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Yes, they're still out there...


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auburnseeker and Biscayne John, you are both unquestionably right in your assessment of the costs. Sadly, this a great example of the "restore or street rod" situation as it exists today. Some wealthy body shop, salvage yard or tire shop, etc., owner (and member of the "Crate Engine" crowd) will sink a fortune in this one and not bat an eye. Then, as quick as that, it's gone from posterity forever.

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I'll bet the car as pictured would be a hit at any AACA or NSRA Show in the country if it ran and drove on the field as pictured. With the rise of the "Rat Rod" comes more appreciation of the unrestored antique car. May I coin a new term here as a "Rat tique"? Somehow when I show a drivable "barn find" at any outing it generates plenty of interest and inquiries as to it's availability and value. My answer is always, "talk to my wife at my estate sale."

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I'll bet the car as pictured would be a hit at any AACA or NSRA Show in the country if it ran and drove on the field as pictured. With the rise of the "Rat Rod" comes more appreciation of the unrestored antique car. May I coin a new term here as a "Rat tique"? Somehow when I show a drivable "barn find" at any outing it generates plenty of interest and inquiries as to it's availability and value. My answer is always, "talk to my wife at my estate sale."

Thank you for your gift of glorious euphemism! Now I have a term I can use when she asks about all of that junk out in back.

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Clean it up and drive it as-is.

The flat white house paint is dreadful. I'm only half-serious about this, but I imagine that it wouldn't be out of the realm of possible solutions to clean it up and brush paint it a more pleasant color. The key, here, would to never admit that it didn't come that way when you bought it. On a serious note, though, I want to stress that I endorse any solution that keeps a worthwhile vintage car from being torched. Getting it running and drivable and using it some is a valid way of deferring the expensive work down the road to a later date or, even a later owner.

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I thought GM got away from wood by 1936, and yes I think well over $30K more like $50K to get that done. Pre war Pontiacs are rare, ya just don't see them!

John, there are many more knowledgeable folks here than me when it comes to pre-war GM cars, but I think that, at least insofar as the Chevrolet, Pontiac and less expensive Oldsmobile bodies go, the bulk of the wood in the bodies wasn't phased out until somewhat near the end of '36. Perhaps someone here knows an approximate date or serial number.

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Mr. Dobbin, In reading this post I saw your byline. Love it. So many of these cars are pushed from garage to trailer and back again. I don't put bumper stickers on my cars but if I did, I would have one that said. "If you see this car on a trailer, call the police, it's stolen."

Sorry for being off topic.

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one would have to be dead to not get excited over this one!

John, in 36, most wood was discontinued halfway through on the chevys for steel. My 36 coupe has wood door posts and wood throughout the doors. Second half of the year the sills and doors were pretty much all steel. They do not interchange.

May be slightly different time periods for the other GM cars, but thereabouts............

Chevy outsold Ford in 31, but there are almost no 31 chevys left compared to the model A's, which were prominently metal-even the slantback. The wood was the demise of many GM products.

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The flat white house paint is dreadful. I'm only half-serious about this, but I imagine that it wouldn't be out of the realm of possible solutions to clean it up and brush paint it a more pleasant color. The key, here, would to never admit that it didn't come that way when you bought it.

Brushing is so yesterday, I did this '49 Studebaker fire truck with a foam roller.

Tremclad022-1.jpg

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I took a little time to browse through the other cars in this upcoming auction. I could tell right away that this "Auctions America" event is going to be one of those "Heavy Hitter as seen on TV" mega-bucks things. I don't usually follow car auctions of this caliber, because the dollars spent make me feel like I'm from another century. Do any of you think that this will reach $20,000 or $25,000? Am I way over?

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12-15k..........................

Well, yes, that's what a reasonable, experienced hobbyist might think. But fortunately, they've invoked the "barn find" clause, and that states that anyone wishing to buy this car must be willing to pay quite a bit more than its actual value to also purchase the dirt and neglect stuck all over the car. If it has multiple missing unobtainable parts, then it will command a premium.

The formula for determining the value of a "barn find" is as follows:

(restored car's value x 1.3) + full frame-off restoration cost + alcohol = barn find bidder

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Just what is it with people's fascination with "barn finds"?. At Hershey we offered for sale a set of front and rear fenders and splash aprons in excellent condition that we bought from a street rodder and that have lived in our storage bldg for the last 6-8 years. As a joke we wrote "Barn Find" on the front fenders in bright bold marker. I was amazed at the number of folks who just assumed that they were actually barn finds even to the point of remarking on the dust and dirt on the pieces as being original to the barn. One fellow even said they must have come from a tobacco barn because he knew what tobacco dust looked like.

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John, we should also factor in a room full of people watching you, plus sometimes television cameras. That much attention focused on me could drive me to an overwrought state in a hurry. It would take a cooler head than mine to make a rational choice to quit bidding at some predetermined point.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Randy, have you ever run your Chrysler thru an auction?

I never tried. We had a pretty close one but even though it was a big car weekend in the area it was hot rod oriented and the action is on the streets not 4 miles down the road where they hold the auction. I looked at the cars they were offering as well. Two were stock 40's-50's cars that you might see at an auction you would want to run it through. The rest were Muscle cars and plane 80's cars. I didn't think it was the right venue and a waste of time because of the Activity in town. They have a cruise for the cars and actually block the streets. This year they weren't even letting people back into the village unless they lived their because they exceeded the parking spaces and the town becomes so congested you can barely walk.

I have a bunch of tire kickers right now. Maybe someone will finally realize it's not a Ford and they may never have the opportunity to buy one again. I've had people that won't buy it because they won't buy it unless I come down $1000 more. I guess they really don't want it. Would you let 1000 stop you from buying a car like this? I know I just paid $3,000 more for a tractor than what I wanted to because it's what I wanted. In fact I think half the vehicles I bought in the last few years were more than I wanted to spend. I guess no one really wants it right now.

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I honestly wonder if any of the offers given were real. They always seem to know my bottom line then want it for a little less. Not one person has looked at it yet. Lots of interest. I would think if you were willing to spend 36,500 sight unseen for a car that the owner stated it's 37,500 firm you would atleast go look at the car to see if it really was worth the extra grand.

I know if I was that close I would find a way to come up with another grand. I even have a full tub of NOS Mopar and Autolite parts for the car as well as a complete set of really nice gauge clusters with all the trim and glass. The parts include NOS regulator, Coil, a whole pile of Transmission parts new in the boxes, extra door handles, Dimmer switch, lots of service stuff to keep the car running. Stuff that you know having Auburns, Doesn't grow on trees and isn't cheap when you find them.

I guess part of my problem is I am a little partial to it as well. I want the next guy to appreciate what he's buying and the work that went into making it run and function as it does. I guess if it was a dead barn find that would cost 20 grand to get on the road it would have more mystique.

Not a big deal for now. They say there is an A$$ for every seat, This car I'll wait until I find it.

I may do the ebay thing again, when the dust settles from buying a new house and moving, which we are still in the middle of.

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  • 1 month later...

The formula for determining the value of a "barn find" is as follows:

(restored car's value x 1.3) + full frame-off restoration cost + alcohol = barn find bidder

Without a doubt, the funniest thing I have read this month. Fairly accurate too!

With regards to spending the extra $1,000 or so, when two buyers get in a stalemate over such a small amount of money I think it's wise to then move to another means of negotiating to come to an agreement, maybe ask for delivery to be included or some spares, or even splitting charges that may apply such as with a credit card transaction. I've asked for, and received, things like spare key sets made up or repairs, new tires, and so on. Think of your options for a specific car before you start negotiating. Some people feel they have dropped their price far enough or simply don't want to back off their "firm" price as a point of pride, but would be willing to make the deal otherwise.

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