Looking to buy a roller what’s a fair price

ironblock

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Hello, I am new to the forum but have wanted a 03-04 cobra since I was a child. I remember when they came out and I used to read about them in magazines. Truly my dream car. I am now at the point in my life where I can afford one and also have a deserving garage to store it in. That being said I am always looking for a cheaper way to do things. I stumbled across someone selling a “roller” 04 cobra silver with 55k original miles on it. 2 owner car no accident's still has the stock irs. The catch is the motor is trashed. Supposedly the original block and heads are still good but I’ll believe it when I see it. Also the trans is gone and not included. If I had to guess I’d say the guy selling it money shifted and smoked the motor and trans simultaneously. What is a fair number for this? The body is a 9/10 with one ding on the front fender. Interior looks like a 8/10 with minor bolster wear and wrinkle. Thanks.
 

ironblock

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That seems high to me….you got to think you’ll put in at least that much getting it back on the road. Smarter people than me with jump in here but no more $10k would my hunch…
Yeah I was thinking that is high. However the cobra market is crazy right now. That’s the only reason I’m considering. Seems like in order to find a clean lower mile car in my price range is mostly convertibles… which I have nothing against. I just prefer a coupe, with 30-50k miles. Preferably minimal mods, ie. No tubular k member, drag slicks, or solid axle swap. I’m going to try to go look at the car in person, if it’s clean as it seems and has no surface rust underneath, and he has everything off the car organized and labeled. I think I’ll try to knock him down a few thousand.
 

2003RedfireVert

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Yeah I was thinking that is high. However the cobra market is crazy right now. That’s the only reason I’m considering. Seems like in order to find a clean lower mile car in my price range is mostly convertibles… which I have nothing against. I just prefer a coupe, with 30-50k miles. Preferably minimal mods, ie. No tubular k member, drag slicks, or solid axle swap. I’m going to try to go look at the car in person, if it’s clean as it seems and has no surface rust underneath, and he has everything off the car organized and labeled. I think I’ll try to knock him down a few thousand.
That’s not a bad plan. I’m assuming it’s not as nice as he thinks it is.
 

vr4

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That seems high to me….you got to think you’ll put in at least that much getting it back on the road. Smarter people than me with jump in here but no more $10k would my hunch…
Agreed. Smoked engine, missing trans, probably missing some other fairly hard to find/expensive small parts. 8-10k at the most. These cars are expensive to build piece by piece.

I picked mine up for 5k and had a complete crashed car to build from. Cost wise I maybe came out on top but labor involved... Should have just bought a complete car and sold all my parts.
 

NateDogg

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Depends on what it comes with. Does it have the motor and trans with it? Stock IRS? Stock interior? Wheels? Color?

If its just the car with interior I'd estimate 10-12k. I sold a DSG no motor or trans. Had a fore fuel system and full interior for 10k a couple years ago. Paint was nice, but was a disaster underneath.

Unless you are looking for a project, I don't think you are going to save any money with buying a roller.
 

Bullitt1448

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Depends on what it comes with. Does it have the motor and trans with it? Stock IRS? Stock interior? Wheels? Color?

If its just the car with interior I'd estimate 10-12k. I sold a DSG no motor or trans. Had a fore fuel system and full interior for 10k a couple years ago. Paint was nice, but was a disaster underneath.

Unless you are looking for a project, I don't think you are going to save any money with buying a roller.
You likely won’t save any money putting it back together but you will know every nut and bolt,
 

NateDogg

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You likely won’t save any money putting it back together but you will know every nut and bolt,
That's a benefit for sure! IMO its worth the extra money to find something that is as close to stock as possible with as little owners as possible and as documented as possible.

In my cobra experience, miles are less of a indicator that a car was taken care of than how many owners it has had. Chances are, if someone held on to the car for 20 year it has been babied or at least maintained.
 

ironblock

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Thanks guys, lots of good points. To answer someone’s question yes the car is all there. The only parts missing from the car is the rotating assembly, and the transmission. At least that’s what he’s telling me. Have to figure if the block and heads are any good the motor in will be around 6k to rebuild and a freshly rebuilt trans and new clutch close to 4-5k. So yeah in the end probably about a 25k car. Looking for these cars I can’t find a coupe with that kind of mileage for under 30k. Furthermore is it true these motors generally need to be freshened up after 75k miles? I read somewhere that the zholer pistons are forged form the factory and over time the ring lands get beat up because they have less silicon content than a hypereutectic pistons. Obviously they are far more durable and hold more power, but over time they leak by meaning I would most likely need to freshen the motor up in a higher mileage cobra? Just guessing, let me know if I’m mistaken.
 

01yellercobra

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They're still a factory engine made to go 100K+. If an engine starts to have blow by then it was beaten on when the tune wasn't right. Granted, things can happen, but pretty much all engines I've seen that had to be rebuilt was due to something going wrong.

The other thing is, what's your skillset? How much work can you do yourself?
 

ironblock

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They're still a factory engine made to go 100K+. If an engine starts to have blow by then it was beaten on when the tune wasn't right. Granted, things can happen, but pretty much all engines I've seen that had to be rebuilt was due to something going wrong.

The other thing is, what's your skillset? How much work can you do yourself?
I can do everything myself except rebuild transmissions and paint/ body work. Before I settled on the career I chose I went to automotive school for 2 years and have 5 ASE certs which really means nothing lol. Anyway I can do it, will it be easy? No especially since I wasn’t the one who took it apart. Hopefully whoever took it apart was organized and didn’t throw everything into a box floating around. I’ve built older pushrod Chevy motors, but I would rather have a machine shop assemble the long block because I don’t have the means of degreeing the cams properly. After hearing from you guys I’m definitely having second thoughts. In the grand scheme of things maybe worth it for the extra 5k to find a complete car. Otherwise it may be a year or two until I can get this one on the road to enjoy it.
 

01yellercobra

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I only asked because we see a lot of these threads about rebuilding and such and halfway through helping they mention they've maybe changed a set of spark plugs or done an oil change. They're not quite ready to jump into a full build.

My opinion is if you don't mind the work and you're not in a hurry to drive the car, go for it. Provided it's in decent shape. But if getting behind the wheel is more important save up a some more and buy a running car.
 

MG0h3

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14k is a hard NO to me.

Prices are starting to come down.

Assume the heads and rotating assy are worthless unless he proves otherwise.

I guarantee you will find yourself with missing bits and pieces along the way. Time and money right there.

I’ve never seen a good outcome on one of these.

They always take way longer and cost way more than intended.


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