Considering a 66 Convertible

Hello All,

Been lurking for awhile, but I wanted to make my 1st post to get some opinions. My wife and I were looking for a Sunday cruiser and came across this 66 and fell in love. Very much new to the T-Bird arena so I am curious what you all think of the price, what I should look for when I see the car in person, etc.

Details according to the seller-
- 1966 Thunderbird Convertible
- 428 motor
- All original
- 67,000 original miles
- No major issues just little things for the age of the car
- Only had one owner which was his wife’s great grandfathers and now her grandfather it
- Has been garage kept and started a driven every once in awhile
- The top need some work it will lift up and start to fold but stops he thinks it just needs to be greased up
- It starts right up first try and runs great
- Asking price $12,500

What price should I offer? Any major red flags?

Thank you in advance!

-James

(My apologies if this post is in the wrong place, I looked for a prospective owner forum, but could not locate one)

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According to https://www.hagerty.com/valuationtools the car in #3 condition (good) is worth $25,900 and in #4 (fair) it is worth $15,400. The car sounds like a good deal but you should plan on putting extra money into the car - those little things can add up. As to the top, the engine should have been running when putting the top up, and assuming it was, then I would suspect it could be just low fluid for the pump or the pump needs rebuilding. The same pump provides the hydraulics for the deck lid cylinders and top cylinders - does the deck lid go up slow? If low fluid then you will need to fill it up and find out if there are leaks somewhere in the system. The fact that the deck lid opens and the top starts going up is good since it makes me think the switches are working but they can be temperamental - I rebuilt two switches this year because of their working intermittently. Good luck, the car will certainly get a lot of attention!
 

64ZCODE

Well-Known Member
Yes, and keep the fire extinguisher, you may need it!

Seriously though, try to get them down to more like 6-8K if you can. You will end up putting money into this car, and realistically 12-14K is tops for one that isn't concours quality.
 
I'm with 64ZCode, for that car the price is a bit high. I don't go by book value; the market on that girl is somewhat lower (as in 6-11k) especially since as a poptop she has no A/C (rarely built that way) and is showing her age (is that a dent in the passenger door?). It is nice finding a 428 car though.
 

64ZCODE

Well-Known Member
It's the irony of the ages that these cars attract so much attention but sell for so little. But we love them so we put up with this discrepancy.

I would imagine that a convertible can command a higher price, but could also be quite expensive to fix the lift mechanism.
 
As for poptops, I've had two, a 62 and a 65 and here in Jersey neither was all that comfortable in the winter no matter how new the top was. Just the nature of the beast. And slow traffic on a hot sunny day - I'd trade the top for a nice blast of A/C (especially now that I've got less hair protecting my scalp)!
And isn't it funny about the values? I had a '69 RoadRunner that I didn't like half as much as any of the 'Birds, yet they go for an easy $50 grand in half-decent shape today. Go figure. But you're right, it's a labor of love with these cars. And they seem to draw the biggest crowd at events lately; my current '63 - really pretty on the outside if still rough around the edges yet - earns all the admiration, while the crowd seems ho-hum around the $70k beefed-up Chevelles.
 
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