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Thread: My totaled '89 SC Daily Driver

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    Roanoke, Virginia
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    My totaled '89 SC Daily Driver

    Thankfully this post is about the 1989 5spd daily driver w/ 215k...not my 1995 SC...hope I didn't alarm anyone who knows my garage.

    Short story, driving home from work, while traveling 60 an elderly guy decided to pull out blindly in front of me after he says his wife said it was clear. Needless too avoid hitting him full on t-bone I brake hard, car fish tailed...on the correction swing (car at this point was ~~~ in fast lane, front in slow) a 2012 Jeep wrangler clipped the front fender area sending him off road and the bird looking lifeless.

    Thank the lord no one was hurt - the accident was 1 mile or less from where I took out a guard rail with my Mustang 3 years prior, so was a bit dejevu like in a way... The trooper is a friend of mine so he was pretty cool about things, and strangely the Jeep I hit was also someone I knew from my years as a Bouncer so it was less nerve racking in a way...learned that the old guy was actually responsible for all damages since he caused the chain reaction of events. I figured I would be at fault given his car had no damage since I made moves to avoid something much worse.

    As of right now the car tracks straight with the wheel turned 90 degrees to the left. Given the mileage I am sure it is spent. Last weekend I finally put the 94+ cover I bought from Smitty at the shootout and 94+ trunk, tail lights and a cervini spoiler on it...figures that this would happen now considering.


    Anyone have an idea on values for an 89 KBB.com only shows 92 or newer.

    -Tim
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Last edited by Tim Groth; 05-02-2016 at 12:15 PM.
    Current Collection
    1994 Thunderbird SC - Auto converted to 5spd

    1995 Thunderbird SC - Auto

    1994 Thunderbird SC - 5spd
    1989 Thunderbird SC - 5spd - Daily Driver
    1990 Thunder/Cougar XR7 - 5spd
    1994 Thunderbird SC - 3v Project

  2. #2
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    Ouch....glad you're ok.

    NADA has used prices for all years SCs.

    http://www.nadaguides.com

  3. #3
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    Get a qoute from grundy tim the 89 is over 25 yrs old and considered a ligit classic. Glad your ok bud.
    MEMBER #2488 best rwhp 504 485 torque
    2016 shootout Best of show award
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    http://www.sccoa.com/forums/garage.p...e_view&id=7152

  4. #4
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    Glad you're ok! Fix that thing and keep driving it.
    ~Chris
    SCCoA Member #1826
    Bettie Riding jack stands
    SCARlet on drag duty now

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Tinton Falls, NJ
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    The insurance company isn't going to use any of those books or guides anyway, so looking it up won't help you much. There are a few things you can do to get the most out of it though. This is probably going to sound a little crazy, but before they come to inspect the car
    -Put matching wheels with good tread tires on them. It doesn't matter if the tires are old and dry-rotted, or if they are the cheapest chinese brand you can buy, as long as they have good tread.
    -Swap your stock trunk and bumper back onto it. The way they will look at it, the paint doesn't match and your lock cylinder is missing and trim on the bumper cover are missing. They won't see the more desireable parts as an upgrade.
    -Detail the interior. Vacuum the carpets, remove any garbage or old papers from the car, use some leather conditioner on the dash, seats, door panels, steering wheel, etc.
    -Make sure the oil is clean and full, and if possible, do a quick detail/power-wash of the top end of the engine.

    It may seem like a waste to do all this on a car you know to be totalled, but all of the conditioning affects the value, and when the adjuster, who knows nothing about SCs comes up on the car, you want him to think this is a clean well maintained car, and not a daily beater.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLOWN38 View Post
    Glad you're ok! Fix that thing and keep driving it.
    I looked at it more this morning, at 11pm last night after I got home from the accident I wrote this post. I took a measuring tape to it this morning to see what we have. Everything is shifted to the driverside about 4 inches however the core supports all look straight. The metal bumper is jacked as expected. The area in the engine bay where the air box would be is wrinkled up pretty good. Also with the impact it must have swong me back around straight, so I have Tire Rubbing marks on the rear corner where it must have clipped the Jeeps back tires...Nascar lookin'...dented that area some as well.

    Again it will be totalled - but I'll buy it back and then take a weekend making it whole again I suppose. It doesn't have to be pretty as it's not the cars purpose anyways. Just additional stress to add to the hecktic life of wedding planning/house purchasing/moving etc.

    Oh also last night it was making a ticking sound while driving...found that to be the radiator fan.. the plastic shroud mounts broke and it was laying on the water pump.

    I'll post more pictures shortly.

    -Tim
    Current Collection
    1994 Thunderbird SC - Auto converted to 5spd

    1995 Thunderbird SC - Auto

    1994 Thunderbird SC - 5spd
    1989 Thunderbird SC - 5spd - Daily Driver
    1990 Thunder/Cougar XR7 - 5spd
    1994 Thunderbird SC - 3v Project

  7. #7
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    Few pictures... the drives side tire was straight when the picture was taken so suspension is tweeked for sure.

    -Tim
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Current Collection
    1994 Thunderbird SC - Auto converted to 5spd

    1995 Thunderbird SC - Auto

    1994 Thunderbird SC - 5spd
    1989 Thunderbird SC - 5spd - Daily Driver
    1990 Thunder/Cougar XR7 - 5spd
    1994 Thunderbird SC - 3v Project

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
    The insurance company isn't going to use any of those books or guides anyway, so looking it up won't help you much. There are a few things you can do to get the most out of it though. This is probably going to sound a little crazy, but before they come to inspect the car
    -Put matching wheels with good tread tires on them. It doesn't matter if the tires are old and dry-rotted, or if they are the cheapest chinese brand you can buy, as long as they have good tread.
    -Swap your stock trunk and bumper back onto it. The way they will look at it, the paint doesn't match and your lock cylinder is missing and trim on the bumper cover are missing. They won't see the more desireable parts as an upgrade.
    -Detail the interior. Vacuum the carpets, remove any garbage or old papers from the car, use some leather conditioner on the dash, seats, door panels, steering wheel, etc.
    -Make sure the oil is clean and full, and if possible, do a quick detail/power-wash of the top end of the engine.

    It may seem like a waste to do all this on a car you know to be totalled, but all of the conditioning affects the value, and when the adjuster, who knows nothing about SCs comes up on the car, you want him to think this is a clean well maintained car, and not a daily beater.
    This car is nothing more than a commutor/truck in how its used/treated. Has no headliner/sailpanels 75% of the power features are obsolete...I planned to swap 94+ interior panels into it to spruce it up but it hasn't been priority. I suppose I will work on doing this this weekend to infact polish a turd to help the cause. Th mis matching wheel combo was to pass inspection - the rears have good tread from a parts car...I can easily get that swapped around.

    -Tim
    Last edited by Tim Groth; 04-16-2015 at 11:49 AM.
    Current Collection
    1994 Thunderbird SC - Auto converted to 5spd

    1995 Thunderbird SC - Auto

    1994 Thunderbird SC - 5spd
    1989 Thunderbird SC - 5spd - Daily Driver
    1990 Thunder/Cougar XR7 - 5spd
    1994 Thunderbird SC - 3v Project

  9. #9
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    Eastern (nee Western) PA
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    Ouch, that stinks. It almost looks fine in the pictures, but the gap between hood and fender was my clue that all is not well underneath. I wouldn't have guessed that it was shifted 4 inches, though. That's gonna take a little time with a come-along to make it right. Or if used as a parts car, well, that's ok too.

    I hope you get at least $1500 out of it.
    God bless!!!

    1990 SC auto ... red outside, gray cloth inside ... ~205,000 miles (and climbing) ... driven daily!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by S_Mazza View Post
    Ouch, that stinks. It almost looks fine in the pictures, but the gap between hood and fender was my clue that all is not well underneath. I wouldn't have guessed that it was shifted 4 inches, though. That's gonna take a little time with a come-along to make it right. Or if used as a parts car, well, that's ok too.

    I hope you get at least $1500 out of it.
    The real tell-tale sign of how much it moved is looking at the front bumper to the hood. The lip on the bumper cover that is supposed to line up perfectly with the lip on the hood is clearly over 4-6", which means the bumper reinforcement needs to be over that far, which means the frame rails need to be bent pretty far over too.

  11. #11
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    Glad your ok Tim Tim!!!! Also not good being that it is around your Birthday
    Tom Downs-member#2752
    MPX'd 90 SC Auto~bought Feb. 2012
    http://www.sccoa.com/forums/garage_v...vehicle&id=424

  12. #12
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    Jul 2002
    Location
    Roanoke, Virginia
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    Well day 6 of this process...today the adjuster comes to evaluate the damnage and place a value on the car. When speaking to the adjuster on the phone yesterday I asked him to explain what they do to place a value on a 1989 Thunderbird SC...he said, "well generally they will give you the high NADA values..." of course I laughed and said well that is shown at $10,200 for this car given it has collector value. That response then changed his tune to, "they will base value of the car on recent sales of the same car within a 150mi radius". Once again I laughed and responded with a I doubt people are rushing out to purchase 1989 Thunderbird SC's...truth be if they did find sales it would most likely be purchases I made in the area .

    Also they've yet to get ahold of the 80 year policy holder who caused the wreck to get his statement of fault. They've requested a police report of the accident to use as a legal document to place fault on the policy holder...for some reason that process is also being delayed. Needless I am still without a rental car here going on a week since the accident, given they don't hand out rental cars until they are certain their policy holder is at fault. This entire situation is for the birds!

    Hopefully some good news will come soon

    -Tim
    Last edited by Tim Groth; 04-21-2015 at 08:52 AM.
    Current Collection
    1994 Thunderbird SC - Auto converted to 5spd

    1995 Thunderbird SC - Auto

    1994 Thunderbird SC - 5spd
    1989 Thunderbird SC - 5spd - Daily Driver
    1990 Thunder/Cougar XR7 - 5spd
    1994 Thunderbird SC - 3v Project

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Tinton Falls, NJ
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    If you need to rent a car, they would owe you for the rental from when you got into it until the claim is resolved, only thing is you'll have to pay for it up front and get reimbursed once they finalize the liability investigation. The only catch with this is if they put some amount of fault on you, then you may be liable for some of the rental charges, so unless you are 100% sure it is entirely the other party's fault, there can be some risk of doing that. This is actually my job, and while every state is a little different, I know how it is all handled up here in NJ at least, and the way we do it is the recent sales of the same vehicle based on your zip code and moving out in a circle starting within 25 miles of you, and going as far as we have to to get a decent sample size. If it was a 5-year old Camry, then we would be only looking at cars right near you. For an 89 SC, they will probably be expanding the search area pretty large. Just make sure they don't use any LX tbirds to compare it to. They may try to do that and add for the "SC package", which will probably skew the value way low. Insist that they only compare it to other SCs that are for sale, or have recently sold. If you want to post a PDF of the valuation report when you get it back, I can look it over for you, since sometimes they can be a little cryptic.

  14. #14
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    I wouldn't have talked him out of the high retail price.

    You're a salesman, Tim. Sell that baby at a high price. lol
    ~Chris
    SCCoA Member #1826
    Bettie Riding jack stands
    SCARlet on drag duty now

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLOWN38 View Post
    I wouldn't have talked him out of the high retail price.

    You're a salesman, Tim. Sell that baby at a high price. lol
    Well he is some 3rd party guy doing the assessment (given the insurance company is based out of Frankenmuth MI). My primary objective is to make sure the Michigan Agent working the claim understands this is a SOLID SOUTHERN car and not a rusted out bucket (as it would be in Michigan). I am sure the mindset has to be the car is a bucket given the sounds of saying it's a 1989 Thunderbird w/ 215k over the phone.

    Looking on Autotrader, ebay and well this forum...truely a 5spd SC of any year seems to bring 2500 to 3K unless it's along the lines of a "project"...I wouldn't call this car a "project" so I certainly hope thats understood. It has 215K miles for it's been serviced over the years. Also trying to locate a 1989 SC is like a needle in the haystack too...I am courious if they will use data from 89-93 for comparisons...the one's I do find are low mileage show room quality or complete projects that have sank into the earth from not moving for 10 years. Should be interesting to see the returned dollar figure.

    -Tim
    Current Collection
    1994 Thunderbird SC - Auto converted to 5spd

    1995 Thunderbird SC - Auto

    1994 Thunderbird SC - 5spd
    1989 Thunderbird SC - 5spd - Daily Driver
    1990 Thunder/Cougar XR7 - 5spd
    1994 Thunderbird SC - 3v Project

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