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Art & Inspiration Ever have a lucky discovery with junk?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by treb11, Feb 8, 2021.

  1. Model A Vette
    Joined: Mar 8, 2002
    Posts: 1,072

    Model A Vette

    I was working in a parts store and a guy bought an old repair shop around the corner. He asked a coworker and me if we could clean out the loft in the shop for him. He said we could keep one thing each that we found. I ended up with a Corvette aluminum intake from a 340hp 327. It is on the 350 in my roadster.
    Like my friend's boss used to say "Free is for me!"
  2. fordor41
    Joined: Jul 2, 2008
    Posts: 981


    we sold our '66 GTO to put a down payment on a house and needed a car. found a '57 Ford ranch wagon for $5 . lifters sounded terrible. adj. the valves and we drove it for couple yrs until the frame started to go south
  3. Oilguy
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 642


    Back around 1978 I traded a rebuilt hydraulic pump for a BBC that was sitting on an engine stand at a wrecking yard. Plan was to put it in a bracket racer a friend and I were building. Didn't know what size the motor was and didn't care. Neither did the seller. Got it home and tore it down to find it was a 1970 LS6. The pump we traded was one I had rebuilt for my partner and he had about $150 in it. Plus I got the job of installing the pump and setting up the hydraulic system on the sellers wrecker. Ended up with a 10 second Camaro bracket car on the cheap.
  4. cavman
    Joined: Mar 23, 2005
    Posts: 658


    Years ago, (nearly 50) while helping one of my Dad's old neighbors saw some lumber, I noticed he had a few old cars in the woods near the mill. Checking them out there were a couple old 30's Packards, a Buick or two, and an old Ford sedan delivery. I asked the old guy about them and was told I had to check with his son who lived nearby. When I stopped and asked the son about the old Ford, he said he'd take five for it. I said "Five hundred for that?" he just said hell no,.. five bucks. Turns out it was a '33 that was used as the local school bus for a local one room school. I still have the near perfect grille emblem.
    slim38 and Budget36 like this.
  5. Joe Troilo
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 292

    Joe Troilo

    In 1972 while looking for Willys parts I answered an ad in the Philly newspaper that said "Willys car and parts for sale". I found the original Stone, Woods and Cook Willys gasser (less powertrain). Paid $1000.00 for it. Never forget that day.

    ls door lettering.jpg
  6. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,427


    About 15 years ago I was able to buy a 68 GTO from the shed of a guy I knew (his wife wanted it gone and it wasn't his car, he was storing it and the owner would never come get it). Interior and doors were gone, not a piece of straight metal anywhere on it. I paid either $125 or $150 for it thinking that the chrome stick coming out of the floor was a four speed Hurst shifter. I got it out of the shed and loaded, found out it was an automatic with a "his and hers" shifter:( Oh Well. I parted the car out sitting on my two rail car trailer. I hauled a pickup load of Pontiac parts to Greenfield IA to their fall swap meet. and netted $1200 for the parts. The only thing I didn't get sold was the A/C & heater dash controls and I sent that with a friend the next year. It was sold before I got there. I will NEVER be that successful again.
    -Brent-, Thor1 and TheSteamDoc like this.
  7. Nitro crew chief
    Joined: May 4, 2008
    Posts: 199

    Nitro crew chief
    from Illinois

    I saw an add for a 56 Nomad a few years ago that a guy was selling that belonged to his brother who had died. When I got there the car was too far gone for what he wanted, I looked around the shed and saw a set of American racing torque thrust wheels. I asked if they were for sale, he said give me $40 and they are yours, I leaned over to look better and saw they were magnesium, I think I got $900 for them.
    -Brent-, Thor1 and TheSteamDoc like this.
  8. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 3,678


    At closing time at our local swap meet I was looking at a nice Holley carb in the original box. Thinking it was the 1850 that the box said, I asked the price. He said,”I’ve been carrying it around too long, give me $10”. Ten bucks is dirt cheap for an old Holley core much less a clean low mileage 600. So I whipped out a ten and away we went. When I got home I noticed that the list number wasn’t a 600 and started to kick myself for not checking. Well it was actually a virtually brand new 390 cfm Holley! Those things are $600! It’s just perfect on the 215 Buick in my Morris Minor woody.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    wicarnut, -Brent-, MRTS33 and 6 others like this.
  9. TheSteamDoc
    Joined: Jul 14, 2018
    Posts: 281


    I went to a salvage yard nearby I recently discovered. Checked out the classic cars and bought a few nice smalls. I was reluctant to look at the truck/SUV section as everything was too modern. Looked around anyhow and saw a fullsize Jeep from the AMC era. I was counting on a 360. To my surprise, its a 401! Even had a Edelbrock performer 4 bbl intake. Paid $300 for a complete engine minus a carb. Last year, I went back again and found the Cadillac 390 I wanted for my A. Paid 400 for it.
    bchctybob, Thor1 and Joe Troilo like this.
  10. Gabby
    Joined: Apr 14, 2007
    Posts: 281


    Recently picked up a new set of Red's headers for a flatty at a auction for $10.
    bchctybob and Thor1 like this.
  11. 61SuperMonza
    Joined: Nov 16, 2020
    Posts: 489


    2 words. FUCKING AWESOME!!!
    -Brent-, bchctybob, Thor1 and 2 others like this.
  12. In the 70s: I was just taking a leisurely Sunday drive up the Hood river valley in Oregon in my 57 Pontiac when just before Parkdale I see a dark blue and white 55 Pontiac Chieftain hardtop sitting in a guys driveway. Had dust on it and appeared to be "inop" so I stopped to inquire. Young guy with a beer and no shirt says it's his mom's car and it'd "developed a knock lately and the motor wuz blowed up". It's free!!!Has a good title and he wanted to keep the new tires it had on it so quick like a bunny, I scream 25 miles back to town and grab 4 maypop tires on Pontiac/Olds rims from the junkyard along with 3 or 4, 55 only rockers and balls and my drunken step brother to help drive.
    Drove back up to Parkdale and swapped the wheels/tires and used my 57 to drag the 55 Pontiac off the guy's propitty and removed the valve covers to find 3 busted rocker arms...replaced them on the spot and I drove the 55 back to town with my stupid [ex] step brother driving my 57 Pontiac. I then sold the Pontiac to my step brother blah blah blah 55freebiepontiac.jpg
  13. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 1,040


    I have an 8RT flathead that came out of a dump truck that was rode hard and put away wet. It laid on its side in a field for about 10 years in East Texas. Knowing nothing but desperate to dive in, I impulse bought it for less than scrap value. By all rights this engine should have been a boat anchor, there was an enormous ant mound built up on it in the pictures from the ad and it was just in the worst shape on the outside. Fellow HAMBer RMONTY came over to check it out with me. To both of our surprise, the bores were clean, the intake was clean, and it pretty much fired up on the stand as soon as it had spark and fuel and still runs great. I have yet to remove the heads or intake.
    slim38, bchctybob, treb11 and 2 others like this.
  14. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 22,014

    from Michigan

    I have a Holley that came off an LS-6 454....
    The Magic Ratchet likes this.
  15. cad-lasalle
    Joined: Sep 1, 2010
    Posts: 95

    from grafton nh

    Only one good deal in 60 years. 1979 Nearby at the further edge of a field behind a house, there was what looked to be a Chevy roadster, going by the parallel front springs. After a couple years of riding by, I stopped to see the car. As the owner and I got closer, it turned out to be a really decent channeled 32 Ford roadster that someone had adapted a Chevy front axle into. He took me to his house where he kept the windshield, stanchions, V8 radiator and complete shell with grille and moldings. His price was $300. I sold it for a pretty good profit, but should have kept, looking back. Another good deal for one of my customers was that he had a blown 392 hemi and needed a Willys body. This was in 1986. I'd heard of a 41 Willys coupe body in a junkyard sitting on top of a big rock, no deck lid. I never knew the price, but took the customer down there and he bought it for $100.
    SOHC427, -Brent-, elgringo71 and 5 others like this.
  16. I just remembered an "almost" deal on a lucky junk find.
    I am a retired postman and one day I was on a route helping out another carrier on his route when I was walking from yard to yard. As I passed a hedge row, there was some junk car parts lying strewn about. Since at the time I was into FE Ford stuff, I noticed an old empty rusty block lying there upside down with crossbolts. Yep, there was a discarded 427 Ford block there that I could have probably had for free. But I already had 2 or 3 at the time and did not want to have a rusty one that needed machining so I passed it up. I never thought that they would be as valuable as gold 40 years later.
    loudbang, bchctybob and Thor1 like this.
  17. hot rust
    Joined: Sep 18, 2007
    Posts: 719

    hot rust

    purchased a 62 chevy bel air wagon for the roof to fill my model a top. it was full of junk and rust, bent on every panel and did i mention it out to be able to get to the posts to cut top off and lo and behold i spot the base of a tri power air cleaner, dig a little more and there's the lid to it too..researched it and it is a factory cleaner for a 70 ta/aar challenger cuda still have that little jewel today, hoping to get lucky again and find a car it goes on...yea right.

    Attached Files:

    juan motime, slim38, loudbang and 8 others like this.
  18. Lucky discoveries with junk is how I got started into old vehicles. Growing up my dad collected JD tractors, and naturally, I was into them too (still am). When I was 14 we went to an auction where a gentleman had passed away and he owned a couple of dealerships - they had already sold the dealerships, but this sale was their family farm where all the extra parts, junk, whatever had accumulated from the dealerships over the years.

    Dad and I had been talking about getting a 5 window chevy pickup for a project that I could then drive when I turned 16. The auction was pretty good sized, and at one time they were running at least 2 auction rings. The ring I was following went to "junk row" where all the old dealership trucks were parked. I had already been eyeing up the three 5 window Dodges that were sitting there..... one was wrecked in the front end, one was a flatbed, and the other was a pickup with a ton of junk piled in the bed. I bought all three of them for less than $100 combined. They were extra rough, but I figured there were plenty of parts to be had that would help make one out of the three. Since I was looking at them not as junk, I looked them over really well.... I saw something that no one else that day saw, and I didn't tell my dad about it either.... Dad was just a little mad that I bought 3 trucks, but not overly so.

    So we spent the next couple of days getting them out and drug back home to our farm so I could start cleaning up some stuff, and stripping the worst of them for good parts and get my pile of trucks paired down to something useful. In the end - the trucks themselves were far worse than I thought - but they yeilded lots of good parts that I have used over the years on later purchases of the same trucks.... but the real treasure wasn't the trucks themselves.... it was what I found in the bed of the truck that was full of junk. I noticed something that day that you would have only seen if you got down and looked up at the chassis on that truck. When the floor rotted out - they placed old porcelin signs in the bed just to keep thing from falling through. They weren't bolted down, simply laid in the bed.... I pulled three signs out of that truck. One OK John Deere sign, and two Caterpillar Tractor signs - all similar in size. I took those signs and did some trading for a fully restored JD GP tractor. Only a starry eyed kid would have looked at those rotted old trucks.

    The trucks themselves, while junk yielded a ton of good parts including an awesome factory brush guard that I still have out in the shop waiting on the perfect truck for. I also learned that many of the parts I scrapped at the time, had more value to them.... but that is what this is all about. Those three trucks started me down the road in this hobby that I am in today - because of some junk that I gambled on.
  19. astep
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 22

    from central ca

    amen to that
    loudbang and Budget36 like this.
  20. Kevin Ardinger
    Joined: Aug 31, 2019
    Posts: 422

    Kevin Ardinger

    Found a Boss 429 block in someone’s junk one time. Gave him 50 bucks for it.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  21. Let's see....

    How about the time I was being payed to remove model A parts from a property and there was a model A police head in the pile...

    Or how about the 20k or so in free cars over the man's junk..

    Or how about the dodge roadster I pulled out of a farmers scrap pile.

    Or the 32 roadster I didn't even know I bought ...

    Along with 2 pines grills...

    Oh man the stories I've got would haunt you guys.
    kidcampbell71, ClarkH, Thor1 and 4 others like this.
  22. A while ago working at a shop in a strip mall and the unit next door got rented out by a glass company.
    Called us over to see if we wanted this “junk”
    A sbc sitting on a stand intake to pan, ran the numbers it was a 60’s era small block
    Sold it to a engine rebuilder for $650 in about an hour!
    Had no use for it at the time and the cash was nice.
    Also a bunch of good used tires and shop manuals
    Sold off the manuals for a bit and got 75-100 per set of tires .

    sold everything really quick nothing I needed but all good stuff.
    loudbang, Thor1 and The Magic Ratchet like this.
  23. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 22,014

    from Michigan

    Yep! 6 Holley carbs.... One for the LS-6 chevelle, 2 for Torino GTs from '68, one from a Chrysler which has a standard Holley bolt pattern but has big secondaries and small primaries.... And 450 judging from size of the venturies and the other I'm not sure about....
    I only paid 50 bucks for all 6 carbs... :D
    bowie, loudbang and Thor1 like this.
  24. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 8,678


    I think the intent of the thread is more like “I bought a xxxx and inside was”. Not so much “ I got a deal on a xxxx”. I could be wrong. It’s happened before.
    Algoma56, egads and Thor1 like this.
  25. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 1,214


    He's not guilding the lily, guys. I was there when he uncovered the pines winterfronts. Jaw dropping.
    Hitchhiker, Thor1 and loudbang like this.
  26. Scored three NOS sets of assembled, 2.05 angle plug small block Chevrolet heads. Called "turbo" heads in the older Bowtie catalogs.

    Got the tip after 3 local friends passed on the lead. Previous owner had several off topic 301 Pontiac T top turbo T/A's scrapped out in his yard.

    Helped with cleanup, and scored the freebies.

    Built a really fun, 13:1 Ross pistoned, O-ringed block, Weber flywheeled 366" SBC in front of a Doug Nash .. with one set.

    Really glad to have dumb, lazy friends.
    Thor1 and Deuces like this.
  27. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 22,014

    from Michigan

    Those slant plug turbo heads were the cat's ass back in the day.....:cool:;)
    kidcampbell71 and Thor1 like this.
  28. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,298


    I stumbled upon gold a time or two. The first was a 3x2 intake with outboard carbs for a 348 given to me by someone who had no idea what it was. I probably sold it too cheap at $250, but it was pure profit. The second was a home brewed 3x2 air cleaner that an acquaintance found in a shed he was cleaning out. It turned out to be built using a base from a 69 1/2 Six Pack Mopar, a one year only part that quickly sold for $800...
    Deuces and Thor1 like this.
  29. theman440
    Joined: Jun 28, 2012
    Posts: 299

    from Las Vegas

    One day my neighbor came over and asked if I wanted an engine stand he found in his rental house garage after a tenant moved out. I said sure! Then he says, Oh there is an engine on it you have to take it also - turns out it was an early steel crank 327 (small journal) with camel back heads! ended up selling the motor to someone wo just wanted the crank out of it.
    Deuces and Thor1 like this.
  30. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,805


    1979, needed some weight in the rear of the pickup for winter traction. Trip to the scrap yard netted a 1970 CNJ code 350 SBC for $25.
    Deuces and Thor1 like this.

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