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Hobbyists who take apart a nice car then try and sell it in pieces years later ? ?


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Have a 1926 Reo T6 dismantled Good project or parts. Have ownerships Call for details Old car, antique car

 

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Edited by Mark Gregory (see edit history)
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It happens!  People think they have the skillset or time or money and any or all dont exist. Life gets in the way too. For someone familiar with the brand, this may be a pretty good deal. If youre not familiar, run dont walk away from a project like this. The other one I have seen more than a few times is when someone will spend many thousands on the motor/drivetrain then get stalled when it comes to doing the body.  

btw, my brother works in Kawartha Lakes!

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Then tag on an insane price equivalent or more then an untouch complete vehicle currently would bring on a perfect day.

 

Plus the claims of all the previous work that is done and parts bought will save the next guy .

 

From the start I value what investments made in the dissassemble car offered for sale to be 1/2 or less in value.

 

To me the previous owners dubuois work is of aboslutley no value period.

An engine rebuilding receipt holds some minor weight,but 20 year old (new then) tires and tubes hanging on the walls don't.

👹

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2 hours ago, TAKerry said:

It happens!  People think they have the skillset or time or money and any or all dont exist. Life gets in the way too.

As I've mentioned before, this is far more common than "projects" getting finished by those who start them.

Probably millions (or more) of examples already exist and more created daily.

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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I find it best to wait until have all of the parts to complete a job before starting disassembly. Right now have the fuel pump and filter (both external) sitting under the SLK230/5 speed car and all of the needed interior parts are inside. Suspect will need to replace the AC but have not taken apart, just needs the fuel pump and tank flush (don't trust the gas) to drive. All others are licensed and driveable just have nowhere to go these days.

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I know the dismantled car and the driver car. They were both owned by a good friend who restored the one and started the second. The second one got side tracked by a 1963 Buick Riviera then a  1937 LaSalle touring he had restored.  The DOT revoked his licence to drive the day before he was to take the 37 on its first vintage tour and then passed after a very long painful  battle with cancer 

The driver in the first picture stayed in the family and the project was bought by a close friend of Jim's who I also know. The last I heard was the new owner I have not seen in a while is not well.

What I can remember of this project was it was complete and very nice sheet metal. I remember Jim sold his tons of extra REO parts off to a fellow in the US before he passed. He also sold some of his other cars including one to me and the family got one each. 

Jim was far from a shot in the dark car hobby type of guy all his short life. Plus the current owner is far from new in the hobby. There are different reasons why these projects come up for sale.  

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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Life happens, and gets in the way. It’s always interesting trying to explain to a family that dad’s pride and joy......a 193x Pierce Arrow that’s all apart down to the frame has almost no value today. You MIGHT sell five to ten percent of the parts if it’s complete.......which it never is. Of course they always insist it’s all there. Recently a project that was very visible on this site was for sale.......and listed as complete. I know for certain the grandson was selling stuff off the car on eBay. The family wouldn’t believe it........until I showed them the door handles that sold from the same town from the same year obscure car. Of course all the jewelry and consumables were long gone.......and nothing but dead iron was left. 

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   I have to agree that life (or death) can get in the way. My Son was into airplanes for years and we continually ran into the same thing. You would not believe how many half baked airplane project there are setting around collecting dust. 

  Everyone has good intentions when they start one of these projects but life has a way of getting in the way. Some of the situations are truly sad and a person needs to keep an open mind when approaching them. 

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4 hours ago, Joe in Canada said:

I know the dismantled car and the driver car. They were both owned by a good friend who restored the one and started the second. The second one got side tracked by a 1963 Buick Riviera then a  1937 LaSalle touring he had restored.  The DOT revoked his licence to drive the day before he was to take the 37 on its first vintage tour and then passed after a very long painful  battle with cancer 

The driver in the first picture stayed in the family and the project was bought by a close friend of Jim's who I also know. The last I heard was the new owner I have not seen in a while is not well.

What I can remember of this project was it was complete and very nice sheet metal. I remember Jim sold his tons of extra REO parts off to a fellow in the US before he passed. He also sold some of his other cars including one to me and the family got one each. 

Jim was far from a shot in the dark car hobby type of guy all his short life. Plus the current owner is far from new in the hobby. There are different reasons why these projects come up for sale.  

With all due respect to your friend, but starting on multiple projects on top of each other doesn't seem like a very smart approach.

I've even had clients insisting on this, but after explaining the pitfalls of such ideas and listening their swearing/vouching of their ability to (financially) manage both, I've somewhat reluctantly agreed, only to hear them later crying the blues (or what I refer as BS) "Ooh, I wish I would've had known or realized...".

 

Yes, I know "life happens", but it's also about being realistic...

... which most people entering or in this hobby are not.

 

If a person has interest in multiple projects, they should finish one before starting another. Otherwise they may not do any favors to either, especially if none get finished.

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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after Reading this I believe most folks start out with good intentions, maybe some  lose  substantial income divorce happens a lot out here in California,maybe a lot have a  friend who is going to . help With the. Restoration and then there helper died or moved away,I believe once reality sets in they realize it has to go or he passes  and the family realize the value is far less than imagined,either way a person new to the hobby can get a great car for a descent price or the vehicle will getparted out and help several folks find what they need,we can all puff up are chest and act important and think we would never do that but we didn’t walk in there shoes, this is just my opinion,     Dave

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

The family wouldn’t believe it........until I showed them the door handles that sold from the same town from the same year obscure car. Of course all the jewelry and consumables were long gone.......and nothing but dead iron was left. 

 

Someone will buy the lump install the 350/350 allowing another Rat Rod to be criticized for being "Ruined" Bob 

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 The majority of Corvettes I have purchased over the years have been projects people have taken apart and then, for one reason or another, abandoned the project. Once in a while I'll come across one that is priced in the stratosphere. No big deal, that car will just sit in Limbo forever but usually

I buy them at real bargain basement prices. I have the ability and resources to put them back together at reasonable cost and I very much enjoy doing the work. It's my hobby. Not everyone understands this but once the car is finished and I drive it for a few weeks, I start to lose interest in it. For me, it's more about the work, the "hands on" of the restoration process. I sell them not so much to make a profit but because I need another project to occupy my idle time.

I don't restrict myself to one brand. Every once in a while a different make/model will appear on my radar and, if I like it and feel I can do it justice without breaking the bank, I'll expand my horizons. I figure, one way or another, I'm getting a lost classic back into the system for somebody to enjoy.

This REO? I don't know. But there's probably someone out there looking at it the same way I look at a bag full of Corvette parts.

Cheers

 

 

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Greg: back in the day I used to buy a complete 'vette FI unit for either $50 or swap for a Holley and manifold ($25). Had about a dozen at one point and a complete '57 Pontiac with turkey roaster. Used to rework the late (63-65) large pleniums to flow over 800 CFM with "reject for too high flow" nozzles (had a friend at DD Indy). Boring out the chokes was the easy part. Filling all of the voids with epoxy (castings were terrible) was not so.

Building new dual drive (tach and FI) Delcotronic (mag impulse ignition) distributors from a 1111070 ($60 at the employee's store) was the hardest part.

 

Still have some assorted parts. Raw large plenum castings make great speaker stands.

 

 

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It was an open car so they disassembled it to restore. If it had been a closed car they would have disassembled it for parts to restore an open car.

 

"I came for the cars, but stayed for the irony of it". Irony....nah, I wouldn't make that bad a pun.

 

Bernie

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I run across a staggering number of project cars when I'm out chasing leads or doing an appraisal. It's very hard to say no to some of these, but I have no room to park them, no time, money or ambition!

 Getting caught in 2 or 3 projects at the same time has happened to me when I was younger and always led to frustration and money loss. Now that I don't have a shop it keeps me somewhat grounded. I was sorely tempted to buy a 35 Packard recently that is "almost restored". But as I drove back home with another $2000 worth of parts for my ongoing nightmare 1970 Chevelle project I came back to reality and said no.

 The Packard really is a nice one family owned car well on it's way to being done body wise, but the engine is all in pieces and the body is unassembled and has been for at least a decade.

I did see the ad for the REO and was going to send it to a REO fan, but he has one under restoration now for 20 years.

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Just now, 60FlatTop said:

I'd be willing to bet there is a common thread between abandoned restorations and complaints of high repair costs.

 

I'm gonna guess that 50% of abandoned restoration projects are guys getting in over their heads,  25% change in life circumstances and 25% you run out of time.

 

My dad had 2 or 3 cars going at once,  but if he didn't outlive the average male lifespan by 20 years I would have two unfinished projects on m hands... to go with my own unfinished ones.

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I updated my graph.    Note that a fully restored car isn't necessarily worth twice a running/driving car even though you will have 2x the money in it.    Also,  a complete project may sell for 1/2 the restored car,  but it would take 5x the money to get there.    We could play with this for hours.

 

HowToValueAnAntiqueCar.jpg

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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14 hours ago, erichill said:

I inherited my fathers 1919 Chandler completely dissembled.  Its been a puzzle to rebuild all along as there is not much out there for reference. 

You are to be commended for taking it on, and continuing where he left off!

 

Craig

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Afraid I'm guilty of this.  Fortunately it was a fairly common car; a 1940 Buick Special.  I commenced to restore it with all the money I made during my high school years but had to sell it when I went to college in the mid 70's.  Dad expressed his regret in later years conversations for letting me take the car apart.  I'm certain the parts have been scattered and the body long since crushed.  I'm currently in year 5 of another 40 Buick that was an abandoned and butchered project.  I've had to buy 4 other cars just for parts and assembly documentation.  It's another 40 Buick but this time a two-door convertible Roadmaster.  I can vouch for the monetary aspect of alsancle's graph above.  Fortunately, I look at my endeavor as a hobby and not an investment.

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I will plead guilty too.  Back in the mid-1970s, the summer after college graduation, I totally disassembled my tired 1950 MG TD.  That work was a great education in how a pre-war car was put together (TDs are basically a 1930s design).  The plan was to restore it in my spare time the next few years.  Hah!  With law school, followed by law practice, it was decades before there was much spare time.  So in the early '80s I sold the MG as a basket case.  There is a happy ending -- the guy who bought it actually finished the restoration and sent me pictures a few years later.  When I see an early TD at a show, I always check to see if it is #2038.  

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I am a woodworker by trade, specialty is high end cabinet/furniture work. I have always wanted to broaden my horizons and do the wood in a car, Just Because.  A fellow member on here contacted me about what sounds like would be  my dream project but alas, reality check! If I wasnt knee deep in a project already I would most likely be at the band saw right now.

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Another project that I passed on, I had made a deal on a car that was a stalled project. Car was dismantled and the owner had bought all of the new repro parts to put it back together. The car itself was in my budget, I didnt have the extra $8k (full retail) of the parts he had accumulated. We worked out a deal, I was buying the car and all of its original contents, he would part out the new stuff separately. The morning I was loading the trailer up for the 4 hr round trip he calls to remind me to bring a van big enough for everything! We had a communication breakdown, and to this day I have no idea if he ever  sold the car.

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Ah yes, the restorer's lament.  We have a car here now, a not very rare 1940's Conv.  Owner bought it disassembled and brought it to us to finish. So far I think we have spent about $15k on missing parts. Now the owner is nearly in over his head and of course he blames us.

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26 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

Ah yes, the restorer's lament.  We have a car here now, a not very rare 1940's Conv.  Owner bought it disassembled and brought it to us to finish. So far I think we have spent about $15k on missing parts. Now the owner is nearly in over his head and of course he blames us.

I assume as a professional you explained the obvious possibilities of financial miseries involved before taking on the project ?

 

Over the past 3+ decades I've probably taken on dozen of so fully or partially disassembled projects and while I managed to get most of them finished, with exception of couple of half a $mil.+ cars, none ended up having any financial upside for their owners and the couple I didn't get to finish were stopped by their owners coming to terms, albeit too late, with something I clearly explained/warned them before agreeing to start, but had I not offered them adequate forewarnings (which I always do), they could lay some of the blame on me.

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, kgreen said:

Afraid I'm guilty of this. . .

 

1 hour ago, Erska said:

I will plead guilty too. . .

 

I am nearly guilty of this too.

 

In my case walking into the garage filled with all the disassembled parts was so overwhelming that I avoided doing it for years. Eventually I got married and my sweet spouse, who doesn’t think you should have anything you haven’t used in a couple of years, helped me along with occasional “if you aren’t going to do anything with it, maybe you should sell it” comments. Each time that comment occurred, I worked up enough gumption to get out and do some work on the car. Eventually it came together.

 

Definitely learned a lesson: I am not temperamentally suited to do a full restoration.

 

I bet a lot of other people are the same as I with big dreams of taking a vehicle in sad condition apart and returning everything to like new condition. But are then confronted with the reality that there is a lot of labor involving filthy parts that often need either replacement pieces made of unobtainium, specialized skills to repair, or even just a lot of research to figure out what was correct.

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I think if people realized how many parts make up a vintage car they probably wouldn't be so eager to tear them apart. And a good many of those parts are probably not going to come apart easily and are going to be in need of repair. 

Money holes. 

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Dis-assembly happens and bad stuff too = I try to tell people to get it running first and go from there or ... - point being to take it in small doses as you think you are going to rework something that it took 1000's of people to build in the first place.  

 

A good friend use to fully assemble any project and then take parts off and restore the parts to shelve them - basic point was by the time the car was dissembled the car was ready to re-assemble (lots of 100 point cars went through his shop on that process and only one car over 40 years did not get finished - that guy was cheap and the fellow doing that car today (now 40 years later) is pulling his hair out as the cheapness did not go away with age.

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3 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

rework something that it took 1000's of people to build in the first place.  

 You are about to embark on a project that took thousands of people to complete the first time.  Excellent point. And they had all new parts to work with. 👍

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14 minutes ago, Fossil said:

 You are about to embark on a project that took thousands of people to complete the first time.  Excellent point. And they had all new parts to work with. 👍

And off of those "thousands"(?) probably only a very small percentage had somewhat comprehensive/full understanding of workings of everything or even most of the components that made the object they were assembling. 

Hence my previously mentioned "millions of unfinished examples" when people take on a hobby or interest in old/used/disassembled/etc cars without realizing being way over their heads, both financially and/or skill wise.

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So many sad cases out there, cars that were running/driving, that would get a "thumbs-up" on the highway & could win 3rd prize Saturday at the Dairy Queen parking lot. Sure, the seat was ripped & sure, the engine burns/leaks a quart every 500 miles. So, they get ripped apart & within weeks the owner is way over his head. Meanwhile I'm still driving...and enjoying...my 30 footer. Any project that takes one of my cars off the road more than 2 weeks makes me nervous! I've seen that slippery slope way too often. 

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