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Is this '57 Fairlane worth $13,500?


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I ran across this ad tonight and the car is only about 3 hours away and it's a lot cheaper and closer than the '37 Cord I was considering in PA. The owner says it runs good and everything works and it has a lot of new parts on it. He said it doesn't have any rust but I was wondering if that looks like bondo on the rocker panels. He's going to send me a few more pics tomorrow. He said he's a little flexible on the price so I was thinking about offering him $12k for it if I go down there on Friday and like what I see. Does anyone see any issues with it? I've always liked the body style of the '57 Ford so maybe this is the one I've been looking for. What do you guys think?

 

https://louisville.craigslist.org/cto/d/russell-springs-57-ford-fairlane/7171682197.html#

 

 

84611513-2071-4D01-B48E-823D11C58654.jpeg

Edited by Lebowski (see edit history)
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1 minute ago, Lebowski said:

I ran across this ad tonight and the car is only about 3 hours away and it's a lot cheaper and closer than the '37 Cord I was considering in PA. The owner says it runs good and everything works and it has a lot of new parts on it. He said it doesn't have any rust but I was wondering if that looks like bondo on the rocker panels. He's going to send me a few more pics tomorrow. He said he's a little flexible on the price so I was thinking about offering him $12k for it if I go down there on Friday and like what I see. Does anyone see any issues with it? I've always liked the body style of the '57 Ford so maybe this is the one I've been looking for. What do you guys think?

 

https://louisville.craigslist.org/cto/d/russell-springs-57-ford-fairlane/7171682197.html#

 

 

84611513-2071-4D01-B48E-823D11C58654.jpeg

 

Not really fair to compare this with the Cord.   The 810/812 make most "iconic" lists while this feels like a failed let 50s styling exercise.

 

The pictures are low res,  but i don't like what I think I see in the door edges.   Nothing wrong with going down market but buy they absolute best of whatever it is that  interests you.

 

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A paint job will cost you $12,000, if you are lucky. To step into any collector, driver quality car for 12K is a good deal. If you like the body style. Solid? Runs good? Looks good? How can you go wrong, if you want to drive and enjoy it. Maintain as needed, and detail items, you can get your money back. Investment quality? No. Look at it for what it is, and what your intended use would be. Transportation cost, purchase price, taxes, title, fees. insurance for about two years. Can you get that back? Seller can not get that right now. Does it matter? Just make sure you maintain social distancing when looking at the car.:lol:

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Cool car. '57's are iconic Fords that are desirable, but also affordable when compared to two door Chevrolets or Mopars of the same year. I don't know about the "no rust" claim. Like Laughing Coyote, when I go to the enlarged version of that photo I see what looks like a bubble under the finish in front of the rear wheel well (pass. side.) When someone really wants to sell a nice car (which that car looks to be) they take a picture down each side  with the lighting just right so you can easily see how straight or non-straight the body panels are. (But of course, you know this.) I can't tell straightness from these photos. Since you're going there to look at it, you can do this in person, which is better than a photo. I'd be more worried about the general straightness of the body panels than a small spot of rust coming through...but would a small rust spot keep it from being worth what the asking price is? I don't know.  

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My 1st car was one of these. A 1957 Meteor Rideau 500, the Canadian version. The same car, different trim. I still really like these cars..., BUT it was 50 years ago when I had it and it had rust on the rockers then. Not too bad, but 1/2 a century takes it toll on any 50's era sheet metal. Really check it out underneath before spending your money!

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It looks like it's worth the trip to inspect it. The worst that could happen is that the car isn't as nice as advertised.  If the car disappoints you, you'll only be out gas money. I would invite a friend who you know isn't Covid positive to go with you.  A second, or third, set of eyes is very helpful when inspecting a potential purpose.

 

Two years ago, I wanted to look at a car that was advertised at what I thought was a good price for the make and model.  It was located about three hours away from me.  I invited two friends to come with me on the inspection.  Despite looking great in the Craigslist photos, the car had rust in strange places and other issues.  Between the three of us, we found plenty of reasons not to buy the car.  When we were done inspecting the the car, we thanked the seller for his time, informed him that I wouldn't buy the car, and asked him where was a good place to get lunch.  My friends and I had a great meal at the nearby restaurant the seller recommended.  Despite the car being disappointing, that still was a fun day.

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He texted me a few more pics today so I asked him about the rockers. He said they were replaced but that that was the only rust on the car. He forgot to mention that last night. He also said there was a small tear in the driver's seat which he covered with tape. (Is that going to stop the tear from getting bigger? I doubt it. Don't forget this is Kentucky.) I thought it was only a couple of inches long but I guess not. He also said there's a guy coming to look at it tonight and another guy will come this weekend if the first guy doesn't buy it which he never mentioned last night. So I'm going to pass on it. Thanks for the comments....

 

 

A6EB19FE-1FCD-456C-92F8-3F324DD65E0A.jpeg

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That's alot of tape for a small tear/. Did a goat eat the top of the seat?  Interior is not correct material.  Not even a type of material used back then.  Horn ring looks scuzzy as well,  which often points to it possibly having been damp inside,  which means rust.  This interior photo alone would make me pass.  Who fixes a seat with half a roll of duct tap?

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Well maybe a gray tape, comes in many colors. The whole back end of a Grand Sport was rebuilt with gaffer tape after kissing the only tree at Sebring then finished the race. OTOH I usually spend more time examining under the car than on top.

 

ps if the rockers needed replacing what about the metal structure under the rockers ? (Maybe have watched too much of Dan Short).

 

 

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7 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

 

 

WORK ON THE STUTZ!

 

If it makes you feel better Bob,  I have one friend that texts me every Monday to yell at me to work on it.  The guy that needs to be yelled at is Ed Minnie as he's in charge of the engine.  I can only beg so much.

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Just now, alsancle said:

 

If it makes you feel better Bob,  I have one friend that texts me every Monday to yell at me to work on it.  The guy that needs to be yelled at is Ed Minnie as he's in charge of the engine.  I can only beg so much.

 

 

Pass along the tip about the J Duesenberg distributor cap on the HAMB, maybe that will help. I may have to buy a STUTZ to get my first ride in one. Bob 

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1 hour ago, Lebowski said:

He also said there's a guy coming to look at it tonight and another guy will come this weekend if the first guy doesn't buy it which he never mentioned last night.

 

I've heard that line a bunch of times. It's just to get you to panic and do an impulse buy. 

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Even now there’s times I ask myself, do I want one of “these” in the garage, or four of “those”???

 

It’s usually a hard decision but in this case I’d go for the Cord... or better yet there’s a Brewster Ford for sale now which I would love but can’t afford...

 

On the good side, they have my connecting rods done for the Pierce and I have a lot of work to do now. It makes being broke a lot easier...

Edited by Mark Wetherbee (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, Laughing Coyote said:

 

I've heard that line a bunch of times. It's just to get you to panic and do an impulse buy. 

 

I did just the opposite. I told him to get back to me next week if he still had it.... :)

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3 hours ago, Lebowski said:

 

I did just the opposite. I told him to get back to me next week if he still had it.... :)

That's a much better response. In the meantime ask him to send you a few pic's of the chassis. Frame and rocker areas also the rear quarters from underside. I would bet they are about the same condition as the front seat. If he hesitates or makes excuses you have your answer! If he does send them and it's decent now you can go at him with a fair offer. Say around $7500

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