Fox Fox Body Frame Rust-- Scrap or Save?

Gs87GT

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Sep 25, 2019
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My brother had an 85 just like this one that we built. This is bringing back all sorts of memories. His was not t tops though, but was an auto/cfi car.

We had lots of fun with it. Converted to 5 speed, converted to a Holley 650 (carb), etc. The car ran well. No rust but that was 20+ yrs ago now....lol.....time flies. Good luck young man! In whatever you decide.
 
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LILCBRA

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Personally, I wouldn't let the "lost keys" comment bother you too much. It wasn't his toy to begin with if someone traded it for outstanding balances, so he had no real emotional stake in the car. Then it's been in storage for 6 years - highly likely to misplace a set of keys for a car that you don't really have anything vested in. Hopefully he'll find some keys, it'll start and at least lot drive, then it's just going over everything to make sure it's roadworthy. Besides all of that, he sounds like a stand-up guy and has given everything to you pretty straight, you may be able to trust this guy about the car. You'll get a better feel for that meeting him in person than you will through email exchanges. I think you've most likely found a winner as far as a first Fox goes, don't write it off too soon! Best of luck with it, I'm sure you'll be happy with it in the long run!
 

Mstng93SSP

You have a nice rear end there Dave.
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How did he get it out for those pictures without keys? Pushed it? The hatch is open, pretty sure you need a key for that too?
 
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Potomus Pete

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Hes just starting out as a backyard mechanic , so it has to at least run well. I dont think he could master the No Start Checklist. And his budget affords him limits to what he can spent on parts . So make sure it runs and at least it goes into gear . Three grand is still a good amount of money especially if this is the car with the bad rear quarter . You or he , really he needs to do the fresh gas thing that Karthief was talking about the other day. You must be going crazy , it is a decent car.
 
Aug 11, 2019
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No way in Hades I'd pay $3200 for that 85'. The paint is garbage, and it's an auto with cfi. My advice, you said you could save $6k by spring? Do it. That will put you in a whole new realm of Foxbodies.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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If I had room that car would be mine!
how many V8 85's out there, the cfi can be dealt with, T-TOPs, so what if it is an auto.
did I mention it's a T-TOP car?
you can call those things good or bad.
He admitted he got it in a trade. He may take less for it.
 

Alldegree

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Sep 14, 2019
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especially if this is the car with the bad rear quarter .
That car sold awhile ago unfortunately.

I’m going to take a look at about 3:30 today. I’m thinking about two scenarios to negotiate for.

The first is 3100 total and he trailers it to my house. I would pay 1550 PayPal forward today, take the title and/or keys as collateral, and pay him 1550 cash when he gets here.

The second is 2800 total. I would go back on Monday with a Uhaul and trailer, and pay him 2800 cash when I get there.

My reasoning is he said in his ad that the car runs and drives, and after talking to him it turns out it doesn’t (at least not well). Trailering it also takes care of the insurance issue.

Are those decent offers, or am I pushing too hard?
 

Mustang5L5

This is a big reason why I pulled it out
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My assumption was this was a running driving car.

Sitting 6 years and unsure if it runs? How much do you like this car?
 

Potomus Pete

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Mar 7, 2019
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I would not give him any money till it gets there. Unless you know something I dont . Craigslist people cant be trusted for the most part. . Buying it depends on your mechanical ability. You have to be able to fix most things . Unless you get rich and can pay a guy you will have to learn fast . Im sure you have read posts on here of the constant problem car. Alls good unless the engines blown , and you need to know .
 
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Alldegree

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My assumption was this was a running driving car.

Sitting 6 years and unsure if it runs? How much do you like this car?
Well, he said it runs and drives, but apparently he was getting offers from people that wanted to drive it to St. Louis, so he wanted to be clear that it’s been sitting too long to do that. He’s unsure if it would make it to Chicago, but he said he thinks it would definitely make it to crown point. As far as whether or not I like it, I do like it, but not so much that I’d be devastated without it. It seems like a decent starting point, but I do know that I’d be better off in the long run if I just save up over the winter, unless this is a really good deal. I’ll see how good it is when I see it today. I’ll take pictures and video for you guys. After thinking about it, I don’t think I’ll put in an offer for it until Monday at least.
 
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Gs87GT

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Sep 25, 2019
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Well, he said it runs and drives, but apparently he was getting offers from people that wanted to drive it to St. Louis, so he wanted to be clear that it’s been sitting too long to do that. He’s unsure if it would make it to Chicago, but he said he thinks it would definitely make it to crown point. As far as whether or not I like it, I do like it, but not so much that I’d be devastated without it. It seems like a decent starting point, but I do know that I’d be better off in the long run if I just save up over the winter, unless this is a really good deal. I’ll see how good it is when I see it today. I’ll take pictures and video for you guys. After thinking about it, I don’t think I’ll put in an offer for it until Monday at least.
Good deal. Your going into this with a level head which is very important. Looking forward to your report
 

Alldegree

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So I sort of saw the car.

We left my house at about 1:30 to get there, but the guy texted me at 1:47 saying he was too busy with “family stuff” going on, and wanted to know if I could come tomorrow.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see his text until we were at a gas station about 15 minutes away since I was driving. I tried calling him, but he has a weird setup where his number has no caller ID and no voicemail, so I texted him back and asked him if I could take some pictures of the outside and he never got back to me.

I figured it couldn’t hurt to at least see where his shop was since we had come all this way, so we drove on and the car was sitting out front exactly where it was in the ad. I got as many pictures as I could, but a lot of the underbody shots ended up being blurry because of the small space, darkness under the car, and awkward angle. I looked as much as I could at the frame rails, and they look crusty. Complete, but crusty. The shock towers look ok, but I couldn’t get a good look at the trouble spots without opening the hood (the car was unlocked, but I didn’t want to climb inside and mess with it without his permission).

There were some other things as well. The passenger’s side door handle is broken, there’s overspray on the cowl vent along with a nice big dent, the back tire was flat, and parts of the front bumper have cracked off. It also looks like the T-top doesn’t quite fit right, but I don’t know if that’s a sign of a twisted frame or if it’s just how the car was made.

The steering column cover was off and it looks like he was or had just finished installing a new ignition switch, so the story about the keys checks out.

The underbody looks ok, and there’s no body rot that I can see other than a few bubbles, so I’ll post what I have and see what you all think. It looks like it needs a lot of work. I was really planning on seeing under the hood and driving it, since that would have answered most of my questions about the car.

It’s also worth mentioning that I never got those frame rail pictures from him.

The for sale sign in the windshield says 4800, so he’s really come down on this already.

I’ll post some photos when I get home.
 

Alldegree

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Ok, here's what I could get. There's a lot more, but my laptop isn't getting them from my phone for some reason. A lot of them are blurry because my phone couldn't figure out what to focus on. I'm trying to do an "airdrop" which apparently could take awhile. I'll admit, I think I took about a million photos of the passenger's side frame rail and completely ignored the driver's side for some reason. I'll see if I can find any, but there's a lot of blurs and smudges. I think the rust looks pretty bad, but it's practically concours level compared to my last one.

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Alldegree

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$2800 for a car you don't even know will run? Also,I'm in Lafayette. Could arrange to look at the primered GT if you'd like.
Thanks, I might take you up on that, but based on what I've seen in this price range and with winter approaching, I think maybe I should wait. I'll let you know if I change my mind.

How are you supposed to fix that???
The rust looks pretty bad, and I'm glad I went and saw it before I sent any money his way. I have a feeling this may be the reason why it's been sitting for so long and he's willing to come down so far. Like I said, the sticker in the window said he was looking for 4800 for this thing at some point.

On the plus side, the outskirts of Michigan City is a nice looking area, and I saw a lot of neat cars, like a rotted out AMX in Trans Am livery next to a perfect S/C Rambler on the side of the road. There was also a Monaro/GTO (another dream car) and a few mean looking SN95s out on the street.
 

CarMichael Angelo

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Do you think the rust is as bad as it looks, though?
It doesn't look that bad to me..it looks as I would expect a car to look that hasn't had the benefit of winters spent in the south.
Excepting the frame rail that appears to have some sort of crack in it. It may just be an optical illusion though .