What to look for in a 79' Heritage

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AK_hunter
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Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:32 pm

What to look for in a 79' Heritage

Post by AK_hunter » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:37 pm

Hey guys, I'm new to Thunderbirds and am looking at a white 79" heritage with the 351w. It has 69,000mi original miles, no rust anywhere, and has a new starter and a new solenoid, new battery cables, new hoses and new tires. I'm thinking about going out to take a look at it here soon and am wondering what I should be looking for. Does this car have any problem areas that I should know about? Also, the guy is asking $3500 for it. Is that a rip off price?

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Alan H. Tast
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Re: What to look for in a 79' Heritage

Post by Alan H. Tast » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:56 pm

AK_hunter wrote:Hey guys, I'm new to Thunderbirds and am looking at a white 79" heritage with the 351w. It has 69,000mi original miles, no rust anywhere, and has a new starter and a new solenoid, new battery cables, new hoses and new tires. I'm thinking about going out to take a look at it here soon and am wondering what I should be looking for. Does this car have any problem areas that I should know about? Also, the guy is asking $3500 for it. Is that a rip off price?
What's the accent color, i.e. vinyl roofs, bumper trim and velour seat/interior color? There were a limited number of colors available as solid body/roof colors, while white is a rarity. Look at the wheel arches in the quarters, especially the bottoms, along with the adjacent bottom areas in the trunk and around the rocker panels. Also check around the window trim and look for tell-tale signs if roof is rusting out around the windows (bubbled vinyl roof cover, pushing on the area and hearing it crunch, for instance). Personally, for $3500 if the car is clean or maybe needs some detailing but isn't otherwise worn badly, and even if it needs some freshening up of paint or interior, as the guy who announces auctions on TV says, it would be "well bought."
Alan H. Tast, AIA
Technical Director/Past President,
Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
1963 Hardtop & 1963 Sports Roadster

AK_hunter
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Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:32 pm

Re: What to look for in a 79' Heritage

Post by AK_hunter » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:32 pm

The accent color is either a brown or burgundy... I can't tell with the lighting in the picture.

Also, how well do these 3-speed automatic transmissions hold up? I know that was a weak link in some vehicles of this time period.

AK_hunter
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Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:32 pm

Re: What to look for in a 79' Heritage

Post by AK_hunter » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:35 pm

Oh, and the interior is a real swanky red color.

BirdShepherd
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Re: What to look for in a 79' Heritage

Post by BirdShepherd » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:44 pm

The 1979 Ford Thunderbird Heritage Edition is probably the only T-Bird model that will hold much value. It was the luxury edition, top-of-the-line for 1979; somewhat similar to the 78 Diamond Jubilee Edition; Heritage only came in burgundy and baby blue. Extra options for the heritage model add to the value: T-Tops, moon-roof, leather seats, 351-W; if paint is original and still shiny, engine doesn't smoke, rust-free (make sure to look underneath), vinyl top and bright work and glass in good condition, no accidents, mileage can be verified (hard to do with a 5-digit odometer; need to look at title or maintenance records) interior and seat-belts not faded by sun, bumpers rust free, then--I'd offer $3k.

Regarding transmissions, the type of tranny the car has can be unpacked by looking at the code in the door jam. Generally, the FMX is X, C6 is U, C4 is W. At 69,000 miles there shouldn't be any slippage or problems with the tranny unless it developed a leak in the past and was driven without adequate fluids.

My FMX lasted 150,000 miles before rebuild. The sign of problems was 'morning sickness' on cold mornings.

Hope that helps.
Shepherding 77-79 T-Birds, Shepherding People

Joe Karasinski
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Re: What to look for in a 79' Heritage

Post by Joe Karasinski » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:54 am

http://www.hagerty.com/valuationtools/h ... vbe=131229

If it's nice car needing only a little work.I'd think 3500 is fair but of course no one ever gives the asking price so obviously make a low offer. There are a lot of these birds still out there and finding low mileage rust free examples isn't too difficult.

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