dmfconsult

71 Chevelle 2-dr - Another "what's it worth" thread

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Posted (edited)

I usually post over on the Buicks forum, but I've found myself the new caretaker of this 71 Chevelle Malibu 350 2-dr.  The original owner is a family friend who has recently sold his house and is downsizing so no more room for the Chevy. It has been sitting most of the last 26 years and it appears the last time it was run before coming to me was 20 years ago.  The car appears to be antique white with a black vinyl top and black interior.  Pretty basic car, with manual brakes, power steering and that's about it for options.  The car has rust through behind the rear wheels and a couple of small areas in the trunk floors adjacent to the wheel wells, and the bottom of the quarters look a bit soft as well.  There are spots of surface rust where paint was chipped, but the frame, floors and the rest of the body are solid.  Bumpers are rusty so should be replaced as well.   The interior is generally very nice, but will need a new front bench cover, but assume a repaint and a new vinyl top will be necessary.

 

There is a 102K miles on 350-2bbl and I understand that the timing chain and gears were replaced just before the car was put away.  I have the car running now and it runs fine with no knocking or other sounds that would signal a problem.  The vacuum lines are a bit crusty and the vacuum advance on the distributor doesn't seem to work, but I will replace that and get the car tuned properly. 

 

I'm not up on Chevy values and given the condition described and in pictures below, what is the general opinion on value?  I haven't decided what to do with the car yet... part of me wants to replace just what's needed and drive it, but I need to also be considerate of what the original owner wants given he's a family friend.   The car does have full wheel covers that don't show in the pics, but I recently picked up a set of 15-inch rally's as they had decent rubber on them, rather than put new tires on the 14-inch rims.   I appreciate your input.

 

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Edited by dmfconsult (see edit history)

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Thanks very much. There are several on-line tools to source information on valuation and I've looked at most of them.  I'm more interested in opinions of folks here based on their real world sense of what this car is. 

 

Cheers,

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It's a clean shell on which someone can build [yet another] fake SS clone that's worth $30,000. It's a '71 not a '70, it's a Malibu, not a Chevelle (technically the same but technically not to the guys who really obsess over these), and it needs everything. Restore it and it's just a ho-hum car. Turn it into a clone and it's still just a clone. It has no intrinsic collector value as itself and it's tens of thousands of dollars away from being anything. If you can get it for $1500-2500 and enjoy the project for its own sake, then it would be a worthy undertaking. If you're looking for an upside or a jewel in the rough, that's not likely. It will always make more economic sense to buy any other finished car for 60% of what it'll take to restore this one. But if you like the idea of the project and are going to enjoy the process, get it as cheaply as possible because it's only the first of a lot of rather big checks you're going to write...

 

What's it worth? You're the only one who can say.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks very much Matt.  I've seen the same model "done" listed for sale in the $25,000 range and this car is $15-$20K away from that level, so your estimate seems about right.  The online valuation tools indicate a higher amount, but that's exactly why I wanted to reach out here to get more of a real world response. 

 

Cheers,

Edited by dmfconsult (see edit history)

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I wanted to wrap up this thread with some good info.  As I mentioned, this car was basically "gifted" to me from a family friend who had to get it out of his garage as he was moving.  That was in February so fast forward to recently and I had the car running and driving and barely stopping (fluids need to be flushed and likely a new master cylinder required).  While I was busy considering what to do with it, I would from time to time mention it to colleagues during meetings as "something I was up to on the weekend".  One of those fellows contacted me separately about the car and that he was looking for a project to complete after retirement.  Long story short, he and I struck a deal for the car and it is now gone out of my way.  I had looked at some price guides that pointed to $14-$16K for a car in better condition.  As I work with this individual, we were both interested in coming to a fair price without negotiating.  Bottom line was a $8000 sale price...it was one of those times where we both said the number we were thinking and it was exactly the same. 

 

It still boggles my mind these cars in this condition have that kind of market value, but I guess these early 70's Chevelle 2-drs are still popular.  It is a very peppy car and I had it running quite well so a little bittersweet seeing it go.  The fellow who "gifted" the car to me will get a nice check (minus what I had to spend to get it running) and a little memento I put together for him based on what I found in the car and where he bought it originally.  Thanks for advice on value!

 

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