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Old 08-06-2012, 10:05 PM
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To restore or not to restore?

There's this old 50's Coupe Deville thats been sitting around in my neighborhood for as long as I can remember. I always look at it and think, "Man that would be a cool first restoration!" But I've never really done anything about it. That's why I'm here. I wanted to know if it would be a good investment. Such as what should I offer the owner (if it even has an owner) to buy it? What would it take/cost to actually restore it? Etc, etc.

I'm on my phone right now so I can't post the pictures at the moment. But I'll try and post a description the best I can.

It has no head/tail-lights
No outer trim/decals/logos
Minimal floor rust
No interior panels
It has the rear seat but no front seats
The driver and passenger side windows are either rolled down or are gone
And I'm not sure if it has the engine or not

Let me know if you need any more information, I can go take a look at it again...

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Old 08-06-2012, 10:28 PM
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A good candidate for restoration is 90% all there..what you have is a car that would be good for a resto rod which is one that is being upgraded with modern engine, chassis and creature comforts..As far as investment well no if you are thinking of an "investment" you are in the wrong area as we do this because we enjoy the cars and the people we meet and if we make a few bucks that is ok too but making money is not the main deal.

Pros do build cars to show off their skills and abilities but they do that to help generate business for themselves..

I have tried most all of it and now do what is known to work..
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:45 PM
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Yeah when I said investment I didn't mean I'm building it to sell it. I really want to restore it mainly cause it's something I've grown up with in my home town. I would definatly keep it around once the project is done. What I should have said was "How much will this set me back?" I just wanted a general ballpark number.

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Old 08-06-2012, 10:52 PM
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Here's a link to the pictures of the car

Pictures by JoshMJordan - Photobucket
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:02 AM
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thats cool man id build it. ive found that when building a car that isnt all there and you dont want to or dont have the ability to spend a but load on it then you build a custom car. its alot easier to find cool tail lights, grills, and shave the missing molding holes then it is to go hunting it all. theres not alot left of the car. id offer him like 800-1000
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:09 AM
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I like it, it looks like a good cadidate for a hot rod to me. As for price, go ask them about it. The body looks solid from what I can tell.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:38 AM
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Near as I can tell it's a four door, which has a lot lower resale value. It is a hard top which would put you a the top end of the four doors though. It looks like a super solid car though, the body looks real good.

It's nearly always cheaper to restore than rod, with a basic drive train swap (engine tranny and rear end) you could be on the road in no time if the rest of the car looks like what we can see in the photos. Instead of changing the tail lights and stuff like that you simply take your time and find the right stuff. I bought a BARE carcass of a 64 Vette once and simply started collecting parts where ever I could find them and after a number of months I had collected a lot very very little money compared to if I had went out and bought the first ones I found. You get a tail light on this ebay ad, and a bumper from this craigs list ad and a fender to get a head light for cheap at a swap meet, etc. When you take your time stuff just seems to fall in your lap. If you got this car and went out to get it all this weekend you would spend a LOT more.

How much will it cost you to get it on the road, if you were very diligent and a cheap SOB I think you could do get it on the road for as little as $5000 by the time all the dust dies. But that isn't seeing what the rest of the body looks like and just how hard that grille and stuff is to find. $10k is more like it.

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Old 08-07-2012, 12:50 PM
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Sounds good. Thanks guys.

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Old 08-07-2012, 07:45 PM
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Play it cool.When you find the owner don't go charging in and offer any money. First ask him to tell you about the car if he wouldnot mind taking the time.
Then you get to know him alittle and tell him what you would like to get it going again. Would he part with it ?
You may get it for less then you think.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:29 PM
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I disagree on "nearly always cheaper to restore than rod". Restore means back to original condition. That last piece of chrome might set you back hundreds, where filling the holes in and deleting it will set you back more time than money (assuming DIY!). It will cost a lot more to restore that old Caddy engine than to buy a running late model LS motor and swap it in. It would ALMOST be cheaper for you to swap a late model V-8 in that Rambler than rebuild the old 196 L-head -- parts for those things are costly, especially replacement oversize pistons (NOS/NORS are all but dried up..). So it would cost a bit more to rebuild than the average 350 Chevy. That makes you think about swaps, if you have to spend that much... keep the original rear end and use a Chevy tranny... wouldn't be too difficult, though I'd opt for something else.

The point is with careful junkyard shopping (love Puck-A-Part type yards!) you can mildly customize a cruiser far cheaper than restoring. Just depends on how much elbow grease you can put in. I know it will take more time than simply bolting on the right part, but most of us, esepcially the younger guys, have far more time than cash!
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