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Value of a Model

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  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Hamptonville, NC
Posted by TarheelRick on Monday, April 15, 2019 7:08 AM

A couple of weeks agoI was perusing an ad for a local auction company and saw they had a collection of 1960/61 annual kits and hot rods from that era (40 Ford Coupe and Sedan, 32 Ford Coupe, and 25 Double T).  So I decided to go down and see what was inside the boxes. Many of the boxes had bits and pieces, one had the 40 coupe in parts, the Double T had both bodies and a mixture of parts, the 32 Coupe box was simply three pieces of sprue.  However there was a fair 60 Ford truck, a 60 (1?) El Camino, a 59 Mercury, a 59 Buick convertible, 60 Ford Convertible, a 61 Corvair (missing chrome), and a couple of 60 Thunderbirds.  Some really acceptable restoreable stuff.  I didn't take the cars out of the boxes, but I believe most of them were mostly complete.  So I settled down and set through a bunch of boring paintings, vases, and furniture pieces.  Finally they put the box of models on the auction table.  Now I had figured my high bid would be $120.  The auctioneer said "I have a starting bid of $210".  The final sale price was $490. I didn't see who got it, but he must have been some kind of serious collector.  I may be way off in my pricing, but I believe on Ebay and/or a good model show all this, including prices for empty boxes could not be more than $650-700.  Anyway, I put my wallet back into my back pocket, went by Barnes & Noble and picked up the latest issue of "Traditional Rod & Kulture" and "Hot Rod Deluxe".  I really would like to have got the Mercury, Ford Truck and the El Camino.  There are those who will pay for older kits and pay well (outrageous) for them.

I build models because I can't afford the real thing!

  • Member since
    May 2015
Posted by Goofy62 on Sunday, April 14, 2019 4:41 PM

Obviously the auction house that you speak of has never payed any attention to the prices that some of Paul Hettick's, and others builds, bring on ebay.

I have seen plastic and resin builds go for $3,000.00 or more!




  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by BUGATTI FAN on Sunday, April 14, 2019 12:36 PM

A few years ago I approached a well known auction house in London about selling off some of my built up models. They expressed no interest in plastic models whatsoever no matter how well built. Good models from White Metal and Multi Medium were the only things they were interested in, but when I looked to see in previous sales what offers they were reaching it looked a bit disappointing when you have to consider auction house fees when deducted. They were also a bit border line in interest to the big Pocher classics due to the amount of plastic used in the kits. Fully scratch built models made from metal piqued their interest more than any other as they considered them to be works of craftsmanship that could command high bidding. If anybody wishes to make any money out of their old kits, my take is that they will sell best if unstarted. I guess that there comes a point where one cannot make an equasion out of the number of kits left to build equalling the rest of your life left to build them! Best get shot of a load of kits just gathering dust and unlikely to ever get built and buy a new TV or something!

  • Member since
    October 2008
Posted by oldcarguy on Thursday, April 11, 2019 9:17 AM


      You are ! And I gotta say you did a nice job on that model ! Not my favorite year for Chrysler , But it is interesting as to where design was going at that time ! Kudos .OCG

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by Plowboy on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 1:45 PM

Once a model hits my stash, it's worth no more than the rest of them to me. No matter what I paid for it. If I need a part from it, I'll take it. If I want to cut it up, I'll cut it up. That's what they're for. To build. If I want to look at the box, I can still look at it if I want. It doesn't matter if the parts are still inside. It looks the same full or empty. I'm going to build them while I can still enjoy them. When I'm gone, they'll probably hit the dumpster anyway. Unless I somehow manage to get rid of them beforehand. 

  • Member since
    September 2015
  • From: Nevada
Posted by American185 on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 9:56 AM

I completely agree with you. I tend to flip flop between commercial aircraft then back to car models. Value comes from what the person sees in it that is buying it. I too have no interest in letting it sit unbuilt on a shelf, why bother buying it ?? Perfect example was Modelhaus. Their kits were pristine but pricey, and at the very end overinflated I think to a point. I have several in my collection that are ultra rare and I know are worth big bucks. Will I part with them, no. They are for my enjoyment and to me represent American automotive history. I have been lucky on a few occassions with flea markets and garage sales. You would be amazed what people have, and no clue with the value of it. I am probably cheap, because I refuse to pay $300-$400 for any kit. Not worth it to me. As time marches on, even in a box, they do acquire damage and at times it is annoying. Heat and the other elements do get to them. I am lucky enough to have a well rounded collection of American full size cars from the 70's and late 60's and am looking for one more to round it out. But until I find a 'cheap' garage sale find or flea market find of it, I am in no hurry. Good things do come to those who wait and are patient !!!

'There is a special feel in an Oldsmobile, more than the luxury ride its the feeling of pride that you get inside !!!Wink'

  • Member since
    May 2015
Posted by Goofy62 on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 11:46 AM

I'll start by saying that I believe that I am that person that you mentioned who paid A LOT for that Plymouth! Smile

Second, I agree.

I don't buy them to look pretty in a box on a shelf.

The whole idea is to build them.

If I have no interest in building them, there's no point in buying them in my opinion, unless you're just looking at them from an investment standpoint.

If that's the case, you would probably be better off collecting stamps or coins.

They take up a lot less space, there are more stamp and coin collectors interested in your items, and your collection will probably be more valuable in the long run.

To me, the price I pay for a particular model has nothing to do with it's inherent value, and everything to do with how badly I want the finished item on my shelf.

And in the end, when the day comes to give it all up and get rid of them, if the model is rare and done well, in many cases, it can bring more money built than in pristine unbuilt condition.

So you see, it is possible to have your cake, and eat it too.

You can have the joy of building it, and possibly a nice sized check in the end. Wink





  • Member since
    March 2019
  • From: Quitman, Texas
Posted by LostInStyreneAnd... on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 9:07 AM

Here Here!!!   Like fine wines, antiques and art - The best of the best will always command a higher price, but ALL of it depends on what 'someone' is willing to pay.  Just because it's old, or rare, doesn't mean it's valuable.  I don't see 84 Chevy Cavaliers going across the aution block at Barrett-Jackson, but they're old (35 years) and rare (for all the wrong reasons, but hey). 

I agree - either You build it, or find someone who will enjoy the experience.  Might even be an opportunity to get someone new into the hobby.  And if no one appreciates your workmanship, at least this is something you really can take with you Wink

I mean - maybe I can't be buried IN a Ferrari, but I can be buried WITH one!   

Eric Automobile

  • Member since
    October 2008
Value of a Model
Posted by oldcarguy on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 8:33 AM


 Replying to threads got me to thinking . Of course I build more ships than cars ,but I enjoy my car builds a lot . Now , I recently read that someone payed about three Bills for a JoHan Plymouth .

     I have my eyes on a Chrysler Newport two door in the same range of price .Rich for my budget? You Bet ! But I can take that Johan kit and build a model of my first Chrysler that I owned in life .

 I have a " Stash ". I think most of us do . Now when we go on to the LHS up there whose gonna inherit the stash? No One ! I will build what I can, then the rest gets given to a Charity for Veterans to enjoy .

 Value is what you put on something as a commodity .In that sense you can do many things .Sell at inflated prices or even fair prices or build them. Selling is fine ,But remember there will be someone out there that will pay a high price for whatever reason .This is NOT always the case .

     I know of one vendor whose prices are so exorbitant he brings much the same to every show I've been to . So whose going to benefit when God Forbid ,He passes? His wife and kids probably don't really care about running around the country hauling a trailer full of model cars .

      Solution, E-bay .It happens all the time . I say build them .Someone will appreciate the workmanship somewhere .  O.C.G.. 



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