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I'm the proud owner of a beautiful, near-mint condition light blue 1979 Thunderbird Heritage with 102,000 miles. It has power everything, and it all works. The interior is in immaculate condition and I just finished a cross country drive from Florida to California in it- with no problems at all!!!

Problem is, someone slammed onto their brakes last week and I didn't have time to stop.... sadly, I rear-ended them. My insurance company has agreed to fix my car completely, but what could I expect if they decide to total the car?

They said they go by the Kelly Blue Book value and of other cars in my area but there really aren't many at all. I've seen 1 in the past month like mine, and it wasn't the Heritage.

Any ideas on it's value for zip code 90046?


THANKS VERY MUCH for any help.... !

(Click on the blue link below for some pics of my car.)


Pictures by 2011shawn - Photobucket
 

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You will have to get an independent appraisal. Kelly blue book, green book,purpel book,
orange book, or any color book only goes back 10 years. According to the blue book
your car is not listed. It has used up it's life. It's worth nothing. It's called " actual cash
value " that you have to get for that car. It's old enough that it is worth very little but not old enough to be worth a lot. It is not a popular car. It's BIG. Our insurance co. does not use any book. They use actual cash value. Up here you might get $1500.00.
the next guy with the same car might get $300.00. The next guy with the same car in
very good shape might get $3000.00. Can you buy it back ?
 

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The KBB has a collector's car guide which lists this car in it. I'll buy it and see, however whether or not I'll get Actual Cash Value on the car is interesting. I do have the option of buying it back. It is large, but still much smaller than the 1976 model and it gets tons of attention and compliments- the light blue with the navy blue interior is actually striking, if I can say so. Funny, this model was the best selling TBird of all time.

It's an acquired taste for sure.
 

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Hi, buy the parts and fix it yourself. Don't even bother with your insurance company.....oooops too late. The car looks good and the damage doesn't look that bad.
 

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If you have regular insurance the likelyhood they'll fix it is slim. They'll total it. Collector car insurance like Haggerty or Grundy would make every attempt to facilitate fixing it. KBB doesn't have online values beyond 1991. NADA does however, and they're pretty close to the correct value.

1979 Thunderbird Heritage Goes for Low Retail $2,625, Average Retail $4,150, High Retail $5,250. Add 15% to each price if you have a 351 V8, 10% if you have A/C. They do not ask for a ZIP code for collector cars.

They made around 200,000 79's, many have probably been scrapped, but there's probably enough still floating around, The T-Bird Ranch deals with T-Bird parts, give them a call about the parts.

Thunderbird Ranch
 

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Thanks TBird100636 for the info.

I'm printing out all comparable sells of the car in the last year or so and also the NADA pricing guide to show the adjuster. My guess is that he won't be familiar with the car at all and might try to lowball me for it's value.

I'll negotiate a settlement if I'm given one and think it's not fair...

Does anyone happen to have a KBB Classic Car Guide? I've called around but I no book stores sell them... argh.
 

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Thanks TBird100636 for the info.

I'm printing out all comparable sells of the car in the last year or so and also the NADA pricing guide to show the adjuster. My guess is that he won't be familiar with the car at all and might try to lowball me for it's value.

I'll negotiate a settlement if I'm given one and think it's not fair...

Does anyone happen to have a KBB Classic Car Guide? I've called around but I no book stores sell them... argh.
From KBB.com's FAQ section:
4. My car is more than 21 years old and isn't listed on the site. How do I find its value?
Our Early Model Guide, Collector's Edition addresses vehicles older than 21 years back to 1946, and gives a range of retail values from fair to excellent condition. Unfortunately this information is not available via our site at this time; the Early Model Car Guide is offered by annual subscription, or you may also order a single book or a certified copy of a particular value in the book. If you would like to place an order, please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-258-3266, option 2. If you do not wish to subscribe, this publication can often be found at libraries or credit unions.
and
7. I totaled my car. How can I find the insurance company's total loss value?
Insurance company policies vary quite a bit, but generally insurance adjusters try to determine the replacement value for a vehicle that has been totaled as a value somewhere between Wholesale and Retail. They may also research comparable vehicles that have sold in your area to help determine a fair price. You could average the Trade-In Value with the Suggested Retail of your vehicle and use the resulting value as a reference point for determining replacement value. Please note that insurance companies do not have any obligation to use Kelley Blue Book pricing to determine replacement values. Insurance companies use Kelley Blue Book as a reference and will set their own policies as to which values they use.
 

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Hey all-

Met with the Insurance Adjuster today. Immediately he said that there was over 1000.00 worth of damage. And since the car is 32 years old, any damage amount over 1000 and they would total it out.

So, it's being totaled... :BW:

I guess now, once I get their offer on what the car is worth then I can counter offer? I have the option of keeping the car and in that case they would subtract from the payout amount the price that they think they would be able to get for it at a salvage auction.

I'm not sure what to expect. the KBB and NADA each put the car around 45-5500 for a car in my condition. I'm assuming they will try to lowball me? They're a MAJOR Insurance Company tho.
 

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Hey all-

Met with the Insurance Adjuster today. Immediately he said that there was over 1000.00 worth of damage. And since the car is 32 years old, any damage amount over 1000 and they would total it out.

So, it's being totaled... :BW:

I guess now, once I get their offer on what the car is worth then I can counter offer? I have the option of keeping the car and in that case they would subtract from the payout amount the price that they think they would be able to get for it at a salvage auction.

I'm not sure what to expect. the KBB and NADA each put the car around 45-5500 for a car in my condition. I'm assuming they will try to lowball me? They're a MAJOR Insurance Company tho.
They'll probably low-ball you on the settlement. You can try to argue it up, but I doubt you'll get the full amount. Usually they give you the check, and to buy back the car you give the check back. Any chance you can cancel the claim???
 

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What did you end up doing with the 79 Situation???
 

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I'm a bit slow on the reply by 5 years, but I ended up settling with the insurance co for 4650.oo, AND got to keep the car. Sold it to a gent up near Oahi CA that already owned one... He was going to repair it.

Had the insurance company taken it, it'd have met the recycler for sure.
NO WAY that was happening.

But in the meantime I haven't been able to forget the car, and I have my eye on another that I'm looking to get... Will keep u guys updated.
 
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