Am interested in a 1928 durant chassi that a family found in their possession. It has all original wheels, engine, fenders, seats, but has been exposed to weather and outside elements. Am a novice at restoring and considering purchasing this item, but not sure if price if fair...where can I find out its true value for my new project?
Mattie, There is no source of a "true value" for a project like this. What you need to do is consider what it would cost to build this project to a condition that you would be happy with as compared to the cost to a completed car of the same condition.
Generally, it will be cheaper to purchase a well completed car. It sounds like what you are looking at is at best a parts car.
If you paid 400-500 for this project, The cost of restoring it to pristine condition will make the initial price seem like pocket change! It depends on how much work you do yourself.
However, don't despare! Get it as cheap as you can and give it a shot. There's a lot of folks out here who have gone that route and we have a lot of advise and spare parts!
Mattie, Also make sure that you are getting exactly what you think you are buying. If you are inexperienced, use the club members to make sure that what you are buying is really what it is suppose to be. Many people ask us about this Durant, or that Durant and upon close inspection it isn't even a Durant, or it has been altered beyond reasonable use. As Don said values are very tricky, so take your time and move slowly and surely.
I bought a 1929 coupe. The wheels and chassi were okay but not much else. However it had a few parts on it that I needed for my restoration job of another 1929 car. I paid $1,000. I know I paid too much, but then certain parts are difficult to find, and when you find them it cost money. Before I bought I sent pictures to club members and they helped me appraise the value.