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How do I go about identifying make and model of a car


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I am absolutely new to the forum and hence please excuse me if i am asking a question too early. We purchased a piece of land a couple of years back and will be building a house there. There is an older model mangled car there buried in soil - since i can only see portion of it.

 

Some of the folks who have come by the lot have asked if I know anything about the car and how it ended up there. Ofcourse I have no clue about it and now that we have an access road to the property almost done, I wanted to see if I can start to try and figure out whats the make and model of the car.

 

I'd also like it if someone wants to take it up and rebuild it. I will be taking some pictures of the portion of the car i can see and post it here in the next day or 2.

 

I wanted to start this thread to know what to do and how to approach this - since i dont necessarily want to make any money out of it, but it would be great if this could be used the right way.

 

Thanks for looking.

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18 minutes ago, youngerunclesam said:

Thanks Peter - will definitely do that. Just that the car shell is pretty mangled.

Try to get a photo or two of the dashboard also, if it is still in there. The more shots with details like hub caps, engine/numbers, etc. the better.

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If it is a car that has sunk into the ground it could be a training vehicle from The Craigslist School of Photography.

 

If you would like to have a story like that verified I can hook you up with the best notary public money can buy.

Bernie

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If it's in NE Kansas SE of Wathena along the Missouri river it's more than likely a Model T Ford. 

My grandfather (unfortunately) buried countless Fords in a ravine on his property in the 30s/40s.

 

I'm sure others will tell of similar stories and I suspect this vehicle met the same demise....

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Cars of all makes and models have been getting buried since the beginning of when cars first got old and needed to be disposed of. 98% of buried old cars are worth exactly the same as when they were first buried;  less than the cost and trouble to take them in for scrap. But that still leaves a small few that are worth excavating and either salvaging or even in a few rare cases restoring.

It's even remotely possible there is a buried Duesenberg or Mercer Raceabout buried out there ...somewhere.

The trick is for someone to both find it and actually know what they have found. Hunting buried treasure ? About the same odds .

 

Greg

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27 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

It's even remotely possible there is a buried Duesenberg or Mercer Raceabout buried out there ...somewhere.

The trick is for someone to both find it and actually know what they have found. Hunting buried treasure ? About the same odds .

 

Around 1971, when I had my first old car, a 1927 Cadillac, I was stopped by the side of the road and an older gentleman, he may have been in his 60s or 70s at the time, came over to look at it. He was a talker and entertained us for an hour with stories about cars he'd known in the 20s and 30s. One of the stores he told us was that there was a Dusenberg buried in a yard in Pawtucket, RI. He went so fat as to tell me where it was and that it had been used by a gang of bootleggers...but was too distinctive so, to "get rid of the evidence" they buried it. As clearly outrageous as that might be, another friend (who was also old enough to remember) pointed out that in the late 20s and early 30s is was common to hand dig house foundations and that the contractors that did that had teams of workmen, mostly Italian immigrants in my area, that could dig a foundation hole for a small house in a day or two so the logistics of actually burying a car over night were not impossible. I took the time to go and look around the neighborhood and I may have identified the house - a big "3 decker" (the common 3-story apartment house of the time) with a large adjoining yard. Was it true? I don't seriously believe it and, if a car was buried it was probably not a Dusey but if I knew the people who owned the property I'd probably want walk over it with a metal detector.

 

The late Jan Bruijn – in the Netherlands – had a fabulous very early car, I think it was a 1904 Itala, that was buried on an estate in the Boston area. I forget the exact date but probably in the late 20s. The story was apparently known in the area and around 1942 the family was approached by a collector who wanted to dig it up. He did. I've seen photos of the operation and that is restored today and was a regular participant in the London-Brighton run.

 

Then, in my own neighborhood we have an abandoned lime quarry. It flooded around WWI and thereafter was the chosen dumping place for old, worthless cars. I've know men who pushed Model T Fords over the edge. The mob also used it to dispose of cars with the odd passenger still inside and 30 years ago the State Police pulled one up... I knew the man who lived across the street who was watching this with his grandson who later told me the police shooed them away when the car in question came up.

 

Then there was the early 20's Silver Ghost that was pulled out of a granite quarry. That car was was regular at local meets 40 years ago with a touring body that had been built by the owner.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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America Pickers unearthed a buried Indian motorcycle in one of their past episodes.  It was in rough shape to say the least. Mike thought it was wonderful!

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6 hours ago, 30DodgePanel said:

If it's in NE Kansas SE of Wathena along the Missouri river it's more than likely a Model T Ford. 

My grandfather (unfortunately) buried countless Fords in a ravine on his property in the 30s/40s.

 

I'm sure others will tell of similar stories and I suspect this vehicle met the same demise....

 

Dodge, not too far away from there in Omaha (where I grew up) there was a model A sedan buried into the side of a hill (half of the car exposed) by the Sky View drive in theater just off of north 72nd st. I mention the address because I'm sure thousands of people saw the car over the years, and I'd be interested to see if anyone else remembers it. Apparently burying old Fords was a popular thing to do in that part of the Midwest.

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In the early seventies a local gas station had a leaky tank replaced, when they dug it up they found a Stutz of about 1920 that had been buried beside the tank. It sat beside the gas station for a while then disappeared, I never knew what happened to it. Did not see the car myself but was told about it.

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Hi,

 

Here are some of the pictures that I could take. The car is buried a bit on the side and weeds have grown over and around it and hence when i can get an excavator I will try to pull it out gently.

IMG_5504.JPG.46467071458f15ef9b8efd9e50eee813.JPGIMG_5505.JPG.c608f39aed1116f966fb8102463d3551.JPGIMG_5506.JPG.321ca7dd6f465f834f5e09eca38a778e.JPGIMG_5507.JPG.a94ed0c6c1c7fe4f0bffd3cb475fdf64.JPGIMG_5508.JPG.fc67a06997e98e611f02f18f0bb32810.JPGIMG_5509.JPG.e1426129d528b4d6938f0e5ae492a718.JPG

Thanks for checking!

 

 

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13 minutes ago, The 55er said:

You might have the remains of a 1949-1951 Mercury there.

I agree. The interior door trim is like this 1949 Mercury....

1949 Merc.JPG

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Well Great Crusty Critters! Unfortunately it is not worth restoring. Someone may be able to use a few small pieces off of it. It is not worth anything really. If someone needed some pieces it would be best to just give them to them to further their project. If any one has the ambition to dig it out for the little left that is possibly salvageable you should just let them have at it and take it. Dandy Dave! 

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If this was on my property I would take a few pictures for posterity, save the door garnish moulding as a wall hanger memento and scrap the rest. There are plenty of 1949-1951 Mercurys still out there. 

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53 minutes ago, The 55er said:

If this was on my property I would take a few pictures for posterity, save the door garnish moulding as a wall hanger memento and scrap the rest. There are plenty of 1949-1951 Mercurys still out there. 

Thats the plan - We're building a house here, so some of the logs and this will be a memento going in somewhere in the house.

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