Let's start with a horrible example.
"I have a Model T inherited from a relative and I
want to sell it. How much is it worth?"
or not, that question is occasionally posted on Model T
forums. It may sometimes state the year of the car, but
is otherwise so vague as to be meaningless. The first
thing you need to do if you don't know about what you're
selling, is to find out what it is. That's a whole other
subject. Once you know what you have, you're ready to
sell it and that's what this page is here for...
To sell any collector car, it helps to provide as much
information as possible. This is especially true for a
Model T. This most plentiful of antique cars has a large
following of folks who know it well, and if they're
shopping for a T they want to see what features yours
has. It's good to provide a list, but better to add
pictures. That's pictures. Plural. Not a picture. With
today's digital photography, a dozen or more photos
don't cost any more than one, so you might as well do
the job right. This should be obvious, but take pictures
of the car, not pictures of old pictures. Some cameras
will let you show the date of a picture in the picture.
Before you start taking pictures consider the setting.
The idea is to show the car, so if it's in a dark place
and/or hidden by stuff stacked on it, fix that.
Obviously the first thing is to uncover your subject.
Once you have it uncluttered, consider the lighting. If
the car isn't movable and you have to shoot your
pictures indoors, you want adequate lighting. It's
better to have several light sources and avoid using a
camera flash, which often produces a picture with a lot
of glare. Many times a flash also lights part of the
picture too much and leaves part of it too dark. Using
available light, if it's bright enough, is often better
than flash. The only problem with using available light
is that camera movement can give you blurry pictures, so
you want the camera on a tripod or other solid object.
If the vehicle can be moved, avoid shooting indoors.
Roll it outside where it can easily be viewed from all
sides. The ideal time to do this is in daylight on a
slightly overcast day to soften dark shadows.
"When you take pictures, remove your
teddy bears and grandma's quilt from the back seat. Take
3 minutes to blow the worst of the dust off the body and
the engine. And most of all, We don't care how your car
looks with you (or 1/2 nude women) standing in front of
You should include overall views of the car and also
provide a closer look at various features. A nice angled
picture like this one is great to attract buyer
Overall views should show the vehicle but be close
enough not to waste space on the surroundings. You
should have at least eight views. Those will be
straight-on shots from the front, back, and both sides,
and from all four corners.
Also consider taking pictured under
the hood, the undercarriage and also the interior. The
old marketing adage applies: The more you tell, the
more you sell. - People can't buy what they can't
Move in closer to show various features. For a Model T
this should include front axle and springs, rear axle
and springs, a wheel (each of the wheels if they're not
all the same), radiator and shell, engine compartment
from both sides, front interior, rear interior, dash and
controls. Those should be the bare minimum. Again, extra
digital shots are free. So you can add close-ups of
desirable accessories and other parts and features.
What kind of camera? Phone cameras in most cases are
today's version of the old Instamatic. Handy perhaps,
but usually not very good. If you're shooting pictures
you'd like to keep, it's best to shoot them full size
with a real camera. Then, when you post them online, you
can make a copy to resize and keep the full size
original for future use. When you resize the copy, make
it small enough to fit on a computer screen, but not too
small to show details. Some websites have a limit on the
file size of pictures you can post, and you'll have to
shrink copies of your photos to be under their limit.
Sometimes, especially shooting
close-ups, you may get a picture out of focus or
otherwise poor. It may be hard to see this kind of
problem on a tiny camera or phone screen, so it's best
to look at your pictures on a larger screen to see if
they're good enough to use. If they're not, shoot better
Along with your good pictures, you
need to give information. The more the better. A lot of
potential buyers will want to know the following:
What is it? Identify the car:
Condition: Engine; Body;
Paint; Top (if an open car); Upholstery; Tires
(if near new)
considerations/desirable features: Floating
Hubs, Ruxtell, Accessory brakes, horn,
speedometer, all add value.
Engine/serial number. Are
there body numbers?
If you know the vehicle's
history tell about it. Is it a 1 or 2 owner car?
Did it spend the last x number of years in clean
storage? Has it been driven on a regular basis?
Was the engine rebuilt? If so, when and by whom?
Any other interesting history you can add may
Does it run ? Does it turn
over ? Does it run well on both battery and
magneto? Can you start it by hand on MAG?
Do you have a clear title for
Where is the car located? Is
it on your property? In storage across town? In
a different City, or State?
Ask a realistic price, based
on demand, condition, and what current market
trends are doing for similar vehicles. This
means you may need to do some research. Don't
just go by what people are asking for similar
vehicles. Consider what people are actually
paying for them when they sell. Some places to
Ask a realistic price, based on
demand, condition, and what current market trends are
doing for similar vehicles. This means you may need to
do some research. Don't just go by what people are
asking for similar vehicles.
Consider what people are actually
paying for them when they sell. Some places to look:
Ebay is especially handy for seeing
the current price trends. Do an "Advanced Search" for
your year/model. Specify for the search to include "Sold
listings" and "Closed Listings". You'll be able to see
what recent cars sold for, and also those that were
listed but did not sell. That's your "current market
value." Of course, every car is different, as are the
perceptions of the bidder/buyer.
Be realistic when pricing. Unique models with total
rebuilds completed within a very few years since a
restore might bring top dollar. Average or lesser
quality cars are another matter. Some time, study and
consultation with experienced people can help here.
Generally speaking if you are willing to wait for the
price you want you are much more likely to get it. On
the other hand if you donít know what you want you might
pass by a quality offer.
Where to advertise: Local and Regional Model T Clubs,
Local and Regional antique car clubs.
Provide good contact information.
Be available to answer questions or additional photos.
Have a quick and easy way to share more pictures with
people who respond, perhaps a prepared email with
attachments or maybe a link to a Google Drive or
Organize your responses, at some point you might want to
accept an earlier offer. Donít lose track of who offered
The more you know about the car the more trust the buyer
can place in your description of the condition of the
If this all sounds too difficult, hire someone to help
who knows what they're doing and will help you get the
most for your car.