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1976 ford elite

ive found/ run accross this guy selling a 1976 ford that he inherited from his mother in law… it was her husbands from new. its only got about 10 to 12 thousand miles always garaged occationally started. wouldnt it be a basket case as far as seals in the mechanical not to mention tires dry rotted… etc…? im guessing its gonna need alot of work… or am i wrong?

You are correct. The tires, if original, are very iffy and dangerous. I would not put 34 year old tires on the road. Also, the seals and hoses are probably just as bad, around the engine, transmission, rear axle, fuel system, etc. This car, once you start driving it again, will leak from anywhere and everywhere. If your handy with cars and looking for a hobby, this would be a find. If you need the skills of a mechanic, this will be a money pit.

If you buy this car, plan on spending some time and money on it. All the dried out gaskets will probably start leaking when you get it running.

If the gasoline is old (guaranteed) the fuel system may be gummed up. The rubber components will need replacement. The list goes on and on.

And then you’d have to look at it every day.

I’m not that familiar with a Ford “Elite”, but Fords from the mid 70’s are perhaps the worst era of cars ever built. The quality was poor overall, the bodies rusted very fast, and the motors ran poorly due to added on pollution controls. Oh, and they got horrible gas mileage.

If you love the look of this thing and you have money and time to invest in restoring it, then have at it for fun. Pretty much every rubber part it going or gone bad already. That’s motor mounts, trans mounts, brake lines, hoses, belts, all sorts of vacuum lines. The tires are the easiest rubber to replace, and they shouldn’t be depended on to be safe.

You are right it is going to need a lot of work.

This will cost lots to put right, and won’t be worth much when you’re done (less than you’ll put in, most likely). And when you’re done, you’ll have a big old tank from the worst period of American carmaking. Unless this is a special car to you, unless you really love this model, save your money.

Look something like this?

It’ll definitely be a lot of work. But if you’re interested in learning about cars, have some money to spend, and can get a good price I would go for it. It’s rare to find such a car with such low miles and was garage kept. My family owned a Ford Torina of the same year and it was a decent car; I believe they’re related and vaguely remember marketing from the time calling them Grand Torino Elites.

At the very minimum… Tires, belts, and hoses will have to go and expect gaskets to be shot and various gummed up fluids. The vast majority of the work you’ll be able to do yourself but it will take a lot of time.

The real problem is, after you spend two or three grand making it road-worthy, it’s still a '76 Torino…A Smog Sled…Of course, if it’s rust-free and you de-smogged it…