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Rob's Garage

What to do with a 1983 Chevrolet Impala? Add to ...

My 1983 Chev Impala with 63,000 km [and collector plates]is becoming unreliable in that it has a tendency to stall unexpectedly.

The car was passed on to us by my aging parents who have stopped driving.

It doesn't misbehave for the mechanic so maybe it is just us. There is no warning like a backfire - our mechanic seems to have solved that problem.

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What value could I put on it? We would hopefully be selling to a mechanic or a person who likes older vehicles.

Thanks for your assistance, Jan & Paul

I get a lot of similar questions, as baby boomers inherit cars from their aging parents. And each time I get asked, I become more shocked than the time before: who could have imagined that a mid-eighties car (or truck) would become collectible!

"Collectible" is a tricky term to define, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is collectible to one person may not be collectible to another.

So Jan and Paul, there are actually two questions in your letter:

1. How do you determine the value of a non-descript car?

2. How do you sell to two completely different demographics?

The first question about value is a fairly easy one to answer. Pricing a car like this is done by investigating what the market will bear for a vehicle of this vintage. Mileage really doesn't factor into the transaction because (don't take this personally), your car isn't rare or unique, and it comes with mechanical issues. Basically, it's an old car worth about $500 to $1,000.

Sorry.

The second question deals with the bigger issue for you, as not many people want large cars, never mind OLD large cars with problems.

One of the most difficult things to do is taking the emotion and memories out of the equation when trying to figure out what to do with "donated" vehicles.

Unless the vehicle is unique, don't assume that it is worth a lot of money. It's always best to check out publications like Hemmings Motor News or any number of web sites devoted to collectible vehicles before you decide on listing your 1983 Chevrolet as a collector car.

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