Model T Prices
This general guide posted by David Grant Stewart on the Model T Ford
Club of America forum in 2003 is still pretty accurate. Selling prices
have not changed much since then, despite the high asking prices often
the impossibility of such a request, I [David]
submit my observations in the hope that they may provide some
orientation to some uninitiated soul who would like some guidance
without having to become an expert. Model T Values - Thumbnail sketch,
in United States 48 contiguous states as of Monday 10 March 2003:
Cars and original depot hacks and
pie wagons 1917-27:
Parts car only, not restorable:
Not complete, restorable with a
lot of work, engine may or may not run: $1,000
Mostly complete, correct,
disassembled, restorable: $2,000.
Mostly complete, correct,
recently assembled, restorable: $2,500.
Complete, correct, never
disassembled, restorable: $3,500.
Runs, drives, correct, needs
total restoration $4,500
Runs and drives, mostly correct,
looks like a 10 year old used car: $6,000.
Everything works, not correct
(wrong year engine, etc.), looks decent: $6,000.
Everything works, almost all
correct, looks decent: $7,500.
Show room condition, correct,
needs nothing functionally or cosmetically: $10,000.
Completely "restored" but with
incorrect "upgrades" such as pre-1919 starter, incorrect accessories,
etc.: $10,000 but buyers will be a different group than previous item.
Rip van Wrinkle: Car stored
inside since new, less than 1000 miles: $20,000.
Complete factory type
restoration, every nut and bolt reconditioned, completely correct:
Ought to be worth $20,000, but the market will not pay much more than
Trucks other than original pie
wagons: Deduct 50%
Depot hacks, reproduction bodies:
Speedsters, reproduction bodies:
Town cars with original bodies:
Pre-1917: Add $1000 for each year
down to 1909.
Body only: 60% of the value of
the car. Chassis only: 40% of the value of the car.
Generally, cars needing total
restoration are overpriced because they are a liability, not an asset,
and the cost of restoring them far exceeds their finished value. This
is unfair, but true. Generally, cars restored with thousands of hours
of expert work are under-priced, but no one will pay their true value.
Again, it’s unfair, but true. If you want to make money restoring cars,
the best way to do it is to buy a car that is complete, original, and
basically sound, but does not run. Spend 50 hours and $500 on it fixing
only what is broken and give it a nice paint job so that when you're
done it runs, everything works, and it looks decent, and advertise it
for twice what you paid for it. If you want to do it right (partial
translation: take everything completely apart), forget about making
money. Subsidize it with your regular job. Buy a good working car to
enjoy until you get this one done. It will take longer than you
thought. It will cost more than you thought. It is impossible to
restore any part without complete dismantling. You never know what you
have until you take it apart. Caution: For any car that has been
"restored" request a photographic record of each stage, and information
on the experience, background, and motivation of the restorer. The word
means ten different things to ten different people.