Jeff Perkins / Mn

Tell us about the one that got away........

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Posted (edited)

In the early 90s I went with my dad to a couple old dilapidated alley garages in East Vancouver.  The guy that rented them had a dark green 66 Mustang fastback that had a ragtop sunroof and factory am/fm radio.  I can’t remember how much he wanted for it but we ended up buying a basic 70s 302 from him just to get the original Buddy Bar Cobra intake that came off a 65 Gt350 he had parted out years earlier.  He gave us the original resonators and under rider traction bars from it but they were in poor shape and we threw them away years later. 

The other garage held an original AC Ace, aluminum body car that had a Chevy drivetrain.  It had apparently been raced at Westwood racetrack in the 70s.  My dad and I were into Fords and he was really prejudiced against Chevys and couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger on the deal.  I’m sure if it had a Ford engine he might have bought it.  I do remember he wanted 20K for it which wasn’t cheap money in the early 90s, but I’m sure it would have been a great investment based on the values the Cobras and AC cars are now.

Definitely a few missed opportunities.

Edited by Modeleh (see edit history)

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On 3/18/2020 at 4:51 PM, Billy Kingsley said:

...I distinctly remember being in the back seat and watching the road pass by through the hole in the floor...

 

 

That brought back a memory.  Dad had a 49 Dodge with rust holes in the floor - I also remember watching the road through a hole.  :D

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On 3/19/2020 at 5:53 PM, CHuDWah said:

 

 

That brought back a memory.  Dad had a 49 Dodge with rust holes in the floor - I also remember watching the road through a hole.  :D

 

Our family car in the mid 1940's was a 1935 Chevrolet standard sedan that my dad picked up when the owner couldn't pay a repair bill. I remember riding in the back seat with my mother holding an umbrella over us because the fabric roof leaked. I also remember the clatter riding on the rim when he couldn't afford a new tire.

 

Don 

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It was around 1957 and I was about 14 years old (and an avid barn find hunter) when I heard about a Hupmobile on Signal Mountain, about 20 miles from my home in Chattanooga. I had never seen a Hupmobile and I pestered my father until he agreed to take me to see it. We pulled up at a small “cottage” and were met at the door by a very gracious lady who took us through the house to an attached single car garage.

 

In the garage, under a homemade cover sewn from chenille bedspreads was a gorgeous 1927 Hupmobile 4-door sedan. It was Maroon with black fenders, yellow wood-spoke wheels and whitewall tires. The seats looked as if they had never been sat in. The car was on jack stands and the garage was tightly insulated; every crack was blocked with cardboard to keep out any dust and weather.

 

The car was about the only thing left that had belonged to her husband who died in 1927. The lady had built the garage with her own hands to protect the beloved Hupmobile. She had a mechanic come in monthly to start the car, service it and run it through the gears on the jack stands to keep everything in good operating order. But she decided it was time to turn the car over to a new caretaker. She had been offered $800 for it by a wealthy local collector, but she didn't like him and didn't sell. She liked me and offered it to me for $400. Unfortunately, I didn't have any money at all. I'm almost sure my parents had never had $400 at one time and they had certainly never paid that much for a car, even a family car. She said if I wanted the car to pray about it and maybe something would work out.

 

I was shocked a year or so later to receive a telephone call from the lady. I didn't realize she even knew my name, but she had made a note of it. She asked if I still wanted the car. “Yes, of course.” Did I have the $400? “No.” She invited me to come and talk to her and maybe we could work something out.

 

Well, I'm sure my father was embarrassed that there was no way he could afford the car; he really didn't want to take me back up there. So after a couple of weeks I managed to get away. I took the bus to the end of the line at the foot of the mountain, then hitch-hiked and walked the rest of the way to the house. As I arrived three well-dressed ladies were leaving. They were just returning from the lady's funeral. I can only speculate what the outcome would have been if I had been a week or so earlier. I repeated the bus/hitch-hike/walk journey again a few weeks later and the neighbors said the old Hupp had been carried off on a dump truck. I tried to contact her heir, a niece in Moulton, Alabama but never received a response. I hope even today that the grand old Hupmobile found a loving home in Alabama.

 

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On 3/16/2020 at 5:56 PM, Jeff Perkins / Mn said:

   Many of us have been around a while and have often though of the car that got away. Maybe it was one that you wanted to buy but did not “pull the trigger” or perhaps it was one you sold and have had “seller’s remorse”. Well, I have experienced both. Here, with pictures, are both:

 

The one that I regret selling is my 1929 Model A Cabriolet, a compact and sporty car that everyone loved and it drove sooooo nice....

 

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The one I didn’t buy was this 1926 Packard 2-36 Phaeton with RHD offered by Tom L. in Rhode Island back in 2013. It is featured in the December 2012 issue of Hemmings Classic Car. A very interesting story.

 

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The Red Packard belonged to Tom Vagnini. It is a beautiful example and Tom was very fussy and took care of it like a baby. Whoever has it today would not be sorry for buying it as it ran, drove, and looked stunning. Three out of three. It does not get much better than that. Dandy Dave!   

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The one I regret most was a 1910 REO just a couple of years ago. I talked with the fellow was going to fly out but first tried to get shipping with no luck as the carriers would not take the spare engine. This was Jan. and the independents will not go through the mountains that time of year. A friend volunteered to drive to Oregon with me. But when I got back to him to say I was coming it was sold. Now I buy and worry about transportation later. 

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10 hours ago, Jeff Perkins / Mn said:

Yes Dave, that is the one that got away from me and I had my chance. 

I have known Tom for all of 40 + Years. Really a down to earth fellow. He worked as a Machinist for GE in Pittsfield, Massachusetts for years. We have had our share of discussions about old cars and  machine shop practice and equipment. Machining is where the attitude of it has to be right comes from. Nothing half way or wrong. He also had a Packard Limo years ago that had a Holbrook body on it. That one had quite a story too as I remember. Those bodies were built right here in Hudson, NY. The old factory building was operated as V&O Press for years but was torn down 4 or 5 years ago. Old Ford may have a photo of his Dad in the Limo as his Dad worked for Holbrook when they were a thriving company. His Dad was in his 90's when the photo was taken. Sorry that one got away from you. If you knew me at the time I would have talked you in to buying it. Tom was an excellent caretaker for that car for all the years he owned it. I'm sure it was not easy for him or his family to let it go.     

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9 hours ago, Joe in Canada said:

Now I buy and worry about transportation later. 

 

 


Yup, that was my problem too on the above mentioned Packard. I fussed around too much, needed to “pull the trigger” first then worry about the details.........

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In my vintage bus project, I have one story of one that got away, and a larger problem of how the entire bus restoring world has a larger problem: the junkyards that once held plenty of bus parts are almost completely gone.

 

When I first looked for a personal project vehicle, (and gave up on the pipe dream of a trolley car,) I had to save up first.  While the project fund was still tiny, this 1930s Ford came up for sale for only a few thousand.  I wanted it, but couldn’t afford it.  I was lucky that a few years later, the Brill bus I ended up buying was not only more historically interesting, but priced lower (and in better condition!).  But I sure wouldn’t mind having a nice little pre-WWII transit bus like this one.

 

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But finding parts is proving to be a heck of a challenge.  Even in the 1990s, a couple junkyards in my state had plenty of parts buses of all sorts, but within a decade or so, they were all gone.  I’m sure some automobile parts are total unobtainium also, but spare a thought for the handful of folks who think an antique bus deserves to have its complete original interior.  It’s proving to be a heck of a quest so far!

 

 

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13 hours ago, Brill_C-37M_Bus said:

In my vintage bus project, I have one story of one that got away, and a larger problem of how the entire bus restoring world has a larger problem: the junkyards that once held plenty of bus parts are almost completely gone.

 

When I first looked for a personal project vehicle, (and gave up on the pipe dream of a trolley car,) I had to save up first.  While the project fund was still tiny, this 1930s Ford came up for sale for only a few thousand.  I wanted it, but couldn’t afford it.  I was lucky that a few years later, the Brill bus I ended up buying was not only more historically interesting, but priced lower (and in better condition!).  But I sure wouldn’t mind having a nice little pre-WWII transit bus like this one.

 

But finding parts is proving to be a heck of a challenge.  Even in the 1990s, a couple junkyards in my state had plenty of parts buses of all sorts, but within a decade or so, they were all gone.  I’m sure some automobile parts are total unobtainium also, but spare a thought for the handful of folks who think an antique bus deserves to have its complete original interior.  It’s proving to be a heck of a quest so far!

 

 

Even though I'm not fluent in French, I still bought this book for the excellent photographs and line drawings within.  https://www.boutiquestm.com/en/livre-100-ans-de-bus-a-montreal.html

 

It appears Montreal had a rather extensive fleet of prewar and postwar Brill city transit buses.

 

Craig

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Posted (edited)

I think most wrecking yards used the busses they collected for storage.

Maybe not so much anymore but I recall one yard that had a bus full of drivelines, a bus full of wheels, a bus full of heads, a bus full of hub caps, a bus full of seats and so on.

I guess the first thing gutted would be the interiors.

Edited by JACK M (see edit history)
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Another one that got away was a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT350. It was well used and had some fiberglass damage but overall not bad, for $1200. I was the first one to show up, agreed to buy and offered a cash deposit to hold while I got the rest. The seller said no deposit needed, no problem, he would hold it until I got back. Of course you know the rest of that story. Hard lesson, to this day I don't go to look at a car without all the cash in my pocket.

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15 minutes ago, TexRiv_63 said:

Another one that got away was a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT350. It was well used and had some fiberglass damage but overall not bad, for $1200. I was the first one to show up, agreed to buy and offered a cash deposit to hold while I got the rest. The seller said no deposit needed, no problem, he would hold it until I got back. Of course you know the rest of that story. Hard lesson, to this day I don't go to look at a car without all the cash in my pocket.


I had a similar story. While in college in the mid to late 70s, I had a chance to buy a 1969 Shelby GT350 convertible. It was a typical used car. Seller wanted 1200.00 and I offered 800.00. Neither of us would budge. I walked away from it. I still regret it today. One of my dumbest car moves exercise. 
 

Kevin

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it's a toss up. in 1963 had a chance to buy a neigbor's everyday driver, a 1928 model A tudor for $125. dad shot that one down. he was a hard core chevy guy, hated snything ford. six years later bought a 1957 cadillac series 75 limo from a funeral home for $75. loved that carfor the year i drove it till the tranny went out.

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So many possibilities for this one but one of the most memorable (or unforgettable) was the 1916 Indian twin cylinder Motorcycle that could have been in my garage for free. 

 

While we were in Scotland, one of the biggest events in the old car world that was the Scottish Transport Extravaganza that I had helped the local club create back in the 70s. Vehicles were exhibited in roped off areas and separated into categories by age, type, etc.  The motorcycle area was simply amazing with machines from 1903 into the 50s.  I took a turn as a volunteer looking after the motorcycles to keep people outside the ropes and talk to spectators about some of the vehicles on display.  Most were surprised to learn there was an American there, but they quickly realized that I was a member of the club and knew something about the vehicles on display.  Many of them were owned by fellow club members.

 

At some point, an elderly gentleman approached me and asked if there were any Indian Motorcycles on display.  Unfortunately not, but he then asked since I was an American, what did I think about Indians?  We talked a while and eventually he asked if I'd like to have an Indian someday.  My response, which I wish to this day I had expressed differently, was "well, someday perhaps, but my first choice would probably be something pre WWI and British."  He simply said "ok" and moved on, looking at the other vehicles on display.  After an hour, my relief showed up so I went on to my next volunteer assignment. 


Later that afternoon, with some free time available, I went back over to the motorcycles to take some photos.  The club member who was now in charge of the display area said "you're not going to believe what happened a few minutes ago."  "An older gent came up and asked me if I liked Indian Motorycles, and I told him I thought they were great and hoped someday to have one."  That was the same guy who had cornered me earlier, and he immediately gave my friend the 1916 Indian Twin that was in the trunk of his car, all disassembled and packed into boxes.  Oh, I wish I'd have known where that original Q&A session was headed!!!

Terry

 

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On 3/16/2020 at 3:07 PM, keiser31 said:

So many that I regret letting go of. My all original 1929 Franklin 135 six sport sedan (no photo), my 1930 DeSoto eight cylinder sedan, my 1936 Dodge Brothers touring sedan with side mounts, my 1957 Dodge 1/2 ton pickup (no photo), my 1968 Plymouth Road Runner, my 1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer two door hardtop, and most recently, my 1967 Dodge A100 compact pickup. Sigh....

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John, I remember your 55 Dodge.  Did you sell it to Tony?  Marc.

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6 hours ago, marcapra said:

John, I remember your 55 Dodge.  Did you sell it to Tony?  Marc.

I traded it to a guy for a 1973 Plymouth Duster. I needed a dependable car and the Lancer needed a valve job. I was so poor I could not afford it.

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Seller's remorse:  When in 1969 I sold this 1957 Porsche Speedster 1600 N for $1400.  Purchaed 4 years earlier fir $700 in Germany and

driven all over europe befor sending it home to be driven all over the Smoky Mountains.   The sale financesd my year in Heidelberg Germany

for my junior year of college.   Today it would be a very special car, but I wouldn't trade for my year at Heidelberg.327176086_57Speedster.thumb.jpg.c1959e47bff08a4e0eb2ca6b95a0f48d.jpg

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Back in the late 60s to late 80s my dad owned a gulf station. It was a young fellers dream being around all those cars. Anyway there was a guy that owned a used car lot in town that hung around the station all the time. One day he came in with a 70 Ford Torino with the cobra jet engine and it too had a 4 speed and a shaker hood. I was in love. But, my dad wouldn't let me buy it even though I had saved enough money. This car has followed me my whole life in my head. Not sure I would still own it today but, nice ones are going for close to 80k now. Later I had a 66 Chevelle SS it had a true L88-427 engine that we had built to around 600 hp. A 4 speed car with a 456 gear underneath. I had access to all the gas that big boy could consume. (LOL). I let this one get away and have beat myself up everyday since. I guess we all thought those cars would be available forever.

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Mine was my 1965 Marlin, should have never sold it.  

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I had a 55 Chevy convertible in high school,baby blue with a white top.Man I wish I had that now!

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16 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

This is about 16 hours away from becoming my "one that got away." I suspect the bidding will get a little nutty towards the end and it's already right at the edge of what I can reasonably permit myself to spend on [another] toy.

 

1969_cadillac_deville_hardtop_wagon_159251140707166ec4faIMG_4514.jpg?w=1995

 

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1969-cadillac-deville-hardtop-wagon/


with cracking paint , overspray on the chrome trim and a piece of the floor cut out and a piece of metal laid over the top of it you’d be wise to let this one get away . 

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