Yesterday you all gave Perry a lot of excellent advice about buying a car via the internet. Today, the question is about selling a car. Shirley-Ann is my sister-in-law’s neighbor in San Mateo, CA, and she’s had this ’73 Datsun 510 for 25 years; it was her first car. She drove it for 18 years, then garaged it. It was running when it went into the garage. Now she’s ready to part with it. What’s the best way to determine its value, and to get that? Should she get it running first? Or is someone who’s looking for a classic 510 not going to care, as they’re likely to…not leave it stock anyway. Maybe Perry wants it? That way we could solve both questions in one stroke.
One caveat: this is an automatic, which will limit its appeal somewhat, depending on what someone has in mind for it. If it’s a major performance upgrade, it’s probably not a big deal as a five speed will undoubtedly be part of the equation.
Getting it running is probably not a big deal; even a neighbor offered to help her do that. My recommendation is to take the neighbor up on his offer, as it’s undoubtedly going to be somewhat more attractive initially as a running car. Here’s her questions in her own words:
Hello Paul —I’ve been trying to find comparable value, but there don’t seem to be very many for sale for this year (1973, the last year this model was made). The range goes from $5,000 (not running) to $18,000 (running) to $45,000 (really souped up)! Since there are so few for sale, and since the car is very popular with collectors, I think it could be worth quite a bit to a collector or to someone who wants a race car. At least that’s what I’m hoping!I guess I’d be interested in what your readers think about what it might be worth as is — and whether to get the car running. It was running when I drove it into the garage about 25 years ago! It’s an automatic, by the way.The mechanics where I’ve been going for years sell cars on the side for 20 percent. Would it be worth it for them to get it running?My dad bought the car for me when I graduated from college, paying about $2,300 for it. (The sticker price was $2,575. I still have the original.) I drove it happily for 18 years. My mother wanted to have the car when I got a new one, but then she became too nervous to drive. So LSNOOPO sat in the garage.(The license plate is LSNOOPO, because I was a fan of Snoopy when the personalized plates became available.)It would be interesting to hear what Datsun aficionados think about the car! I love this car and want it to go to a good home.Thank you for your help, Paul!