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Topic: Odd T-bird on Craigslist (Read 449 times) previous topic - next topic

Odd T-bird on Craigslist

While trolling around on CL last night, I came across an odd car.  It's an '88 'Bird in the St. Louis area (item # 6839119331) that at a glance looks like a base coupe.  But look closer.  It's got plain-Jane hubcaps, but it's got a TC hood and front end.  He says it has a 3.0 V6 that needs head gaskets (from a Ranger, Taurus ??).  In one shot of the dash panel, which is the base half-digital half-analog dash, you can see that it's got the gear indicator of a column shift car.  And the 8th digit in the VIN is a "W", which says it is a TC.  Is this just a Frankenstein car that somebody cobbled together out of a TC and a standard Bird?  In the limited number of pics, it looks like a car that Ford built, not one that's been patched together.  I texted the guy with a few questions, and the only one he responded to was that it was a 3.0, not a 3.8.  Who would put a 3.0 in a Bird?  Just thought it was an interesting car.  Whaddaya think?

Re: Odd T-bird on Craigslist

Reply #1
I may be a fake ad?  A scam?
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Ranger roller cam conversion,
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'16 F150 XLT 5.0
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: Odd T-bird on Craigslist

Reply #2
I didn't think it was a fake.  I just think it's really odd to see a car that doesn't look hacked together but has some many mismatched parts.  He's only asking $1000 OBO for it.  I would almost buy it (if I had $1000, which I don't) just for the mystery.  Who has ever taken a TC and put a base dash and column shifter in it, and put the lowest level 14" steel wheels and hubcaps on it?  Could it have been a base coupe that had a TC as a donor and they put the TC dash and VIN in it?  That's a stretch?!  That kind of stuff just intrigues me.  It looks like a solid car that just needs head gaskets or a motor swap.  And a 3.0V6??  How similar is the 3.0 to the 3.8?  What does anybody else think?


Re: Odd T-bird on Craigslist

Reply #4
If somebody took all the TC stuff off and made a base car, they did their homework, because they even swapped the window trims and side trims over (TC's don't have chrome).

More likely, the guy swapped a few TC parts onto a base Bird, and listed this car with the VIN from the TC donor. There is also the possibility that he doesn't have a title for the base car and is using the donor's VIN on it. Whatever the case, I'd want to find out about it before buying that car...
2015 Mustang GT Premium - 5.0, 6-speed, Guard Green - too much awesome for one car

1988 5.0 Thunderbird :birdsmily: SOLD SEPT 11 2010: TC front clip/hood ♣ Body & paint completed Oct 2007 ♣ 3.55 TC rear end and front brakes ♣ TC interior ♣ CHE rear control arms (adjustable lowers) ♣ 2001 Bullitt springs ♣ Energy suspension poly busings ♣ Kenne Brown subframe connectors ♣ CWE engine mounts ♣ Thundercat sequential turn signals ♣ Explorer overhead console (temp/compass display) ♣ 2.25" off-road dual exhaust ♣ T-5 transmission swap completed Jan 2009 ♣

 

Re: Odd T-bird on Craigslist

Reply #5
Pics show 3.8L
Maybe he installed the rare destroker kit to take the 3.8 down to 3.0 to allow for high revs on the circle track.  :toothless:

Re: Odd T-bird on Craigslist

Reply #6
That's a 3.8 in the pic.  The seller is clueless.

This is 90% a car that took a front end impact and had the nose and hood from a TC put on.  There's what appears to be a decent sized rust hole just behind the driver side door down low on the seam.  Request more detailed photos to include a phot of the VIN in the window. Personally I wouldn't touch it.
-- 05 Mustang GT-Whipplecharged !!
--87 5.0 Trick Flow Heads & Intake - Custom Cam - Many other goodies...3100Lbs...Low12's!

Re: Odd T-bird on Craigslist

Reply #7
I hadn't even noticed all the chrome trim.  Another giveaway would be whether it had drums or discs in the back, and did or didn't have the quad-shock rear.  He claims he has a clean title.  This seller may not be the perpetrator of the "big switch", meaning he may not have a clue that the VIN doesn't match his car.  If that is true, he bought the car this way and somehow the St. Louis DMV didn't catch it either.  I've bought a couple un-titleable cars that were in otherwise driveable condition and wondered how I could buy a parts car with a good title and try a little "switcheroo".  I figured I'd get busted pretty easy, so I never tried.  I once paid only $50 for an '86 Cougar V6 GS, not running and lost title, but the body and interior were mint.  Another time paid $150 for an '88 T-bird Sport 5.0 (full power options, floor-shift, analog sport dash) with a junked title, and it also was just as clean inside and out.  Neither of these cars had the first bit of rust, nor a scratch on them.  If I would have known how to fool anybody, I'd have put one or both of these cars back on the road.  My vote on this car is, the current owner is clueless as someone else said, since he doesn't know a 3.0 from a 3.8, but somehow has a title on this Frankenstein.  My luck would be, my state would catch it and I'd have another parts car to get rid of.  By the way, on the 2 cars I described above, my neighbors apparently reported me to the city for having unregistered parts cars on the property and the city told me I had to register them or make them disappear, or start being ticketed for them.  I had to junk both of them.

Re: Odd T-bird on Craigslist

Reply #8
I'd offer him around scrap value. Looks like it has rot, but also has some parts worth saving
88 Cougar
88 T-Bird
other cars that don't apply to this forum

Re: Odd T-bird on Craigslist

Reply #9
Another oddity.  The VIN given is to an '87 TC, and this car is identified as an '88.  It is really hard to understand how this car is even on the road with this many discrepancies.  It would be interesting to see the title and see what year model the title says it is.  If it's described as an '88 on the title, somebody was really not paying attention. 

Re: Odd T-bird on Craigslist

Reply #10
Well, his ad either timed out, he sold it, or pulled it because someone brought the whole identity thing into question.