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I'm looking at a Shay Tbird from 1981. What is the most likely frame used for this Unit? Investigating the VIN I see the engine is not original, the 4 cylinder has been replaced with a 302 V8, how does that affect the value? Are replacement parts easy to come by? I have a real 57 Tbird and I'm sure my Tbird sources couldn't help on this one.
An 81 is probably a Shay, not being able to see the car or what the interior looks like. There were other makers of replica T-birds at that time.
The chassis would be Ford, the frame would be a custom "X" shaped frame. The 302 was an option, along with automatic tranny. With the 302 option you would have a heavy duty suspension, battery and radiator as mandatory.
A super deluxe would have all of the following; Power steering and brakes, tinted glass, tach, clock, spoked wheel covers, intermittant wipers, fender skirts, covertible top, V-8, Power seats and windows, auto tranny, cruise control and tilt steering wheel. These additions and options were subject to change, as was typical with Shay production.
There are some people that have swapped out the 4 banger for the V-8.
IF the interior is original, the large guages will say Shay's A, while some of the clock's and tach's would have Shay's T on them, but not all.
I would be curious as to what the interior is like on this bird and any pics you might have.
Value on a Shay is relative. I would feel anything under 15-16K would be a bargain. Often it boils down to what you are willing to give for it. More information might help to give you a better idea of pricing.
Drive train parts are easy to come by for the most part, but body and interior are difficult to obtain. Regal Thunderbirds in Wisconsin builds custom birds, and they might be able to fabricate repalcement parts, but they would be expensive, in my opinion.
Don, the exterior is in very rough condition, it has definitely sat outside for a while. The driver door doesn't close and there is some fiberglass damage to that door for sure.
As best I can tell the interior is in decent shape and it appears to be in tact. I'm not an expert on these cars. The gauges all had Shay on them. I haven't seen the trunk yet, I may make an appt to hear it run. The current owner has beefed up the V8 and it has lots of chrome on it.
I'm just not sure it is worth the asking price for the condition. I suspect there is at least $5-6k in body work to be done.
You mention a $15-16k figure. Is that a good value for one in good to excellent condition? This one definitely isn't in good condition right now. To me I'm buying the engine, the rest has to be worked on, unless I would keep it in the unrestored category.
A complete fiberglass redo/painting (repair damage, stress cracks, straighten door ect)will cost you $5K to $10K depending on the severity of the damage and paint problems. I would say $8K max price based strictly on what you have told me, barring any mechanical issues, and if has sat outside, the mechanical condition could be a problem.
Again, pictures could help and if you have any and you can email them to me that would be great.
I don't have any pictures to share. It is only my perception. Its possible the car sat in a covered barn or something and not necessarily outside. The paint is very dull, but the bumpers aren't too rusted. Maybe it just sat in a dirty barn most of the time. From what I found out in investigation a very good to mint condition car would bring from $14-16k, based on Hemmings and a few other auction houses I visited.
Maybe I'll make a ridiculous offer and see what happens.
Thank you for the information.