Author Topic: 78 Trans Am with 50k original miles  (Read 684 times)

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Offline Msammy93

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78 Trans Am with 50k original miles
« on: September 15, 2017, 12:51:49 AM »
Dad gave me a 1978 Trans Am that has the 400 motor. Car has original 50k miles and was in storage since 1984 becuz he bought a new trans am then. Has rot on both bottom quarter panels and bottom of doors but frame is good, rockers are good, and interior is very good not even a crack in dash. Engine does run and it starts no problem since I put a new battery. Tires are rotted and I haven't driven it alot but moved it around  the yard and trans seems ok. The paint is decent and not faded but there  is the rot. A friend has offered me 5k for the car and I am not sure if that is good or bad for car like this. What should I sell it for?

Offline Aus78Formula

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Re: 78 Trans Am with 50k original miles
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2017, 05:12:53 AM »
Sell it for more than a battery cost so you make a profit. Condition is important, as are pics. Mint paint with rust is no better than bad paint with rust. Similar with interior and trim, if it isn't close to mint or excellent then it will be replaced anyway so ok condition isn't worth anymore than terrible. But obviously it is likely to be better than that, but lots of unknowns simply from sitting.

Offline Stringer

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Re: 78 Trans Am with 50k original miles
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2017, 01:33:59 AM »
While I respect Aus78Formula opinion, I disagree on a few things. Good condition is always worth more than mediocre or terrible.  Not everyone who would buy it is looking to put $20-25K into it. I think you will find buyers that will want to a good daily driver they can bring to life with just a little work.  That's what I have done with mine. After 3 years it is almost done....its been an absolute joy to work on.

That being said....while rot on quarters and doors is better than rot on floors or around window seals - it is rot none the same.  There may be other bad things as well: suspension bushings, dirty gas tank, dry engine and transmission seals that may start leaking once driven, etc.

It is hard to estimate a price without pictures but I would say, if it is what you say it is, the 5K is probably a little low - especially if it is a 4 speed manual transmission with t-tops and factory a/c.  Some articles I have read say to estimate, over the base price, an additional 10% for each.

One technique you can used to judge the market and the value of the vehicle is do a craigslist search for Trans Am's in your area and others.  Make comparisons. What are others asking for ones in similar shape -better shape -worse shape?  But remember....just because they are asking for it doesn't mean it will sell for that amount.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 01:38:35 AM by Stringer »

Offline Aus78Formula

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Re: 78 Trans Am with 50k original miles
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2017, 01:51:07 AM »
It depends what your intentions are, you will always spend more than you will sell them for, parts or cars, and then factor in shipping of individual parts back and forth, don't even mention international shipping. If you are looking for an instant daily driver then fine. If you plan to tidy it up slowly as you go, then yes, you will likely replace much of it that was previously fine, but that may be suitable given the purpose, but it's still a fact even if it's not instantly. My comments were completely in context with condition and intentions.