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Hot Rods OK, Whats a NOS P-38 BELLY TANK worth?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Harms Way, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,869

    Harms Way

    Ok Guys,...

    I have a chance to buy a NOS P-38 Belly tank, and this thing is pristine!.
    The guy has owned it for like 30 years, But hes a friend that could use the money,.... I want it to be fair for him and me,...

    I have never owned one before and I don't even know where to start. I don't want to pick it up cheap,... I am actually looking for "fair market value",... Have you, or anyone you know bought a NOS Belly tank in the last few years ?

    Thanks for any information guys.

    This isn't it,... but this is basically what were talking about.

  2. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,735


    first one I had I got free,
    second I traded a beautiful antique banjo uke and an awsome antique blasting machine for because I was young and stupid.

    today I wouldn't go over a hundred bucks
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  3. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,937


    I don't know, but it sure is nice to read that you want your friend to get a fair market deal on it. Merry Christmas! Bob
  4. The one in that picture is on e-bay for $1,100.
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  5. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    I guess the real question is: Can you fit in it? :D
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  6. h0twired
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 133

    from Winnipeg

    Another question. Are you actually going to use it for anything or will it just sit for another 30+ years in a different garage?
  7. povertyflats
    Joined: Jan 8, 2007
    Posts: 8,247

    from Missouri

    I think the boys at Old Crow Shop in Burbank are more qualified to answer this question than some of us. Perhaps send a PM to Bobby Green.
  8. bubba67
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,788

    from NJ

    I think you have some wrong info posted, heres what I mean... Your post says P-38 and your picture shows a P-38 which is the one everybody wants. But your sketch shows a diameter of only 21 inches which is NOT a P-38. A P-38 is about 10'6" long and 36" wide. And a legit original P-38 tank (like your photo is valued arount 10-12 grand, no BS. Hope this helps, just my 0.02
  9. bubba67
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,788

    from NJ

    Oh, and one more thing. The P-38 tank is 315 gallons, not 150 as your drawing shows. I guess the big question is does your friend have a real P-38 tank or is it the one in your drawing ?
  10. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,869

    Harms Way

    With some Crisco and a couple shoe horns,...... Ah,... Probably not !:D

    Why would you ask such a question ?,... I would intend to get right on it,... In other words,... It could probably be bought at my Death auction,... However, I don't think I'll live another 30 years.:cool:

    I picked up the drawing off the internet last night as well as the picture,... The tank in question has the original finish with the Military designation information still on it,... I am 100% sure it's a P-38 tank.

    Thanks for the response guys,... anybody else want to chime in ?
  11. kurtis
    Joined: Mar 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,990

    from Australia

    Valued at 10-12 grand? By who?

    I personally don't think any aero restorers would even consider paying half that much just for a tank made popular in recent years by hotrodders.
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,030


    Wow that is going to be a sweet project. Good for you for making the transaction fair for all. Merry Christmas, hope you get a belly tank.
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,030


    By Bubba?

    FWIW there are a handful of aircraft restorers and salvage yards in Tucson AZ near Davis Monthan Air Force base that might be able to give you a value. Wish I could give you a phone number but you'll have to do some research.
  14. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    I remember an old description of the human male being a "hunter-gatherer?...

    How does one know when they have gathered "enough" ? :confused:
  15. Harm
    The value depends on how big you are. if its a good fit its worth a fortune and if you don't fit it isn't worth much at all. :D

    I think I've seen them as low as a grand here lately and as high as about 2K. I don't know of that helps.

  16. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,869

    Harms Way

    Oh,... I'll be totally happy and completely content,.. with just a little more. :cool::D:D:D

    (FWIW,... I am really interested in helping my buddy out)

  17. Give him anywhere from 1-2K ( I might go heavy it looks good in the pics) I think you'll come out alright on both ends of the deal that way. Helping and gathering.

    I bought a buddies 25/06 once because he was in a bind. Then forgot to pic it up when I left. DOH. He still had it when he passed and the cash put somke staples in his hooch.
  18. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,736


    If it is perfect, untouched an has the original markings on it it may be worth more to someone restoring a P38 than someone who wants to build a lakester with it.

    The smaller tanks like the one shown in the drawing used to be used as fuel oil barrels around this area when guys bought them cheap from the local surplus store in the 50's but they have pretty well disappeared now.
  19. I think $1000 would be good for him and good for you.....I bet it won't lose value at $1000. Would be cool to paint or polish up and hang in the garage too!
  20. One's wife generally makes it apparent when they have gathered "enough". :D
    jetnow1 likes this.
  21. bubba67
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,788

    from NJ

    No dude, not valued "By Bubba". There was a guy here on the HAMB last year that had 2 of them, one sold for 10 grand the other for 10,500. Last June at the LA Roadster show there was one there for 11 grand. You guys that think that a 36" wide P-38 tank is worth 1-2 thousand are dreamers that are out of touch or have you head in the sand. You guys are looking at values of the narrower F86 type tanks.I'll tell you what, HarmsWay can buy his friend's tank for a grand and I'll give him 5 times what he paid for it no questions asked.
  22. Ya, my wife made it apparent to me, but then again I wasn't listening very well, did she say stop or don't stop...hmmmm can't remember.
  23. Bobby Green
    Joined: Jun 9, 2001
    Posts: 1,319

    Bobby Green

    Yes, I probably am the most qualified to answer this question. I have seen 3 tanks sell in the last couple years (assuming were talking about the "Large" aluminum p38 tank)
    The first went for: 25K, second for 20k and the third for 18k a few month ago. As I can attest to 12 years of active searching, these tanks are extremely rare.
    I don't think that there are a ton of people out there that would pay that kind of money for one, but if you were wealthy and had to have one for a restoration or a recreation, then that's what they go for.
    If you happen to find one the way you did, I think a fair price to offer would be around 8-10k
    That's my opinion
  24. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    from illinois

    25K.... sheesh...... if only our grandpas knew that back when they were sitting in the junk yards.....
  25. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,869

    Harms Way

    The same can be said about 32-34 Fords, Packards, Lincolns,Cords, Duesenbergs,... The list is pretty endless.
    Nostrebor likes this.
  26. bubba67
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,788

    from NJ

    Hey Kurtis and Ntaphse, do you still think that I'm talking out of my ass ?
  27. S.F.
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,893


    well my input here is your talking on a hole new level of people.... airplane restorers...this needs to go to a P-38 owner...he will for sure give you the most for it.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  28. hear the silence! haha! :D
  29. jefscoupe
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 294


    At even 2 grand it would be out of my reach. :rolleyes:
    I'd love to have one though.
    The same car, item or whatnot sells for a lot more out west that it would back east
    and especially in the south.
    Are there drawings of the P-38 tanks with dimentions on line?
    I haven't been able to find any. Though I haven't searched lately.
    Would be a cool project to make out of sheet.
    I had an idea (not saying it's a good one...) of making a
    "Tank for Two". Same basic shape, just a little wider to carry two people.
    Would be cool to cruise around the show grounds and cruise ins with.
    I've seen a couple "street legal" tanks with lights and all, but they just don't look right.
  30. hmmmm money ... no room ... no friends fun...

    when life is unraveling faster than the gathering

    personally i'm striving to take it all with me when i'm thru here ... dig a very big hole please.. trades welcome ..:D

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