American Gold Mine Part 2: A Z51 Corvette Mid Part Out Update!
If you have been known to peruse the Flipping Chronicles on this website, you may have come across the post for my 1999 Z51 Corvette that I bought sight unseen from a salvage yard in August 2017. I wanted to give a brief update on the duration and patience that is required in parting out a car.
Only within the last month have I surpassed the breakeven point for my initial investment of $5,750 in purchasing the car.
That’s right, it’s taken me about 5 months just to break even. Parting out cars is slow. It takes you time to remove the parts (from our already busy schedules) and it takes even more time dealing with people on Criagslist, arranging a time to come look at parts, negotiation on price, them not having the cash on them (which is another way of them saying they just don’t want it), and a myriad of other time sinks that come with selling to strangers out of your garage.
The good news for me is that there is still plenty more money to be made off of this car, and it has finally been parted out enough that I moved the frame out of my garage. It has so little value left to be stripped that I wouldn’t be heartbroken remaining parts were stolen. I might not even notice. What I have remaining left to sell, however, will make up the bulk of my profit. This includes the rear sub frame, differential, disc brake setup, torque tube, frame, full exhaust, dash, wheels, and some intact body panels. Most of this stuff I have stored neatly (or not so neatly) in different areas of my garage/ yard. I expect to obtain the following dollar amounts for these items:
These numbers add to $4600 – and I can expect it to take another 3-4 months for that money to be in my pocket, as these things go. I could probably make it closer to 1-2 months if I was vigilant about advertising and charitable with meeting people at all hours of the day and night, but with a job and being human and requiring sleep, I can only do so much.
All in, the vette cost me $5750, storage in my garage for 5 months, and probably about 80 hours total of taking parts off, inventory, shipping, packaging, meeting people, etc. So if I end up making $4600 overall on the project, the side hustle ended up paying about $57 per hour. Not shabby for nights and weekends. If I were to streamline my process I could probably do about 3 part outs per year in my spare time. But that would require the right opportunities at just the right time, since I don’t have the space for 3 active junk cars at any given time. Well I do, but I like to keep things in check a little to maintain a good relationship with the neighborhood. I’m sure even my current situation is viewed unfavorably, but no one has said anything and there haven’t been any cops on my doorstep complaining about "appearances."