1961-1963 Bullet Bird Buying Tips

I have recently sold my 1972 Mustang, because what I’ve always wanted was a bullet bird. Now it’s time to get my dream car.
Since these cars are located around the country, it is not practical to go see many of the ones that catch my eye. I am sure I can’t be the only one to have this problem.
Does anyone have suggestions or ideas on how to get a good inspection done, by someone who knows What they are looking for? I’m thinking maybe someone who can inspect body, suspension and drivetrain. Ideally report back with observations and pictures.

I am all ears and anxious to hear your thoughts and experiences.
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Discussion of buying cars belongs in the cars for sale discussion area. Post moved. Subject "These old birds are hard to find" changed to "1961-1963 Bullet Bird Buying Tips" to summarize your post.
 

Philt

Active Member
I have recently sold my 1972 Mustang, because what I’ve always wanted was a bullet bird. Now it’s time to get my dream car.
Since these cars are located around the country, it is not practical to go see many of the ones that catch my eye. I am sure I can’t be the only one to have this problem.
Does anyone have suggestions or ideas on how to get a good inspection done, by someone who knows What they are looking for? I’m thinking maybe someone who can inspect body, suspension and drivetrain. Ideally report back with observations and pictures.

I am all ears and anxious to hear your thoughts and experiences.
Hello from Nashville Tennessee,
I own a 56 "Bird and last week bought a "57 and lucked into a "64 . I sold my "61 last year after a total stranger appeared with cash and determination. There was one I should have kept. My hunt for a Flairbird is going on its second year.
Assuming you find the car, may I suggest you ask the car owner to recommend either an inspector or a club member to give you at least a look over. It may sound like a conflict of interest and there is the possibility for some fraud, but the pros are usually honest and the enthusiest are like you and want to see a successful deal.No inspection will divulge every issue. These cars are 50 years old and had many owners who, themselves didn't know its history.
If you require a full professional inspection then you need to know where the car is located. The inspectors will be very limited by distance unless you are willing to pay for their travel and expenses. For fees, my experience includes a couple of hundred for a local text report to $1,200 for a full documented inspection and appraisel.
If you find a Bullet Bird in the midsouth that might be a candidate, let me know. Again I am just a hobbiest and make no warranty about the car or the discoveries. Although not a professional inspector, not insured and I don't accept a fee.
To mitigate your frustration, maybe my experience will help.
Look, a lot., at the web listings , club sites and get a very detailed picture of what you require. Restored, Modified, survivor or concourse,Hardtop or convert, color, power options that will narrow the candidates severely. Be ready to set and reset you budget. Everyone knows what these cars are worth and there are few good buys much less bargains. If you think the car is cheap, you better understand why. As a very wise car buddy said. " You better like the deal up front. They don't get better with age."
My trip wires have been a couple of must haves and rust. These go along way to sorting to a managable set of candidates.
Good hunting
Phil in Nashville
 

74 Harley

Active Member
Philt has some great advice, let me add that you need to buy the best car you can afford. Don't settle for a better price because it needs a little tlc. Little things cost a lot and not all parts are easy to find. If looking at a convertible make sure the top is complete and working! They are very complicated and expensive to repair.
Good luck!
 
Hello from Nashville Tennessee,
I own a 56 "Bird and last week bought a "57 and lucked into a "64 . I sold my "61 last year after a total stranger appeared with cash and determination. There was one I should have kept. My hunt for a Flairbird is going on its second year.
Assuming you find the car, may I suggest you ask the car owner to recommend either an inspector or a club member to give you at least a look over. It may sound like a conflict of interest and there is the possibility for some fraud, but the pros are usually honest and the enthusiest are like you and want to see a successful deal.No inspection will divulge every issue. These cars are 50 years old and had many owners who, themselves didn't know its history.
If you require a full professional inspection then you need to know where the car is located. The inspectors will be very limited by distance unless you are willing to pay for their travel and expenses. For fees, my experience includes a couple of hundred for a local text report to $1,200 for a full documented inspection and appraisel.
If you find a Bullet Bird in the midsouth that might be a candidate, let me know. Again I am just a hobbiest and make no warranty about the car or the discoveries. Although not a professional inspector, not insured and I don't accept a fee.
To mitigate your frustration, maybe my experience will help.
Look, a lot., at the web listings , club sites and get a very detailed picture of what you require. Restored, Modified, survivor or concourse,Hardtop or convert, color, power options that will narrow the candidates severely. Be ready to set and reset you budget. Everyone knows what these cars are worth and there are few good buys much less bargains. If you think the car is cheap, you better understand why. As a very wise car buddy said. " You better like the deal up front. They don't get better with age."
My trip wires have been a couple of must haves and rust. These go along way to sorting to a managable set of candidates.
Good hunting
Phil in Nashville
Thanks Phil.

Thanks for your reply, it’s full of good advice. I may take you up on your offer, there is a drop top in Nashville I keep circling back to, but the owner claims it has cooling issues. Well that could be anything from a bad thermostat to a cracked block. I’m driving down to Louisville to see one this weekend, and I’ve circled a couple at the upcoming Mecum Auction in Indy.

Like you, I am certainly happy to bird dog cars near me for anyone in the same boat as me.
I found an interesting one I Houston and had a colleague that lives nearby check it out.
Long story short, it has great bones, is way over-priced, and needs the dash pad and seat covers replaced. I’ve done some digging and the dash pad sounds like a big and expensive project. I’m not expecting perfection of course, not at the price I’m prepared to spend.
 
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