HELP!!! I need to determine the value of my 1985 Pontiac Firebird

My 1985 Firebird was recently totaled while legally parked on a local street by a drunk driver. I have finally found the responsible party and their insurer, but the
insurer has offered me less for my vehicle than the asking/sale price of any other 1985 Firebird that I have been able to find anywhere in North America (both Canada and the US). I have found over thirty 1985s that have either sold or are currently for sale, and of those for sale, even with negotiation, I still can't find one, regardless of condition, for the amount offered by the responsible parties insurer. Interestingly, when an insurer determines the value of a vehicle to be insured they use the standard guides, most typically, the NADA price, but when you suffer a "total loss" as I have, they determine the value via "CCC Valuescope" or a similar insurance industry affiliated company, and this value tends to be much less! My case is likely going to court, so I am asking for your help in determining the value of my vehicle. So if you have recently sold a similar vehicle, or know of someone who has, the actual sale price would be of great use to me. Also, one source with whom I spoke recommended I try the "Manheim Market Report" which supposedly lists the actual sale price of cars. Unfortunately, this seems to be a subscription service for dealers similar to Mead's Lexis/Nexis service for Attorneys. I have looked on-line as well as with my local library with no luck, so if you know of how I may access this service or if you know of something similar, this would also be of great use to me. Now, about my car... My 1985 Pontiac Firebird had 129,601.8 original miles at the time of my loss. My 1985 Pontiac Firebird is described as follows:
Included Factory Installed Options all of which still functioned flawlessly as of the time of my loss with few exceptions as noted:
AR9    EUROPEAN CLOTH BUCKET SEATS (Driver’s Side Front Seat had been replaced with a non-color matched, otherwise identical, replacement) A01    ALL WINDOW SOFT RAY GLASS B34    CARPET FRONT FLOOR MATS (Original Driver’s Side Floor Mat is worn out) B35    CARPET REAR FLOOR MATS B57    CUSTOM EXTERIOR GROUP     CONSISTS OF:     LEFT HAND REMOTE SPORT MIRRORS     ROOF DRIP & BELT REVEAL MOLDINGS CD4    CONTINUOUS CYCLE WINDSHIELD WIPERS C49    ELECTRIC REAR WINDOW DEFOGGER C60    CUSTOM AIR CONDITIONING D42    CARGO SECURITY SCREEN D80    REAR DECK SPOILER D98    VINYL ACCENT STRIPE (worn/faded and chipped in spots) LB8    2.8 LITER V-6 MULTI PORT FUEL INJECTION (MPFI) ENGINE MX0    4-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION N33    TILT STEERING WHEEL PB4    WHEEL LOCKING PACKAGE PE1    STYLED ALUMINUM 14 INCH WHEELS (some slight nicks/dents in outermost periphery which didn’t affect their performance) QMY    P195/75R14 RWL STL ALS TIRES (had been replaced several times) TR9    LAMP GROUP     CONSISTS OF:     HEADLAMP-ON WARNING SYSTEM     TONE GENERATOR     LUGGAGE COMPARTMENT & I/P COUTESY LAMPS UM7    AM/FM ETR STEREO RADIO SYSTEM WITH CLOCK & SEEK AND SCAN 11L    LOWER WHITE EXTERIOR PAINT (in fair condition mainly consisting of approximately a dozen small coin sized areas of surface rust highlighted by repeated applications Loctite Extend® Rust Treatment applied in order to prevent rust through in spots and small (approximately 3” X 4”) area of rust through below hinge area in lower front portion of driver’s side door skin, but which did not penetrate into door cavity) 11U    UPPER WHITE EXTERIOR PAINT (in good condition)
Included Dealer Installed Options (see copies of original contracts):
BODYGUARD ™ RUST INHIBITOR
HDS HUBET DEALER SERVICES AUTOMOTIVE PROTECTION AND APPEARANCE PROGRAM CONSISTS OF: LIFETIME RUST PROTECTION 5 YEAR PAINT PROTECTION 5 YEAR FABRIC PROTECTION
Documented Routine Maintenance:
PERIODIC EXHAUST SYSTEM REPLACEMT FROM THE CATALYTIC CONVERTER TO THE TAIL PIPES INCLUDING THE EXTENSION PIPE, MUFFLER, AND TAIL PIPES AS NEEDED WITH THE LAST REPLACEMENT OCCURING JUST 3 DAYS PRIOR TO MY VEHICLE BEING TOTALLED
REPLACED THE CATALYTIC CONVERTER
LUBE, OIL, FILTER CHANGES BASED ON MANUFACTURER’S RECOMMENDATIONS
PERIODIC FUEL & AIR FILTER REPLACEMENT BASED ON MANUFACTURER’S RECOMMENDATIONS
PERIODIC COOLING SYSTEM FLUSH BASED ON MANUFACTURER’S RECOMMENDATIONS
REPLACE HEATER CORE
REPLACED RADIATOR
REPLACED MOST COOLING SYSTEM HOSES
PERIODIC DRIVE BELTS REPLACEMENT AS NEEDED
PERIODIC TIRE PRESSURE CHECK/CORRECTION AS NEEDED
PERIODIC TIRE REPAIR/REPLACEMT AS NEEDED
PERIODIC TIRE ROTATION BASED ON MANUFACTURER’S RECOMMENDATIONS
INFREQUENT ALL FLUID TOP OFFS AS NEEDED
R-12 to R-134a AIR CONDITIONING CONVERSION
REPALCED AIR CONDITIONING BLOWER MOTOR
INSTALLED NEW POLYURETHANE STABILIZER BAR END LINKS
REPLACED BOTH SUPPLY AND RETURN FUEL LINES USING ORIGINAL GENUINE GENERAL MOTORS SINGLE PIECE CUSTOM BENT REPLACEMENTS
PERIODIC OXYGEN SENSOR REPLACEMENT
REPLACED MASS AIR FLOW SENSOR
PERIODIC SPARK PLUGS, WIRES, DISTRIBUTOR CAP, ROTOR, AND COIL REPLACEMENT AS NEEDED
REPLACED THERMOSTAT
PERIODIC TRANSMISSION FLUID & FILTER CHANGE
REPLACED TRANSMISSION MOUNT
REPALCED WINDSHIELD WASHER PUMP
PERIODIC LAMP REPLACEMENTS AS NEEDED
REPLACED BATTERY AS NEEDED
REPALCED ALTERNATOR/GENERATOR AS NEEDED USING ORIGINAL GENUINE GENERAL MOTORS REPLACEMENT
REPLACED MASS AIR FLOW SENSOR
PERIODIC WINDSHIELD WIPER BLADE REPLACEMENT AS NEEDED
REPLACED DRIVERS BUCKET SEAT (NOT COLOR MATCHED)
REPLACED IDLER ARM
PERIODIC FRONT-END ALIGNMENT AS NEEDED
PERIOD FRONT WHEEL BEARING REPACKING BASED ON MANUFACTURER’S RECOMMENDATIONS
PERIOD FRONT DISK/REAR DRUM PAD/SHOE REPLACEMENT WITH ROTOR AND CALIPER REPLACEMENT AS NEEDED
REPLACED RUBBER BRAKE LINES TO FRONT CALIPERS
REPLACED STEEL BRAKE LINE TO REAR WHEELS USING ORIGINAL GENUINE GENERAL MOTORS SINGLE PIECE CUSTOM BENT REPLACEMENT
REPLACED WATER PUMP
REPLACED IN-TANK HIGH PRESSURE FUEL PUMP TWICE
PERIODIC MINOR SURFACE RUST TREATMENT & REPAIR
Condition statement:
INTERIOR CONDITION:
My “AR9 EUROPEAN CLOTH BUCKET SEATS” were in-place, intact, fully functional with the front seats which still reclined and were moveable, and the rear seat back which still folded and latched as they did when they were new. The seats exhibited little or no staining, and no mold, mildew or excessive odor. The two notable defects being the Driver’s Side Front Seat which had been replaced with a non-color matched, otherwise identical, replacement which had a single tear in the bottom cushion facing the door, and the top of the folding rear seat which had some fading at the time of my loss.
My passenger side “B34 CARPET FRONT FLOOR MAT” was fully intact with no stains, splits, or tears at the time of my loss. My original driver’s side “B34 CARPET FRONT FLOOR MAT” was worn out and has been disposed of since the time of my loss.
My “B35 CARPET REAR FLOOR MATS” were both fully in-place and intact with no stains, splits, tears, or significant fading at the time of my loss.
My “C60 CUSTOM AIR CONDITIONING” was fully functional producing no excessive noise or odors and had been converted from R-12 to R-134a at the time of my loss.
My multi-function turn signal stalk which included the controls for the “CD4 CONTINUOUS CYCLE WINDSHIELD WIPERS” was fully in-tact and functional showing some wear of the surface printing at the time of my loss.
My “D42 CARGO SECURITY SCREEN” was fully functional and intact with no stains, splits, tears, mold, mildew, or significant fading at the time of my loss. It remains in my possession as it was ejected from my vehicle and damaged at the time of my loss.
My “N33 TILT STEERING WHEEL” was fully functional with no stains, splits, cracks, or gouges in the steering wheel cover and only exhibited normal surface wear in the cushioned covering and no rust or scratches in the exposed metal web at the time of my loss.
All of my interior knobs, buttons, sliders, covers, plugs, handles, caps, and lamps including my “TR9 LAMP GROUP which CONSISTS OF: HEADLAMP-ON WARNING SYSTEM, TONE GENERATOR, and LUGGAGE COMPARTMENT & I/P COUTESY LAMPS”, dashboard, shift position, center console storage, foot well, and dome were in-place, intact, and fully functional with no splits or cracks at the time of my loss.
My “UM7 AM/FM ETR STEREO RADIO SYSTEM WITH CLOCK & SEEK AND SCAN” was fully functional and the clock was highly accurate at the time of my loss.
My dashboard was completely intact with no stains, splits, cracks, dents, scratches, or gouges at the time of my loss.
There were no water or air leaks into the passenger compartment at the time of my loss.
All of my gauges and indicator lights were fully functional at the time of my loss.
My shift lever including the covering and safety button was fully intact and functional with no splits, cracks, or gouges exhibiting only minor surface wear at the time of my loss.
My interior carpet was fully intact and color-matched with little or no staining or fading, and no rips, tears, excessive wear, lose or fraying edges, mold, mildew or excessive odor with the one notable defect being a small area (3” or less in diameter) of wear in the carpet in the driver’s side foot well area where the carpet wraps slightly up the inside of the fender area where my left foot rested while driving, at the time of my loss.
My headliner had been replaced and was fully intact and color-matched with no staining, fading, rips, loose edges, mold, mildew or excessive odor at the time of my loss.
My multi-function turn signal stalk which includes the controls for the “CD4 CONTINUOUS CYCLE WINDSHIELD WIPERS” was fully in-tact and functional showing some wear of the surface printing at the time of my loss.
All of my interior passenger compartment panels were intact with no splits, cracks, dents, tears, or stains. The interior rear plastic wheel well covers to either side of the rear seats showed some fading and did not extend to the rear upholstered speaker covers at the time of my loss.
My interior had suffered no water, insect, animal, or plant intrusion or infestation at the time of my loss.
All of my seat belts and related systems were fully functional and intact including compliance with a General Motor’s recall campaign which placed inserts into the locking mechanism at the time of my loss.
BODY CONDITION:
Both of my doors, the hatchback, and hood were fully functional and opened/closed smoothly and securely and required no lifting, twisting, shaking, or other movements not intended by the manufacturer for their proper operation at the time of my loss.
My car had never been in an accident or subjected to any force great enough to cause its unibody structure to be deformed or racked to the point that it required straightening at the time of my loss.
My 1985 Pontiac Firebird had never been totaled nor had it ever been a salvaged vehicle or composite comprised of the front half of one vehicle and the rear half of another prior to my loss.
My 1985 Pontiac Firebird had never been in an accident or other situation that caused it to be in contact with the ground on any surface other than its tires such as a rollover at the time of my loss.
My 1985 Pontiac Firebird had never been operated off-road in a manner inconsistent with the manufacturer’s specifications at the time of my loss.
GLASS CONDITION:
My “A01 ALL WINDOW SOFT RAY GLASS” was fully intact with no pitting, chips, or cracks anywhere in the windshield, side windows, or rear hatchback at the time of my loss.
All of my operable windows were fully and smoothly operable and remained watertight to the passenger compartment at the time of my loss.
My “C49 ELECTRIC REAR WINDOW DEFOGGER” was fully intact and functional at the time of my loss.
All three of my mirrors; the left and right side view, and the windshield mounted rear view mirror, were all intact and fully functional with no chips or cracks at the time of my loss.
TIRE CONDITION:
Two of my tires were Goodyear Spectra steel belted radial size P195/75 R14 with a 60,000 mile tread life limited warranty. All four of the tires had been purchased, professionally installed, and balanced on June 6, 1999 with the car’s mileage being 82,340 miles at that time. Two of these tires required replacement in the interim. The left front tire had one plug that was required to fix a puncture due to a screw which had penetrated prior to my loss. They had remaining tread life and showed no uneven wear at the time of my loss.
One of my replacement tires was a Goodyear Spectra steel belted radial size P195/75R14 with a 60,000 mile tread life limited warranty. It was purchased, professionally installed, and balanced on June 7, 2001 after the one that it replaced had had its sidewall slashed in a vandalism incident. It had significant remaining tread life and showed no uneven wear at the time of my loss.
My other replacement tire was a Goodyear Viva 2 steel belted radial size P195/75R14. It was purchased, professionally installed, and balanced on July 6, 2004. It had significant remaining tread life and showed no uneven wear at the time of my loss.
My space saver spare tire was the original. It had only been used twice for short distances on the two occasions above when the two replacement tires were required. It had significant remaining tread life and it showed no uneven wear at the time of my loss.
None of my tires had any cracks or cuts in any of their sidewalls at the time of my loss.
All of my tires matched in size and in make at the time of my loss in that all were Goodyear. Three were the Goodyear Spectra model while one was the Goodyear Viva 2 which had replaced the discontinued Goodyear Spectra
All of my tires were size P195/75R14 which was the original size that came from the factory on the car at the time of my loss.
EXTERIOR CONDITION:
My “11L LOWER WHITE EXTERIOR PAINT” was in fair condition with no rust-through that exposed internal automotive systems to abnormal/premature failure or wear, and which consisted of approximately a dozen small coin sized areas of surface rust highlighted by repeated applications of Loctite Extend® Rust Treatment applied in order to prevent rust-through in these spots and a small (approximately 3” X 4”) area of rust-through below the hinge area in the lower front portion of the driver’s side door skin, but which did not penetrate into door cavity. There was no significant fading, scratching, or other discoloration of the paint. The passenger side door had been slightly abraded along its vertical center just below the body side molding at the time of my loss.
My “11U UPPER WHITE EXTERIOR PAINT” was in good condition with a few coin sized areas of surface rust confined mainly to the hood, highlighted by repeated applications of Loctite Extend® Rust Treatment applied in order to prevent rust-through in these spots. There was no significant fading, scratching, or other discoloration of the paint at the time of my loss.
There was very minimal rust inside the rear fenders around the wheel well openings on the horizontal surfaces which was not visible from outside the wheel well and a small dent in the rear area of the passenger side front wheel well opening at the time of my loss.
All body panel seams were straight and true with uniform gaps at the time of my loss.
My body side molding, which was not original to the car, but had been applied by myself at a later date, was missing in one place on the passenger side door. All other trim was fully intact with no dents at the time of my loss. This car had no chrome accents.
My “B57 CUSTOM EXTERIOR GROUP which CONSISTS OF: LEFT HAND REMOTE SPORT MIRRORS, ROOF DRIP & BELT REVEAL MOLDINGS” was fully intact and functional at the time of my loss.
My “D80 REAR DECK SPOILER” was fully intact with no rust, scratches, dents, or abnormal wear at the time of my loss.
My “D98 VINYL ACCENT STRIPE” shows some wear, fading, and chips in spots.
My “PB4 WHEEL LOCKING PACKAGE” was installed and fully functional on all four wheels at the time of my loss. I have the key in my possession.
My “PE1 STYLED ALUMINUM 14 INCH WHEELS” showed some slight nicks/dents in their outermost periphery which didn’t affect their performance at the time of my loss.
My radio’s antenna was intact with no bends at the time of my loss.
All of my exterior reflectors, lenses, and lamps were intact and fully functional with no splits, cracks, or chips at the time of my loss.
There was no evidence of water ingress into any of the exterior lamps or lenses at the time of my loss.
Both of my hidden headlamp assemblies were intact and fully functional at the time of my loss.
All of my wheel, hub, and wheel nut covers were intact and showed no signs of thread stripping (where applicable) at the time of my loss.
All of my wheel nuts were present and showed no signs of stripping of their hexagonal outer dimensions or their interior threads at the time of my loss.
All of my wheel mounting studs were present and showed no signs of stripping or bending at the time of my loss.
My fuel filler cover was intact and functional at the time of my loss.
Both of my windshield wipers and blades were intact and fully functional at the time of my loss.
MECHANICAL CONDITION:
My car had absolutely no fluid leaks including, but not limited to, the engine lubrication system, engine cooling system, passenger compartment heating system, hydraulic brake system, power steering system, fuel storage and delivery systems, automatic transmission system, suspension system (shocks & struts), windshield washer system, and rear differential at the time of my loss.
All of my engine control, ignition, fuel delivery, engine cooling, and air intake systems including, but not limited to the Engine Control Module (ECM), Rotor, Distributor, Ignition Coil, Spark Plugs, Exhaust Gas Recovery Valve (EGR), Positive Crankcase Ventilation Valve (PCV), Throttle Body, Fuel Pressure Regulator, Fuel Injectors, Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF), Throttle Position Sensor, Coolant Temperature Sensor, and Oxygen Sensor were fully functional as evidenced by an absence of hesitation, sag, stumble, loss or uneven power, rough idle, misfire, and excessive fuel odor at the tailpipe, and with no codes set in ECM volatile RAM as read from dashboard indicator lamp flashing with diagnostic terminal grounded and ignition on while engine off, and the Oxygen Sensor showed proper operation as evidenced through expected dashboard indicator light flashing while driving vehicle with diagnostic terminal grounded at the time of my loss.
My brake line from the master cylinder to the rear of the car had recently been replaced with a rust free, continuous, single piece, custom bent Genuine General Motors replacement.
My hydraulically operated brakes were fully functional and provided great performance with a firm pedal with no pulsation, no pulling, no noise, and a short stopping distance at the time of my loss.
My front disk brake calipers, pads, rotors, and hoses were fully functional and had been replaced with the rotors exhibiting no scoring, warping, or excessive wear at the time of my loss.
My rear drum brake shoes were fully functional and had been replaced showing no scoring, warping, or excessive wear at the time of my loss.
Both, my supply and return fuel lines from the under hood rubber hoses to the gas tank had recently been replaced with rust free, continuous, single piece, pre-bent Genuine General Motors replacements.
My in-tank fuel pump had been replaced twice and was fully functional and produced no excessive noise at the time of my loss.
My electric engine cooling fan was fully functional and produced no excessive noise at the time of my loss.
My “CD4 CONTINUOUS CYCLE WINDSHIELD WIPERS” were fully functional at the time of my loss.
My “C49 ELECTRIC REAR WINDOW DEFOGGER” was fully functional at the time of my loss.
My weather stripping was fully intact and watertight around both doors and the rear hatchback at the time of my loss.
All of the “dip sticks” were in place under the hood at the time of my loss.
My engine consumed less than one quart of oil per month at the time of my loss.
My engine produced no knocking, clicking, pinging, or other noise from either the engine or drive train at the time of my loss.
My car produced no noticeable squeaks or rattles at the time of my loss.
My vehicle produced no abnormal odors and no smoke at the time of my loss.
My car had had both front and rear pairs of anti-sway stabilizer bar end links replaced; one pair was replaced with polyurethane bushings while the other pair was replaced with the standard rubber bushings.
My car sat square and level at the time of my loss.
My car had a fully intact, rust-free, leak-free, and functional exhaust system with a system replacement from the catalytic converter through the tail pipes that had just occurred on October 19, 2005, just 3 days prior to my loss.
My “C60 CUSTOM AIR CONDITIONING” and integrated heating system was fully functional producing no excessive noise or odors and had been converted from R-12 to R-134a at the time of my loss.
My power steering was fully functional with no pulling, excessive play, or improper alignment at the time of my loss.
My car had undergone no modifications or additions from the time of its original purchase date until my loss.
My car had enjoyed a substantial use of Genuine General Motors replacement parts such as the alternator/generator, fuel lines, brake lines, spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap, rotor, oil filters, etc.
All locks and locking mechanisms were fully functional and used their proper respective keys at the time of my loss.
Both pairs (front and rear) of pneumatic cylinders had been replaced and were fully functional, able to support the full weight of the hood and hatchback respectively, at the time of my loss.
All engine, transmission, and exhaust mounting brackets were intact at the time of my loss.
My automatic transmission, drive shaft, and rear differential functioned smoothly and flawlessly without excessive noise and vibration, with the automatic transmission shifting at the proper shift points as specified by the manufacturer at the time of my loss.
My suspension system was completely intact and functional with no excessive sag or bounce at the time of my loss.
All of my rubber and polyurethane suspension shims, pads, and bushings were intact at the time of my loss.
My “B57 CUSTOM EXTERIOR GROUP that CONSISTS OF: LEFT HAND REMOTE SPORT MIRRORS, ROOF DRIP & BELT REVEAL MOLDINGS” components were all intact and fully functional at the time of my loss.
All of my belts, hoses, and other rubber engine components were fully intact, functional and leak-free (where applicable), and all external belts, and most cooling system hoses had been replaced at the time of my loss.
My car exhibited no excessive fuel consumption getting between 17 and 19 miles per gallon consistent with the original manufacture’s estimate of 18 miles per gallon “City” at the time of my loss.
All of my door handles both internal and external were intact and fully functional at the time of my loss.
My interior hood release worked fine at the time of my loss.
My car had never been used commercially.
My car had never been used for towing.
My car had never been used for hauling anything in excess of the manufacturers rated capacity either people or cargo.
My car had never been submerged in any liquid, flood, or other substance not intended by the manufacturer.
My engine had never experienced a major or catastrophic failure and ran smoothly and reliably producing no excessive noise, vibration, or odor at the time of my loss.
My automatic transmission had never experienced a major or catastrophic failure and always performed smoothly, reliably, and without excessive noise or vibration.
My radiator had been replaced and was leak-free and corrosion free at the time of my loss.
My engine’s coolant had never been permitted to freeze.
My engine’s freeze plugs were intact and leak free at the time of my loss.
My engine had never been operated with low or low oil, coolant, or other fluids as directed by the manufacturer.
My vehicle had never been raced under any circumstances.
My vehicle had never been towed a greater distance than that permitted by the manufacturer.
My vehicle had never been driven on its space saver spare tire a distance greater than that permitted by the manufacturer.
All of my vehicle’s maintenance and repairs had been performed in a professional manner consistent with that which the manufacturer specified or with that which the dealer or other professional would perform.
The original manufacturer’s warranty was never violated.
I have full vehicle life-long (20 years) documentation of proper continued periodic maintenance including, but not limited to, all of the items discussed so far plus chassis lube, oil, and filter change/replacement including air, oil, fuel, automatic transmission fluid, automatic transmission filters, front wheel bearing lubrication and replacement, proper fluid level maintenance, MAF sensor, coil, distributor cap, rotor, spark plugs, spark plug wires, belts, and hoses.
Again, any help will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Rob Wolski
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I didn't read the rest of the post, but...
They are hoping you'll take the money and go away.
KBB is only a guide for dealership pricing. Find out what it'll cost YOU to replace your car with another one like it. Don't forget all the expenses like title and taxes. Tell the insurance company and be prepared to explain why (ie, bring an Autotrader with listings). Be reasonable but make it clear that you're not negotiating, you're *telling* them how much it will cost.
They have better things to do than go to court over an '85 Firebird. Their drunk customer could have crippled a family of five inside a new Mercedes S500.
And, if you have to, take them to court. It's not like there is any question who was at fault.
-rev
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