'65 Original Owner unbelievable tragedy - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy '65 Original Owner unbelievable tragedy

Hello fellow CM lovers,

First, apologies for the melodramatic post title and long post. But people say and do crazy stuff when they're grieving.

My almost 80 father purchased a new 3spd 289 green coupe in Dallas in 1965. We've had it ever since.

HISTORY:

My dad was a new husband contemplating having a family in '65. The Mustang served the family well in the 60's-70's. They kept it as a second car in the 80's and it became my high school and college car. I loved the car like the brother even though there were plenty of mechanical challenges along the way.

But I love that car. It's been with me my entire life. It's a huge part of my bond with father.

RESO/MODS:

Part of why I've never posted or gone to local shows is that we made some tough choices in the 90's. Yes, we could have kept it completely original. But if you've ever crawled under a car in 100+ heat to reattach the linkage, you know original ain't all it's cracked up to be. So we made the decision to change the tranny in the early 00's. After that, the car became fun to drive.

Since his retirement, my dad decided to go for everything he wanted in that car. Pony interior. Rebuilt engine. Every tiny rust spot arrested. Honestly, I lost track of everything he did, but I know he'd made it the best version of our car that had ever been.

So May 2019, all the mods/restos were done. But it wouldn't start when I went to take it to a concert. Probably the starter which is common so we took it back to PM Standly. It was there while my dad and I were out of town.

WTF / RIP:

We're told an employee of PM Standley drove a customer's truck into the side of our Mustang. Our Mustang was rammed into another classic Mustang. That Mustang was rammed into a classic Corvette. The 'Vette was rammed into the wall. Mind you, this was INDOORS Our Mustang took most of the damage.

The dealer had our Mustang towed to a class restorer. After a couple of weeks the verdict was that the frame took too much damage. So they're looking for a donor frame. And they intend to cobble the few remaining viable parts of our car on to a donor frame.

BUT if they do, it will have a new VIN and no longer be an original owner Mustang. And frankly, it won't be our car anymore. It'll be a different car with a few of our old parts.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO??

When you have an emotional attachment to something that's been a part of your life for 50+ years, you have no perspective or rational thoughts as to next steps. My dad is in poor health and this was his ONE hobby and a huge source of joy and pride. This was our bond as father and daughter. There is no way to make this right. But I would appreciate:

1) leads on Nationally recognized appraisers who'd be willing to testify in Dallas (we have the money to fight)
2) what we should do with the Mustang (which feels bizarrely similar to asking about what to do about a brain dead family member -- and yes, I've been in that situation)
3) thoughts on settlement (fortunately PM Standley has pretty deep pockets)

I wish I was posting under better circumstances and apologize for not sharing our beloved car before all this happened. Thank you so much for your input.

<3 Allison
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 02:11 PM
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I would lawyer up- and have "my" mustang fixed. You can get all the parts- I wouldn't care how much it took (time wise or money) I want MY car fixed not someone elses car- MINE. From just the one pic I see it doesn't look that bad- if its rust free it shouldn't be that hard. Not sure about Tx law or how that works. It might cost some out of your pocket- but if it has that kind of sentimental value I would fight like hell and never give up. Dont forget to let insurance know you will post this all over the internet and Facebook. (they usually hate that)
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 02:27 PM
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Mustangs don't have "frames" so I'm assuming you mean the entire floor and firewall assembly?

Need better pictures. I'm having a hard time believing whatever "frame" or floor/firewall damage can't be pulled out. Is the floor buckled? Is the A-pillar or roof line twisted at all?

It looks like the door/fender took most of the hit. Maybe some firewall/A pillar damage.

My guess is they're going to try to pick up a solid coupe for a couple grand and "swap all your parts over" to save money. Are they involving insurance or paying out of pocket?


If you have a classic insurance company (Hagerty or Grundy, etc) get them involved. They are there to help you.

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzahm View Post
I would lawyer up- and have "my" mustang fixed. You can get all the parts- I wouldn't care how much it took (time wise or money) I want MY car fixed not someone elses car- MINE. From just the one pic I see it doesn't look that bad- if its rust free it shouldn't be that hard. Not sure about Tx law or how that works. It might cost some out of your pocket- but if it has that kind of sentimental value I would fight like hell and never give up. Dont forget to let insurance know you will post this all over the internet and Facebook. (they usually hate that)
^^^^^ THIS TIMES TEN ^^^^^
If my car burned to the ground, I would rebuild it.
If it was tumbled by a tornado, I would rebuild it.
If it was stolen, totaled, stripped, recovered and bare bones... yep. I'd rebuild it. With whatever I had left with whatever I had to have to make it whole.
Have PM Standley's lawyers and insurance company make it RIGHT with NOS or the finest original parts their money can buy and compensate you for your time spent on the newest adventure for you and your Dad, finding the parts and the best labor and paint to make it what he did, maybe even better.

And tell him I said, "Happy Father's Day. "

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 02:50 PM
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Looks like the car had some goofy Aftermarket Side trim.. Guess that is trash now...No loss. Time to turn lemons into Lemonade! Turn that frown upside down! It's a good time to pull off all that cheezy aftermarket side trim and weld up all of the dopey non-original holes. I look at this as a chance to make the car even better...

We need better pics of the car front, sides and rear so we can give you a better estimate..

There are good body people out there that can bring the car back from the dead. No worries. I've seen way worse damage than this....This is nothing... New door, New fender, Maybe a side cowl Panel...etc...

Just another good example of do your own work on your car if at all possible. When you leave your car with others...Anything can happen...even the worst..

PS: Lucky for them The Damage just missed the rocker panels.....A big $$$ savings..

Thanks,

Tony K.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 02:53 PM
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEFaurora View Post

PS: Lucky for them The Damage just missed the rocker panels.....A big $$$ savings..

Thanks,

Tony K.

That's what I'm seeing and why I'm so confused on the "frame replacement". At worst, the cowl needs to be pulled back out or replaced.

Now she did say it was pushed into another car on the other side, but how fast was this guy backing up indoors? Sheesh.

I had a 5K estimate to have body panels replaced (including the roof skin) and repainted on my (brand new at the time) silverado from heavy hail damage. I didn't want to lose the original paint (I keep my vehicles 10+years) so I had my very talented PDR friend repair my truck. My truck alone took him and a co-worker an entire week, but it's dent free with original paint.

My point, don't take their word as gospel, they're just looking for the cheapest way out.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 03:26 PM
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Regular insurance isn't going to want to fix it if there is unibody damage. From those pics it looks like the front rails could be bent. If that's the case the car will need to be completely blown apart, metal work, paint and reassembled at a minimum. You'll either need to contact your insurance company and see what to do and if that fails you'll need to get an attorney. Dealing with a classic car is different than a late model driver in terms of insurance and valuation. You'll need someone as your advocate.

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 03:28 PM
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Knew a guy around 7-8 Years ago here in Melbourne, FL...who is still around....Still see him at shows once and awhile...who owns a low Mileage Original Pony Interior 1966 Springtime Yellow Convertible with all 100% Original paint on the car. No lie. Anyway, He was leaving a show one day like six years ago...and another person at the show backed their car into his Original Paint Driver's side door... You can't even imagine how the guy felt.. Now he has a sign that says 90% Original paint.....lol.. Basically, He had the paint matched up and door repaired and went on with life. He still attends every show he can...and we're happy to have him there. His license plate has always read "ORIGINUL"....spelled incorrectly of course...

I've seen shows where high end vintage Ferraris and Porsche's have been damaged... The high end owners just repair it and go on with life..

I suggest that everyone do the same... There's really nothing you can do about it anyway....

I look at it as an opportunity to make improvements to the car..... That's my take on it...

They're only original once!....lol...

)

Tony K.



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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 03:30 PM
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a) Find an EXPERIENCED Mustang restorer in your area to evaluate and estimate the cost of repair.

b) Retain an attorney practicing the appropriate law to fight for you.

c) Report the loss to your insurance company, along with PM Standly's insurance information.

Just be aware that you'll have a fight on your hands regarding the value of the car in relation to whether it's declared a "total loss", which doesn't mean you have to accept that, either. See b) above.

Bart

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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 03:30 PM
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We can only see the 1 photo of the damage, so it is hard to make a real decision. But, I have seen people on this forum do some pretty amazing things with their Mustangs. All the parts are available to make an entirely new Mustang from scratch, so I am sure yours can be fixed. The only issue would be the cost to have it done. If having a different VIN on the car devalues that car that much, then that is the angle I would go after the insurance Co with. But I think a lot of that also depends on the original value of the car and the type of insurance you have.

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 03:34 PM
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Honestly with what's available out there for vintage mustang parts, I see no reason why even the worst damage couldn't be repaired, however its the cost that would stop most people. From an appraisal perspective, there's no doubt from your post that the car is worth more to your family than its actual value and it's very probable that its appraised value is far less than the cost to repair the car. Even the most recognized appraiser cant get a $50k damage payout for a $12k car.

As I see it, your families issue is deciding how much you're willing to contribute on top of the settlement to have your beloved car back and driveable.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison Mathews View Post

BUT if they do, it will have a new VIN and no longer be an original owner Mustang. And frankly, it won't be our car anymore. It'll be a different car with a few of our old parts.
You seem to have a better grasp on this than many long time Classic Mustang owners...

Yes, what they're proposing with a "donor frame" is to give you a different car to make good for the damage. Taking parts from yours changes nothing. If you can live with your dad's car being recycled into a Walmart appliance, then by all means accept the replacement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison Mathews View Post

WHAT WOULD YOU DO??
Not sure. I guess I'd read carefully all the above advice. I'd also consider having dad's Mustang moved to a different shop. As others have said, there's not much on a classic Mustang that can't be done with less than extraordinary effort.

TBH, if it was my dad's car and if I could afford it, I'd pay the difference if that became the last option.

Good luck.

John

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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 05:20 PM
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What would I do? Get over it then get all the $$ you can. Be glad this so called tragedy involved an inanimate object and that you will get anything since there are so many scenarios where you might not. You are lucky that it was an auto vs auto accident. If the roof caved in it might get left to whatever insurance ya'll had on it.

Skip the lawsuits and appraisers, go to Mecuminfo.net and search through the thousands of similar Mustangs sold and you'll see plenty of well documented cars and what they sold in public for. Add 8% to the average high and let that be your demand.

Talk lawyers and courts then add fees and costs and sentimental value goes out the window like ethics in the White House. The best you will ever get is high(ish) market value and a few ancillaries, you can't "make them fix it" or collect pain and suffering!

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 05:23 PM
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Tell the "class restorer" that a new frame is available.

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