I apologize in advance for not actually taking pictures, so I am going to Bing search images for illustration of this unfortunate find:
(But more in this blue)
Someone is selling a 69 Trans Am here in town, it looks good at a glance, a nice blue with metal flake, and the 350 Badging. I drove past it and it looked pretty clean so I grabbed a buddy and went back to peak around.
The first thing we noticed when we got to it was the paint job. It looked like someone either underpaid, did it themselves, hired an amateur or some combination of the those problems. It was sprayed, but there were obvious lines where the original flatter blue was showing through the flake and clear coat. Not a horrible problem, respray on a good buy and you might have a great car.
Then we walked around a little further to the passenger side C pillar. Rust. Good rust on the window and the wheel well had rusted through the sheet metal. Ouch, at this point Bondo or a cut and replace. OK, still not horrible but the value of this is dropping fast.
Then, still on the passenger side we realize the door isn't lined up right. The gap around the door is uneven. Possibly a tweaked frame? We look a little harder and the trim inside the door on that side is also not square as it hangs off the door by about 1/2 inch. This looks like a side impact, perhaps minor but non the less an impact.
I get under the car at this point, in the parking lot there is plenty of clearance to look for something obvious to tell what frame damage there was. Mostly everything looks square and good here. In fact, first good thing I have seen so far, what looks like a new transmission:
If I had to guess the previous one had a seal fail, as there was what looked like an obvious stream of old oil / transmission fluid that had baked on pretty good. But the bottom of that transmission was as clean as they come.
Optimism started to kick in, if they went through the trouble on a restore / repair hopefully they went ahead and at least rebuilt the stock engine.
While under the car I did find two more signs of trouble though. One the car apparently hasn't been running much in the last couple years. The amount of spiderwebs, leaves and cobwebs looked like a garage had been this cars life for a while. More importantly signs of another mechanical issue. The brake cylinder on one side (Passenger) was caked with layer upon layer of probably brake fluid. It looked like an issue that had been ongoing for years, and as one layer baked on the next layer oozed out.
I get out from under the car, at this point the car is written off. This thing is pretty much CP unless you are willing to tear it apart and rebuild it. We keep looking though, and the rear of the car is weird looking. It isn't flat. It looks like origami. Seriously, the texture closely resembled this:
So again I get on the pavement, and look up, sure enough: Prior to the crappy respray this thing had the rear clip resurfaced with Bondo, loads of bondo. The bottom of the metal had the texture of burned cheese that had been spray painted the same blue metallic flake.
I do one more once around the car, note more rust on the drivers side but not nearly as bad. At least the panels all look square here too. The interior is close to pristine, At a glance through the locked doors, I would give the leather interior (white) an 8/10.
I have written this car off as a CP at just about any price, but what say you all? At what price with the described issues would you consider this a Nice Price?
And if I ever do another one of these, I will take pictures (or try).