Car Guys - How to document the value of a "classic"

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    Feb 07, 2012 11:37 PM GMT
    A weird place to ask but I've struck out in the usual places...

    Without spending a lot of effort on it (it's not THAT much money) I need to somehow document the value of my 85 diesel suburban. None of the on-line calculators go back that far, and it's a pretty rare vehicle to start with.

    During the last storm, suburbasaurus had an encounter with a school bus on the wrong side of the road and we had to eat a basalt cliff. Low speed, nobody hurt, school district said they'd pick up the check. Then the cost went slightly over their deductible and they sent it to their insurance company. Who, after a ludicrous amount of negotiating is now offering half the cost. They claim the vehicle isn't worth the cost of the repair. It's certainly not worth a fortune, but it's worth more than that. How to prove it?

    I've found a bunch of on-line adds for somewhat similar vehicles (none exactly like it) a year or two older or newer, and a lot of similarly-equipped pick-ups, which I should think would be worth less. Not enough to do credible statistics with. Archived ebay ads sometimes show "winning bids," or "current bids," which I think ought to show that people are willing to pay that much.

    Any other ideas?
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    Feb 08, 2012 2:40 AM GMT
    The public library should have a copy of the Kelley Blue Book Early Model Guide or you can order a copy for yourself online (but it is $60).
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    Feb 08, 2012 2:42 AM GMT
    Appraiser.
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    Feb 08, 2012 2:44 AM GMT
    I have no knowledge of GM forums but I'd start there. Post any relevant info like mileage and condition along with photos and see what owners/fans suggest.

    As for getting proof for insurance you can try calling and asking insurance companies that specialize in classic vehicles like Chubbs but to be honest an 85 diesel suburban doesn't meet the traditional definition of a classic car. At least not by the Classic Car Club of America which has great influence. This is mind I doubt there is any collector value.

    I wish you luck thou and will be following to see what anyone else suggests. I assume your insurer has already used the KBB for your vehicle.
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    Feb 08, 2012 2:52 AM GMT
    i'll tell you your mistake right now. Depending on how much their deductible was you should've just taken it and been happy. An 85 diesel suburban may be rare but its hardly sought-after. Its not something that will necessarily appreciate in value so a minor accident can, in fact, "total" the vehicle in the eyes of insurers if the amount goes over the resale or salvage value of the car. Example: I pay market value for a '93 Mazda MX-5, lets just say about $3k. I get into an accident and have a repair estimate to straighten the body out and repair the other damage. This estimate comes to $3500. This, in the eyes of my insurance co. "totals" the vehicle because the repairs are more than the car is worth. You can either fix it out of your pocket (and your heart) or total it and try to buy it back from the insurance co. with a salvage title (IIRC).

    Basically you tried for second helpings of pie and got bitch-slapped by the lunch lady. icon_eek.gif
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    Feb 08, 2012 3:17 AM GMT
    I did buy suburbasaurus as a totally disposable vehicle, that I was not going to get attached to. But I sort of did.

    Anyway, they broke it, they should fix it. I'm pretty sure the C___ from the insurance agency has wasted more of her company's money by arguing with me than she's saved them by arguing with me.

    I've found ten similar vehicles on line (there aren't any exactly like it) with sale or current bid prices (not asking prices) that average out to more than twice the repair cost. It should be a conservative estimate, since most of those were pick-ups.
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    Feb 08, 2012 3:20 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidI did buy suburbasaurus as a totally disposable vehicle, that I was not going to get attached to. But I sort of did.

    Anyway, they broke it, they should fix it. I'm pretty sure the C___ from the insurance agency has wasted more of her company's money by arguing with me than she's saved them by arguing with me.

    I've found ten similar vehicles on line (there aren't any exactly like it) with sale or current bid prices (not asking prices) that average out to more than twice the repair cost. It should be a conservative estimate, since most of those were pick-ups.


    they won't care about your research. they will go by the Kelly blue book value and that's that. Its one of the hazards of owning an older vehicle.

    Kelly Blue Book Online
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    Feb 08, 2012 3:31 AM GMT
    go to a book store. the NADA should have it.
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    Feb 08, 2012 3:32 AM GMT
    1985 Suburban? Sorry, it's not worth much. Even if it's in semi decent condition, the market value will be around $500. When dealing with insurance companies, if the value of a used car isn't any "official" publication or an industry database, then you're out of luck. Newspaper ads won't work.
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    Feb 08, 2012 3:41 AM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 said
    they won't care about your research. they will go by the Kelly blue book value and that's that. Its one of the hazards of owning an older vehicle.

    Kelly Blue Book Online


    KBB online only goes back 20 years. That's why I suggested the library for a copy of the Early Model Guide.
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    Feb 08, 2012 3:43 AM GMT
    LeanVA said
    RoadsterRacer87 said
    they won't care about your research. they will go by the Kelly blue book value and that's that. Its one of the hazards of owning an older vehicle.

    Kelly Blue Book Online


    KBB online only goes back ten years. That's why I suggested the library for a copy of the Early Model Guide.


    crap, you're right. technically it goes back 20 (i used it when buying my roadster) but yeah, not gonna help our friend here. Either way though, if its anything under $1k he's probably screwed. I'm curious though, as to the nature of the damage. is it cosmetic? or did you bend the frame and need it pulled?
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    Feb 08, 2012 3:44 AM GMT
    Yeah. Caught my numerical mistake right after I posted. You beat me to it before I could correct it.
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    Feb 08, 2012 3:57 AM GMT
    LeanVA saidYeah. Caught my numerical mistake right after I posted. You beat me to it before I could correct it.


    lol, i'm quick like that icon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 08, 2012 5:15 AM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 said

    they won't care about your research. they will go by the Kelly blue book value and that's that. Its one of the hazards of owning an older vehicle.

    Kelly Blue Book Online


    Well, that was the original point. There is no KBB value. They won't do their own research. Besides, if I did take the claim to court, I'd add the cost of my lost time, lost income, and cost of alternate transportation.

    RoadsterRacer87 said

    I'm curious though, as to the nature of the damage. is it cosmetic? or did you bend the frame and need it pulled?

    Kelly Blue Book Online


    It's mostly pretty ordinary fender and bumper damage (big chromed bumper - discontinued part). The thing is a tank. But when they went to realign the wheels, they found the axle was pushed back half an inch on the impact side. The mechanics want to fix that by replacing the springs, I think. I just hope driving it in to town like that didn't damage the transmission. Because then it would be totaled. I just had the transmission rebuilt a couple of years ago.
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    Feb 08, 2012 5:20 AM GMT
    mindgarden said
    RoadsterRacer87 said

    they won't care about your research. they will go by the Kelly blue book value and that's that. Its one of the hazards of owning an older vehicle.

    Kelly Blue Book Online


    Well, that was the original point. There is no KBB value. They won't do their own research. Besides, if I did take the claim to court, I'd add the cost of my lost time, lost income, and cost of alternate transportation.

    RoadsterRacer87 said

    I'm curious though, as to the nature of the damage. is it cosmetic? or did you bend the frame and need it pulled?

    Kelly Blue Book Online


    It's mostly pretty ordinary fender and bumper damage (big chromed bumper - discontinued part). The thing is a tank. But when they went to realign the wheels, they found the axle was pushed back half an inch on the impact side. The mechanics want to fix that by replacing the springs, I think. I just hope driving it in to town like that didn't damage the transmission. Because then it would be totaled. I just had the transmission rebuilt a couple of years ago.


    Is it a 4wd? If not, i can't imagine a slightly skewed axle damaging the transmission. Maybe the diffy, but that's an easy swap from a junkyard. One thing you learn with cars that old, the junkyard is your frieeeeeeeend.
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    Feb 08, 2012 5:22 AM GMT
    I don't think you're going to get much out of it unfortunately. That thing's a friggin' boat, and not the kind of truck that most people will find very desirable. icon_cry.gif
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    Feb 08, 2012 5:31 AM GMT
    Scruffypup saidI don't think you're going to get much out of it unfortunately. That thing's a friggin' boat, and not the kind of truck that most people will find very desirable. icon_cry.gif


    There's not going to be much from the late 70s and through the 80s that will be worth much ever IMO. That's the lost decade for collectors.
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    Feb 08, 2012 5:50 AM GMT
    he's not lookin' to turn a profit guys, just trying to get it fixed by the other folks' insurance
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    Feb 08, 2012 5:52 AM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 saidhe's not lookin' to turn a profit guys, just trying to get it fixed by the other folks' insurance


    " How to document the value of a "classic""
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    Feb 08, 2012 5:56 AM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    RoadsterRacer87 saidhe's not lookin' to turn a profit guys, just trying to get it fixed by the other folks' insurance


    " How to document the value of a "classic""


    did you bother to ready BEYOND the thread title?
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    Feb 08, 2012 5:56 AM GMT
    freedomisntfree saidThere's not going to be much from the late 70s and through the 80s that will be worth much ever IMO. That's the lost decade for collectors.


    That's a lie!
    yugo-gv_brochure_90.jpg
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    Feb 08, 2012 6:04 AM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 said
    freedomisntfree said
    RoadsterRacer87 saidhe's not lookin' to turn a profit guys, just trying to get it fixed by the other folks' insurance


    " How to document the value of a "classic""


    did you bother to ready BEYOND the thread title?


    Read the ENTIRE thread.
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    Feb 08, 2012 6:05 AM GMT
    LeanVA said
    freedomisntfree saidThere's not going to be much from the late 70s and through the 80s that will be worth much ever IMO. That's the lost decade for collectors.


    That's a lie!
    yugo-gv_brochure_90.jpg


    case in point.

    Most of the stuff I had that decade was a POS.
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    Feb 08, 2012 6:35 AM GMT
    As it happens, I'm doing some consulting work for GM headquarters. At one point, I mentioned the vehicle after a conference call, and they told me. "Oh, hold on to that one. It's a collectors item." So there. icon_wink.gif TOTALLY unbiased opinion.

    I wonder if they'd pay me a little bonus in parts...
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    Feb 08, 2012 8:24 AM GMT
    It will be a collector for the same reason a Ford Excursion will be. Nobody will ever make a diesel, body on frame full size SUV again, especially a 3/4 ton. It will be impossible with CAFE regs, so yes hold onto it. But you might have to take the cheque or fix it out of pocket or something. Or buy it back from salvage. I know its not right, but it's what happens when dealing with insurance companies.