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Old 02/25/2003, 01:30 PM   #1
63alf
 

Joined: Feb 03
Posts: 17

Need Advice - Please Be Gentle On Me

I have owned a GT/CS since 1975 - First car I ever bought (in High School). I still have it, and now might need to finally part with it. It is black on black, which I believe is the original coloring. It has the 390 engine with 2V carb (Autolite 2100) and auto trans, power steering, styled steel wheels, etc. It has been sitting in garages (Santa Barbara and now San Jose area) since 1988, which is the last time it was registered to be on the road (still has yellow on black plates). I used to start it up every couple of months, but I have not for some time now. Essentially the car is in stock, un-restored condition. Has around 100k miles on it.

Now as I said, please be gentle on me as this is my first post ever on any on-line forum. The car now has problems from sitting around so long - The brakes are completely gone (probably just the master cylinder, but I am assuming that it might need a complete brake job from the master to all 4 wheel cylinders). Also, although I used fuel stabilizer the fuel in the tank is now varnish (which I am assuming will require boiling out the fuel tank, cleaning out the entire fuel system and re-building the carb).

As I may need to sell the car, I don't know whether it would be best to put the money into it to get it roadworthy, or allow the potential buyer a better price since they will need to do other work on it (could use fresh paint, basic clean-up, oil change, diff lube change, tune-up, etc.).

I know that there will be many questions about the car which I cannot answer at the moment: VIN, options, photos, etc. I also know that 390's in GT/CS's are fairly rare, and that this vehicle could command a nice price if/when fixed up. I am just trying to get some general feedback from all of you GT/CS experts out there as to what the car could be worth if I sold it now "as-is, non-running" or what it might be worth if I paid to have it fixed up. Therefore I am posting this and awaiting your feedback and questions.

One last item: I don't have the original fog lamps!!! :-[ When I was still living in the L.A. area, my dad borrowed the car one day, and it was stolen in downtown L.A. Got it back a few weeks later, and the fog lamps were gone (other than that, it was just being driven around like a daily driver!). All the rest of the stock parts which it had on it when I bought it are still there.

There, my first attempt at a post. Please let me know your thoughts/questions/interests, and based on those I will provide responses/photos/etc.

Thanks,
63ALF

P.S.: User name is based on my new hobby of collecting old fire engines, the first of which is a 1963 American LaFrance - 63ALF
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Old 02/25/2003, 02:24 PM   #2
StraightSix
 

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Re:Need Advice - Please Be Gentle On Me

:o Aaaargh, we're being overrun by 390's!!! Maybe the 390's aren't rare, they were just being stored away all this time because of poor gas mileage ! ;)

Seriously, "ALF", you have what sounds to be a nice, rare car. Take a look at the "PRICE GUIDE" to the left. Based off of your description, the condition falls somewhere between Poor and Fair, probably closer to Fair if it is cosmetically and mechanically sound and only needs "de-mothballing." The guide says that it's worth about $4500-$6700. I wrote the price guide, but I didn't really have any values for 390 GT/CS's when I did. I have some values now, but they're for cars that are in much nicer shape than you describe yours to be. I would think your car would easily bring $6700, probably more. How much more, I don't know. You're a pioneer for the Poor-Fair 390 GT/CS!

-Winston

P.S. It's almost always monetarily advantageous to sell a car as-is rather than fixing it up. However, a runner is worth significantly more than a non-runner, so if getting it running is fairly cheap (which sounds like your car), then spend the money to do so. It's a psychology thing... even if it only costs $10 to get a car running (e.g. carb rebuild kit), that's worth hundreds to a potential buyer.
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Old 02/25/2003, 03:09 PM   #3
kevin
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Re:Need Advice - Please Be Gentle On Me

Buy a 1994 Geo Metro Master cylinder and power brake booster out of a junk yard. Put that in, it works great and will not set you back more than $30 dollars. Buy some new brakes and hoses, put them on. That should take care of the brake things.
I think that you should get your car working with the fog lights because it would sell for significantly more. Its all a phycology thing to a potential buyer.
If you have any questions on how to do the geo master cylinder, just e-mail me.
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Old 02/25/2003, 03:36 PM   #4
63alf
 

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Re:Need Advice - Please Be Gentle On Me

Hey Guys,

Thanks for your quick posts so far. I had never really looked deeply into the site, but after
reviewing the price guide, it can tell me how much the value could increase if I did work to
bring the car well into the "Fair to Good" range, from where it is now. The Geo Metro master cylinder
idea is also interesting,especially if it would facilitate giving me power brakes for the first time (car
did not have power brakes to begin with, and the brake pedal always took some significant foot
pressure).

This already gives me some good options on what I should do with this car. It does have some
sentimental value to me, as it is the first car I ever purchased (not a bad purchase decision, as I look
back on it), and my wife always enjoyed driving it when it was still on the road in the early 80's.

Tom
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Old 02/25/2003, 04:35 PM   #5
admin
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Re:Need Advice - Please Be Gentle On Me

63alf, welcome to the site. You do have a rare car there and it is sort of a shame to see you get rid of it. But then again it will make some other enthusiast very happy! :)

Personally I would recommend against the Metro brake booster idea. If you were keeping it and you weren't that concerned about fully restoring it then that might be the way to go. But since you're selling it, please do the future owner a favor and don't detract from the originality of the car. If I was looking at your GT/CS and saw that you did that, all sorts of red flags would go off and I'd assume you had messed around with other things as well.

In most cases I would agree with StraighSix about selling as-is to limit your headache and cash outlay. However, that engine in that car is a rare peice and I would think worth considerably more (both in cash and ease of selling) if it was running.

Plus the problems you mention are potentially easy to solve. At least easy to solve enough to get running. A buyer can tell so much more about a running car.

A new master cylinder (not that much $) and a good bleeding (do it your self) will probably bring you a long way towards fixing the brake problem. It will probably bring it to the point where you can at least drive it, and then just explain to the new owner that it's been sitting and a full brake job is in order.

The gas tank is a similar problem that can probably be solved enough to drive. Rebuild the carb (not much $), drain the tank and make sure you have a few fresh fuel filters. Yes, the filter will get gummed up quick if you don't actually boil out the tank, but again it should get the car running for buyers to take quick drives. Maybe install a high capacity fuel filter inline before the carb to help catch as much gunk as possible.

Whatever you do you should tell the potential owner of the condition and how long it sat. Please don't think I'm advocating quick fixes to fool some buyer into thinking it's a great running car. On the contrary I'm recommending that you get it running so a buyer can drive it around the block once and get a better feel for the condition.

And Kevin, I would love to see info on that Metro swap. I don't think it's appropriate for everyone's car, but I'm sure lots of owners would be very interested in that mod.
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Old 02/25/2003, 04:43 PM   #6
kevin
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Re:Need Advice - Please Be Gentle On Me

I would think that if you told the new buyer that you just put a new non-original brake system on it, there would be no problem. Thats where I would have to disagree with ADMIN. ;)
Everything else I agree on, so the customer can take it around the block and feel a solid car.
From what I understood, I think you are ready to sell the car without putting hundreds into it. The geo metro brake system would be the way to go. But if your concerned with originality, ignore me. :)
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Old 02/25/2003, 05:07 PM   #7
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Re:Need Advice - Please Be Gentle On Me

63alf,
I agree with admin and Winston that the car would be easier to sell if it was running and it would not take much. My GT/CS had only been driven 1 years since 1988 and I did the brakes myself, I did not need a master cylnder only had to bleed them, drained the tank and but in a tempory in line fuel filter. I put the inline filter in because like Jon said, the filter will gum up quickly after the tank has been cleaned so instead of replacing a $4 filter every day, I would buy a cheap .50c filter and replace it instead (I still had the regular filter in place). I had my car running, not road ready by any means but drivable around the block, in about 2 days. It was very easy. I hope this helps.

Doug

PS sorry to see you selling a great car. :'(
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Old 02/26/2003, 08:23 AM   #8
StraightSix
 

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Re:Need Advice - Please Be Gentle On Me

[quote author=kevin link=board=1;threadid=234;start=0#1150 date=1046210951]
Its all a phycology thing to a potential buyer.
[/quote]

Let's hope not! ALF never mentioned the car being submerged in water, but if it was then you would certainly want to have a phycologist come out and study the algae ;)

Just kidding, kevin! ;D I just thought that was funny!

-Winston
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Old 02/26/2003, 10:32 AM   #9
cmacias24
 

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Re:Need Advice - Please Be Gentle On Me

Some of us have always dreamt and keep dreaming of owning one of 4k+ GT/CS. You have a very original car on your hands and easily sell the car for a profit, but to be honest with you, when you finish the car your will get more looks and thumbs up that you will driving and luxery car. My advice to you is to keep the car, restore it with time, and have something that you can pass on to a son, etc... People will always remember you for your good personality and of course the car...
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Old 02/26/2003, 11:58 AM   #10
63alf
 

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Re:Need Advice - Please Be Gentle On Me

Thanks for all of your great replies. I guess that it was just laziness on my part when I spoke about getting rid of the car "as-is". That, and the fact that working on it is no longer my principal hobby.

I am now more enthused to "de-mothball" (great phrase ;)) it myself, get it back on the road, and start enjoying it for the first time in over 15 years. I guess timing couldn't be better, with this year being the car's 35th anniversary.

Thanks again for your comments, and all that may still follow.

Tom
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Old 02/26/2003, 01:20 PM   #11
cmacias24
 

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Re:Need Advice - Please Be Gentle On Me

Well, we hope you do get it back on the road. Please add it to the gallery so we can view the pictures, etc...
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