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68 Sprite value - need help

DanielJay23

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It has been almost 2 years since my father past away and I am now working to acquire my dads 1968 Austin Healey Sprite. Its been sitting in the garage for the past 16 years only to be pulled out a couple of times for various reasons but never started. Sadly all fluids were left in the car when parked, but the battery has been removed. Sadly the squirrels have claimed stake in the car without paying rent and they are getting evicted now! I would love to restore this car and get it on the road to remember my dads enjoyment for these cars. Can anyone help suggest a value of the car in its current state? I am purchasing the car from my mother to help her out financially. I know what my dad paid for the car originally but it was a much nicer car back then as well. A link to the photos of the car in its current state is below. And yes, I removed 16 gallons worth of seat foam, walnuts, pine cones, cardboard and other crap from the car in my quick vacuum job on fathers day.

I also cannot figure out based on the colors in the trunk if the car was originally the light blue color or if it truly was the leaf green that the car is today.

https://imgur.com/a/eZ9eA
 

Gearhead_Garage

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Buying or selling to family members is tough. I bought an antique car from my parents for slightly over market value in order to help them out. I spent significant time and money to get the car running well and then took them on a tour with the car. For Father's day I sent my Dad a framed picture with my wife and me sitting in the car in period costume. He loved it. Ultimately you just have to decide what will make you and your mother feel right about the deal.

Bugeye Sprites have bumped in value lately but square body Sprites have remained at a pretty low level. According to Hagerty, a Sprite in #4 Fair condition is worth $3700. Since that car is not running and buried under squirrel droppings, it does not meet Hagerty's definition of "Fair" so I would think that would set an upper bound. At least it was stored indoors. If it has no rust, that is a definite plus to value. If it does have significant body rust it is worth very little. Most likely the engine will need a complete rebuild and there's a real chance it may be junk at this point since the fluids were left inside.

Resurrecting this car will be a labor of love, for your mother and the memory of your father, but ultimately because you want to own and drive the car. That is really the only way it can be justified. With that in mind, it really doesn't matter how much you pay for it since that is just the beginning of a long and bittersweet journey.

Best of luck.

https://www.hagerty.com/apps/valuationtools/1968-austin~healey-sprite-mk_iv

hagertysprite.jpg
 

PHulst

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No mice, just squirrels?

Your pictures are telling. If you had me go along to look at the car for potential purchase I'd probably tell you that you'd be upside down on the project even if you got the car for free. Other than potentially usable sheet metal, everything needs replacement (interior, wiring, top, etc). That gets very expensive, especially when the top value is listed at $14k.

Sorry to sound pessimistic, but I don't think that there is much value to the car. You might be better off cleaning it out and selling it to someone else unless you REALLY had a lot of good times with Dad in the car.
 
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DanielJay23

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No worries about sounding pessimistic. Sometimes we all need a little reality check to keep things in perspective. I was just talking with a buddy of mine and he was thinking I may get upside down in the car as well.

I had thought about doing as much work on the car myself as I could. Wasn't sure if it would be a smart decision to learn how to rebuild the engine/transmission myself or pay someone else to do it? If doing as much work as I could on my own wasn't sure if I could make it possible and not get upside down in it.
 

HealeyRick

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It will be hard to fix the car's true value until you get it out of storage and find out if it's a runner and determine if there's any rust damage. Don't know if there are any siblings involved, but you need to tread carefully to avoid and "appearance of impropriety." Too many folks watch the television shows and assume any old car is a gold mine in waiting. Perhaps agree with your Mom on a base price and you will pay extra if it turns out later the motor and tranny don't need a rebuild and the body doesn't need rust repair. I'd try to get it running (lots of good tips here: https://www.mgexp.com/article/awakening-sleeping-mg.html) and see what you have. Box sprites haven't taken off in value yet and as said above, restore it for your connection with your Dad, not for its ultimate value as a collector car.
 

DerekJ

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Square bodied Sprites don't have a great deal of value even when fully restored. I'm afraid this car isn't worth saving unless for sentimental reasons.
 
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DanielJay23

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Too many folks watch the television shows and assume any old car is a gold mine in waiting.
Haha sad but very true. I knew from the start the car wasn't worth much even restored. My dad and his twin brother have had several MGA, MGB and Triumphs through the years. Sadly most of those are also sitting out in a field in worse shape than this.

the body doesn't need rust repair

So far without getting the car out of the garage and looking under the car, the only real rust I have found is there is a rust hole in the back drivers side of the trunk on the inside floor. I think the rest of the car is pretty solid and only has a few bumps and dings here and there.

Maybe before I get to involved with trailoring it home I will see if I can get some help attempting to get it started following the guide you posted, then go from there.
 

Boink

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To my way of thinking... it wouldn't matter if you find a little, predictable, rust. If the photos mean anything, it's just not worth that much (being a box Sprite).

Still, if you want many more opinions, post this in the Spridget forum.
 

nevets

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I agree with all of the above. Other than sentimental value, the car isn't worth much. At the risk of steering this thread in a different direction - other than fuel, what is the hazard of leaving fluids in a car during long term storage: brake fluid, crankcase/trans/rear end oil, coolant?
 
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I agree with all of the above. Other than sentimental value, the car isn't worth much. At the risk of steering this thread in a different direction - other than fuel, what is the hazard of leaving fluids in a car during long term storage: brake fluid, crankcase/trans/rear end oil, coolant?

Brake fluid--at least, the 'organic' kind (DoT3/4)--can gel.
 
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