it sorted and fixed. 

 

 

I also agree with the low ball comments, as a dealer with a showroom and the large quantity of cars you have on hand, I'm sure it gets tiring. 10 percent from asking is fair game........40 percent is not. 

 

 

 

"Maybe this sounds harsh, but you should always keep in mind that there's much more to the old car hobby than merely getting a good deal when you buy a car: there's everything that comes after that one single moment."           Very well said!

 

A true good deal is good for both parties........a happy buyer and seller is what makes the deal fun! 

 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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@Matt Harwood, if I had $1 for everyone who tried to justify their expenses, shipping costs because they were far away, or low ball me, I’d have a nice vacation fund. Seriously, I could put it on eBay and not have to deal with those folks, and that’s pretty much what I did with most of it.   I’d much rather give a deal to someone who helped me out or was nice. 

 

Glad to hear you deal that way also. 

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Ed,

dont mean to burst your bubble, but doubt you are happier then Bill Gates. He is a very happy guy.

 

told me so himself............

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