JamesR

Is it ever appropriate to crush a somewhat collectible old car?

Recommended Posts

If so, at what condition level is it appropriate to do so (in your opinion)? Of course, even severely damaged XKE's or wrecked '30's Packards are unlikely to get crushed given their value and desirability, so I'm talking more about cars like '55 Chevy's and below (in value and desirability.) I have  no definite opinion on this subject. I believe in property rights, and a person has a right to do whatever with the things they own, but that doesn't always make it the right thing to do.

 

I ask because I read an article a while back by someone - maybe a Hemmings Classic Car author - who bought like an early 60's Rambler at an auction for cheap because the seller said it would be crushed if it didn't sell. The pic showed the car to be largely intact, straight and rust free, though non-running.  On the other hand, even with the increasing rarity and value of old cars, it seems like there are a lot more "full restoration projects" out there than people to restore them. Or am I wrong? (I don't restore cars.) Like I said, I have no definite opinion, but I lean towards the idea that it's wrong to crush anything.

 

https://driving.ca/buick/auto-news/news/these-4000-rusty-classics-will-be-crushed-unless-someone-saves-them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to crush more of them. I have two or three in mind right this very moment.

 

A 4x4 cube sitting in the center of the showroom really shows the others the consequences of screwing up...

  • Like 2
  • Haha 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a TV show called "Graveyard Cars" and some of the stuff they bring back to life, I would have crushed. I guess if there is the smallest part that you can save, it might be worth saving it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It ALL depends on the car in question. If it is rare enough and there is enough left to restore, don't crush it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt I do believe you getting sinicle, I think you need a vacation away from cars business and people you can’t satisfy,take a deep breath and relax,your wife and kids don’t need  dad getting sick,   Dave

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sadly we can't save them all. Even more sad is saving the wrong car (deplorable condition) while another more worthy copy is scrapped, or parted, because nobody wants it. We have all kinds of artificial roadblocks, like location, timing, community legislation, and proper vetting that get in the way of saving a car that deserves salvation. A picture of a wrecking yard doesn't tell anyone what he needs to know about a particular car. In today's soft old car market, it would be nice to have a third party mediator, vet a car on it's merits.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, mike6024 said:

4,000 classic car junkyard sale

 

I see a couple 60's vehicles with fins that could become lowriders, and a red 50's something in the center. The rest all looks to be scrap metal.

 

The problem I see is no matter how hard I look,  I can't find a single car in the jumble that you can't buy it's twin in make and model for 10G or less and drive it home.  Some in beautiful not just drive able condition. Some even at 5G.  

Yet I would bet it would take 10 to 20 g or more to take almost any one of them back to the same condition as the car you bought and drove home.  So economically speaking it makes no sense to restore or even rehab any of those.  

They say do it for the love of the car.  But every junk yard is full of cars we can love so unless there is a sentimental connection I can't see anyone falling in love with any of these old girls which is why they all ended up here. Coolest thing I see is the wagon and that's bent in half,  or most likely broke in half from rust. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see tons of parts, but who is gonna go there and buy them, strip them all, catalog all of the parts and wait for the right guy to contact you for the right part? THAT is a logistical nightmare and VERY time consuming. It probably would not be feasible. You need guys to strip the cars, places to store the parts and a way to rid yourself of the no longer needed hulks.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is hard to believe that the silver 62 Chevy Belair is a Wisconsin car from the condition of the quarter panel. I could have used that entire back clip 18 years ago

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

The problem I see is no matter how hard I look,  I can't find a single car in the jumble that you can't buy it's twin in make and model for 10G or less and drive it home.  Some in beautiful not just drive able condition. Some even at 5G.  

Yet I would bet it would take 10 to 20 g or more to take almost any one of them back to the same condition as the car you bought and drove home.  So economically speaking it makes no sense to restore or even rehab any of those.  

 

 

I really agree with that. I've never restored a car, but I have completed a moderate refurbishment, and even that was a lot of money and work. I think there's a mythology among non-car people about people in the old car hobby: that old car people LOVE taking basket cases and turning them into show cars. That's strictly a rich person's game, and even then, the wealthy are only likely to do it because there aren't any nice examples of the car they want that are available. I put roughly an extra $10,000 and much labor in my $5000 '54 Ford to get it where it is. I definitely could've used that 15K to buy a car nicer than what I have (though mine's decent) or spent 9 or 10K to buy a car like the one I have now. After you do that once, the romantic notion of old car redemption fades.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, mike6024 said:

4,000 classic car junkyard sale

 

I see a couple 60's vehicles with fins that could become lowriders, and a red 50's something in the center. The rest all looks to be scrap metal.

 

Thanks for posting the date Keiser. I was under the impression someone got all the current $5000 cars for sale on my local Craigslist & Facebook Marketplace together for a group photo............

  • Like 1
  • Haha 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, The 55er said:

Thanks for posting the date Keiser. I was under the impression someone got all the current $5000 cars for sale on my local Craigslist & Facebook Marketplace together for a group photo............

 

 

Yeah what is that?  When I had my music store, I used to call it, "Antiques Roadshow Syndrome" with regards to customers who wanted me to sell or appraise their guitars...e.i., it's old, therefore valuable. It's like a commandment.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have cup up 20 Pierce Arrow's over the last thirty years............and the number is probably low.......

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most any postwar production cars were produced in high enough numbers so distressing over scrapping severely rusted and ruined examples isn't a worthwhile use of one's time.  Even many pre-war cars still survive in high enough numbers so the same applies.  The higher end rarer luxury makes take more thoughtful consideration but as Ed notes even some of those have reached a point where salvaging whatever is left that is good is all that can be done.  

 

What is a shame is when an original or older restoration is bought then butchered by some man-child to make a 'cool' toy which he then quickly loses interest in after all this man-child buddies are no longer impressed with it.  The car essentially is rendered unwanted junk and lost.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're asking from the stand point of financial viability to have one professionally restored .........None of them.

If you're asking from the stand point of archival necessity...................None of them.

If you're asking from the stand point of emotional engagement...........The sky is the limit.

There is no right or wrong answer.

I've restored 5 cars that by rights should have been crushed.

I restored them for my own selfish reasons.

Is the world a better place because they now still exist?

Would the world be worse off if they had been crushed as they so richly deserved?

It's all just stuff.................Bob

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It all depends on how realistic the yard is about selling. At double scrap value probably a number would find reprieve as parts cars. If they want the typical $1000.00 or more each then 99% will end up as scrap.

The early Mustangs might find salvation. Likewise a handful of others that are rare/ desirable  and still reasonably intact. All vintage cars eventually need something that is not in any catalog. Parts cars are an important part of the hobby.

Greg in Canada

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, GregLaR said:

According to these guys, the answer is a resounding "NO".

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/cto/d/los-angeles-1959-porsche-356-coupe/7030844881.html

At $18,500 apparently they seem to think there is a market for a collectible car even after it's been crushed. :lol:

 

 

wreck.jpg

 

 

I've been smiling at that comment all day. A classic retort!

 

It would be crazy to pay $18,500 for a bashed up old Porsche, but I tell you what...I might pay $18.50 to see a rack of vintage Porsche parts cars. Maybe some of these salvage yards should forget about selling vehicles or parts and start charging admission. You aren't allowed to touch these cars at car shows, but for 18.50 you could sit on fenders or even dance on the roof (not that I would.)

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Therein lies the moral dilemma. I have maybe 6 or 8 1932 and 1933 Packard rear ends around here. They are in the way. I have never had a call for one. Scrap or save?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

I'd love to crush more of them. I have two or three in mind right this very moment.

 

A 4x4 cube sitting in the center of the showroom really shows the others the consequences of screwing up...

I have a few that I'm ready to crush myself! I'd love to drive my Jag into the crusher, pull the switch and cube it!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice car Matt! I believe you made a good choice for restoration because Buick is probably the most popular marque on this forum. So based strictly on that, virtually any Buick is a solid bet. Especially a convertible.

Edited by Steve9 (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now