Edmunds Answers



  • texases 12/04/09 10:09 am PST

    I am no judge of vintage car values, but I worry when you say "good investment". Mr. Shiftright's rule of thumb is that you'll get back about 50% of what you spend on this. So unless you've stumbled across a hidden gem being sold by an ignorant owner, you should buy it as a hobby, something you'll enjoy. Forget the 'investment' angle.

    And how do you know the 36,000 miles are correct? That requires lots of documentation. Finally, any significant restoration will cost far more than $6,000, so that's not really such a big issue.

  • fintail 12/04/09 12:00 pm PST

    Your description makes the car sound pretty decent to begin with...does it really need a restoration? Does it run?

    If it is a nice original or a patinated old restoration, it might be best to just clean and shine it up, and enjoy it as-is. Originality is becoming popular and it has charm, and there's no upside in doing a painstaking restoration a sedan of that vintage...so I would just get it roadworthy and drive it.

    If it is in good driving condition with decent cosmetics, 6K is a fine price. But if it needs a lot of work...you'll lose money if you get in too deep. Common closed cars of that era are not really appreciating.

  • karjunkie 12/04/09 12:08 pm PST

    That Paige is a very rare car and easily worth $6,000 in semi decent shape. However, unless you're Jay Leno, you'll go broke trying to find parts for it. They are rare as hen's teeth and in most cases totally unavailable. Collector's of this type of car often have to have a machine shop replicate parts at a high cost. The company was bought out by the Graham brothers in 1927 and that was the last year for the Paige.

  • MrShift@Edmunds 12/05/09 11:32 am PST

    A good investment? Definitely not. Worth restoring? For history's sake yes, if you could get some museum or foundation monies that might be interested in preserving a pretty rare car.

    Financially, you'll lose your butt; however you will have the ONLY Paige at car shows, that's for certain.

    I have no idea how you will ever find parts for this car, so unless it is nearly 100% complete, the task of restoration will be not only expensive, but daunting.

    If this were an open car, I might think differently, but for a 6-45 four-door sedan, I really can't see more than maybe a $20,000 value for a very very nice example.

    As others have said, if you can drive it like it is, with minimal investment in safety items (new tires, brakes, etc) that's the way to go with a car like this.

  • whoosierdaddy 12/05/09 10:10 pm PST

    If you love it and want to (can) put the money in it as-needed, wonderful. If not, pass. Owning a rare antique car becomes a lifestyle. "Investment" is rarely a reality, just an excuse to justify the expense.

  • MrShift@Edmunds 12/06/09 10:49 am PST

    The problem is it takes just about as much money to restore a base model 4-door as it does the highline phaeton, and yet the value at the end is quadruple for the open car. It's a sobering formula.

    If one did much of the work oneself, for a full restoration, you might come out okay, perhaps only losing $20,000 out of pocket on a resale, but your labor--which can amount to thousands of hours---would not be recouped.

    Just having someone re-chrome and re-paint the car for you is a $10000 bill, if you want very nice work I mean. On the cheap, maybe 1/2 that.

    I had a 29 Ford Model A 4-door town sedan which I purchased a bit shabby and running and I just did whatever was necessary to clean it up and make it safe. I had no desire to restore it and I was, in retrospect, very glad I didn't. People loved the originality and the patina of age that was all over it. Of course, it didn't have huge rust holes in it, and the stuffing and springs were not pouring out of the seats. But it had faded paint and chrome, a few tears and rips, and looked old underneath and in the engine bay. I drove that thing all over the place, even on 300 milers.

  • fintail 12/06/09 11:31 am PST

    I think as time moves on, unrestored or lightly restored cars will become more common and more accepted - even if (and I won't say 'when') the economy improves. The work just costs so much today, and there's no upside in doing an OCD restoration of a common or unexciting old car. And as Shifty says, people like patina and 'oldness' just as much as they like perfection. A lot of prewar cars were restored 30-40 years ago, and they now have a nice patina.

    I own an old car which is in very good "survivor" condition, but would require a full restoration to be pristine. This would cost me 25-30K, and the car would be worth 10-15K when I was done. If the car looks nice and runs and drives fine now, why would I do this? I will just continue to maintain the car and enjoy it - no worries about a paint chip etc, and it becomes a cheap enough hobby when you don't get in too deep in the beginning.

  • MrShift@Edmunds 12/06/09 12:36 pm PST

    Also keep in mind that driving a 1927 car is a bit of a chore, and it can get old, even on a fully restored automobile. The grunt steering, the truly frightening brakes, the drafts, the heat, and the trucks bearing down on you all suggest that you pick and choose your outings carefully.

    I have a category for old cars called "ice cream cars". These are cars you take the grandkids in for ice cream on Sundays.


Top Car Values Experts View More

Rank Leader Points
1. MrShift@Edmunds 1900
2. Stever@Edmunds 1195
3. morin2 925
4. karjunkie 890
5. texases 695
6. knowledgepower 625
7. Mr_Shiftright 270