Trying to be fair to a little old lady

My parents 96 year old neighbor recently stopped dryving and would like to sell us her car. It’s a 1985 Honda Civic with right around 60,000 mils on it. I am having a hard time finding an accurate value on it, any thoughts?

For a car that old, accurate values don’t exist. It’s all about the condition of the car and the motivation of the buyer. This car is nearly thirty years old. Regardless of mileage, it ain’t worth much.
Besides, if you can afford it and the lady needs the money, I would pay more then it’s worth. If she has more money then she needs, it could be a gift to someone else in need of transportation. The actual value of a car that old amd in this situation could be unimportant IMHO. will give you car values back to 1970. Assuming it’s a 1500 four door sedan, it could be worth anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500. As with any used car, condition and service records are most important. If it sat in a garage undriven for the last five years, all the rubber bits have dry rotted and it’s not worth dealing with.

Does it run? If so, take it to a mechanic and get a prepurchase inspection. Subtract the repair costs from the calue ofmthe car in excellent condition and you have a fair offer.

It has a nightmare of a carburetor on it and there’s always the lingering issue of whether the timing belt kit has been replaced along with any potential rust issues.

The value is debateable and a decision could hinge on just what she’s expecting to get out of that car. Low miles for the age does not always command a premium.

Ooh, 85 Civic. That’s going to have a carburetor and not fuel injection. Only 60,000 miles? I wouldn’t buy it. Anything in this day and age that has a carburetor will not be a reliable long-term daily driver. Modern fuels with ethanol will play havoc with the fuel system on that car, and it’s becoming more difficult to find people experienced in such dated technology to repair and maintain these cars. Also, with only 60,000 miles I suspect every piece of rubber and plastic on the car is still original and just about to rot away.

I wouldn’t buy it.

I’d pass. Hard to repair, bad in a crash. Help her sell it, find something (much) newer for yourself.

Unless you get all the maintenance records, you should assume that it’s not been properly maintained.

Are you sure you want to drive something that old?

A 1985 Civic isn’t going to have ABS, airbags, etc.

If you’ve got kids, there are better, and newer, choices out there.

I agree with @texases . . . be nice and help her sell it. But don’t buy it for yourself.

Agree it should go to the scrap yard but at most an almost 30 year old car is worth $500 at best but the guy will never believe it.

Ethanol and older carbs are not a good combination. It’s doubtful too you could easily get parts.

A car that age is strictly a hobby for someone mechanically inclined.
Me, I would put a Weber carb on it at the first sign of trouble.

Nobody could repair the carbs on these cars when they were new, let alone now…