Issues buyers want to know - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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Issues buyers want to know

I want to address the concerns of potential buyers looking for a GTO to restore. I'm interested in what you are looking for, and looking "out for" when evaluating, for example, a 1970 era car.
Please correct me if I'm wrong
1) A complete car, everything there, original motor, trans, etc. Runs and drives. It would be nice if the engine had never been tampered with, but is it a serious concern if it was professionally rebuilt, say bored .030 over?
2) A car that's never been wrecked. Body in perfect condition. But, how much of a show stopper is it if it's got a couple of minor dents?
3) Original paint, no rust. Again, what if a professional paint job in the original color was done. And here's where it gets personal, a 30 year old lacquer and clear paint job that's crazed and cracked through the years and has allowed some surface rust to form? I'm thinking, not ideal, but fixable. What do you think?
4) Interior. Original, and beautiful would be the wish. But 45 years age the materials. I think that if the interior has not been screwed with, the dash unaltered, all the carpets, seat material, and headliner are going to be redone in a renovation. Am I wrong?

I'm interested in some of the things you'd want to know from a seller about a car you were thinking about buying to restore.

Last edited by BlueSky1Guy; 08-07-2015 at 10:47 PM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 12:35 PM
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I think you are dead on the right track on all 4. Basically, the car needs to be un-messed with by idiots. That means no moon roofs cut in, no cut fenders, no cut dashes, no trashed drivetrain due to idiocy, not normal use. I'm just glad I bought my GTO's over 30 years ago for cheap. I would rather buy an original but aged car than an 'upgraded' car done in poor taste: Big wheels, bright colors, small steering wheel, etc. etc.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 06:58 PM
 
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In today's market and the prices being sought and paid for some of the original or near original cars, I first want to know the history/lineage of the car - from owner to owner over the years. If the car came from any place "up north" where they use salt on the roads in winter, and now it resides in the "south," I would be suspect that that car has, or may have, hidden rust and I would crawl all over it with a microscope/camera. If it's home was anywhere near oceanside, where salt air can corrode as quick as northern salted roads, I would want to know. I would want to know if the car was always garage kept. Rain carries chemicals & dust particles in it that settle under moldings, lights, and inside body panels only to later rot out or bust through - even though it was a low mileage original car.

If I see undercoating I am always suspect. Unless you can document and verify the original owner had this done at the factory or dealership prior to accepting the car, then I feel something is being hidden. Hearing that the owner wanted to preserve his car so he did the undercoating himself is not good enough for me.

I could go on as other will hopefully contribute on things to look for on a car that is still claimed to be an unmolested and original car. Original cars are nice and can be an investment, but for me I want a driver and not one I have to worry about if it gets driven and used -and loses money.

An original engine that has been rebuilt may or may not hurt value. I don't know how the car was driven after the rebuild unless is has zero miles on it and has a guarantee to back that up. Who rebuilt the engine, what extent was it rebuilt, were factory replacement GM part numbered items used, were original parts kept and used, were aftermarket parts used, and I want to see receipts and a phone number where I can call the machine shop who rebuilt it. If Bob's engine shop is outta' business and I can no longer talk to him, I won't believe the engine was ever rebuilt, even if you do have engine receipts (which could have come from another Pontiac engine build). If your brother-in-law who has rebuilt Pontiac engines for 40 years rebuilt it, I don't know your brother-in-law. Does the rebuilt engine come with a guarantee, probably not, but if it lets go in 6,000 miles I'm going to be back to pay you a visit seeing I paid TOP DOLLAR for a car with the claim it was completely rebuilt. And an "as is" sale won't protect you(not with my disposition LOL). I would feel more comfortable if you provided me with an engine oil analysis (sent out to an independent company that does this), a compression reading on each cylinder, a leak down test to tell me the condition of the rings, a coolant test to check for pressure leaks and exhaust gases in the coolant, and an exhaust gas analysis to tell me the condition of the fuel delivery system. If you had all this in hand, I might be more inclined to believe you on the engine.

Personally, I'd rather have an original smoking, running rough, worn out engine that needs to be rebuilt and get it done so I know it was done and what went into it.

I prefer original paint, good or bad, so I can see what the body really looks like and can look for those bad spots that can be repaired/fixed under the professional paint job only to resurface in a couple years. A professional repaint is no longer original and to what extent was it professionally painted? What brand/type of paint was used? Same as the engine, who did it, give me a name, and show me receipts and the stage by stage re-paint photos.

I don't mean to sound harsh or defensive in my post, its just it is very easy to pull the wool over a buys eyes, especially when the buyer has the cash in hand, a romantic gleam in their eye of days gone by, and no clue as what to look for or expect. I have been to a ton of car shows, looked at a ton of cars for myself, work on them, worked in auto body shops, and see price tags coupled to words like clean original body -new paint, rare, no rust, big block Pontiac engine, 4-speed conversion using factory parts, etc., only to see the sanding marks/bondo through the new paint, rare (they made 75,000 of 'em), run if they say big block Pontiac, a 4-speed conversion may not be factory unless all numbers are known - especially if it was supposed to be a Muncie and you installed a Saginaw.

I think it is up to the buyer to know his cars, ask for the appropriate documents for in hand viewing, have the assorted engine analysis checks done, documented, and in hand, and be given an honest appraisal as to original, restored, partially restored and exactly what was replaced/restored, modified car and what was modified/changed, or flat out UNKNOWN. The same goes for the seller if he really wants to fit the car to a buyer.

In my opinion, some upgrades/modifications to an original car can actually be good selling points, such as Vintage Air was added, disc brake conversion, sway bars added, upgraded/rebuilt OD transmission installed, etc..

I think anyone who is looking to buy a GTO has an idea of what they want and can then vary from that ideal to accept some things that might not be exactly what was in mind. With all the reproduction pieces and aftermarket upgrades, a GTO buyer can almost personalize his/her purchase to become the car of their dreams whether it be original or not.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 07:14 PM
 
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A documented 85%+ original paint (can be judged at Nats as an original), no rust, perfect original interior, never been messed with under the hood, everything original numbers wise other than waterpump, alternator, and battery... that's a very very tall order for a '64-74 GTO. Then when one eliminates the not so good looking color combo's, and the non desirable engine options, will definitely end up with an extremely small population.

Here's how I've always pursued Pontiac's that I was after to keep and restore.

1) desirable make model, color combo, and born with original highest performance factory engine. Have no interest in buying something as a cruiser.
.030 overbore, no big deal. Doesn't run, not that big a deal, drivetrain is going to be gone through. Ported heads not always a deal killer, I once paid up for a pair of exact same dated 197's to replace an original pair on one of my keepers which had been ported. Nicer condition small parts under the hood being missing, not that big a deal, sourced them all/can source them.

2) Not big on collision shop heavily repaired collector cars, corner cutting quickee type work. Having replaced a few fenders with perfect used and a 1/4 on two cars with an early NOS 1/4, and in another instance with a perfect used 1/4, I don't have a problem with correct painstaking metal work.

2) the body needs to be as solid and straight, rustfree, and original as possible. That stated, I totally understand whats out there when the car is 1 of a few 100 or less. Paint condition, fully realize it degrades over time. Original lacquer paint, ESP in the lighter colors with metallics, did not holdup well. If the car is really low production and is a desirable color/ factory option mix, and it's going to need some body work and full paint, have to realize most likely am not going to get a chance on another that is comparable. Probably my biggest turnoff, corner cutting bodywork.
3)Minor rust, can deal with. Walk through restored field cars totally pieced back together with Chinese sheet metal, am totally not interested in.
4) 40-50 year old interiors. Yes, am after the perfect original interior, but realized over 25 years ago that the southern climate I live in destroys the late '60's-70's original interior plastic, molded dash assembly's, kick panels. If the plastic interior pieces are any other color than black, they are usually toast, it doesn't matter if the car was garaged all its life down here. As result nearly 20 years ago started pulling extremely nice original correct color interior plastic when up in MN, WI. Once the Net boards began to take off, manage to purchase even more nice interior plastic pieces from sellers in the Northeast. Really appreciate nice condition original door panels and original comfort-weave seats. Items like original headliners eventually come apart at the threads, so don't sweat that detail.

Last, when I've been serious about a project/ eventual keeper, I went and personally inspected the car, no loss in translation from the seller. hope this helps.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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I'm thankful for the thoughtful responses. I joined the forum about a month ago to gain some information that might be useful to me and to the potential buyers for my 1970 GTO.
I've owned this car for 36 years. Did some work on it in the 80's. I was an adult with money to spend to do it right. And I drove the car daily for the first 11 years I owned it. I always knew I'd restore it to original condition.
In 1990 I bought the first of 6 Honda Accords. I'd pay $2000 for an 8 year old one and drive 120,000 miles for free. I'd drive the goat for fun occasionally, to exercise it, and to get that crazy public response - "Wow, great car, wanna sell it". I always said "No. They're gonna bury me in this car, with an Allman Brothers tape in the 8 track".

But now, I realize I'm not the guy I thought I'd become. I'm not going to spend 400 hours and $15,000 to put this car back into original condition. And I've gotta move, so my free garage space is gone soon. That means I'm going to have to spend money every month to store the car. So, the car my father bought for me as a surprise (I paid him back), the car that defined my identity from the age of 21 - 32, needs to go. As it should. I failed to live up to my part of the bargain. It's been parked in a garage since 94, started and driven short distances regularly, but I haven't started the "big project".

So, what's it worth? "A car is worth whatever somebody will pay for it". Heard that all my life. But my add on Craigslist doesn't seem to be putting it in front of the people most likely to really love this car. I put another one up yesterday on cars.com, so no response from that.

This post marks a major milestone in my status here on the GTO Forum. I'm 20 now. Got 20 posts. Some were "fillers" like posting a picture or my occupation, but some stuff advanced the knowledge base of goat guys everywhere. Being 20 means I can (I think, I hope) post an add in the for sale section.
Some of the information I've learned here has helped. A Lot. Thanks. I'm a little sad that I waited so long to join your group, and that I joined it to say goodbye.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 08:35 AM
 
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Without knowing factory color, engine and transmission choice, factory option mix, along with a few pictures of the problem areas it is VERY hard to assess a proper selling price.

Went through the sales procees with a neighbors '72 442 convert just two weeks ago. car had been stored indoors the last 30 years, original paint, no rust, needed correct refinishing. Interior needed new seatcovers from Legendary, new carpet, new bucket seat plastic. Top needed replacing. These issues kept the buyin price down, was negotiated to $7000
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 09:04 AM
 
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BlueSky1Guy: "I failed to live up to my part of the bargain."

Jim: Dude, don't even go there. Try to live up to another's expectations only sets one up for failure, either the one having the expectations or the one trying to meet up to them. You are not your dad, but it seems you did get his like for cars -Honda's. My 25 year old daughter loves my old '68 Lemans, but she is into Honda's -hers has the V-Tech (which I know nothing about and she does!) and 5-speed and she rattles off "stuff" about other cars she has some fun street racing. I email her a picture of a really cool muscle car and she texts me with some tricked out Subaru she just saw. Nope, she isn't me in that I grew up liking the fast "old era" muscle cars, but instead she is of here generation growing up to like V-Tech Hondas and similar rice burner cars with turbos. So she got my genes for speed, shifting, burning rubber, and fast handling cars -just a different era.

BlueSky1Guy: "But now, I realize I'm not the guy I thought I'd become."

Jim: Sometimes we have to know who we aren't in order to know who we are. We all have dreams, hopes, and visions of who we want to be or become and then LIFE kicks in. You realize that you never were in control and the best you can do is make good choices, and sometimes this often includes selecting the best of bad choices and then dealing with it. You learn what works and what doesn't as there really is no "good" or "bad" because these are simply relative terms and one persons "good" is another persons "bad." Who you were at 20 is not the guy you are at 25. Who you are at 50 is not the guy you were at 25. My philosophy: Who I am now is not who I will be 5 years from now. Evolution is alive and doing well -its what you will do your entire life as you evolve; mind,body,spirit.

I will be the first to admit that my life has gone nothing like I, my parents, my ex spouses, children, friends, or anybody else would have wanted or expected. But that is life -unpredictable. Life is about experiencing, learning, and gaining knowledge that when applied is what we all strive for -wisdom. Learn to "Be" and not to "Have." Take each day at a time and without remorse or regret, sell that GTO and let go. What you will always have are the memories which will never go nor can they be taken or sold. I got a ton of memories, good and bad, and would not change any of it BECAUSE it has brought me to be the guy I am right now. I don't second guess my self nor torment myself with "would have, should have, could have." It is what it is. I am not living my dream, but I am living, and some of my friends have not been so fortunate to make it to my age.

So DON'T EVER pop up on this forum and beat yourself up while I am here. No car, GTO or Honda, is worth that. Live life and have fun because 50 years from now when you are taking that eternal dirt nap, nobody will remember you anyway.

I AM A NOBODY.
NOBODY IS PERFECT.
THEREFORE I AM PERFECT.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 10:49 AM
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Very well stated, Jim! I was going to try to convince him to keep the car, but you know what? You're absolutely right. And Blue Sky has already decided to 'move on', as he absolutely should. Moving forward is part of the cycle of life, even though many of us (cough) try to resist it!!! Blue Sky, post your car for sale here and on the other forums, with a couple of good photos. It will sell. And food for thought: Not every car has to be a perfect restoration to enjoy. Mine aren't. Like you, I've had my two current GTO's for over 30 years. Both were daily drivers, parked outside, for 15 years or so. I've put 130,000 miles on my '67, and 60,000 on my '65. I stopped using them as commuters in the '90's, when I bought a '63 VW, which I put 90k on in the next 10 years. Since then, the GTO's have been 'fun' cars, and have been garaged, but I still drive them when I can. There is no disgrace in driving a well worn but neat old car, IMO. But, if you have to pay to store anything off-site from your home, it becomes baggage. Time to sell. Being a slave to your 'stuff' is not what life is all about!! Again, Jim....excellent write-up on' the facts of life'!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 02:50 PM
 
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Be what you want and anything you can be,
An American dream in this land of the free.
Take on the world and grab the tiger by the tail,
Hard work and determination, no way you can fail.
With twelve years of schooling and stars in his eyes,
He broke from his family and all of their ties.
Be what I want and anything I can be,
The dreams that I have as so clear to see.
But his dreams were like carrots in front of his nose,
Unaware that his dreams were the cause of his woes.
His problems kept mounting as his life went astray,
Until he discovered the reason as it hit him one day.
I can't be what I want and not everything I can be,
He had just found his answer and set his dreams free.

Jim - 1994
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  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, Lemans & GTO General Discussion

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