motoringicons

For Sale: Stunning 1956 Ford Suliner Convertible, Loaded with Options and Freshly Restored

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1956 Ford Fairlane Sunliner Convertible. Simply put, this car is stunning in all regards. It is loaded with factory options and accessories including air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, power seats, continental kit, full length bumper guards, driving lights, twin spot lights, etc, etc, etc. The car was given a frame off, professional restoration about 15 years ago. Since the time of the restoration, it has been regularly, but carefully driven. It has always been regularly maintained and stored in a museum-like setting. Today, this car is like new, inside and out. The paint is virtually flawless, the interior is like new, the top is gorgeous, the chrome and stainless are pristine. The top and interior were professionally replaced at the time of restoration and today remain like new. The engine bay and chassis were also professionally restored and today are clean and extremely well detailed. Underneath, the floor pans, body mounts, sills and rockers show no signs of repair. The body panels are laser straight front to rear, top to bottom and the body lines are crisp and clear. The doors hang properly and fit the body with even gaps and margins, as do the hood and the rear deck lid. The trunk is clean and properly detailed as well. Mechanically, this car runs and drives as good as it looks. The mileage shown is about 9,000 which is likely the mileage since the restoration was completed, so you know this is a well sorted car that is ready for more driving and enjoyment. The 312 cid Thunderbird V-8 engine runs great and propels the car down the road smoothly. This car is ready to be competitively shown with confidence and at the same time is a reliable, long distance driver. I am offering this car for far less than the cost of restoration at 69,500.00. I doubt you will find a nicer one. The VIN number is P6SC166763 and the car is located in Ann Arbor, MI. Please call 734-730-4274 to or email directly at 734-730-4274 to schedule a viewing. Thank you very much.

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It's a nice looking car but, the A/C nor the power brakes are factory, the air-cleaner is from a T-Bird but would have never been used on the full sized cars, the interior should be red and white vinyl according to the data plate. I can't tell what the two color codes, except maybe the "K".

The engine fender tag is completely wrong. It should be like this.

5095387676_ef49c1033b.jpg

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It's a nice looking car but, the A/C nor the power brakes are factory, the air-cleaner is from a T-Bird but would have never been used on the full sized cars, the interior should be red and white vinyl according to the data plate. I can't tell what the two color codes, except maybe the "K".

The engine fender tag is completely wrong. It should be like this.

5095387676_ef49c1033b.jpg

 

What is that front seat out of?

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Based on the patent plate, the car came from the factory painted Fiesta Red on the lower part and Raven Black on the upper part. The front seat could have come from a 1970's full size Ford or an 80's midsize Ford. They both had arm rests like that car does. The car also has an after market continental kit and bumper guards that are non standard. It also has Mercury stainless trim on the doors. It is a nice looking resto-mod, but it would take some work to get it ready for a judged car show. As long as the buyer knows what they are getting then none of this is a problem.

 

Just as an aside, why is it that most mid-50's Ford convertibles have a continental spare tire these days? As I remember, those tag-ons were usually only put on custom cars then. I don't think continental kits add to the looks of these cars at all.

Lew 

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The seller is a reputable dealer, and undoubtedly a car fan.

I'm surprised that he didn't know these things.

And if he knew them, he should have disclosed them.

To me, not a Ford expert, the dual armrests on the front seats

are obvious.

 

It would be most appropriate to label the car as "mildly

modified for comfortable driving," or something similar.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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It's really, really hard to be an expert on every single car. Many times the owner supplies the information, and if he doesn't know (usually) or is trying to be deceptive (never had it happen to me personally) then you're at his mercy. Everyone forgets that they are experts in their particular favorite year/make/model but not everybody is. I'll bet very few of you could spot the things that are incorrect on my 1929 Cadillac simply because that's not your area of expertise. So please, cut us some slack here. I know Motoringicons and I try to be as accurate as possible with our descriptions and we'll both happily tell you all we know about a car, but the key is "all we know." We can't possibly know all things about all makes, all years, all models, and just because something is obvious to you with some level of expertise, don't simply assume that everyone has that same knowledge.

 

This is why I've stopped posting cars here (well, this and the dealer hate thread that eventually got deleted two weeks ago). Too many headaches for zero sales, and once this thread is Google-ified, well, anyone doing a search will see the nit-picks and nay-sayers who purport to be experts and it pretty much poisons the car in the general market. Not that I have anything to hide with my cars, but now someone is going to see this lovely Ford and the comments that follow and figure that the car has issues, which is surely not the case. Motoringicons is most certainly an expert on condition and he is qualified to judge the quality of the work on any car, but authenticity matters can often escape dealers because we aren't experts on every single car.

 

Most buyers are looking for a reason to not buy a car and the comments here have now harmed this car's marketability. It's fun to show off how much you know and I know your hearts are in the right place (hoping that a buyer gets a good car and buys with his eyes wide open) but I don't think any of you would appreciate someone showing up at your job and explaining to the world how bad you are at it and how inferior your product is, even if their intentions were good and especially if you were honestly trying to do your best.

 

/Deleted in 3...2...

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)

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Nowhere does Motoringicons say that the car is ready for a judged car show. He mentions "driving and enjoyment" which this car would provide in spades. I see nowhere that the car is in anyway misrepresented I really don't mind people "expert" in a particular car pointing out incorrect additions, deletions because in this way we all learn something of value. So long as postings are polite I personally have no problem with someone critiquing a car that is for sale. I miss the ads from Matt Harwood and wish that he would continue to do so but I understand his viewpoint entirely.

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From what I can see, the seller has disclosed all of these things. He has shown not one, but two closeup views of the seats, a picture of the trim tag, pictures of both sides of the engine, detailed photos of the body trim and emblems, etc, etc. He has listed the VIN number. If someone was trying to be dishonest, they would certainly not show detailed pictures of these things. He mentions " this car is loaded with factory options and accessories". Well, I certainly see some factory options as well as accessories a plenty. Correct me if I am wrong, but I always thought an  accessory was something aftermarket that was put on the car later in life, which differs from a factory option.  I don't see anywhere where he has stated this car is 100 percent original, or restored to AACA or national Ford club standards. That being said, I think this car  car could certainly win an award at a local car show and would be a great driver as well. Is it a custom? I don't think so. If it were maybe lowered, had different wheels, some speed equipment and some sheet metal modifications, then I would call it a custom. Resto-mods typically look original from the outside but have contemporary engines and/or chassis components. I would call this car very accessorized.

 

What really gets me is when someone tries to sell a car on this-or any other website- and barely shows any photos-let alone detailed photos as this seller has. I'll often see one or two blurry photos and then read comments from many of you about what a great car it is. Well, how can you tell it is a great car from two photos taken 20 feet away or  taken 20 years ago? Is is a great car just because the seller hasn't shown or told you anything else about it?

 

Also, why are most sellers scared to state the VIN number or show pictures of the VIN/trim tags? To me, not including this very pertinent information is the true meaning of deception.

 

By the way, I have purchased two, significant prewar vehicles from motoringicons. They were both purchased sight unseen, and I was extremely pleased with both purchases.

Edited by rusty12 (see edit history)

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I do not want to further this thread but I do want to express a big THANK YOU to Matt, Clipper47, and Rusty12 for coming to my defense.

 

In no way did I try to misrepresent this-or any othe car I have offered. Like Rusty12 said, I purposely included the detailed photos to show what the car is or isn't. Trust me, if I had intended on being deceptive, I would not have shown the photos I chose. Also, once our streets dry up and I can take the car outside, I will  have over 150 VERY DETAILED  photos of this car that I will gladly send to anyone that is seriously interested. I do this with virtually every car I offer for sale. Also, I welcome and strongly encourage inspections. This car is a heated facility. We have a ramp hoist and lots of lighting to allow for a careful inspection. We have lots of country roads so you can take the car on a long test drive. I encourage prospective buyers to spend as much time as they need to inspecting a vehicle. I welcome their appraisers, inspectors, mechanics, car club buddies, wives,  to come and be part of their inspection process.

 

 

For the most part, I believe that this website is composed of great people. There are smart historians, talented restorers, inciteful commentators, upstanding business professionals, gifted tinkerers and lots of great gals and guys who were born with motor oil running through their veins.. There are also the many tireless volunteers that have dedicated a good portion of their lives to make the AACA succeed in all its many functions ranging from regional group leaders, national tour directors, publication and forum moderators, judges and directors.

 

Everyone on this forum has the ability to nitpick a car to death. Being able to do this is not a unique talent nor is it a gift, and it is cetainly not a sign of how smart you are. Like everyone else, I could certainly write a paragraph or two about what is wrong with each and every car that gets posted here and give my oppinion about the seller's asking price and his marketing tactics.

 

I have always subscribed to the old phrase: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." We all know that most negative comments  are rooted in  jeoulousy, personal insecurities,  and pettiness. I remember years ago being at Leo Gephart's booth at Hershey. People would come into his booth and tell him what was wrong with this car and what was wrong with that car. I remember a guy walking up to him with a jacket covered in Cadillac-LaSalle club patches and picking apart a V-16 he was offering for sale. In Leo's most dignified and colorful voice, he looked the "expert" straight in the eye and replied "The loudest cries come from the cheapest seats"

 

I miss Leo.

Edited by motoringicons (see edit history)

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Dear Motoringicons,

I want to apologize if my previous posting affects the value of this car negatively. The car itself looks great and I'm sure you will find a happy owner for it. My only point was that a resto-mod is different than a restoration and it would be helpful for a potential buyer to know that. If there is a problem with that then I will keep my opinions to myself in the future. I don't appreciate by implication being lumped in with the bad people in this forum. I have tried to keep my postings positive and helpful to others. I will also be more circumspect in the future about my responses.

,

Lew

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Two things immediatly come to mind here, first, some people recognize the value dealers bring to the hobby, others do not, but no one is forced to read any ads posted. Recognizing the rules of this forum are a little loose by design, and a few folks who add a lot of value to the forum occasionally posting relevant and interesting cars adds a lot of value to the "For Sale and Wanted" sections - more so than the one time "hobbyist" poster selling a parts car for $5,000 - I have to agree with Matt's take on things and I know he is not the only one who has stepped away from the forum for those reasons. Hate to see that trend, but honestly, the interesting cars in the for sale section tend to be few and far between and 90% of the time show up with our dealer/enthusiast friends. Personally, I encourage that but just one opinion.

Second, someone paying north of $60K for any given car bears some responsibility to know what's correct and what isn't. I am not as "up" on these mid fifties Fords as some others, but I do wonder if the mods are similar to putting OD in a Model A or Webers on a TR-6 - not 100% authentic, but in some cases more desirable by a lot of people? In any event buyer I think, has some responsiblity to know what they are buying or at least ask the right questions.

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)

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I don't see anything added to the car that isn't reversible.  Sometimes a person rebuilds a car to their taste

and than discovers that they need to sell for health or other reasons. A car with a chopped top is a lot different than an added continental kit or seats that suit the driver.

I would think the price would be adjusted if the serious buyer found these pieces unnecessary or unwanted.

There is probably a good market for the accessories.

I think the ad was well stated with many photos and plenty of chances to contact the seller.

Many other forums allow only private messaging of the poster , no replies allowed.

It is to avoid a situation like this.

I'm not attacking the people that posted the negatives , but Matt is right about the cars integrity is now

 questionable .

Surely someone that intends to spend over 60k should do his/her homework. But sometimes people buy something just because they like it.

I suggest members use the private messaging system more.

Thanks

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I for one really miss the ads from Matt.  I hope he decides to again join the for sale forum.  As for Motoringicons, he is a straight up guy.  Three years ago I bought a Jaguar XK 120 brokered by him.  He was very easy to deal with and represented the car in a very truthful manner.  I could not have been more happy with the experience.  Of course I did travel 750 miles to inspect the car before the purchase, but his description and honesty really made it not required.  I would buy a car again based on his description and approval.

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Thank you for the nice comment, unimogjohn, I really appreciate it.

It was an absolute pleasure dealing with you and I am glad that the green XK120 coupe was transferred from one appreciating owner to another. Part of what makes my job great is when a good car goes to a great person.

 

I will miss Matt's post as well. Matt approaches this business with integrity, enthusiasm and knowledge. He is a true hobbyist that really loves cars and  a top notch dealer as well. 

Edited by motoringicons (see edit history)

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You guys humble me greatly and are far, far too kind. It really means a lot to me to see those kind words. Thank you.

 

My point is, the internet never forgets, that's all. We all try to be honest and it's a good idea to be vigilant, but sometimes nit-picking details on a car isn't helpful enough to offset the harm that it might do to an honest seller trying to present an honest car. My personal belief is that every buyer who walks into my showroom is looking for a reason to leave, pronto! They KNOW this is an irrational purchase, they want to find a reason to bail out. Heck, I had a guy come down from Canada and leave 10 minutes later because the paint (on a very original car) had not faded uniformly under the hood--that is, the color under the hood wasn't quite the same as the body. Now obviously that wasn't a deal-breaker for most folks but it was his "out" to gracefully admit that he didn't want to consummate the deal. Posts like those in this thread provide that ammunition to potential buyers and put us at a real disadvantage even before we've started working with the buyer.

 

Anyway, this digression takes away from what is really a nice car represented by one of the most experienced and trustworthy guys in the hobby. I look up to Motoringicons as the benchmark for experience and knowledge and I'm betting all of you do, too. Yes, we now know this car isn't 100% correct, but how many of us actually own perfect 100-point cars that are totally accurate? I bet that's a pretty small number. So please, cut us some slack when we don't spot that a car we're representing has the yellow throttle return spring, but since it was built on a Tuesday, it should have the red one. The collective knowledge here is awesome, but the best most of us can do is to know a little bit about a lot of different cars.

 

Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone and stay tuned for a very, very cool holiday special I'll upload later tonight...

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Just for the record:

I think that car is wonderful and I find it very attractive.

If I were to host a show, it would be very welcome.

If I were in the market for a 56 Ford convertible, it would still be very attractive.

It's a one of a kind restoration with lots of extra's.  Which is how new car dealers make (And made) a living.

Sometimes "as they left the factory" is boring.  But, "as they could have left the dealership" adds the WOW!

For the purists, remember, none of them left the factory with base coat clear coat painted bodies and polished

frames, but they sure look spectacular now.

In my experience, a car without any options was probably originally purchased by my grandfather.  My father

knew better and he taught me.

Thanks for showing us a very nice car.

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Matt, The comment about the "yellow throttle return spring" made me laugh. Several years ago I had a very nice looking 1966 Corvette that I would take to cruise night and local shows. It was a nice looking car but had many incorrect parts although to the non "expert" eye very original in appearance. Not an evening would pass that a certain other 1966 Corvette owner who had bought a Bloomington Gold award winning car would come to look at my car and "tsk tsk " about the alternator numbers or hose clamps etc. being "wrong" and what I should do to correct this sacrilege. One night he stopped by my car to inform me that every 1966 Corvette seat cover was attached with exactly 13 hog rings! Now in the early1960's I happened to work at Chrysler Canada in Windsor Ontario and on occasion one of my jobs was attaching seat covers onto seats. I told the "expert" that at Chrysler the assembly line moved too fast to permit anyone from counting hog rings and that I doubted that a line worker at the Corvette assembly plant had anymore time than I did given that the assembly quality was pretty similar between makes at that time.

Similarly I chuckle when an "expert" criticizes an old car because the cadmium plating on a particular part is the "wrong" colour. My main job at Chrysler was the cadmium plating of small parts such as nuts, bolts and brackets etc. Depending upon the demand for the parts on the assembly line I either had time to put a nice silver finish on the parts or if in a rush the parts were barely coated the colour could have a distinct yellow hue. Variations in colour were common from hour to hour as parts were plated. So much for what is and isn't correct.

I enjoyed seeing your ads Matt and wish that you would continue posting them here also although I am on your mailing list.

Edited by Clipper47 (see edit history)

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Brokers, as with any of us in other professions, will generally try to properly represent their product and themselves, usually to the extreme.

 

Motoringicons and I exchanged several phone calls several years ago. At the time he was representing a lovely red 1927 LaSalle Phaeton. I was ready to pounce on it after having been mislead by another individual about another car. His forthright and direct answers to my questions saved me 2,000 miles of trailering. While a stunning example, this turned out not to be the car for me, and we parted still respecting one another. 

 

Through several conversations with Matt Harwood, I've come to respect his obvious business ethics. He advised me how to best approach the sale of a vintage car for the widow of a deceased friend, and also offered the benefit of his experience with regard to another transaction. 

 

I would feel comfortable dealing with either of these two gentlemen as they have managed, over a significant period of time, to maintain the respect of some of the best-informed folks in the hobby - many of you on this FORUM !

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Back in the early 1990s I took my DB Senior to a car show  I had what you guys call a Doodlebug on display and the unrestored body alongside (or I should say what I had of the body An Englishman who has since passed on came to have a look at my car promptly said to me that the gear leaver and the hand brake leaver were not correct as I had them chromed I politely told him that they were originally nickel but my preference was  chrome and that I was not a wealthy person and I could not afford to waste money on things that were not original His reply to that was that only" English cars would have chrome on things like that" So then we had  a one sided conversation about me informing him that because of his attitude towards other people and their restoration projects was the reason many just gave up and sold their cars or worse made them into a Rod After suggesting that I remove the chrome gear leaver and shove it somewhere that would be very uncomfortable for him  he decided that I was not intiminated by him and his other ''Cronies'' that had a fair bit of influence in the club  and left the scene rather red faced

I am still restoring this car (work commitments stopped progress for 20 years) and I have NEVER taken it to another display since then  I have never put down some one else,s resto work but sure as hell have helped others with parts and repairs IMO people that engage their mouth before putting the brain  into gear are the wreckers of clubs and organizations

I have never had dealings with any of the brokers on these forums but I can sympathize with them when some so called self proclaimed experts start nit picking a car that they are selling 

Keep up the good work. I love to scan the buy and sell just to see some of the great classics that we never got down here in Australia  Cheers Ron

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It's really, really hard to be an expert on every single car. Many times the owner supplies the information, and if he doesn't know (usually) or is trying to be deceptive (never had it happen to me personally) then you're at his mercy. Everyone forgets that they are experts in their particular favorite year/make/model but not everybody is. I'll bet very few of you could spot the things that are incorrect on my 1929 Cadillac simply because that's not your area of expertise. So please, cut us some slack here. I know Motoringicons and I try to be as accurate as possible with our descriptions and we'll both happily tell you all we know about a car, but the key is "all we know." We can't possibly know all things about all makes, all years, all models, and just because something is obvious to you with some level of expertise, don't simply assume that everyone has that same knowledge.

 

This is why I've stopped posting cars here (well, this and the dealer hate thread that eventually got deleted two weeks ago). Too many headaches for zero sales, and once this thread is Google-ified, well, anyone doing a search will see the nit-picks and nay-sayers who purport to be experts and it pretty much poisons the car in the general market. Not that I have anything to hide with my cars, but now someone is going to see this lovely Ford and the comments that follow and figure that the car has issues, which is surely not the case. Motoringicons is most certainly an expert on condition and he is qualified to judge the quality of the work on any car, but authenticity matters can often escape dealers because we aren't experts on every single car.

 

Most buyers are looking for a reason to not buy a car and the comments here have now harmed this car's marketability. It's fun to show off how much you know and I know your hearts are in the right place (hoping that a buyer gets a good car and buys with his eyes wide open) but I don't think any of you would appreciate someone showing up at your job and explaining to the world how bad you are at it and how inferior your product is, even if their intentions were good and especially if you were honestly trying to do your best.

 

/Deleted in 3...2...

Matt,

I'm sorry to know that you won't be posting your ads here anymore. 

I enjoy looking at your for sale cars. 

I've got the one car that I can afford to keep.

But, it's still fun to shop. 

I'll look for your ads elsewhere.

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That is my all time most favorite car, and if I hit the lottery today, I would be visiting Motoringicons tomorrow. I don't care about the minor "flaws" although I agree with Bleach about the fender emblem. The correct one is much better looking, and I already have the correct air filter on hand. But that's about all that I would change. I envy whoever ends up purchasing this car and hope to see it in person at a show someday.

Edited by Larry W (see edit history)

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