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Hot Rods Best Car hunting stories

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by WhitewallWill, Jun 12, 2022.

  1. WhitewallWill
    Joined: Mar 5, 2014
    Posts: 491

    from N. Van, BC

    True story. My 17 year old is in a burning quest for his own car - I get it, working on Dad's is OK but, not quite like working on your own. I'm getting ads shown to me almost by the hour. I get a picture shown to me yesterday of a barely OT car and it' within driving distance yesterday. We drop plans and off we go. We arrive at the scene of the crime to see a car that looks better than it is. We talk to the owner and decide this one is best left at the beach. It gets better. We saw a car last week same thing. Better still and this story is pure gold in many ways. My Mother in Law tells my wife her life long friend is getting rid of her original owner car, garage kept, 85,000 kms/53,000 mi car and moving into a seniors home. Get this, the price for my boys is - FREE. I tell them they will help move her or whatever required to make sure all is right in the Universe. Best thing is it is, also OT but, - wait for it, IT's a PINTO and it's Gold. Yessiree!! We're on it. We drive over and roll up the door to find again, wait for it - a Tempo. It does have 3 common letters. Ain't life a gas.
  2. 35445C63-CCA9-4ED1-8F80-122D04792A37.gif

    had a buddy in high school who had a mercury topaz ( the fancy tempo :D). With the v6 and a 5sp manual . As stupid as it sounds that thing was fast .

    I guess your boy needs to keep looking !! o_O
  3. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 5,998


    We can't All have a Dodge!
  4. WhitewallWill
    Joined: Mar 5, 2014
    Posts: 491

    from N. Van, BC

    Ha, ha. I really should have titled this, 'A kid's first car hunting story'. We're in the first period and we're down 3 nothing. The Tempo is coming home with us in a couple of weeks. It is the 4 cyl Tempo GL, gold, not fast. Broken tach, auto trans - it has already been dubbed the Good L..d! No offense. First car but, not the first car they will buy. They showed a picture of a '59 Buick Invicta last night which should make up for the OT nature of the subject matter but, the quest is the same through the eras.
    VANDENPLAS and chryslerfan55 like this.

  5. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,696


    Sell it on Bring-A-Trailer and use the money for something he really wants.
  6. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,866

    from Diablo Ca.

    Back before the internet I chased every Henry J I heard about. Found a couple 4 door Willys Aeros, several VWs, 1 old gasser and a stocker for the win, and endured the story at a gas station about why I should buy the guys car in his garage. It was just like my Henry J, but in better condition, ran and rove, had 4 doors, and was a falcon, but otherwise identical
    WhitewallWill and VANDENPLAS like this.
  7. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,866

    from Diablo Ca.

    Or do you want to hear about the honey hole with a 55 vette,3 57s,a 58, parts of a 59, 55 and 57 Bel air 2 door hardtops, a 56 Cad convertible, and a V8 bugeye sprite. What we left behind was equally compelling. At 378 cars in total for my lifetime, my life history can be found in Craigslist on a regular basis now.
    raven, WhitewallWill and RonaldR like this.
  8. Gary A Meissner
    Joined: Jun 8, 2022
    Posts: 1

    Gary A Meissner

    Dude I love that name 327 Eric , that's all I build great great motors the grump was right
    Deuces likes this.
  9. cabong
    Joined: Nov 29, 2005
    Posts: 784


    Back in the 70's, I was looking for a particular old custom pickup. Last known location was somewhere North of Hammer Lane in Stockton, CA. All there was out there at that time were some sub-divisions with lots of houses. I spent weekends up there for months going door to door, with a picture of the truck, asking "have you seen this child" ?? Damn, one guy says yup!! How long ago did you see it ?? Yesterday, he says, in the shed in my back yard.... The rest is history... The "Rod and Custom Dream Truck" is alive and well !!
  10. RRanchero Rick
    Joined: Nov 20, 2016
    Posts: 128

    RRanchero Rick

    10838118_821714134559378_3367762210443578499_o.jpg 15 years ago, I got a call from my former boss. He was not a car guy at all. We both came from the same north Minneapolis neighborhood and a former neighbor (old lady of course) had a '62 Corvette in her garage. Hadn't been started in years, will have to move a pile of junk on and behind the car. Price-$2000!!!. That's me at your door now. "Did you actually see the car." I asked. He had, but it was under old blankets, but he said it was small and a 2 door. I got to the house early, early as my old hood had not gotten better... I was having thoughts of really offering something close to market value as I hauled junk out from behind the car. Finally got down to the last dirty blanket covering the treasure. A very nice '62 CORvair. Someone up there hates me.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2022
  11. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 3,836

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

  12. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 2,171


    I bought my roadster off of AJ on Craigslist but the story of how he acquired priceless! Turns out, the roadster was bought new, as a RPU in 1927 by AJ's great uncle. Great uncle used the truck daily on his ranch in California's central valley. One day, around WWII, the truck died out in the south 40. Great uncle left it where it sat, pirating parts off it as the years wore on. Fast forward to 2009. AJ is visiting great uncles ranch (who has long since passed away) and notices a dark blob in a tree far, far away. He investigates. A tree had grown up underneath the RPU and over the last 70 years had carried the RPU with it! So there it was.....10 feet off the ground, sitting in a tree! AJ broke out the chainsaw and rescued it. Brought it home and there it sat in his garage for 5 years until the wife threatened him with divorce unless he got rid of it. That's when I came along. Sure wish I had a picture of that thing sitting in a tree! Here it is when I bought it and how it is now..........


  13. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 32,163


    I'd say it is a pretty good stealth car that doesn't draw unwanted attention to it's self. Not bad for gas mileage when a teenager might not have a lot of bux to buy gas and with a decent sound system setup he should get along with it fine for a while.
    Sometimes it is nice to have a car that everyone in town doesn't know and are always telling mom and dad that "I saw your kid at_____________, doing ________ . " Sometimes my mom knew where I had been, who I had with me and what I was doing before I ever got home. If not that some friend of my sisters was telling her that she saw me with a gal with a rather shady reputation getting her in an uproar because I had been seen with ________.
    AmishMike, raven and WhitewallWill like this.
  14. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 3,836

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    While I was stationed at Ft. Ord, in 1978, my buddy and I went for a long ass drive to King City and
    Salinas. We had borrowed another bud's pick up, as we always loaned our vehicle out to other soldiers, we were just out for the day to get away from the post as we were both off duty for the weekend. As an M.P., it's almost impossible to get an entire weekend off.
    Anyway, we were driving along in Salinas when all of a sudden we come to an abrupt halt with me almost hitting the dashboard. We back up pretty fast and my buddy, who was driving, slams the truck into park and gets out and approaches the guy who was working under the car. Hell, I thought a fight or something was about to break out. Well, after a couple of minutes my buddy comes running back to the truck and asks me for $200. I didn't have $200 to my name!
    It was settled on a contingency plan that he get the money and he can have the car so we left and he got a quick pawn loan on some junk he had on him.
    We go back to get the car and my buddy crawls underneath of it to do something. The car was taken off of the jack stands and my buddy drove it away.
    He told me that the guy had been trying to fix the second gear linkage and got so frustrated with it that we hit him at the exact right time to buy it.
    It was a 1968 Old's 455, 442 W30 Pack. $200! 200 fucking dollars!
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2022
    ffr1222k, tractorguy, raven and 5 others like this.
  15. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 3,836

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    Also had a 1972 Pinto Runabout. (brown) I did a V8 swap in it. Because of the wheelie bar, (just for looks) my Army Bud's called it 'The Radical Rat".
  16. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 1,053


    I'd be careful about flipping it. The MIL and her friend (who is doing the kid a great favor) might be offended. Get it home, have the kid get it running (great experience) and drive it for a while. Running his own car will help him decide what he really wants next. And if it will cost too much to get it running, he will have a reason to send it down the road and had some practical experience wrenching.
  17. Tow Truck Tom
    Joined: Jul 3, 2018
    Posts: 961

    Tow Truck Tom
    from Clayton DE

    We found an ad for a 50 Plymouth Special Deluxe 2 dr. My wife upset about having missed out on a previous deal, was amped, had to have it. After closing up the Mobil station I worked at. We climbed in the tow truck and headed to S. Jersey. I'd been told it had been sitting long term.
    The directions I had were not working for me. So I stopped at the local Fire House, told of my plight.
    The guys got into a discussion of whose car I'd described, that the the owner had passed, and his nephew was looking to sell. So they sent me up an alley to an old shack of a garage.
    The deal was struck and we drug it home. Back at the station I put it up in the air, dropped the oil, charged the battery, primed the carb. The starter was ill.
    So I drug It outside, hooked it up, and instructed my wife to drive the truck as I wanted to have the control of the Plymouth.
    Two blocks later it's running, but The Boro Cop has to ask what's going on. ( 2AM ) He vaguely knows my wife from around town. The gas station is closed at night, she is pulling a running car.
    Satisfied with our story we parted and headed to our driveway.
    Every once in awhile my wife says "I drove tow truck"
    Of course it got fixed up and after 10 yrs sold for less than I paid.
    lothiandon1940 and WhitewallWill like this.
  18. ems customer service
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,615

    ems customer service

    it is wensday driving to Knoxville for the nsra show 2010, taken the girl friend and her kids 4 and 7 yo, told her I was gonna make a side trip to ;look at car after the next gas stop, I pulled off onto the exit ramp in south wv. i told her someone would meet us at 11.30 am, she asked who, I said the son of the guy who has the car, she ask you got a name ,I said NO, she asked do you know where we are going NO I agreed just to follow his son into town, she asks which town I DONT KNOW, she asks how did you find this car, I said on a chat room last nite, she says-- you got me and my kids on the side of the highway waiting for a guy you met last nite on chat room to follow him to a unknown town to look at a car, I said yep, the chat room was the hamb and I met some new friends, we had a great time
    clem, lothiandon1940, NoSurf and 9 others like this.
  19. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,730


    I've been here long enough to remember the Hippo Boat story. Hard to beat that one.
    BJR, slayer, ffr1222k and 13 others like this.
  20. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,587


    37 Plymouth coupe.Plum crazy paint. 327 sbc , glide , disc brakes in 1989 ..,.seller couldnt get it started..made an offer.. , got plugs and started right up...drove that coupe all over the 5 boroughs , took my 5 year old to school and back ...327 would wind up and she loved it.....
    WhitewallWill likes this.
  21. ...40+ years ago, I spot a 46 Chevy flatbed truck sitting in a pasture at a rural farm; pulled into the yard by the barn where the owner is milking cows; asked about the truck; he says it was his dad's and wanted to kinda restore it ..some day.
    Gave him my name & number written on a scrap piece of paper with a pencil which he stuck on a nail in the barn.
    TEN YEARS later, he calls me and asked if I still wanted the truck; I ended up buying it, so it never hurts to ask or leave a number.
    clem, Toms Dogs, tractorguy and 4 others like this.
  22. mustangsix
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,342


    Not exactly HAMB-worthy, but it was interesting.

    We went with some friends to help a widow clean out her garage. Two car garage, completely packed from floor to ceiling, wall to wall, with boxes and bins of junk. And I mean junk. Her late husband was a hoarder First Class - he found and kept all sorts of broken tools, boxes of bent nails, cutoff peices of wood, old broken appliances..... Nothing worth keeping. So we started moving boxes and loading up the truck.

    Three truckloads to the dump later, we got closer to the back of one corner and we spotted a grille. Digging some more, we eventually uncovered a 1960 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite. It was pretty shabby, but it was also covered with boxes of parts, seats, upholstery. We asked the lady if she knew anything about the car, but she couldn't recall ever seeing it. The last time the garage was clear enough to put a car in there was over 20 years ago, by her recollection.

    We pulled it out and finished cleaning the garage out (12 truckloads!). We didn't find anything else of value in there. It was all junk except for the car. The rest of the story and more pics are on our website.


    A year later, this is how we finished it.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2022
    clem, Davesblue50, ffr1222k and 8 others like this.
  23. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,637


    Was a Lineman for many years. Found/spotted many cool old cars from poletop that could never been seen from the street. Bought a few too-mainly trifive Chevys
  24. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 18,881


  25. When my dad died he left his approx 50k mile Tempo,4cy auto like yours. A weak link on them is the transmission. If it goes out, its not worth the cost of fixing them. His car is now rotting away in my field, it ran great but the trans went south. Don't let it be a money pit.
    WhitewallWill likes this.
  26. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 7,814



    When we were in the 6th grade some of our friends lived North of our elementary school. They lived around the Westside Public Library in a residential homes area, (that bordered along a major cross street) that had commercial interests all along the street. But, tucked away behind those stores/companies, were rows of homes. The lots were either long and narrow or middle range and wide.

    The homes had single car garages and that made for a huge side yard behind the houses for “storage.” The majority of the house was built in the front with a small front yard, compared to the huge backyard. As we were walking around during elementary school times, going to the neighborhood park for some baseball activities, we passed a row of old homes in these neighborhoods. Some homes were well kept up and others, well, they needed help.

    No driveway gates were put up, so when we walked by, we could see into the backyard next to single car garages. At the time, we saw old cars next to a couple of single car garages, partially covered up with tall grasses growing all around them. We thought nothing of them. We kept walking by one house as it was on our way to one of our favorite hang out places.

    In this neighborhood along the corner lot of the major East-West street, was an unusual business. It was a giant pickle factory. Not a factory that was giant, but a “giant individual pickle” factory. They processed the pickles, gave off a weird smell and had barrels piled up in a warehouse ready for delivery. Many times, the freight trucks and several wooden stake trucks would back up and get fully loaded with barrels.

    We always stood by the gates and were usually invited into the yard. The manager was a dad of a friend and he always gave us “giant pickles” to eat. We were small and those pickles filled our hands completely. If we stayed in the pickle factory long enough, we walked to school and the teachers/friends knew we stopped at the pickle factory on the way. The aroma of the pickling process was strange, good, but almost awful smelling at the same time.

    Try playing baseball in the park with the aroma of fresh pickle smells stuck to your clothing... It kept us hungry for lunch.

    We knew about the pickle factory, but come to find out later in the junior high school era, the old Model A Coupe was the one sitting next to the overgrown grass hideout several homes down from the pickle factory.


    When my brother was ready to find an old hot rod for the first dual purpose street/dragstrip project, he knew where to go. He and his friends also had kept an eye out for old cars in the neighborhood. In their days, they had seen the old Model A driving around with an older couple in it, for short trips to the neighborhood stores. By the time we saw it, it had been sitting around for a while, noting the tall overgrown grasses surrounding it and boxes piled up in front/side of the car.

    So, when the hunt was on, we only went to this older lady’s house to buy the old Model A coupe. She was happy to sell it, if we took it out of her backyard that day. We rope-towed it home behind my brother’s 51 Oldsmobile sedan. I kept my foot on the brake, steering the Model A Coupe, while the 51 Olds rolled slowly back to our Westside of Long Beach house.

    Finding the old Model A coupe was a great thing for us. We got it running and was fun to drive around. Our plans were now in motion. The body was pretty nice, but the black paint had faded over time in the weather. new oil, water, plugs some wiring, brake fluid and a new lower radiator hose + clamp was all that was needed to make it run.

    But, in the fall of 1957, within a couple of months, he sold it to another friend and had a nice shiny 1958 Impala sitting in our driveway.


    Impala backing up for rewards…
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2022
  27. In '63 when I was a freshman in HS I was just starting to fall in love with Willys gassers in rod mags. Started noticing a tell-tale spare tirecpanel on an old car parked in a school mate's falling=down garage. I qiuzzed him about it, since it really looked like a '33 Willys. He said it was his granddad's '36 Willys coupe. I, knowing everything, disagreed with him, it had to be a '33 Willys. That's all there were in the rod mags. He finally convinced me it was a '36. I hounded him until he agreed to sell it tl me for $75. Said I could have the engine and tranny for $25 more. I saved up all summer to get the $75 and bought it he next fall. I bought a '52 331 hemi from another classmate for $25 and a '56 Olds from a junkyard that gave me a wiring harness and rear end. I didn't realize it had a Jetaway tranny not a hydro but I traded it for a '54 Willys hydro in another classmate's non-op Hudson Hornet.

    Heard that the guy who sold me the car was arrested several years later for operating the biggest pot farm ever in Calif!
    catdad49, Gasser 57, 33HEMI and 6 others like this.
  28. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,915



    That is a freakin' awesome story!! Its official...that boy has THE disease!! Woohoo!
    Now he'll be searching CL and autotrader for more cars and bringing them home but hiding them so Dad (and mom) dont see. For future projects. haha Cant wait to see pics.
    WhitewallWill likes this.
  29. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 22,428

    from Michigan

  30. Saw an ad for a 64 Belair, went to have a look, and it had long grass growing up through the wheel wells, looks like it had been there for a while. The owner said the motor was stuffed, so I said I will buy it regardless. I was only looking for running gear, and I never take a non-mechanical person's word for it, because their idea of "stuffed" may mean it has a small water leak, or no spark. I paid up, did some paperwork, he went back into the house and left me to get the car away. I went to my car, removed the battery, stuck it in the Chevy, it cranked but... no spark. Someone had installed a very early electronic ignition, the one that still uses your points, but the coil current is switched by a transistor. I checked voltages, and they stopped at "the box". I shorted it out, supplying 12v straight to the coil. Now I had spark, and a bit of juice down the carb, it fired, and settled to a nice idle. I jumped in, put it in reverse, and had to "rock" the car from it's 4 holes in the ground, got it out the driveway, and drove around the corner, locked it up, and went back later with a battery and drove it home. I used it for about a year, then took out the drive train for other projects!.
    I still remember the guy's face when he looked out the window and saw the car disappear down the drive under it's own steam!

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