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my65riv

What was the biggest mistake you made,auto wise?

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The one I remember most (yes, there have been several) was <span style="font-style: italic">not</span>buying a 36 Ford roadster. I think it was about 1967 and I was looking for a Model A. Spent a lot of time out in the country chasing down leads, and eventually ended up at a farm with a field of old cars out back. I looked at a couple of good Model As but they were overpriced. About all I had gathered up in old car money was $350. Well, at that price, I was offered a package deal - a pretty well worn leatherback sedan that had been outside about 25 years, and a 36 Ford roadster with a tree growing up through it. I laughed and went down the road to look at a nice original 32 tudor sedan (that I didn't buy either).

Terry

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The biggest mistake was not keeping all the muscle cars I fixed up and sold in the 80s when they were worthless - 69 Hurst Olds, 70 AAR Cuda, 70 GS Stage One, 67 GTX.

Second biggest mistake was not bringing the cash when looking at a 67 Shelby GT350 for $1750 and trusting the owner to hold it for me.

Third biggest mistake was not begging, borrowing, or stealing the $1300 for a running and driveable 1930 Rolls Royce Limousine.

I'd go on but I'm crying too hard.

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Gotta be when I bought my grandfather's 61 Corvair in 1982 to use as a daily driver. Sorry Corvair lovers, that car tried to kill me in more ways then I can count.

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Sometimes I think my biggest mistake was getting involved with antique cars in the first place.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Jim Bollman</div><div class="ubbcode-body">My worst mistake was listening to my Father and buying a 1966 Mustang in 1968. I could have bout a 1963 Avanti for the same money.

</div></div>

Jim

I would have done the same thing. Actually, given the opportunity today, I'd still do the same thing.

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Two mistakes one caused by the other. Listening to my dad "don't worry that car would have sold by now if it was in that great of condition" Drove several hours to see a mint 65 Riv loaded. Sold it an hour before we arrived!!! Which lead to the biggest error of all--purchase of a 1970 Chrysler New Yorker, loaded. Every week something went wrong with that car, after 9 months I dumped it at a loss, vowing to never purchase a Chrysler product again, and if that was not bad enough Dad left the plates on it and the guy who bought it robbed a gas station!!!! Guess who's door they came knocking on!!!

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There's two that I can remember....

1. 20+ years ago, my father's best friend had a black 1961 Corvette with silver inserts, both tops, low mileage and had never been driven year round that we could've had for $8,500. My dad was going to buy it, he changed his mind at the last minute and my dad's friends sold the car to someone else. After a couple of other owners, the guy who currently owns the car now is a member of my region and every time I see it, I cringe. At out last region event, my wife got to talking with the wife of the current owner, they started talking about husband's cars, and when the corvette owner's wife mentioned "'61 Corvette" I told my wife, "you know, it's the car that my dad and I always kick ourselves for not buying."

2. We had a shot at a red Amphicar (running) that needed a paint job and had part of the windshield missing that could've been bought for $400, my dad had a $50 deposit on it, but took the deposit back because my mom didn't like the car.

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Biggest mistake for me was buying a nice little import. Had there been an Internet then, I would have learned there was nothing nice about owning a Triumph Stag. I got to know my British Leyland dealership way too well. It was constantly in, electrical issues, broekn sway bar mounts, head gaskets blowing, finally when a connecting rod started to go I sold it to them at a big loss. It was a fun car when it ran, but at that point I didn't want to ever see it again. A friend from Lopndon was once complaining to me about our view of British cars. When I told him I had owned a Stag he said 'well, even we Brits will admit there are a few that really do deserve that reputation'.

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Im sure we have all heard the story of the killer motorcycle,you know the one about the farm boy that was killed trying to climb the inside of a silow with it. I dont know how thw boy was killed but my story was true. In 66 I heard of a harley davidson that was supposed to be in a barn. Took me about 3 mo. to track it down but I did find it. Farmer said no sir nobody will ever ride it again. Im going to sell it for junk. Took me anouthe mo to convince him to let me see it and after a whole lot of ice tea he agreed to let me have it. I paid $15 for a 1929 harley. Problem was it wasnt in a barn. It was in a chicken coope, had been for nearly 20 years and the coupe was oucupied. (I know its spelled wrong). Big brother said if it will turn over it will run. We took it to a quarter car wash on the way home and gave it a bath. Every bit of leather, plug wire and cloth covered wire just disinagrated.Long story short brother got it runing for me and I took it for a ride. Truth be known,it took me for a ride. I sold it right on the spot for $35. to a frend of my brother that was there.Brother got mad as he-- at me, till the day he passed every time the frend saw me he put his hand on my shoulder and asked Got any more bikes for sale Dick?? Wish I could slap him.

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The worst was my first NEW car, a 1972 Ford V8 station wagon without power brakes. It wandered all over the road, needed a large anchor to stop, and was eventually wrecked when a guy pulled out of a side road as I topped the nearby hill on US 50 west of Fairfax, VA. At 55 mph there was no stopping it. Got it fixed and immediately traded it in on a 1973 Plymouth Scamp Slant Six. That wasn't a great car, but a pretty car that was pretty good for 100K miles. Lost the spider gears around 70K.

The best car my family ever bought, in its day, was a 1972 Buick LeSabre my Dad bought new and that a friend in Warsaw, VA (no, not Wayne, but "Big John") still has. Mileage is unknown, but it's somewhere near 250K miles, and the engine has never been opened. It still runs good he tells me. Stepping up to a more modern car, my Dad's last car, a 1991 Buick Park Avenue is still going strong for my daughter with 200,000 miles on it.

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While I was in the service, I traded a 1958 Edsel Ranger (blown motor) for a 1934 Cadillac, cheauffer driven limosine with a rebuilt V-12 engine. Papers were in the glove box. No wiring, but car was in great shape! Someone talked me into selling it, because the wiring would have been too much. Wish I had either of them now!

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I swapped an overheating 68 4-4-2 with the Turnpike Cruiser option and a broken air conditioner, for a burned out 66 Mustang. It would have been a whole bunch easier to fix the overheating and A/C than it was to resurect that burned out hulk of a Mustang.

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In 1972 I bought a 57 Buick Special convertible with 55K for $30.00. Dad, God rest his soul, was to'd. True, it did need a new roof, some seat work and mufflers, but the car ran like new and the body, paint and chrome was all good. I argued to keep it but I was talked into selling it for $100.00 and a 69 Cutlass convertible with 16K and lots of power options except AC. I was only 19 and this looked like a good deal to me. But that car was never in my name and after our elderly neighbor gave me his beat up 56 Roadmaster in 74 I gave up all claim to it.

But all's well that ends well, the Roadmaster lead to my current 56 Super which I did manage to get for the very reasonable sum of $75.00.

Other than this, in 1987 or so, I lost out on a fully loaded 67 Buick sportwagon ( even had the AM/FM radio and tilt wheel) when I balked at the $150.00 price without a title. But I got skunked on a 63 Corvair spyder once when there was no title and the old owner was uncooperative.

JD

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I have a couple of "DOHs":

My dad was getting rid of his pristine '79 Electra coupe and neither of my sons wanted it and I had no room for it. He gave it to his God son who pimped it out and then wrecked it.

I bought an '85 Vette instead of the '87 GNR my wife wanted me to buy. Today, I can still afford to buy an '85 Vette- but not an '87 GNR.

I deserve a GIANT slap in the head.

The good news is after selling the Vette I got my '70 Skylark which I will never sell.

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I think it was about 1948-49 I hung out at a local gas station and salvage yard. A man pulled up to the pumps and asked me fill his rad. with water.I grabed the can and started to fill it. As I was pouring water in I noticed that the car had two Rads. I sat the can down asked why, thats when I learned where the gas tank was on I think it was a model a.

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Where to begin with this sordid tale?

There was a 1965 Lincoln four door convertible, one owner, pale blue with white top and interior in like new condition but needed a water pump. The price was $225.00 but instead I bought a battered 1942 Chevy p.u. for $200. This was in the late 1970s.

Other missed opportunities -

2001 - 1949 Chrysler coupe - a 53,000 original mile, garage kept car for $3500. I put off calling due to my schedule and called the day after it sold - for $3,000!

1996 - I was in need of a good, basic transportation car and looked at a 1 owner 1955 Buick s/w. With exception of paint the car was very nice and the asking price was $500. I wanted to look at a couple of other cars and came back after work to find it had sold.

My top story of loss is a real hard one to accept. I was with a friend who was looking for parts for his rare 1936 Hudson p.u. We stopped at this old garage near Parker, Arizona that had a large yard of old cars, many missing doors and such.

In the process of talking cars he offered us a very straight 1957 Old s/w for $500.00 All the chrome was there and even the hubcaps but the windows had been down for a dozen years or more, cats were living in it and some of the glass was broken so we passed without a second look. We later found out, when it sold to a collector in Phoenix, the car was equipped with the J2 package and had factory air conditioning. This was in 1999.

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I have another. Years ago when I was 18 I was walking with my grandfather through his appartment garage to his Impala. He asked me what I thought of an old car (1956 Chevy sedan). It was an odd yellow-ish green and black two tone, and I told him I thought it was pretty ugly. He told me 'well, I bought it from some neighbors and was going to give it to you, but I'll give it to your aunt Ruth instead'. It had 23,000 original miles. My aunt and her husband used it to haul hay on their ranch. :-(

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My one and only antique car. My baby, a 1979 Lincoln Mark V Cartier was purchased from the original owner who special ordered it from the factory with almost every option including moonroof and velour interior. I owned it for 11 years and had it as a daily driver. I retired it from daily use when it became an antique. I parked it in the garage in disgust for a couple years when no one seemed to be able to fix the a/c, an intermittent chugging problem, and some other misc. stuff. At his suggestion, I took it to my friend's mechanic, spent $1200.00, and had EVERYTHING fixed. I took it to work the next day to make sure everything was ok. It was running flawlessly, the best it had been in years. My new a$$*^&% boss made me stay late to do work that a collegue that had nothing to do, didn't FEEL like doing. (and she left early) On the way home I was so happy with how the car was running. I stopped for gas about a mile from home and filled it with premium ($50). 2 blocks from my house, an 18 year old idiot rear-ended it at 50 mph (in a 40 mph zone) and totalled it. It was hit so bad the gas tank folded in half and ruptured, pouring all the gas down the sewer. He had no insurance, and is living with his mother and grandmother in an apartment on welfare. In other words, no money to collect even if I sued. A month later the repair and gas bill came in the mail. I had to pay $1250 for a car I didn't even have anymore. So what was my biggest mistake, driving it that day, staying late, having it repaired, stopping for gas? Almost a year later, I still don't speak to my boss.

Shopping for a replacement, Not bidding higher was my mistake. I drove 5 hours one way to look at a 1956 Packard 400. It looked like a decent car, but needed things. Paint, seats, gas tank and fuel lines, headliner, smelled like mouse pee, etc. But it seemed to run strong, based on the fact that I couldn't take it on the street, and could only go in circles around the barn. 90% of the chrome was good, no bondo, and after fuel system and brakes were done, it could be driven as is for a few years until I had the money to pretty it up. The opening bid on Ebay was already high, and the auction was ending the next day. It had no bids on it. I asked the guy if he would take cash on the spot for it. He refused, wouldn't even listen to an offer. He wanted to see how much it went for on Ebay. I wasn't entirely comfortable with it because while I know Packards and their history, mechanical knowledge and repairs are not my strong point. I had been looking at Lincoln Mark V's (which I know very well) but this was the first Packard I had looked at, and I was not entirely sure what I should be looking for as far as problems. There was nothing more I could say or do with the owner, so I left. Only to find out that my friend had put on the emergency brakes in my Buick (which I said should never be used because the cable was no good) when he moved it so the Packard could be taken out of the garage. One mile from there the brakes completely locked up and were smoking. I pulled into some windmill power plant that was closed. There was nothing else around for miles. My friend said that he had a mechanic friend that lives about an hour from where we were. So he called him at home. The guy said he would be right out. The guy had no cell phone. 4 hours later he showed up and fixed the brakes. He said he got lost. He said we could stay overnite at his house since it was now quite late. Driving there I noticed the Buick was stranded 1/2 mile from the ramp of the expressway that took him almost to his front door. The next morning I wanted to put a bid on the Packard, but the guy had no computer. I made my friend call and wake up his brother at home to put a bid on it for me in the last 2-3 minutes of the auction. It still had no bids. Still not entirely comfortable, I placed a bid $400 over the already high opening bid. I got outbid in the last 2 seconds of the auction by a guy who never even drove out to look at it. There were no other bidders. 6 months later I still have not found one as well equipped at any price range. Condition wise, I can find only complete basket cases or mint ones I can't afford. I should have bid $500 to $1000 higher, but that still doesn't guarantee I would have gotten it.

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