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Last fall I bought a relatively clean looking hatchback with a few minor issues to drive and tinker with. Last night I got it on a hoist after getting it out of my barn for the winter and, well, she's a little worse off than I thought when I surveyed her prior to buying.

Now I knew she wasn't perfect when I bought her. I didn't pay very much for her on purpose. But last night when my brother and I did a detailed under carriage inspection we found evidence of issues. So many little issues.

The car has no evidence of getting stuffed nose first into anything, but the passenger side bottom of the core support is mashed up from below. The passenger floor is pushed up and the passenger side subframe stub is almost concave. How did I miss that? The floor pans around both seat mounts have noticeable cracks (not uncommon, I know). The bottom of the oil pan is dented. My brother thinks the car went for a little off road adventure at some point. It also has a little too much rust in too many places I don't like to see it on these cars. My enthusiasm for this car went from high to low in about 20 minutes.

Had I been able to put this car up on a hoist before buying, I would have passed. But I can still tinker and fix a few little things. And I can still drive it for a few summers. So I'll make the best of it and enjoy it for what it is. But she is not one to sink any substantial amount of money into. I'll find the oil leak (rear valley got sucked I think), tune her up, make her safe to ride around in and make her look a little better. But I won't be painting or doing any substantial hard work to her. I'll keep it to mechanically needed repairs. In a couple years I'll have a really nice donor car to put stuff into a better chassis. Perhaps a Fairmont or a Zepher or a LTD Fox Wagon (love those!). Barring that, maybe I'll dig up a nice Maverick or an old F100. I'm a little disappointed, but for now I'll make the best of her.
 

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Sucks.

These fox cars are atleast 23 years old now. If they haven't been stored inside since a couple years old rust city. But the same can be said about any car. Weather is the worse enemy.
 
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