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People with no mechanical skills buying old cars

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by junkyardjeff, May 1, 2012.

  1. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,724

    from omaha ne.

    It should be the law....1st car should never be a maintenence free car.:)
  2. Just cut the grass on your side of the fence.
  3. BirdGuy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2011
    Posts: 44

    from Central PA

    Ooooh - I like that one! Gonna use it on the kids. :D
  4. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,014


    A few years ago I built 3 different cars for one customer over a 2 year period. He had a great appreciation for old cars but not much talent. I asked him why he didn't do some work himself and learn about old cars/hot rods. What he said has always stayed with me. He said "I do what I do and let the other guy do what he does and everything works out good that way". I thought about that for a while and realized his wisdom. I see his point in that I can do just about anything i want with metal but wood is a magic substance that I can quickly make sawdust and splinters out of and consistantly bend nails when hammering. I can accept a guy that thiks that way but hate the "power parkers" that wear their Bermuda shorts and polo shirt uniform and stand polishing their car all day waiting to tell the world about the car "they" built that was done in a pro shop and all this guy knows is where to put the key and the gas it.
  5. Aman
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,522

    from Texas

    The guys learning and farming out occasional work don't bother me. What bothers me is to see some 70 year old guy buy up all the prospects and put them in a field and then just sit on them. Every time someone asks if something is for sale they say NO I gonna restore them some day. C'mon, that shit just pisses me off. Of course, the prospects rust off there frames and/or eventually go to the crusher. Greed makes waste. Big time.
    Joined: Aug 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,222

    from Colorado

    I thought about becoming a brain surgeon.Not a good idea. Think I will stick to cars. Sometimes you are just better paying a pro to do things you could really screw up. A friend of ours is a top notch surgeon. He was looking at my 32 hot rod in my garage and shook his head saying what am I looking at ? this doesn't make any sense to me. He wasn't being a smart ass ,he just didn't get it LOL.
  7. I bought and older house and the plumbing was a shambles.... so I had to learn plumbing. I can run plastic, cast iron below-grade pipe (try to cut that being a plumbing newbie...) and copper. My work has been inspected by the town.

    Now electric... I'll run basic wire and attach boxes and switches to the studs but I won't touch the panel other than to shut off a breaker.

    Know your limitations!

  8. We called the plumbers, "Turd Herders" in the military.
    Joined: Jul 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,572


    I take pride in knowing I can do (fix or build) almost anything. Its not for everyone.

    I have found out through just being alive that if you dont have your heart in it, you stay away from it.
  10. 5Lugs
    Joined: Apr 28, 2012
    Posts: 6

    from N.W. La.

    I like buying the projects that the "unknowing" start. Most often I get a decent car at a cheap price as the dudes wife wants it out of her carport/garage etc. Peace dale
  11. I always look for those... got a ton of $$$ into it and they want out. I picked up a nice '65 Impala SS like that years back for $300 (in 1981 dollars), took practically nothing but some assembly, fine tuning in order to flip it for a nice buck.

  12. Maybe in Canada but in the states there is so much more and its complicated.

    Hot is on the left.
    Cold is on the right.
    Shit runs down hill.
    Payday is Friday night.
  13. gasolinescream
    Joined: Sep 7, 2010
    Posts: 614


    I've got a mate who's a plumber, he's got a new name now:D:D:D

    Love the avatar adjustablejohnsons!!!
  14. Carnuba
    Joined: Mar 19, 2012
    Posts: 430


    Ditto! Most the time the guy's only talents are dis-assembly, and ordering parts on the phone with a credit card. So, the trunk's usually stuffed with brand new parts. I recently bought one like that. The car was a bit newer than HAMB friendly, so I won't mention exactly what it was. But, the guy bought doors/fenders/quarters and a whole lot more that weren't really necessary. So, I had the body and paint done without them and sold almost $2500 worth of parts that weren't needed but came with the car.
  15. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,034


    I wrenched on my older cars when I was younger and my Dad had a complete shop. Now as a ol geezer I rely on my club bros to keep me on the road. And they do so with a smile, luckiest rodder around. ~sololobo~
  16. It's scarrier than you think.

    I see many "car dealers" at auctions that don't have a clue if a car has been wrecked or if the engine is bad. This is really a bad situation because they are selling these cars to the public, the public that relies on these guys selling them a good car.
  17. Orlando1701
    Joined: May 2, 2012
    Posts: 128


    I'm 30 and my 50' Ford is my first project car. We'll see how it goes, this is going to be a great learning experience or... I'm going to shoot myself. The fun part of building a old car in college is everyone wants a ride but no one wants to help, after all why do most people go to college? So they don't have to work with their hands and I don't want to be that guy who has all this education but can't understand why his headlights don't work... actually they don't on the car right now but that's not the point.
  18. RagtopBuick66
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,182


    Even those who are BORN gearheads have to turn a wrench for the first time. I didn't know I was a gearhead when I was 15 and bought my first car. I just knew I liked old cars. I didn't know shit about shit, and didn't even own a wrench. I used my Dad's limited tool supply and asked a lot of questions. Now I'm 38 and I've torn apart and built so much stuff it makes my head spin. My Dad comes to ME to borrow tools! And I'm always asking questions and learning a little more every day.

    Let 'em buy old cars! But when they come to you to have something done, tell them "I'll SHOW you how to do it and work right alongside of you, but YOU'RE going to do it and learn." I mean, what else are they supposed to learn on, some of the computer-driven Tupperware crap they're making today? An old car is the ONLY way a potential gearhead is going to find his niche.
  19. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,801

    banjeaux bob
    from alaska

    I don't mind having the oppurtunity to make money from folks who choose(for whatever reason)to bring their aged vehicle to me to repair.What I do not like is the complaining about the bill at the end of the job.

    One fellow had an old, off brand pick up.The rearend was shot except for the housing.Axle shafts,gears,bearings,and brakes.I suggested a less expensive alternative that would also allow him to procure parts in the future.A nine inch Ford.

    The Ford diff would have also had the same bolt pattern for his wheels.No,he just had to have the original stuff.Well after much searching ,I found another unit.Oh yeah,I hustled it for free.However,it still needed new bearings,brake cylinder repair,AND brake shoes relined.Not to mention LABOR to do the job.

    Needless to say,there was a dispute about the bill.I don't know how much of it the boss gave away.
  20. dmikulec
    Joined: Nov 8, 2009
    Posts: 532


    That's how my grandad taught me when I was a kid. He was a great, patient guy and I still miss him. :cool:
  21. HrdNox
    Joined: Mar 3, 2012
    Posts: 44

    from utah

    +1 just don’t see the big deal.:confused:
  22. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,243


    I deal with the people I am complaining about where I work frequently,I would rather work on their daily drivers then their old cars,what I see is they come in with a old car they most likely paid too much for and who ever keeps it running for them is robbing them blind and then the want me to do a interior cheap and slapped togather. Those are the people who will give your shop a bad reputation if you do it the way they want it and unfortunately I work for someone who wants their money,I would rather do work for the car guys since they know whats going on and usually wont try to beat you down too much on the price since they know what is involved in doing it right.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  23. fiveohnick2932
    Joined: Mar 29, 2006
    Posts: 889

    from Napa, Ca.

    I was talking to a friend at a show one time and this guy came up and started telling my friend about "his 32". Long story short: this guys 32 was at Brizio's getting an oil change.... Dam I wish I was Roy :)
  24. Our government took the hot water away.;)
  25. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    from Texas

    Nothing wrong with a guy or girl WITH NO MECHANICAL KNOWLEDGE buying a car. That happens every day, old or new cars.
    When they buy an old one and can'r find the ignotion switch etc. they can learn, but its bad they also believe they bought a bucket full of knowledge the same day and can't stop yapping about it.
  26. 45_70Sharps
    Joined: May 19, 2010
    Posts: 331


    If it weren't for people who didn't build their car, what would you do with your car when you wanted to sell it and fund another project?
  27. A23
    Joined: May 15, 2010
    Posts: 95

    from Hollywood

  28. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,317

    from South Indy

    I have four guys that I do work in my shop for. Ones a Lawyer who knows a little about cars, one strictly buys and sells old muscle cars, another has a huge place for buying and selling old cars and the other knows nothing at all. I respect all of these guys, they do what THEIR good at and can make more money doing that. I get to wrench on rare and cool cars that otherwise I would never be able to touch let alone drive. They let me work on them because I won't perform un needed repairs and I treat their cars with respect and appreciate that we are stewards of some real pieces of automotive history and art. I do it because I enjoy it and It helps with the household bills and gives me the money to spend on my car. So yes, guys like this aren't dorks, they call em' customers.;)
  29. burnout2614
    Joined: Sep 21, 2009
    Posts: 612


    I get a LOT of calls where someone wants me to help them with their old stuff. I give away information for free. Some people can understand it some don't. My latest projects (2 48 f1's and a 56 Olsen milk truck) were someone else's projects that were going nowhere. It's the cycle of rust. Keeps us gearheads busy! peace
  30. OHV DeLuxe
    Joined: May 27, 2005
    Posts: 351

    OHV DeLuxe
    from Norway

    When i bought a 51 chevy at 18, i was medium knowledgable about mechanical stuff, i was a machinist and toolmaker, grew up with cars and motorcycles, but had a lot to learn, my father showed me all kinds of tricks on that car, i kept quiet and learned all i could, and it still runs 18 years later. I quickly went over to early Fords.
    My biggest problem is people who either never asks and destroys stuff and call everything old crap or the ones who suddenly knows eveything. I know how long it takes to really know your stuff. A few weeks ago i had a guy over who just bought his first hobby car an knows nothing about that one either, he had been nagging about getting a look at a very traditional model A chassis i`ve built. and he suddenly started questioning Henrys torque tube and bones pluss numerous other very well functioning patents and meant it could never ever work. This is a guy i would expect much more from and my explaining just made him more hardheaded. I said "yeaaah.... so you needed a 5/16 stud right?" really fought to keep polite at that point.
    Everyone can be new at stuff but please know when to shut up and learn.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012

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