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What was the biggest 'find' you let get away?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by raceron1120, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. Just wondering if anyone found cars, parts, lit etc. that had potential to be a goldmine, only to have it slip thru their hands? I did, over the last 40+ I'm not a mech/tech, but having been a parts guy at many Ford garages in MI, biggies to small mom&pops' around the state. I applied @ one tiny place & literally had to step over,around & ontop of then-vintage hoods and fenders just to get thru the parts room. Then I was in a used-to-be Chevy store scrounging the rafters & found a large box of Chevy tail light and parking light lenses-all new, all late 40s to mid 50s. Behind that box was a bigger box wrapped in twine & covered with lots of dust. I tore open one end & saw a complete lower seat bench for who knows what? But the mother lode was at yet another place I worked that was built during WWII - I know cuz the old parts mgr came in one day & started talking about "when he was a kid". The old place had an upstairs room that nobody liked to go into - if you peeked in it you'd know why! Dark, dusty and generally filthy. But I'd been in worser places so I entered. WOOD boxes with shipping tags on 'em from the '40s! A Model A (I think) wheel/tire assembly-NEW!, a complete front windshield with crank-out section-glass & all. Side vents, windows, frames, outside visors, moldings! Shoebox fenders & quarters, decklids etc. But one box really stood out. I did some research & found that it was a complete engine rebuild kit for a Lincoln V12 engine - pistons, bearings, the works. I asked the boss what to do with the stuff? He said-dumpster. OH NO!:eek: I was a young kid, couldn't afford to buy it but hated to trash it so called a guy I knew who collected old car parts. He looked at it all & offered the boss 5 bills - SOLD. My buddy took boxes, cartons, sheet metal - enough to fill a small trailer. I was sick but at least it didn't go to the landfill & buddy made it right with me. I'm quite certain that stuff made quite a few restorers's day!
  2. Edsel58a
    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 751


    Three years ago: 1950 Merc Convetible, solid, complete, partially disassembled, 390 C6..... $4000
  3. UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Joined: Jun 22, 2004
    Posts: 4,824


    Biggest was insane. 51 Ford Crestliner (with this odd 4 spoke steering wheel I hadnt seeen before on a shoebox :( :( :( ) Car was rusty but all there, NOS 50 Merc grille shell, a YARD of model A parts, random steering wheels (one of those wierdo Dodge lucite ones, and a 54 Monterey were two) and an absolute ton of other crap. I couldnt buy the whole lot but I did walk away with a 50 Merc monterey accessory steering wheel for $30. My friend spent like $100 and got a complete Y block trip setup, some 56 Olds fiesta caps and a ton of other shit.

    Unreal. I think he wanted like $1500 for the Ford (aside from the steering wheel that was a bit high, it was a mess) and like $2500 whole lot. Shame.
  4. Kerry67
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 2,606


    1970 Plymouth Superbird. Unrestored, ran & drove, needed a lot of work but it was all there. Still makes me upset.........
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  5. 57 Belair convertible. No engine tranny. Larkspur blue with white roof. Really nice car, just no drive train. $1000.............. it was 1978 though.
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  6. 36C8
    Joined: Sep 8, 2006
    Posts: 326


    1967 Dodge R/T Convertible w 440. $1500 that I actually had on the bank. Damn
  7. not sure if this counts , but i eventually let it get away...1932 ford 5-window coupe , running/driving with a 283 chevy for $4800 , sold it two years later for $6500 and thought i got rich
  8. jagfxr1949
    Joined: Jun 27, 2008
    Posts: 277


    Many years past - 1937 Studebaker President coupe, complete, rust free, running, driving - $200.00 - decided to think on it so went and got a burger - went back to give up the cash and watched it drive away! Kicked myself about that one for years. Learend that when you find it and can afford it and want it buy it right then. Think about it later. True at swap meets as well - don't think to long.
  9. Retrorod
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,998


    1933 Pontiac coupe, the old guy next door was moving out.....practically GAVE it away. The car was probably a weekend's work away from being a driver. He didn't think I'd want it because I am a "hot rodder" and this was an original old car.
  10. boscosis
    Joined: Jul 31, 2007
    Posts: 74


    Man, now I'm going to share with everyone how stupid I am. You've got to keep in mind what they were worth at the time and that I didn't have the money anyway.
    1956 Imperial 354 hemi, nice - $1500 (1995)
    1962 Dart station wagon , driving - $250 (2000)
    1970 Challenger R/T 440/4 spd, driving - $2000 (1991)
    1968 RR - 383 4 spd, original, driving - $4500 (2000)
  11. Skratchensniff
    Joined: Nov 3, 2004
    Posts: 5


    It was 1978. My next door neighbor retrieved his dead brothers drag car. The brother had purchased it brand new. Put a dual set of 750 Holley carbs on it. 9" M&H Racemasters on the rear and VW tires on the front. Traction bars and a Mallory dual point. Took it racing. Brother had put 2396 actual miles on it. I could have purchased it in '78 for $2500. Can't find any good reason why I didn't. Stupid, I guess. Anyway, it was a 1969 Chevy Nova SS, 427 factory 4-speed. I drove it several times. It had timing slips in the glove box to the tune of 9.98 sec. Pulled the hunnerd doller bill on the dash trick with my friend. Oh Well !
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 382


    in 1975 i was 15...answered an ad for 55 2dr wag....150 bucks. my dream car. got to the guys house he took back to the barn opened the door there it was blue with some big white vinyl bucket seats, 6 banger auto. wow! drive it antwhere! then he said or ( here it goes!) i have this other wagon but it doesn't run. he said he still wanted 150 even though it didn't run cause it was some kind of nomad or something.... i thought i'm not stupid!!! i want the one that runs!!!....boy was i stupid!!! i bought it had a blast in it for several yrs later realizing what it had done... so since then i've always had my ear open for one and got a real nice one 4 yrs ago....i still remember it alot though...oh wife said she doesn't think i missed any deals since we've been married...ha ha gettin ready to build my new giant shop in a few more weeks so i can get to work on several of those good deals.

    reggie- organgrinder
  13. 61TBird
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,640


    in 1981-a 1970 Dodge Super Bee 383 Auto Red with a Black Bucket interior for $1500. Had the money and passed on it.(They also offered to rebuild the motor)
    1982-'56 BelAir Red/White with a 283 that smoked a little.2 weeks later,heard it was bought for $1200.
  14. flnudistcpl
    Joined: Jul 2, 2008
    Posts: 112


    in the army stationed in hawaii i had a 71 challenger with pistol grip shifter get away. then we found a w-30 w-27 car and it was givin to me and all i did was strip it for the muncie and the 12 bolt alum. housing rearend to put under a 70 chevelle we were building.
  15. UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Joined: Jun 22, 2004
    Posts: 4,824


    I just got back from taking a ride into the hood because of this thread. As soon as I finished typing the post I remembered teh guy said he was moving, but was going to put the Crestliner into storage if nobody bought it. I found the house and wrote down the address so I can contact the current owner via letter. Car is definately not there anymore. I am going to do some homework and see if I can locate him and find out if the car is still laying around somewhere. Wouldn't that be a hoot, a Crestliner just chillin in a garage in Jersey! :D
  16. Daddyfink
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 463


    1964 Impala SS - All Original- $500
    1971 Cuda 440 - No engine- $800
    1956 Ford F-100 Panel - Back Yard Find - $600
    1965 Mustang Fastback - Totally stock - $1000
    1931 Ford Coupe - Chassis and body only - $200
    1969 Road Runner 383 - Complete 70's refugee- $1500

    Gotta stop now, this is too depressing
  17. Abone29
    Joined: Mar 20, 2007
    Posts: 234


    A 60 Corvette,327 4 speed,not original but ran like a raped ape,this was in 1972.Coulda got it for a grand.I was young and ignorant and didn't buy it because when you drove it you could smell gas fumes and had an oil leak on one of the valve covers.Rag top was a little raggety too.Still kicking myself over that one.
  18. 1976.........

    1966 Corvette. Marina Blue, white interior, convertible top. Factory side pipes, knock-off wheels, four-speed, ps/pb/ac. Oh......427. Immaculate condition!

  19. 61bone
    Joined: Feb 12, 2005
    Posts: 890


    1965 Buick Riviera 425/425 dual quads factory headers, posi Dark Green/ white interior beautiful 20k mi car fo 400 in 98. Don't know why, just didn't
  20. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,597


    Early seventies, the place I worked here in Minnesota had an office in California. They transferred a guy up here from there and he brought a cherry '57 Corvette. It was a white four speed with a 245 hp engine (factory dual quads and a juice cam). The car was immaculate. I passed on it for $1100.00.:(
  21. llonning
    Joined: Nov 17, 2007
    Posts: 677


    Mid 70's

    58 Vette-$800.00 Nedded a bunch of work
    64.5 Mustang convert, 260 4 bbl, 4 spd, generater, new top, pain-$500.00
    52 Chev 348 tripower-$100.00

    Not into Chevy or Fords at the time. Now I know.
  22. 49coupe
    Joined: Nov 4, 2005
    Posts: 553


    I haven't been in the game lone enough for huge regrets, but I did pass on a very restorable Ford Crestliner wheel for $350 complete.

    In the early '70s, my friend passed on a super solid '59 Mercedes gull wing coupe for $2500.00. It needed some engine work, so he passed.:eek:
  23. Early 1965, 1937 Lincoln Zephyer, 35.00. Old man said, You're not bringing junk home home. The car was in good shape, omly needed wires and some class replaced. I ended up getting a junker 54 Merc a few months later that I re-did.

    Scan forward 20 years or more, my father says to me, The one time you listened to me and shouldn't have was when you wanted that Lincoln.
    Such is life.

    Then there was the bone stock, 100% 1960 Vette in 1967 I could have gotten wholesale for 1600 bucks.

    Too many to list.
  24. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,509

    from California

    red with black guts 389 4-speed original paint 1964 GTO for $800.00 in 1977... it had a noisy throwout bearing so i passed. ended up with a 69 GTO Judge a month later. the 64 was much nicer, but i think I had more fun with the Judge.
  25. fuzzface
    Joined: Dec 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,265


    My brother took me to my first swap meet when I was 15 back in 1980. There was a '57 chevy nomad,no motor or tranny otherwise I believed it was complete for $75.00 but I only had about $20.00. I dreamed about that car a long time actually I still do once in a while. I started working a summer job that following week because of that car. No one from the family would borrow me the money.

    Just a few years ago I was driving around a lake and spotted something behind a garage. Backed up and took a closer look it was a BMW Isetta. The wife never saw anything like it before. She wanted me to go ask about it. I told her I'll come back in a month after I get my bonus check. I didn't have much money again this time. I went back after I got my check and it was gone. I found out it got hauled off for scrap for free. The wife never let me hear the end of that one.
  26. banjorear
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,776


    '69 340 4 speed Dart Convertible, freshly done for $3,000 in 1990.
  27. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,422


    Back in '68 I drove (in my all I could afford at the time $200 MGA) past a body shop in Oakland that had a Mercedes 300SL gullwing for sale with a $1200 price on it, taped over the "dent" where it had hit a tree...
    Hindsight says that would have been the deal of the century, "dent" and all.

    (grill was pushed in about a foot.)
  28. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,074

    from Central IL

    When I was about 17(1981) my dad gave ma an old Chassis Research FED Roller with Olds rear and Mag kidneybeans after a few years of doing nothing with it he said if you aint gonna do anything with it Im gonna get rid of it I said what ever you say pops...... what a dumb ass I am
  29. bluemeanie
    Joined: Apr 7, 2007
    Posts: 68


    1966 Fairlane GTA 390 -$500 in 1987
    Anglia Gasser project complete -$3500-1989
    1971 Pantara-$6500-Bank would not lend me the money because they did not now what it was and called a local ford dealer and they said it was worth $3500 though they never say the car! What a crock!-1992
  30. Talkin' cars? Oh yeah, working in the dealerships had their rewards-or penalties depending on who you talk to. Early 70s, just outta the Air Force, I'm driving parts truck back from a run & see a half-dead '65 Mustang ragtop trade-in sitting in back of the dealership. I ask the nearest salesman how much? He said 'just get that POS outta here! I'll let you know later.' That night I brought wifey back to pick it up - I was prepared for the worst. .brought a chain just in case. No brakes, it rattled, clattered, smoked but ran - barely. 289 2bbl, 4spd, power top & strg. Next day boss said how's $50?-that was junk price for it. A new top, a built hipo 289 new brakes & tires, etc and it was ready to run - and it did! Fast fwd to '81 and 3 kids later, I needed $$$ & let it slip thru my fingers for $1200. Where's that "KICK ME" sign???

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