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Hi everyone

I have the rare chance to get hold of a practically new T-Bird TC from 1987. It has 800 miles and has never been licensed so is supposed to be like new.

Has anyone here experience with cars like that? Is it something like a chance of a lifetime or should I expect trouble after trouble even if it's like new? I'll have to find out when I test drive it if it was well stored and looked after or if it got a lot of deterioration in storage. The seller would give it to me with fresh licensing from the vehicle authority, so will be technically good.

I don't have the time and money to spend on restoration or maintenance but would really like to get this car as it would be a bit a dream come true.

I would appreciate any opinions and experiences.
 

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I'm no expert but I have had buddies purchase cars that sat for years in storage..
Depending on storage conditions , I would expect a lot of the seals and rubber on the car to be dry cracked..
Has it sat with all the fluids in it? I wouldn't do a thing until I regreased and changed every fluid in the car, filters too while your at it...
If it's a price that you can't pass up...jump on it..seriously..i can see the turbo coupes becoming very popular soon as small engine turbo has become the craze .
May I ask what you plan on spending on it?
 

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It depends what your intentions with the car are. If you are just going to hang onto it and preserve it as the time capsule that it is, then it will be fine. If you are going to drive it sparingly on occasional nice weekends, then it will probably be ok for a while, and you should be able to keep up with things as they come up. If you think you are going to daily drive it and not have to do any significant repairs for 30-50k miles, then there is no way. No matter how it was stored, rubber deteriorates with time, so as soon as you start driving it, all the various bushings and gaskets will start failing, and you will have multiple oil leaks and suspension creaks and noises. However if it is the car you really want, I would rather rebuild the suspension and reseal the motor than have to deal with rust and paint and a worn out interior, so it isn't necessarily something to stay away from, but don't expect to just turn the key and drive it for 5 years like you would with a new car.
 

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Many thanks for your reply. It has been advertised a couple of days ago and is ready for a test drive. So the fluids are now in it, I'll ask the owner if the fluids were taken out during storage, thanks for the tip!

The car is advertised for around 23'500$ (converted) which is slightly above what I would be prepared to spend on it. Last year there was one on ebay for much more.
 

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It depends what your intentions with the car are. If you are just going to hang onto it and preserve it as the time capsule that it is, then it will be fine. If you are going to drive it sparingly on occasional nice weekends, then it will probably be ok for a while, and you should be able to keep up with things as they come up. If you think you are going to daily drive it and not have to do any significant repairs for 30-50k miles, then there is no way. No matter how it was stored, rubber deteriorates with time, so as soon as you start driving it, all the various bushings and gaskets will start failing, and you will have multiple oil leaks and suspension creaks and noises. However if it is the car you really want, I would rather rebuild the suspension and reseal the motor than have to deal with rust and paint and a worn out interior, so it isn't necessarily something to stay away from, but don't expect to just turn the key and drive it for 5 years like you would with a new car.
Thanks a lot for your advice. Yes I would use it for a drive on the weekend or similar. I would say maximum 2'000 miles per year.

I do really want it but not for the prize of frustration, failures on the road or very expensive rebuilds... then I'd rather go for a test drive, take pictures and keep the afternoon for a lifetime memory with my dream car. But then again, if you can own your dream car, why not work and spend money for it? I'm a bit torn between that's why I'm thankful for your opinions.
 

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Many thanks for your reply. It has been advertised a couple of days ago and is ready for a test drive. So the fluids are now in it, I'll ask the owner if the fluids were taken out during storage, thanks for the tip!

The car is advertised for around 23'500$ (converted) which is slightly above what I would be prepared to spend on it. Last year there was one on ebay for much more.
Where are you located?

I had a 1985 Cougar XR-7, same engine, no intercooler, less power. It was a fun car, but I'd have trouble spending $23000 on one even if it only had 800 miles on the odometer.

I inherited a 10 year old Crown Victoria that had 15,000 miles on it when my grandmother passed away. I drove it 1500 miles home to Minnesota from Texas, and it creaked and groaned over every bump due to the rubber bushings deteriorating. I did end up replacing the soft lines on the brakes, the suspension bushings (the ones that were greasable were OK for the most part though) and the fuel pump and fuel filter due to the very old gas that didn't go through the tank much wearing out the pump.

All told, it wasn't expensive, as I did the work myself, but it was a free car so I didn't mind so much. If I were to buy what is essentially a new car, at new car pricing, and have to do that work, it'd upset me.
 

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Well if it is your dream car, and you can swing the purchase price, and you have an indoor storage location for it, then I would say try to get it. Those are quite difficult to find without rust issues even here in the US, so I have to imagine that in Europe it would be even harder, and like I said, all the issues that are going to come up are much cheaper and easier to fix than rust repair. Worst case, you could hang onto it for a few years and probably sell it for a profit.
 

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That could be a really cool car, and if well bought, be a decent investment. It should only go up in value.

However, we need pictures!

Al
 

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MSRP of 1987 Turbo Coupe = $12,972
$12,972 in 1987 in Dec-2017 dollars = $28,780

FASTENAL (FAST) IPO'd in 1987 with a $9/share price. Today it's up 7,041% = $12972 in FAST would be worth ~$913,000 today.
Even if you didn't pick a lotto ticket like that,
VFINX (Vanguards S&P index fund) from Jan 1st, 1987 to 1/31/2018 is up 975%
$12972 worth of VFINX = $126,477

Yeah, this wasn't a good investment for the original owner. How much did he enjoy having an 3380LB paperweight in his garage?

Will you enjoy the same even if you are getting a "discount" off of what it would have cost new + not storing it for 31 years? I presume that you are going to pay cash for this car since I'm be shocked if someone would be willing to finance this old a car.

Q: Are there other places you can spend your money?

PS. Even if this car is kinda of cool for its generation, it will never have the larger audience appeal of the Buick GN or e30 M3. Much as though I wish my S4 would appreciate, the reality is that it's not going to happen.
 

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Where are you located?

I had a 1985 Cougar XR-7, same engine, no intercooler, less power. It was a fun car, but I'd have trouble spending $23000 on one even if it only had 800 miles on the odometer.

I inherited a 10 year old Crown Victoria that had 15,000 miles on it when my grandmother passed away. I drove it 1500 miles home to Minnesota from Texas, and it creaked and groaned over every bump due to the rubber bushings deteriorating. I did end up replacing the soft lines on the brakes, the suspension bushings (the ones that were greasable were OK for the most part though) and the fuel pump and fuel filter due to the very old gas that didn't go through the tank much wearing out the pump.

All told, it wasn't expensive, as I did the work myself, but it was a free car so I didn't mind so much. If I were to buy what is essentially a new car, at new car pricing, and have to do that work, it'd upset me.
I'm located in Switzerland. Since the seller is a garage owner I expect him to do all that work and hand me over the car in mint condition with the the rubber parts replaced with new ones. We have a very pedantic motor vehicle department which doesn't allow cars in too bad shape on the roads. As I would get it freshly licensed it should be OK from that point of view as well.

Of course the price tag is difficult to discuss. Since the last car like this I saw being sold on ebay (it was also discussed briefly on this forum) was much more pricey, I think the price might be OK IF I get it under conditions mentioned above?

Well if it is your dream car, and you can swing the purchase price, and you have an indoor storage location for it, then I would say try to get it. Those are quite difficult to find without rust issues even here in the US, so I have to imagine that in Europe it would be even harder, and like I said, all the issues that are going to come up are much cheaper and easier to fix than rust repair. Worst case, you could hang onto it for a few years and probably sell it for a profit.
You're right, in about fifteen years that have been watching the T-Bird market here this is the first Turbo Coupe that has appeared so far. I'm not sure if I can ever sell it with a profit, as hardly anyone is interested in cars like that around here. Some people laugh at mit '97 T-Bird already!! :smile2: If people are interested here in an american car it must be a V8 as this is rare around here and has power and sound. Some classic car collectors have Americans like Mustangs or Cadillacs from the 60's; the car you see the most on our roads is definitely the new Mustang.

That could be a really cool car, and if well bought, be a decent investment. It should only go up in value.

However, we need pictures!

Al
This the only picture I got so far, I will take some when I'm there to test drive it. The color is not quite my thing (I think a TC must be black) even though it might be cool, it's difficult to judge on a picture.

Yeah, this wasn't a good investment for the original owner. How much did he enjoy having an 3380LB paperweight in his garage?

Will you enjoy the same even if you are getting a "discount" off of what it would have cost new + not storing it for 31 years? I presume that you are going to pay cash for this car since I'm be shocked if someone would be willing to finance this old a car.
Cash yes. I'm also wondering why the original owner never drove it, I will investigate about that and the history of the car in general.
Q: Are there other places you can spend your money?
Sure, always... :wink2: but I don't have that much, so... But I always intended to buy a classic T-Bird one day (probably when retired) but I was more thinking about a '65 which I like a lot. But a '87 is a special opportunity which might never return again.
PS. Even if this car is kinda of cool for its generation, it will never have the larger audience appeal of the Buick GN or e30 M3. Much as though I wish my S4 would appreciate, the reality is that it's not going to happen.
That doesn't matter to me, the car would be for me and no audience necessary... I would take it out for a drive every other weekend with good weather and enjoy driving it. Saying this, it does feel a bit odd to spend that kind of money for that... I haven't decided yet, I'll have to drive it first, maybe I'll be disappointed, maybe blown away, who knows.
 

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I like that color! Have not seen it before on a TC.

Obviously, the car is missing at least one wheel center cap. Hopefully they have them.

Is the car an auto or manual? Manual would be more collectible, and the automatics didn't have as much HP.

Al
 

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I like that color! Have not seen it before on a TC.

Obviously, the car is missing at least one wheel center cap. Hopefully they have them.

Is the car an auto or manual? Manual would be more collectible, and the automatics didn't have as much HP.

Al
Yes, the color is certainly something different! The missing center cap stroke me too, they must be difficult to get hold of. It's become difficult already on my '97 I have those from a '95 Taurus on one side which have a slightly different color if you look closely.
Hmmm, I didn't know know there were automatic TC's. I always assumed they must have been manual only. What is the difference in horsepower, do you know? If it's an automatic my interest in buying it will decrease heavily.
 

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The manual was rated at 190hp, the automatic I think was 155hp. Basically they limited the boost to only 10psi on the automatic, but went to 15psi on the manual.
 

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Cash yes. I'm also wondering why the original owner never drove it, I will investigate about that and the history of the car in general.

Sure, always... :wink2: but I don't have that much, so... But I always intended to buy a classic T-Bird one day (probably when retired) but I was more thinking about a '65 which I like a lot. But a '87 is a special opportunity which might never return again.

That doesn't matter to me, the car would be for me and no audience necessary... I would take it out for a drive every other weekend with good weather and enjoy driving it. Saying this, it does feel a bit odd to spend that kind of money for that... I haven't decided yet, I'll have to drive it first, maybe I'll be disappointed, maybe blown away, who knows.
Sure, this car is unique in its mileage (and I would want to confirm that by checking vehicle registration records to see if there's any indications of a rollback) but classic 60s car pricing is not doing so well as their main market is getting too old to drive (and/or dying).

It seems like a concours quality 65 Tbird is in the same price range as this 87 TC.... and if it's concours quality, all of the potential repair issues are taken care of compared to this time capsule car.

https://www.hagerty.com/apps/valuationtools/values/43241?yearRange=15
 

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I'd change the tires (old rubber is no good), the belts, all fluids and I'd have the chassis thoroughly checked for rotted busings, regrease everything and BABY THE **** OUT OF THE ENGINE FOR THE 1ST 500 MILES.

And in the meantime, enjoy this
 

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LOL, yes sounds like a plan! :) I know this video, nice one, there are not too many about the TC on Youtube.
 

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When do you plan to check the Bird out?
Those TCs are one of the very few 4cyl car I would own...
I was looking at one but decided on my m8 instead..
Those 2.3 engines are pretty cool..
Do the autos use an aod trans?
 

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When do you plan to check the Bird out?
Those TCs are one of the very few 4cyl car I would own...
I was looking at one but decided on my m8 instead..
Those 2.3 engines are pretty cool..
Do the autos use an aod trans?
I have an appointment with the seller next Thursday, it's quite a drive so I couldn't just turn up there to have a look.
Same here, this is pretty much the only 4cyl I would consider to own, the turbo makes it totally different, even some F1 cars in the 80's had 4-cylinders with over 1'000hp thanks to the turbo... fascinating, no idea why it never really became "the thing". They sound cool too!

Unfortunately I don't know if it is an automatic, I sure hope it's manual. I think turbos have to be manual since you need control over the turbo lag. And 40hp less is quite a drag as well... it surely could be tuned up but it would still be an automatic...
 

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The automatic TC's used the A4LD, which is basically a C3 with an overdrive gear added. That trans will break if you sneeze too hard, hence why the power was dialed back.
 

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I have an appointment with the seller next Thursday, it's quite a drive so I couldn't just turn up there to have a look.
Same here, this is pretty much the only 4cyl I would consider to own, the turbo makes it totally different, even some F1 cars in the 80's had 4-cylinders with over 1'000hp thanks to the turbo... fascinating, no idea why it never really became "the thing". They sound cool too!

Unfortunately I don't know if it is an automatic, I sure hope it's manual. I think turbos have to be manual since you need control over the turbo lag. And 40hp less is quite a drag as well... it surely could be tuned up but it would still be an automatic...
Why doesn't the seller have that information in the advertising for the car?
Before wasting a long trip, why not call them on the phone to find out if it's manual or automatic?
 
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