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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    custom car prices

    I'm basically just gonna rant a bit.

    So obviously "a car is worth what someone will pay for it", and of course man hours to build a custom car add up fast when paying a shop, but does anyone else find price laughable lately? If you're gonna pay a shop to build a car and then turn around and sell it, you have to expect to take a huge loss on all that labor.

    I sell a lot of project cars, so I get it. I only need one buyer, not 100, so I price things where a few people will be interested and people bust my balls about my prices. But I'm talking like the 69 Camaro I sold for $8500 when everyone told me it was a $7000 car. I held out and got $8500, I wasn't asking $20k for it. But I look at some of the finished custom cars and think the prices are just ridiculous.

    There's a 54 Chevy pick up on ebay. Aftermarket chassis and crate LT4. You can see the orange peel and dirt in the paint and the panel fitment isn't great. They want $185k for it. Without that engine and chassis that's a $30k truck tops, and there's no way a $20k chassis and $20k engine is going to get them another $150k.

    I see Eleanor clones listed as high as $250k. I just don't see how a body kit, even a popular one like that, adds $200k in value to a $50k car.

    A buddy works at a custom shop and they just finished a 67 Firebird for a guy. The owner is trying to get $350k for it because that's what it cost to build. Good luck with that. I obviously love Firebirds, but the Firebird crowd is not a $350k custom kind of crowd.

    I have too many projects and I'd be willing to trade up a few for nicer cars, but people prices are ridiculous. I'd spend $30k for a finished, stockish 68 Camaro and sell my project. I seem to see stock ones in the $35k-$40k range. that's not terrible, but anything with brakes and wheels is $70k. Come on now. $10k worth of brake and wheels don't add $30k worth of value to an otherwise stock car. Add a $10k LS swap and now it's a $100k car, LMAO. I remember the first time I saw a 6 figure Camaro listed on this forum and everyone scoffed at that price. Now every 1st gen with a LS, tubular control arms, brakes, and wheels is 6 figures.

    I think people don't get the real difference between a $30k car and a $100k car. It's diminishing returns on all that work and the more you spend, the more you'll lose when you resell it.
    Traven

  2. #2
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    Oh and in the later model stuff there's a guy asking $48k for a 6 speed 2002 TA, base TA not WS6, with 4000 miles. Dude what? Somebody wasted 17 years not driving that car. I mean that's kinda cool that the miles are so low, but that's not quite the kind of car that belongs in a museum and no one is going to pay an extra $30k for the slight differences in a 4000 mile car vs a 40,000 mile car.
    Traven

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Kankakee IL
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    93
    "But I saw one on Barrett Jackson................"
    Tracey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Florida
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    Country Flag: United States
    I sold a Camaro to someone. Then I saw the car listed for much more than I sold it for and what I felt was much higher than current market value. The owner was getting a lot of family pressure about owning the car so he listed it for sale to calm the family with no intention of actually selling it. Just did it to shut them up and leave him alone till they got distracted to something else. So sometimes there's weird reasons cars get listed for "crazy money".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    263
    One of the problems with a custom built car or anything custom the custom touches are per the current owner may and think it's over top cool. To others not so much.
    I have nothing against hot rods built by hot rod shops for customers. This built not bought stuff is BS. Some car guys don't have the time or skills to build a car. But I think many times they get in over their heads cost wise and try to recoup by putting a big price tag on a car. Same thing happens with some what car people that think their 4 door what ever is worth as much as a 2 door just because it was bought new by grandpa. There's a 68 Impala 4 door listed locally on Craig's list for $20,000. Been their all summer. I bet they haven't got a single call.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2018
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    San Jose, CA
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    Oh where is that 4 door impala. Iíve been looking all over for one of those thatís worth $20k
    1971 Camaro - 406 / T56
    2016 Camaro SS convertible
    2018 Colorado 4x4

  7. #7
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    Feb 2006
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    I probably sound like all the old guys that scoffed the first time a 1st gen sold for over $10k, or over $20k, or whatever, but it's like once the 6 figure barrier got broken by a few customs at auction, now everyone think their pro-touring car is worth 6 figures. 18"s and slotted rotors are not that valuable especially when they are the cheapest ones they could've bought. Hell one of the 68 Camaros on ebay recently still had drums in the rear but that $2000 set of 18"s makes it a $70k car I guess.

    I see a 68 on ebay right now for $155k. Looks like nice body work, and 5th gen interior, ok that stuff takes a lot of labor, I'll give them that. It's got an aftermarket sub frame, crate LS3 and supercharger, ok thats about $30k worth of popular upgrades, cool. The damn thing still has leaf springs! I'm not paying $155k for a 1st gen on leaf springs LMAO
    Traven

  8. #8
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    Oct 2018
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    If you want reality watch the classics that go on BaT. Almost nothing sells on there because the sellers have unrealistic expectation about the value. Itís almost all RNM - reserve not met. In most cases the highest bid is a realistic number and a true indication of the actual value. Occasionally the bids donít get to a realistic value because you canít find the right buyer for some of those cars in 7-14 days on that venue. But itís interesting to watch.

    Iíve seen similar crazy asks on late model classics like M5 M3 etc as well.
    1971 Camaro - 406 / T56
    2016 Camaro SS convertible
    2018 Colorado 4x4

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    way east on a rock
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    63
    BaT brings some interesting rides onto auction, always fun to watch and occasionally throw bids on to keep it active. It is indeed interesting to see the results, or lack of.
    I am one that is spending wayyyy more on my Chevelle than it'll ever be worth, but I don't care. I'm not looking to sell it until I've driven the **** out of it. Isn't that the point? Show me someone that's actually made money on one of these?

  10. #10
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    Oct 2018
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    San Jose, CA
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    but I think there is a general disconnect in the market with people seeing the numbers that the auction pro-touring cars are bringing and then assuming their car is worth similar $ because they did a few PT type of things. Most of those cars are a far cry from what the $150K builds that are bringing $85K at auction. Nobody is making money on these cars - actually not true, the auction houses always make their money and the pro builder shops make their money.

    But I agree it's a joke. Although some people are realistic - there are a couple very well done PT cars on the market on the west coast in the $45-60K range and these are for sure $80-100K+ builds - especially if done at a shop. Tremendous bargain - but only if what they did is exactly what you want. I haven't found anything like that ever. Well - not true, there are those first gens on this site for $80-125K and those are close to what I'd want, but not anywhere close to what I'd want to pay!! Not saying those cars aren't worth it - probably $150K builds. But worth it is what somebody is willing to pay, that somebody sure isn't me - but no doubt is somebody.
    1971 Camaro - 406 / T56
    2016 Camaro SS convertible
    2018 Colorado 4x4

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Burbs of Detroit
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    1,643
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    I follow MGB's and derivatives on BaT.

    Recently, an MGB-GT was on offer on the MG Experience Forum, asking was $35K. This was a beautiful custom, SBF wngine swap, custom front suspension, 3 link rear suspension, tastefully modified

    http://www.britishv8.org/MG/DanMasters.htm

    No takers at $35K, so it went on BaT

    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1974-mg-mgb-gt-17/



    You read that right- $66.5K

    The perfect storm- it snuck up to the mid-30's, then two guys each decided they needed to have it. Dan posts on both MGE and British V8. The sale did conclude, he got the $66.5 bid, and helped load the car on a transporter. This sale falls into the Freak of Nature pit.
    Greg Fast
    (yes, the last name is spelled correctly)

    1970 Camaro RS Clone
    1984 el Camino
    1973 MGB vintage E/Prod race car
    (Soon to be an SCCA H/Prod limited prep)


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by c4racer2 View Post
    but I think there is a general disconnect in the market with people seeing the numbers that the auction pro-touring cars are bringing and then assuming their car is worth similar $ because they did a few PT type of things. Most of those cars are a far cry from what the $150K builds that are bringing $85K at auction. Nobody is making money on these cars - actually not true, the auction houses always make their money and the pro builder shops make their money.

    But I agree it's a joke. Although some people are realistic - there are a couple very well done PT cars on the market on the west coast in the $45-60K range and these are for sure $80-100K+ builds - especially if done at a shop. Tremendous bargain - but only if what they did is exactly what you want. I haven't found anything like that ever. Well - not true, there are those first gens on this site for $80-125K and those are close to what I'd want, but not anywhere close to what I'd want to pay!! Not saying those cars aren't worth it - probably $150K builds. But worth it is what somebody is willing to pay, that somebody sure isn't me - but no doubt is somebody.
    Yeah I think you're right. When people see a car sell for $150k they don't realize it cost twice that to have it built. Theirs looks similar so they think it's a 6 figure car too even though they only spent $80k having it built. No way I'm buying a finished car unless it's at a loss to the seller. Otherwise I could just have one built for the same amount.



    I agree about BaT. I don't look at it much but my buddy sends me listings. We were just talking about it a couple days ago and how unrealistic all the prices are.
    Traven

  13. #13
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    I monitor BaT almost every day actually. Itís good fun !
    1971 Camaro - 406 / T56
    2016 Camaro SS convertible
    2018 Colorado 4x4

  14. #14
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    It's all in the buyer and their expendable income. Not everyone is looking for a "good deal", they're just buying what they want.
    1972 Plymouth 'Cuda - Not LS-swapped, 5.7L Hemi [MS3 Gold Box], T56 Magnum 6-speed - 'Cuda Build Page
    1976 Dodge D100 - Warlock
    2016 Subaru WRX - E30 Tune

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by c4racer2 View Post
    I monitor BaT almost every day actually. It’s good fun !
    I used to look at BaT everyday before they went to the Auction format ( actually had 4 different cars on there). Since the Auction, i go on about once a week.

    BMR SUSPENSION





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  16. #16
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    Oct 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoodysGotaCuda View Post
    It's all in the buyer and their expendable income. Not everyone is looking for a "good deal", they're just buying what they want.
    that's pretty clear - considering how many 3rd gens I've watched hit $20K on BaT

    I paid that for a brand new one back in 89. I mean - it was a great car for the day, but can't compare to the 5th or 6th gen which you can buy used for that kind of coin! Crazy. And several stock Monte Carlo SS low miles cars have hit the same type of number - $20K. These cars have 180hp V8's!!
    1971 Camaro - 406 / T56
    2016 Camaro SS convertible
    2018 Colorado 4x4

  17. #17
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    You basically contradict yourself...selling a car for $8500 when the majority says it’s worth $7k tops? Then stand on a soap box and say we list cars for too much money? Come on...

    I think youre off the mark and maybe your complaining because you don’t want to pay that much? Cars are worth what someone is willing to pay and that’s it. Period. You don’t have to take a loss restoring a car. There may be someone who wants a complete 69 camaro DSE car and he wants it today, not 6-18 months from now and is willing to pay for it. Most people will say Ahhh, you can take that $150k and build one yourself, but you need to find a donor...buy all the parts, find a builder who isn’t a half ass mechanic and wait a year for the completed project. Also what you think you’re saving may not be a savings at all. I know this first hand...when I bought my 70 it was $6500. There was another one in much better shape and the paint was flawless, but $18k. I went the cheap route because I told myself he’s asking too much. Here I am now with a 70 camaro that needs paint and body...there’s $10k right there. Then I will need to disassemble the car, re-assemble, new weather seals etc...etc... and I have to find a shop who can do it and WAIT for it to be done.

    I think it’s ignorant to say a seller is losing that labor investment. I disagree...as a buyer I take this into consideration because if I want that feature, I gotta buy the parts and pay for that labor too...so just because I can “buy” that LT4 for $20k doesn’t mean it only adds $20k to the price tag. If I opt out and do the swap to another car, who’s gonna install it? Wire it up? Tune it? Etc..etc...it cost money!

    if it’s too expensive for you, don’t buy it. But like you said, you only need one buyer and if you’re willing to wait for him, you likely get what your looking for. These old cars are getting more rare and more expensive and the speed part businesses are raising prices every year. So you wanna pay? Or complain?


    Quote Originally Posted by T_Raven View Post
    I'm basically just gonna rant a bit.

    So obviously "a car is worth what someone will pay for it", and of course man hours to build a custom car add up fast when paying a shop, but does anyone else find price laughable lately? If you're gonna pay a shop to build a car and then turn around and sell it, you have to expect to take a huge loss on all that labor.

    I sell a lot of project cars, so I get it. I only need one buyer, not 100, so I price things where a few people will be interested and people bust my balls about my prices. But I'm talking like the 69 Camaro I sold for $8500 when everyone told me it was a $7000 car. I held out and got $8500, I wasn't asking $20k for it. But I look at some of the finished custom cars and think the prices are just ridiculous.

    There's a 54 Chevy pick up on ebay. Aftermarket chassis and crate LT4. You can see the orange peel and dirt in the paint and the panel fitment isn't great. They want $185k for it. Without that engine and chassis that's a $30k truck tops, and there's no way a $20k chassis and $20k engine is going to get them another $150k.

    I see Eleanor clones listed as high as $250k. I just don't see how a body kit, even a popular one like that, adds $200k in value to a $50k car.

    A buddy works at a custom shop and they just finished a 67 Firebird for a guy. The owner is trying to get $350k for it because that's what it cost to build. Good luck with that. I obviously love Firebirds, but the Firebird crowd is not a $350k custom kind of crowd.

    I have too many projects and I'd be willing to trade up a few for nicer cars, but people prices are ridiculous. I'd spend $30k for a finished, stockish 68 Camaro and sell my project. I seem to see stock ones in the $35k-$40k range. that's not terrible, but anything with brakes and wheels is $70k. Come on now. $10k worth of brake and wheels don't add $30k worth of value to an otherwise stock car. Add a $10k LS swap and now it's a $100k car, LMAO. I remember the first time I saw a 6 figure Camaro listed on this forum and everyone scoffed at that price. Now every 1st gen with a LS, tubular control arms, brakes, and wheels is 6 figures.

    I think people don't get the real difference between a $30k car and a $100k car. It's diminishing returns on all that work and the more you spend, the more you'll lose when you resell it.
    1970 Camaro/DSE build


    Are you driver enough? Maybe....come on blue!
    https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...71#post1147371