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Thoughts on a 1956 Ford Thunderbird?


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Good evening, everyone. I'm hoping that you folks might be willing to point me in the right direction. The car in the attached pictures, is a 1956 Ford Thunderbird that has been sitting in my mother-in-law's yard for many years.  She recently expressed an interest in paying to  have hauled away and I volunteered do some research on the car before she did so. Apparently this vehicle was driven daily until the family's garage caught on fire, burning the  car and the garage contents.  Yesterday, I posted pictures of the car on Facebook classifieds and have received over 50 inquiries, a couple of which offered me $1,000 in cash.  I honestly know very little about classic cars and am simply trying to do a good deed for a senior (I have no intention of collecting any of the sale proceeds).  Just wondering if the group might be able to help me understand what exactly she has here and approximately what it might be worth. Any insight would be sincerely appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance.

Paul

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Paul,

 

Take the $1,000 bucks but stipulate they need to get it out by a certain time.     It is possible that it might be worth 1200 bucks,  and it is just as possible you are stealing money.

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I agree that your mother-in-law should take the money and run. It is a parts car at best and not worth restoring given its condition after the fire and sitting outside in the elements for many years. The fire is what did the most damage.

Lew Bachman

1957 Thunderbird

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Also worth considering that unless you know and/or can verify their “credentials”, some random/unknown individuals “offering $1000 in cash” on some internet/social media platform (or over the phone) may not actually have any intentions to give you that or anything, so don’t waste your time with such indirect offers. 
Just because “someone” says their word (or offer) is good, doesn’t always mean that it is. 
 

But as others have stated, if you have a clear title and legitimate offer, it could be best to just let it go for whatever you can get.

 

Another possibility is to dig it out (or clear surrounding area), take lots of photos and put it on eBay as a “no reserve” auction with detailed description (& photos) with stipulation of timely local pickup only or buyer must arrange shipping (also in timely manner), etc.

 

Your (i.e. cars) location may be a significant factor for some potential buyers.
 


 

 

 

 

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Spend 2 hours clearing the overgrown weeds and such. Then take some clear photo's. It will bring much more than $1200 if you spend some time trying to present it! Drag it out where it can be properly seen with a lawn tractor or pick up truck.

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Everyone is trying to rip you off, put it on Bring A Trailer for 50k, it will hit the mark.

 

Sorry, I’m at the bar, and am on vacation. See you all at Amelia.

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Crown Royal and Prime Rib, Ed is in his happy place. The next 21 days is Cars, Booze, Women, and Cigars. What more can one ask for? 

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The title might be worth more than anything else; if you don't have a title? Take anything anybody will give you. I agree with others, an online auction (eBay, Hemmings) would get you a fair value which just might surprise everyone but lots of good photos are critical.

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7 hours ago, Bryan G said:

The title might be worth more than anything else; if you don't have a title? Take anything anybody will give you. I agree with others, an online auction (eBay, Hemmings) would get you a fair value which just might surprise everyone but lots of good photos are critical.

 

I have a sneaky suspicion that good photos might make it less than the 1k.  

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My first reaction was rusty, disintegrated Tbird, never be restored, good projects (which turn out to be money pits) can be had for little money when a restored one is $25-30K. 

 

I'd take the $1000 in a heartbeat, and never look back.  I also agree that when the buyer drags it out and the body falls apart, or the frame breaks, you'll be glad you got your money up front.  Oh yeah, by the way, get the money up front.....

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T-birds have a serious problem of rust out underneath the body and chassis, especially around the body mount areas.  The way that car has been sitting on the ground with plant growth through it, you can bet the body has rusted off the frame and the frame is worthless too. It doesn't have the look of a burnt car to me. Tire not melted and missing bumper & continental kit. Looks to me as if it was stripped for painting and then left outside. Do you have missing parts? I would like to see the brush removed and better pictures of the front, engine bay & interior just for curiosity. 

 

It is possible that an Ebay or BAT type auction might bring more money but I don't think enough money to make it worth the hassle. Take the $1000 as is where is.  

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It would make great yard art for a restaurant or used car lot..........

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10 minutes ago, edinmass said:

It would make great yard art for a restaurant or used car lot..........

There was a pizza place at univ Illinois called the thunderbird but it burned too. The firemen had to chase us out as we still had pizza to eat and beer to drink back in the 60’s  

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7 hours ago, mike6024 said:

I doubt whoever offered $1,000 will even follow through. I wouldn't bother trying to get more than that.

 

The scenario I see is the anonymous facebook flipper offering the 1k bucks to hold the car,   shows up,  see the mess and then kicks up dirt exiting stage left.

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Just now, ryanp37 said:

The vehicle is located in Rhode Island.

 

Paul,    The advice to clean up around it is good,  because even if you can't find a buyer,  the scrap guys are going to need to pull it out.    Also,  there is a small chance that when we can see the whole car we won't be as negative on your chances of getting some decent money.

 

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