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plee4139
11-19-2017, 07:55 AM
Finally, after over six months, the engine rebuild on my Sky Hawk is completed. The problem was a cooling system failure combined with a non-working temp gauge which caused the engine to overheat, thinning the oil, and causing engine bearing failure. The cooling system is now rebuilt retaining the re-cored radiator. To make things worse, there were many more issues along the way, including dubious repairs or incorrect fixes. The upshot is that no matter how nice this car is, and how much I enjoy driving it, the love affair is definitely over. The cost was enormous, and while there's a three-year warranty on the engine work, there's bound to be additional problems to address in the future. I already know that there's too much play in the steering and an unwanted noise coming from the left side, but that's going to have to wait till next year. The issue is now whether I can afford to keep this car. I have a folder thick with receipts and invoices on all the work I've had done in the ten years since I've owned it, and I'm going to total them up and calculate how much it really costs me to keep this car. Naturally, whatever price I get for it will be far less that what I've laid out, but that's to be expected in this hobby. I would miss having it terribly, but as everyone knows, needs must. I'd like to read your responses. Please, no smartass stories about the guy you know who rebuilt ten engines over a weekend at a cost of $146.85.

Skip Lackie
11-19-2017, 08:27 AM
Only you know how much "disposable" money you have, how much pleasure you derive from you car (and the comradeship of other Stude nuts), and what other things you want to spend money on. Very few of us use our Studes as daily drivers, so these are hobbies, like golf, horses, or trips to the Caribbean. I know there are some people who claim to have made money on their Studes, but I always "lose" money when I sell an old car -- if viewed from a strictly financial perspective. If you think this car will continue to be a drain on your treasury, then sell if for what you get for it and buy something less expensive, like a Lark. But be aware that incomplete restorations or cars with unknown problems often sell for a LOT less than one that is pretty much complete and "done".

Kurt
11-19-2017, 09:24 AM
I have spent a lot of money on old cars through the years. However, I do not play golf. I do not take vacations. I do not have any other hobbies really. I do work on other people’s old cars and also old tractors to bring in extra “ fun money” I use this money for my hobby. I also have a very high pressure job and this hobby expense is cheaper than a therapist.

That is how I justify the hobby. This was critical when I started as I had very little extra money when I started tinkering with old iron. You can’t let hobbies take away from your family. That is a path to divorce for sure.

The other her thing I have learned, is that once you get your classic where it is pretty reliable. It really doesn’t cost very much to keep it up. As long as you have a good place to store it and you drive it a few hundred miles a year.

So, only you know how much extra time and extra money that you have for hobbies and other interests.

64studeavanti
11-19-2017, 09:32 AM
Just a suggestion, but I would categorize my costs. For example, I would assign original purchase cost and other restoration to purchase price. Other maintenance is ordinary maintenance and repair, just like any other more modern brand x. If I followed your posts correctly, this last repair would be categorized as an unexpected repair that would not be covered by warranty even on a new car. This allows you to deduct the current value from the computed purchase price to arrive at depreciation cost. Add to this the cost of normal maintenance and repair. For this analysis, I would omit the costs of the recent repairs as they should be a one off and you would be out of pocket even on a new car. If you amortize this over the years you have owned the car, you have arrived at the cost per year of ownership.

DEEPNHOCK
11-19-2017, 09:34 AM
I would burn my receipts, delete all eleventeen threads on this subject, and go out and have fun with your car.

paul shuffleburg
11-19-2017, 09:35 AM
When I bought my 51 Commander my my 62 Champ I think I over paid the "real world value" for them, but
I have no intentions of selling them. I use them every week in the summertime and to me they are worth
$100,000 each just from the pleasure I get from them.

345 DeSoto
11-19-2017, 09:41 AM
You' driving a 61 year old car, and expecting it to operate as new. Unless you have more than mediocre mechanical skills, and can do the majority of your own work, it WILL be a continuous loosing game. If you don't trust the car, and it appears you are throwing more money at it than you're willing too, then sell it and end the misery...

JoeHall
11-19-2017, 09:47 AM
If I had to pay someone else to do the repairs, I'd have gotten out of Studes decades ago. As age creeps up, it is becoming increasingly difficult, and 50s-60s technology is such that it is, "ride awhile then fix awhile". They are definitely more maintenance intense than modern cars. Hopefully your engine will now be good for 100,000 miles or so, or 100 years, which ever comes first.

Hang in there, and pray there are no more major expenses for awhile.

studegary
11-19-2017, 10:35 AM
From what you post, and knowing that you do not do your own mechanical repairs, I suggest that you list it on eBay with pictures and a good description. Have a very low starting bid to enlist interest and competition. I will be a bidder on your car.

PS - I hope that the temperature gauge has been repaired. Doing this minor repair in the first place, MAY have prevented the large repair (time and cost) that you just went through.

PackardV8
11-19-2017, 01:54 PM
I would burn my receipts, delete all eleventeen threads on this subject, and go out and have fun with your car.

That's a great Plan A, Jeff.


From what you post, and knowing that you do not do your own mechanical repairs, I suggest that you list it on eBay with pictures and a good description. Have a very low starting bid to enlist interest and competition.

Also a great Plan B, Gary.


The upshot is that no matter how nice this car is, and how much I enjoy driving it, the love affair is definitely over.

Half of all marriages end with a divorce and nearly every hobby gets sold eventually. For our OP, who's obviously lost confidence in his Stude and no longer can overlook the potential problems, maybe Plan B is the way to go. If he does sell, suggest he doesn't look at the receipts, give them to the buyer. Don't quantify the loss, just breathe a sigh of relief and decide going forward how to spend the hobby time and money.

jack vines

E. Davis
11-19-2017, 03:02 PM
Interesting discussion. Of all the inexact sciences, determining a classic cars value has to rate near the top. When I bought my 61 Hawk from a SDC member nine years ago I probably paid top dollar but it had all the things done to it I didn't want to do. Rebuilt engine, fresh paint and new upholstery. It also cost me $1000.00 to have it shipped to Montana. In retrospect it was a bargain because it was a really sound good running little car needing nothing and ready to travel. I have put over $2000.00 into it over the years but most of it was for things I wanted to add such as a fairborn axle kit, cosmetic chrome work and personal accessories. Without these the car would have still been just fine so even though these things might add value to a potential buyer I couldn't add them to the basic selling price of the car. The only other expenses have been mandatory stuff like a new fuel pump, new master cylinder and hydrovac which fall under the routine maintenace label. Considering all this I guess the selling price would be close to my purchase price plus the 15% appreciation the 56/61 Hawks have enjoyed over the last ten years according to Hemmings and my insurance co. So, using 64studeavanti's formula I guess I would about break even and still have had all the fun and pleasure of owning the car. Not a bad deal anyway you look at it.

bob40
11-19-2017, 04:23 PM
If I have learned anything over the years on this and other forums or discussion boards it's that there are certain rules,if you want to call them, that I follow.
Buy the best car you can afford.Buying a solid body AND mechanically sound vehicle saves money.
Avoid nice looking vehicles with a list of issues. Often times a sharp looking vehicle is a nightmare in a new dress.
This last one is my own rule.No project vehicles.Took a long time to get that one right and I still feel the tug on a project that I think I could finish it on a low budget.
I have been turning away vehicles I have found or been offered. No more vehicles that just need a engine or finishing anothers project.
Been there and done that like the OP and burned the receipts.I don't currently own a Studebaker although I keep the feelers out and one day will have another and it will be a finished driver. I don't want a show car just a daily driver I can enjoy driving rather than wrenching on it.

1954khardtop
11-19-2017, 05:43 PM
Car season is about over here in the northeast. How about putting it up for the winter and see how you feel about it in the spring? You may change your mind by then and want to keep it. If not sell it in the spring, when the old car market is better.

tsenecal
11-19-2017, 08:58 PM
I see why you may feel discouraged after the large bill for engine, but you mentioned doing other work as well. Maybe you have gotten the car to the point that it will be dependable with lower costs for years to come. The way I look at it for myself is: how much would a newer car ( say BMW, Hellcat, Mustang, etc) cost? And would I enjoy them the same as driving a classic? New cars are very costly to purchase, license, and insure.

SilverHawkDan
11-19-2017, 11:45 PM
Two Words

CAR PAYMENT

Cheapest car is the one you own and love. Love is better than money.

My two cents

plee4139
11-20-2017, 05:01 AM
I would burn my receipts, delete all eleventeen threads on this subject, and go out and have fun with your car.

A man after my own heart. no wonder you call yourself "Deepnhock!"

plee4139
11-20-2017, 05:11 AM
From what you post, and knowing that you do not do your own mechanical repairs, I suggest that you list it on eBay with pictures and a good description. Have a very low starting bid to enlist interest and competition. I will be a bidder on your car.

PS - I hope that the temperature gauge has been repaired. Doing this minor repair in the first place, MAY have prevented the large repair (time and cost) that you just went through.

I had no idea the gauge wasn't working. I just thought the car was running cool, except for when I drove it in the 4th of July parade. Then it would get hot, but cool off as soon as it hit the road. Lots of other factors involved here, none of which I could have known about until this work was under way. I think I'll drive it a bit before the winter crap is on the roads, then drive it for a year then re-evaluate my needs. The car provides me with a lot of contact with other people which is one of the things recommended for retirees to avoid a sense of isolation. As I spend a certain amount of time in the Southampton house this contact through the car is very valuable. I know you've seen it and it is a real crowd pleaser, and if you read my book on Amazon Kindle, you'll see a lot about the attention-junkie who wrote it.