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About ddavidv

  • Birthday 02/19/1965

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  1. I spent most of my youth buying and fixing up Fiats. I felt they were the best sports car for the dollar in their day and technologically superior to the Brits. While I don't necessarily regret those 23 Fiats I tinkered with I do regret not sampling other flavors that were available to me at the time. Lots of cheap but driveable cars in the late 70s-80s that I passed up because I was stuck on a singular brand. Eventually I did try a few other things (66 Chevy p/u, Mk1 Ford Fiestas, '65 F100, 79 Austin Mini, 86 Audi Coupe, '86 Honda CRX Si) and am glad I did. Still lots more I'd love to sample (Corvair, Model T, Nash Metropolitan, any Packard). Life is too short not to sample as many flavors of ice cream as possible. You won't like them all but the thing is none of these has to be permanent. If you buy a car that is moderately popular you can always sell it on, and if bought right not lose much or any money in the process. I'm sort of between collector cars right now as I play with the racing bug but when the interest wanes I'll be back browsing the Hemmings classifieds or trolling the car shows looking for the next car that catches my interest.
  2. Best buy for one you can drive and enjoy is the Buick. It is less expensive, less molested, turn-key and will be instant fun. However, I think for long term return-on-investment (and I don't really look at collector cars as investments) over time the Ford will be worth more. Full size drop-tops are going up in value and the Ford styling is more popular than the Buick. Buicks of that vintage have never been as popular as the 70-71 style and the price is reflected in this one. Making the Ford into an equal car to what the Buick currently is will cost some money and sweat equity but over the long haul I think it will be the more popular car/worth more. Disclaimer: possibly biased opinion of a Ford guy who also owned a '65 Skylark convertible and liked it.
  3. The shop I work at has an abandoned '46 Clipper they would like gone. We tried to get a title from the state but PennDOT stated they could find no record of it because it is too old. Side glass is gone, floors are rotted, trim is missing. Engine is still there and we do have the keys. We really have no idea what the car is worth so are asking $500 but would consider serious offers. We have rollback service and can deliver for a fee. If we can't find a home for it the car will have to go to the crusher as we need the space. You can email me at dvarnes821@gmail.com or call my boss 'Den' at 717-252-2859. ETA: the car is located just outside of Wrightsville and York, PA zip 17406.
  4. Giving up on the hobby? Hardly. My wrenching time is focused on the race car. It doesn't need a lot, but it does take time. No, the difference is I've always bought decent drivers in the past that were good 5 footers, but once you got up to them you saw they needed work. The truck had some rust issues to take care of, which means it needs a full repaint, which means it needs torn down completely. Add to that the seat, carpet, headliner, steering wheel, blah blah blah it just spirals quickly into a full off-frame restoration. In the meantime, I have no truck to do all the truck tasks I have. I know most people don't rely on their collector cars to do 'work' but in this case mine did. I also sold my Austin Mini last year because it too needed a complete strip and respray (paint was starting to delaminate). I'd have been lucky to get out of it what it would have cost to get it painted, so sold it while I could break even. My root problem is buying cars that don't look like projects but actually are. I buy them because they are affordable, and I convince myself that I can do the work over time. Only, 'time' never seems to make itself available. I have to accept that I need to be the guy who buys the car someone else restored, or get one of those time capsule cars that have been preserved. I simply have too many other things pulling me away from serious car work. The sale of the two vehicles has netted me enough to buy one nice one, so I'll 'return' to the hobby when I find the car that suits me. The point of the thread is learning to accept that "I'm going to restore it someday" may be just kidding oneself. ETA: The vehicles I've recently sold were certainly presentable as-is, but being a car guy every time I drive them or look at them I see 'issues of preservation' as I call them. Rust spots won't get smaller. Peeling paint won't magically re-adhere. These things nag at me and dilute the enjoyment I otherwise get from what is essentially a decent starting point for most people.
  5. What series? Always a few listed here: http://spece30.com/classifieds
  6. You bring up an interesting point. When I first started in cars I focused on one brand (Fiat) and mostly one model (124 sport). I bought, sold and repaired a dozen or so over my first many years and became something of an expert on them. Yet, my narrow focus had me missing out on so many other flavors that were available for pocket change at the time (the Fiats weren't exactly big dollar cars either). I've since owned a variety of vehicles (66 Chevy C20, 65 F100, 66 T-Bird, 79 Austin Mini, 67 Fiat Dino, 59 Fiat-OSCA cabriolet) and expanded my horizons a bit but still haven't knocked the tip off the iceberg of choices out there. I like a little bit of everything from Packards to Mustangs to vintage Mercedes. I once thought it would be a fun challenge to buy something and limit myself to 2 or 3 years of ownership before swapping it out for something else. This way I could experience a great number of cars beyond a simple test drive. Problem is, I find so many of them endearing that I wind up keeping them for 5-10 years before getting bored or they need a massive cash influx (respray, engine rebuild, etc) that I justify replacement vs repair. Then there are cars like the Model T that I'd love to have but they are so limited in their use that it's hard to enjoy them.
  7. A few weeks ago, I sold my '65 F100 that I've owned for 12 years. I bought it as a unrestored (repainted once) 'driver' and used it for pleasure, cruise-ins and occasional truck duties (with a plastic bedliner, it hauled mulch and other things). I collected parts with the intention of some day doing an amateur restoration on it. A few years ago, I got into sports car racing and used the Ford as my tow vehicle. Most of my travel was on the highway and it did a surprisingly good job of hauling along fully loaded at 70 mph while returning 12 mpg. I had changed it over to disc brakes previously, so at least the thing would stop reliably. No power steering, a/c or a radio that could be heard over 40 mph due to the wind noise were negatives, but the attention and positive comments it got at the track sort of made up for it. Everybody stopped by and became friends. This year, however, after some reliability issues (sticking brakes, binding shift linkage) I started to contemplate the truck and it's duties, and eventually taking a hard look at my lofty idea of restoration. I'd owned the thing for 12 years and had made virtually no progress on improving it; the seat was still torn, the door seals were still in the Dennis Carpenter bag, the exhaust still leaked, the replacement radiator support was leaning against the wall (nicely painted...8 years ago!). I'm almost 50, and at least 15 years from retirement. The expense, time investment and focus needed to do anything more than just preserve the truck in it's present form simply wasn't there, not to mention my energy level isn't what it was when I was in my 30s. So, I found a '93 Lightning that is far more comfortable and better suited to doing 'truck duties' and sold the F100. After owning a 1970 Fiat 124 Spider for 23 years that I had restored, I sold it several years ago as well. Realized I rarely drove it and no longer enjoyed working on it. I struggled with selling it, as I expected the car and I would be together until I left this earth. But, my interests had changed and it was time for someone else to enjoy it. Sold it to a very nice couple from several states away. The thing I have to remind myself of is that these are just machines, and they do not have feelings. They don't care if you own them or someone else does, but we attach so much of ourselves to them it is difficult to part ways. I currently don't have a collector car in the fleet (the Lightning is interesting, but I'm not passionate about it) and would like to get another. However, I have decided the only thing I will buy will be a restored or really nice original example. As much as I enjoy working on cars, I simply don't have the time, energy or finances to do a 'project'. Just maintaining them is enough for me right now. This is a hard pill to swallow. Has anyone else 'suffered' with a similar epiphany?
  8. Drove 2 hrs south to Delaware for a little All-Ford show with two of my truck club buddies. One '62 F100 unibody, my '65 F100 and my friend Wayne's "$500" '66 F100. None are 'show' pieces but were all well received. People just like old trucks. Photos were taken but haven't been posted yet for me to link here. Truck performed flawless as usual but I do need to replace the headlight switch because I have no rear lights when the headlights are on, just brakes. Not suitable for after dark. Terrible quality; only lasted 108,000 miles and 48 years!
  9. They are pre-1970 for sure...probably pre-1968 as well. I used to be very involved with Fiats but my knowledge dwindles prior to 1968 vintage. Since they are for neither the 124 Spider/Coupe or X1/9 that eliminates the two most popular models. To get them better identified you could try Chris at C. Obert & Co or Danny at FUN Imported Auto & Toys (google either of them). Back when you could buy these new (still into the 1990s) they only went for about $10-15. They generally are not hard to find, so your price may be "top dollar". But since they are an earlier style, they could be worth that too. Best markets would be www.flu.org (will link you to the USA Fiat club) or The Fiat Page (the most popular Fiat message board, once you find it on that site which is a bit of a mess). Good luck with the sale, and hope this helps!
  10. I think the "problem" has many causes, but this is definitely one of them. I was thinking about this quite a bit recently. Styling is, for the most part, dead. The only cars that turn my head are the 'retro' styled Mustangs and Challengers. Most everything else looks like a bar of soap. Saw a Bentley today; my reaction was "meh". Didn't do a thing for me. I see a Cadillac CTS-V and think, "What a great car. If only it looked better." Cars have truly become appliances, and this contributes to youngsters disinterest in cars and driving. Nothing about most of these cars inspires any passion. New and exciting is in electronics, not in vehicles. The only thing that wows most kids (and, frankly, most consumers) is how many electronic gizmos a car has in it. I find things like the Ford Sync system dramatically distracting from the joy of driving. I've had various and varied company cars over the last 20 years and all have been very capable vehicles, but have offered little in the 'driving joy' department. Some youth do like and appreciate history, and thus will have a tendency to be interested in weird old cars. I don't think growing up with them or not is as big a factor as some may think. I would love a Model T, and my parents weren't even born when they came out (though Dad did buy a vast number of them as jalopies for $25 a pop when he was a teen). I don't have one, though, because it is a horribly impractical car for even occasional use. It would maybe be a 5th or 6th collector car, if I had room, but not my primary. I want to be able to drive to events at traffic speeds, and pre-war cars generally aren't up to the task. Cost can be a factor, but I don't think it's as big of a deterrent as many believe. There are plenty of cars out there that are nice driver quality or better for $5000-$7000, and some really nice stuff up around $10,000. They aren't the most popular, and may be a 4 door instead of a 2 door, but they exist. For someone who just wants an old car (or truck), they can be had. But if they want a Hemi Challenger or E Type Jaguar, well...I'm almost 50, and they are still just dreams to me too. I can see what some of the problems are, but I don't have the solutions. I think the biggest thing we, as owners, can do is get our cars out there to be seen. No kid is going to be fascinated by a car that's hidden in your garage. The other thing I try to do is when these guys buy old vehicles is try to convince them NOT to dive into a complete teardown/restoration. I encourage them to just fix what's broken and drive it for awhile. With a little salesmanship they eventually see the wisdom of doing that, and often wind up just doing a rolling restoration which allows them to enjoy it more than work on it. Without growing up working on machinery like a lot of us did, keeping them from jumping in over their heads right off the bat is a blessing.
  11. Lots of Saabs will find their way to the junkyard in the next year or two. Currently, parts availability is almost nil. As an insurance claims adjuster, I've been sending them to the salvage auction almost every time...can't get headlights, fenders, bumpers, etc unless used and the parts vendors know it and charge accordingly. They are the Daewoo of the modern age. I spent 6 years behind the parts counter of a Saab dealership back in the late 80s-early 90s when the were still making 'proper' 900s. They were well built, unique cars that had their quirks but the owners loved them. They'd drop money fixing them like nothing else I've seen. However, when Saab went mainstream with the new 900 (later changing to the idiotic 9-2, etc nomenclature) they lost a lot of their core buyers. Then GM sucked the life out of them, diluted the brand, and ultimately led to their demise. The last of the breed were very nice upscale cars but not particularly different from any number of alternatives, many costing far less. What is amazing is that so many people have no clue that Saab has gone the way of the dodo. They are driving them around in ignorant bliss, unaware they have a car that will soon (if not already) drop in value so far they will have trouble getting rid of it. A sad end to a once great brand.
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