How do I determine the value of my car??

brianestoll

Not-quite-so-new-guy
May 23, 2018
7
3
Ann Arbor, MI
Hello,

I'm tossing around the idea of selling my Cutlass and am not sure where to turn when it comes to putting a value on it. I know it's difficult to pin down an objective value on these things, but looking around online just confuses me more as the (asking) prices are all over the place. I'll list everything that's wrong with it and see if anyone can give me a ballpark figure or point me to a resource that might help me out.

'79 Cutlass Supreme Brougham
Was originally a soft top
Converted from Diesel - now has a 350 Rocket from a '78 Delta 88
A/C not working (not sure what's wrong)
Needs new tires
Carburetor needs to be rebuilt
Tie rods will need replacing in a year or two

So, the car looks great, runs well but the carb needs to be rebuilt first thing.

Any advice? Should I sell it as-is? Get the repairs done then sell it? Get the repairs done and keep it?

Thanks for any help!
Brian
 

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brianestoll

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
May 23, 2018
7
3
Ann Arbor, MI
That’s a really sharp looking car. The fact that it’s a hard top and it looks unmolested will bring the value up. How is the undercarriage and chassis? Most G bodies from Michigan are shot
I had a look at it on the lift two years ago and it's not bad at all. While the color is rusty on the surface the integrity of the steel is intact - it's not "rusted out." Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures. It's in storage right not and was kept in the garage for it's entire life.
 
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ck80

Royal Smart Person
Feb 18, 2014
2,317
113
Tie rods are cheap, those I would do.

Depending what the story with the carb is, that I'd do/have done as well.

If the tires hold air I'd leave those alone, add $400 to the asking price and when you point out the tires in person knock off the money. Some people are very particular about brand and type so that money may he lost as far as the buyer not adding the value you spent to their offer.

A/c issues can be a rabbit hole you don't want to jump down. Easily can rack up to a $1000 or 1500 repair. I'd knock money off in the negotiating window.

Pictures look nice and well cared for. Around me I'd put a fair sale price after doing the above, tie rods and carb, in the $7000-7500 range if it's detailed up like the pics - and again, no tires, no a/c. Listing around 8750 to let them talk you down.

It is a pre-1981 model which hurts prices a bit. Seems like 72-down or 81-up are the money cutlass bodies, and 73-77 + 78-80 get left behind a bit.

Regardless, good luck on the sale. I'd think hard and make sure you want let it go, they aren't making more of them.
 

lilbowtie

Comic Book Super Hero
Jan 7, 2006
3,462
113
Canton Mi
First of all welcome to the sight. It appears we are only a few miles apart. If your thinking about selling you must have a price in your mind that you would be happy with. Don't be afraid to start high you can always come down. Car looks great and a lot depends on the quality of the work done.
 

brianestoll

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
May 23, 2018
7
3
Ann Arbor, MI
Tie rods are cheap, those I would do.

Depending what the story with the carb is, that I'd do/have done as well.

If the tires hold air I'd leave those alone, add $400 to the asking price and when you point out the tires in person knock off the money. Some people are very particular about brand and type so that money may he lost as far as the buyer not adding the value you spent to their offer.

A/c issues can be a rabbit hole you don't want to jump down. Easily can rack up to a $1000 or 1500 repair. I'd knock money off in the negotiating window.

Pictures look nice and well cared for. Around me I'd put a fair sale price after doing the above, tie rods and carb, in the $7000-7500 range if it's detailed up like the pics - and again, no tires, no a/c. Listing around 8750 to let them talk you down.

It is a pre-1981 model which hurts prices a bit. Seems like 72-down or 81-up are the money cutlass bodies, and 73-77 + 78-80 get left behind a bit.

Regardless, good luck on the sale. I'd think hard and make sure you want let it go, they aren't making more of them.
Thanks for the input! I gave myself a $5,000 sale threshold as to whether or not I keep it because I do love the car. It's just not very practical for my purposes, so it would really be a luxury. If I could get $7k after fixing the carb and tie rods then I suppose I'll just have to make the decision! We'll see how I feel after driving it again. I'm bringing the car home next week so maybe I'll post a few more close-up pics of the car.. including engine and underbody.
 
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69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,288
113
Hell, I was onboard for writing you a check today for $5K until I saw it still had a "Diesel" sign on the trunklid. Dealbreaker right there. :) I'm glad you got rid of that vinyl top. Everyone probably is.

Nah, just yankin' your chain. The suggestion of $8750 was Canadian dollars I think. If not, should have been. It's not a 442 or Hurst/Olds, and while the 350 is more desirable than the diesel, it was originally a diesel and converted to a gas engine. If the tie-rods are going, so is everything else in the steering lane. So that's going to be a few more dollars, obviously. Likely shocks too. It's clean up top, so that's a plus, obviously. How many miles? If more than 75K, that's going to start affecting the price.

RUST will kill a deal in a hurry. If you're going to put a hefty price on that car, it better not have any rust on it. That means if you have to get under it and blast some rust off the bottom and seal it up with some undercoating or whatever, that's what's going to have to be done. I'm not talking about hiding anything, but converting or removing the rust and protecting what's left.

Only you can decide what to do. Sell or keep. Everyone would love top dollar for their cars, but unfortunately, it's just going to be your local markets determining how fast it sells and for how much. Where I'm at, you're not going to get even close to $8K. But you might, say, in Vermont. I dunno. Higher the price, the longer it will sit, so keep that in mind. Everyone wants to sell high and buyers want to buy low, so unless you find that guy who had a car like yours in high school or whatever, the emotional attachment likely won't draw many high bidders.

Either way, you probably won't lose. If you sell it because it doesn't fit into your life like you like, fine. You'll agree on a price point and sell it to someone willing to pay it. Everyone wins. If you keep it because you love it, it's a fine looking ride that anyone should feel good driving.

I know. All that word salad and still didn't offer you any good suggestions. It's what we do. :)
 
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brianestoll

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
May 23, 2018
7
3
Ann Arbor, MI
Hell, I was onboard for writing you a check today for $5K until I saw it still had a "Diesel" sign on the trunklid. Dealbreaker right there. :) I'm glad you got rid of that vinyl top. Everyone probably is.

Nah, just yankin' your chain. The suggestion of $8750 was Canadian dollars I think. If not, should have been. It's not a 442 or Hurst/Olds, and while the 350 is more desirable than the diesel, it was originally a diesel and converted to a gas engine. If the tie-rods are going, so is everything else in the steering lane. So that's going to be a few more dollars, obviously. Likely shocks too. It's clean up top, so that's a plus, obviously. How many miles? If more than 75K, that's going to start affecting the price.

RUST will kill a deal in a hurry. If you're going to put a hefty price on that car, it better not have any rust on it. That means if you have to get under it and blast some rust off the bottom and seal it up with some undercoating or whatever, that's what's going to have to be done. I'm not talking about hiding anything, but converting or removing the rust and protecting what's left.

Only you can decide what to do. Sell or keep. Everyone would love top dollar for their cars, but unfortunately, it's just going to be your local markets determining how fast it sells and for how much. Where I'm at, you're not going to get even close to $8K. But you might, say, in Vermont. I dunno. Higher the price, the longer it will sit, so keep that in mind. Everyone wants to sell high and buyers want to buy low, so unless you find that guy who had a car like yours in high school or whatever, the emotional attachment likely won't draw many high bidders.

Either way, you probably won't lose. If you sell it because it doesn't fit into your life like you like, fine. You'll agree on a price point and sell it to someone willing to pay it. Everyone wins. If you keep it because you love it, it's a fine looking ride that anyone should feel good driving.

I know. All that word salad and still didn't offer you any good suggestions. It's what we do. :)
HEy... i changed the hood ornament from diesel to the rocket at least! :) I realize that this is an emotional buyer market, that's what makes it so difficult to valuate. I'll see how I feel after i drive it around this spring..
From how it sounds.. I'll probably just fix the carburetor and tie-rods then if i still feel like selling it.. list it for 6k and barter from there...

PS... mileage is 116k
 
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