I have recently been presented with an '81 280ZX (without the Turbo) and can get it for around $1000. I was looking at it and thought that it'd be a really nice car to restore and make it look and run well again. The only problem I'm running into now is that of money. I was hoping that someone, Somewhere on this site might be able to help me figure out how much I'll be able to sell this car for after I'm done with it. Any help is appreciated.
Honestly - don't ever ever think you are going to restore a Z and have a collectable car that will be worthy of Barret-Jackson; who is prob inflating the collector car market as it is.
Z cars are a special breed - they are a DRIVER'S car - not an antique mark that will bring big bucks. They are collectable to us who know the value of these cars is in the way they drive and the way they make us feel while driving - that can not really be expressed in monetary value.
So how much is the love of your life worth?
Ok - look at my signature - I paid $2,500 for ZXelda (yes my cars have names and they are female and my wife who does not drive names the cars - that's when I know I can buy the car. But If I get another one - she'll think she can get another cat.
ZXelda ran ok for a year then problems, too many guys think they are a mechanic and all they can do is change parts - ah but which parts? So I prob have $4000 in repairs - but - I found a Z expert who got my little girl back to factory spec and runs like a Bat out of Austin during a Republican convention.
ZXita - cost me $400 and a Buffalo Coat but the engine blew a head gasket - my fault I think - but I had another Z31 with a good engine and a not great interior - so cheaper to switch engine ($800 for Zorra who is now parts car at my mechanic's shop) so add labor cost for the switch.
ZXena cost nearly $3000 and ran pretty good for a year - then - well she was never given the timing belt changes at 60,000 and 120,000 miles - sooo - close to $5000 later I have a great running good looking car.
Now resale - well **** no. These cars are family and will remain in the stable until I fall in love with another - but that's not happening for a long while if ever. Some day a 240Z, a 350Z rag top - if ever or by that time and I'm still breathing - a 370Z. But I'll be drooling over a 450 0r 500Z by then.
So the point is -
Get an average price of a new car today. Add your normal maintence cost, insurance and taxes and road fees. What figure do you get?
Now if you buy a reasonable good running used car for $2000 and add at least $1000 more to get tune up minor reapairs and other things to make her run or look better and see what your figure is.
My conclusion is figure $2000 dollars a year for a used car in use and value and you are way ahead of the game for transportation cost. So ZXena is an $8000 car on my account book - but I have had her now for almost 5 years. Average the 8K and see what I have in her now. Accountants call that amortization.
Now look at the asking prices of used Zcars around the country. Then see what they are actually selling for.
You are not going to make a profit - or not much of one on fixing up and selling Zcars.
If you fall inlove with them like we have then watch out.
Carrol Shelby - "If you want to make a small fortune in cars - start with a big fortune".