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Author Topic: Saw the MC-7  (Read 4963 times)
thejumpsuitman
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« on: November 06, 2009, 06:43:43 PM »

First, thanks for all your input on the MC-7.  We finally went to see it...

The details were sketchy until today.  It is indeed a confirmed McDonald's coach.  "Big Mac #1".  The first such coach ordered by Ray Kroc for 1970.  He said it was featured in some magazine back in the 70's.  The parts bus is also a McDonald's Coach.

This gentleman has owned over 30 coaches, using them for his business and parlaying a few.  He bought these two because of their interesting history.  He has owned them for 15 years and has put just 15K miles on this one.  He was planning to restore the other bus, which he now considers a parts bus.  The engine is missing from it, but in preparation for it's restoration, he bought a rebuilt zero mile 6 Speed Allison transmission for it is which is not installed.  It is included in the deal.

The good bus has a nice body.  No real rust that I can see at all.  (I didn't realize the MC-7's body was all aluminum).  Everything looks tight.  It has some dings and scratches and a couple cracked side windows, and of course, the paints is shot.  It looks like the vista windows were heavily gooped up, but he said they had not leaked on him.  Looks like some water got through before, though, as the valance was water stained and the ceiling vinyl had peeled away right in front of the windows.  There is also one spot on the laminate wall in the bathroom that is a little buckled.  Probably water encroachment from the side window.  The front 2 drive tires are low and dry, but he has 2 good ones in the cargo bays.  

He said he stopped using the coach last year the day the main air distribution valve got hung, releasing all the air.  He has a friend who owns a charter company in the town he lives in, and that is where the bus is sitting.  He said all the scheduled maintenance was done by the charter company.  

I got to talk with him for quite a while, and he says he has simply lost interest in it at this stage in his life.  He is 70 years old and retired other than serving on boards of charitable organizations.  He seems like a no-nonsense guy and seems to really care about the coach  He said he could make a single phone call and have the buses gone in a day, but he doesn't want to see it parted out.  I actually believe him.  

The batteries were down, so I was not able to hear it run today, but he said he has never had any major trouble with it other than having to rebuild the coach air conditioning compressor.  He also said that the engine has had a short block replacement sometime in it's history.  

I wish I had known it wasn't running.  I would have asked him to get the batteries charged.  Since he stopped using it a year ago, whatever ill effects sitting for a year might cause could be an issue... old diesel?

The interesting thing about the coach is how the interior struck us.  It is nice, but has a very utilitarian, industrial feel to it.  And the gray and blue color scheme makes it seem cold.  Undecided With the dove gray laminate throughout the coach, you can forget incorporating any wood in a mild remodel.  Anything but more light gray laminate would really clash.  You are really tied to the existing floorplan and that gray color.  The royal blue is pretty ugly in person, and as you might imagine, was a major turn off to the wife.  She did, however, like all the cup holders. (Well, that's what's important)  Grin  EVERY SINGLE door, drawer and bin has a key lock.  Again, makes for a very industrial, commercial look.  

By my count, the coach will easily seat 19 passengers, maybe more.  It was clearly a day coach.  The layout and limiting color scheme really left us wondering if we would be able to come up with a remodel that we would be happy with...  Didn't see that coming!

It is a nice bus with a low mileage chassis, and I have no reason to doubt it runs like he says.  And again, if I got serious, my friend in Alabama would give it the once over.  I would, of course, need for the distribution valve to be fixed and drive it if we got to that point, but right now, we are trying to decide if we even really like it enough to go that far...  

We will be thinking, talking, and praying.  We'll see.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2009, 04:38:07 AM by thejumpsuitman » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2009, 07:39:29 PM »

Marc,

It sure would have been nice to hear it run. Lesson learned? Tell the owner to have the batteries charged because you want to hear it run!  Wink You would think that a seller would at least have it ready to start up knowing you are making a long drive to look at it  Roll Eyes I'm not sure if I would take that as someone trying to hide something or is just not that enthused if he sells it or not. Or possibly just did not think about it.

FWIW
Bryan
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thejumpsuitman
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2009, 07:44:38 PM »

Yeah, lesson learned.  Don't assume what should be obvious.  I think is he more or less indifferent about selling it.  He seemed to be more interested in telling me stories and talking about his charity work than talking about the bus.  Nice guy, though. 
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2009, 08:03:01 PM »

Yup, Marc. I have met those kind of fellers. They just want to talk.

You going to ask him to charge the batteries, and head over there next weekend? I think that you could change a lot of the stuff.

Don't loose hope, but don't jump in where ya shouldn't. Might be infested with gators, be to shallow, a submerged rock, ya get the picture.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2009, 08:23:30 PM »

Marc,

The wall channel that runs vert under the windows gets all the water that collects on the windows.  It runs down to the steel joint at the floor.  12 inches to each side and up the brace gets dissolved in the worst cases I have seen pics posted.  Common problem with the 9 and I assume with the 7. That bus is almost assuredly insulated with fiberglass bats.  Truly a bad deal there.  The stuff seems to draw water and stays wet for a long long time.  All of the water damage you saw might be condensation.  Mine will sweat water inside even when it is left closed and unused for long periods.  It was said before that you will have to strip out the interior and install foam insulation or it will be a warm weather bus.  I see structural issues and I am an optimist at heart.

Alu skin?  That is interesting.

That trans is probably worth the entire cost.  Price one and see.  New tires are $400 each.  Used are $200(?)  The value seems to be there for you unless there is a serious problem.  If it is at a shop have the guy replace the valve that is broken.  he will have to do that anyway to sell it and i doubt any would buy a bus they couldn't drive first.

Ace said he rode in a early 90's Prevost that had an engine that he though was more powerful than his 8V92.  He said the coach was "clean", seemed solid and had only one "major" problem: the interior was severely DATED.  Got that?  $30K or some thing like that was the "stolen" price.  The Pres have spray foam inside the walls so rot is less of an issue.

John
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2009, 08:47:06 PM »

Thanks for the info.  I will have to take a closer look at that area. 

Actually, wife and I were talking about the update possibilities.  I think if you changed everything that is electric blue to a rich burgundy and did some kind of charcoal counter top and black marble or granite in the galley/bathroom it would really transform the interior.  Maybe cranberry carpet in the back room and some matching curtains and valance.  The worst part would be the table tops.  They are two-tone royal and baby blue. 

I am going to load a youtube video my wife took of the bus.  I'll post the link in a few.
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2009, 09:54:32 PM »

After watching the bus video, I see my wife went kind of zoom crazy, but here it is...
MCI mc7 Custom Coach Bus Conversion


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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2009, 04:24:11 AM »

John,

What I meant was that I didn't know the body above the skins was aluminum.  It does have stainless skins and doors.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2009, 04:30:11 AM by thejumpsuitman » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2009, 04:35:20 AM »

More interior pics
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2009, 05:55:23 AM »

Marc,

The wall channel that runs vert under the windows gets all the water that collects on the windows.  It runs down to the steel joint at the floor.  12 inches to each side and up the brace gets dissolved in the worst cases I have seen pics posted.  Common problem with the 9 and I assume with the 7. That bus is almost assuredly insulated with fiberglass bats.  Truly a bad deal there.  The stuff seems to draw water and stays wet for a long long time.  All of the water damage you saw might be condensation.  Mine will sweat water inside even when it is left closed and unused for long periods.  It was said before that you will have to strip out the interior and install foam insulation or it will be a warm weather bus.  I see structural issues and I am an optimist at heart.

John,

This is the area in question.  The toilet paper is there, so you can get some sense of scale.  This is the only spot like this that I noticed. 
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2009, 06:23:38 AM »

Did you get a look in the engine bay up by the blowers for rust and behind/above the front bumper?  How did the visible air bags look and the bushings?

I have seen these buses on Ebay a couple of years ago.

The cabinets look salvageable, but the headliner and everything else looks like it needs to be replaced/reupholstered.  That headliner could be a bear around the cabinets.  Again, if you wanted to remove windows and skin over those areas, your interior will need to come out around those places.  Real bummer about him not having it run! 

Now having seen the interior, it should be considered just a shell because so much needs to be redone/ bed added and shower added.  A great pristine shell would be worth no more than 5k in today's market.  It's got a neat history, so you could opt to keep the front half original, and make a shower and bedroom in the rear.

Good luck!

Glenn
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Glenn Williams
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1968 MCI 7 Ser. No. 7476 Unit No. 10056
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2009, 06:35:50 AM »

Did you get a look in the engine bay up by the blowers for rust and behind/above the front bumper?  How did the visible air bags look and the bushings?

I have seen these buses on Ebay a couple of years ago.

The cabinets look salvageable, but the headliner and everything else looks like it needs to be replaced/reupholstered.  That headliner could be a bear around the cabinets.  Again, if you wanted to remove windows and skin over those areas, your interior will need to come out around those places.  Real bummer about him not having it run!  

Now having seen the interior, it should be considered just a shell because so much needs to be redone/ bed added and shower added.  A great pristine shell would be worth no more than 5k in today's market.  It's got a neat history, so you could opt to keep the front half original, and make a shower and bedroom in the rear.

Good luck!

Glenn

Hi Glenn,

Everything underneath looked pretty clean.  Engine compartment was perfect.  (nice and oily, of course)

The headliner is hanging down at at about 3 seams, nothing torn.  I actually think they would re-attach and be okay for quite a while.  No tears that I could see.

I have no interest in skinning the windows.  To each his own, but I always liked the stock look.  Cabinets are very nice, just industrial looking.  And as for the shower, there is actually one there that was turned into a closet!  He said all the plumbing is in place, pipes, and all, even the drain pan.  Picture is below.  They built a wall between it and the bathroom.  I think all one would have to do is remove the partition, line the walls, waterproof and rotate the toilet and it would be fine...  Shoot, there might even be shower walls behind the laminate.

Adding a bed will be easy enough, would just have to lose the lounge.  The headboard area cabinets are already in perfect position.  I certainly wouldn't look at this one as a shell.  The existing interior is too nice to rip out, and if someone was going to start from scratch, this bus would not be the one for that.  Wife and I already discussed that.  It would be try to use it mostly as is or move on to something else.  But to be honest, the more I think about it, the more I like the coach.   Grin

« Last Edit: November 07, 2009, 06:48:31 AM by thejumpsuitman » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2009, 07:30:41 AM »

Hey, if you think it will suit your wants and needs and your mechanic is happy, then by all means get the best deal you can!  I think the MCI 7's were awesome, especially with the roof windows.  I wish mine had not been capped, but I suspect that they had leaked enough to damage the steel.  Keep us posted!

Glenn
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Glenn Williams
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2009, 07:40:28 AM »

I was brainstorming today thinking about the deal and called the guy to see if he would be open to a trade on a nice vintage 27K mileage Cadillac I have.  Value would be comparable, and there would be no cash out.  He was a little busy when I called, but he said he might be open to it. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.  That would definitely work for me!   Cool
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2009, 07:43:31 AM »

Go for it! I, like you, prefer the stock look as much as possible, with all the windows. The skyviews are a neat feature, but they are a pain because they can be leaky, (I'll be pulling mine out this winter to replace the rubbers), and they are hot in the summer, (I have covers for them inside and outside to keep the heat out). I have good memories of driving MC7s in the seventies. They felt big and heavy (in a good way), compared to the 5s. They were slow because the 8-71 has to push that much more weight off a green light and up the hills. And the turning radius is large. Nothing you couldn't get used to though... You  could take your time remodelling the interior.

JC
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2009, 07:56:59 AM »

Something no one has said so far, so maybe it doesn't matter where you are, but up here it has too many seats.  If a vehicle can seat more than 12 passengers up here it's a bus, with all the stuff that a commercial bus entails.  You have have to convert some stuff so it can't be a seat.  Just a thought.

Brian
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2009, 08:00:06 AM »

I just watched the video. Never mind my comments about skyviews: I had misunderstood and thought the bus had them. I guess it still applies to the glass at the roof hump.
The interior looks to me like a good base for a start.

JC
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thejumpsuitman
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2009, 02:28:22 PM »

Well, this deal went south in a hurry...  I spoke with the owner again and he is not interested in trading, and he has made clear that he wants to sell the coach where it sits AS IS.   Undecided  I am not prepared to take a chance like that, so I will have to call this deal dead.  Looks like it will be on to the next one.  Thanks for all the help.  My sights are now set on a 4106 that I have been scoping... Stay tuned...  Wink
« Last Edit: November 07, 2009, 03:02:07 PM by thejumpsuitman » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2009, 03:02:42 PM »

I doubt you'll find anyone who sell an old bus with any sort of warranty.  The seller would be crazy not to sell AS IS unless the buyer is paying over market price.

Now, if he won't allow it off site before sale for a proper inspection at a bus garage that is different then.
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2009, 03:05:44 PM »

I doubt you'll find anyone who sell an old bus with any sort of warranty.  The seller would be crazy not to sell AS IS unless the buyer is paying over market price.

Now, if he won't allow it off site before sale for a proper inspection at a bus garage that is different then.

Warranty???  No, I think that probably ran out 35 years ago...  Grin  The coach is NOT running or moving and he is not willing to get it to where it can be driven.  He wants a buyer for it as it sits on his word that it's good and only needs a "distribution valve".  Even if his word is good, it's been sitting since the Spring of '08.   Undecided
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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2009, 03:28:12 PM »

well, there's no "distribution valve" in the air system, so you don't even know what is wrong with the air system, the batteries are dead, engine not running....

Even the 6 speed allison in the deal, even big enough for a bus?

Too many questions, not enough answers...

next?

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2009, 05:53:00 PM »

Marc,

That goes back to what I was thinking about not even having the batteries charged to start it up. Something smells a little funny  Undecided Oh well, plenty more busses out there. Did you say you really had no interest in a 4905 or is it a thought? I saw one the other night that might not be a bad deal. I would just have to look back thru my sites.

Bryan
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« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2009, 06:23:44 PM »

Marc,

That goes back to what I was thinking about not even having the batteries charged to start it up. Something smells a little funny  Undecided Oh well, plenty more busses out there. Did you say you really had no interest in a 4905 or is it a thought? I saw one the other night that might not be a bad deal. I would just have to look back thru my sites.

Bryan

Hi Bryan,

Not sure what to make of that... At best, it's odd...  or suspicious. 

I am open to a 4905.  Really looking for something that has most house systems in place.  I don't want to start from scratch.  I just don't think I have the attention span for that.... (Kudos to those of you who do)

At this point, my front runners are a 4104, 4106, or a buffalo.  I have done most of my research on GM buses, but I am an open to others.  Like the looks of the Flxibles, hi-level, flxliner.  The market being the way it is, I feel I can find a pretty good running/driving outdated conversion for around $5,000.  May sound crazy to some, but I am a rabid bargain hunter and have seen LOTS of them in that range, so I don't think it's unreasonable.

At the top of my list right now is a 4106 in TX.  Might make a new post to see if there is someone around there who can check it out for me.
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« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2009, 06:48:00 PM »

There is a 62 GMC on the "Lemon Lot" in the Foothills of Yuma for $7000 or $7500 i think. Took a quick look at it a week ago but it was locked up at the time. From what i could see it looked in decent shape. Not a GM expert, ( i have a MCI ) but maybe there is one here in the area that could take a look at it for you if you are interested. Long way from NC tho.
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« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2009, 06:59:16 PM »

[Warranty???  No, I think that probably ran out 35 years ago...  Grin  The coach is NOT running or moving and he is not willing to get it to where it can be driven.  He wants a buyer for it as it sits on his word that it's good and only needs a "distribution valve".  Even if his word is good, it's been sitting since the Spring of '08.   Undecided

Not at least having the bus in drive away condition is a bad thing.  This guy is going to have to give this bus away if he won't at least get into driveable condition for the buyer.

Nothing says a warranty can't be offered on a used vehicle.
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« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2009, 09:38:48 PM »

Marc,

I know of a 4104 near Tulsa that is a nice bus. Has R&M front and rear caps and was repainted back in about 1998 but has been kept indoors. The paint still looks almost new. It was converted in the early 70's and it looks like it was just completed. Inside is nice just dated. The asking price was high but it is not being used and the husband had passed away a year or two ago. I will PM a photo to you. It is the only one I have but could get more if you are interested. I just came across the bus one day while going to a saw mill to have run up blocks made.

Bryan
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« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2009, 04:49:42 AM »

Fellas
 I m with you , the guy is dreaming / delusional - I wouldnt care if Ronald Reagan owned the thing- it's worn out ! its done.
Who among us would have the vision ,the time and how much money to get that unit underway?

Could we have some fun with a single page estimate on labor hours , material oh and $$.
demo   200 hours  $1200  just getting rid of all the junk dumpsters / trips to the dump
Demo
DEMO
CLEANUP   80 hours
storage   $125 /month

Tires   $ 4000
Brakes $ 5500
suspension $ lets throw another $4000 -$5000 (towards that minor detail)
hvac    $ nothing  $2000 to $3000 wouldn't take care of
Electrical -  lets have an extra $2500 to throw in ( just for fun)

PLUMBING $ maybe something we could do ourselves  80 to 100  labor hours and $1200 material

Interior   whew - how about  200 hours  and  how much $  500- $3000 depends on wife's interest and how much she really knows you have spent so far

oh and lets not forget the exterior cleanup and paint ( you want it to look nice so as not scare the neighbors and relatives )

nothing another $2500- $5000  would take care of

so anywhere between  $18,000 to 25,000  and now you have a bus to be proud of ......and a couple of hundred hours in hard labor

any money left to travel with Huh
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« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2009, 04:42:06 AM »

Hey I would like to share this with you 10 years ago I did the same thing I found a 1969 MCI 7 in a field
it was  completely converted  and on the back there was a plate that read Custom Coach Coversion well one thing led to another and I drove it home ( should have told the wife first).  Well I could not figure out anything on the bus so the wife decide to give CCC a call after being put on hold for an hour they came back and stareted to tell us about the bus It was the first bus they ever did it was prodused for Jack Rather ( movie producer)and then was sold to Presedent Nixon If you buy the bus and give them a call they will have everything on that bus from wiring digrams to layout measurements which they will send it to you.    about a year later I got a letter in the mail inviting us to there yearly costumer appreciation picnic and could I please bring the bus we were treated like Royalty when we arrived they gave us a complete tour of the Factory and all of there coach's well while we were doing the tour they ask if they could look at are old bus  I had no problem with it  we had a great weekend! and was hooked on busing for life ! after taking a few trips on it we received a letter again from CCC asking if we would sell the bus to them  well to make this story shorter they made me a offer and it was one I could not refuse and it  got me out of the Dog  house with the wife One thing I can tell you everything in the bus is done safe but it is defently dated ours looked like the one you are looking at right down to the switches ( they are aircraft ) !  If you have any questions feel free to contact me !~!
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« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2009, 02:17:41 PM »

My goodness Treasureman did you buy a lotto ticket that day too! Good for you

Grant
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« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2009, 06:45:09 AM »

Hey Jumpsuitman!  Check this one out.  I have no affiliation whatsoever. 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Beautifully-Remodeled-Bus_W0QQitemZ260508829039QQcmdZViewItemQQptZRVs_Campers?hash=item3ca789456f

Glenn
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« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2009, 04:50:02 PM »

Marc,

That MC7 on eBay looks pretty good for the money.

Here's a 35' Buffalo that just popped up on Craig's list......closer to you and within your budget:

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/rvs/1472312788.html
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« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2009, 02:29:17 AM »

Marc,

That MC7 on eBay looks pretty good for the money.

Here's a 35' Buffalo that just popped up on Craig's list......closer to you and within your budget:

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/rvs/1472312788.html


Thanks, I actually got a bunch of pics of that Buffalo in Florida a couple weeks ago.  I also thought it looked good for the $$$.  However it is pretty rotted above the beltline.  A lot of rust through in several areas, especially the back window.  I was pretty disappointed.

Marc  
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 02:45:07 AM by thejumpsuitman » Logged

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« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2009, 07:06:29 AM »

Ouch.......that is pretty ugly. Can't see that in the Craigslist photos.
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« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2009, 07:27:57 AM »

Ouch.......that is pretty ugly. Can't see that in the Craigslist photos.

Not something most sellers will show at first while trying to find interested buyers! Grin
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2009, 08:09:09 AM »

After seeing that, I had a new appreciation for the all-aluminum models.  Needing probably $1,500 rust repair and paint after that, I think he will have to get down around $3k to sell. 
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« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2009, 08:24:24 AM »

After seeing that, I had a new appreciation for the all-aluminum models.  Needing probably $1,500 rust repair and paint after that, I think he will have to get down around $3k to sell. 

or lower! This is a bad time to sell something requiring major repair unless the buyer is in love with it!
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2009, 07:26:29 PM »

Marc,

I finally made it to take more pictures. I also spoke with her about price and has come down considerably. Here are a couple pics. If you want more send me an email and I will fill you in on the rest. Or call me 918 three four one 42 hundred. I think it could be more toward your price range now. The inside is very very clean and nice, although dated I would drive it as it is.

Bryan
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« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2009, 07:28:25 PM »

More pictures  Grin
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« Reply #38 on: November 19, 2009, 07:30:56 PM »

And a couple more
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