How to sell a classic car?
March 10, 2014 12:30 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to help my Dad figure out what to do with a 1930 Studebaker Erskine that's been sitting in a garage since 1986. We aren't really car people and we don't know what we're doing.

My Dad inherited the car from my Grandpa when he passed away in 1986. It hasn't been driven since then and has sat in a storage garage on blocks since that time.

When it was put up on blocks in '86, everything worked great and my Grandpa occasionally drove it in small parades in Western Iowa (where it is now). Hasn't been off blocks in nearly 30 years, so we're sure we'd have to have some things done to it for it to be in working condition.

Ideally he'd like to sell it, but we have no idea how to value it or how to sell it. Neither of us live close to the car itself, though my Dad is within reasonable driving distance. He's been talking about trying to sell it for years, but we just don't know where to start. My Dad has been paying the monthly rent on the storage unit for almost 30 years and checking on it once a year or so and he'd like to be done with it.

The details from my Dad are: Studerbaker: Model: Erskine (wikipedia on the Erskine). Motor: 6 cylinder, Restored in 1985 and has been garaged on blocks since 1986. It has no body filler and is all original.

-How do we figure out how much the car is 'worth.' I understand that it's only worth what someone will pay for it, but we don't even have a ballpark notion. We're not sure if we'd be lucky to get $500 or if we should be asking for a lot of money.

-Where do we even try to sell it? Put it on ebay?

-Any other advice on what to do with the car? I know he'd like to get some money for it, as my Grandpa had a lot in the thing, but I also know he'd like to just be done with it with as little as hassle as possible.

If folks would find it helpful I can probably get some pics.

Thanks for all your help and advice everyone!
posted by Lutoslawski to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite is a site that sells vintage cars . I'd start there. Do some research, send casual inquiries, I.e, "So if someone were interested in buying a vintage car what should he be looking for?"

posted by dfriedman at 12:39 PM on March 10, 2014

I've had good luck in the past posting on hobbyist forums. It looks like the Studebaker Drivers Club is the one for your car. Take really good pictures, include as much info as you can, and try to connect with other owners in your area.
posted by snickerdoodle at 12:40 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Well, the listings are all over the place on this. I got this on an

Anywhere from $7,500 for a rusted heap to $55,000 for one in mint condition. Of course, they're still for sale, so perhaps there are NO takers.

It may take awhile to sell it, but don't put any dough into it, there's value in it as-is, and whoever buys it can decide how much restoration he/she will want to do.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:44 PM on March 10, 2014

Shildberg antique car museum in Western Iowa might be of help
posted by iiniisfree at 12:51 PM on March 10, 2014

Why not ask the same question at Jalopnik, a popular car blog?
posted by Tom-B at 3:13 PM on March 10, 2014

On how to sell it: Pre-internet, it used to be that a good way to do this was place an ad in the local car/autoparts specific newspaper- that might be something to try in addition to the obvious internet places. Around here (Portland, OR), the name I recall was the NickelAds. Maybe you could stop in at an AutoZone or similar car part store and see what kind of free papers, if any, you see? I'm not sure if there would be such a thing as a local version of these papers anymore, but if so, you could try to put an ad in the Iowa version.

I also second the notion that you don't need to put any work or money into it before selling it. My family has sold a couple of collector quality cars like this, that in theory could be driven but had been sitting for years, and the purchasers were content to haul them off on trailers.
posted by Secretariat at 3:54 PM on March 10, 2014

This is the kind of thing that can be listed on

The front page of that site currently shows cars that are in decent shape, but barn finds and other projects aren't unusual at all.
posted by toxic at 4:14 PM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah the bringing a trailer thing is pretty much standard enough that there is a fun site called that has a lot of older/funky cars and trucks for sale. So at the point where you do decide to list the thing make sure to ping those folks about it as well.
posted by jessamyn at 4:15 PM on March 10, 2014

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