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Discussion Starter #1
I realize this is first world/American problem, but basically a while back I posted about my neighbors 87 Mustang 5.0 vert she's willing to let go for $2800. She's the original owner and said it has 155,000 miles. Only problems (that she's aware of....) is the motor for the top doesn't work and it has (what I pieced together from her description) an oil pan gasket leak....

Then here's my new problem. My parents..well really my mother...wants to sell their 93 T-Bird LX - silver 3.8 - THIS WAS MY FIRST CAR! needs a lot of work. But I love this car. Paint is nearly perfect as it was repainted a few years ago the original color.
My plan would be to drop a V8 in it...maybe a stick and re-do the interior, audio, everything. Just a complete project. They want $1200 now (needs a transmission) or $2500ish later when my dad gets it running.

Here's the question you all know is coming...which to choose? I have an attachment to the Bird obviously, but would be a much bigger project than the Mustang - which I would probably get back to running good and keep original.

Just want opinions...

Thanks! (and I do enjoy THIS forum....)
 

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Depends what you're looking for. A project car that will have sentimental value to you, or a car that you will be able to drive immediately with just some maintenance and TLC required.
 

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Easy..Since you don't have a Thunderbird anymore..Choose the Thunderbird.. :)

I'll just assume you have a DD..So when money allows it..You can restore the Thunderbird, and keep it in the family..



Rayo..
 

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Ordinarily I would vote for a tbird over a mustang, but $1200 for a V6N/A tbird that needs a trans is too much, and $2500 for a V6N/A birt that runs and drives is way too much, especially from a family member. Once the trans is fixed, that bird is a $1000 car, and without a working trans, it isn't worth more than scrap value to anyone else off the street. I would say offer $500 for the bird, since realistically they won't get more than that for it from anyone else, and if they won't sell it to you for that, then buy the mustang and let them sit on the bird until they change their mind.
 

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In your case, take the Mustang. You'll have more fun with it, more parts availability, plus it's nice to drop the top every now and then. The motor is a relatively simple fix.
 

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Ordinarily I would vote for a tbird over a mustang, but $1200 for a V6N/A tbird that needs a trans is too much, and $2500 for a V6N/A birt that runs and drives is way too much, especially from a family member. Once the trans is fixed, that bird is a $1000 car, and without a working trans, it isn't worth more than scrap value to anyone else off the street. I would say offer $500 for the bird, since realistically they won't get more than that for it from anyone else, and if they won't sell it to you for that, then buy the mustang and let them sit on the bird until they change their mind.
Mike's right - no amount of sentimentality is worth that much of a premium for a car that they literally made millions of (3.8L N/A).

You are better off with the Mustang.
You could buy it and if your mom wakes up to reality, you can buy the tbird, fix it up, and then sell off the mustang when you are done (keeping the fixed up tbird).
-g

Just to show how out of line your parents pricing may be, here's a SC for $800 in mobile
http://mobile.craigslist.org/cto/4042080966.html

RETAIL pricing on a V8 is only $2200
http://neworleans.craigslist.org/ctd/4035796676.html
 

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I would have your folks reconsider the value of the car as it is. I found a running and driving 98 Mark VIII for less than $1200. Hell, there's a 91 SC for $800 on craigslist.

If it wasn't such a hassle, I'd offer the trans from my car. But mine is a 94 and 4r70w =/= AOD and the wiring swap is a deal breaker. Good luck with your decision.

edit: Do your parents live in Theodore? I remember seeing a NICE looking gen 1 bird out that way. It was silver with good paint, and I think the wire wheel covers (assuming it a base model with v6)? Sat there forever with way too high a price. It never sold and they moved it behind the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You all have made this harder. Now I want both…lol
I see the point on the Birds pricing. I thought it was too high but didn't want to say any thing - my suspicions were right I guess.
jco1385 - no they don't live out that way. It's a 93 LX - good because I hate those wire wheels anyway. I just hate the thought of losing my first car too.
What if I could get the bird for what it's actually worth? Would any of you change your mind?
 

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I'd keep looking on both counts, IMHO.

The stang is either carbed, or a very early TBI system; tuning old stuff sux, compared to modern stuff.

I have carbed bikes; if I could swap them to an eec-V port-injected system, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I'd find a 96 or 97 in the color and style you want somewhere in the south, and take a short vacation to buy it.

Hell, there's a member here with a car that's blown for $5k...
 

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Save your money, get real clear on what you really want, and get that.
Cars come and cars go. You don't know what the future holds.
With the internet we have a great resource to find just about anything.
There are plenty of cars out there.
 

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If you can get the bird for $500, and it has sentimental value to you, then go for it. Engines and transmissions can be swapped if you want more power, but another tbird will never be your first car. I still have my first car, a 91 Cougar, and even though it hasn't run in probably 5 years now, I will never get rid of it due to its sentimental value.
 

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pendejo
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Just my belief, But I wouldn't want to be emotionally attached to a car. I've seen people go down that road, It always seems unreasonably expensive in the end. I like to be able to cut 'em loose at any time I please.
 

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Fair value for non-running 93 is ~$300 (scrap value), KBB says $800-$1400 for Private party sell for a running car.

Trans can be done (yourself) for as little as $300 but most shop will want $800 or more and will have the car 2-3 days. Which means realistically the car is not even worth putting a trans in it. With sentimental attachment (which I totally understand) $400-500 or no deal honestly.

Though as project I'd get it and a 96+ V8 and swap everything, but if its your first does it lose it sentimental value buy swapping the engine, trans and computer? I'm asking the same question about modding my dad's 90 F150 that he's offered to me (when I get it probably will leave it stock... mostly).
 

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Just my belief, But I wouldn't want to be emotionally attached to a car. I've seen people go down that road, It always seems unreasonably expensive in the end. I like to be able to cut 'em loose at any time I please.
With that mentality you may as well buy something brand new with a warranty and good resale value and trade in every few years. You'll have outspent the worth of an MN12/FN12 just doing a suspension rebuild, so it certainly takes some kind of attachment to keep these things or any old car roadworthy.
 

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Unless I had a well equipped shop with a lift, and pneumatic tools there's no way I would take on the job of swapping a 3.8 with a 4.6. Even then it would be too much work, too many changes to be made. From wiring harnesses to half shafts, etc,etc, etc... the investment would not be cost effective. The value of the turn key V8 would be less than the amount of money put into the swap. I'd lose money. Probably as much as 40 cents on the dollar once all aspects of cost are taken into consideration.

My personal recommendation opinion in your particular case would be to dismiss the "my first car" 3.8 money pit, and the Mustang, and instead use available funds, and future obtained monies to purchase a low mileage, rust free, '97 V8 Thunderbird, and let that be the foundation of a project car.
 

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pendejo
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With that mentality you may as well buy something brand new with a warranty and good resale value and trade in every few years. You'll have outspent the worth of an MN12/FN12 just doing a suspension rebuild, so it certainly takes some kind of attachment to keep these things or any old car roadworthy.
:tongue: See that's not what I meant. I Dislike most newer cars, and have no problem maintaining an older car. Especially one I like. We have a project Ranchero, and Chevette, I've outspent the worth of my FN10 many times now(I bought it as a write off), And probably will again before I'm through. But I won't hesitate to pull the plug if things get "too serious"

I'm talking about situations like the body shop just down the road from me, that has done $14k worth of work to a late 1980's F-150. The owner was upset because he left the truck with a relative, and it sat and rusted out, in a field.
The truck is otherwise stock, When the work is complete it's being shipped to the owner in California. Surely there must be a better similar truck in CA for that kind of money. It's a high price to pay for a sentimental attachment.
 
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