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"Running When Parked"

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I see much derision about this phrase but I believe it's only meant to show the car was not parked originally because of a blown engine or similar catastrophic issue.

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It means that’s the last time they saw it and/or cared about it. 

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It means it ran on enough cylinders to make it run, barely. The gearbox was seized and the diff was broken and it had a broken axle, but the engine ran, more or less. Oh, you could see the road through the floor too.

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Here in the states it's pretty common especially in rural areas for people to buy a new car and just park the old one. They put it up for sale and it doesn't sell or just hang on to it just in case and then the plates expire the fuel turns to varnish and the battery goes, 20 years later there are trees growing through it, happens quite a bit in rural areas where there are no city ordinances etc. In some areas of larger cities, it happens anyway. I used to live next to a guy in the suburbs that had five non-collectible cars and drove one. He would go out about once a month and get them all cranked, air up tires etc - to each his own.

 

-Ron

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It's just an interesting pop culture phrase that came out of the woodwork years ago along with barn find.  There are not that many barns to put cars in, yet barn find is a modern cult classic word to describe a car which was put away and forgotten, and now has come out for people to go 'wow'. 

 

Ran when parked evokes the image that the car was replaced by something that was deemed more reliable. Therefore, while the old car was not totally bad, it was not seen as reliable for daily transportation. But, what happened is - in the ensuing 20 + years, in some cases 40 + years, it became collectible.  In a sense.  Therefore, the seller wants you to know it was running at some point.  As others have noted, take this with a grain of salt (yet another catch phrase) .

 

It's no different then the moron who puts his thumb over the license plate like they are preventing a major crime of stealing your license plate information. The 1st person to do that, may have given it 5 seconds of thought.  The 2nd and 200,000,000th person are just following the crowd. 

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It means no preparation for long term storage was made. Dirty, acidic oil in the crankcase, contaminated fluids in the brake system, rear end, and transmission. All vents and valves open to atmosphere had opportunities to condense minute droplets of water on each ambient heating cooling cycle.

 

It is like the guy who said he was going to change the oil in his mower today. It sat all winter with the dirty stuff in it.

 

"We had not idea it would sit so long last time we shut it off."

Bernie

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Posted (edited)

Bottom line, it means it DOESN'T RUN NOW.  You can be almost certain the engine at least will require an overhaul.   I've seen allegedly freshly rebuilt engines that were described as "ran when parked" but needed a full reconditioning at minimum due to either poor workmanship or inadequate storage.  Even low mileage originals might fall into that category if they were not properly prepped for storage.  Unelss you can run and drive it to assess condition, assume the worst.

Terry

Edited by Terry Bond (see edit history)

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I bought a 37 Chevy PU that ran when it was parked in a field.

It was parked by a rock pile, no oil in the pan and a rock on the gas petal.

ran when parked.jpg

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Better yet.......”Ran when new!”

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22 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Better yet.......”Ran when new!”

 

I use that one a lot.

Used to run.

Pretty sure most all cars used to run.

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