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 Woodgrain and value

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68JCode



Posts : 3
Join date : 2017-11-03

PostSubject: Woodgrain and value   Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:42 pm

Good evening all,

I've been lurking around for a while and casually shopping for an LT1 wagon. I am getting close to pulling the trigger, and would appreciate your insights on general valuation questions. I apologize if this has been asked a thousand times before, but I did not find anything in the search.

The sweet spot for wagons for me is in the 90-130k mile range and I am trying to find the least rusty version I can (I am in Ohio).

Is there a rule of thumb regarding the impact of woodgrain or non-woodgrain on value? I am assuming woodgrain cars go for more, but maybe the bare cars are more rare leading to higher values.

What about cloth vs. leather seats. Again, I assume leather improves value, but I am personally a cloth seat fan myself.

Thanks for any of your input.

Andrew
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silverfox103
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Join date : 2008-11-05
Age : 69
Location : Littleton, NH & St. Simons, GA

PostSubject: Re: Woodgrain and value   Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:10 pm

Welcome onboard Andrew!

I guess it's all about what you want.  For a general rule, there are fewer non woods and some seeks those.  But most of us have woodies, as that is what is out there.  I'm like you, I prefer cloth seats.  But, then again most seem to be leather.  It took me the best part of 20 years to find a set of blue cloth seats for my RMW.  But then I sold it, but kept the seats.

I would say more important, is buying it out of the rust belt as these wagons are the best part of 25 years old........head south or west.  

Tom
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Rev Bob



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Join date : 2016-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Woodgrain and value   Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:00 am

Absence of wood grain applique certainly makes for an easier car to maintain. A really fresh appearing wood grain car reflects a labor of love for its owner. You can ask 12 wagon owners what one feature makes their ride desirable and get 13 answers.

Wood grain delete RMWs are rarer, and were generally ordered by owners rather than dealers. So at least the first owner would have cared for it. Conversely, wood grain Caprices are rarer.

As noted, minimal rust would be at the top of the desirability list.
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Fred Kiehl

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Location : Largo, FL 33774

PostSubject: Re: Woodgrain and value   Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:27 am

Ditto on the southern and southwestern cars. Some southern coastal cars are rust magnets as well. If you find a car with excellent woodgrain, it was probably kept in a garage. Should you ever damage the woodgrain, it is on the verge of impossible to replace it with matching material.

It will be easier to find a Caprice with cloth seats, although the RMs did come with cloth seats in some cases. 96 Caprices were the rarest of all bubble wagons with only about 650 made. The rest of the LT1 wagons exceeded 10K per year.

The areas to check for rust are the bottom of the B pillar, D pillars, top of the rear wheelhouses, foot wells, and passenger's side front wheelhouse at the battery tray (not a rust belt specific area). The frame and suspension components are all suspect as well.

A few other items to check are the wing window hinges, and the cargo bay trays/fenders for water stains/accumulation. If the car leaks water at the rear grab handles, it is either the side glass, or the body seam under the edge of the roof rack. It is almost never the rivnuts, or the well nuts on the roof. If you remove the roof rack, and the rivnuts spin, you can drop the headliner, grab them gently with a vicegrips, and once you have the screw out, retighten them with a long screw, nut and washer, or a rivnut installer. They are metric.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Woodgrain and value   Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:00 am

I like the idea of woody for a driver,takes the abuse that a daily gives,and keep a WB4 for a toy/show ride.
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81X11

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Age : 44
Location : Round Rock Texas

PostSubject: Re: Woodgrain and value   Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:17 pm

My '96 Roady was made in Arlington Tx, lived its first 11-years in San Antonio, and since then has been here in Austin.   I daily-drove it from 2007-2011, and it sat cooking in the Dell Computers parking lot.   I've always kept it clean and waxed, and it has lived in the garage since 2011 and only been used as a toy.   The wood is still really nice for a southern car...not perfect, but nice.    I love the woodgrain and I think that the wood is half the joke with owning one of these wagons.   I also owned the white '92 Custom Cruiser below, and it did not get NEARLY the attention the woody Buick gets.   So decide how much attention you want.   These are ALL great cars if you can find a clean one.   Happy Hunting!!

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dmg4

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PostSubject: Re: Woodgrain and value   Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:35 pm

Comparing apples to apples, you'll get a better car for $3000 in the south or west than you'll generally get in Ohio. There are exceptions: I bought my 1996 Caprice from a pawn shop in Ohio, but it had lived all but 12 months of its life in SC. There are also a few former snowbird cars around that were registered in the north, but wintered in the south.

Mid-Atlantic states often have nice cars. If you are more than 10 miles from the ocean, you'll generally see few effects of salt air. See the LROM section (Viking Roadmaster) for a rust-free car that spent its life in NJ.

When in doubt, put it on an lift, or crawl underneath. Severe rust is rather obvious. Also, use any of the free or low-cost VIN check services to view the basic history if you want to know where the car has been.

Last bit of advice: with rare exceptions, these cars are not investments. They are consumables. You don't buy a pair of jeans thinking about their resale value. Buy what YOU want, drive it, enjoy it, and don't worry about a selling price until that day arrives.

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jasonlachapelle

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PostSubject: Re: Woodgrain and value   Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:07 pm

dmg4 wrote:

these cars are not investments.  They are consumables.  You don't buy a pair of jeans thinking about their resale value.  Buy what YOU want, drive it, enjoy it, and don't worry about a selling price until that day arrives.

this. Overall, given similar condition I'd say the WB4 cars command slightly more. Leather vs cloth is personal preference. You can always just swap in the seats you want. Personally I hate caprice seats. I really like roadmaster limited seats, and put a set in my caprice.
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Garrett Crozier

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Join date : 2016-12-20
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PostSubject: Re: Woodgrain and value   Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:26 pm

+1 on heading south for a car.I looked for a year, and ended up buying a 95 caprice with woodgrain in South Carolina a few months back. It has 47000 miles, but a somewhat shady past. It was not what I thought it would be when I finally saw it in person, but managed to haggle to $3200. It got me home to toledo, but it did need a major detail and some mechanical work. Definitely budget for some repairs during the first few weeks as you further inspect your new ride.

I like the clean look of the wood delete cars, but I don't think it really affects value. Rust, miles and location seem to dominate the price from what I have seen.

I do have my Roadmaster for sale in Toledo (as you may have saw in the for sale section), but it probably has more rust than you want. It is a fun car though.
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68JCode



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Join date : 2017-11-03

PostSubject: Re: Woodgrain and value   Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:56 pm

Thanks for all the information guys, very helpful. I am definitely looking for the cleanest car I can reasonably afford. I'm not looking for an investment, just trying to avoid overpaying too much. It breaks my heart a little bit seeing the stories of the guys in Texas picking up a rust free car around 100K miles for a couple of grand.
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: Woodgrain and value   Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:15 pm

Haha, yeah my friend Brandon scored pretty well on the gold '95 Roady Limited here. This was the one that popped up with 92K miles and an asking price of $1500 (and he paid a good bit less too!). The body is a bit faded and the driver's seat is ripped. and it needs carpet BADLY and door panel trim...was used as a work car. That said, there is ZERO rust...Texas car always, and it's a tow-pack car, but never had a hitch. Drives great. He's been working on it constantly since buying it a few weeks ago and it's looking better every day! Will post update pics soon!

The deals are out there if you keep your eyes peeled!

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