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Price for '96 LT-1 'Bird vert...???

This is a discussion on Price for '96 LT-1 'Bird vert...??? within the Convertible forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Many of you may have noticed that I've been searching for the right LT-1 F-body convert for the past two ...

  1. #1
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    Price for '96 LT-1 'Bird vert...???

    Many of you may have noticed that I've been searching for the right LT-1 F-body convert for the past two years (especially since I just missed on the purchase of a super-rare-and-nice '95 purple Formula convert...) so that I can become a genuine owner and contributing member here.

    Would now GREATLY appreciate any advice on the price to offer for a near-mint, original-owner 80,000-mile black '96 Formula auto-trans convertible, with many new typical parts (window and light motors, water pump, trans mount, etc.), so that I can finalize a deal I'm negotiating on this local (SoCal) car.

    Thanks guys in advance, and I'll apologize to the administrator in advance as well if this should be in another category ----please fell free to move....

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Sounds neat. 80,000 is pretty low for a 96. I have seen some pretty nice LT1 verts in stock unmodified condition selling from $8-12,000 in my area, these are low mileage, well kept cars. When you figure these LT1's are getting 10+ years old now, it's getting harder to find a nice unmolested LT1 that hasn't been ran into the ground. Prices will reflect that, especially East of the Mississippi where I am from, since road salt and nasty summer weather can take it's toll on a car.
    On the west coast (where I buy all my cars anyway) prices seem to be slightly cheaper due to the nicer weather, it's much easier to find a well preserved car out there and the prices seem to reflect that too.

    Most of the verts you find will be decent low mileage cars, since they are generally reserved for fair weather driving out here. There are plenty of well used solid roof or T-top cars around here that you can snag for $4-6,000 but they need some work in my opinion.

    It really comes down to what you want to pay,,,and being happy with the dollar amount you give for it. If you like the car, plan on keeping it, and you have the money, then pay what you feel comfortable with. Everyones opinion is different on what a car is worth, and the blue book values are worthless when it comes to low mileage, low production type cars. The price is then pretty much dictated by what the market is on a particular car and what others are getting for them.

    Goodluck, hope it works out.

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    Thanks for the input. It is difficult since -- as you say -- there are so many variables -- even just geography, as you pointed out.

    The buyer is asking $8,600, I'm thinking of offering $7,400...maybe 7,600 tops, because (1) gas prices have driven down F-body prices here in SoCal making price guides obsolete unless updated on a monthly basis... (2) The ASKING prices for LT-1s in a lot of the national ads and E-Bay are ALL OVER the place, from $4,500 to $16,500 (even for near-100,000-mile-cars), but the high-priced ones seem to sit for months if not years, and the actual selling prices seem to be MUCH lower, at least on E-Bay. Right now, for example, I've seen a "one-owner, 12,000-mile" '97 Formula convertible sit for almost a year at the seller's $15,000 asking price, while a multi-owner 65,000-mile example of the same car has also sat for months at a "$7,200-or-best-offer" asking price.

    Since I've noticed that F-bodies can require a lot more maintenance than, say, a Toyota, I hate to pay more than $7,600 for an old LT-1 if I may have to replace something like the transmission in a few months, since I have limited funds right now.

    But, also as you say, the value of an un-modified, well-maintained, original-owner car is certainly worth a little more to some guys like me, and it sounds like you as well, especially since F-body converts were built in such low numbers. It seems like I only see a nice original-owner example offered for a reasonable price only once or twice a year.

    So thanks for wishing me luck!

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Yes you are right in thinking that low mileage unmolested cars are worth more to me. I have seen some of the butcher jobs kids have done on some of these cars, hokey exhaust, dashes cut apart and big stereo's, and many other things I don't like. Sometimes this stuff leads to more problems down the road. I would much rather spend more money on a stock untouched car that I know hasn't been messed with. Just personal preference.

    I wasn't aware gas prices were affecting car prices though. I have never been a slave to gas prices and just drive what ever I want reguardless. Out here I have always ran 94 octane in all my cars I drive, and have never paid less than $3.00 a gallon, which is actually cheap in my opinion,,,because most of the time it's more like $3.40 a gallon here,,,been buying that gas for about the last 30 years and don't remember paying less than $3.00 a gallon for the last 4-5 years at least. So when the prices jump up and down I really don't notice it, since I am used to paying it anyway.

    Shucks,,,,my daily driver is a 79 Monza with a stout 406 and muncie 4 speed combo, gets about 12 mpg driving it easy.

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    Hell -- I'm so old that I remember my buddy and I feeling like it was the second coming when Chevy put the 305 (2 barrel!) in the poor old Monza (and Sunbird) in '79, that's how sad the state of new cars were back then. I think that's why the 4th-gen F-bodies seem like miracles to me now.

    Hope that Monza has a stout rear-end...!

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    LOL, wow it's funny to see someone here familiar with Hbodies, a car that is just about extinct now,,,and yes I run a 12 bolt in it.

    Yes I agree, it's hard to believe these Fbodies GM was making, especially when comparing to cars from the late 70's. But I have always had a thing for a V8 in a small package, with several vegas and monzas over the years. Makes a great daily driver. My current monza actually came from out your way,,,picked it up a few years ago in LA. I have family out west and buy most all of my cars out there. You guys have some nice rust free 30 year old stuff still running aroung,,,,,

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    We also have some pretty nice rust free 30 year old stuff NOT running around out here --- in our salvage yards. The Pick-a-Part near me used to have amazing bargains --- now the prices are higher and the parts mostly just boring stuff, but there was a time eight years ago or so when there were some amazing bargains. I once stripped a '65 Chrysler 300 simply because the parts were so mint that I simply couldn't let them be crushed. The diecast grille was perfect and not only included the rare glass headlight covers, but also must have weighed more than the entire nose of a typical car today. I sold it and the entire mint 300 interior for ten times what I paid.

    On a note more relevant to you, I also grabbed an entire body package from a rare '77(?) Monza Mirage -- again on spec, with the intention of flipping it for profit --- with the realization that I might have to hold onto it for months before the right buyer came along.

    I sold it to a Monza fanatic less than three hours after posting it for sale...!

    You just never know....

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I know exactly what you mean. I used to frequent the pick-a-parts out there everytime I visited. Several years ago the old cars were still there, and I would pick anything I could fit in a large suitcase for the plane trip back. I would actually buy a suitcase while I was out there and fill it with car parts.
    Can't do that now since airlines frown on that sort of thing since 9-11,,,,don't ask how I found that out The large stuff I was keeping at the inlaws house, which has since sold, now I have all my parts moved to a rental/storage facility that I have been paying on for about 4 years now,,,with plans of moving out west in the future.

    What can I say, I am a pack rat and parts hord,,,even 2,000 miles away there are parts waiting for me,,,lol.

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