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$700 Is it worth buying?


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#1 Vortis

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 07:44 PM

My local shop is selling this firebird. He is asking $700. My dad has an 82 T/A and I want to build one close to his. Pictures below.
http://imgur.com/a/MdqRkrH
These are the pictures I have.

#2 sea dog

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 07:33 AM

A friend of mine, here in Florida has a 82 trans am for sale. It has new. to the bare metal paint. Engine compartment also painted. It needs to be put back together. He's asking $1000, but I'm pretty sure he's open to reasonable offers.

 

The downside, you'd have to move car to your home town.



#3 Vortis

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 07:54 AM

The thing is I definitely cant come pick it up. If he would take a few hundered off and i pay to have it hauled up here, that might work. If not, what's your take on this one, since it's less than 10 minutes from my house?

#4 ZumpTA

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 12:18 PM

If I was in your position, I'd have to first determine how deep the damage goes.   Bumper cover, headlight, and a few brackets?  Might be a good purchase.  Definitely NOT an investment, but could be made right if you did all the work for the amount of money the car would resale for.  Won't make any money on it for another decade, but, won't be out much if it gets totaled.  If it needs any structural work, it would definitely be a project of passion.   Either way, I assume a running and driving car.  In all reality, just having the transmission rebuilt exceeds the value of most 3rd gens.  I'd try for a much lower price. $300-$400 tops unless it's a factory V8 and a 5-spd.

 

The truth is, if you paid $700 and got it on the road for $1,000, you could have bought a different car in much nicer condition all around.  It might just be best to search within a couple hours of your location to widen your options.

 

Why is this car sitting?  Why does a mechanic NOT want to fix it up to use or sale. 

 

If this was totaled by insurance, why?  Did a hunk of plastic and a few brackets plus labor exceed the value of the car? Was it a barn find?  Is it a v6 auto, the most common 'bird out there?  Any upgrades?

 

The car is probably worth much more than $700 parted out in all honesty, but that in itself takes a lot of time and effort.  repairing it even if the damage is limited to what the pictures show puts it above it's value.  If it's in that shape and it's something you want and can legitimately afford to repair and will repair, why not?  A quick flip it is not as-is or repaired unless it's more than a base model. If it needs body and mechanical work, in my eyes it's not even a $400 car.

 

It's the kind of car you can sink $100,000 into and be lucky to get $40,000 back.  To some, that's not an issue. That's the passion.  

 

What your goals are and your ability to afford and accomplish them should be the basis of your decision.  It's certainly a good starting point provided no structural damage, but there's also certainly better for the money you will invest.  Nobody can make the decision for you.  In my area code, a super low mileage nearly showroom new later model Trans Am only gets about $10,000.  Most good condition v6 automatic cars AT MOST fetch $1,500,  but around here they are numerous and I see more 3rd gens on the road than I do any other generation.

 

Looking at the pictures again, I'd be concerned about a few things.  The doors look like they are sagging, the passenger side looks real bad.  The t-top seals are probably shot.  The A/C seals are probably shot, and the entire system likely needs replaced by now.  While it does have t-tops, the instrument cluster and lack of cassette player scream base model.  The paint needs redone.  The interior dash and console plastic looks like it might be brittle. The wheels need restored. How are all the bushings, shocks, ball joints, etc?  I'll stop there.  I guestimate you'll be at least $3000 into it after purchase.

 

On the other hand, if it's a good running and driving car,  it might be drivable as-is during daylight hours, sure, that's worth $500.  

 

Aside from Craigslist, one of the best places for parts is frankspontiacparts.com   I doubt the car is going anywhere anytime soon, do some homework and see what you are looking at for parts.  Get the history.  ...and maybe measure the engine bay to make sure it's square and look for other damage where the frame meets the body.

 

Me? I'd rather save up $3,500 and buy a very nice example low mileage V8 5-spd than spend equal to that restoring a mess.  It would in my case be quicker to save up than to restore, and a whole lot less frustrating.  For the record, I only "save" about $150-200/mo. 

 

Only somebody who can lay hands on the vehicle can determine the true condition.   ...all we can say online is "v6 automatics have little value".

 

If your not dead set on a 3rd gen, look to the 4th.  Definitely more bang for the buck there.  Sure, it's not the same as dad's but it follows the legacy and having half the generations in the driveway is pretty cool.   ...and like the 3rd gen, 4th gens aren't desireable either, so prices are low.  $2,000 gets a nice car and there are many improvements over the 3rd.  The 3.8L v6 for example is pretty respectable.  80s was a very bad time for horsepower.  The v8s at least had a high amount of torque, but only half the horsepower.  I had a 2.8L v6 in an '88 Camaro.  Drove that thing wide open all day every day.   Probably a good powerplant in a Fiero, but certainly not in an F-body.

 

Good luck with your decision.  Whatever it may be, we'll certainly respect it and stand behind it with you.  All I'm saying is be smart about it and don't let the heart overrule the head unless your certain it's what you want, don't care about cost, and have exhausted all other potentials. 

 

Passion is a good thing, but it often gets us in trouble.


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#5 Jet A

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 08:45 AM

If I was in your position, I'd have to first determine how deep the damage goes.   Bumper cover, headlight, and a few brackets?  Might be a good purchase.  Definitely NOT an investment, but could be made right if you did all the work for the amount of money the car would resale for.  Won't make any money on it for another decade, but, won't be out much if it gets totaled.  If it needs any structural work, it would definitely be a project of passion.   Either way, I assume a running and driving car.  In all reality, just having the transmission rebuilt exceeds the value of most 3rd gens.  I'd try for a much lower price. $300-$400 tops unless it's a factory V8 and a 5-spd.

 

The truth is, if you paid $700 and got it on the road for $1,000, you could have bought a different car in much nicer condition all around.  It might just be best to search within a couple hours of your location to widen your options.

 

Why is this car sitting?  Why does a mechanic NOT want to fix it up to use or sale. 

 

If this was totaled by insurance, why?  Did a hunk of plastic and a few brackets plus labor exceed the value of the car? Was it a barn find?  Is it a v6 auto, the most common 'bird out there?  Any upgrades?

 

The car is probably worth much more than $700 parted out in all honesty, but that in itself takes a lot of time and effort.  repairing it even if the damage is limited to what the pictures show puts it above it's value.  If it's in that shape and it's something you want and can legitimately afford to repair and will repair, why not?  A quick flip it is not as-is or repaired unless it's more than a base model. If it needs body and mechanical work, in my eyes it's not even a $400 car.

 

It's the kind of car you can sink $100,000 into and be lucky to get $40,000 back.  To some, that's not an issue. That's the passion.  

 

What your goals are and your ability to afford and accomplish them should be the basis of your decision.  It's certainly a good starting point provided no structural damage, but there's also certainly better for the money you will invest.  Nobody can make the decision for you.  In my area code, a super low mileage nearly showroom new later model Trans Am only gets about $10,000.  Most good condition v6 automatic cars AT MOST fetch $1,500,  but around here they are numerous and I see more 3rd gens on the road than I do any other generation.

 

Looking at the pictures again, I'd be concerned about a few things.  The doors look like they are sagging, the passenger side looks real bad.  The t-top seals are probably shot.  The A/C seals are probably shot, and the entire system likely needs replaced by now.  While it does have t-tops, the instrument cluster and lack of cassette player scream base model.  The paint needs redone.  The interior dash and console plastic looks like it might be brittle. The wheels need restored. How are all the bushings, shocks, ball joints, etc?  I'll stop there.  I guestimate you'll be at least $3000 into it after purchase.

 

On the other hand, if it's a good running and driving car,  it might be drivable as-is during daylight hours, sure, that's worth $500.  

 

Aside from Craigslist, one of the best places for parts is frankspontiacparts.com   I doubt the car is going anywhere anytime soon, do some homework and see what you are looking at for parts.  Get the history.  ...and maybe measure the engine bay to make sure it's square and look for other damage where the frame meets the body.

 

Me? I'd rather save up $3,500 and buy a very nice example low mileage V8 5-spd than spend equal to that restoring a mess.  It would in my case be quicker to save up than to restore, and a whole lot less frustrating.  For the record, I only "save" about $150-200/mo. 

 

Only somebody who can lay hands on the vehicle can determine the true condition.   ...all we can say online is "v6 automatics have little value".

 

If your not dead set on a 3rd gen, look to the 4th.  Definitely more bang for the buck there.  Sure, it's not the same as dad's but it follows the legacy and having half the generations in the driveway is pretty cool.   ...and like the 3rd gen, 4th gens aren't desireable either, so prices are low.  $2,000 gets a nice car and there are many improvements over the 3rd.  The 3.8L v6 for example is pretty respectable.  80s was a very bad time for horsepower.  The v8s at least had a high amount of torque, but only half the horsepower.  I had a 2.8L v6 in an '88 Camaro.  Drove that thing wide open all day every day.   Probably a good powerplant in a Fiero, but certainly not in an F-body.

 

Good luck with your decision.  Whatever it may be, we'll certainly respect it and stand behind it with you.  All I'm saying is be smart about it and don't let the heart overrule the head unless your certain it's what you want, don't care about cost, and have exhausted all other potentials. 

 

Passion is a good thing, but it often gets us in trouble.

now that's a good post.. wish i could've read that before i got mine..  i don't have too much regret getting mine but i did overpay and spent a lot of money getting it back on the road and it's not even a favorable model.

 

One thing that looks pretty good on that car is the interior looks in good shape...  one of the worst things imo is getting a junk interior with an electrical nightmare to figure out.



#6 tjs

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Posted 06 April 2020 - 09:25 AM

Number one rule I try not to break!Dont buy a car that will need paint UNLESS you can do it your self!Tom






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