DHoov’56

1956 Thunderbird For Sale

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Posted (edited)

My dad bought a ‘56 Thunderbird 30 years ago. He was paying a guy to rebuild it but the guy kept having back issues and eventually stop returning my father’s calls. My dad had four kids, was working up to 100 hours a week and thought the car was likely in a million pieces in the guys garage. Eventually the guy got back in touch with him and had actually been working gradually on the engine and rebuilt it. My dad moved it to a garage that was suppose to be reputable but the business was recently impounded and they did nothing to help the vehicle.

 

It’s basically a “barn find.” My dad and the car are located in Jackson, Michigan and is looking for a buyer. Please contact me if you’re interested or if you have any helpful info about what fair pricing might be. Hooverd2@gmail.com

 

Thank you!

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Edited by DHoov’56 (see edit history)

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Hi Dhoov'56,

Welcome to the forum!  Basically you have a parts car here. The fact that floor pans are missing (Fred Flintstone car) indicates there is probably significant rust to deal with. Does it have either (or both) a hardtop/soft top. That affects the value if either or both are missing. It looks like it was delivered with the following options:

Ford-o-matic drive, Swift Sure Power Brakes, Engine Dress-up Kit, and Tonneau Cover. It looks like it is a black car with a red interior. You may want to copy down the information from the data plate on the firewall to confirm the colors and what district it was delivered to originally.

As for value, that is affected by that fact that it is not a running car, which tops it has, and how significant are the rust problems. Without seeing the car in person, I would think you are looking at a $7K to $9K car tops. The sad fact is that it will cost much more to restore this car then the restorer would ever realize at sale time. Considering that the car is not rare is another factor.

Best of luck with the sale,

Lew Bachman

1957 T-Bird Colonial White 

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Posted (edited)

I think you're very generous at that range Lew.

Perhaps it's a regional thing. A rough Bird like this would be donor status and probably only garner $2,500-$3,000 here in California, if you could even find a buyer for it.

Edited by GregLaR (see edit history)
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I hope people were not parting it out!

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I agree with Lew. Just sold a 55 t bird needing full restoration and only hard top. had no engine and I sold it for 6500.

 

body was mostly rust free, from Scottsdale AZ

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I think that there is some sentimental value to this car as it belonged to his dad and he spent several years hoping to get this car on the road. My car spent seven years in the hands of a "restoration shop". I am finishing the car myself, but I sure feel your pain. It is tough to be objective in this type of a situation, but if you price the car too high it will be a burden for a long time. Best of luck to you in this tough situation. 

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Posted (edited)

 Why is the floor rusted through but the fenders look OK?

 

 

 Rotted out floors are typical for convertibles..  Top down plus rain equals "Lake Floorboards".. Engine has that "Rebuilt in the car look", if rebuilt at all.

Edited by pont35cpe (see edit history)

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4 hours ago, mercer09 said:

I agree with Lew. Just sold a 55 t bird needing full restoration and only hard top. had no engine and I sold it for 6500.

 

body was mostly rust free, from Scottsdale AZ

This makes total sense. The key being a western car and "rust free".

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well Greg,

wasnt totally rust free- but it was decent. looked no better then the one in the photo and cant say that one is rusty without photos. so to say parts car is a bit presumptuous......

 

any car that gets listed on the AACA better be ready for a barrage of bullets from a machine gun. this site is the worst on destroying peoples attempt at a sale.

 

fact.

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Well, the seller clearly asked for opinions on pricing. I hardly think anyone is destroying his attempt to sell.

I see a $30K restoration sitting there. Floor is completely missing, which doesn't bode well for the trunk, inner fenders or any other metal parts. As to the rebuilt status of the engine, I think the pictures speak pretty clearly.

Like I said, maybe value is a regional issue. I know there are a lot more cars in the east that restorers tackle needing complete floors, quarter panels, etc.

From the OP's pics, I'd venture that an attempt at restoration would have one upside down in this one very quickly.

Of course this is just my opinion and worth no more than any other.

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2 hours ago, mercer09 said:

any car that gets listed on the AACA better be ready for a barrage of bullets from a machine gun. this site is the worst on destroying peoples attempt at a sale.

fact.

 

I too am tired of the constant attacks and frequent posts by folks who prefer keyboards to shop time.

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I like these cars and follow them even though another car is not in the cards right now.  These are a good example of a still popular enough to bring buyers at project car level say $5-10k, but 20k gets a pretty good driver.  You cannot get from a to b for $10k, but a market seems to be there at both levels.  Not sure anyone is actually buying one of these much over $40k anymore though.

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I should have said my guesstimate was based on whether it came with both tops. If it has both tops and since it has the engine that brings up its value to the $7 to $9K range in my opinion. As for the body, I will be willing to bet there is plenty of Bondo in it and that the inner rockers are most likely rusted out. It will also be a lot more expensive than $30K to restore it. All in all, I hope it goes to someone who knows what they are getting.

Regards,

Lew Bachman

1957 T-Bird Colonial White 

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I'm with Greg,  sounds like a very optimistic guesstimate.

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I bought this '57 last month from my body man. Been off the road for 10 years. It is complete with a very straight, rust free southern California body. Both tops, Raven Black with black/white interior. D code 312, standard trans, power seat, power windows, town & country radio, freshly plated front and rear bumpers. Needs interior redone, new soft top, brakes and suspension and other misc. Engine had low miles since rebuild with nice crosshatching still showing in the cylinders and mic'ed up OK but but since it sat so long I decided to freshen it up with new pistons, rings, rod bearings, etc. I bought the car for $6K and that number includes new paint.

So you see, I'm not just talking nonsense, I actually prefer shop time to keyboard time.

 

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let me be real clear here- at 3k for that car, Ill take 10 of them.

 

ANY TAKERS?

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Posted (edited)

Ha ha! Not really holding out Steve. Just been busy bouncing back and forth between several projects right now. I've generally tried to avoid being involved in more than one project at a time but when the right car comes along, it's difficult to say no, y'know?

Sorry, not looking to hijack the OP's thread.

But I made the deal on the T-bird, which I'm really anxious to bring to fruition, but my painter also has my '65 Corvette right now and I'm really pressing him to finish that one first, before he paints the T-bird. Corvette should be ready for pick up Friday. So I've only done the 312 engine in the last month and sorted parts. 

And to add to the situation, we've just opened a dialogue on the '54 Corvette in the background of this T-bird pic. I've collected many Corvettes over the years so we'll probably end up making a deal on this one too.

 

 

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Edited by GregLaR (see edit history)
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Hi Greg,

Try getting the kind of deal you got from the guy with the initials AM down in Plano Texas or the other T-Bird restoration shops. It isn't going to happen. I agree that you are getting a lot of car for the money. The fact that you are out in California makes a difference. The supply of cars is much greater where you are than on the east coast and without the rust problems, at least for the most part. I just don't see this 56 as a $3K car here on the east coast if it has both tops. Just like real estate, the three most important factors are location, location, and location. 

Lew Bachman

1957 T-Bird Colonial White

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Posted (edited)

I agree with you Lew. It's certainly a supply and demand thing. Like I said earlier, I know the east coast guys bring stuff back from the dead that others wouldn't even consider. Maybe we're a little spoiled here in CA. I think the T-bird was an OK deal but not a steal. It was for sale for at least 2 years with many lookers before I made the deal. I've been looking for a '57 for few years. The two things that made me hesitate, were the color (black), I really like the pastels on this body, and the standard trans. I was looking for an automatic. But in the end it will be an easy and fun project. 

Cheers.

Edited by GregLaR (see edit history)

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I'd think the manual transmission would boost the value. If I had an automatic, I'd swap it out.

 

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Lew, as an aside, I sold the two tops that came with my car for 2500.

 

so as I said, any sellers?  Im hungry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

LOL

 

ps I call BS when I see it.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, GregLaR said:

 

 

 

14 hours ago, GregLaR said:

Sorry, not looking to hijack the OP's thread.

But I made the deal on the T-bird, which I'm really anxious to bring to fruition, but my painter also has my '65 Corvette right now and I'm really pressing him to finish that one first, before he paints the T-bird. Corvette should be ready for pick up Friday. So I've only done the 312 engine in the last month and sorted parts. 

And to add to the situation, we've just opened a dialogue on the '54 Corvette in the background of this T-bird pic. I've collected many Corvettes over the years so we'll probably end up making a deal on this one too.

 

So you must be driving the 38 Plymouth by now?

Edited by JACK M (see edit history)
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Jack,

I sold the '38 a few months ago.

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Hi Greg,

Why are you worried about repainting the car black? On a "D" code car keeping it the original color or changing it does not affect the value much, if at all. If you like the pastel colors I would go this way. Repaint the body Coral Sand with a Colonial White Hardtop and go with the all white interior. I think that would be a super nice color combination and correct for the car. You could also go with a Dusk Rose body and a Raven Black hardtop and a black and white interior. Basically you have a blank canvas to go in a number of directions. My main recommendation is to keep the color combination to what would have come from the factory. Incidentally, AACA does not check the data plate for color code, so there would be no deduction there if you choose to sell the car. Just something to think about.

Regards,

Lew Bachman

1957 T-Bird Colonial White

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