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Customs How to price a custom car?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gasoline Junkie, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Gasoline Junkie
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 307

    Gasoline Junkie

    I'm thinking of selling a car that's been heavily modified. Does a chopped top and other modifications add/take away from a car's value? The car in question is a '55 Buick special received_855290804857529.jpeg

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  2. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,436


    All depends on the quality of the work and the desirability of the car.
    If it's unfinished the price goes way down.
  3. Depends on how well the mods were done. Hack job, value goes down. Degree of completion matters too. Glass rear window, or plexi? Really, there's a ton of variables, but generally an unfinished project like this won't add value and will limit your buyer pool.
    Oldioron likes this.
  4. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,064

    Model A Gomez

    You also have to find the person who likes the changes you have made to the car. It is a plus that you have the front and rear glass in the car. I always wonder why someone wants to sell a half done car, always a question in my mind if there is a problem. I've sold a couple of unfinished cars but locally where they could look them over and drive them. Hard to price a modified car because you seldom get all your money back.
    Hombre and rockable like this.
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  5. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,335

    from California

    chop tops are all about the glass. no glass or poorly fitting glass is no good
  6. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 5,426


    x2 what 49ratfink said
    Also, for me, seeing bumpers, tail lights and headlight rings painted primer is a big turn-off. I would rather see what it looks like without the paint: how the chrome looks, what kind of rust, etc. When those parts are primed (or painted, for that matter), I get the impression the seller is trying to cover up something.
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,546


    It could be the way the light hits it but it looks like there is a pretty wide gap between the post and the glass when you enlarge the image. If that is the case the car is going to be a hard sell. 2019-07-29.png
  8. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,436


    I bet front and rear glass is Plexi. Need to know more about side glass.
    Gut feeling is this custom will be a tough sell due to level of workmanship and completion.
  9. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,890


    This x1000 A chopped project without glass raises huge red flags, will sell for less than an uncut one, even compared to an uncut one that also didn't have glass. If it were a Model T or something that'd be different, but a '55 Buick hardtop is a difficult car to chop and make the glass work, and it's an easy assumption to make for a buyer that the reason the car is for sale is because the builder didn't figure out how to do the glass properly and is giving up. Primer over the bumpers is also a bad sign.
    Dave Downs and 49ratfink like this.
  10. Some modifications to a car increases it value, others depreciate. The bondo work on the quarter and rocker panel are visible. 2X, gap at left A pillar is not good. Stock engine? Interior? There is a LOT of work that needs to be done if the interior has not been modified to fit the chop.
    I appraise vehicles, heavy equipment and vintage cars.
  11. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,280

    Jalopy Joker

    I guess bottom line on price is to put it out there asking for best offer with no set price - be real flexible and sell for whatever you can get for it, or trade
  12. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 3,233

    from Oregon

    Probably the best way to get any decent price is to finish it completely, but you will probably need to cut your losses.
  13. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,873

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    Completely agree. It's a peeve of mine when someone sprays a fresh coat of primer on a car, as preparation for putting it up for sale. Prep the car for sale by cleaning it up, gathering and presenting all the removed trim and other parts that'll go with the car. Someone will say you'll get more for the car freshly primed. Not from this buyer. Don't do me any favors-I'll be glad to shoot it in primer after I buy it thank you. I want to see the actual body as well as the repaired areas, etc. Fresh primer is a huge red flag to look closely for bondo troweled right over rust holes, etc. Not saying that's the case here, but why prime the bumpers, tail light housings etc, too?
    egads and olscrounger like this.
  14. Gasoline Junkie
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 307

    Gasoline Junkie

    Rear window is plexi, and there's no windshield. The glass in the picture was an attempt to cut the stock windshield. I'm not looking to get over on anybody or anything like that just trying to get an idea of what something like this is worth so I can price it fairly.

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  15. WiredSpider
    Joined: Dec 29, 2012
    Posts: 585


    chopped with no glass fitted and in fresh primer
    I run from cars like that
    bobss396 likes this.
  16. Hind sight is always 20/20 but the front glass should have been sank into the cowl, that way the glass would have fit the chop.

    I know there is a lot of work put into the chop but it is going to need re-chopping or another top to correct the problem, it's a big project and unless the buyer is a darn good body man it's going to be a hard sale. HRP
  17. Unfortunately the chop has taken value from this car.
    Hombre likes this.
  18. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,286


    If the floor and rockers are solid, it’s still a $1,000 car. If you can find a parts roof to include it would be worth a lot more.
    Mr48chev likes this.
  19. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,110

    abe lugo

    This is why you should make a nice running car before chopping and primering all the history away. Not your fault if you got it that way, I'm just saying.
    Does it run?

    If it was a complete 2 door hardtop Buick, just rough,then it may have 3500-4500 dollars atleast.
    Sorry to put it that way, but a lot of younger folks need to learn this.

    I would recommend taking a look at running, crappy versions of this cars. then start subtracting the stuff it needs.
    Then double that price and hope for half. So yeah in the 1000-1500 range.
  20. I think there is an old rule of thumb that says customs typically sell for less than 1/2 of what you got into it....
  21. Gasoline Junkie
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 307

    Gasoline Junkie

    Not that anybody asked, here's the story on the car. I bought the car as it is in that picture (chopped and in primer) back when I lived in NYC before knowing I was gonna move to Michigan. It runs and drives, and I thought it was a solid foundation for a cool custom. Now that i'm putting down roots in MI, having a second project car is just not feasible. I'd love to see it get finished.

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  22. redo32
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,478


    Hate to be harsh, but it looks like a parts car to me. Maybe you'll find a naive young guy with dreams and you can impress him with the amount of work that has been done. Unless I needed the running gear, count with the run like hell group.
    Hombre likes this.
  23. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,099

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    I'd try to price it at what you paid. Hope to break even. not a terrible car, but not a popular car, and you already learned it wont be easy to get glass in it. The primed over bumpers and trim are ugly in my book, but not the worst sins possible (just close)
  24. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,304


    If you bought it then someone else may buy it, try to get what you paid!
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  25. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,732


    I wonder if the A pillar could be reworked to meet the glass and of course rework the vent window to meet the A pillar. To me the new height of the roof makes the arc of the A pillar a little too extreme actually anyway.
    Thats the route I would at least investigate.
  26. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,732


    Oldsmobile 88 rear wheel arches of the same vintage would do wonders for the overall flow of that car also.
    I don't think all hope is lost with that car but its gonna be a save not a straight forward finish it up.
  27. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,280

    Jalopy Joker

    anything can be fixed - but, this would be a tough job for anyone.
  28. Black Panther
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,455

    Black Panther
    from SoCal

    As much as I and others here like chopped cars, most people looking to buy an old car or even are looking for that exact Buick model, wont buy it because its chopped. There have been chopped early F100s on craigslist here that lingered for weeks without being sold...they seemed like great deals, even if you threw the cab away, but they didnt sell. Also when the chop was done is really important to me....was it done decades ago and the car was finished...painted...and used for years after? Or a recent project of someone who didnt finish it matter how well it was done? I'm in LA...and youd think with so many people out here you could sell anything...not true. I've had to part cars out to get my money back when it became obvious that I was the only one that liked it.
  29. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,519

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Not trying to knock a '55 Buick Special (I kind of like them), but realistically not an extremely sought after car.
    Pool of potential buyers for a '55 Buick guess a relatively low percentage.
    Consider of those people who of that group want a project..percentage drops.
    From that reduced group, want a chopped one,,percentage drops further.
    The still, albeit small group left who'd consider a chopped project, with glass issues yet to be corrected..percentage takes another huge dive.
    The value in this car for you, is in the learning experience gathered.
    I'd try to either sell/trade it for any reasonable offer, even if you have to take a loss, or keep it and over time work on it, sort out it's issues, and complete it to your taste that you envisioned when you bought it.
    Good luck.
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 1,902


    I just sold my 55 Buick special
    Clean original ( one ooooold repaint)
    Driving fun car
    Had some transmission leaks

    Up here Buick guys like them stock
    I don’t overly like stock
    And looking at what it would cost to do what I wanted I would loose on the car.
    Sold it for more then I paid and bought something else.

    Not a super popular car.

    Price it for a few hundred more then what you paid and hope you break even.
    I’ve seen worse brought back from the dead.

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