I am interested in buying a used 1981 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur with 137,000 kilometres on it that has not run in seven years and has been stored both in and outside. The asking price is $6,700. Any guesses as to cost to get it running, or is it perhaps a bad can of worms? – Nicholas.
I am not an appraiser, however, my research indicates the fair value for a similar vehicle to be $9,000. “Fair” condition dictates a car that is in reasonable running condition. Your example falls into a category known as “poor” – which has limited value.
Areas to watch for: by now, any unused fuel will have migrated to a varnish-like state that clogs fuel systems, necessitating service of the twin carburetors and possibly replacement of the fuel pumps. Being a heavy car, the suspension bushings will have been worked relentlessly before being taken out of service. Expect plenty of front-end work and replacement of corroded brake parts that will have likely frozen the car in place. Being parked outside will add to the neglect cosmetically – both exterior and interior will have suffered.
Purchasing any specialty vehicle that is not running is certainly a “can of worms”. The risk for this vehicle in its current condition is high and not proportionate to the potential value. For the vendor to get anywhere near their asking price, they will need to put in more effort. Have it towed to someone with related experience for a professional assessment before you consider making an offer.
Lou Trottier is owner-operator ofin Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject area.