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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, looks like I made a pretty expensive mistake and could use some advice. I went and looked at three disassembled novas this one guy had, debated buying them and building a complete car. The whole time we're looking over these three cars he's telling me about "his baby", he bought four novas and was assembling one from the best parts from all four cars.

I decided to hold off for a car that was already running, so weeks after looking at the cars I called him back to tell him what I decided and ask him to keep an eye out for me. He says "you may have just caught me at an odd time, but I've been considering selling the 70" The 70 was "his baby". So I go look at the car and she's very straight, zero rust, anything that had rust has been replaced. She's got a 350 bored over, a newly built Muncie m21 four speed. He says "I've got everything needed to build a complete car, but she needs an interior package". They're getting ready to paint it a blue color and I ask him how much he'll knock off if I buy it before it's painted.

So I buy it and have the car hauled to a painter. He says he'll be rounding up the pieces, some are here at the shop, some are in boxes in his garage at his house. The painter is almost finished so I borrow a friend's truck last night to go pick up parts. The chrome is OKAY, but other than that I'd say the vast majority isn't worth putting on the car. Front bumper is okay, rear bumper has an ugly dent, the door panels look like they should've just gone in the trash. The rear seat's frame is rusted, the front bench seat has a big hole in the foam and cover right where the driver sits. The seats were stored outside.

So I've bought this 70 nova for $9k and spend another $2k getting it painted and windshield/rear window put in. And now it looks like I'll have to buy a million more little pieces to make her a nice/complete car. Not to mention the things he apparently didn't have to make the car complete such as weatherstripping/gaskets.

It's my fault for not asking to see everything and assuming "in boxes in my garage" meant properly stored/sheltered. I'm a great judge of character and I honestly don't believe his intent was to deceive me. I think it's a case of one man's treasure being another man's trash. He is really big on keeping classic cars original and I think the fact that many of these pieces were original was of greater importance than their condition.

At 38 I feel like I'm a little old to be learning expensive ass lessons like this, but here I am.

What do I do with the stuff I got from him? How do I know if it has any value or just needs to go in the trash? He made a big deal of the front bench seat so I don't know maybe there's some value to it even though it needs to be reupholstered? I'm going to do a bench to bucket conversion anyway once I learn how.

I am where I am and I'm going to make the best of it, but now this already expensive ready to hope in and drive $11k investment probably just turned into a $15-20k burden. Maybe I'll slap all this old crap on the car and replace it piece at a time...

Maybe I'm mostly just venting. Thanks if you read this far.
 

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Let me help you out with your BUYERS REMORSE. You are in your 30's and this is your FIRST mistake at car buying? Trust me on this, take a picture and hang it on a wall, it will not be your last one. All car guys and gals have made this statement. Projects are just that.. projects. Cars that are READY TO PAINT is Bull .... If it is ready to paint, paint the dang thing. Unless you pull that thing out of a pro's body shop and load it on a trailer, it's NOT ready to paint. Oh yeah, it's all there 100% complete, again.. Bull... ! I am turning 65 next month.. IF I make it. I have had a ton of cars and trucks and have almost always had a project. One made it into the pages of Hot Rod Magazine in September 1987.. '39 Ford Coupe. Started as a project and finished into a Magazine quality car. My point is this.. Projects are supposed to be fun, not all the time though. Some time they are a PITA. Hopefully you will get it going and it turn out to be just what you wanted. Then one day, while looking at craigslist, there it is, Nova project, ready to paint, 100% complete just lost interest. Then it starts all over again! Remember everyone is looking for PARTS. Your old ones may just be what your buddy needs and they are all worth something to someone who can repair them.
 

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Even if you are into it for $15,000 to $20,000 and it is real nice and fresh paint then that's not bad. List any parts that look good. I'm sure I'm over $30,000 in mine and probably more like $35,000 and I still have yet to paint it. Lost $10,000 on my last Nova so got to keep this one for a while longer.


I did a 40 Ford for a buddy and his seats look like crap. Upholstery guy said whatever you decide don't throw away those seats as the front bench seat will go for $500. We thru away all the front end and the banjo rearend or thru it to the curb for the scrap guy. Later I see an ad in the paper for wanting a banjo rearend.
 

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we have all been there, and every project has a new twist that not going to be good, doesn't sound like your into it to deep, your parts have value, two years from now, you look back and laugh, good luck to ya
 

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When I'm upside down in a car(Like always) I just make it mine.:rolleyes:
I feel the same way. I've made them, but the longer I held onto the car and realized that it was what I wanted to end up with, I pushed through. I agree with the other posts, too: you're going to end up with a desirable year/model/engine, so it'll be worth pushing it through.

You also learned some things that, believe me, will stick with you next time you are ready to lay down some cash for a car.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. I appreciate the comradery, that seriously helps.

I'm a little less bummed. The painter started sending pictures shortly after I posted that. She may not be road ready, but she'll look pretty in the garage. Hopefully I attached the pictures correctly. The color is a deep grey.

IMG-20190108-WA0011.jpg

IMG_20190108_152531836.jpg

IMG_20190108_152603582.jpg
 

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Here’s another lesson

Just out of curiosity, take a look at your daily driver. Think about what that cost when it was new.. I’m assuming here that it is a significantly newer vehicle then your ‘70 Nova. What’s it worth today..? Ouch.. That’s called depreciation.. Now your initial buy in on the Nova was $9000 for an incomplete project car that never cost anywhere near that kind of dough when it was new. Maybe you’ll be into it 15-20k when it’s all done. That’s still less then most new cars today and the Nova will probably maintain a fairly stable value if not appreciate as time goes by. I’m just sayin, you’re really not in that bad of a place financially on your project.

As for your bench seat, I have a buddy that regrets ditching his original bench seat from his ‘72. He’s had a hard this finding a replacement..
 

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I'm installing almost completely new interior on my 71 I should be in it for @ $3,500.00 when finished all parts purchased thru Classics Industries. Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm installing almost completely new interior on my 71 I should be in it for @ $3,500.00 when finished all parts purchased thru Classics Industries. Rick
Have you seen the nova interior components from tmi products? If not, google "tmi nova". I'm afraid they're going to get way too much of my money.
 

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Yep, like said above, it's not that bad of a price all together. But I can understand that when you buy a car with the idea you don't have to invest much more money in it, it demotivates you when you realize you do. Plus,for one a $100 is nothing,for another a lot.
I invested around $20.000 in my 69 to get it the way I wanted it.....but would be a lot less if everything didn't had to be shipped internationally.
And I didn't spend it all at once.
Just do the things necessary and that have priority first, like engine, brakes, suspension and other safety stuff, then go from there.
 

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If you're done at $20k, you got a BARGAIN. I learned later in life than you that hobby cars are outrageously expensive. You need to wrap your head around the money thing and think long and hard about it. Either jump in and hang on, or get out now while you can. If you gave the car away right now, you'd probably lose less than if you keep it and finish it.

Sorry to be a downer, but that's just a healthy dose of reality. I'm WAY past you in dollars, and just now getting ready to have mine painted. Then I'm probably another $5k from it being finished. It just never stops.

It's a rich man's hobby. We call it the Empty Pockets Club.
 

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I like your idea of putting it together with what you have and replacing parts little by little or as your pocket permits. If you're like me, you'll eventually get inpatient seeing it just parked in the garage. Try and get it runnig and enjoy it. Good luck!
 

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Doesn't sound to me like you've made too much of a mistake here!
Any parts you have that can be fixed or refurbished are going to be worth something to someone. Craigslist is a good place to advertise and won't cost you.The seat springs can probably be fixed and strengthened by a good interior place for not too much money. Even if you convert to buckets they may well need to re re-upholstered. So there is a market for seats that need re-upholstered. Car does look beautiful! :yes:
 
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