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Back to the drawling board - 98 Trans Am - Worth the price?

This is a discussion on Back to the drawling board - 98 Trans Am - Worth the price? within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Well, I am back to the drawling board to find a decent LS1 within my budget of $5,000. A little ...

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    Back to the drawling board - 98 Trans Am - Worth the price?

    Well, I am back to the drawling board to find a decent LS1 within my budget of $5,000.

    A little after Thanksgiving, I went to look at this 1998 Trans Am for sale. The car has 138K and is going for $3,500.

    History of car

    The guy bought the car to fix it up and resell for retail value. Him and his brother-in-law own an auto body shop. However, he told me he has too many projects (work and on the side) to fix this car. So he is selling it as is. He has an open clean title from Kentucky.

    Driving

    The car drive great. Engine sounds good and it seems to shift well. I got on it a few times and the response time seem great.

    Exterior

    The exterior is decent except for the few dents and one chip on the passenger side quarter panel. I contacted Maaco, and they would fix the dents,chip, and repaint the car for under $1K. I thought that was reasonable.

    Interior

    The interior of the car was in decent shape as well, except for the driver side seat. The guy told me, a bigger guy owned the car and let the seat go to shit. The I called a upholstery shop to see how much it would cast to fix and it is around $500. Not that bad either. The carpet was dirty, but I think a real good detail could make it look nice. I have also looked into buying new carpet for $250.00

    I didn't end up going with it, because the airbag light and I believe the check engine light was on as well. I called a few car shops and they told me it would run around $1,000 to fix the airbag light...I was said, "screw this"!

    Out of curiosity I check to see if the car was still for sale. The car is still for sale. I asked to see if he would come down on the price to fix the air bag light, but he won't. We chatted back and forth and I still could not get him to budge at all.

    About 30 minutes or so later, he sent me a text and said, " If u decide u want it I would do 3300 cash. As is where is. Best deal I will do. And you get an open Kentucky title for it. Put ur name on it and go. No hard feelings. If i want it for that its fine if not that's fine too."

    So, my question to the community is, do you think the car is worth $3,300? I can get the seat fix for $500, and the exterior for around $1,000. This puts the car at a total of $4,800. I just don't know about the air bag light and possible check engine light.

    Any inputs would be great. I have to get back to him by Friday night or Saturday morning.











    Last edited by fastls1ta; 12-06-2012 at 11:34 AM.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    No not worth the price. There is no telling what other problems there are with the car. If the airbag light is on it could have deployed during a crash and never correct fixed. This could mean there could be some other damage that may develop after you buy it. I would only buy it if the guy was selling it for $1000 or less. Not to mention it looks pretty beat on and not cared for. The potential for rust looks plenty high on that car. The interior almost looks like it has had some water damage.

    Not to mention there are tons of cars within your budget in a lot better condition. At least in my area there are. Just be patient the perfect one will come along and you will be glad you waited.
    1998 Trans Am WS6 - Phantom
    421 CI LQ9, Tick Performance Custom Cam, TFS 255cc LS3 heads, Kooks 2" LT headers, Kooks 3" True Duals w/ high flow cats, FTP 104 lid, Speed Density Tune, 4" silicon tube, LS6 VCT, FAST 102 Intake, NW 102 TB, Oil Catch Can, SLP Bilstein Shocks w/ Vogtland Springs, CTS-V 4-piston Calipers w/C6 Z06 rotors, Stainless Steel Brake Lines, R1 concepts premium rotors, Hawk HP+ brake pads, VFN WSQ Hood, C5-R timing chain, SLP oil pump, E85 tune, Walbro 450 fuel pump, Deatschwerkz 95# injectors, Breathless performance headlights, Frost Tune, !HVAC.
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    Thanks 98TransAmWs-6! I'll tell him no.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98TransAmWs-6 View Post
    No not worth the price. There is no telling what other problems there are with the car. If the airbag light is on it could have deployed during a crash and never correct fixed. This could mean there could be some other damage that may develop after you buy it. I would only buy it if the guy was selling it for $1000 or less. Not to mention it looks pretty beat on and not cared for. The potential for rust looks plenty high on that car. The interior almost looks like it has had some water damage.

    Not to mention there are tons of cars within your budget in a lot better condition. At least in my area there are. Just be patient the perfect one will come along and you will be glad you waited.
    ^^^^^This in bold


    Not only no but HELL No!!!!!


    The pics and info you gave tell me this was a crashed car that was hit in the rear (the worse crash you can walk away from). Our cars are uni-bodies. There is no fixing those rear panels. Car is good for parts, why they wasted throwing new parts at it is beyond me. I'm sure there is more damage underneath.


    Too bad too, I love that color of red, same as my 96 FB.


    Don't be afraid to expand your search radius......I flew out to OK from AL to look at a Fire Hawk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    ^^^^^This in bold


    Not only no but HELL No!!!!!


    The pics and info you gave tell me this was a crashed car that was hit in the rear (the worse crash you can walk away from). Our cars are uni-bodies. There is no fixing those rear panels. Car is good for parts, why they wasted throwing new parts at it is beyond me. I'm sure there is more damage underneath.


    Too bad too, I love that color of red, same as my 96 FB.


    Don't be afraid to expand your search radius......I flew out to OK from AL to look at a Fire Hawk.
    Okay, thanks SMWS6TA

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    I'm with Scott and Will on this. Just be patient - which I know is tough - and you'll find a much better car.

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    Thanks, I told the guy no.

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    Wait.........WHAT??!! LoneGunman's Avatar
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    I don't understand some of you guys. When it comes time to sink a shitload of money into modding one of these cars you all are chomping at the bit. But when one comes up for sale at a stupid cheap price you wanna run away as if your hair is on fire, cuz it had a sketchy past and might need a little work. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this car. Your getting an LS1 car with t-tops(it sucks it's an auto, but still) that just needs a little tlc for less than 3500 bucks. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. I just dropped 6400 on a Camaro on Ebay. I did not have the luxury of seeing or driving it. Sure it has a few little issues, but nothing I am afraid of. Don't be so quick to turn down a good deal when they come up. These 4th gens are over a decade old now, and most of them were probably driven pretty hard so they are gonna need a few things. The more of these deals that are turned down, the more cars that are gonna end up being scrapped. I fear for the future of the 4th gen F-body

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneGunman View Post
    I don't understand some of you guys. When it comes time to sink a shitload of money into modding one of these cars you all are chomping at the bit. But when one comes up for sale at a stupid cheap price you wanna run away as if your hair is on fire, cuz it had a sketchy past and might need a little work. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this car. Your getting an LS1 car with t-tops(it sucks it's an auto, but still) that just needs a little tlc for less than 3500 bucks. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. I just dropped 6400 on a Camaro on Ebay. I did not have the luxury of seeing or driving it. Sure it has a few little issues, but nothing I am afraid of. Don't be so quick to turn down a good deal when they come up. These 4th gens are over a decade old now, and most of them were probably driven pretty hard so they are gonna need a few things. The more of these deals that are turned down, the more cars that are gonna end up being scrapped. I fear for the future of the 4th gen F-body
    Did you even look at the pictures? It needs a lot more than TLC to get that 4th gen into reasonable condition.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneGunman View Post
    I don't understand some of you guys. When it comes time to sink a shitload of money into modding one of these cars you all are chomping at the bit. But when one comes up for sale at a stupid cheap price you wanna run away as if your hair is on fire, cuz it had a sketchy past and might need a little work. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this car. Your getting an LS1 car with t-tops(it sucks it's an auto, but still) that just needs a little tlc for less than 3500 bucks. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. I just dropped 6400 on a Camaro on Ebay. I did not have the luxury of seeing or driving it. Sure it has a few little issues, but nothing I am afraid of. Don't be so quick to turn down a good deal when they come up. These 4th gens are over a decade old now, and most of them were probably driven pretty hard so they are gonna need a few things. The more of these deals that are turned down, the more cars that are gonna end up being scrapped. I fear for the future of the 4th gen F-body
    There is a difference between fixing up a car and resurrecting one. The one in this thread has major issues. Not something for anyone besides a professional should and would deal with. Uni-bodies are very unforgiving with certain wrecks.

    The other 2 cars the OP asked about were not in as bad of shape as this one is. The OP asked for our opinons and we gave what we though (for me based on my personal experience). The OP is looking for a solid car that doesn't need immediate work.

    If I planned on making a heavy modified car any of those other two would have been ok, were as this one is good for cannibalization.

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    Yeah baby! Yeah! silverWS6's Avatar
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    Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! The one for a little $5g's was better than this one this one is sketchy! The interior looks horrible and lets be real, that's where you spend most of the time with your car. Also like its been said, it might've been rearended with those dents and the air bag light on. Anyways nothing that has not been said already but let the search continue and don't get frustrated/impatient and make a crappy purchase. Keep on looking brotha how far are you willing to travel for one? Maybe expand your search a couple of hours from your home area?

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    I vote no way! With that kind of mileage you can find one in way better shape within your budget.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverWS6 View Post
    Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! The one for a little $5g's was better than this one this one is sketchy! The interior looks horrible and lets be real, that's where you spend most of the time with your car. Also like its been said, it might've been rearended with those dents and the air bag light on. Anyways nothing that has not been said already but let the search continue and don't get frustrated/impatient and make a crappy purchase. Keep on looking brotha how far are you willing to travel for one? Maybe expand your search a couple of hours from your home area?
    I am still looking. I have expanded my search to 200 miles on auto trader and ebay.com. In my immediate area or in KY or IN, not finding any (or good) 98+ that will fit my budget.

    I have looked at some Z28's, but I really like the way the Trans Am's look.

    Here is one Z28 that is still in consideration. However, when I talked to the guy, he said the driver seat has some tears in it. Which is why he lowered it to $5,500, but he said he is willing to lower it a little more if I pay cash.

    Description:

    "2000 CHEVROLET CAMARO Z28 T-TOPS LS1 5.7L V8 110K MILES LOADED POWER WINDOWS POWER DOOR LOCKS NEWER AM/FM CD PLAYER RADIO KEYLESS ENTRY RUNS AN DRIVES GREAT CLEAN IN AN OUT WAS ASKING $6000 NOW ON SALE $5500"

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    Yeah baby! Yeah! silverWS6's Avatar
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    That one looks good and it has been the lowest miles you've found right? Anyways if you REALLY want a Trans Am then I would advise that you wait it out for a Trans Am because a Camaro will not keep you satisfied. Gotta get what you really want or else you might kick yourself later.

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    Yeah, that is true! I figured it is an LS1 engine, so that is at least a plus. The Camaro's are not bad, I just like the body style of the Trans Am a little better!

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    so far out of all of the ones you've posted this one looks like it was taken care of the most.

    $5500 for a 2000 is a really good price. The mileage is close to what I got mine for. If it's all stock I'd really consider this one. Stock gives you a blank canvas.

    I recommend going out to look for it.

    A couple of questions to ask him: 1) Original owner? @) Maintenance upkeep, has he any records? If so then this was very well maintained. If not not really a big deal it's just that when someone takes the effort to record what maintenance they've done to their car usually means they care.



    I understand wanting a Trans Am. Too me they have always been the sexier looking of the two.

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    Nice car, but you said yourself that you prefer a Trans Am. Don't buy something your not going to enjoy.

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    2002 Trans Am WS6 - Red
    2013 Chevy Traverse LTZ

    I did a quick search from Cars.com with a 250 mile from this zip code 45101 which is in Ohio somewhere and found this listing. There are no photos, but the price is right and the miliage is great for a 98 auto.

    1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, $5,999 - Cars.com

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    camaros are nice, but if you prefer the T/A take your time and find what u really want or you will kick yourself for it later

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