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1981 Potential buy - Need experienced opinions please

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1981 Potential buy - Need experienced opinions please

Old 02-08-2019, 12:07 AM
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Default 1981 Potential buy - Need experienced opinions please

There is a chance I take a stab at this 1981 vette. The gentleman owning it said it was an '81 with an L82 engine (you can even seen the marks of the tape for the L-82 badges). The problem with that is. . . .in all my research (and VIN look up) it def came with the L81. The trim tab also shows a dark blue interior with white paint (code 10L). I am not sure if this car is too far gone or not and need people with more experience to lend their input.

As for mechanical skills, I have a toyota tacoma, mid travel "race" suspension, supercharged, piggyback ECU that overwrites the OEM one when needed, glass fenders, on 35's, stand alone fuse block for all accessories (compressor, rear locker, lights, winch) blah blah blah, and I do ALL my own work. I am comfortable working on cars.

My concern with this one in particular is the rust in the floor boards and the fact that the dash may be missing completely. Is this something a confident person on cars should run away from?

Also, how much would people offer for it? I have a number in mind but dont want to sway anyone's opinion. The rear suspension has supposedly been redone and cost like $2,200 according to the owner.

Please, flood me with your thoughts.

(the gentleman mentioned at one time he was looking for 4k for it, but now 3k may be reasonable. I personally think its worth less than 3k.....by a good amount. Please advise).

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Old 02-08-2019, 12:28 AM
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Wouldn’t recommend it at all! Helluva lot better deals out there than that. Rust, interior, body, there’s not one good thing based on what I’m looking at. You can find a better car at a similar price.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:46 AM
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yeah. youre looking at least 5k alone in parts to get interior and trim gauges dash electrical etc. Theres much better out there for that money.
Id probably be a buyer at like 700 bucks lol. I can make my money back on the wheels and drivetrain if it turns out its a rust heap based on the rustoleum painted floors.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:10 AM
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Walk away, actually maybe run away from it! There are a ton of nice project 73-82's out there. My advice is to buy the best car you can afford. Having restored these cars I can tell you it is always way more to restore them than you think. Even if you are going to do a restomod and not original, I would start with a much better car, it will make a way better car in the long run. Good luck!
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:07 AM
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I agree, don't walk. RUN.. you would be upside down about 4 times over by the time its done.

Last edited by nutsy; 02-08-2019 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:37 AM
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Whew, I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:14 AM
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Agree with all the above and the only way that rear suspension would be worth anything is if it were still all in a box, new.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:22 AM
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$1000-1500 TOPS
Gutted interior, paint trashed, sitting since Reagan was president, engine bay has more dirt than a garden. WALK
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:29 AM
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All that land, and he couldn't be bothered to build a garage, or even a carport/shelter. That would have been a better use of the rear-end rebuild money.

Neglect killed that car. There are lots of better cars for the same or a bit more that won't leave you $15K in the hole before you begin.

If you can get it for a few $hundred, the rear end could be swapped to another 80-82, assuming the differential and trailing arms were properly rebuilt.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:55 AM
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I see $20K to build a $10K car.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:17 AM
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If you buy that car, you will make three dozen mice homeless.
And yourself.

It would make a good Parts Car though.

Last edited by HeadsU.P.; 02-08-2019 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Big2Bird View Post
I see $20K to build a $10K car.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:08 PM
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I would run from that car. that is a parts car at best.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:18 PM
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Instant "Divorce Kit", Just add MONEY!!!!
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:57 PM
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Looks like a lot of work, a lot of time and a lot of money. How do I know? I bought one in similar condition about 4 years ago and have experienced all three, lot's of work, lot's of time, and lot's of money. Would I do it again? Yep I sure would. I'm already thinking about the next project! Will I get my money back? Nope, never had that expectation. I do it because I love spending time in the garage working on it, that's where I get my money back. It's not for everyone, so I guess it's up to you but that's a big project and will take a good chunk of time and money. Check out my thread and see what it might entail. Good luck in your search, hope this helps.

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Old 02-09-2019, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Big2Bird View Post
I see $20K to build a $10K car.
That is sooo optimistic...
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:18 AM
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A good sounding board on pricing is to look at the completed sales on ebay. You can look at all the ones that have sold in the last several months and what they sold for. I did a search on 80-82 and here is what you will find. These are the most recent sales dating back to November.

Projects - needs full restoration, but are complete cars - $1,600-$2,200
Drivers - one level above a project, probably still needs a lot of work, but are drive able - $5,000-$8,000
Higher end - these are the ones that probably don't need much or any work at all, low miles, nice paint, most everything works as it should, just not a fully restored car. $8,000-$14,000
Restored - only one example found, but it sold for $19,900

These are actual sales so the numbers will give you an idea on what to expect.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:17 AM
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Unless you specifically need some parts from this car, forget it. There's not enough left to start a project. The low dollar price sounds good; but add the cost of the parts needed, and then compare that to the cost of a decent [and complete] car which you could purchase for $5-7K. It's a 'no brainer" to walk away from this one.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:00 AM
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If you buy it & put 15000.00 in parts not counting paint plus your labor you could possibly get 7000.00 for it
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Big2Bird View Post
I see $20K to build a $10K car.
A little optimistic on both numbers but I agree otherwise. If he gave you $10k to take the car, youd end up upside down by the time its roadworthy.
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