Update 4/3/14 – Now we get to see what Doug’s Fairlane really is worth! He has listed it here on eBay and even took out a reader classifieds ad over there on the side of the page. The car looks good and we are excited to see what it goes for. Thanks Doug!
From 3/15/14 – A few days ago, reader Doug M contacted us about an idea for a new feature and we have to say, we love the idea! The title for his proposed feature, “What’s this Car Worth?”, describes the theme perfectly. Doug currently has this 1963 Ford Fairlane Sport Coupe parked in his shop and can’t decide whether he should invest more money into it or cut it lose to make room for other projects. Not being a Ford guys, he isn’t sure if it makes sense to fix all of the issues, just the major problems, or if he should just sell it before he’s in too deep. We aren’t experts on Ford Fairlanes, but with the collective wisdom of the BF community we should be able to give him a better idea of what it’s worth, if it makes sense to invest more money into it, and how to better present his old beater when it comes time to sell. We think this new feature type will be a great way for all of us to learn about what to do with our finds and projects. There are some ground rules though that we want to lay out beforehand so that everyone can have fun and learn together. The rules and more information about Doug’s car are right after the break.
For this to work we need everyone to share their knowledge, experiences, and opinions, but let’s keep things friendly and fun. So, please no one-liners calling this a “piece of junk”! If you think it’s worth x amount of dollars, please tell us why. Don’t feel like you have to limit your commentary to just the positives of this car. For example, being a six-cylinder car might be a negative mark against the value and is something we all want to hear about and discuss. Don’t feel that the conversation has to be just about valuations either, if there is something interesting about the Ford Fairlane that you want to share, please feel free to do so! If you have great memories or experiences with a Fairlane, please share. At the end of the day, this new feature type is about everyone sharing, learning, and having fun, so please keep that in mind. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to Doug’s Fairlane!
Understanding how this car came to Doug is important in advising him on what to do with it. We often get so tied up in just one aspect of valuing a car. For us it’s usually about what we paid for the car, but we often overlook the cost of fixing it. When you’re on a tight budget, you have to think about what a project is really going to cost in the end. On the initial investment front, Doug got lucky as he received the car in trade for unpaid rent. We won’t go into the exact amount, but so far he has more in repairs than what it cost him to aquire the car.
Doug has already done a lot of work to his Ford, but has tried to keep his expenses to a minimum. So far he has drained the tank, changed the oil, installed a new fuel pump, filters, clutch, throw out bearing, ignition switch, and rebuilt the carburetor. He has the motor running well, but the brakes barely work and first gear doesn’t work at all. The right front fender was damaged when he got it, but he had a new fender painted and installed. The interior is in serious need of attention, but he has some parts for it. He has done some research on getting the transmission rebuilt and the interior redone, but isn’t sure where to go from here. The 3-speed will cost between $500 and $1000 to rebuild, but he wonders if it’s worth keeping it stock, if it would be better to install a different engine and transmission, or if he should just sell it with the bad gear.
The interior is one of Doug’s other major concerns. When he got it, it was full of mouse nests and one of the front seats was completely missing. He cleaned it out and located a replacement seat, but all the upholstery needs to be redone. Redoing the whole interior could get expensive, so he isn’t sure whether to tackle it or leave it for the next owner to take on. Since he isn’t planning on keeping it long term, he is leaning towards leaving it, but he knows the impact that could have on resell.
Most of us have been in Doug’s shoes when it comes to deciding what to do with a project. Even if it’s a labor of love, there is always that question of whether to restore or leave things alone. We are just glad that Doug trusted us to bring his dilemma here for advice. So if this were your project, what would you do with it? Would you do more to it or would you leave it as is and move it along? If you were to do more, what things would you focus on? If you moved it along, what would you do to make it an easier sale? Let us know and if you are curious what your car might be worth or would just like to get everyone’s advice on what to do with it, send us an email here at firstname.lastname@example.org!