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'48 Chevy Fleetmaster: Question On Price


DrumBob
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I've been looking at a '48 Chevy Fleetmaster, what the seller calls a survivor car. It's supposedly all original, runs and drives well, needs nothing, no rust, no issues, could be driven daily, according to him. It's for sale within the county. I've looked it over, but not thoroughly. The interior looks good. A local car resto shop is trying to sell it for him, so I presume the shop is getting a percentage. It's been sitting on the lot for about 6-7 weeks, and the shop owner told me the seller is getting a bit antsy. They're asking $18 grand for it, which I think is high. My research puts that car in unrestored condition at about $12-14K. 

 

So, what do you experts think? 

 

My gut tells me that if it's all original, then stuff is bound to go wrong, probably sooner than later. It's a 6-volt car, of course, and I have no idea what it might need mechanically.  

Edited by DrumBob (see edit history)
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John, that car keeps popping up on my daily search, looks really nice for $12k.  

 

An absolutey beautiful chevy coupe was discussed in the "not mine" buy sell section of the forum maybe 6 or 8 weeks back.  CA I believe, $29k.  Really top end unless it was a convertible or woodie but what a great car.  

 

On subject pics will help a lot.  Personal opinion but love the GM postwar styling, lets see a pic and maybe we can help value it!

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8 hours ago, auburnseeker said:

We really need some pics to make any kind of accurate assessment of it.   All 4 corners,  a couple of the interior , one under the hood and one or two underneath will tell us alot more than a long description will. 

I'll try and get some photos today. 

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Just my way of looking at things, you walked away from the car, sat at the computer, looked at values. asking opinions, and taking a lot of time and thought. It would be in my garage or on the way by now or I being figuring out how to bump the budget. It may not be the car for you and once you commit to it something will come along and blow your socks off.

 

I have three cars that all required less than half an hour deliberation time, my '64 Riviera I bought when I was 30, 45 years ago, the '60 Electra 20 years ago, and my Park Ave convert 10 years ago. The ones I thought long and hard about have all been sold.

 

Kind of the same situation when I found my wife.

 

Better to wait until another car comes along. You'll know. And you won't ask for advice.

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34 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

Just my way of looking at things, you walked away from the car, sat at the computer, looked at values. asking opinions, and taking a lot of time and thought. It would be in my garage or on the way by now or I being figuring out how to bump the budget. It may not be the car for you and once you commit to it something will come along and blow your socks off.

 

I have three cars that all required less than half an hour deliberation time, my '64 Riviera I bought when I was 30, 45 years ago, the '60 Electra 20 years ago, and my Park Ave convert 10 years ago. The ones I thought long and hard about have all been sold.

 

Kind of the same situation when I found my wife.

 

Better to wait until another car comes along. You'll know. And you won't ask for advice.

Lots of merit in that advice.  If you are afraid someone is going to buy it out from under you then move on it.  If you really have to think about it,  you don't really want it.  Unless of course it's a price issue and you are trying to figure out which is the better option, Divorce or the car.

 Divorce will always cost more. 

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11 hours ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

John, that car keeps popping up on my daily search, looks really nice for $12k.  

 

An absolutey beautiful chevy coupe was discussed in the "not mine" buy sell section of the forum maybe 6 or 8 weeks back.  CA I believe, $29k.  Really top end unless it was a convertible or woodie but what a great car.  

 

On subject pics will help a lot.  Personal opinion but love the GM postwar styling, lets see a pic and maybe we can help value it!

It really is a nice, I don't know what happened to the clock, I surprised it did not sell for months at $9K The Aero Sedan is the big money car for these years

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6 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

Just my way of looking at things, you walked away from the car, sat at the computer, looked at values. asking opinions, and taking a lot of time and thought. It would be in my garage or on the way by now or I being figuring out how to bump the budget. It may not be the car for you and once you commit to it something will come along and blow your socks off.

 

I have three cars that all required less than half an hour deliberation time, my '64 Riviera I bought when I was 30, 45 years ago, the '60 Electra 20 years ago, and my Park Ave convert 10 years ago. The ones I thought long and hard about have all been sold.

 

Kind of the same situation when I found my wife.

 

Better to wait until another car comes along. You'll know. And you won't ask for advice.

I'm well aware that the car might sell while I'm thinking it over. I buy and sell drums and guitars, and my philosophy is, I'll buy when I'm good and ready, and at a price that makes sense for me. If it sells out from under my nose, so be it; it was not meant to be mine. That's the way I feel about old cars. This one has already sat for almost two months, and I found out today when I went back to shoot some photos, the seller doesn't want less than $15K for it, which I won't pay. Of course, the shop owner said, "He still might be open to a lower offer." So, it may not be the car for me. We'll see. 

 

When it comes to big purchases, I'm not an impulse buyer as you appear to be. If that works for you, great. It doesn't work for me. 

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14 minutes ago, DrumBob said:

When it comes to big purchases, I'm not an impulse buyer as you appear to be. If that works for you, great. It doesn't work for me. 

Well one thing I will say with 90-99% of old cars if they are a good deal and you wait they will be sold,  even if to a flipper.  So if you wait and it doesn't sell,  then it's really not any great deal. 

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14 hours ago, DrumBob said:

Of course, the shop owner said, "He still might be open to a lower offer." So, it may not be the car for me. We'll see.

Well, the only way 'to see' for sure is to float a sincere offer to the shop owner representing the seller.  If you back-up your offer with reasonable rationale the seller's representative may be in the best position to sell your offer to the owner.

 

If the offer is rejected, then you'll know for sure that it's not the car for you...

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I think Bernie's point was that if it was the right car for you, you'd have found a way to buy it without as much regard for the cost. Collector cars are 100% an impulse buy--nobody NEEDS a 1948 Chevrolet. Trying to spreadsheet your way into it isn't logical because this isn't a logical hobby. If it hits you in the gut and you can't imagine not having it, when you lay awake at night thinking about it, then you'll know it's the right car. If you have to check price guides and ask for advice and try to find justifications for making a lower offer, well, that mostly sounds like trying to talk yourself into it.

 

The right car will present itself in the fullness of time. Bernie's point is that you'll know it when you see it. This doesn't sound like The One.

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I think Matt may have articulated it a bit better but that to me is sound advice.

 

The near perfect example I noted, btw wasn't a good comp (you probably know that already but I don't think I called it out) but a truly outstanding, strong #2 or maybe #1 car.  An outlier, but, if you like these postwar Chevys like I do it's a very cool car to look over.

 

Did you get a chance to drive it? Also, what recent maintenance has been performed on it?  Original condition and deferred maintenance are different.  

 

Another thought, if dealer spent time with you on these things great, if not it could be worth the trip back.  If they see you as serious then maybe you could have a deeper conversation, drive it, put it on a lift, etc.  

 

But maybe you should see a few other cars to see if "the one" smacks you in the face.

 

Good luck and keep us posted!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I appreciate all the feedback on this car. I decided to pass on it, because, ultimately, it didn't excite me much. At least not enough to make a solid offer. I called the shop and told them how I felt, and that was that. I think the seller had plans to just take it back and sell it another way.

 

But, I want to illustrate a story as to why I tend not be an impulse buyer. Being a Civil War buff, I visit Gettysburg, PA about once a year, and have done so for the last 31 years. I live less than four hours away, and have a strong attraction and fondness for Gettysburg. 

 

About fifteen years ago, I walked into a military shop there and found a vintage A2 flight jacket from WWII in my size, sitting behind a glass case. I'm also a big WWII aviation guy. It was worn by the commander of the 448th Bomb group, 8th AAF. He was killed on a mission on April 1, 1944, and his A2 was turned back into Quartermaster, where it was issued to another airman. Both men's names are stenciled inside, and the store had the full provenance on the jacket. It was $900, and I wanted it badly, but walked away, due to the cost. I went back a year later, and the store was closed for the weekend for some reason. I then went back eighteen months later and the store was open, so I went inside to see if the jacket was still there. Sure enough, there was the jacket, still inside the glass case. I had the shop owner take it out. I tried it on and it fit like a glove. We haggled a bit, and I bought it. 

 

It's turned out that A2 was a great investment. It's probably worth two to three times what I paid for it. But it's not for sale. I usually wear it once or twice a year, and only when I know it will be safe wherever I'm going. 

 

I honestly feel like that A2 was meant to be mine and it simply sat there and waited for me to return and buy it. It was fate, one of those things that was just destined to happen. I feel the same way about musical gear I buy, or a vintage car. If it's meant to be, it will be. 

 

 

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It's always a balancing act between desire  and cost. Right now I'm in kind of a funk, probably need to clean house a bit more. Most new cars don't interest me much anymore. Except as transportation. I keep looking here for something that will grab me. This is a great spot for seeing what's out there while I get my funds in order. 

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On 8/10/2022 at 11:33 AM, 60FlatTop said:

I have three cars that all required less than half an hour deliberation time...

That's because you're an experienced old-car owner,

Bernie.  You can make assessments based on your

experience.

 

Drum Bob is getting his first car, so he values the

advice of all constructive car fans on our forum!

I myself have pondered a car for months before buying.

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On 8/11/2022 at 9:47 AM, Matt Harwood said:

I think Bernie's point was that if it was the right car for you, you'd have found a way to buy it without as much regard for the cost....

If you have to check price guides and ask for advice and try to find justifications for making a lower offer, well, that mostly sounds like trying to talk yourself into it.

I'll have to disagree on that point, Matt, and compellingly.

The people I know who are truly wealthy are just as thrifty

as any of us.  People contemplate a car for sale, and don't

want to overpay.  Companies like Hagerty who value cars

all the time should have good knowledge about prices;  and

their price guide may be helpful.

 

I've used this illustration before:  One man I know has had a

$30,000,000 annual salary--not counting extra work and

investment income.  Altogether, it could easily be a $50,000,000

annual income.  He has well over 100 cars.  I told him of

one for sale I thought he might like;  his FIRST question to me

was, "What's he asking for it?"

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