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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's just say that for various reasons, I'm thinking of moving on to other motorized projects and I'm considering selling my Alfa. I'm wondering how to go about finding a fair market value. I understand selling, it takes a willing seller and a buyer to come up with valuation and I'll never recoup my investment on a car. But where do I start? It's a rust free 79 Spider that I've done a lot of work and upgrades and modifications along with good maintenance on over the last 7 or 8 years. Without pulling out my records, which are thorough, I've rebuilt the suspension with IAP springs, Koni shocks, some poly bushings, added Panasport Wheels/new tires, rear sway bar upgrade, with extra chassis support welded under the car as well. The engine had headwork done by the previous owner with larger valves and a performance exhaust manifold, Weber carbs with curved intake tubes, electric fan with cooling fan switch in cyl. head, custom temp and oil pressure gauges (installed without cutting holes). The transmission was rebuilt to get rid of 2nd gear issues and I put a Sachs clutch and lightened Spruell flywheel in as well. The interior has miata seats with headrest speakers, Alpine stereo and amp that is neatly installed and hides away, a custom roll bar welded into plates on the body. The bumpers are off a 1971 and I backdated the wipers and mirrors as well. The grill is custom, but again it was installed without modification to the car and can be replaced with a stock early 70's grill. The paint was done before I bought it and isn't what I would be happy with if I kept it. There are some mismatched areas and some stone chips to contend with. From a couple yards it looks good and I don't worry about it when driving someplace. The top is in great shape.

Obviously, I've put some time and money in the car over the years and I realize that recouping the investment isn't going to happen. Is there a buyer for a car that's ready to go touring or autocrossing? How do I go about trying to price a car like this?





 

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I'd try for $7800. Very nice example. A purist will not like the aftermarket seats or center grill, however.
 

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It depends upon whether you really want to sell it, or simply dabble with the exercise and end up not selling it.

Although the work and mods represent value to you, in my opinion they do not add to the market value, and will actually decrease the value to some people.

There are buyers that would simply like a convertible to enjoy. Originality is not important, but neither are the mods. No value will be given to the clutch, shocks, roll bar, Panasports, etc. Your car will simply be compared to others of similar age and mileage (which you don't list).

Then, there will be buyers who seem to think that being "original" is of some importance. Your car fails on that point.

My conclusion? I just sold a 1986 Quad on Ebay for $6,000, which was the only bid. My car had a new high-quality paint job, fresh leather seat covers, original boot cover, hardtop, new speakers, water pump, new tires and Konis, rebuilt suspension, etc. Very nice car, but there was only one bidder and he got it.

I'd say a 79 would sell for $5,000 - $6,000. Ought to bring more, but probably won't.

Good luck.
 

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Although the work and mods represent value to you, in my opinion they do not add to the market value, and will actually decrease the value to some people.
This is very good advice. Although it wouldn't/won't stop me from doing this, you should never attempt to reclaim the cost of performance extras when you sell a car like this. Performance mods are what you do so you can have more fun with the car but, if you try to recover your costs, all you're really doing is pricing your car out of the marketplace while you search for a vanishingly small number of buyers who want exactly what you done to the car. To the rest of the market your car is a very nice appearing '79 Spider and is priced accordingly.
 

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I'd say it's worth more than a typically '79, except for regions where you have smog laws.

Having the chrome bumpers is a huge win, and I don't think anyone would cry that the bumpers aren't originally. '79 spiders are far from the most collectible.

Frankly you've built very much what I wanted before I sold mine a few years ago. Start high and see what you get. Maybe $8k?
 

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I'd check the prices in eBay and decide according to that.
Hey, that's a good idea. Keep driving and enjoying it until another '79 Alfa with exactly the same modifications comes up on ebay. You won't know the proper asking price until then, so you might as well continue to have fun with it in the meantime. :D

OK, I'm kidding. I agree with what others have said: start somewhere south of five figures, depending on how quickly you want it to sell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks

Thanks for the advice. I've grown up and spent a lot of time around the classic car hobby where everything is based on originality and correctness. I also agree that bone stock 79 spiders won't ever be high on the collectibility chart and the car was already suffering from some previous botched attempts at repairs when I bought it. I still enjoy driving and working on the car, but there are other pursuits that are calling for time and money. I always figure that if I had bought a new car at the same time as I bought the Alfa and took the depreciation hit instead of spending on fun parts it would end up about the same. I just don't want to find out that it's worth more as pieces sold on ebay and at the scrap yard!
 

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I think the whole human race has an urge to get the best deal, both when selling and buying. We tend to forget the time value of money, and spend much time and psychic energy on getting or extracting a few hundred or thousand dollars, and in the end we miss selling a car quickly for a fair price, and we miss buying a good car at a fair price.

Would $1000 make a big difference in your buy/sell decision? $2000? When we get so over-involved in selling at the peak of the market it just drains one's energy. Pick a price that will sell quickly, and move on. Take that money and be ready to pounce on whatever good deal you are looking at.

I hope you report back, but my sense of today's market is that there are a lot of people with toy cars and boats that are finally capitulating, and the market is flooded with good options. It's not a seller's market.
 

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If you want to sell it on ebay, make sure you post lots of pictures that are clear and beautiful. This will get you the most bidders.
 
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