Thunderbirds were built for cruising, while, strangely, the Olds Vista Cruiser was meant for the open road. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe custom T-bird Shooting Brake is built to do both, but will its price keep buyers just cruising by?
Should you want to cruise down to Timmy's for a coffee and a strudel you could do far worse than to do so in yesterday's Canadian baconator SBC-powered '84 Cavalier. Well, according to its overwhelming 92% Crack pipe loss, I guess you could do worse, say if it had been a J-2000 to start with. Oh Canada.
Back in the day you didn't have to mod American cars to make them rear-wheel drive, because that was pretty much all there was. But that doesn't mean that even the most flamboyant of personal coupes was immune to modification as today's wacky 1962 Thunderbird wagon proves.
Sporting sky blue over metallic emerald paint and a roofline borrowed from a 1965 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, this bullet bird is said to be a multiple award winner and, ooh-la-la, magazine centerfold.
The longroof conversion is claimed professionally done, and to have taken more than 400 hours, of course not including those spent arguing over whether or not the world is ready for a Thunderbird shooting brake.
The interior has seen change too, the factory vinyl making way for grey velour, while the dash and door-facing ribbed aluminum trim has been given its walking papers, replaced with burl wood. Also, in what's probably the car's most startling transformation, the deep dish steering wheel has received one of those vinyl wraps, completely changing the car's character.
The changes don't stop at the aesthetics either, the factory 300-horse 390 V8 having received what is claimed to be a 428 crank and cam, as well as a fresh as a daisy Holley 4-BBL through which to draw.
The only real downsides I can see with this car are the fact that the roof is way too obviously taken from the Olds, and the rear window is plexiglass. That may have been the most cost-effective way of creating it, but it seems a cheap shortcut on a car that doesn't appear to have had any other corners cut. Perhaps however, I am being too critical.
The seller says that a 1999 appraisal (there we go again, is this guy Canadian?) pegged the car's value at $24,500. Of course, that's like having someone describe your blind date as having been a knockout - thirteen years ago. That was then, this is now, and we're not going to abide by some fancy pants appraisal in determining this custom T-bird's value, that's our job. The seller has set his price (and it should be noted that this isn't the first time he's set a price) at $24,900.
Bullet Bird prices are all over the map, serviceable coupes running as low as five grand, while fiberglass-capped sports roadsters typically command prices in the please inquire range. It's up to you to decide if this neither fish-nor-fowl custom is priced commensurate with its uniqueness and desirability. What say you, is it so? Or, is this a bird that is unequivocally not the word?
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