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Hot Rods Have you owned a Holy Grail car that turned out disappointing after all?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 62rebel, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,534

    62rebel
    Member

    What car did you think was going to be "THAT" car for you, and once you actually got one, well; let's just say "she had a great personality".? I've had a slew of cars over the years, and only a couple really turned out to be duds of the worst kind.... mainly because I couldn't afford the best example, probably, and took what I could afford at the time. I'm a born sucker for Galaxies and Falcons; fortunately those weren't the disappointing ones. Tell me which iconic car left you with a bitter experience! Like my '57 Dodge Hardtop I dragged from Virginia to South Carolina when I was in the Navy, discovering along the way that (in the early '80's, anyway) lots of late-50's MoPar parts are pure unobtainium....
     
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  2. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 5,764

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    A barely OT Dodge wagon that I got an unbelievably good deal on. Drove the car the day before I paid, picked up that night. Next morning, we head for work. The Torqueflite lost 2nd gear overnight, and about 6 blocks from home, the fuzz pulls us over ... the plates were for a Saab, no insurance, and while I'm waiting for him to write tickets, the heater core bursts, filling the insides with gooey steam.
    I had it crushed.
     
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  3. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,534

    62rebel
    Member

    HRP, those were mostly deals gone sour after sellers misrepresented their wares. I'm looking for "failed love stories" where the owners thought they had gotten their "dream car" only to find out it was a pain in the ass to own/drive/fix....
     
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  4. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,534

    62rebel
    Member

    Ferinstance, the little Valiant Signet hardtop (1963) I bought for my wife's fortieth birthday.... she loved the car, but it was a god damn nightmare to keep running. Brakes failed on it twice, differential shit the bed once, fuel pump filled the crankcase with gasoline, and a battery exploded on us. I fixed every failure until she got to where she was actually afraid to drive it anymore, wondering what the next problem would be. (God love that slant six; oil diluted with gas and it still had good oil pressure after it was given new oil)
     
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  5. VonWegener
    Joined: Nov 19, 2009
    Posts: 782

    VonWegener
    Member

    When I was a kid growing up in Germany for summers we would stay at my uncle's home in a danish beach town. It seemed the most commonly sold car in denmark were 1960 -1962 Plymouth Valiants. With their big grille and spare tire indentation they appealed to my 10 year old me. 30 years later I was offered a very nice '62 Valiant two door hardtop. Bought it on the spot. With the 170 slant six it was so slow that I nearly got run over in a left turn. I just did not like driving it. When a neighbor expressed his love and bought it I was very happy. Still like the design but would not want another.
     
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  6. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,441

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    Bought a OT 84 Vette. Wife and I had always wanted a Vette, so she found the 84 on CL down in Dothan, AL, 200 miles SE of us. When I got home on Friday, we left out for Dothan to look at it, about a 4 hour drive. When we got there, it was just starting to get dark, so I hurriedly looked it over, drove it down the road, and bought it. We started home, but I was about give out, had already driven about 500 miles that day, so we decided to get a room. Next morning, I checked the oil and water, then noticed the TV cable was tied to the carb linkage, uhk oh.....this doesn't look good. It shifted good the first time we drove it, so I figured it had to be somewhat right. Started home, everything was fine, then the day started warming up, the car warmed up, the trans warmed up......and quit going into overdrive except every once in a while. Then, the AC couldn't keep up in daytime, had been fine the cooler evening before. Couldn't take the top off, it had an odd bolt in it, and nothing I had with we would fit, so I baked on the way home. Went to a cruise in that night, the cooling fan quit, radiator puked just as we got there. Fine way to debut a new car.:mad: Ended up putting a new cooling fan on, a new AC compressor, and a proper TV cable hookup. Then the lights started acting stupid, the wiring was cut and spliced and twisted together and covered in black duct tape.:mad: Got that mess straightened out, and then the OD quit altogether.:mad: Sold that POS!

    Few months later, she found another one in Murfreesboro TN, 86 model this time, 240 miles north of me. Went and looked at it IN THE DAYTIME THIS TIME, other than a weak master cylinder, seemed like good car, bought it. Drove the hell out of it for three months, even went to FL in it. Week after we got back from FL, it dropped a valve.:mad: Got that fixed, then it was one thing than another, had it in about three different shops plus what work I did on it, nobody could get it straightened out. Finally a year later traded it off. Soured me on plastic Chevy cars for good!:(
     
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  7. jimmy959
    Joined: Oct 16, 2011
    Posts: 108

    jimmy959
    Member

    This is a long one.

    Over thirty years ago I just HAD to have a manual shift BMW. So I sold my bought-new, ran-perfect with no problems whatsoever OT ’84 GTI and began my search. After a few weeks, I finally saw an OT manual 4-speed ’78 320i in the Recycler (remember those?) in El Segundo. Decent price, ad sounded good, so I grabbed my newly acquired cash and dragged my brother down to the south bay to check it out. It was nighttime, the car was parked on a dimly lit street, I drove it around the block and said, “I’ll take it!” Got in the car and my brother followed me back to the valley. Going up the 405, I thought it was kinda weird how the lights would dim a little and then brighten up whenever I accelerated/decelerated, but no matter – I finally had my 4-speed BMW! Got off the freeway started up the city streets to my house and the car dies in the middle of an intersection. Could just barely start it, and it goes another 100 yards and dies again. This time its dead. Alternator is DOA. Luckily my brother had AAA – because being young and dumb, I didn’t. The tow truck gets there and takes me home. My wife looks out the window, she sees me pull up in the passenger seat in my brother’s car followed by a tow truck and my “new” BMW on the hook. She is understandably er, ………disappointed. Especially since she loved the little black GTI I just sold. Anyway, I fixed the alternator, but a month later it needed 1) a valve job, 2) new front bearings and 3) a radiator. I learned the hard way that BMW mechanics are really expensive. When I tried to sell it, I also found out that the car had a bent frame that was fixed with another section of another frame, and the body was mostly a very nice Bondo sculpture of a 320i. Never even look at a BMW after that.
     
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  8. I have had two or three that was supposed to be THE car I always wanted. One was a 67 Fairlane GT 427 Tunnel Port car. I found out after I blew the clutch on the first trip to the strip that I was too poor after buying it to run it. I sold it for what I gave for it. Would be worth more than my house now if I still had it.
    Another was a 57 T-Bird. I just had to have it no matter how bad it looked . It was even worse after I got it home. Michigan car saw a LOT of salt. The body was about to fall down over the frame after I removed a ton of bondo holding it together. Sold it at a loss, it wasn't worth fixing.
    Ever since high school I wanted a 64 Galaxie XL convertible. So about 10 years ago I finally bought a pretty nice one. Texas car supposed to be rust free. The rusted out trunk floor fell off the ramps when removing it from the transport. I liked it enough to fix all its problems but then found out that the car I wanted as a teen when I had hair is not as much fun as a bald headed old man getting sunburned every time he drives it.
    All cars are a disappointment to some extent. What we see in our minds seldom materialize in reality. Now I don't expect much and still get disappointed..
     
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  9. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,432

    gene-koning
    Member

    I "found" a 39 Plymouth business coupe that came from AZ. It was the best old coupe body I ever saw. It had a different drive train and was a project (I don't seem to buy anything that isn't a project). Man, that body was nice, and the guy that owned it was in a bind, he had bought a different car that required much less work then that Plymouth did. Before he could bring his new ride home, the 39 had the leave so he could put the new ride in his garage. The home owners group where he lived did not allow a car to sit outside of the garage, so the 39 was pretty cheap.

    The only problem was, I had to sell my great running 54 Dodge pickup to buy the 39 that didn't run. I ended up selling the 54 on ebay so I could buy the 39. I even got enough cash to fix the 39 good enough to have it derivable by spring...I thought.

    Everything I tried to do on that 39 fought me hand and fist. I bought parts that turned out to be defective. Parts wouldn't fit. Things happened that I couldn't figure out why, stuff I've done for years didn't work on that car. It seemed every time I got within a foot of the car, I got some cut or scrape and ended up bleeding.
    When I finally got it running, the all new brakes were horrible, and nothing I did or replaced ( which was nearly everything in the brake system) helped much. The car suffered from poor performance from the motor. The car was a chore to drive!
    When the day came that I needed to replace the motor in my work truck, I happily put a For Sale sign in the car. About a week later, someone came by and offered enough money to replace the motor in my work truck, and the car was gone!

    That guy has replace the entire brake system and has replaced a lot of the stuff I replaced. I don't think it drives much better then it did while I had it, but that guy painted it, the car looks great. It was still the best old car body I have ever had, but I sure am happy it no longer belongs to me! Gene
     
  10. All my (obtainable) "dream cars" have always turned out exactly as expected or better.
    My (iconic?) "Holy Grails" will always remain as such, i.e. completely out of reach for mere mortal like me.
     
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  11. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,534

    62rebel
    Member

    I've also had a soft spot for 61-65 Continentals. First one I had was a 62, last one was a 64. Both of them had been butchered by previous owners but I had my rose sunglasses on.....
    I've learned not to mess with upscale cars from ANY era.... they have their own unique set of problems
     
  12. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,409

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have posted this before :

    "In high school in the fifties, I had a nice original '36 Ford tudor slantback. That car started a longtime lust for a '36 3-window with a full race Merc, a '39 transmission, hydraulic brakes, and a rumble seat (with the requisite roll-down rear window). Forty years later I was able to realize my dream and built the exact car I wanted. I ended up with a real nice lookin' car that was very cramped inside, ran strong, and regularly trashed the drive train. I finally sold it to a local guy who made me the proverbial "offer I couldn't refuse". I suppose I could have upgraded the drive train and done something about the cramped interior, but then it wouldn't have been the car I had desired for 40 years. When I had my car, I ran into a guy who had the same car, except it had a Lexus drive train and a $20,000 interior. I wouldn't have even considered an even trade.

    I didn't really "dislike" the car, but was extremely disappointed in how everything turned out. Funny thing is that I have never regretted selling it."
     
  13. Since I saw the first Corvette in 1953 I had to have one. Finally in 1965 I purchased a '58, 2 tops, power-glide 220 horse in silver blue color. A fantastic car. Later years I owned a '67 427 automatic coupe followed by a '68 2 tops roadster, 300 horse automatic with A/C. Both excellent cars. Ran them all over 100,000 miles easily. Years later I bought an OT 1980 L82 coupe. A horrible terrible rotten car. Everything you could imagine went wrong on the car within the first 2,000 miles of my ownership. With great trepidation I purchased an '84 coupe after selling the L82. It was the nightmare of all nightmares. Water leaks, transmission leaks, defective suspension bushings, just a total toilet. Couldn't hold the road in a straight line over 60 mph. Over-steered viciously. One nasty-bad Corvette. As much as I love the early ones you couldn't give me a new one today. They turn my stomach.
     
  14. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,773

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    Always wanted a 66-7 Nova HT. I got hold of an old street racer for the right $$$$ and proceeded to "use as directed", and that's when it became "WTF did you do?" Engine had an oil leak, got the gaskets, they were wrong. For a SBC? Are you kidding me? Had a B&M shifter, I don't recall the model, and don't care because they're all a bag of shit from the start, but it was in there so I tried to live with it. JUNK! Other than 2 plastic seats the interior was MIA, but on the good side this was a genuine SW car that had never been rusted, had solid front mounts and rockers, interior and trunk floors were virgin GM steel. The qtr panels were perfect, except the dipshit cut the wheel lips for tire clearance. I sorted out a lot of the issues and decided to pound it out a few times and see if it would even try to get my attention. It did. Pitched the fan belt about every 3rd pass. Knowing what I know I went thru the timing, the alignment, got a deeper alt pulley, no matter. It still pitched the belt but at least only every 5th or 6th run. I couldn't wait to shed myself of that car. I'm sitting in the shop one day just looking at it. It was like that dude who's ass you wanna kick so bad, right now, but you can't. I learned to hate how much flat fender was above the front wheel openings. I observed how futile it was to get bigger meat out back without major surgery. So there was a "Nova Convention" in Dearborn one year. Took it there to sell and to each prospect (all 6 of em!) I was happy to point out how good the major structural concerns were and how perfect the doors, deck lid and hood was. How solid the front stub areas were. After a walk around the swap area my asking price was less than the parts were worth! I truly thought of parting it out. You know what the biggest complaint was from the buyers? The deck lid was a 67 instead of a 66 (or vice/versa, don't recall). Waste of time, a day of my life I'll never get back.

    I advertised it and sold it relatively quick locally, and the only good side is I made decent money on it. But to this day, I see one and it's like that little bastard who needs his ass kicked all over again. Hated that thing and all the rest since. Insult to injury? It was a hot rod SBC car! How bad could it have been? That one, real bad. A turd. Never again. Now if you got this far and you like em, even love em, good for you but don't ever offer it to me!

    Fun topic...
     
  15. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,534

    62rebel
    Member

    Guys, please, before Ryan kicks the door shut, try to stay within the year limits. Admittedly, most of my really regretful cars have been newer models, too, but it's dreamboats that turn out to be garbage scows I'm going after, like the 57 Thunderbird above. I've never driven one but, from what i've heard, they're absolute bastards on anything but straight smooth pavement.
     
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  16. Zettle Bros.
    Joined: Oct 17, 2004
    Posts: 1,301

    Zettle Bros.
    Member

    No, if you read my post the car wasn't misrepresented at all. There was know way of knowing that I could't fit in the car. Had to go size it up for myself.
     
  17. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,644

    Gman0046
    Member

    Built a glass Downs body, TCI chassis 32 Ford Vicky, what a mistake. I'll never understand what I was thinking about. What a PITA unloading and loading all the stuff you bring with you on a road trip behind the folding seat backs. Lots to be said for having a trunk. Not to mention the ride quality of a 32. It looked OK and was a featured car in the Streetrodder magazine. I just never cared for it.
    Happiest day of my life when I sold that car. Besides I'm out of the Streetrod business that was the last one I'll ever own. Fifties and sixties cars is all I deal with now.

    Gary
     

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