A quick search on the internet several weeks ago showed 1970 Cessna 172s going for prices in the mid-$30,000. Obviously, these are in airworthy condition.
Today I found my dad’s first plane at a local airport. It had been repainted, but it didn’t look like a very good job. I could see the outline of the registration number under the new coat, so I know that the old paint wasn’t stripped off. The paint on the fiberglas looks a little chalky.
There was no rubber on the left main. It was sitting on the rim. The right main was flat. There was dirty black hydraulic fluid on the nosewheel olio strut.
The interior was original; and it wasn’t in the best of shape when dad sold it in the mid-80s. The instruments looked like the originals, and the radios looked pretty long in the tooth. The aircraft is (or at least was) IFR, using one of the Narco units that had the VOR and glideslope all in one. (I don’t remember the model, but it came out in the late 70s/early 80s.)
Tach time was about 3,600 hours. I couldn’t see the Hobbs, so I don’t know the total time. I also don’t know when it was last overhauled. Based on the condition of the rest of the aircraft, I think it would be a safe bet the engine is due for a rebuild.
There is a heavy, rusty chain on the prop and spinner. The prop looks like the same one that was put on it in 1976. The rust has stained the paint on the spinner.
I couldn’t inspect it too closely since there was a suspicious security guard overing near me, but these are the things that stuck out. The security guard said that the aircraft hadn’t been flown for at least a year.
Given the condition described above, and that it probably needs an engine overhaul, annual, etc., what is the approximate value of the aircraft? I don’t know if it’s even for sale; but if it is, the owner will want as much as he can get. I, of course, would like to get it as cheaply as possible. What is a fair price for me to pay?