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Monday, June 23, 2014

OH THE HOOPS WE JUMP THROUGH TO BUY OLD CARS 73-74 B BODY AND A HUPMOBILE IN THE AIR!

I had decided I may want a 73-74 Roadrunner or Satellite, always liked the styling and they still are in that lull of pricing with a steady rise in value. The thing to remember is it was only if I found the right car, something above average and if not so be it. Every search will have a story to tell, chances of it being a quick and easy task are slim.

I have seen this one for awhile online and realized I was passing through this part of Maine. 
39,000 miles and looked good, $19,000, it comes down to $12,000 and I get more photos of the car and it looks great. When I see the car although still very clean original the photos were 10 years old starting to show its age it is also clear not original paint, no interest for the price
This one below was on ebay same time I looked at the green one in nearby Pittsburgh
In need of some TLC, but all original and 59,000 miles it sold for just under $4,000 a really good price, again was contacted too late to set up a look
I may refer to this as the car that got away below for many years, asking price $18,000 70,xxx miles 
400 big block A/C owned for 10 years and got some more detail shots, but decided I must see it first
For some reason the communication with the owner kept falling off and kept putting it off, when I was headed to western Pennsylvania/Ohio border I decided I can swing up to see it in Wisconsin if I made that decision on a Friday. We were talking price and was going well. The owner did not get back to me until Sunday afternoon, too late I had planted roots in Western Pa. for the afternoon and wasted 5-6 hours I could have been heading up to the car. We left it on chance if it was still available to head up in 2 weeks as I was headed to Pa. again. Well found another car closer, if you don't answer emails you can't sell the car 
This one below we had thought might have been a rare bird (pun intended) a Roadrunner in limited mist green with green vinyl top with almost no options these came with 318, 3 spd stick on floor, no power steering or p/brakes. Vinyl top, am radio only confirmed options. These wheels would have been an upgrade from Rally's and bucket seats were optional over bench, but not sure with 3spd on floor. Fender tag would tell the story, if I could strip 1" of paint off of it, could not actually read anything except engine code without scraping it,59,000 miles asking $15,900   
This was the real crazy part, look at the seats!
I still have never found any reference to this odd fabric/vinyl combo and the layout pattern was in my opinion not from a base Roadrunner? 

One of one rare, nah almost 1300 73 Roadrunners rolled out with 3 spd on floor. Inspection showed a left fender replaced with junkyard part and a trunk full of water, but overall a lot more attractive in person so I am still open minded. Note build sheet on windshield, I got a copy and headed home to do more research, driving home it had occurred to me it was attached to seat cushion. Bingo different vin # on build sheet, the Roadrunner is a coupe and the car it came out of a was a  hardtop meaning it had roll down quarter windows and this one does not plus the vin number is different.   
So we were guessing this may have been a bait and switch ordered car, you know advertise a $2700 new Roadrunner and when you get there a much more attractive and optioned $$ one is sitting nearby. ONLY ONE AT THIS PRICE, a hook! Best I can figure out the seats were in a Satellite Sebring Plus which had Rallye instrument cluster,bucket seat with console option only available in Roadrunner and some snazzy seats. My guess is  the 2 cars were in the same dealers inventory and the buyer asked to swap the seats to a more sedate all vinyl green seats from this Roadrunner!    
This 70,000 mile beauty below is at a great collector car dealer that was a Chrysler dealer years ago in Rhode Island and I just missed it recently sold asking was $12,995, I just drove through the area  
This one below I am still shocked my friend liked it as there seems to be nothing that was not changed or modified in this thing, Its is a Satellite Sebring Plus
 Seats customized into leather bolstered look and even the rear seats made into semi buckets!
The shifter is not a pistol grip, but a pistol that you pull the trigger to shift!
 The car is loaded with options and a bunch of other STUFF, did you notice the clear plexi headlamp  and taillamp covers?
Opening bid was $12,000 with reserve not met and got no bids 
This next one was a rarer 318 4spd only 750 made and I jumped in at the end- the seller has his location listed as USA! Can you imagine the guy would not put the state he was in? I can understand on  a part, but a car would have large transportation costs and may or may not be close enough to inspect, tell what state you are in! 3.794 million square miles in the USA could have been anywhere and by the time he answered me the auction was ending and I was still sorting through all the info, it was in Ohio. I tried to make sure the seller had my info if he was not relisting, but ebay kept locking me out when I tried to give him my info. If the guy had listed its rough location it would have saved 5 days while the auction was live! 

This next one is textbook stupid, I actually drove right past the car on my way 2  weeks ago and decided to ignore it! Three photos of the car all the same area of the car and the 3rd under a shaded tree! Asking $10,000 and 1st phone call "he is outside call back later". 2nd phone call " I am calling about the Roadrunner" and hear a grunt? I ask "what can you tell me about the car?" Answer "it is what it is" "a guy looked at it last Saturday and it started up for him" I start specifically asking certain questions and barely get answers, but was told at least twice again a guy looked at it last week! All I got is 71,000 miles 340, he was original owner and parked it years ago and is a desirable RR with last year of 340, but needs a restoration and is rusty.    
 Driving past it and is always worth a look especially to hone your familiarity with a type car you are searching out.
 I set up a time and now his wife is hawking me in emails about when I am coming, I decide with the less than receptive contacts I will skip I am not looking for a restoration project, but instead an exceptional car Road Runner or Satellite, I am pretty open minded. I tell his wife I am just not getting any interest on their part and she says "the pictures tell the whole story" Yes the right side of the car only, no detail shots of rusted areas or even an under the hood shot. I have named this Mystery Mopar!

At first I passed, but for $14k asking price a Plum Crazy purple RR converted from a 318 to a 440 4spd and stated was done professionally in Pittsburgh and I am headed that way! Yes it is still listed as I write this and was sold awhile back! Remove the listing!
I have listed only cars I either looked at or made some effort to consider, many more were found
This one looked great and I really like Avocado Green (remember I said that) 
Nice Roadrunner 360 A/C in Michigan $18,500 30,000 miles showing on odometer (original?) 
 Then I came to a halt, A/C removed because it won't fit this one that now has a six pack added - 3 2bbl carbs - now any 6 pack car is of interest, but they never ran correct back in the day so now you have something not original to the car and A/C removed- he states only 1350 360 auto RR built in 74, but now it has an intake not available after 72?
After 12 days on the road and only one car still on the list to consider (Wisconsin Blue one) I settle in and a car pops up on ebay in New Hampshire, I just drove past here literally days ago!
Location Location Location turned out all the cars I looked at in person were in my  Northeastern Region and I guess that could be a rule of thumb when searching? A good guide is use the regions as below to limit each portion of your search?
I will be in the central region September and I am sure a 73-74 will pop up, oh well!
We did find a winner!

I told my friends I get a vibe from just looking at photos of a car, I had them with the Maine car, but it turns out yes 10 years ago when the photos were taken. I had them with the Wisconsin car, but friends were right I had to see it and the Maine car reinforced that theory. I also get a vibe from the seller, I still can't believe people have an attitude when they are trying to sell a car? Remember this I DON'T NEED THE CAR,BUT YOU OBVIOUSLY NEED TO SELL IT, I CAN WALK AWAY AND KEEP THE MONEY. Advise, be more receptive and friendly even if it is not your nature, become a salesman!
Do not become an obnoxious salesman though!

 As soon as I saw this car I knew, the guy was cool and the car was original, from a Tennessee collection auctioned off in 2012 in Kennett Missouri which is on the Tennessee border which validated the story!
Avocado Green with a subtle 2 tone interior - all original and the AM radio still works
 Subtle upgrades to a 4bbl and factory style dual exhaust
 32,000 miles
Of course I bought it, joins my 24,000 mile Charger

I looked at a local Charger a few years ago that a friend saw at a cruise night so I call the guy and he is the ultimate salesman, gotta see this car it is special, in his mind I have to buy this thing or else?.
I get there and it is clear a tree (not branch) fell across the nose denting the hood and fenders, really! He opens the trunk and asks me "have you ever seen a more solid trunk?" I can see the driveway and lawn through the rotted quarter panels so we are talking and I thank him and say not interested in the car and at that point starts insulting me and yelling at me that my cars are crap and I will never find another car like this!! I really hope not, remember RUST NEVER SLEEPS and IF A TREE FALLS ON A DODGE CHARGER AND I AM NOT THERE TO HEAR IT DO I HAVE TO BUY IT? 
 This next one is legendary around these parts! 


Millions of people ride past it on the Long Island Railroad to NYC in Queens and after some detective  work I may been the only person to have actually seen it up close and got the entire story including talking to the guy who put it up there in the 80's who is in his 80's too! Have you noticed it is on top of 2 stacked containers? 
 Thinking it was a rare car like a Packard, the others who saw it were correct and it is a Hupmobile, 1928 Hupmobile to be exact! I am sure you noticed the car has been cut apart and a wood (rotted now) truck body was built. I was thinking maybe modified by a Hupmobile dealer as a shop truck after trade in (that's the story I would have told, ha) because there actually was a Hupmobile dealership back in day about 3 miles from where this car rests now. Nope someone just cut it up years ago.
 Looked like this one here, but it does not anymore!
 A restorable one would be about $1500 and a restored one would probably get $15,000 to $18,000 so really nothing special at all
Would it be a cool car to have and go with the story of an old Hupmobile service vehicle with some faded signage painted on the door, maybe. Next glitch is the entire driveline was replaced with a mid 60's slant six, auto tranny and converted to 12volts with its original mechanical brakes still intact! It now has zero value other than a novelty and did I mention it is on 2 containers 20 feet in the air????
 A 1921 Lincoln converted to a shop service vehicle now restored
It was given with the sale of the property with the last transferable registration and I spoke to the new owner who obviously would like it to be gone, but I asked him will you take it down and he said no, so I explained what my research came back with and told him the cost to have a crane take it down is more than the car is worth which is true. The guys a foreign agent (figure that out on your own) and he is thinking he has a valuable car up there more so because I called him half a dozen times and he so far has declined any attempt for me to actually get into the property and inspect it at all. It will be up there for another 25 years and maybe a fitting display for it so millions can see it daily? I got it out of my system, did I mention it is on top of 2 CONTAINERS!?
 NEXT
 A young couple buys a home which was an inheritance  from an old couple with no children sold by their niece. She sold it as is with all contents of home intact. Months later they find the garage remote and there is a car in there! Why couldn't it have been a Hemi Cuda?!?
No keys and no paperwork, the guy spends $450 for a lien and takes ownership now is waiting for a locksmith and I check the car out. A 1973 Chrysler New Yorker 102,000 miles 440 big block fully loaded power everything and mint (pun intended, it is green) interior.
 Old school alarm with fender key switch, a voltmeter under dash with a second battery set up between the grille and radiator support, don't forget the Sears Fog lamps. Although it has 2 rows of body side molding from its stored position I can see some paint work had been done, the kid asks me what's it worth, barely interested I say $1000, but that's based on if I can get it running and he already spent money getting a title and now locksmith. His friend told him $3500-$4000 yes if it was running and had 70,000 miles maybe?

This saga continues as I write this blog, I will find a home for it.





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