The one that got away…
After posting about the great find “Tater”, I was reminded of another amazing car that I found about 3 years earlier, that was tragically pulled out from under me. I still get sick to my stomach when I recall the story…
It started innocently enough: A superior at work just walked up and asked, “You like old cars, right?”
“My wife’s best friend wants to sell her late husbands car. I think its a 30-something Ford”
At this point I’m thinking it MUST be a ’79 LTD sedan, but I keep listening.
“I’m pretty sure she said its a 1936. Yeah, a ’36 Ford. Is that a good car?”
I met up with the the guy’s wife on my lunch break and we walked to the widow’s house down the street. After chatting for a bit, the woman walks me into her cramped garage and hands me a pile of paperwork and receipts for the car, including a 59AB rebuild to the tune of $5,000, and an NOS set of 1936 California license plates… This is getting good. She then takes me across the street to another garage and throws open the door. There, under a ragged cover is a lacquer black 1936 Ford 5 window Deluxe coupe, mohair interior, juice brakes, 59AB motor, but otherwise stock, complete and in very nice shape. She says its been sitting for over 2 years and she doesn’t know if it runs. After taking some pictures (see below), I walk back to her house and ask her what she wants for it- She doesn’t know. I ask her, “Do you want it to go to a good home by someone who will appreciate it, or are you looking to make a lot of money on it?” She says, “I think I just want it to go to a good home.” Wow. Oh, yeah. Wow. I told her what I would give her for the car, considering that I don’t know if it runs. I also tell her she could probably get a lot more for it selling it out of the paper, and I offered to help her do that. (she is a widow, and a friend of a friend). She insists that the car is mine for the modest amount I offered her. Now, I have no real money saved at this point, I’m late getting back to work, and my wife and I are leaving for vacation in Hawaii the very next day. The widow says, “Don’t worry, you’ve got all the paperwork- Just pay me when you get back. Its been sitting for years, what’s a few more weeks? Have fun, and I’ll see you when you get back.”
After a week of sitting on the beach looking through Ford catalogs, I just start to get a sinking feeling. I’ve got to call her and follow up on this unbelievable dream.
“Hi mam, this is Jay…”
“The guy who bought your husbands car.”
“Oh, I can’t sell it to you after all. After you left, I called my husband’s car friend to come help me get it started, and he offered me more than double what you did for it.”
“Yeah… Uh, I told you it was worth more, remember?”
“Well, he helped my husband work on it, and they were really good friends. I’ve already taken the money from him, and he took the car home, so if you could just give the paperwork back to your co-worker… Goodbye.”
Keep in mind, she is best friends with the wife of a guy that could dent my career at work, so I’m not going to be a jerk, chew her out, or try to pull some legal crap to keep the car. I’ve just lost the sweetest little coupe without ever getting it. Talk about ruining a great vacation. Ugh. Well, look at the pictures, and feel a little bit of the pain I felt that day.