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How to price a totally disassembled car? - Europa - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
Sam Culpepper

How to price a totally disassembled car?

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I am new here, and joined expressly to ask for some help. I have owned two Lotus cars in the past, a 1964 Elan and a 1974 Europa TC. I recently came across a 1973 Europa TC Special that , except for the transmission, is COMPLETELY disassembled. The story is that the only owner had parked the car several years ago, intending to restore it after he retired, but he died,  leaving everything torn apart. He had ordered a lot of nice restoration parts, plus he retained many of the takeoffs. The car has about 35,000 original honest miles, and was never wrecked or abused. My question is, how does one price such an offering. I am competent to do all of the assembly, but must farm out the body, paint, and engine work ( the engine is disassembled). One other note. I am 78 years old, and do not want to meet the fate of the previous owner, leaving a mess for my heirs. How long should a restoration project like this require? Any comments, suggestions, or help will be appreciated.

I do hope this message does not violate any of your forum regulations.

Thank You for reading this.

Sam Culpepper

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Just the position I worry about leaving my family in. (Lotus complete but Citroen in a zillion bits)

You could start with the price of an unrestored (but in need of) vs a fully restored version. The price must be somewhere between those numbers. 

Take the cost of body, paint and engine off price No 2 and you must be somewhere near, allowing for the time it would take to reassemble the parts.

The alternative is to start with price (1), add the purchased parts and add the time to get to this point.

My big worry would be being assured of getting ALL the parts. The deal would need to allow you to look through and possible to return if needs be. Its likely the seller would be happy for this as it must be a nightmare for them - you will be doing them a huge favour in a way!

 


"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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Hi and welcome Sam.

Ultimately the answer is that it's worth what you or someone else will pay for it. Currently, it's a collection of parts that happen to be from the same car. It would cost the estate tens of thousands to fix/paint/reassemble them and then the car will be worth tens of thousands, perhaps more, more likely less than it'll cost. To you, it's a fun project that it sounds like you'll enjoy so you're certainly the better custodian of the parts. I'd be starting pretty low at a few/several thousand but certainly not a lot. 

That said, I'm no Europa expert and if you think it's worth more and can splash to cash, pay them whatever they ask if you really want to enjoyment of the rebuild. 


88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

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Sam

As I'm sure you know, a TC Special is probably the ultimate Europa (JPS?). In the UK, in very good condition, original TC Special's are probably worth £25-£30k (US$33k to $39k) and just roadworthy cars from £10-£15k (US$13k to 20k).

Projects, when advertised, tend to go for probably more money than they are probably should given the expense of restoration even if the work is going to be 'in-house'

If you fancy the challenge of restoring it yourself and don't mind losing money on it then why not?  If you're looking to simply make a turn on it then I'd give it a miss. 

 

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I am consistently amazed how much wrecks/restoration projects/money-pits can fetch. Crummy Excels seem to fetch 2k to 5k, yet a fully sorted Excel would feature on CNN as major news if it sold for 12k. Getting an Excel from biscuit ashes to beauty is way more than 10k of lolly, let alone sweat and heartbreak. 

The reason is that many owners adore the restoration process. They enjoy 'dirt under the fingernails', they enjoy the challenge, the pain, the thrills, spills, ills and Pils at the end of another day of knuckle sores. Finding project cars is not so easy, so prices tend to be disproportionately high. 

Personally, I find it challenging to check the oil....my joy of ownership is driving.

Your Europa: move on. Why? At 78, you should be enjoying a car on the road. Keep brass in pocket and buy a M100, Excel or Elise depending on your budget. The time for best is now.

Good luck. 

Justin 

 

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I am surprised at the quality and quantity of advice given so fast. Thank you men. My main concern is the car just goes to waste, and is never finished. It is a really nice restoration candidate with a really high potential if properly done. I just do not want to be taken to the cleaners as the project develops. If I get the car, there will be pictures as time goes on, and that way you can share some of my enthusiasm for the effort.

Thanks again!

Sam

 

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Welcome to TLF Sam. :welcome:

I wish I could, but I can only give you my best for whatever you decide. Now wasn’t  that easy?


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Hi Sam,

Welcome to the forum, my take on the project is, if you feel up to it, nothing beats the feeling of driving a car, that you have spent time blood, sweat and tears restoring to an event and talking to even just one admiring person about the problems/fun you encountered during the restoration project. Take a chance, make a low opening offer, if you get it great, if it gets to much move it on but live safe in the knowledge that you have helped save another rare Lotus. 

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Sam

For you to know what it's worth paying, to me, you need to know why you want it. Is it to save it and prevent someone just selling for spares? It certainly seems too good to break with good history, one owner and low mileage. Do you hope to make a few Bob on it? Or do you want a project to keep you busy (and judging from what you say, boy will it keep you busy 😊). Maybe you think it can be rebuilt then you get some road use from it? 

You ask the question about time to restore it, which I don't see many have commented on. Impossible question to answer, but if cost was no option and you farm lots of work out (i.e. you act as a project manager and don't get your hands dirty) , I'd say you'll do well to be on the road in less than 6 months - but you'll need deep pockets and spend far more than the cars worth. If you're planning on doing chassis, suspension, electrics, preparing body for paint and full reassembly of all parts, (subbing engine rebuild and paint to others) if you did it in less than 2 years you'd have achieved a miracle in my opinion. There are many restoration threads on the forum of many different models and you won't look far to find ones that run 4, 5 or more years 😢

Which goes full circle to "Why do you want it?" Answer that and you'll know its value to you. Figures around 3 - 5 K are mentioned above, which feels about right to me if you have the time to do the work yourself, just letting others do retrim, engine and paint. 

Hope my thoughts help in some little way. 

Tony 

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Thanks, Tony!

That was a very reasonable approach to resolving my question. Because of this virus thing, the executor who currently is managing the estate has not been to Texas lately, and we have not had any communication recently. I will keep the forum posted if and when anything more develops.

Sam

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Sam

FWIW: its a huge undertaking and I would say that actually very few people have the 'mentality' never mind the means, to make a success of this kind of project. Its almost guaranteed that some parts if not missing, you'll want to replace and some of those could be very difficult to find. I hoard parts and my Europa is completely functional.

I know people who are not really interested in DRIVING classics. They are 'serial' restorers, they do a fantastic job and then its up for sale to fund the next project and so on and so on - they've done it time and time again. They never get the money back for the hours and other costs. They do it because they love it. If you're such a person then its for you - but if you have the slightest doubt, I wouldn't attempt it. Europa prices in the US seem to me to be less than UK (RHD is also required in Japan). So my advice is get something ready to go - believe me you'll be fully occupied keeping it spick and span! Sorry that this might sound negative just trying to be realistic.

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