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Is it possible to 'break even' on a Z...


Can you make a profit on a Z?  

44 members have voted

  1. 1. Can you make a profit on a Z?

    • Sold and profited on Z under $2000
      5
    • Sold and profited on Z $2K - 6000
      0
    • Sold and profited on Z over $6000
      1
    • Sold and DID NOT get what I put in.
      8
    • It is TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE to get what you put in
      26
    • My insurance payment was more than I had in it
      4


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Good poll!

Most of the people I have met tell me that they just do it for the love of the car. There's really no way to actually make money on a rig unless it's totally restored to original specs and sold as a pristine remanufactured car.

Then again, isn't this true for all cars in general? Except maybe for exotic cars that are used for investment rather than driving.

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The Z car is at a strange place in the value system of 'collectable cars'. I think they are just at the cusp of desirable. There are still too many of them. They are pretty easy to find. They are cheap. They are still somewhat young--25 years is a pretty international number for collectability. I think a large portion of the collectable car 'economy' is generated in the US, and 99% of car collectors in the US have a sick 'American iron' mentality. They are cheap little trashy econocars from Japan, after all--they're not REAL sports cars. Yeah, and the Mustang is a REAL sports car.

Give it another 5 years for the 240's and another 10 or 15 for the 280's. There are just too many sub-$1000 cars out there. But I think 240's are starting to climb a wee bit. There is a BUNCH of crap out there for $1000-2000, which is GOOD! 280's are still a dime a dozen. The really funny part is how running Z's are worth more to the casual driver than they are to the Z enthusiast. How many times have you seen a running Z sell for $1500 that you or I wouldn't give $500 for?

Just a bunch of random thoughts.

steve77

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Zvoiture:

I agree with all you said except the "Give it another 5 years for the 240's......." As long as there are a substantial number of folks like the ones in this forum, there will continue to be too many Z-cars out there to drive the values up. (We may be our own worst enemies.)

The early Z is just too much fun to drive, too easy to keep running well, and too easy to modify into a "personal statement" to fade away quickly. How many 25-30 year-old cars have such an active "industry" supplying things like frame rails to recover rusted out diamonds in the rough? Most rust-buckets go to the junk yard, rusty Z's inspire delusions of grandure.

Once you get past the Mustang crowd, (one of my son's has a '67, so I know something of their enthusiasm) it's difficult to find another group as dedicated to parts swapping, greasy hands and skinned knuckles as the Z-nuts. I think we're going to keep them way too numerous for the high-end of the collector car bracket for much longer than five years.

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"I think we're going to keep them way too numerous for the high-end of the collector car bracket for much longer than five years."

You're right. How many Austins do you see at the junk yard? How many MG's? How many XKE 'project cars' do you see in the classifieds?

steve77

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I used to be in to Mini-trucks---no not a real "g-ride" but something to play with and turn some heads. I lost my @$$ when I sold and will probably do the same if I don't keep this for ever; I said that about the truck and it lasted 4 years. But with the 240 I have discovered something. Your best bet is buy the cheapest car out there and then donate it to kidney foundation or someting simmilar. For your write off you print the NADA price(which I think is based on the resoration movement) of $13000!!!! Not money in the bank----but money from uncle sam

Matt

IZCC #11660

73 240z (just getting started)

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A $13,000 charitable deduction, huh? Wonder how many times one could do that before the Infernal Revenue Service got curious and checked? You may have come up with a great new incentive for rescuing old, rusted out Z's.

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Originally posted by MattOlander

I used to be in to Mini-trucks---no not a real "g-ride" but something to play with and turn some heads. I lost my @$$ when I sold and will probably do the same if I don't keep this for ever; I said that about the truck and it lasted 4 years. But with the 240 I have discovered something. Your best bet is buy the cheapest car out there and then donate it to kidney foundation or someting simmilar. For your write off you print the NADA price(which I think is based on the resoration movement) of $13000!!!! Not money in the bank----but money from uncle sam

Matt, I'm not sure how many times that would work in a lifetime. But, I seriously doubt that it's all that smart to do. It's a good idea, but, once an audit rolls around, I wonder how the IRS deals with a situation like that.

I'm not stating that this is a bad idea, I'm simply questioning the process that they use to put a value on something like that. Maybe they only look at Blue Book value as a reasonable amount to donate. It's really the only piece of evidence of worth (besides receipts and there aren't any of those).

I'm going to send this message to one of our local CPA's for his advice, Kyle. He should give his $0.02 on this issue.

-- Mike

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The CPA puts on his tie and starts the billable-hours clock ticking:

As regards to taking a tax deduction for the high book value of a rusted out car.... first off, a good rule of thumb is to stand in front of a mirror and see if you can say it out loud without laughing. If you even bust a grin, you're not gonna make it.

A noncash charitable contribution deduction (Salvation Army clothing, f'rinstance) is the lesser of your cost basis or fair market value. If it is over $500 you need some additional documentation, and if it's over $5000 you need a written appraisal.

So the $13,000 Z deduction is laughable for a number of reasons - you only paid $700 for it, so that's your max, and even so, you wouldn't get a written appraisal for $13K. Sure you *could* but that's tax fraud, and I'm too young and pretty to go to jail.

Finally, this deduction is one of the IRS's hot buttons now, meaning they're going after it like nobody's business, as it's a fairly simple way to slash your taxes with minimal effort. These things are VERY likely to generate an audit.

You might get away with it once or twice or even a million times, but you may also get caught... Audit Roulette, anyone?! Don't forget penalties, interest, and the 25% fraud penalty.

As to making money on a Z, don't be ridiculous! Of course it is. Just make a good buy, put limited dollars into it, and turn it around. Will you make boucous bucks on a full resto? Not likely... but if you buy a decent car for $1000, get it running right, maybe make some small improvements here and there, you could sell it again for $2500. The gain is of course taxable :rolleyes: and I'll expect to see it on each and every one a ya's Schedule D's next year... oh, and the loss on the resto is nondeductible. Go uncle sam! :sick:

Hope this is helpful,

Kyle

'72 Resto in progress, no I don't plan to make money on it.

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DRAT!!! I knew it was too good to be true---maybe we need to just stay under the $5000 mark:rolleyes: Or better yet just plan on keeping the car :D

Thanks Kyle, guess this is good advise---even from someone that didi buy a Volvo.:P

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Paid 3.5K for my machine 10 years ago. I've put only about $500 into it until I did the floor, rails, and rockers (picked it up Saturday). I'm now up to 6.5K. I have this car for the love of it. I didn't plan on making money, that's my autobody mechanics dream!

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"The insurance settlement was $5100! Must have been pretty lucky...."

That's why I put that choice in there. That is where I voted too! I bought a '78 for $1700 and it was stolen in Sacramento and I got $2400.

steve77

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This may sound way off topic or "what are you smoking?" but I think you need to define what you mean by break even.

If you do not value your own man-hours, that reduces your investment. If you do value your time, how much are you worth? How much could your worth be reduced by the enjoyment you get from tinkering with it? Why aren't you taking it to a mechanic, if you're worth that much? How much is your enjoyment of driving the machine worth? How about when it isn't working right?

Those are but a FEW of the questions that in my mind, come into play when I think about "breaking even".

Personally, I've been wanting one of these since 1974 when I laid my eyes on it for the first time. Like Love at first sight, I think if someone had told me that you had to donate your male organ and accouterments, I would probably have hesitated, but I can't honestly tell you that my answer would have been immediate and without thought. (Sorry, I know, crude, but I just about messed my pants when I saw the car.) I've been a car enthusiast since I began doing plastic models in the mid 60's. At one time my plastic model car collection numbered in the hundreds, and most of them were the futuristic smooth curve variety.

One distinct favorite, was a 1/8 or 1/12 scale, Jaguar XKE in bright yellow plastic. I worked on that one for close to 6 months, which when you are 11-12 is as close to forever as you want to get. If you can imagine an 11 year old being that interested in anything, then you can imagine my total "rapture" when I spotted my first 240Z in 1974.

So how much is it worth? You don't have the money to buy mine.

Can I possibly break even? In order to "break even" it would involve having to sell my Z, in order to sell my Z, a lot of other things in the world need to go belly up, and if those things happen, then no one is going to be interested in buying my Z, so ...... what was the question? OH YEAH! Breaking even on my Z.....YES, every single time I get in it, start it up, and pull it out of the garage and just one, yes, just ONE person looks at it, and I can read the look on their face and it says......You're such a lucky bastard!

2¢

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  • 1 month later...

I have been working classic car auctions for 15 years now. As A z owner I hate to say that there is no real (big money) in site for the run of the mill Z. It would take proven winning race history or lower miles then most 2001 corvette on the road today.

Its to bad. There are some out there worth some good money and getting that buyer that wants the car isnt hard. The hard part is finding the buyer with the cash that wants it.

With knowing just how mint A 240Z would need to be for it to be worth any big money (over 20k) I dont mind turning mine into my dream toy.

I took A ton of time(8 years) looking at all diff. types of 240's from mint - not even for parts and now have found the one I have been looking for. I am going into this knowing its going to eat money I will never see back. But feel the rush most dream about at the turn of A key. :love:

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Friends,

this is an interesting thread.

There are some price recommendation lists here in Europe for oldtimers.

In a german list the 240 Z's value increased within 1 year for a top car (original and a little better than new) from 10k to 13 k $ and the increase is still going on. In a british list I already saw a higher price. Compared to other oldtimers that's not much and so the Z is still affordable, but in % of value the Z had a better add in value than Ferraris . Perhaps because we don't have much 240s here in Europe and the supply-demand-ratio is already pro Z. As some of you said before, it will take some time in the US but looking from outside at the developments in ebay I have the feeling that good Zs are becoming more and more expensive in the US, too. If the "break even" is already reached, I don't know and it is depending in how much you invested and/or how good you served the car.

Rolf

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  • 1 year later...

To me you dont do or own a Z any differntly than any other restoration or ownership...who really cares ..you put into it what you want and what makes you happy ..thats worth more than the money you would obtain from selling a Z ..I sold my first one after owning it from Dec 77 until June of 93...went into mourning for about three years, then took four more years to find the 77 that I now own...so its all in how you look at it and what you want...me ..I want this Z the way I want it which means in the end I may have way too much money in the car...but Im not selling this one...

77 Z

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Actually the only reason I sold my 78 Z is because my dad left me his 75 Z when he passed away. At the time I lived in an apartment complex and couldn't do the repair work the 78 needed anyway, so I sold it to a friend who had one before and wanted it for his daughter. Besides, the 75 runs stronger and had options my 78 didn't have, besides the fact that it was my dad's.

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Originally posted by threefittyzee

Not that I would ever consider selling it, but the 240Z I bought for $3200 supposedly has a KBB value of $6500-7000.

I don't know if they do in their "books", but KBB does not give valuations for cars as old as 240Z's on their website. They only list 300ZX in the "Z" series, and they go back as far as 1983.

Someone may have been blowing smoke at you

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Originally posted by Bambikiller240

I don't know if they do in their "books", but KBB does not give valuations for cars as old as 240Z's on their website. They only list 300ZX in the "Z" series, and they go back as far as 1983.

Someone may have been blowing smoke at you

Here, check this out, big boy:

http://www.nadaguides.com/Values/ValueCategoryReport.asp?UserID=55081A07875A1&DID=38093&wSec=2&wPg=1207&CategoryId=7&MakeId=1254&VehicleId=24925&Year=1972&ColorId=

I know it's not KBB, it's NADA. Okay, so I was a little confused.

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Oh. No, thanks. Valium gives me a headache, guy.

Yeah, I probably got a little smoke up there, but I figured since the guy that sold it to me worked on Datsuns for a long time, and told me about the blue book value...I probably just jumped to the conclusion it was a Kelley, and not a NADA.

In either case, who cares? Kelley...NADA....no big deal.

Let it go.:bunny:

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