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Surprise freebees


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In another thread one poster mentioned about how through a conversation he had received a top iron for his car out of the blue without any request for payment. So I thought I'd start a new thread that could share the stories of generous friends and strangers.

Just a few weeks ago after buying a couple parts from a guy that I became aquated with through a eBay auction that I didn't even win. I asked some questions about some parts I was looking for that my Skyliner needed. I ended up buying a fan shroud from him, then unexpectedly there was abox on the porch. Inside were several small items that I had mentioned at one time to him. The note said these were a gift and no payment was wanted. Only that I return anything I didn't use. No problem! I have not done s just yet but they are packaged, ready to go back and I'd bet they will find a good home someplace.

I also recall when I first became interested in Amphicars I went to the yearly event in Celina, Ohio. I had mentioned that I needed a radiator. After a few day there and as we were leaving, my now great friend Mike handed me a radiator (ready to install) and refused to accept any money at all. That is an expensive gift! We have traded several surprise gifts since.

So let's hear about those sometimes secret and sometimes not secret gifts that unexpectedly showed up. In spite of a few bad abbles, I believe that the car folks and bikers (motorcycle entheusiasts in particular) are the most generous humans on the planet.

THANKS JIM and MIKE!!!

:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool:

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When we first became interested in antique cars in 1968 we bought a '28 Cadillac sedan literally out of a barn. It was missing the front bumper. We advertised in Hemminga and received a long 3 page hand written letter from an 87 year old fellow from Chicago who had one. He had retired from the Chicago Police Department and went into great detail about chasing gangsters in Chicago driving '28 Cadillac police cars. We phoned him and asked the price. He insisted on GIVING us the bumper. We only had to pay the Greyhound shipping fees which we were only too happy to do of course.

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I sent off my VERY HARD TO FIND 1931 Dodge Brothers steering column light switch to a guy in Georgia, I think, who claimed that he could manufacture them if I sent him an example. He was going to make me one for my second coupe and send that one to me (and my original) for letting him use my example one as a model. I waited....and waited....and waited....for nothing. He never sent anything back to me and kept my original. Along with the switch, I sent him a rare 1931 DeSoto wire wheel hubcap that he said he needed for his car. He never answered my calls or emails. One of my Dodge brothers (David Hochhalter) heard about my problem and without asking, sent me a light switch for my car!! It was totally free and unexpected. I have very happily paid that forward and sent David a couple of items that he needs for his 1930 Dodge convertible. I hope he will be pleased. I wish I could remember the guy's name in Georgia so that I could warn others. Hopefully, I am his only victim. To me, this hobby is not about money...it's about helping your fellow hobbyists achieve the completeness of their cars so that they can enjoy them.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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Some years back I was having a problem with my 26 Chevy where it would run fine for a few minutes and then without cause it would quit running. It would immediately start back up only to quit running again after about 7 minutes. This went one for longer than I care to remember. I replaced and/or rebuilt everything that could even remotely be the cause whether it was electrical or fuel related. Nothing worked. Several vacuum tanks were tried, all professionally rebuilt.

After about 9 months a gentleman I had met through ebay sent me a letter saying to expect a gift in the mail and he didn't want to hear any grief about it. He had a Chevy very similiar to mine.

A week or so goes by and the package arrives. Inside is yet another vacuum tank with a note explaining that he had removed it from his own trophy winning and well running Chevy and thereflore knew it was good. It was a gift in the hopes it would cure the problem my car had.

That was not a cheap gift. That man and his generosity restored my faith in my fellow man.

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Awhile back I got a call from a guy looking for a 55 Olds Pitman arm. I had a spare so I sent it to him gratis. He called thanking me and asked if I needed anything. All I could think of was a horn bracket, Which he sent me gratis. At the New Bern Nats I met a guy with a 56 Chrysler. I mentioned that I needed very hard to find parking and tail lite lenses. He simply said I have some extras I'll send them to you. And he did. I repaid the favor by making him a trunk escutchion and a door handle removing tool. Now he sent me a battery decal and advertising picture. I absolutely LOVE sharing like this with no thought of repayment..............Bob

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About 10 years ago I was at a show with my 1940 Ford Coupe. This guy came by, looked at the car and we talked awhile. He aked me if the car was for sale and I said no. He kept pressing me about selling the car. Finally, I told him that I had the car so long { since 83' } and had my blood, sweat ,time & tears in it; It was like a member of the family and I would probably have the car untill I died. He left and came back later with a 1940 ORIGINAL owners manual. He explained to me that his father had bought a new 40' in 1940 but kept the owners manual. His father died and he said he had been looking a long time for the 'right" person to give it to,and that person was me. I then understood his reason for all the "selling" questions. I still have the car and the owners manual is sealed up in a sandwich bag hanging in a prominent place in my garage. Not much compared to some of the other postings in this thread, but it means a great deal to me.

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In the early days of the forum several years ago (truly) "Super Moderator" Peter Heizmann offered to send me a box of parts he had left over from his resotration of his Triumph TR6 in case I could use some of them for mine. I accepted the offer, and offered to pay for them or at least the shipping (at least I hope I did, it was at least 7 or 8 years ago now and my memory of it is a little hazy now). A week later a box of assorted parts arrived, much more than I was expecting and many of which I could really use. I didn't even have to pay the shipping. I've salted away the ones appropriate for the car I'm restoring, and have installed 2 or 3 of the others on the (5 years newer) "driver" TR6 I have.

I thanked him profusely, of course, but I never publicly acknowledged him until now.

I've had a number of guys in the hobby give me stuff for free for my car, especially when I was broken down on the road. I must say the guys I've known in the British car hobby are among the most generous people I've ever met, especially including Peter!:cool:

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Not a car part, but about 15 years ago my middle brother and I decided to restore my oldest brother's John Deere pedal tractor he had gotten new for Christmas in 1957. The main part we couldn't locate was the cast aluminum seat--as kids we were mighty hard on it and had at some point in the past replaced it with a board. While at a tractor/farm show that also had old pedal tractors/toys, I noticed someone had a JD pedal tractor of the same vintage, and a bystander heard me commenting about the seat. He said he had a seat just like, come by and he would give it to me. I drove by later that day and sure enough he just gave it to me--refused to take any money. The tractor is now restored, and if ebay is an indicator, the old pedal tractor may now have a value of close to $1,000.

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