What Do You Think These Projects Are Worth?

Valiant and Comet

From Daniel Z – I have have 2 restoration project cars that were started over 20 years ago and remain unfinished. Does storage of the cars in an old New England Mill building constitute a Barn Find? The cars have had been stripped to bare metal, all rust areas surgically removed and replaced and the cars have been repainted. The upholstery and engine have been redone in the ’66 Plymouth Valiant 200 in painstaking detailed. Not sure if I’ll ever have the time to finish the cars and so I’m wondering what they might be worth as is. On the ’66 Plymouth Valiant… I’ve had the bumpers straightened and re-chromed, the windshield and rubber replaced, front seat re-upholstered with NOS fabric, purchased replacement carpet, and had the grill cleaned up and clear anodized. All the parts are with the car and included. In regard to the 1960 Mercury Comet…. the car was stripped down, cancer cut out and new sheet metal installed and the car repainted with enamel. So my question is: what might these, not in demand but affordable vintage classic cars that the grandparent might have driven are worth?

Valiant Engine
Here is the Valiant’s rebuilt engine.


Comet Engine
And this is the Mercury Comet’s original engine.


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  1. Dennis

    Unless these two cars hold some sentimental value, they will never be worth what it would take to restore them.

    • Real Rey

      These cars are not in demand but are a piece of history that would bring their value up. I would think they should be worth about $2500 to $3000 each as is.

  2. nathanael mattingly

    who knows what they might be worth. what are you asking for the mercury?

  3. Walt

    I have to agree on this, I would suggest selling them as is and
    cutting your losses. Sell them separately I think, appealing to
    the Mopar and ford guys in turn. Best of luck in this. Walt

  4. ben

    there worth what someone who wants them is willing to pay just some old special interest cars some ones first car as a teen driver grand paws grandmas its had to say there are a lot of strange car guys out there as u should know after all u wanted to restore them have a blessed day ben

    • phoneman91

      Well stated,Ben!

      One of my first cars was a 63 Comet. And I still enjoy seeing one at a car show-even 50 years later.

      And the 144 six could get the car around-with the three on the tree and 3.50 rear gears.

  5. jeff6599

    Dumbesilleh! The value for each can simply be calculated.
    The ’66 Valient will have a value according to the Old Cars Price Guide, of approx. $4200 when finished. Just get an estimate from a shop on how much to finish it. Presuming all the missing parts are present, about 4 days to install engine components and front end sheet metal at $80/hr gives you about $2500 plus $400 for miscellaneous exhaust, brake, belt, hose, etc. components and you have $1300 for the value of what you can afford to start with. If you’re a car guy and do the work yourself, it may take several more days, but the labor is your own and you get paid for it when the car is done and sold.

    The ’60 Comet is worth about $3800 when complete, but it looks like there is a little less to do. Let’s say 2 days at $80/hr and the same $400 in parts. That totals $1300 plus $400 and leaves about $2100 for the car’s value as is.

    Agree or disagree with the numbers, but this is the method to use. Make sure you don’t leave any cost item out or there is no way to come out. Taking it to another city to an auction? Cover your transportation, motel, meals, commissions, etc. or you won’t make out.

  6. George

    I would think that they are of equal value: Zero

    Neither is desirable, or even cute. When new, the Comet’s quality was comparable to a can of dog food, and sounded tinny. The motor was so underpowered that they would only deliver 12 mph at 60. The Plymouth’s were far superior and actually looked like they might be a car. The slant 6 had some power, provided better fuel economy and were structurally sound. Chrysler economy cars were less expensive and more reliable than Ford’s counterparts.

    I would be embarrassed to show up at the local car show driving either one of the cars. It would be hard to admit that I had spent my time restoring the cars, either of which could probably be bought out of the local paper in pristine condition for $500.00.

    • booya

      Not going to get anything in pristine condition for $500.

      Still, these have what would in all fairness be called a “narrow” market. They aren’t popular nostalgia vehicles. Some book somewhere might say $4200 on the Valiant because someone paid $4200 for one five years ago, someplace. Once. Lighting probably won’t strike twice. Same goes for the Comet. I can’t see either bringing much more than $3K even in as-delivered survivor condition. So the only reason to restore them would be because you really want to do it. Which is usually good enough reason enough to do anything, provided your children aren’t going hungry and your mother doesn’t need an eye operation or something.

    • Chris in WNC

      sorry, George, you’re full of baloney here.
      limited market? sure.
      but I’m one of the oddballs who would much rather drive this Comet than a restored Mustang or tri-5 Chevy.
      with the body completely rust-free and fresh driver-quality paint, I’d jump at this one if I didn’t have another car already waiting for my attention.
      price would depend on drivetrain condition- does it need an engine rebuild?
      no? I think the $2000 guesstimate is right on.
      yes? drop it down to $1000 or so.

    • Larry

      George I don’t think you made many friends. :-)

  7. grant

    Darn George thats pretty harsh. Daniel in short they are worth whatever you can get someone to pay you for them. You probably wont make your money back. But don’t be embarrassed by what you have done. I like Comets.

  8. glen

    Pristine condition for $500.00?, Really? That would be awesome!

    • Chris in WNC

      no kidding. bring me a few, George, I’ll buy them till I run out of storage space…..

  9. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    Walt and Glen are right on………..with good advice

    With due respect, ignore the jeff6599 and George “advice” as worthless. George is obviously NOT a classic car person…and jeffs ‘formula’ is not bad, but does NOT correctly determine true value

  10. Mike S

    Unfortunately when you started yor restoration projects way back when you picked the wrong cars! Split the pair and find the guys that want to surprise their wives with the first car she ever drove. Any way you slice it the end product will be worth less than the cost to complete. A guy will ignore that to make his wife happy!

  11. Dolphin Member

    I like Mike S’s idea, probably the best idea here for maximum prices on the cars.

    You could use Ebay auctions to get what they are worth today. It’s a low cost way to get them out there, and you get very wide exposure for very little cost. CL listings don’t cost you, but will get you much less exposure.

    Offer them in separate auctions/listings and use lots of good clear photos of both the cars and all parts that go with each car. Show all that good metalwork and paint clearly and with good lighting. Roll them out of the building if necessary. Use a good digital camera, not a cellphone.

    Use realistic reserves—-the lowest prices you will let each car go for. If you really want to sell them, have realistic opening bids with no reserves. Just be sure you would sell them at those opening bid prices if you get only one bid for each car.

    The advantage of a no-reserve auction is that it increases the chance that the car will sell, and realistic opening bids with no reserves increase the chances that people will get involved in the auctions and bid because they know that someone will get the car and that it might be them. Offer to cooperate with haulers for shipping, but make it clear that the buyer pays for the shipping.

    I can’t believe there will not be interest in cars like yours given all the time/money/effort that has gone into the metalwork and paint, especially since so many of the affordable cars that are offered today are rusty and incomplete. Just because they are not Superbees or Marauders doesn’t mean that a good solid Valiant or Comet won’t appeal to someone. Most car guys out there don’t have mega-$$$ to spend.

    Let us know how your sales turned out. Good luck, Daniel. I hope you get prices that reward you for the good work you’ve put into these cars.

  12. GreaserMatt

    I know lots of people that love these cars; $500? yeah, right,,, whens the last time you checked your local craigslist? You can’t even buy an ’86 Honda civic for $500…

  13. Daverd

    I’d like to own the Plymouth valiant
    The cars are worth something ( more than 500
    Bucks to someone ( including me)
    Certainly they will sell for a reasonable
    Price with all of the restoration
    Work done to them.

  14. John

    I wish everyone would quit judging the monetary value of cars like this. They look great, and I would like to have either of them. And I would like to finish them up just because they deserve it. Value is not all measured in money. Please let us know when they get to the place that they are actually for sale.

  15. GOPAR

    Lots of good advice, some not so good. But I give a hardy AMEN to John. They’re not exactly super-desirable rides, but they ARE good historical pieces. Everybody’s grandpa had one. Good luck!

  16. Rex Kahrs Member

    I just have to take this opportunity to say that ben’s comment was not “well stated” in the least!

    Forgive me if I mention that:

    *Paragraphs should be indented;

    *Capital letters (in the right places, but not throughout) are appropriate;

    *It’s OK to break up your writing in to more than one sentence, rather than one
    rambling lower-case paragraph-sentence thingy; and finally…..

    *Punctuation really can help make your writing more understandable to the
    reader. That is, a comma here and there helps to slow down the meter of the
    sentences, and makes reading your posts easier and more enjoyable. Stringing
    every word you know together into a long rambling sentence makes you look
    like you don’t know what you’re talking about. At the very least it makes you
    look like you never made it out of 7th grade.

  17. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    Hey Ben. Ignore the “teacher’s” comments about your post.

    I understood what you were saying, and your points were not only correct, they were a heck of a lot MORE APPROPRIATE on this site, than the insulting “English Lesson” posted by Rex.

    And Rex, I always use indentation for new paragraphs, but this forum program left-justifies the space, so there is no indent.

    Let’s stay on topic …these two cars

  18. jesus bortoni

    $1500 for the Valiant.

  19. Richard

    I was an apprentice mechanic when these cars were new and therefore they hold some emotional attachment for me. I also have a ’60 Tbird and a ’63 Corvair Convertable for the same reason. I think there are a few people who would love to complete these cars, including me, but then also like me they probably don’t want to spend a lot of money on them.

    Anyone who has done a restoration, and paid someone to do the work, will tell you that is unlikely you will ever get back the money you put in. And, if you do the work yourself it is essentially a labor of love that will build sweat equity.

    Having said all of that I would be interested in either, or both, of these cars. At a reasonable price of course.

  20. Chris A.

    When finished, the Valiant is by far the better car. Our family second car in the 60’s was a Comet like this one. Build quality was horrendous as was the materials for the interior. It was a Ford Falcon with newer clothes. As the car was heavier than a Falcon, the poor engine was really stressed. The suspension was from the Falcon sedan and because the shocks couldn’t handle the extra weight they wore out really fast. Everyone in the family fought to drive the VW rather than the “Vomit”. Sorry to dump on the car, but I’d rather put my money and effort into the Valiant. Sell them as separate projects. Somewhere out there is a slant 6 fan and someone who just has to have a Comet. Don’t try to get your money back by finishing either one.

  21. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    yes – you would be surprised at what a Valiant 4 door will bring….the Cuba and down south boys love them…..

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