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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there!

I've been looking for a new car for quite sometime now... I want something classic, something sporty, something that still looks amazing, but wont cost the earth!

I have narrowed it down to two cars. A Karman Ghia or an Opel GT.

This week a GT is for sale in my area.

I'd like to know how much I should be paying for one?
(72 model, LHD, restored engine)

Are there certain things I should look for? Known problems with GTs and the like?

Anything else you might find helpful! :D

Thanks in advance,
Mark
 

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Rust

If you are even considering a Ghia, you need to buy a copy if John Muir's Idiots Guide to Keeping Your VW Alive. In the book there is a chapter on buying a used VW that contains valuable tips that apply to any car. Go over the tips that apply to the Opel and see how it stacks-up. I havn't owned a real VW in years (only dune buggies) but I take the book along every time I look at a used car! Check it out at most libraries if you don't want to buy it.
Then, on the Opel:

Look for rust.
Look again for rust.
Now check the fenders in front of the doors and the floor boards for rust again.
If there isn't any rust then check to make sure everything works, ie headlights, parking brake, brakes, clutch, lights, gages, and motor.
If everything works, sit in the car, smell the interior, and take the car for a drive.
After you have driven the car, ask the owner if you can think about it for a while. If you spend the next day distracted by thoughts of the GT, then you may soon be one of those (us) guys who love these cars without any real reason to speak of.

In most parts of the country, a running, relativly rust-free, good looking and drivable GT will sell for $1500-$5000, more for some outstanding features, less if it needs a lot of work. Remember though, if you are doing it to make money, you are better off with Bonds or even stamps. Expect every dollar you invest in the car to raise it's value somewhere between 15 and 40 cents, or maybe not at all. Good luck, and I hope you choose wisely!
 

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Sounds like OLDOPELGUY has some good advice, however his percieved value of a GT is a bit outdated.

I just sold a very nice GT, and have sold MANY GT's over the past 5 years. ( it is what I do 24/7 )

The going rate today for A VERY NICE running driving everything works GT could be $7,100.00 in VERY GOOD condition and still in need of some TLC.

The North American Dealers Association has them for a low of $2,950 for a 73 GT, a low of $3,350.00 for a 69 GT.
Average low of $3,150.00

The HIGHS are $7,000.00 for the 73, and $8,550.00 for the 69.
$7,775.00 average high $$.

You can average the middle to $5,462.50.

Don't go by Kelly Blue book as it uses the reported amounts to the DMV, and MOST people give a MUCH LOWER price than the amount they paid, ( to save a few $$ on taxes ) which drops the re sale prices down.

The best advise is to GO check the CAR out and if it MOVES you buy it BECAUSE you LIKE it, I do not say LOVE the car because it can not love you back, but like it or not make sure it is what you want by taking a day to think it over for sure, great advise. Nothing is WORSE than buyers remourse, and you will still get it but less severe if you take a day to think it over.

Good luck and Happy Opeling!

P.S. I do not agree with never getting out of a car what you put into it. I have never taken a loss on a car I sold and I PUT a ton of money into the restoration work.
IF you do QUALITY work, NEW PARTS, high quality workmanship with a qualified mechanic, also in paint and body, then it will most certainly increase the value of a car.
 

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Re: Rust

oldopelguy said:
If you are even considering a Ghia, you need to buy a copy if John Muir's Idiots Guide to Keeping Your VW Alive. In the book there is a chapter on buying a used VW that contains valuable tips that apply to any car.
Man, that brings back some memories.:)
Muir's book was alway in my tool box when I was working on air cooled VW's back in the '70's. Wasn't one of the buying tips to walk around the car, light some incense, and sit and meditate in front of th car in order to screw up the seller?
 

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Hint

All right. all right, I get the hint!
Yes one of the buying tips involved assuming the Lotus and thinking about the car's Karma. So maybe you don't do that one, maybe you do. But some of the other checks, like the compression check and the technique's for checking wheel play really do work well, and they point you in the right direction. Lots of people get into a car that either looks good or runs strong not realizing just how long the journey from where the car is to where they want it to be can be. Besides that, the book is just plain fun to read.

Seriously, though, everyone has tips and tricks for how to buy a new-to-them used car. OpelJim obviously has better luck getting better cars than I do, but he also may have skills that I simply don't have. I, for example, fix electrical gremlins, but I can't seem to paint anything after dozens of tries. I've therefore spent thousands on bodywork and paint, oftentimes to get none of the investment back. I've also rebuilt dozens of starters, generators, and alternators for less than $10 each, and known others to pay hundreds for the same services. A thorough evaluation of what your skills are is also needed to assess where you need to go, an what kind of car you should buy.
For pricing I was going off what the GT's on e-bay and advertised nationally have been going for lately. I havn't actually bought a GT in almost 6 years, and I may be kind-of frozen in time. I have trouble sometimes thinking of a 1988 anything as old, too....
:rolleyes:
 

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Markp. doesn't mention where he lives, & that's gonna be a factor in the value of a car like the GT. Supply and demand will always play a MAJOR part in any vehicle's market price--where I live, in mountainous western Colorado, the demand is LOW, because it isn't a pick-up or an SUV. I doubt I'd get even the lowend price Jim gives if I were to sell my other GT here, because the car is perceived as not good for winter driving, not 4X4, can't haul livestock supplies in it (completely true, unless you have really TINY livestock), hard to find parts for (wrong, but that's the perception), & worst of all, NOT the hip vehicle to own. I'd be better off selling a Silverado 4X4--demand for those is through the ROOF. Sunny southern California would likely be a much better place to sell a European sports car--I think the demand for a good GT would be far higher there. So, regional differences would play a part, IMO. Gary, I like Muir's tip for keeping the seller off-balance . . . might try that one next time . . .:D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Aww... I typed out a long reply, but the page said I have too many images! Must have been all the smilies! :)

Anyway....

Thanks for all the replies guys!

I went to sleep last night thinking of the GT and woke this morning (at 6am!) thinking of it... Thats quite strange for many reasons!

I do have a few major problems.

I am in the UK, so we drive RHD cars, whereas the GT is a LHD.
Are there any conversion kits that you people know of?

Also insurance. I am 21, so I think the insurance will kill me! :)

I'm going to see the car tonight, I'll take some photos if you are interested?

Thanks again for all the feedback.

Mark
 

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$ value of improvements

It was brought up that you lose money when fixing up a GT. When I complained about how much money I was spending on one of my other cars I had a friend tell me something that has stuck to this day.

When you get off the ride at Magic Mountain you don't ask for your money back, do you? Why place a price tag on fun especially when it comes to something you love?

Phil
 

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We understand now why you mentioned RHD, Markp. No, I don't think anyone makes a kit to convert a GT to RHD--if anyone else knows of such a thing, please speak up--& it seems to me it would be a MAJOR undertaking to do such a conversion yourself. You may want to think long & hard about taking on a project like that. There would be more to consider than just relocating the steering wheel, there's the dash, the pedals, the heater . . . the list goes on & on & ON. Is the Karmann Ghia RHD? I hate to say it, being the Opel partisan that I am, but you might be happier with the VW if it is . . .but, of course, that's up to you.
 

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opelmark said:
We understand now why you mentioned RHD, Markp. No, I don't think anyone makes a kit to convert a GT to RHD--if anyone else knows of such a thing, please speak up--& it seems to me it would be a MAJOR undertaking to do such a conversion yourself. You may want to think long & hard about taking on a project like that. There would be more to consider than just relocating the steering wheel, there's the dash, the pedals, the heater . . . the list goes on & on & ON. Is the Karmann Ghia RHD? I hate to say it, being the Opel partisan that I am, but you might be happier with the VW if it is . . .but, of course, that's up to you.
True... but they don't look half as nice... now do they? :D

I've been getting some scary insurance quotes! Some people asking £3000 for 12 months! Thats quite a bit more than I expected! :D

I'm getting some specialist quotes tomorrow hopefully, then I'll re-evaluate everything, to see where I stand.

Thanks for the advice.

Oh and... most Karmans are LHD, but there are conversion kits out there... :)
 

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Absolutely true, the Ghia isn't a BAD looking car, but the Opel GT is BEAUTIFUL. And, yes, that insurance quote seems astronomical, Mark. I don't know what the pound is worth vs. the dollar these days, but that sounds absurdly expensive. . . by way of comparison, I'm 45, with a good driving record (somehow), & I pay $31 a month . . . $372 a year. Fuel where I live is about $1.50 a gallon. God bless America. BTW, don't some people in Britain drive LHD vehicles? Are there laws or regulations against doing so?
 

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I have a friend in England with a US-spec GT, and he had no trouble getting it registered there. He did comment it's odd to drive on the "wrong" side of the car. Also, years ago the UK GT owner's club and Parsget UK were working on a RHD swap for the GT, but the costs were quite extensive so the project was dropped. Parsget UK is no more, the owner moved to Florida and got out of Opels entirely. I believe they built one prototype RHD car, but can't confirm this.

Bob
 

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opelmark said:
BTW, don't some people in Britain drive LHD vehicles? Are there laws or regulations against doing so? [/B]
Oh yeah its fine to drive LHD vehicles here. You just end up paying more as insurance companies insist you are more likely to have an accident.
 

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RallyBob said:
I have a friend in England with a US-spec GT, and he had no trouble getting it registered there. He did comment it's odd to drive on the "wrong" side of the car. Also, years ago the UK GT owner's club and Parsget UK were working on a RHD swap for the GT, but the costs were quite extensive so the project was dropped. Parsget UK is no more, the owner moved to Florida and got out of Opels entirely. I believe they built one prototype RHD car, but can't confirm this.

Bob
Hi Bob,
Are you still in contact with this friend? If you are would you mind asking him who he gets his insurance through?

I've decided if I can get the car down to £2000 and get an insurance quote of £1000 or less then I'll go for it :)

Not too sure if my girlfriend will be too happy, but who cares! I will be over the moon!!!! :D

As a side note, are there many women into GTs?
 

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Babe Magnets

Mark,

Yes, the Opel GT are driving women crazy here.
My wife said if I spend anymore time or money on my
GT she is going to give me what I deserve......I just spent
the entire weekend working on my car.....(I can't wait to
get lucky tonight)

Stanley P
 

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Re: Babe Magnets

Stanley_P said:
Mark,

Yes, the Opel GT are driving women crazy here.
My wife said if I spend anymore time or money on my
GT she is going to give me what I deserve......I just spent
the entire weekend working on my car.....(I can't wait to
get lucky tonight)

Stanley P
Hahahahaahaa... my woman is like that with football... she's gonna love me sooooo much if I get this car! :D
 

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Babe Magnet

My ex-wife was SO attracted to me spending time on my GT. She went and bought me a "more reliable" car for my birthday a few years back so I'd have some weekends free! That car is gone, as is she, but my GT remains!!!!:D
 

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babe magnet

Maybe I'm strange (I knew that), but I love cars. And I'm absolutely fixated on the GT. Don't have one yet, but I'm working on that problem.

Granted, I've never worked on a car in my life (there aren't too many women out there who like to work on cars and guys don't take me seriously...) but I have every intention of learning.

My boyfriend, on the other hand, couldn't care less about cars. He doesn't even like to drive. We're a rather unusual couple, I guess.

And I'm not particularly a "babe", but I ain't bad. <grin>

Chelsea
 
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