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Deal or not, the one you DIDN'T let get away!


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Let's hear the stories of the car you 'caught', and did let out of your sight and/or immediately bought while the opportunity was there.

 

Mine is a '63 GT Hawk, Hamilton-built with R2 engine.

 

Craig

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About 1984, I was living in SoCal and had a 1969 Hurst/Olds.  I would religiously check the Recycler want ad paper when it came out every Thursday.  One day I saw an ad for a "1969 Oldsmobile 442, Hurst front end" being sold for parts.  I went to check on the car, and as I pulled up, I saw that it was actually a 1968 Olds, not a 69.  I was about ready to leave, but stopped and looked at the car.  The owner had already pulled the motor and trans to install them in his 1956 Ford F100 (go figure).  He also wanted to keep the rear axle for the same project.  He was asking $400 for the rest of the car.  I lifted the hood to look at it and that's when I saw the red inner fenders, under bumper scoops, and cold air ducts of a W-30.  I went and looked at the motor that was hanging from the cherry picker, and it was the numbers-matching block with the correct heads and carb.  The rear axle that he wanted was a 4.33 anti-spin.  The car also had power windows and power seat, unusual in a car that was not available with power brakes or A/C due to the low vacuum of the radical cam.  The car had 27,000 original miles, all applied a quarter mile at a time, and had been sitting in a field where people had been shooting at it (there were bullet holes in the windshield). I can only assume that the unusual combination of options was done to meet a specific weight class in the NHRA stock categories.

 

In any case, I spent the next hour convincing the seller to sell me the complete car with the drivetrain.  He finally gave in for $800.  The only thing missing on the car was the air cleaner (which I subsequently located) and the original trans.

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When I was in high school there was an original owner '56 Chevy 210 two door sedan in a neighborhood where several of my friends lived.  Everyone wanted that car - I fell victim to the guys M.O. along with a few others,  He would say he is thinking about selling but changed his mind.  I remember looking at the car with my dad, and we went back a few nights later with his asking price, I think it was $500 or so, in 1978.  Well, he of course changed his mind, looked at us and said "I don't know, its just like an old pair of shoes, comfortable.  I think I will keep it around".

 

Fast forward five years and I am in town looking at a '57 Chevy not too far from where the '56 was.  I was disappointed in the condition of the '57 and when I passed on the car, the seller says "why not go up to the end of the street, another guy lives there and he just got laid off and wants to sell his '56 Chevy.  Sure enough - same car.  Someone talked the old guy into selling it but unfortunately, he could not keep it due to a lost job.  Well the price had gone up even though the new owner had done nothing with it so far, but at least no one had cut it up, etc.  I bought it and did a full, stock restoration - most of my pals were still hot rodding at the time but that was never the vision I had for that car.  

 

Oh, wait a minute, all that waiting, paying and work restoring and this probably should be in the "lost cars" thread.  I got a bad case of Corvette fever and traded it away, worst of the couple of automotive blunders I have been involved in by far.

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Sometime around 1962 or so there was a sidewalk sale in New Cannan, Ct. and the local HCCA Region had cars on display. I would have been 11 years old, had Ralph Stein's The Treasury of the Automobile and a few Flord Clymer books and an interest in Model T Fords. There was a 1912 Touring car that really impressed me, so did the owner who answered all my questions. He looked at his watch and said it was time to leave and did I want a ride, sure, but I had to ask my Mom if it was ok. She got invited to ride along too. That was my very first Antique car ride, and it sure made a lasting impression. Years later the owner had a hart attack and his wife told him to sell all his antique cars. I couldn't find the money and lost it. Found it about three years later in the Hershey Swap Meet, that was 1983, and I wasn't going to loose it again. Sold a 1928 Packard 443 Roadster project and it has been mine ever since. Car still has its 1950 restoration that was finished in time for the Glidden Tour that year, a restoration that is three months older than I am. I need to get it out and running this summer. Bob

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Thought not much to the story, this query is easy for me ... my 1989 Caprice Classic Brougham.  Guy selling it gave me a great deal on a great car that I just couldn't let go....

 

 

Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve
"It's a freedom that we all want to know" __ Restless Heart __ 'Wheels'
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Guest Skyking

4JBdoSs.jpgIn 1999 a friend called me and asked if I wanted to buy a nice Buick.  I had just recently purchased a 1963 Buick LeSabre 2 dr. ht. with 32,000 miles on it and really didn't have the room for another old car so I said I wasn't interested.  He said you may be interested in it when I tell you what it is.  He went on telling me that it was a one owner 1966 Skylark convertible that was sitting in a grage in the next town over.  The lady that owned it was 91 and couldn't drive it any longer and wanted to sell it for $2500.00.  Well now he caught my ear!  I said I wanted to see it and within an hour I was opening up the garage door.  I couldn't believe the condition and bought it on the spot.  The odemeter showed 11,000 miles but she assured me it was 111,000 and said she babied the car, never ever left it outside and wouldn't sell it to me if I didn't have a garage.  I told her it was going into a heated garage and she sold it to me.  When I drove it I really thought it was 11,000 miles.  The white interior was like new including the handy mats and carpet.  The top was installed 2 years prior.  I did a little body work from her hitting the garage and re-painted it in the original color.  I also added red-line tires and Skylark steel wheels.    I ended selling the '63 Lesabre after I switched the 32,000 mile motor and tranny into my '62 tired invicta.

I kept the Skylark for a few years showing it at a couple of nationals and driving it to Flint for the 100 Buick reuion.   I sold it in 2003 for $17,500.  I think I made around $12,000 with that car.....................  I do miss it though..........

 

Ow0Gyqz.jpg

Edited by Skyking (see edit history)
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Here is mine or one of them.  Probably one of the best I didn't let get away. 1936 Cord 810 Phaeton.  I bought it sight unseen from the tiny first photo from California.  It was put in storage the year I was born and only taken out of the garage once after that to get a car out that was behind it. 

It ironically was in hemmings and my Hemmings came 3 days late that month ( I get it Priority mail)  but the seller was only at the phone number in the ad twice a week for a couple of hours and when I went home for lunch to call he was their and answered.  He also wouldn't sell it unless you or a representative looked at it first.  We have a family friend that could do that but he was on the East coast when I tracked him down.  Fortunately he was headed back to the west coast in a day or two and the seller couldn't show the car until the following weekend anyways.  He looked at it the following weekend not knowing a thing about cars he was a bit nervous,  but I told him all he had to do was confirm the rest of the car was their and not Obviously  rusted to swiss cheese.   That he did and I bought it that day.  

  It was every penny I had and a bit more but I couldn't pass it up.  Glad I didn't. post-86835-0-91651100-1432733186_thumb.jpost-86835-0-04695800-1432733941_thumb.jpost-86835-0-52395400-1432733960_thumb.jpost-86835-0-68335800-1432733983_thumb.j

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I overpaid for my project car, though I'm not sure how much you cam overpay for a $1800 car.  It was just so close to me (15 miles away) and considering I could bring it home for a little gas money, I went for it.  I see similar cars (non-running, not rare sedans with rust) go for under $1000 occasionally, but what's another $800 when you're doing a full restoration yourself anyway?

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I bought my one and only (and still not even remotely finished) project car 4 years ago for $1000.  Yes, I probably paid too much for a bunch of rust.  However, over those 4 years I have built a dream shop and hunted for and found most every tool I will need and I've done so for far, far less money that I could ever have imagined.  There is no possible way that I would have ever gotten my shop completed and located all the quality tools I have without the 'carrot' of my unfinished Metz just out in front of me.  The dream of restoring the Metz has motivated me to do things I would likely have never had the energy to do otherwise.  One day the Metz will be completed and move on to live with someone else but I'll still have a wonderful shop and lots of projects waiting. I guess I didn't buy a project car... I bought a dream restoration shop.  :)

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