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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
[forward] I was chatting with my buddy, his side work gets slow sometimes, I was talking to him today about taking on a couple DCs or EKs as low-cost quick flip projects to sink man hours into when there's no other work to do. Hes got two muscle cars that he wants to see done but the Challenger basically already has all of its hours in, and hes waiting on random expensive parts to tie the project up. And hes only buying like 1 part a month now so its just sitting in the corner. Hes got a mantaray to waste time on, its my favorite Chevy and I want to help him with it, but I can already tell its going to go exactly the same way. I freakin love the thing but its just painful thinking that hes gonna work so hard just for it to sit for ages later (I'm trying to convince him to finish it before the challenger)

TLDR:

I was thinking about some of the fancier shit thats hot. I basically know most of what were gonna do to it, but I'm not sure how customized were gonna go with it. Price point is the most important part. I personally dont some of the stuff but I know its what alot of people want. Lowering springs, HIDs, fog lights, polished LCAs, big rims, and of course a cone intake filter & fart can. It not gonna be all bad, were gonna build a custom exhaust, strip the car and paint it, install allnew gaskets/seals and a T.B/W.P.

But would things like:
1) a clean bay (wire tuck, shaved bay, vacuum hose deletes, etc) be worth investing into? How much value does that even add? (in your opinion, or what you have seen sell?)

2) a rebuilt engine I.E. A d16 vtec or b18 (maybe vtec) engine. Verus an old fashioned swap thats been freshened up (like a timing belt/water pump, plugs wires cap rotor and air filter)

3) air conditioning

4) a turbo set up. It can be done for 1,000 but that would be like Chinese kit and a base map ecu.

I cant think of anything else, if you so please add customizations you like and how much more you'd say a car is worth if it had em.
 

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Well heres the thing.. Im going thru this myself..

usual clean swapped civics go for 3500-5k


But what about the ones that gone beyond that?
I have $1000 in seats, 1500 in suspension, 500 for a steering wheel/hub/QR, 2500 in a fresh built engine, rebuilt LS trans worth 500, 500 for Neptune RTP, 400 for new mil spec harness, etc.. Theres 6.9k in mods alone

Not to mention ALL the other stuff done to it and then the clean shell. I know your never going to get your money back.. But Im aking 7k for my ride and I doubt Ill get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thats why its not going to be a hardcore build like yours. Its not a project but an investment, and we're gonna be turning literally every single bolt, sanding every inch, etc ourselves just like we do with our own cars. Besides the c3 vette this is the first time we're working on something together. He doesn't know anything about civics and I do not have the facilities nor the needed capital all by myself. Pooling our resources and splitting the work should make it manageable.

A flip car is certainly not going to get forged engine parts, if anything it'l get new rings/bearings valves/guides.

Its mostly going to be flashy shit. I dont like it, but business is business. If I wanted to be charitable I'd go cook for the homeless.
 

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You're looking at it wrong.

You're building a car that you want, in hopes that someone else will want it too. If you put a bunch of really nice parts together, they don't magically become worth more than their sum total. Let's say you buy a car for $1000 and use only name brand parts (cause no one pays top dollar for cheap crap!); go through the motor (estimate $500, it may only need plugs but timing belt/HG/clutch can add up), and then you throw in suspension ($1500), seats ($1000, Corbeau), AC ($200), Mil spec harness ($400), Paint ($400, I'm shooting in the dark but I figure if you're doing it all yourself this is a semi fair price), and wheels tires ($1200)

At this point you're left with a modified D-series (unless you're starting with an Integra {which you won't find for a grand}) that you have $5300. That's TOP DOLLAR for a D-series. And we haven't even gotten into a B swap or a Turbo build (both will add about $3k) or the HOURS you'll have invested! And you will absolutely have HOURS invested. Oh and let's not forget the inevitable "well this will need to be replaced as well", because there's always something unexpected that comes along.

IF, and I mean IF you sell this thing for $6500 and you've got 3 weeks in it (which I feel is conservative), that's 6500-5300=1200. 1200/120Hrs means you'll be making $10/hr. Couple that with the fact that you'll be doing this with a partner, and you're looking at $5/hr.

You'd be better off picking up a shift at Ruby Tuesday's!

NOW! If you want to do this the smart way, adapt this mantra; "You make your money on the purchase". What I mean by that is you assess the vehicle, it's current cost, do research to find out how much it will cost to fix (as quickly as possible), and see if you can sell it for just below NADA. For example; go to CL, get in the automotive section, and search for phrases like "Mechanic special" "Overheats" "blown head gasket" ETC. Price out an entire new motor for that car, add the two costs together, subtract it from what NADA say's it's worth, and figure out potential profit that way. You'll have less time, less cost, and greater potential profit.

Invest as little as possible and sell it for as much as possible. Remember this is a game of percentages, not numbers. If you buy a Chevy Astro van that needs a brake line ($50) for $500 cause the owner doesn't want to deal with it, you've invested $550 and can sell it for $1500. That's going to yield you a profit margin of about 60%, where as in the above example, you're looking at a profit margin of 18%. If you compare the actual numbers, you're looking at $1200 profit on the Civic and $950 profit on the van. Which would you rather do, get paid $950 for a brake line or $1200 for 3 weeks of work?

I buy and sell things all the time as a side hobby, I literally have turned $20 investments into a $100 bill in my spare time just buying and selling. Having ideals of what you want this to become is great but don't let that stand in the way of you making money.
 

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You're looking at it wrong.

You're building a car that you want, in hopes that someone else will want it too. If you put a bunch of really nice parts together, they don't magically become worth more than their sum total. Let's say you buy a car for $1000 and use only name brand parts (cause no one pays top dollar for cheap crap!); go through the motor (estimate $500, it may only need plugs but timing belt/HG/clutch can add up), and then you throw in suspension ($1500), seats ($1000, Corbeau), AC ($200), Mil spec harness ($400), Paint ($400, I'm shooting in the dark but I figure if you're doing it all yourself this is a semi fair price), and wheels tires ($1200)

At this point you're left with a modified D-series (unless you're starting with an Integra {which you won't find for a grand}) that you have $5300. That's TOP DOLLAR for a D-series. And we haven't even gotten into a B swap or a Turbo build (both will add about $3k) or the HOURS you'll have invested! And you will absolutely have HOURS invested. Oh and let's not forget the inevitable "well this will need to be replaced as well", because there's always something unexpected that comes along.

IF, and I mean IF you sell this thing for $6500 and you've got 3 weeks in it (which I feel is conservative), that's 6500-5300=1200. 1200/120Hrs means you'll be making $10/hr. Couple that with the fact that you'll be doing this with a partner, and you're looking at $5/hr.

You'd be better off picking up a shift at Ruby Tuesday's!

NOW! If you want to do this the smart way, adapt this mantra; "You make your money on the purchase". What I mean by that is you assess the vehicle, it's current cost, do research to find out how much it will cost to fix (as quickly as possible), and see if you can sell it for just below NADA. For example; go to CL, get in the automotive section, and search for phrases like "Mechanic special" "Overheats" "blown head gasket" ETC. Price out an entire new motor for that car, add the two costs together, subtract it from what NADA say's it's worth, and figure out potential profit that way. You'll have less time, less cost, and greater potential profit.

Invest as little as possible and sell it for as much as possible. Remember this is a game of percentages, not numbers. If you buy a Chevy Astro van that needs a brake line ($50) for $500 cause the owner doesn't want to deal with it, you've invested $550 and can sell it for $1500. That's going to yield you a profit margin of about 60%, where as in the above example, you're looking at a profit margin of 18%. If you compare the actual numbers, you're looking at $1200 profit on the Civic and $950 profit on the van. Which would you rather do, get paid $950 for a brake line or $1200 for 3 weeks of work?

I buy and sell things all the time as a side hobby, I literally have turned $20 investments into a $100 bill in my spare time just buying and selling. Having ideals of what you want this to become is great but don't let that stand in the way of you making money.
Much much much more profitable to flip stock vehicles with small fixes then modded vehicles.
 

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^Bingo! Focus efforts on finding diamonds in the rough. Fix the minor issues, clean them up, and sell on for a profit. You will probably end up losing money if going with your original business idea. I agree with making a car available to the masses and not a small niche for MAX profit.

Either way, good luck!
 

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My dad told me about a guy he knew who would buy cars for cheap, wash them and then flip them for a $100 profit. Seriously he'd just give them a wash. Keep it simple.
 

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^That is exactly what I do but with Yard Sale finds. Bought a freezer for $50, sold for $100; bought running boards for $25, sold for $100; bought a 3 drawer wood cabinet for $3, sold it for $30; bought a push mower for $25, sold it for $125; bought an oak table and chairs for $40, sold the table for $80 and the chairs for $25...

I literally load them up, write an ad, and wait for someone to buy it...
 

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Do the hustle....cue 70's music.
 

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Not anymore. It's gotten to the point you get the most for a muscle car when it's all original and numbers matching. I'm sure there are exceptions here and there, but basically, original is where it's at with that market
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You're right. A garage kept, low miles, completely stock and completely cherry classic American car is worth more than a restored car or a resto-mod car.

But you're ignorant if you think there isn't money to be made by building resto-mod cars. Without labor fees, a chevelle pro-street restomod will easily run 20-30k to build and could easily be sold for 50,000. A civic hatchback could easily be built for 2-3 and be sold for 5.

And there's alot less work when you dont need to take a body off a frame, spend 10,000 on a crate 350 and tune insane carbs, etc etc.

I'll let ya'l know how it goes. I know people who have done it before and I know people will do it after me.
 

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You're right. A garage kept, low miles, completely stock and completely cherry classic American car is worth more than a restored car or a resto-mod car.

But you're ignorant if you think there isn't money to be made by building resto-mod cars. Without labor fees, a chevelle pro-street restomod will easily run 20-30k to build and could easily be sold for 50,000. A civic hatchback could easily be built for 2-3 and be sold for 5.

And there's alot less work when you dont need to take a body off a frame, spend 10,000 on a crate 350 and tune insane carbs, etc etc.

I'll let ya'l know how it goes. I know people who have done it before and I know people will do it after me.
So riddle me this batman, why hasn't anyone done this before? Like say a junkyard?
 

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It works with cars that are currently hard to find and focused at a market of people who have tons of disposable income and want desperately to relive their fading youth.
I fixed it for you!

You're right. A garage kept, low miles, completely stock and completely cherry classic American car is worth more than a restored car or a resto-mod car.
In some cases ABSOLUTELY!

Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda convertible brings $3.5 million | Autoweek

Numbers matching, $3.5 million.

But you're ignorant if you think there isn't money to be made by building resto-mod cars. Without labor fees, a chevelle pro-street restomod will easily run 20-30k to build and could easily be sold for 50,000. A civic hatchback could easily be built for 2-3 and be sold for 5.
A) You're not talking about resto-mods and neither are we. You're talking about your run of the mill Civic, COMPLETE DIFFERENT THING!!!
2) If someone wants a modified Civic, they'll buy a Civic and throw parts on it. Most of the stuff that's popular now is bolt-on, more importantly the Civics target demographic is one of DIY'ers
C) Comparing Resto-mods to modified Civics is ignorant. They're a completely different classification of car with completely different target demographics.
3) What Civic hatch could you build for $2-$3k that would be worth $5k that I couldn't build myself for the same? Serious question, present me a working scenario of a car you could buy, invest money in (via aftermarket parts), and sell for a profit.

In high level theory; I will agree with you that if you buy a Civic, do a ton (and I mean a ton) of high level custom fab work, and sell it you'll be able to make money. BUT the fab work would have to be master level stuff and unlike anything on the market. Even then you'd struggle to find a buyer, sure you'd find a lot of teenage boys that would swarm to it like Jenna Jameson at a high school prom but lets face it, what teenager is going to bring something to the table worth Jenna's time.

And there's alot less work when you dont need to take a body off a frame, spend 10,000 on a crate 350 and tune insane carbs, etc etc.
Ya, price out a B18C5 and Hondata S300. Or better yet, price out a K24 and KPro. Oh, or you could click on one of our site sponsors and see what a quality turbo kit for a D16 would cost...

I'll let ya'l know how it goes. I know people who have done it before and I know people will do it after me.
FWIW, I'm one of those guys! I bought a 90 Civic hatch for $550, did a few things to it; got it running right, lowered, and threw wheels/tires on it. Then I got an offer for $2500, I turned it down and kept throwing parts on it. At the end of the day I till had an NA D15 with $5k in parts that I sold for $3300...

A few weeks ago I watched sum junk yard staff install a trans they had in a different car, into a car (bought for 300) and sold the car (for 1,000).
This is exactly what I was talking about in my above post, buy cheap, fix, and sell. No modification done, thanks for proving my point.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If you build it yourself its cheaper I agree. But I think some people are underestimating the stupidity, laziness, or generally "I need convenience" attitude.

And right there at the end of your post you said you fixed it, lowered and put rims on it, you were offered moneys, but then you kept modifying stuff. Thats the sweet spot I was asking about and "flashy stuff" is exactly what I'm confident about doing.


I dont want to compare classic Americans to 20yr old 1 out of 5,000,000 cars. But there are comparisons to be made, however ludicrous they appear on the surface. If I find an EG hatch that needs paint and engine work, I would be restoring it and if I mod it I'll be modding it too.

I've seen it work before, I'm just trying to do it better. So part of that is researching where the limit is drawn.

Thats why I posted this, to ask where the limit is and what's not worth doing. If most ppl believe that nothing is worth doing I'll keep that in mind and not wire tuck a car or throw on a cheapy turbo kit. I'd like to do a vtec headswap if nothing else, just so any advertisements can say "vtec vtec vtec!!"
 
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