What's it worth, what to look for why buying?

$ ? $ ? $ ? $ ?
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What's it worth, what to look for why buying?

Post by Specialdeluxe » Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 6:09

Sent in via email by Steven in Alaska:

I cringe as I write this email, knowing you must get a lot of what-is-it-worth? type emails. I know the best answer is whatever-you-will-pay. But a '49 2 door coupe came on the market for the second time. The owners are not getting what they think it is worth. They are advertising it complete, stock, and running like a clock. What are the kinds of things to look for that add or subtract value ? Any common issues ? What are the kinds of things to look for in looking for candidates for a hot rod project vs a restoration project? Thanks in advance for any input. Hope you are looking forward to a summer of cruising in your Special.

Good going in your Plymouth! :driving:

Paul Schettner
'49plymouth.com - Webmaster

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Location: Northern Colorado

Re: What's it worth, what to look for why buying?

Post by Johnny_S » Tue Jun 2nd, 2009 4:14


Here's my attempt at a response.

1. Which model is it exactly? Is it a P18 2-door Club Coupe or is it a P17 2-door business coupe or is it a P17 - 2-door fastback? I've seen all three called "coupes". So, first knowing the specific model is important.

2. How much rust does it have and where? Any rust reduces the value from what's possible. Rust in some areas is worse (as a negative in relationship to value) that in others. Surface rust that's minor ... not a huge issue unless someone is trying to get a premium for the car. Rust through on the frame ... I wouldn't touch the car unless its the only one of its kind you have ever seen and ever expect to see again. Generally rust that is that bad is bad all over.

3. What condition is the paint and the interior in? Is it original or not? Is it torn or not?

4. Does it have the original running gear? If not .... what engine does it have now, what transmission, what rear-end? Is it running and does the engine or transmission or rearend need to be overhauled or replaced?

5. Have the brakes been modified or are they original and working correctly?

6. What about the detail? Stainless trim, lens, trim rings, belt-moulding, glass, radio, heater, knobs, door handles? That helps set the base line. Essentially you are grading the car according to observations and facts akin to NADA ratings..... Junk to Perfect.

Then I'd look at NADA price ranges ...... what are they saying ... and compare to Edmunds.
Then I'd look at eBay .... what are comparable cars selling for or how much are people asking for similar cars?
Then I'd search the internet for privately listed cars and see what they are either selling for or how much is asked.

My observations say something about like this:

2-door P18 Club Coupes ....... in the best practical original condition ...... sell for anywhere from $4000 - $6500
2-door P17 Fastbacks ..... don't know ... haven't seen too many of those.
2-door P17 Business Coupes (1 seat only) ..... $5000 - $10000 in the best practical condition.

The closer to "perfect" the closer to the higher numbers or more if really original and perfect. Or in some cases the modification that have been done to them are so good as to command a premium as well but that would be case-be-case

Johnny S.

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