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Considering buying a car from Dusty Old Cars in NH, Has anybody


Guest Will C
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I'm considering buying an old car from a business in Derry New Hampshire called Dusty Old cars, They have a large listing on Hemmins.com. Has anyone bought any cars from them? Are they trustworthy?

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Guest AlCapone

If you google the name you will find opinions / reviews from previous buyers. I have not commented because I think the forum rules do not allow.

Wayne

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Thank you Wayne, I did as you suggested and it seems they have a good following. To many times I've invested a bunch of money in travel to find nothing but a overly advertised rust bucket. After a few trips like that it doesn't take long for the travel expenses to pile up. Too many trips and suddenly you spent all your car money that you've saved for gas and hotels.

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I've always asked for detailed photos of obscure places that don't usually get touched during a resale restoration or a poor amateur job. It's saved me alot of travel time and expense and allowed me to buy a couple of fairly expensive cars sight unseen and be pleased with what arrived. I always ask for close up dash pictures. Pitting on the dash chrome usually means a car was not that nice before the restoration, Almost always the floors seem to have been repaired or rusted in these cars. Makes sense, the damp interior led to the pitting and floor deterioration.

Vent windows tell a good story as well as many people don't remove them during a restoration or have them replated unless it's a complete total frame off restoration.

Door bottom shots help as well as bottom of the quarter shots taken from the ground looking up. It seems 1/2 of the cars I have looked at still have the swoosh of filler hanging off the edges when you look underneath.

My favorite are the random under car shots and bottoms / back sides of the rockers. They tell the true story. You won't know how it runs or drives or how good the paint really is, but it will let you know fairly well how good the car was to begin with.

Good luck. Let us know what you buy.

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Will,

I have not purchased a vehicle from them, but would not hesitate to buy from them, if there was a vehicle that I liked, and fit my budget. I did inquire about a particular Willys with a plow setup - decided a 3/4 ton pickup was better suited for my needs. Did not meet the owner - just a salesman during a lunch break.

As with any used car business - buyer beware.

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I am setting up plans on driving there Friday after work if the weather is with me. It's about a 7 hour drive from here to there so hopefully it goes well, This time of year it can always be completed. I'm taking my son in law with me to help with the driving and we will find a nice hotel in the area and spend the night. That way I'm not rushed while looking at the car. He's the reason I need a new go fast car. I gave him my 49 Plymouth to help get him started in the hobby. The car I'm looking at is the 51 Olds 88. One thing I can say for these guys is that they don't spare the film. They have over 200 photo's of the car. My biggest concern on the Olds is that the seats are from something else and I'm not sure if I will ever be able to find the original seats for it. The video that they posted was very good but someone was sawing lumber in the background and it covered up the sound of the engine. I had originally considered the 59 Lincoln they have but after looking at the engine it looked a little to complicated if something should ever go wrong and the Olds looked to be far easier to repair if something should happen. I will do my best to let everyone know what happens. Thank you for all the advice.

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I've never purchased a car from them, and I don't know much about them other than... I had a 85 Riviera that I sold privately to a friend which was later purchased by this firm. I saw that they were selling it on EBay with an advertised 42,000 miles. I knew this to be incorrect because when I sold it to my friend two and a half years prior it had 105,000 miles. I emailed the firm but they emailed me back refusing to correct their ad....just saying...

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Guest AlCapone

The type of car you are looking at is available privately on a regular basis. I would not hurry out to a dealer. Why not place a Craigslist ad of a newspaper ad. Especially this time of year, they are dirt cheap so to speak. Why not back off and give it a little more thought ? Wayne

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Guest AlCapone

Craigslist is not the be all and end all, it is just another source. You might also want to check with local car clubs. Often members become sick of pass away and their pampered vehicles become available . What ever avenue you coose take your time and be careful. Also remember the great cars sell immediately on the car lots. It is quite often the over priced or undesirables that get advertised. I have a large personal collection and I only once bought the first day. You might ask want to take a wife or daughter along because they are often an important part of the deal. Once you find the car you think is the right one post it here and get opinions. Hope that helps. Wayne

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Forum rules allow someone to praise a company,

but not to say anything bad! (I don't know Dusty Old Cars,

so I speak generally.)

Such forum rules, allowing only nice things said, might

give readers only half the picture of a company.

A "private message" to the original poster will be seen

by the original poster, but not by anyone else who

may come upon this later.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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There were a couple of nice 54 Olds Sedans on here over the summer that looked very good. I don't remember if they ever sold. If not they may be able to be bought even better now. That Olds V8 has plenty of get up and go too. I think I've even seen a few early 50's Cadillac sedans in very good shape for 10,000 or less. I think one was in MA on craigslist this summer.

I would also search claz.org there is no way to do a year span search but you can do a search by year and just add the word of the car you are looking for. You can do a regional search within a radius. It picks up alot of the local newspaper and swap sheets. Pretty cool. I was using it when I was looking for my Vette. Leave the page up and just refresh it. The newest ads come up first with the time they were posted.

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Wayne ("Al Capone") gives excellent advice--

to check with car clubs. For example, the

Oldsmobile Club of America probably has a

technical advisor for Oldsmobiles of the years

you want. Look him up on their website, or

call a club officer and get his name. Not only could

those club people tell you the strengths and

problem areas of a particular car, they might know

of a member "John Smith" who has been looking to sell one.

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One thing I can say for these guys is that they don't spare the film.

Not difficult when the "film" is digital... ;)

Lots of photos is always a good thing, though I often wonder about dealers who post photos taken every 10 degrees around the car. Seems like a waste. I don't need three pictures of every tire on the car. I much prefer to see photos of the bad parts of the car - rust, repairs, pitted chrome, etc. It's often what you don't see in the hundreds of photos that is more telling.

I've had good luck with Craigslist. I suggest Searchtempest.com. This is a site that lets you search every Craigslist site in the US at once, with the ability to set distance limits.

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They do list many cars on the bay each week-their concept is intriguing, as they seem to be a group of guys that do this for fun and a little profit.

They do set reserves that are often not met. If they have what you want, worth a look, but certainly not going to be giving anything away.

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  • 1 year later...

How does someone "steal" a car, if you know who it is, you have all serial numbers and, supposedly, a title or registration in your name for same?  Very unusual story, to me, in that MGEXP link.....

 

A personal inspection of a vehicle you're interested in, or having a qualified person do an inspection, is the only way not to get burned.  Many cars are cosmetically restored, and are pigs mechanically, many cars were rust buckets patched up to sell, the list goes on....

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39 minutes ago, trimacar said:

How does someone "steal" a car, if you know who it is, you have all serial numbers and, supposedly, a title or registration in your name for same?  Very unusual story, to me, in that MGEXP link.....

 

Agreed. Sounds fishy.  Something along the lines of the dad gave the kid the car but the title was in the mom's name and she sold it after the dad died. 

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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OK, read all the Yelp reviews, but come on...if you consign a car to someone to sell, read the fine print in the contract, there'd better be a contract, and make an informed decision whether or not to consign with that particular individual or firm.  Due diligence pays big dividends and avoids an interesting sequence of financial mishaps.  In the MGEXP link, he makes a big deal about the cars having "sentimental  value" to his family...if that's so, why did he consign them to sell?

 

Unfortunately, the days of doing business with a promise and a handshake are coming to an end.....

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On 1/18/2015 at 8:27 AM, DShip said:

I've never purchased a car from them, and I don't know much about them other than... I had a 85 Riviera that I sold privately to a friend which was later purchased by this firm. I saw that they were selling it on EBay with an advertised 42,000 miles. I knew this to be incorrect because when I sold it to my friend two and a half years prior it had 105,000 miles. I emailed the firm but they emailed me back refusing to correct their ad....just saying...

 

I know that earlier odometers were easy for crooks to alter;

but were they "tamper-evident" by 1985?  When did they become so?

 

There seem to be a large number of relatively low-mileage cars for sale

these days.  Some, such as Lincoln Mark V's and 1976 Eldorado convertibles,

I can readily believe.  But I wonder whether our hobby is seeing a rise in

odometer tampering---

 

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1 hour ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

I know that earlier odometers were easy for crooks to alter;

but were they "tamper-evident" by 1985?  When did they become so?

 

There seem to be a large number of relatively low-mileage cars for sale

these days.  Some, such as Lincoln Mark V's and 1976 Eldorado convertibles,

I can readily believe.  But I wonder whether our hobby is seeing a rise in

odometer tampering---

 

 

Knocking back the mileage was common practice in the used car industry for decades, and wasn't made illegal until the early 1970's.  The only way I would accept that a car is truly low mileage is if it were accompanied by a stack of original documentation showing a slow, orderly mileage progression over the years.

 

Odometers are still easy to alter, even on modern vehicles.  There are people out there who will, for a fee, make your electronic odometer say any mileage you'd like, and change the computer memory to match as well.

 

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2 hours ago, Harold said:

 

Knocking back the mileage was common practice in the used car industry for decades, and wasn't made illegal until the early 1970's.  The only way I would accept that a car is truly low mileage is if it were accompanied by a stack of original documentation showing a slow, orderly mileage progression over the years.

 

Odometers are still easy to alter, even on modern vehicles.  There are people out there who will, for a fee, make your electronic odometer say any mileage you'd like, and change the computer memory to match as well.

 

All it takes is a computer with the proper programing to change the mileage on a new car. The dealer does it all the time when they ship pickup from Canada to the US to convert it to miles. I know a fellow up here that does it for $300. and it will read what ever you want. But do not get caught in Canada doing it or it is fraud charges.

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Friend of mine worked for one of our local Mopar dealerships in the early-mid 1970's. One of his regular duties was to hook up the "black box" to the speedo cables on used cars. About 1000 miles could be unwound from an odometer overnight. For some reason it seems 42000 miles has always been a favorite among those who clock cars. Used to be a car and its mileage could be "laundered" thru New Jersey. 60 Minutes did a story years ago on the practice. There were companies set up in Jersey that did nothing but clean up titles of cars that had been clocked.

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Assuming we are talking about a collector car and not every day transportation,  what would you rather have:

 

1.  A 125k mile car that looks like it has 25k miles on it.

 

2.  A 25k mile car that looks like it has 125k miles on it.

 

My point being that with collector cars the condition is everything and the mileage means zilch.   As pointed out by the previous posts,  trying to use mileage to determine condition is a fools errand anyways.   Documentation in all collector car situations is critical anyways to make sure the car is what it advertised to be.

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1 hour ago, Restorer32 said:

Friend of mine worked for one of our local Mopar dealerships in the early-mid 1970's. One of his regular duties was to hook up the "black box" to the speedo cables on used cars. About 1000 miles could be unwound from an odometer overnight. For some reason it seems 42000 miles has always been a favorite among those who clock cars. Used to be a car and its mileage could be "laundered" thru New Jersey. 60 Minutes did a story years ago on the practice. There were companies set up in Jersey that did nothing but clean up titles of cars that had been clocked.

My cousin was looking at a used Taurus right around the time Carfax started.  The title history bounced around through several states, and when it got to Jersey the miles took a nosedive and Carfax flagged it.

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Any time you are dealing with "older" cars, there is no substitute for a detailed inspection and a Carfax (or equivalent) review - and even then you may get "surprised". Odometers are essentially meaningless (though someone skilled can usually look at the memory contents of a computer car and see if the ODO has been diddled.

 

Back in the day after complaints made the manufacturers build instrument panels that cold have the bulbs easily replaced, it was easy to just replace a mechanical odometer and not bother about clocking it.

 

That said "condition is everything" and any more 100K miles on a 20 year old car just means relatively light use. Frankly I am more concerned with "no rust" than the odo reading.

 

This is the reason I have bought most of my "fun" cars (Judge was inherited) from either Craigslist or AutoTrader and personally inspect first. Only exception was a Corvair I bought from Maryland but then had local friends inspect it first.

 

That said, I have never bought a used car that did not contain surprises, sometimes minor - others more - and build that expectation in the price. I almost walked from the GTP and have already added the purchase price again "making it right", despite needing zero body or drivetrain work & have done nothing for the seats besides add seat covers.

 

So while I avoid people whose main purpose is to flip cars to pay for their Bentley, they will be with it for as long as they can continue to make a profit. And maybe they do save some cars that otherwise would be crushed.

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Speaking of mileage...back in the late 70's and early 80's, one of my best friends in my hometown owned the Datsun dealership, which of course changed to Nissan.  He would get a super nice 260Z or 280Z in on trade, usually low miles.  He'd then sell it to me under wholesale, I'd drive it for anywhere to 2 to 6 months, he'd get another in so he'd take the previous one, sell at retail, and we'd split the profit.  We did this for 4 or 5 years, I got great cars, free to drive, what a life!

 

The only thing he'd ask is watch the mileage, and if it got to certain points, bring the car back to sell.  In other words, at 24,800 miles, bring it in, don't go over 25,000, if 29,800, don't go over 30,000, and so forth, as the numbers sounded so much lower below the 5000 mile increments.

 

I guess I owned at least 10 or 12 260/280Z's during that period.  Loved the things, particularly the 280Z, great cars.

 

Oh, did you hear about the snail that went into the Nissan dealership and bought  a Z car?  The only thing was, he wanted all the Z's changed to S's.  Thus the snail would drive the car, and everyone would comment "Look at that S car go!"

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19 hours ago, Joe in Canada said:

All it takes is a computer with the proper programing to change the mileage on a new car. The dealer does it all the time when they ship pickup from Canada to the US to convert it to miles. I know a fellow up here that does it for $300. and it will read what ever you want. But do not get caught in Canada doing it or it is fraud charges.

 

In the US also

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On 4/2/2016 at 9:22 AM, alsancle said:

Assuming we are talking about a collector car and not every day transportation,  what would you rather have:

 

1.  A 125k mile car that looks like it has 25k miles on it.

 

2.  A 25k mile car that looks like it has 125k miles on it.

 

My point being that with collector cars the condition is everything and the mileage means zilch.   As pointed out by the previous posts,  trying to use mileage to determine condition is a fools errand anyways.   Documentation in all collector car situations is critical anyways to make sure the car is what it advertised to be.

 

NEITHER!  Those two aren't the only choices.

I want a good collector car that has been treated right

and sold by an HONEST seller.  A fraudulently altered

car does not fit my criteria, and there are no excuses for

being dishonest.

 

I agree, Al, that documentation is important--maybe more

important than I realized.

Here's to all the honest car hobbyists in our midst.

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My criteria goes a lot deeper than any mentioned (partly emotional, partly psychic) but if you have to ask I'd prefer the 125k that looks and runs like 25k. Problem is ones I find for toys mostly have 125k and look it.

 

Have run into a problem before that there are usually ways to tell if a plebeian car has magically transformed into something desirable but if revealed, the transformers add that to their repertoire.

 

I do not buy or sell often, more like one every year or two but usually buy cheap and sell reasonable (usually after many hours of making it right).

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Thankfully, when I bought my 61 Fleetwood, had 18,902 miles. the previous owner bought it with 17,611 miles. The Massachusetts title when he bought it Was marked actual mileage . It now has 23,903mi. Guess I got lucky with the title being marked as no Service records accompanied it.

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