The Car That Got Away

"They were the first generation to come of age with their own cars, and now they want them back. Across the country, middle-aged men are going
to extraordinary lengths to locate the actual vehicles they drove decades ago..."
Wall Street Journal article: http://xrl.us/OldCars
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snipped-for-privacy@pseudo.borked.net says...

I know where my 74 Roadrunner is today. I couldn't possibly afford it now...It's probably worth more than the new Charger sitting in my garage.
BDK
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says...

Well, if anyone sees a bright purple 1972 Pinto hatchback with wide white racing stripes down each side, let me know!
I don't want it back, just curious.
dwight
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says...

ditto on my 60 chevy, 6 banger, last seen in Jacksonville Fla in 1974 with a coat of green house paint, I bought it that way for $100, put 10k on it then it blew a ring (looked like a fogger of blue smoke going down the road), sold it for $50 to two guys for their weekend, they sold it for $25, then someone fixed it up, saw it on the beach, no blue smoke, a real pos, but wheels. Had lites in the grill. Floorboards were rusted out big holes, had screens over them covered with carpet, but good car for drinking beer and not stopping.
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Well, I know where my '57 Fargo is - it's been turned into a pro street truck - totally ruined, but what the heck, it's HIS money. Still, I almost cry when I see it. I'm told my 1953 Coronet Sierra is back in Van Nuys California where it originally came from. I suspect it is the original owner, or his family, that tracked it down - apparently paid 100G US for it 3 years ago, more or less. I know my 61mini, '63 valiant and '69 dart are scrap. Suspect the 37 Terraplane, 35 Chevy and 28 Chevy are also scrap. Might be some parts still around on other cars. I hope the '76 Ramcharger is scrap, along with the '72 Colt wagon. The 1972 Vauxhaul is also scrap( was scrapped 15 years after I sold it)The '76 Dart Sport is almost certainly scrap, as are both the '80 corolla and the '81 Tercel The '49 VW was still running around Victoria Falls Zimbabwe 10 years ago. The '67 Peugot likely died long before that, but over there? Well, you just never know. I know where a few others are, and where a few were as little as 2 years ago, but other than the Mini, the VW, and the 53 Dodge and '57 fargo, none of them would warrant much effort to find and recover.And the Fargo in it's current condition would not even tempt me.
--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


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@gEEmail.com says...

My friend saw it a couple of years ago in pretty wiped out shape. The original 360 was in it and it ran, but it was pretty tired out. He tried to buy it, but some guy kept offering more than he did, so it was bought and carted off somewhere for two years, and then when my friend and his wife were looking at houses due to the wife popping up pregnant at 48, and the older kid didn't want to share her room with the baby. When they were leaving, here comes my car, all restored, with "440" on the hood, past them, looking like it was built a couple days before.
After following the driver to some car club meeting, he confirmed it's my old car, the owner found a check deposit slip with my name on it under the rotten carpet when he took the old interior out. It's got a stroker 440 in it now, with a TQ and an aluminum intake, big cam, alum heads, etc. The rebuilt original 360 is in the guys other car, a Duster. It's somewhere in the Chicago area, but I don't know exactly where. If I hit the lottery, I'm going to find it one way or another.
BDK
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says...

My 74 Road Runner, forest green, white vinyl top w/sunroof, white interior, was stolen off the dealers lot two days after I traded it in, and totaled. MEEP MEEP!!
D
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That's sad. I saw my old T/A rot into a beater from 1987 until about 1995 or so, on an almost daily basis. That guy loved that car, but he didn't seem to fix the dings it got, and that's mostly where the rot started. Last time I saw it, it was sitting with a for sale sign, and it said "Runs" on it. Pretty pitiful. I would have rather it died a quick death, like yours did.
The Iroc Camaro that replaced it is alive and well, with a 383 stroker in it. I sold it to a friend, who traded it in for an insanely low price after I told him I wanted it back. It was 6 years old, and had 15k on it. One of the service writers grabbed it up, and as of a year ago, he still had it. Last time I saw it, a kid was driving it, and I think it might have been the writer's kid.
My RR was if not THE last one, it was like on the last day they built the 74 body style. It was dark silver with red stripe, 360 Hipo engine, 3.55 posi (The tiny one they put under Dusters, it broke very quickly), I replaced it with a 8+3/4" from a freshly wrecked 72 400 Charger, and solved the problem forever. A bonus was a huge increase in rear brake size.
Your RR sounds a lot like the one that was sent to the dealer with my order number in July, but that one was a Satellite Sebring, Frosty green (Damn, I hate that frosty green) with a white vinyl top, a 440 and white and green checked interior! Even after repeated pleading and discounting to try to get me to take it. The order was placed again, and after a 3 month wait, it finally showed up. The dealer had started to look for a car to swap for by the time it showed up. Chrysler kept sending sheets saying the car was built from Labor Day on, but it never showed up, and the dealer promised they would get me a 74 with a 360, 400, or 440 with no extra charge if they never sent it, or sent a 75 instead. He found a white 440 about 100 miles away, that I almost took instead, but I didn't want a white, green (sorry, not my color), brown, tan, or beige car. It was a very cold rainy Nov morning when I picked it up. I think it came in on like Friday afternoon, and I had to wait all weekend to get it at about 10 Monday morning. I put 400+ miles on it the first day, and it was in the shop by Friday for wheel bearings, and a spindle. The factory had installed the wrong bearings and I drove around with the wheels in danger of flying off, until the bearing stunk so bad it was obvious there was a problem. The left wheel bearings had eaten up the spindle, and they took a spindle off a new Sebring to get me back on the road that day. I had very few problems with it after that, except the window cranks broke in a matter of days, again and again. I finally put bolts and nuts on them instead of the "breakaway" rivet they originally had. A year later, I saw some neat looking ones on a 71, and the guy who made them made me a set out of aluminum bar stock, and anodized them a silver color. They were on the car when I traded it in, on April 77. I was an idiot for trading it on the POS Power Wagon..
BDK
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Ed wrote:

last seen in 1981
a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle 2-door
blue cloth interior.... painted 1976 Cadillac Georgian Silver Metallic ( $800 paint job in 1980)
307, automatic, NO factory radio, or air conditioning
I added an AM/FM 8 track, and a CB radio, a set of 205 7014 radials ( one size bigger and wider)
50,000 miles
one I SHOULD have kept.... traded it for a 77 Chevrolet Impala with Air
the ones around now are either clapped out, or being turned into SS 454 clones
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Mark wrote:

So what all you losers are trying to say is that if I sell my 89 Mustang, ten years from now I'm going to be crying sorry?
--
"Yah know I hate it when forces gather in ma' fringe..." - Sheogorath

"Daytime television sucked 20 years ago,
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says...

I don't know if Fords count..;)
BDK
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Yes. That's the reason I still have the '93.
Of course, you may also be crying sorry when gas hits $5.00 a gallon.
:()
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dwight wrote:

Probably not, the Mustang gets better mileage than the Titan does.
--
"Yah know I hate it when forces gather in ma' fringe..." - Sheogorath

"Daytime television sucked 20 years ago,
  Click to see the full signature.
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Can I have one of my sister's boyfriends car? White 59 Chevy Impala convertible, with A/C, ice blue interior. My folks were driving a 56 Chevy at the time, and it impressed them so much they bought a "cats-eye" 59 Chevy too, but it wasn't a convertible. Thats the car I learned how to drive in, 6 years later.
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My first car was a '66 Corvette, burgundy w/black interior, 4-spd, factory side pipes, and a big block hood and the telltale stress cracks on the front fenders, which together suggest it was an original big block car. (No way to tell for sure, without paperwork, on mid- year Vettes.) It had a '70 402 (aka "SS 396") when I bought it, $1700 in 1973. I did my best to total it, but I sold it to a guy who indicated he wanted to bring it back. If it was a factory big block car, particularly a 427/425 hp L72, a resto would be worth some major bucks today, like north of $100,000.
Sorry I hurt you, old Vette. I was young and so were you.
180 Out
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Two short stories. Best friend through high-school and now (he is 50 this year) still drives the first car he ever rode in. His dad's (RIP) 1960 Plymoth Savoy. Its been restored and runs around Metchen NJ. My friend Ben here is teaching his son to drive it now. How is that, three generations driving the same car. Ben also has a restored 1976 Trans Am I helped him get from another buddy of mine in the early 80's. Also restored and well known in Metchen. The buddy who sold it though he was pulling a fast one by selling a junker to Ben. The last laugh has been 25 years of show winning awards!
My other story. First Trans Am, a plain 1975 Ben found for me at a dealership in Metchen NJ was used lovingly then sold to a father who gave it to his sun when he turned 17. 17 year old put it into a tree when it slid on snow. Driver error, that 75 was the best in snow with the locking rear. Next Trans Am, 1978 was perfect. But lost job, sold it a collector and used funds to either pay for computer programming school if a new job didn't come along or as nest egg for my soon to be bride (got new job, used nest egg to buy house.) Never sow the 78 again. Jump ahead 10 years and purchase a 1979 Trans Am (baby V-8, 4 speed, t-top with no air and 135K miles). Drive for a few years, started family, restoration and graduate school. TA sat for 6 years in garage. Jump into the 21th Century. After evauating cost of restoring the 79. it was cheaper to buy something else (2001 estimate over $ 16K and still would have a plain jane TA with no AC.)
So, picked up a nice 1995 Trans Am 6 speed, T-Top in red. Sold 79 to a 20 something with a brother who owns a body shop (that's what she needed). In Janauary 2008 had that Trans Am pass me by, guy who sold it to was driving and it was repainted in same dark blue paint. Good to see it alive and kicking! Still have 95 Trans Am, own daughter is growing up with it. Loves the car and going to car shows.
http://hometown.aol.com/seppburgh2/myhomepage/index.html
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