What is a parts car worth?

cwalker509

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So I am in the process (finally) of getting serious about putting the 71 vert back together.  I am considering getting a parts car for two reasons.  First is to use as a guide to reassemble mine.  Second is to have an on hands source for the miscellaneous items that i am bound to have misplaced or were missing to begin with.  Lastly is to sell miscellaneous items that i do not need (I already have most parts from a Sprint i stripped a while ago). I have an empty spot in my garage.  I was wondering what the basic value i should associate with a parts car.  Baseline assumption is 302-2v (so 8" rear), auto, no a/c (drivetrain is complete but not running).  Also assume basic instrument cluster, no map light, standard interior, no center gages, std column, (missing all the goodies people like).  Do assume disc brakes and complete glass.  Interior trashed as to be expected but still useful for parts.  Consider the cars essentially complete but body rusted out.  So essentially a car that is really not worth restoring (aside from an individuals emotional attachment, i get that) but is pretty much complete. I am just looking for some guidance and any decision is mine alone.  If you don't mind sharing your history of purchasing parts cars, please share any insight you may have.  I think many of us know map light, gages, tachs, M-Code, etc will increase price (and may make it worth restoring)

Convertible

Coupe

Sportsroof

Grande

Mach I

I have access to buy a 71 vert that has been sitting covered in a field for at least 5 yrs.  I looked at it once but with the mindset of restoring. Now to make things even more interesting.......I also located a 71 sportsroof that was converted to fold down rear seat but the body is really solid but requires some massaging here and there (doors open and close nicely).  All necessary panels replaced.  Cowl not yet examined by me (front floor pans replaced so not a great sign). Some pin holes in trunk.  Missing drivetrain.  Was a 302 but 9" installed along with staggered shocks and rear sway bar.  Dash is there but everything else is stripped from car and would need to be sourced somewhere (engine bay and interior is missing).  The seller has most parts for the car and i could probably get a deal on the other items as an initial purchase.  Door glass gone but windshield and rear glass is there.  Trim is all there.  I want to avoid buyers remorse.  I just bought a 25CFM compressor and am going to be painting the vert and building the engine so money is kinda tight at the moment.

I only have room for one more car in the garage (I live in a subdivision so can't just roll it behind the house).

 

kcmash

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1971 Mach 1, Grabber Blue w/Argent stripes. Original 2V 351C Auto, Tilt, rear defog, Black Comfortweave Interior. Under restoration. Original colors, 4V 351C, 4-Speed, Spoilers, Magnums, Ram Air. All Ford parts.
My opinion.  With all the replacement parts available now, non rare vin cars are not worth much.  Considering the great supporters and vendors on this site, it would be hard to justify a parts car in a subdivision setting.

it used to be that the parts cars were worth the selling price of the prices plus you4 labor to dismantle and inventory.  Now with nearly everything being reproduced, unless people are matching date codes on a high end car, the parts are hardly worth refinishing.

items like weatherstrip channels, consoles, 71/72 urethane front bumpers, rear defogger, tilt steering, tach harnesses, and power brake 4 speed pedal boxes, I am not sure that there is much else you can’t buy new.  Power window bezel clips are rare, but mostly broken anyway.  Rear roll down or power window tracks are good too, but you can get those shipped to you for 100 bucks from people who part cars out for a living.

As far as assembly references, between this site and the 429Mustang Couga megasite, you should be able to find all the correct information you need to put it together correctly.

better to grab the parts you need and leave the parts cars to someone else.

So for the cars you listed.  I would say 50 to $200 max.  Otherwise you will regret it.

Free opinions by kcmash

 
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I have bought three parts cars in last 4 years. I paid $1,000 for a 72 vert with PS, PDB, long console, power windows, gauges, 351 H code, FMX, AM/FM, tilt column, tinted glass, convenience group. I am using the rear of the car to make a Mustang trailer and the PW and have sold most of the other parts for more than the car costs me.
A member posted the next 72 on the forum had been crashed and I paid $1,500 for it. Had a new top, new ceramic coated headers, pypes exhaust, long console, gauges, Perfect ginger interior, manual transmission, heads had just been pulled and valve job done, decore group, tilt column, 3 spoke. I sold the PDB, front cross member, splash shields, has good seat risers and good under floor reinforcements. 9 inch rear is good. I have used lots of the small parts on my build and will use the whole interior. 
The last one I bought I am torn about parting out. It is a 73 Grande but loaded with great options. Totally rust free and needs not one panel replaced, $1,000. Was going to crusher if I did not buy. Nobody had been interested in ad and his dad was tired of looking at it. Here is the Marti you can see all the great options. Nobody wants a Grande it seems. Even though the coupe body is the stiffest for drag racing or track racing. So I am considering build a track car out of it. I am building a 72 Q vert now and was going to make it a track car but might switch. 

Most 1971 - 1973 mustangs today are worth more as parts cars than as a whole car. Crazy but true. 

If you work at it you can tear down a car in two or three days to bare chassis and crush what is not good. 

View attachment 3F04H141423_dlxrpt.pdf

 

detritusmaximus

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1973 Grande #1 looong time ago
1970 Sportsroof #2 almost as long
1971 Sportsroof M-code #3 needs money
2008 GT #4 where the money went
For a parts car to be worth anything it's got to have parts that are worth something...to you or someone else. 

One thing to remember is that for any given model of car, generally whatever is wrong with yours will probably be wrong with a parts car. All the same parts wear out, rust out, get hit, etc. The only two variables are storage and region.

Unless...you find a decent car (restored or original) that recently got damaged. Or a rusty car that sat in a garage for 35 years. 

I'd love to have the rust free Grande David has. I'm not hung up on "it's got to be a rare Mach or Boss or nothing", if you can't drive and enjoy it, why bother. It sounds like a great car for someone to get their feet wet.

 
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cwalker509

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1971 Mustang Mach I
1972 Mexican GT-351
Thx everyone for the responses. Tells me the 71 vert 302 sitting in a field for 1500 (negotiable) is not a good deal. A local guy i get some parts from says he usually pays 500-1000 for a complete car. Shoot.. I want a coupe or grande but prefer a 71. For 1k I would have snatched that car up for sure to restore....hint hint. :whistling:

 

Hemikiller

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The convertible specific parts are somewhat valuable - rear quarter trim panels, rear seats, windshield and A-pillar trims, outer top well trims, etc. The filler panel between the trunk lid and top is usually rotted and worth something if it isn't. Even run of the mill parts are valuable now, since cars that were once considered "unrestorable" and used for parts are now being restored. A complete set of roll down quarter windows to convert a sportsroof is worth $200. Factory body panels in good condition with minimal rust are $100 each minimum. Various brackets and other items often tossed or lost, have value. 

 

mjlan

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If you are primarily shopping for reference purposes then a rusty original car has more value to you than one that has had all the rust repaired right?

If you are doing a concours resto then find a parts car with a build date as close to yours as possible assembled at the same plant as yours.

If you are not doing a resto and just want spare bits and pieces then find something of the same model year.

 

cwalker509

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Maybe I will take a day and go look at the convertible again.  I looked at it in late Dec last year and it is still available (so perhaps price is negotiable...I recall when i was there he said make an offer but i simply didn't want to deal with it then).  Car looks very complete but it has been out in the elements for years.  Interior is sad.  Pics sent to me were from when the current owner bought it.  Would have been a good deal then.  Then he parked it in a field and it sat. 

 

MikeGriese

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Parts cars become parts cars for a reason.  What makes a parts car "worth it" is if it has the parts you need for what you want to do to your car and those parts are in decent shape.  If you want to change drive trains, look for a car that has the drive train you want.  Want features - ditto.  I got "lucky" and found a car that was built within 2 weeks of my car, that had the SOME of the drive train I wanted, as well as some features.  The downside is that everything had to be rebuilt/refinished and in some cases replaced.  Other than the date codes on the engine bits and the other options, I'm not sure it was a good financial outcome. 

I would recommend documenting your parts car as much (or more) than your project car.  I didn't have room to leave the carcass laying around and having disassembly photos of that car would have been Very Handy.  For example, there are significant differences in cowls between air/non-air, power brake/manual brake features that would have been nice to address when all of the initial body work was done instead of having to go back and rework finished panels. 

 

mach71351c

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I been threw 5 parts cars. They were all useful in one way or another. Plus I made money to put back in to the project. I would try to stay under 1k for a parts car.  

 
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