Author Topic: 1962 Model 88; previously 1957 basket case value?  (Read 70973 times)

Offline Kiwi

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1962 Model 88; previously 1957 basket case value?
« on: January 22, 2013, 07:59:19 AM »
Hi all I am new to this forum, my first bike was a bantam 125 rigid I paid $10.00 for when I was a teenager in the 70's and had a few bikes after that, a matchless 350, T120 bonnie and an assortment of all kinds since.

The reason for my post is I have an urge to restore a vintage bike, I have always wanted a Commando 750 or 850 but I have recently found what I think is a  model 88 Norton a 55 or 57 I think. I have never owned or ridden one.

I grew up fixing just about every machine I owned,  I can do most of the engine build except the machining, I am in the abrasive blasting and painting industry were i have done a number of auto restorations so I am able to do all the welding and paint restoration too. (just for background)

It has been sitting for about 12 years and had been partially restored including chrome, bottom end of motor and brakes etc by the look, however the new chrome has not been looked after and needs doing all over again. The bike is in bits and it is difficult to tell if all is there but I think it may be.

My question is what ball park would you pay for this taking into account all the usual considerations for such a big job?

I am aware its a very open ended question but I am keen to hear some view points from you experienced people.

Thanks in advance for any positive feedback

Regards

Kiwi
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 07:17:09 AM by Kiwi »

Offline cardan

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Re: 1957 model 88 basket case value?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 09:54:40 PM »

Hi Kiwi,

Hard to give a value without seeing it, but in the condition you describe it is probably at the second bottom rung of the price ladder. Whatever work that has already been done will have to be either redone or carefully checked over, and my experience is that you'll probably find some things that have been done in a very strange way!

So beware. If the price is suitably low (say a quarter of the price of a tidy-looking recently-ridden example), consider it. Spend a couple of hours going over ALL the parts to check what is missing. If it is all there, and it looks like the original condition (before restoration commenced) was good, then you might have a good project.

Avoid paying anything like a high price - it might just give you grief and you'd do better with a running bike that could be tidied as you go. There should be other Model 88s on the market that could give you some idea of how much to pay.

Cheers

Leon

Offline Kiwi

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Re: 1957 model 88 basket case value?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 05:59:56 AM »
Thanks Leon

I have to agree with you, I am hoping to go back to the bike soon and will be able to get photos, I did not want to offend the owner with a stupid offer but at the same time some people look up values themselves and try to ask too much as well.

I have looked up similar bikes and they seem to sell for between 11,000 and 15,000 USD so if it is a complete unit in bits and I paid say $2,000 what do you think would be the worst case spend imagining there is only surface rust on the frame and guards, and a full motor and gear box re-build is needed as well as all the stripping cleaning and re-assembly? $5,000+??

Thanks for you feed back and I will post photos when I get them as I am still not quite sure of the age and model type, I do know it was imported from Bali to Australia.

Cheers

Kiwi

Offline 33d6

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Re: 1957 model 88 basket case value?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 07:13:15 AM »
A few years back I rebuilt a Model 50 Norton engine for a mate who bought the bike in Indonesia. It was the most utterly worn out engine I have ever seen to the extent that even the oil pump drive spindle was bent as was the conrod. In the end the only parts of the original engine to be returned to the bike were most of the OHV gear plus the flywheels and driveside crankcase half and even that needed considerable work.
The rest of the bike was in equally parlous state to the extent my mate never finished it as he said it was just an impossible money pit as barely any of it was reusable.
It was obvious the bike had been run in a country where spares or proper service facilities didn't exist and was just battered to death.
We were very impressed that it kept running so long to get in such a state. In many ways it was a good advert on how tough Norton were built but as a bike to rebuild it was a disaster.
Have a good look at your prospective purchase and be prepared to spend a lot of money and find unbelievable problems.
Sorry to be so gloomy but there it is.
Cheers,
 

Offline Kiwi

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Re: 1957 model 88 basket case value?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 09:59:44 AM »
Thanks for that story, I had not thought of the environment the bike could have been in and the wear factor, that gives me a whole new perspective to use when I go back to it.

I guess it would be kind of ok if I could establish some mileage on it? How would you view it at say under 50,000 miles?

Regards

Offline R

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Re: 1957 model 88 basket case value?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 10:11:39 AM »
Unless its all utterly worn out, been stored underwater, or is is a POS, $2000 for any featherbed Norton is an absolute bargain.
If its all there - electrics, carbs, seat, guards, headlamp, handlebars and levers, tank and oiltank and battery box etc then even more so.

What has been chromed ?  The tank is the really expensive bit here - you often see them painted, for precisely that reason.

Good Luck !

Offline 33d6

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Re: 1957 model 88 basket case value?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 11:04:15 AM »
The speedo reading is irrelevant. Given the environment the bike has come from and that it's a dismantled basketcase what makes you think the speedo is the original from the bike, that it actually works or that the reading bears any relationship to what the bike has covered?
Is the original speedo cable present? If there's no speedo cable in the pile then how many years was the bike ridden without a working speedo? After all, an mph speedo is pretty useless in Bali. 
R's post says it all. Its only worth money if its all there and not an utter ruin. Even then, it ain't worth a lot.
Circumstances require the Balinese to run their machinery beyond all limits we consider acceptable. Don't be surprised if your basketcase shows this. Inspect it carefully and make your offer accordingly.
Cheers,

Offline Kiwi

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Re: 1957 model 88 basket case value?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2013, 11:51:25 AM »
Yes I see your points Guys, the mufflers, header pipes, primary cover and wheels are all new chrome, one muffler is fine but all the rest have surface rust, the wheels need stripping and re-chrome, There are boxes that I have not had the chance to pull apart, but the oil tank is there with surface rust only and will not go to holes by the look. I have seen the head and barrel but not a close inspection, I haven't seen things like the valve guides, mag, carby, pistons or cam etc yet, the speedo cable is connected and the amp meter is missing out of the headlight.

I understand one can get aftermarket barrels with a more robust skirt and some other parts are available new also?

The fuel tank I am told is in original condition but I have not seen that yet as it was stored in a different place, I hope this means they realised its worth!

I will get back to the owner for a visit and if the bike looks as complete as they claim then I would pay the asking, 2k   

I will come back and post photos as soon as I can, you guys have been a great help

Thanks heaps

 

Online Rex

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Re: 1957 model 88 basket case value?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2013, 03:20:54 PM »
I wouldn't pay that for an Asian basket-case. I echo the previous posts, in that people in the Far East might not polish turds but they can certainly roll them in glitter for the Westerners with too much money, to buy.
Apart from the "worn beyond redemption" scenario, have you considered that if it was an "easy" rebuild it would have been done and sold for more?
Avoid, would be my advice.

Offline wink

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Re: 1957 model 88 basket case value?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2013, 07:23:19 PM »
I had an 88  once, very reliable, steered well, must have used it for 5 years. Paid 5 pounds for it.

Offline Kiwi

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Re: 1957 model 88 basket case value?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2013, 08:30:41 PM »
Indeed I am taking it all in, I still plan to ask for a couple of hours to spread everything out and look closely at it all and then with all these comments in mind I will make a choice doing my best to resist the temptation to just buy it!


wetdog

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Re: 1957 model 88 basket case value?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2013, 09:40:05 PM »
ive got one now (slim line) a project when i bought it and it had a triumph engine fitted to make it the worse triton i have ever seen , managed to buy a complette engine ,g box and primary at staford 3 years ago 500 but still have yet to start on rebuild (one day) i payed 700 for the complette machine about 4 years ago . Im looking at the rebuild costing @2000 thats with doing all i can myself

Offline Kiwi

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Re: 1957 model 88 basket case value?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2013, 01:00:46 AM »
I have just had a conversation with the owner and it seems the bike was owned in Indonesia by an expat who shipped it back to Aussie about 15 years ago and it was running then, also the primary pipes and mufflers were purchased at some time brand new and they are not re-chromed at all. I have to say they looked very good except for the rust spotting. I am also told the gearbox has been fully rebuilt, but I will see if condensation has been at it this weekend.

Will post the photos when I get them.

Cheers

Offline R

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Re: 1957 model 88 basket case value?
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2013, 02:47:19 AM »
Before you do anything irredeemable with the rusty chrome, just try polishing it up gently with well-worn stainless steel wool - well worn so it has no sharp edges, and thus will not scratch. A wipeover with panel-beaters phosphoric acid (rust remover) and amazing what can be done.
Not if its deeply pitted with rust, though.

Of course, you have to own it first...

Offline Kiwi

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Re: 1957 model 88 basket case value?
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2013, 03:03:47 AM »
Yeah thanks for tip, I guess especially if it is original chrome, and yes I am almost doing the work in my head already! Best I focus on the ownership bit first.....