Posted by: Phil's Classic Chevys | February 20, 2012

Determining the Value of the 1957 Bel Air Convertible – Part Three, Final Value

After determining the relative condition of the Bel Air and researching price guides, we have determined a range for the value of the car from $67,115 to $86,100.  To verify the range and to reach a final number, it is necessary to examine recent auctions and reputable classic car sales websites.

Two of the largest and most recognizable auction companies are Barrett-Jackson and Mecum.  Information on the sale price of cars at both auctions can be researched at their web sites. Barrett-Jackson’s listed sales prices include a ten percent commission.  Although it’s an amount added to the gavel price, and argument can be made that it still represents the actual price the buyer paid for the car.

Researching Barrett-Jackson’s site for similar cars (eight total) in the same relative condition as the Bel Air (some worse, some better) produced a range $51,700 to $123,300.  Recognizing the low and high numbers represented a bit of an annomally, removing them from consideration showed a more reasonable range of $62,700 to $90,200 with a median value of $75,100.

Performing the same analysis on information from Mecum auctions gave a range of $54,000 to $97,000 and a median of $70,000.

When choosing sales web sites I decided to use Hemmings Motor News (probably the oldest and most respected publication) and Autabuy.

The asking price for comparable 1957 Bel Air Convertibles for sale on Hemmings ranged from $75,000 to $100,000, with a median of $88,000.  Recognizing that asking price is usually negotiated downward by a potential buyer, I decided a more realistic actual sale price would be about ten percent less or $79,200.

Autabuy research showed asking prices ranging from $59,100 to $100,000 with a median of $80,000.  Using the same ten percent reduction from asking to negotiated price yields a median of $72,000.

So, in summary we have the following:

Range of values based on pricing sources:  $67,115 to $86,100.

Barrett-Jackson:                                                                $75,100

Mecum:                                                                               $70,000

Hemmings:                                                                         $79,200

Auta Buy:                                                                            $72,000

The auction and web site values fit nicely within the range and generally verify the price guide determinations.

After all is said and done, the value of the 1957 Bel Air Convertible should objectively be placed at $77,500.  It also seems right from a gut feeling point-of-view, and, in reality, that’s the final check.

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