New Blue: Acquiring a 1978 Town landau
By Mike Imaoka
In July, my fellow Chicagoland member, Dan Renda was at the Sycamore car show in Sycamore, Illinois. He spotted a 1978 Thunderbird Town Landau in Midnight Blue. Dan always liked the color of dark blue, and he heard that I was now looking for a nice replacement for my current Blue bird, which I discovered a couple of months earlier, had significant frame and floor board rust, to the point of not being able to be reasonably repaired. Dan called me and gave me the phone number of the owners� uncle. The owner of this Town Landau was Kyle, a college student; he bought the car 2 years earlier because he loved classic American cars, and liked anything of the past, a really cool guy. I contacted his uncle, who later introduced me to Kyle, and assisted to negotiate an agreeable price. Kyle had to sell the t-bird to cover upcoming college expenses, it was a low mileage car that was garaged it whole existence. He only drove the car to school only on nice days above 50 degrees. He never drove it in winter, which made me feel that the t-bird was still being taken care of and driven responsibly.
On Friday, August 16th, I drove my current blue bird to the north side of Chicago to meet my fellow Chicagoland club member, Wayne Dunkleburger, who also owns a 78 t-bird, we looked it over and I took a test drive around the block, the car rode nice and super quiet. I asked Wayne's opinion and he gave 2 thumbs up, he joked that if I wasn�t going to buy it, he might! Later I was with Kyle and his uncle in their house and asked the price. Kyle was amazed that there were other 7th generation t-bird appreciators in the Chicago area. He saw I was taking care of my current bluebird, and told him it was restored 4 years earlier but recently discovered the frame was rusted beyond reasonable repair. His uncle talked with Kyle in the next room for a minute, and reduced the price for me to $4,000. WOW.
So on Saturday, August 17th, I bought my 3rd 1978 Thunderbird and drove it to my local Mobil station to change all the fluids to prepare for the journey to my storage warehouse in Wisconsin. It is currently awaiting repairs of electrical items, which I have scheduled for 2015. These repairs will be done by Rick Nowak, the 1977-1979 tech advisor. Coming this May, my red 1978 thunderbird will become my driver. Old blue will be parted out and the remaining carcass will go to the scrapper. I got 20 years out of her, and the engine has over 250,000 miles. I will miss her.
On August 18, Kyle uncle met me at my apartment and drove me into the north side of Chicago, where Kyle and the car resided. First put up for sale in June, the price was $5,000, but there were no takers, it was reduced in July to $4,500, and there was a person who said he was going to buy it in the first week of August, but never showed up. While riding with his uncle that morning saying he called and said he couldn't get the money that week, can they hold the car until September. had $4,500