As I was cleaning out the basement, I found a bunch of old auto parts I saved from my mechanic days. Most are from 1961-63 Tbirds. When I saw what restored tbirds go for, I decided to buy one and restore it for some extra cash. I found a '63 for $1500 that wasn't in bad shape. The body is intact with no rot whatsoever. The interior was reupholstered with the wrong covers, and the dash pad is shot. The motor was replaced with a '65 or newer engine, but I don't think it'll matter much, judging from the cars I've seen that were sold for over 10 grand. All the chrome is just about perfect, with no pitting or dings, but some of the stainless trim is beat up.
So far, I bought new seat covers, all the stainless trim, a new headliner, a dash pad, trunk liner, carpet and paint for $1400. I rebuilt the brake cylinders for 4 bucks each, and repainted the drums and had them resurfaced for another 25 bucks. I still need a master cylinder and brake booster, which are working fine but rusty. I may go to a newer dual master and disc brakes up front, since I have the entire spindles with brakes from a '66 Galaxy. I also installed a Pertronics electronic ignition for better efficiency, as well as cat converters to reduce pollution. I found the ignition and converters in the garage.
The first step is to competely remove the interior, all stainless trim, bumpers, engine and tranny, gas tank and fuel lines. Then it's time to remove any surface rust, and repair chipping paint, prime the repaired areas, sand it down and tow it to the paint shop. A friend of mine will shoot the whole car, in and out, for $150. It's white, but much too bright. I'll be painting it the original Corinthian white. I think I could get away with putting less than $4000 in the car, so if I get $8000, I'll be happy. In the old days, it would have taken 2 or 3 weeks working 12 hours a day, but I think it will be more like 6 months or more, judging by how long it takes me to build a bike. But then again, this is more or less a mindless project with nothing to fabricate or figure out.
I have to store everything in the garage, which is fulll of bike parts. So I'll be getting rid of a lot of stuff. I posted the preliminary parts list in the for sale forum.