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An Idle Question About A 1973 Century Gran Sport Stage 1


J3Studio
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Yesterday, Mecum sold a "triple black" 1973 Century Gran Sport for a $29,000 hammer price:

 

https://www.mecum.com/lots/SC0520-430698/1973-buick-gs-stage-1/

 

—it has a Stage 1 270 bhp 455 ci V8 with a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust, a floor-mounted four-speed manual transmission, chrome wheels, air conditioning, and bucket seats.

 

$29,000 seems like a lot of money for a Colonnade, but I'm not remotely expert in this area. What do folks think?

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The nice thing about auctions is that we know what someone paid for a specific car. Someone wanted that car, someone else wanted it almost as badly, and they fought over it. That was what that particular car on that day was worth to the guy who bought it. 

 

Without intending to offend anyone, I have found that most hobbyists are typically poor judges of values, particularly on their favorite cars. In most cases, they believe their cars are worth much more than they are or they think cars for sale are much too expensive. The reason is that they're in a bubble--they know what they paid for their similar car eight years ago or what their buddy paid or where there's one for sale in their local area, but they don't really have much of a bird's eye view of the market in general or cars that sell outside their bubble. But seeing them change hands at auction gives you an actual real-world price. Not a price guide algorithm, not some guy's opinion, but someone actually paid that much money to own that car. It's a hard data point. It's irrefutable. Are they all worth that much? Of course not. But now you have another data point to use when you try to get a big picture view of a particular car's value.


Whether that was too much or not is irrelevant. Someone was willing to pay that much and he is the only guy who gets to say whether it was a good value. Everything else is just a gut feeling or a guess. And in the big picture of the collector car world, $29,000 is relative pocket change.

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20 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

The nice thing about auctions is that we know what someone paid for a specific car. Someone wanted that car, someone else wanted it almost as badly, and they fought over it. That was what that particular car on that day was worth to the guy who bought it. 

 

Without intending to offend anyone, I have found that most hobbyists are typically poor judges of values, particularly on their favorite cars. In most cases, they believe their cars are worth much more than they are or they think cars for sale are much too expensive. The reason is that they're in a bubble--they know what they paid for their similar car eight years ago or what their buddy paid or where there's one for sale in their local area, but they don't really have much of a bird's eye view of the market in general or cars that sell outside their bubble. But seeing them change hands at auction gives you an actual real-world price. Not a price guide algorithm, not some guy's opinion, but someone actually paid that much money to own that car. It's a hard data point. It's irrefutable. Are they all worth that much? Of course not. But now you have another data point to use when you try to get a big picture view of a particular car's value.


Whether that was too much or not is irrelevant. Someone was willing to pay that much and he is the only guy who gets to say whether it was a good value. Everything else is just a gut feeling or a guess. And in the big picture of the collector car world, $29,000 is relative pocket change.

 

Thank you for the thoughtful response, Matt.

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Well, the new owner will find out soon enough that there are virtually no parts for these cars, no body, no interior, no nothing other than engine and trans stuff, this was discussed on V8buick.com and there were no triple black '73s they all had white bucket seat interiors, this one has dyed seats and was a rust bucket as most of the '73 GM cars, malibu, chevelle, cutlass, regals, centurys were because GM changed steel suppliers that year, cheaper, obviously and they rusted out almost immediately. Ask me how I know, I've had 3 '73 Gran Sports and one is still in my garage!

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1 hour ago, BUICK RACER said:

Well, the new owner will find out soon enough that there are virtually no parts for these cars, no body, no interior, no nothing other than engine and trans stuff, this was discussed on V8buick.com and there were no triple black '73s they all had white bucket seat interiors, this one has dyed seats and was a rust bucket as most of the '73 GM cars, malibu, chevelle, cutlass, regals, centurys were because GM changed steel suppliers that year, cheaper, obviously and they rusted out almost immediately. Ask me how I know, I've had 3 '73 Gran Sports and one is still in my garage!

 

There's a lot of data in this response!

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1 hour ago, B Jake Moran said:

Agreed. Matt and Roberta are experts. That term should be carefully applied but took me 2 seconds in this case. 

 

I figured folks on this forum would know.

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  • 6 months later...

Brad Conley

That particular car is a pile of poo....even the former owner said so!

Drives great but the rust issues are beyond belief.

 

I just noticed this post and see it has been well discussed and even a mention was made about the thread on the V8 board.  So I will just refresh everyones memory and tell the story to those who haven't read the thread on V8;

That was my old car. I owned it for 17 years. (Bought in 2003) It was my first Gran Sport. I owned Six '73 Gran Sports at one point after buying the Black car. I sold it to make room for some different cars. At the time I sold it I had a deal on another 73 4 speed that was beautiful, but I passed at the last minute as it was time for something different. I ended up keeping my best three which are listed in my signature. I also sold one of my two '73 race cars (Yellow) to a friend  and parted out the other one. (The black car is a Sloan documented real Stage1 4 speed. It was originally Gold. I bought it already painted black and with the Black dyed interior. As Roberta said all 1973 Bucket seat cars had white interiors and no other choices. Now the details of the car when I sold it: All the interior plastic pieces had been covered in vinyl due to holes, chalking and cracked broken pieces, etc. my son in law did the interior pieces and the vinyl top as his daily job is as an interior and convertible top craftsman.  It is totally non matching numbers. It has serious rust issues. The chassis is covered with roofing tar as is the trunk and inner wheel wells. The inner wheel wells also have newspaper stuffed in them and then tar put on top to cover up the holes. I had the car repainted in 2014 by a best friend for $1000. He did a decent job. The vinyl top is new and underneath are multiple Fist size and larger holes patched with Bondo and Fiberglass. There was rust in the rear quarters and around the rear window and rear side windows, all patched with bondo. After the recent paint job to make the car look good again (Paint got badly faded over the years, even though it was stored over the winters) After a few years the cracks were starting to show again around the rear side windows. It was time to sell before it got worse.  I did not want to worry about having to fix the car up again after doing so multiple times over the years. The drivers side floor is soft and needs to be patched. It does have a Scotty G. 462 motor and a Supercase M-21 trans. The car is a very good driver and rarely gave me any mechanical trouble. I sold it to a Buick friend who knew all about the car since I originally bought it. He then traded the car after two years to get back another friends 71 Skylark 4 speed car from another Buick guy who wanted the black car as a trade. He is the one who sold it at Mecum a little under 2 years later after having a hard time selling it privately. He even tried to sell it at MCACN in 2018 with no takers at his price.

The current owner who bought the car at Mecum knew all of the issues as I told him all about the car on a few Buick forums and telephone conversations. He loved the car and bought it anyway with all the problems. He says he loves it and I still speak to him occasionally. Believe it or not I do sometimes miss that car because it started my love affair with 1973 Gran Sports. P.S. Roberta and Brad will tell you i was lucky and the 3 '73's I still own were and are all totally rust free. The Yellow car is a Zone office ordered Stage1 Sun Coupe (1 of 45) with SCO paint, (1 of 4) car body #0092 and is heavilly optioned with Cruise control being the only option missing, and is all original. It just won a AACA Grand National Award at Gettysburg 2020. It also won Concours Gold at MCACN in 2016 with 986 points in the Sun Roof Invitational plus numerous other Awards. The Gold 4 speed won a Concours Gold with 1000 out of 1000 points and a Platinum Award for Best Buick at MCACN in 2017.  It won its AACA Senior Grand National a at Gettysburg 2020. It won a Springhouse Award at the 2020 Greenbrier Concours. My Gold T Code GS455 is my Factory Appearing racer and so far its best ET is a 12.45@109.6 MPH also totally rust free and a Day Two MCACN Concours Gold Award winner in 2019.  P.S. The pictures of the three '73 Gran Sports I still have are on this forum in the Favorite GS (and Gran Sport) Pictures Post.

Edited by philip roitman (see edit history)
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