Austin-Healey Club USA Buyer's Price Guide
This Price Guide has been compiled by Austin-Healey enthusiasts for Austin-Healey enthusiasts. It is intended to assist those contemplating the purchase of an Austin-Healey by providing a guide for how much it will usually cost (in $US) to purchase an Austin-Healey in the various defined conditions. We believe that these prices accurately represent a fair market value and should be enough money to conclude a sale. However, buyers should bear in mind that car prices are subject to many variables and some cars will sell for more or less than the prices listed here. This is a guide only. Please also see the "Additional notes and advice" below.
|BN2 series cars usually command a higher price than BN1 series cars.|
|These values assume a certified, "factory" 100M.|
|BN6 series cars (strict 2-seat) usually command a higher price than the BN4 series cars (2+2 seating).|
|HBN7 series cars (strict 2-seat) usually command a higher price than the HBT7 series cars (2+2 seating).|
|HBN7 series Mark II cars (strict 2-seat, triple-carburetor cars) will command a higher price than the HBT7 series Mark II cars (2+2 seating, triple-carburetor cars).|
|Series BJ7 cars are "convertibles" (as opposed to roadsters) meaning that they have roll-up windows and a permanently attached soft top.|
|HBJ8 series "Phase 2" cars usually command a slightly higher price than HBJ8 series "Phase 1" cars.|
III, and IV
|While prices for Mark II, III, and IV Sprites tend to fall within a narrow band, generally speaking, among the Mark II, III and IV Sprites, the later the car, the higher the price.|
Prices updated June 1, 2007.
"20-footer" - this is a car that looks great, with no discernible flaws of any import, from twenty feet away. Cars qualifying for "20-footer" status would be older and/or amateur restorations that show significant use, or well preserved but also well used originals. While it is unlikely they would often place at car shows, they won't embarrass anyone either. These cars comprise the lower tier of "drivers" - cars that would typically be termed "decent drivers." Most running, driving, presentable cars that require no major work qualify for this status, and they are significantly better than "project cars."
"10-footer" - this is a car that looks great, with no discernible flaws of any import, from ten feet away. Cars qualifying for "10-footer" status would be older restorations that show some use, or very well preserved originals. However, they may still often place at car shows. These cars comprise the top tier of "drivers" - cars that would typically be termed "very nice drivers" - and/or the lowest tier of "concours cars" (many may achieve "Bronze" level certification). Many well-restored cars qualify for this status.
"5-footer" - this is a car that looks great, with no discernible flaws of any import, from five feet away. Cars qualifying for "5-footer" status would be completely restored cars (or incredibly nice originals) that may win, and will probably at least place, at car shows. These would be the second tier of "concours cars" (those achieving "Silver" or at least "Bronze" level certification). Very few cars qualify for this status.
"1-footer" - this is a car that looks great, with no discernible flaws of any import, even from only one foot away; in other words, a virtually flawless car. Cars qualifying for "1-footer" status would be show winning restorations (or incredibly nice originals), and the restoration would be "correct" in the sense of being historically accurate to Concours Guidelines standards (see Concours Registry). These would be the very top tier of "concours cars" (those easily achieving "Gold" level certification). Extremely few cars qualify for this status.
Disclaimer: We repeat, buyers should bear in mind that car prices are subject to many variables and some cars will sell for more or less than the prices listed here. This is a guide only.
Currency of this guide: This guide is periodically updated as necessary. However, prices for Austin-Healeys have not changed significantly for several years, although they have been slowly trending upwards. While some recent auction sales have produced some record high figures, these results are not typical of the overall market and should not be mistaken for average selling prices. In general, in recent years the prices for Austin-Healeys have not significantly exceeded the rise in price of other goods or commodities.
Cars requiring major work: The values listed above assume cars that are ready and safe to drive and enjoy right away, with all systems functioning satisfactorily. We have intentionally left out any value rating for cars requiring significant work of any kind, including cosmetic work. This is because it is virtually impossible to accurately estimate the cost of needed repairs or restoration without a thorough, first-hand inspection by qualified professionals. One effective method of establishing the value of a car needing work is to obtain an estimate, from a qualified professional, of the cost to bring a given car up to one of the condition codes listed here. Then subtract that cost from the value listed for the car as stated for the appropriate condition code column. For example, a car that requires an engine overhaul, but is otherwise a "10-footer" may be valued at the "10-footer" rating minus the cost of the overhaul.
Overestimation of conditions: Many sellers greatly overestimate the condition, and therefore the value, of their car. While it is perfectly natural to want as much as possible for a car offered for sale, many sellers mistakenly believe that any fully restored car is a "1-footer" and should command a top price. However, there is a very large gap between a fully restored car and a fully, "correctly" restored car. Most people greatly underestimate the difference, in both cost and time, between the two. Therefore, while sellers have every right to offer their car for sale for whatever price they may choose, an unrealistically priced car is not worth the time and trouble for a buyer. Wish the seller luck and move on.
"1-footers": As mentioned above, there is a very wide disparity in the value of a "very nice driver" and a top "concours car." Accurate restoration to "Gold" level certification is a painstaking and expensive exercise that relatively few shops are capable of performing, and relatively few owners are willing to undertake. Even the majority of "fully restored" cars will fall far short of this status, and a "fully restored" car must not be assumed to be a "1-footer." Also note, cars qualifying for "1-footer" status are probably nicer than what most people really want or need. These cars represent the very top echelon that extremely few cars qualify for, and most owners would not subject these cars to regular use. Therefore, those seeking an Austin-Healey for regular use would be best advised to spend less and avoid these pampered "concours cars." For most people, a "10-footer" (or perhaps at most, a "5-footer") is the right choice for a car that can be proudly presented at the local British car meet, and yet driven on long trips without undue worry.
The wisdom of the ages: Buy the best car you can afford, for your intended purpose. The cost of a full restoration (see part 1 of Roger Moments Restoration article RestoTipsPart1 ) ($30,000-40,000 or more) exceeds or perhaps just equals the retail value of these cars. Bear in mind that there is no theoretical limit to how much you can spend to restore a car. The cost of a full, correct restoration, added to the cost to acquire a car in the first place, will almost always exceed, usually by a significant amount, the retail value of the finished product. You can save much time, frustration and money by buying a car that is already in the condition you require, and begin enjoying it right way. And isn't that the whole point?