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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First post here and hoping for some feedback on selling prices. I'm looking at C3 convertibles (I'm in Canada just North of Toronto) I'm a long time hotrodder and licensed mechanic (now retired) and have worked on a bunch of C3, just never owned one and never paid attention to the values. I want to make sure I pay a fair price and am more than capable of spotting/finding flaws regardless of what stories the owners will give me.

found one with the following description:
1973 Convertible corvette 4 speed manual 350 engine rebuilt at some point over its life time But believe it’s the original engine Have a few minor leaks Not a high horse power car Great driver Car reads 61399 miles on the odometer No accidents I am the 4th owner Canadian car and stored most of its life Bird cage is good Has had one repaint in 2017 Car shows well.

Given the problems mentioned by the owner, confirmation of engine and any other issues I'm sure to find, my gut says maybe around $25,000 CDN is what this is probably worth based on asking prices for a few other similar C3 I could find. Anyway let me know what you guys think..

they are asking 30,000
 

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I don’t the conversation from CD to USD but 30k seems high to me. Although in today’s market where everything is priced over what I think is reasonable who knows. I’d do a google search and see what cars comparable are selling for. Then it all boils down how good you think the car is and how much you want it. Personally my wife would skin me if l gave 30k for a C3 when six years ago I only gave 35k for a C6 with 19k on the clock. I think your gut is right but I have not seen the car. Norm would know more than I sense he just purchased one this spring. On a side note welcome to DC, hope you find one to your liking and in you budget.
 

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It's just like anything else anyone wants to sell, ask high, most likely will take lower. If you like it, make an offer, see what happens. There's no NADA and KBB guidelines on the older years, whatever the market will bear.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Triple dizzle.
30k CDN is currently 23k USD and it's 61,000 miles, but it could be 161,000 too....Everything seems to be inflated on asking prices, but I doubt folks are getting the asking prices. You really have to become an expert and be able to find and point out every flaw, this is the only way to get a deal. I use that method on the motorcycles I have been buying. The owner of the car is a few hours from me and I wanted to gauge if the asking price is way off, before I waste an entire day going to check it out. In my experience, the condition reported by 99% of folks using regular selling methods like autotrader are very optimistic. Sometimes the owners play dumb but many times they are aware of all the issues and it'll be up to you to find and recognize those issues
 

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Worth? IMHO a car is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay. Estimates are subjective, the insurance guy gives high values because he wants the extra revenue of the higher value. The used auto guys will stick it to you if they can, so there listed prices are always high. The private party sees asking prices and assumes theirs is worth as much or more. Don't get me wrong private sales can provide good deals, negotiation is the key to getting a great price. At the same time you have to know the market of what your buying. I go to eBay and in the advanced search section there is an option to select completed sales. There are usually quite a few to compare and you get real world sales to see what people are actually paying. Don't forget that some states will add sales tax, plus shipping sometimes factors in.

Devils advocate:

The easiest way to determine if 61000 or 16100 is IMHO the interior. At 61000 the interior should still be original and in pretty good shape. Possibly wear on the drivers seat beads, some depressions in the carpet, a few small sun cracks, minor wear here and there. At 16100 there is probably a few wear holes in the carpets, foam showing in the seats, kick panels with sun cracks or missing pieces. It could also have an all new interior, which would instantly lead me to the conclusion of 161000.

Engine replaced sometime in it's lifetime? At 61000 miles that's a stretch, but maybe a hot rodder wanted an engine with more power. I would check the birdcage for rust, check the rear trailing arms for wear in bushings and bearings. Make sure the transmission shifts positively and stays in each gear through a couple of light throttle cycles. See if they have service or repair records.

Why does a garaged car with 61000 miles need new paint? They do get stress cracks and who knows maybe the paint was vandalized. The good news is that paint is expensive and if it looks nice that is an expense you won't have to pay.

If you take your used car to a dealer, there going to offer you low blue book value minus reconditioning costs. You can kind of do the same thing. You've gone to eBay and have a good grasp of what they are selling for. Go and look the car over, determine the costs to replace or repair. Subtract those costs from the selling average. Give or take some for overall condition. Come to a conclusion in your own mind of what you think the car is worth and make that offer. Worst that can happen is they are offended, walk away and refuse to negotiate. In most instances they will make a counter offer. You can always up it a little and try again.

Best of luck and welcome to DC.
 

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The rule when selling is start high and have room to get what you really want. The rule for buying is offer a little less than you think it’s worth and try to get the seller to come down. Never ever pay asking price. As stated before good luck.
 

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Hi Overload, welcome to the group! The 1973 is a desirable year, the last year with a "chrome" rear bumper. In my opinion it is one of the best looking years. If I used my calculator correctly $30,000 Can works out to around $23,100 US. Just off hand that sounds a little high. 7TRoadster said it best, I don't have much to add to that. In the end, a car is worth what you are willing to pay for it. To a seller, a car is worth what you can get for it.

For cars like the C3, where the newest C3 is now 40 years old, there aren't really any published price guides that I know of. The best thing to do, if you haven't been shopping and researching for some time, would be to try and find out what similar C3's have been going for in your area. Not what was asked, but what they actually sold for. That can be kind of hard to find out sometimes but would be worth the effort.

Since you are a mechanic and have good experience with C3's and other hot rods, you are in a better position than most buyers. You already know what to look for, mechanically and body wise so I won't waste any time recommending things to look at!

Finding a completely "virgin" C3 that has never had the engine/drivetrain opened up is essentially impossible. There will be quite a few things to look for. For instance, the rear wheel spindle bearings pop into mind. If they have never been serviced/replaced, that will likely be high on the "to do" list.

If it's a northern car, rust is naturally a concern. One common and critical area for rust is the frame "kick up" where the rear wheel-house frame joins the frame rails just ahead of the rear wheels. I'm pretty sure you are aware of that area. Very common area for serious rust. Difficult and expensive to repair.

Very few of us get into these old C3's with the idea of flipping them for a profit! It really just comes down to getting what you want and what it's worth to you! You mentioned being retired, so I can definitely relate to that. I've been retired now for 9 years and am north of 71 years old. Back in 1982 I bought a brand new 82 C3 because it looked like my wife and I weren't going to have any kids. That's when I found that a Corvette is the greatest fertility drug known to man!! In less than 4 months we were expecting a new arrival. Since we had an old pickup and a new Corvette, my shiny new C3 got traded in on a new Caprice! Fast forward to 2018 with all 4 sons educated and out on their own, I decided to reignite my dream and started looking for an 81 or 82 C3. Found a really nice 81 and as fate would have it, I was diagnosed with leukemia not long after I started working on it. Because I couldn't get out in public very much, the car became a lifeline as well as therapy for me. I could go out in the shop and work on it when I was able. One thing led to another and it turned into a restomod that I got back on the road about a year ago. I would have gone insane without it. I like to tell people that my Corvette and I are both survivors! The point of all that is this: As we get older our life can turn on a dime. If you find a car that you really want and it is part of a dream you have, don't let the price block you out of your dream! (Within reason of course)

Again, welcome! Didn't mean to get so windy.... Keep us posted!
 

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Never ever pay asking price.
I did one time. In 1976 I bought a '68 2 door Nova sight unseen for $500 in a town about 25 miles away. I never took possession. I sold it about 4 hours later for $1,200 and the guy had to go pick it up. I put the $500 in an envelope for him to give the guy. Best deal I ever did
 

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There’s always an exception to every rule. I paid asking for my C6 because it had only 19246 miles on it and was 9 years old. All original right down to the tires. This car had never seen rain must less driven in anger. So I broke my own rule. I have had it longer than any of the past three owners. All in all have had fun with it.
 

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zimmej51
I very much appreciate your story. I have now ticked 6 clicks on the planet and nearing retirement...but having gotten married "late" still have 2 kids to get out the nest. However...now finding some time to start therapy with my 69 convertible purchased 25 years ago and having sat most of that time. She is a mutt and not a good restore candidate given how much she needs...but down the rabbit hole I go.
 

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Any corvette made before the dreaded EPA is a good candidate for restoration.
Thanks for the encouragement! My 69 saw a lot of "abuse" prior to 1997 when I acquired it. She is numbers matching on a rebuilt motor. Orig Cortez Silver repainted fairly poorly to corvette red...believe it is monza red. All smog system ripped out...not uncommon. No ignition shielding remaining, converitble top is junk. She just needs SO much it appears endless and daunting. It surely will NOT be a good move financially to restore it...particularly not with my approach to be as "correct" as possible down to both part numbers and date codes where applicable. Good news is frame is "fairly clean" with mostly just surface rust. But these are labors of love to preserve some history...they ain't making any more!
 

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If your keeping it, then turning a profit isn’t an issue. Just how much you are willing to spend to make it your baby. If as you said your going to make as original as possible then that’s where the cost starts to mount. Correct date code parts aren’t cheep or easy to source I’ve watched a enough of Famtomworks on motor trend to figure that out. If you do it in steps and spread it out then you should complete the project. Also consider having what parts that are on the car rebuilt like alternator, starter and the like they are already correct date code. Good luck a 69 convertible corvette is a good candidate for restoration.
 
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