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Sebring Austin Healey 3000 replica value question

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Post by jghowes77 on Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:31 pm

I just stumbled on an 80s replica for sale that seems very nice but I have no idea how to estimate the value to see if it's a good buy or not. I saw something that seemed almost identical sell on Bring A Trailer for $28k but I also see listings for as little as $4k. Those might be scams though. Does anyone have any idea what's normal if in very good shape, 20,000 miles with a 302 Ford (I believe that's the same as the Mustang 5.0 from the 80s) and an automatic? The transmission seems to be the only difference from the on on Bring A Trailer. That was a 5 speed. Asking price is just under $10k.

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Post by Jimboquick on Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:39 pm

Seems to be somewhat too inexpensive ..
J

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Post by jghowes77 on Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:20 am

What would be normal?

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Post by Jimboquick on Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:07 am

Probably 15M or even much more ... depending on overall condition. Most folks have invested a lot of labour, love and money into their Sebrings. ... see what other owners have to say.
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Post by Hotrod on Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:15 pm

I have to agree with Jimbo.  10K would make me look very hard at the car to make sure it's up to par.  Many of these cars have sat in garages and sheds for years and may have several issues.  Most were not assembled at the factory, but put together by their owners. Unfortunately, some of those builds were, let's just say, less than high quality.

I paid a little less that that for mine an have had to completely go through the car to make it right.  Some of the stuff I did was by choice, but the rebuild was started due to shoddy construction that couldn't be corrected without a complete tear down.

Most I see that appear in the pictures to be good quality run in the 15-20K range, but price isn't always a good indicator of quality or condition. Look any car over well and bring a buddy that isn't blown away by a V8 powered sports car. In other words, a disinterested buddy may see things that you will gloss over in your mind because you like the car.
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Post by jghowes77 on Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:00 pm

That makes sense. Aren't there specific companies that were famous for assembling these that can be trusted?Thanks.

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Post by Jimboquick on Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:16 pm

None that I can remember ... and I've been interested in Classic Roadsters since 1987!!
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Post by jghowes77 on Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:59 pm

It's a cool car. Hopefully it was put together well. I'm going to see if later today. Is it typical that they don't put Austin Healey or 3000 badging? I guess I can add it.

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Post by Hotrod on Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:05 pm

The badges are available reproduction from Moss Motors or Victoria British. They turn up used on EBAY too, but are often scratched and beat up.
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Post by jghowes77 on Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:28 pm

Do I likely need them installed professionally to get it done right? I'd hate to drill a hole to affix them that isn't perfect. Do many people alter the hood to look more like the original? I'm assuming that Sebring intentionally made them look different to to give it a little bit of its own character.

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Post by jghowes77 on Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:38 pm

I saw it and there's definitely a reason that it's cheap but mainly because it's been sitting for 22 years likely. The body looks very good other than a small bit of damage by one taillight. Hopefully it's not too difficult to do minor fiberglass work with touchup paint. It's overheating and had basically no power. It struggled to get up to speed. Here's the good news: 1) It was put together by Classic Roadsters in Fargo, ND. That's the place that I saw mentioned many times as a great place to have them built. 2) The guy handling the estate is just selling it to close out an estate for his uncle that died 2 years ago. He doesn't care one bit what it sells for as long as it's justifiable to close the estate since he doesn't get any money from it anyway. So we're having a mechanic look at it to say what's wrong with it, even if it means I swap the engine and transmission, and we'll deduct it from the $9,500 asking price. So how much would it cost to get a good 302 Ford (what's in it now) or small block Chevy (which I read was popular for these cars) installed. Would it be crazy to get one mated with a 5 speed already to get rid of the automatic that's there now?

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Post by Jimboquick on Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:32 pm

To do the trans swap would also mean install of different clutch pedal and linkage plus possible changes to brake pedal ... as well as trans. mount and drive-shaft. Rear end gearing should be altered.
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Post by jghowes77 on Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:20 am

How complicated/expensive would that likely be?

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Post by angelo01 on Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:08 pm

Unless you are a very good mechanic, stay with what you got. Check first to see if the engine is repairable, you can get a 302 ford to produce some really good hp. I bought a
" good deal" Sebring 3 years ago and am still working on it. I must admit that this turned into a real fun project. I started just fixing what it needed, and ended up with a super cool
replica with a 383 stroker chevy automatic. Don't ask me how much I have in it. I'm afraid to know. Good luck
know.

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Post by Jimboquick on Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:30 pm

I too ... am afraid to know!
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Post by David V. on Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:45 pm

If it works relatively well change as little as you can. Engine swaps are no joke and really quickly snowball, no matter what you may think at the outset. I say this after spending the day trying to body-swap a 1956 Dodge truck onto a lowered 1954 Ford Chassis using Mustang II suspension, Mustang Cobra rear end, Grenada brakes, and a dodge 340 engine. Clearly I can't heed my own advice. Tomorrow I must take a BFH (Big F*&^%$ hammer) to the firewall to make some room for the passenger side valve cover.

If you want other examples of things snowballing check out my build thread to see how simply swapping an intake manifold on a small-block chev can result in needing to make valve-covers from scratch and having to try out 4 different ignition systems.

All this being said, automatic to manual swap can be done effectively if you have some experience. Make sure you order a hydraulic throw-out bearing conversion (I.E. from Summit).

For the badges, you can stick them on with 3M double-sided tape to avoid holes. Mine are done that way Wink

P.S: thread moved to general discussion section. The for sale section is reserved for classifieds and wanted adverts Smile
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Post by jghowes77 on Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:01 am

Do you know what the stock horsepower is in the 302 used in the Sebrings? I think I saw that it was right at 300 somewhere but the Mustangs that used it in 88 (when this was built) were only rated at 225. Do you know of any relatively cheap ways to boost power?

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Post by David V. on Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:58 am

Not as familiar with Ford engines, but the CR built Sebrings used stock motors as far as I can tell. Make no mistake though, that doesn't mean they're slow by any means.

Your car's been in storage a long time right? Don't blow your whole budget on a fancy engine. I would start with basic safety and reliability stuff: fresh brake pads/discs, check brake lines, maybe a new master cylinder or calipers if needed, make sure all your electricals work right, replace ball-joints and tie-rod ends if needed. New tires are a must, and getting an alignment done. Good mechanic will tell you if it needs anything else. Since you need a new engine anyways, have a look at 302 crate engines for sale at places like JEGS or Summit Racing, they're brand new and the blocks themselves are often better quality than a junkyard block that's been rebuilt a couple times. They also come with Dyno sheets so you can basically pick what power you want based on your budget. Whole lot simpler than trying to add power to a stock engine, but if that's the route you want to go, cheapest way is a cam/valve-spring/lifter kit and a better carburettor or EFI setup with a good K&N air filter. The next (expensive) step up from that would be a set of aftermarket cylinder heads (or I've heard GT40 style heads make good power).

Not sure what you've driven before but anything over 300hp will probably feel like a rocket in something this light.

The other big budget item is a good transmission, since you want to do a manual swap, preferrably a 5-speed in this day and age (something like a Tremec T5 or TKO). The ratios in that transmission, and the ratio in your differential will make more of a difference to how quickly your car accelerates and how fast it feels than any fancy 302 or 350 ever will. A well geared car with 250hp can be faster than a poorly geared car with 450hp. There's a lot to think about, so hopefully you have some experienced people to help you out.
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Post by jghowes77 on Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:46 am

If the engine can be brought up to where it should be for cheap I guess I'll leave it. I think I saw somewhere that the 302 used wasn't a new one in '88 but one from a late 60s or early 70s Boss Mustang and that would be around 300 horsepower. I can believe that's enough to make it exceptionally fast. I have a '92 Corvette with 300 horse but it outweighs this by 1,000 pounds. I also have a hotrod 1960 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite with a souped up 1972 2.0 Ford with about 160 hp. That's a lot for a 1,300 pound car. I have a 4 carb setup that came with the car to replace the 2 carb setup on it now. I might swap that to boost power hopefully to 200. My point is that I fully understand the fun to be had with a light car with plenty of power.

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Post by David V. on Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:27 am

Ah, sounds like you know where you're headed then. That Sprite must be an absolute riot with 160hp!
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Post by jghowes77 on Fri Jul 10, 2020 1:27 am

It's definitely a lot of fun.

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Post by mirishone11 on Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:35 pm

How does one identify a factory build vs a do it yourself?

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Post by Jerry & Lisa Mills on Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:49 pm

All factory builds have a serial number tag.
I've only seem them on the firewall in the engine compartment.

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