Jump to content

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

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
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
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
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 5
  • Thanks 1
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
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
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 6
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jackofalltrades70 said:

After

 

Matt

0ADEE8BE-9BEB-49C5-B87D-D75A33009C0E.jpeg

 

This beautiful car is sort of what I'm talking about. While most people wouldn't have crushed the "before" version, a lot of people might have parted it out, then crushed what was left. But look what Matt did!

 

The question is: Do the number of people with Matt's skill, motivation and resources match the number of "major restoration required" projects out there?  Awesome car!

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have to say for every guy that has the ability and resources to complete a project like that as well as the desire.  Total about 1 per 100 available worthy projects.  Think of the barns full of cars,  hoarded estates. I bet we only know of a small fraction out there between all of our members.  Some are not available but will never get done by their current owners so they eventually will hit the market,  plus others will fall to the way side. and be neglected in such a way they will need to be re restored. 

The capable will never have to worry about running out of projects if they are open minded as to what their next project will be.  If they are specific about an exact year and model, then maybe. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Robert Redford did something like that to Paul Newman as a joke.

 

 

Redford: For Newman's birthday, Robert Redford deposited a junked Porsche in Paul's driveway — sans wheels and fenders but wrapped in a blue bow. Newmanretaliated by engaging a compacting company to crush the Porsche into a lump of steel, which he deposited in Redford's living room, re-wrapped in the same blue ribbon.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, auburnseeker said:

I would have to say for every guy that has the ability and resources to complete a project like that as well as the desire.  Total about 1 per 100 available worthy projects.  Think of the barns full of cars,  hoarded estates. I bet we only know of a small fraction out there between all of our members.  Some are not available but will never get done by their current owners so they eventually will hit the market,  plus others will fall to the way side. and be neglected in such a way they will need to be re restored. 

The capable will never have to worry about running out of projects if they are open minded as to what their next project will be.  If they are specific about an exact year and model, then maybe. 

 

 

Add all the cars in storage buildings to that list, many have storage bill totals that exceed the value of the vehicle. Bob 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 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...

   Show us pictures io the candidates to be crushed.   I too have see n vehicles at shows that should have been crushed, but it's an owner decision.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

 

 

Add all the cars in storage buildings to that list, many have storage bill totals that exceed the value of the vehicle. Bob 

 

I looked at a MGTF for a friend recently. It has been in a paid storage spot since 1992. The Father of the seller had always hoped to get it back on the road. He had bought it in the early 1960's and driven it for about 25 years. Then the owner passed away and his widow did not want to sell a car that had been a big part of their younger life together.

Finally the seller was able to reason with the elderly mother that the car should have a new owner. Storage bills over the years were quite a bit more than what they were asking for the car. Quite a decent car but suffering from a poor 1960's repaint and interior redo. My friend passed on it , he is kind of picky and in his 70's so he felt he should buy a better car.

15 years ago I would have leapt at it myself , but too many projects already in my possession. In the late 1970's when MGTF's were a hot item around here I paid about as much in or even slightly more in inflation adjusted $ for one in significantly worse condition. 

Greg in Canada

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ed,

 

Not trying to be snarky, and this is in no way a rhetorical question, but what do yo do with the remains of the twenty PA's  that you cut up? As a PA owner, it is comforting to know that you folks have a ready supply of parts available. On the other hand when the cars no longer exist, what becomes of your stash? Youth has it's advantages, but it is fleeting. How fast does your stash move?

 

Bill

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Usurp is not a common term today, but applies to many situations. It is a fitting term in this instance. I will not usurp a potential buyers right to purchase any item I own by throwing it away. That is the buyer's right alone and nor mine to throw something away.

 

A friend I grew up with used to get totally fried when he saw me sell something he deemed worthless. Usually he would be upset when we went out for coffee. I always bought. He never had enough money.

 

Putting the concept into words came over a decade ago. I had worked with a group to create a set of engineering standards. They were to be presented to a vice-president of a university for his approval. Upon completion of the draft one of the group's leaders decided to withdraw the whole standard. "He won't go for it" was the excuse. I argued it was the Boss's job to decide. That's what he was being paid for. It was an eye opener for me because I realized that was my basic sales philosophy..... and a shortcoming for those who made decisions for others.

 

Mike, my friend really went on a rant the first time I sold an empty model car box....... the first time.

 

Bernie

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm at a loss to even try to understand why someone would get bent out of shape over someone selling an empty car model box. Buying sealed full kits and never opening them is some what odd, but to each his own. Bob 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, jackofalltrades70 said:

Ed

I would jump all over that one. Looks like walk in the park compared to my Buick

 

Matt

Yes. It's a solid car with a lot of the chassis/hydraulic work already done. It will be a faithful resto!

  • Like 1
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
×
×
  • Create New...