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  1. #1591
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    Indeed!

    [Mr Murphy speaks form experience... and still needs to tell us some more about his 78 SMN trip. at minimum. ]
    Last edited by malamute john; 11-06-18 at 10:14 PM.

  2. #1592
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    Claus Ebberfeld over at VIA Retro [www.viaretro.com ] asked a really interesting and germane question the other day to those of us who like old cars. He asked if there were any particular cars in our personal automotive journey that we well and truly regretted NOT buying at the time we had the chance. The corollary to this, naturally, would be to ask if there were those that we regretted selling. Personally, the latter question would include most of the vehicles in question...but the former got me to thinking...

    There are a few reasons why one would regret 'not' buying a car ; one might regret it solely based on the missed experience. One might regret the circumstance surrounding the non-purchase, or regret the [probable] circumstance that owning the car might lead to. One of the main regrets however, has got to be the monetary value the vehicle in question achieved later in life. For me, I can give examples of all these.
    I reckon the first car - we shant get into motorcycles here - I really regret not buying was a 70 Dodge Challenger TA. We 'discussed' that car earlier in this thread; thats the B7 blue car that somehow showed up on Stiffs tumblr 40 years later. Ive often wondered how different life would have been had I gone ahead and 'stretched' hard and bought that car. I definitely would have had several different friends / not have known some folk I now hold dear, would have gone to many different events and possibly even developed some slightly different skillset[s] / areas of expertise. Plus, had I for some reason kept the thing, it is now worth almost what my house is...
    The next several regrets all come from around the time I did go ahead and buy my yellow 70 Vette. First up was probably the red 66 Shelby GT350 for the princely asking price of $2850. Obviously, that would have been great to have for several reasons ; first, just to own one; aint gonna happen now you can bet. Second, the Shelby events are really great and it would have enabled me to participate in those. [as an aside...the huge MidAmerica Shelby and High Performance Ford meet has been going on in Tulsa for 40 some odd years. I have attended nearly every one since 1977, and have even been an instructor at the track days at Hallett, however, the only year that I actually owned a vehicle eligible to participate {except, technically, a pickup truck } was the one year I didnt go due to my fathers passing.] Plus, again, it may have begat a slightly different set of friends and most probably would have kept me from wasting many, many hours and [many of my] dollars working on other peoples Corvette racecars. Probably woulda worked on Mustang racecars... Oh, and its now worth MORE than my house too.
    About that same time, I was driving down Peoria one fine day and saw a Grabber Orange 70, Boss 429 Mustang sitting in front of Oklahoma Tire Center with a 'for sale' sign on it. I swung in and looked at the car - you could eat off it. Stone stock with only 42000 miles on it. I wandered in to the store to talk to the owner; he wanted a hundred bucks per thousand clicks on the odo. 'Hmmph" thought I, '$4200? for a car that rusts? I could buy a midyear Corvette for that money!' I didnt even test drive it. That ones worth more than my house now too.
    [ fast forward 15 years or so; we were attending church in a little quasi-rural town south and east of our residence. We had moved my Grandma up there after my Grandpas demise. One of the members of that congregation owned a couple of tyre stores and was a bit of a car guy, so naturally, I gravitated towards him and we became friends even tho he was some 20 years older than I. One evening we were over at Darryl and Pattys house - Patty made these KILLER hamburgers, not sure what she did so differently and she won't tell - and after supper, we got to telling stories. Darryl was talking about a couple of Maseratis he had owned and then was talking about the biggest automotive regret of his time to that point - a missed Ghibli SS. That brought up my tale of the Boss9; Darryl said 'yeah, that was my car.' I called BS, he went to his office and produced a photo. Yet more 'synchronicity'... and may you Rest in Peace Mr T. ]

    Not long after that was a grey 72 Corvette coupe.
    I had answered an ad in the Tulsa paper Saturday afternoon after getting off work. The car sounded nice, so I made an appointment to see it later that day. The fellow lived in one of those cool old brick bungalows over by the fairgrounds, and the car was sitting in front of the house when I arrived at the address given. I exited my vehicle and gave the car the once over ; it looked very nice and exactly as described except for four little cracks in the fibreglass at the apex of each wheel opening. Hmmm... The owner walked out and we began talking. The car WAS nice. The engine and suspension were fresh, and fairly trick. The owner was an autocross enthusiast and had built the car to the 'stock' class SCCA rulebook. It was 'stock' , but not 'factory original'. The car was quick, and handled fantastically. He had Guldstrand suspension components where the rules allowed and had a trick, bored out power steering pump that made the steering so direct and responsive that it was almost nervous. The brakes were very touchy too - you woulda had to get used to driving it every day. In fact, the brakes worked SO well that the car needed a windscreen... seems a few days before this, he and his 4 year old were just running down to the Git-N-Go over at 15th and Harvard for something when some bozo pulled out in front of him from a driveway. The owner hammered the brakes and his poor son popped the front glass with his head... the kid was ok and he had an appointment to get the windshield fixed the next week. But what about the wheel openings?
    Well, he had gone to the maximum allowable size in tyres for his class - some sticky Hoosiers at that time - and they were a bit too large. At an event at the fairgrounds, he had bottomed out pretty severely and cracked every single fender at once. See, there was a 'dip' running latterly across the parking lot at the fairgrounds there outside the race track. [dirt oval] When the various clubs - SCCA, TVS, OCAC, whomever - used that parking lot for an autocross, if they used all of it - for big cars as opposed to the sometime miniscule and tight courses set up by SCCA showing their extreme bias - then one would cross that dip at least once a 'lap'. If youre hauling, the car might bottom if you werent careful....and this one did, breaking the fenders.
    The fellow wasnt outrageous in his asking price - he even lowered it while we were talking - and he really wanted to sell the car, even tho he was way upside down in it. Seems the Mrs was with child surprisingly and he had just been laid off for at least 4 months. I REALLY shoulda bought that car instead of the one I did, as there was nothing atall wrong with it save those cracks, but bodywork scared me. I didnt know anyone in the industry at that time and my one acquaintance in the profession worked at a very high end shop; his verbal 'guestimate' scared me to death. Gosh, had I bought that Corvette instead of the one I did... I might have gone a lot more places, done more and maybe even had a few dates as opposed to spending all my time and money on that yellow car... Life woulda been different. Passing that car up was a mistake.

    I won't bore you with the silver 1750 GTV Alfa that I didnt buy as a driver whilst the yellow car was apart, nor the flared 2002 for the same purpose. [you priced 105 bodied Alfa coupes lately?!? Plus theyre just gorgeous - probably never be able to afford one now...]

    One of the larger financial mistakes made - and you can imagine it could have been a mistake in more than one way - was passing up a Ferrari 330 GTC. I was still interned at the University of Tulsa when I saw it. Sitting on a used car lot. At a Rambler dealer. Seriously.
    Right on the corner of 15th and Delaware on Knotts Rambler Ranch's used lot sat this bright red Ferrari 4 seater, replete with black leather and Borrani wires. It was one of the funky looking four headlight models, but cool just dripped off of it to my eyes. It had that unmistakable smell of old Italian car too, as well as the attendant oil leak[s]. But dang...that thing was cool. I was smitten. The dealership wanted $6500 for it; it was, at best, a $4500 car at the time. I got to 4k against their demand of 6, so nothing became of it. Never mind that I had no idea exactly how I was going to pay for it, [or maintain it ] I just thought it would be cool to have a 12 cylinder Ferrari as my daily driver, allowing me to keep my Corvette off the streets in inclement weather and out of school parking lots. I mean, how cool would it have been to have a 'beater' Ferrari? Woulda opened a whole lot of doors...Plus, would have made a great conversation starter - 'yeah, i bought this so I could keep my Corvette off the streets.' [and I would have been serious...] Undoubtedly that was the last time I would have been / will be able to afford any car with the Prancing Horse on it, much less one with 12 cylinders located in the front. Big mistake/big regrets.

    Speaking of models from Modena, a few years later I passed on a pristine 246 Dino. The car was a black over tan coupe and the owner wanted $11500 for it. A friend of a friend was local to the car and looked at it for me - I had seen the ad in Hemmings -and it was as advertised. You could eat off it. By the time I shipped it in, I would have had approximately $12500 in the car. I had just sold my Corvette and a motorcycle and had a fraction over 12k 'in my pocket'. Once again, the tug of that belt AND those suspenders I tend to wear metaphorically when questions of fiscal responsibility rear their ugly head tightened up on me and I passed. The VERY NEXT summer, Dinos were trading in excess of 100k...

    Dont forget the 69 L88 Corvette roadster at 11k either... Or the ISO Rivolta at the same number about a decade and a half ago that I wouldnt go look at because it was in arkansas...a couple of years before they became nearly 6 figure cars. Or Chuck H's 67 , 435 horse Corvette coupe at the unheard of price at the time of $7500. He was selling it, believe it or not, to build a 'CanAm' Corvette - you know, those big Greenwood type flares on a 74 454 coupe...I didnt have 75, but I loved that car. 67 coupe, dark green over black, it was a PS and PB car with factory side exhaust. Naturally, now worth more than my house. I COULD have probably stretched and done it, and certainly should have. May never be able to own a midyear now at all, much less a 435 horse car. Had I stretched and bought it, I honestly believe that I would still possess that car, even some 35 odd years later.

    Of course, lets not forget that March 74B Formula Atlantic that I and an occasional commenter/thread starter here on the forum contemplated buying and running. We got scared off by the costs of Cosworth BDA parts, but man... that would have been tonnes of fun and have you looked at old Atlantic prices lately? Big mistake.

    Or how about that 68 SS427 Impala that I just couldnt make myself pull the trigger on that Wavy Dave owned? That thing was gorgeous - turquoise over white, 427 / Turbo 400, PS, PB and air car. It even had a factory underdash 8 track / multiplexer. Clean enough to do brain surgery on the ball joints. I LOVE old Impalas, and that turquoise metallic is my favourite GM colour, and maybe even my preferred hue on any car of that era. Shoulda stretched and bought that one too. As should I have bought Seans perfect K5 Blazer from him a decade ago...at $12500. Always wanted a Blazer.

    I could probably drone on for pages - like I havent already -telling stories and giving examples of automotive regrets. These are just thumbnail sketches of ones that stand out. I'd tell of the grey market 930 about a lustrum ago for under 30k, but its just too painful to recall; simply cannot talk about it yet. Shoot, I 'snoozed' so I 'loozed' on a W31 Cutlass just this last weekend that I know Im gonna regret.

    Claus asked about Sellers Regret also - have PLENTY of experience with that one. In fact, as stated earlier, that would cover the vast majority of old/fun cars and trucks that Ive owned over the years. Just cant afford to keep em all, 'regrettably'. Probably the ones that hurt the worst tho are the 70 Roadrunner, the 70 Corvette, the Alfa GTV6, the Lotus and the 89 K1500 Chevy pickup. Or the Nuclear Truklet. Or maybe the 911SC. No, the 66 Chevy. No...

    Buyers Regret is a whole 'nuther thing, and Ive experienced some of that also. Normally though, when Buyers Regret is present, I'll sell the car and be glad to see it go. The way my luck runs, I usually lose [significant] money on the deal, but such is life. However, I have experienced both Buyers Regret AND Sellers Regret on the same car once. I know, such sounds logically impossible at first blush, but trust me, it can happen.

    I imagine this has never happened to any of yall, as obviously this august assemblage of personalities has way too much innate intelligence and foresight to pull such a stunt, but I let my mouth overload my butt once... Yep, hard to believe, but I shot my mouth off and got myself in trouble, causing regrets. I once threw a number out on a Renault Alpine for a myriad of silly reasons, just KNOWING that they wouldnt take it. Boy was I wrong... I had Buyers Regret before I even picked the car up, and had already started trying to sell it. When I went to get the thing, there was a paperwork glitch that presented a truly legitimate reason/excuse to refuse conclusion of the transaction, but since it could be worked out, I convinced myself to 'Cowboy Up' , be a man of my word and go ahead and make the purchase as offered. 'Oh Lord' I thought, 'WHY must I be so darned honest and responsible?!?...'
    But ya know, after I got it home, learned a bit about it and got to drive it some, I really liked the car. I mean really liked it. But alas, 'challenges' , both physical and fiscal, suggested selling it, so, with both belt and suspenders cinched tightly, I found it a new home. [at considerable monetary loss... ] And I have regretted selling the silly thing since. Only I could feel bad about both buying something and then selling it.

    So, what say y'all? Any tales of automotive regrets here besides mine?

  3. #1593
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    Well, I'm not even in the same league as you when it comes to calibre of automotive hits and misses but there are a few that spring to mind. Fairly recentlyish anyway (My memory fades when it comes to anything toooo far in the distant past).
    About tens years ago I was on the hunt for another Impreza and popped to see my good pal who owns a few used car lots and likes the sporty and prestigious stuff on one of his lots. He had an R33 GTR Skyline in grey metallic with some fairly lairy aftermarket stuff. Screen price was around £2500 but I knew I'd get it for 2K. He threw my the keys and said "Take it for a spin, see what you think". I had a workmate with me and we went for a blast round the block. His face was a picture. It span the rear wheels in the first three gears (didn't get chance to get into 4th) and it sounded really mean. But I was still hankering for another Impreza really so I turned it down. For some reason, the R33's really shot up in value shortly after and I, of course, regretted not buying it.
    Selling wise, there really is too many to list but as is the case many times, it comes down to circumstances and a lack of money when out of work so decisions are sometimes out of ones hands.
    The 1.9 205GTi is one that I kick myself over (again, fetching strong money now).
    The Fiat 131 Mirafiori is another. I sold that for peanuts to but a Celica, which in turn got sold to buy something else. Both now commanding extortionate fees (that's if you can find a 'full' Mirafiori as they tended to crumble just a little).
    If only we knew then what we know now, eh?
    Like I say though, it's all circumstantial and back then cars were just 'cars'.
    Imagine 10-15 years down the line from now and we'll regret selling that boring old Mk1 Ford Focus as they command the latest 'scene tax'

  4. #1594
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    Holy Crap!!! Are you STILL whining about that Boss 429???


  5. #1595
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    Missed out buying a Mustang gt 390 1968 for £450 as I couldn't sell my car at the time, thought about borrowing the money but didn't want a loan at 18 years old

    Worked for a secondhand car dealer for a few years and one car that I worked on was a ferarri 400gt V12 carb engine with 5 speed manual box, 2+2, was found not running and in a bit of a mess, I got it all going and cleaned up, mot'd it and was then told I could have it for £2500, just a bit too much for me at the time, I ended up taking the new owner out in it for his test drive and that was the fastest I have ever been on a public road, The M25 had not been finished and we were doing 174mph between Potters Bar and the Enfield turn off, the guy couldn't get his money out quick enough.

    Fast forward 10 or so years and I was offered a cozy saffire for £2500, had just been made redundant and didn't want to spend my redundancy incase I needed it for other more important things, also insurance on a cozy at that time was mad expensive even for a family man.

    One vehicle I bought and lost bigtime on was a Land Rover Discovery 4l V8 manual, after only two weeks we realised that it was not big enough for the family even with the 7 seat arrangement (wife, myself and four kids plus camping gear didn't really fit well), came home from our holiday to the South of France and bought the Chevy K2500 Suburban, then tried selling the Disco, however the newer model had just been announced so the price of my one plumetted On the plus side I still have the Burb

    There are many many Fords I have sold for peanuts or even scrapped but that will be the same for loads of people.

    I did swap an 18 month old Ford Granada 2l manual for a crashed 67 327 manual corvette convertible back in 1982 and I still have it STILL in bits the Granada if still going would be worth maybe £2-3K at best the Vette even in it's state is worth way more than that, I might add that it was meant to have been a quick 6 month project to get it on the road, you work out the years that have passed and it's still not started as such other than buying bits for it.

    One other car I regret scrapping was my 1973 Datsun 180B SSS, great car went all over the place in it but then decided to do a roof chop (honest) and found a load of rust in the screen pillars and other areas and decided it was too far gone, in retrospect and knowing more about bodywork now than I did then it was totally saveable. I still have the dashboard out of it in one of the sheds.

    MJ I'm now depressed

  6. #1596
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    Just remembered two others that I didn't buy but should have, a 1966 ford galaxy convertible, was going halves with a mate of mine as he could insure it with me as a named driver but the guy selling it wouldn't let us put it on the ramps in the garage I was working at and we decided it must have had an issue so said no. Saw it a few years later and it was still driving around fine but we never did get to the bottom of what the guy was trying to hide.

    The next one was a 4 door 1959 chevy Impala, this believe it or not was offered to me for £50 back in 1979, it had a noise coming from the engine when rev'd up, seemed to drive ok but the rattle worried me and I declined the offer thinking it would be an engine out and rebuild job, someone I knew bought it, I think for £75, and fixed the "rattle", it turned out to be the weights in the distributor, the springs had broken, rebuilt the dizzy and was driving around happy as bloody Larry.

  7. #1597
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    Don't know if any of my "should have bought" stories really count as mine all involved being too poor to buy and not being too dumb to not buy. Having grown up as an Army brat we moved constantly so never really got to know any of the locals that might have the right connections in the car scene so never really knew about "the deals".

    My missed opportunities included not one but two Boss 429 cars that a small local lot had for sale in probably '75 or '76 for the outrageous sum of $3500 U.S. each. I wasn't really smart enough or in tune enough to know what I would be missing out on. This occurred while living only a few hours from MJ at the time.

    Shortly thereafter my dad was stationed in Key West Florida and I don't know what it was about that town but for an area of only about 6 square miles it was thick with Ford product! The missed opportunities included a 68 GT500 that had blown the original engine but was a driver with a 390 in it for $1500. At the same time I ran across a 68 Mustang notchback 390 GTA for $1200. A 70 Mach 1, a 69 Mach 1 (although I actually owned that for a brief period of time), a 68 Torino Cobra Jet, a 65 Mustang GT and a couple of others I can't remember right now but there were two that even then I was practically sick over not being able to take advantage of; one was a 1967 GTX Convertible.

    This car was beautiful! Bright red with black bucket seated interior with a 440 automatic to push it around. It belonged to a navy guy and it was on the base at the local hobby shop. This was essentially a 10 bay garage with tools, lift, etc that you could use for a small price per hour and where most of the "car guys" hung out. The car had sat there for several months with the engine out and I had attempted to track down the owner to try to purchase it from him but was unable to do it so finally gave it up. Literally a few short days before we left town to head to my dad's next assignment the owner of the car tracked me down to sell it to me for $500!!!!!!!!!!!!! There was no way in hell I could get that thing together to be able to drive it away so I had to pass on it. This was in '80, a year or two prior to this I was hanging out at a buddy's place a few miles up the keys when I stepped out to the back of his garage to relieve the lizard and sitting there in the weeds was a 64 Galaxie 500XL with a 427 4 spd in it!! I asked my buddy about it and he said it was his dads and that the engine was froze up. They had tried to break it free by pulling it down the road and popping the clutch. I tried to buy it but his dad said it wasn't worth anything and he wouldn't feel right selling it to me.

    About 6 months later I noticed the car was gone and asked about it and his dad had turned it over to the local scrapper. The only good thing about the situation is the fact that the local scrapper had a private yard that had a lot of neat old cars that weren't for sale or available for parts so I like to think that old Gal is still on the road somewhere! There were several other cars like that down there but those stories are somebody else's to tell.

    Until I moved to the Indianapolis area that little town had the highest concentrations of "hot rods" I'd ever seen anywhere that hadn't gathered for some type of event.
    Last edited by femurphy77; 05-07-18 at 09:13 PM.

  8. #1598
    Carburetion 'sucks' !
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    The piss yella kinda rusty '69 or '70 Mach 1 428 CJ mustang that I just couldn't get the owner to part with. The 1935 Railton Fairmile 4 door saloon with Hudson 8 banger flathead power that the the owner drove up from London the Suffolk in 1968 after paying £120 - putting in to ex government corregated iron Nissen hut. I tried to buy this of the owner for some 20 years or so without a result - and just watching the rust hole in the roof for the Nissen hut getting larger and leaking more and more rainwater on to the Railton - eventually 'totalling' it some 40 year later. There was the '63 TBird in an unusual metallic green/grey shade back in the mid 70's in one of the car car dealers in Chelsea/Fulham area. Unusually (not sure if this was OEM) this had what became the GT spec 390 when used in Mustangs a few years later - three two's. This was the first car I had ever driven that would wheel-spin when the transmission shifted on full gas from 1st to 2nd. Undoubtedly there were more if I sit and think - another one - an old boy (Chick, he called himself) had a smallholding and did some local car repairs just outside Leighton Buzzard almost opposite the HGV test centre. This was probably back in the early/mid 1980's. Got kinda friendly with him and one day he said come and take a look at this. Back in the rear of his workshop, and covered with years of dust was what was a one time what appeared to to a chopped, sectioned and lowered 50's Studebaker Hawk. I also (if I remember) had extended rear fins. Didn't then actually consider making an offer for the car - even though I rated the design of a Hawk. The thing I left out was that he swore that it was a Barris built car............
    Last edited by roscobbc; 05-07-18 at 11:10 PM.

  9. #1599
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    Quote Originally Posted by femurphy77 View Post
    Holy Crap!!! Are you STILL whining about that Boss 429???

    Yeah...I guess I kinda am. Of course, the one Im REALLY still whining about is the Dino ; had I bought that thing, within 12 to 16 months I could have realised an approximate $85000.00 profit - which was more than I paid for my house a couple of years earlier!

    Thinking about all the missed opportunities and regrets concerning vehicles not purchased - and the ones listed above are just a few of the more hurtful ones off the top of my head - brought to mind a car that I missed, several times...

    Quite frankly, I dont remember exactly how I found out about this car initially, but whatever the mode of information, I called the guy and talked to him about it awhile. It was a 68 Olds 442 coupe, 400, 4 spd, PDB , A/C and power steering car. The then current owner had purchased the car from the original owner in 1970. This was 1990 or so. The owner was a Certified mechanic at an area Ford dealer, so he assured me the car had been maintained and ran like a top. The real selling point tho , besides that third pedal under the dash, was the colour; the car was that GM turquoise metallic that I love so much. That, in and of itself, will pique my interest , add in the 4 speed and the two owner history and my enthusiasm was doubly kindled!

    The car was in the Oklahoma City area, so I called my ol pard JPS III. After assuring me that he wouldnt buy this one out from under me - see an earlier post about a turquoise 64 Pontiac - I gave him the pertinent info and asked him to go 'pre-qualify' the car and look at it for me. He agreed.

    Knowing what a discerning eye I possess - some folks have termed it 'finicky nit picking bastard' , but I prefer 'discerning' - Johnny gave the car a thorough examination and test drive. His telephone report that evening wasnt particularly glowing; said it drove fine but had rust in the quarters and needed paint sorely. John said it was rather 'dingy', so I decided to pass. However, my boss at the job at that time , Jim J, had been talking about getting another old car, having recently sold his 64 Nova SS , so I passed the contact information on to him with the caveat that the car needed some fettling.

    A couple of days later, JJ walked back to my desk at the office and advised me that he had decided to purchase the Olds. I congratulated him, and he told me that the fellow was coming to Tulsa with some buddies to a car show and was bringing the car up here that Saturday ; would I take him to pick it up? 'Certainly' says I, 'I was planning on going to that particular gathering anyway'.

    So Saturday morning early - about the crack of 10 - I picked JJ up at his house and we drove in to Tulsa to the Camelot Inn. As we pulled around the side of the hotel, I spied the car. I looked at Jim and said 'I'll give you $500 to just hand the title to me...' JJ smiled, declined with a laugh and got out of my car. That car was NICE; yes, the original paint was faded, and there were two holes - one in each quarter panel directly behind the wheel opening an inch from the bottom of the metal about the size of a quarter- and a bubble at the bottom of the passenger side fender, but the car was nice; it ran like a top, the original interior was nearly perfect, underhood was tidy and come to find out, the fellow had just completely rebuilt the front suspension, so it drove like brand new.
    I called Johnny...

    JJ left his new Chevy pickup parked for the next couple of weeks and drove the 442 to work, just to rub it in. {I dont remember what he paid for the car, but it was a deal...} I tried a couple more times to buy the thing from him, but each time he smiled and declined. Before long, JJ came to me and asked me about having the paint and body taken care of - naturally I suggested he take it to JY. At the time, JY was busier than a one armed paperhanger doing nothing but custom and street rod work, but being a friend, he agreed to do the job.

    The car looked fantastic when JY gave it back to him. It was straight as a string and the paint was 3 feet deep; the car gave an echo if you hollered at it. It shone like a diamond in a goats butt. Gorgeous.

    A year or so later, JJ walked back to my desk, laid a slip of paper down, turned and strolled back to his office. On the back of the paper was a number. Scratching my head metaphorically, I thought for a moment, then it hit me! this was his asking price for the Olds. So I drew a line through his figure, wrote another number beneath it and marched to his office. I looked at JJ, smiled, laid the slip of paper down on his desk, turned on my heels and went back to my own enclosure. Nothing more was said.

    This little 'dance' was repeated three or four times over the next couple of months. Each time the numbers got ever-so-slightly closer, but never met. We werent THAT far apart memory says, but this had become a bit of a joust, a point of pride/contention. We both wanted to 'win'.

    Sadly, a few months later, JJs wife died. She just keeled over at her desk at work one day without warning. Jim took it VERY hard, and naturally, the subject of the Oldsmobile wasnt at the forefront of his - or my - thinking. The car just sat. Jim didnt drive it, didnt try to sell it, nothing. It just sat.

    Not too long after that, I changed jobs. Not working at the same place, naturally I didnt talk to Jim as much. JJ wasnt talking to anyone much in those days. But a year or so later, Jim called me about the Olds. Seems his stepson accidentally knocked some stuff off a pegboard in the garage and dented and scratched the turquoise A Body up across the roof and onto the right door and quarter; would I come look at it for him? I went over and surveyed the damage, giving him a rough estimate of repair costs. He offered to sell the car to me again . However, he wanted retail plus... I went ahead and agreed to the price AFTER the car was fixed. He declined. I called JY and we had the car fixed. Took JJ to pick the car up and again offered to meet his earlier number now that the car was complete, but he decided to go ahead and keep it.

    Fast forward another annum. JJ was diagnosed with lung cancer and was in the hospital. I found out about his surgery and hospitalisation thru the grapevine and went to St Francis to see him. After the initial 'hey, how ya doins' and 'you look great for all youve been thru' and 'understand your prognosis is good' stuff, we began to talk about old cars and old times ; you know, lighten the mood and try to smile. Naturally the Olds came up. Jim said he planned to do some maintenance and tidying on the old car during his convalescence as it hadnt been used much and was beginning to show the strains of disuse and neglect. Said he would be good therapy. I agreed, and reiterated that if he ever wanted to sell, please call me first. He smiled, nodded his head and started to say something , but we were interrupted by a rude lawyer - but I repeat myself- that we had both worked with, who had the audacity to come to the hospital, not to check on JJs condition, but to actually discuss a case... I didnt want to hang around and listen to this jackal yowl, so I just told Jimmy 'goodbye' , gently shook his hand, said ' I'll catch you later' and left. Never spoke to JJ again.

    When I learned of his passing a few months later and got the details for the funeral, I must admit that after the sorrow at his loss, and a bit of self chastisement for not doing better about checking in on him, that Olds immediately popped into my mind. I know... Im terrible. JJ had no family left that I knew of; he and his first wife werent speaking - apparently it was a nasty divorce. He had no siblings and his parents were gone. Second wife had died. She had two children, a boy and a girl. The girl had no interest in cars and JJ had said the boy didnt really either, so I wondered about the disposition of the 442. I began to make discreet enquiries with mutual acquaintances that were closer to the situation than I. Apparently, whomever the executor of the estate was had most everything sold before poor JJ reached room temperature. The stepson kept the new-ish Chevy pickup. but the Olds and the Monte Carlo SS were gone. Missed again.

    A couple of years later or so, whilst gallivanting aimlessly around greater suburban Bixby Oklahoma, I spied a turquoise GM A body in the distance, parked on the side of the road in someones front yard with the snoot pointing out. The shape told me it was a 68 to 72 car, but at first I wasnt sure of the make. As I drew closer, I could tell - it was a 68 Oldsmobile 442.
    'Nah...couldnt be' said I aloud.
    I crawled off the Duc and went immediately to the drivers side window to peer inside. See, JJs car was stone stock except for this little pinstripe along the lower part of the dash...and this car had the same mark. Had to be Jims car. I memorised the number on the for sale sign and rode quickly home.
    After a couple of rounds of phone tag, I finally got to talk to the owner. We discussed the car a bit and then I asked him if he didnt buy that from an estate; he answered that no, he had purchased directly from the previous owner. Hmmm... I asked if he remembered the name of the guy ; he didnt, but had some paperwork, and remembered where the fellow lived.
    It WAS JJs car...and he didnt call me first like he had promised. Guess Jim thought he 'won' the battle.

    Naturally, this guy wanted WAY too much for the car too, so I gave him a reasonable offer which he declined. He told me his bottom dollar, which I declined, and I thanked him for his time.
    I stewed over the car the rest of the weekend, and into Monday. Whilst getting ready for work the next morning, I said to LaDawn, 'I aint gonna let that sumbich win.'
    'Who?'
    'JJ. Im gonna go ahead and buy that 442...just to piss him off.'
    'I really dont think he cares at this point...' my bride opined.
    'Its a matter of principle now.'
    I called the guy when I got home that afternoon to consummate the transaction. However, the fellow that had bought it that very day was there to pick it up...
    Guess some things just arent meant to be.
    Last edited by malamute john; 15-07-18 at 05:42 PM.

  10. #1600
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    Damn. It seems like you just weren't meant to have that car! It might be a good thing that you didn't get it but after hankering for it for so long it's not going to feel like that.
    I went through a similar phase a couple or three decades ago when my buddy first became a car dealer. He was getting some real nice stuff in part exchange that he was offering to me well below market value but at the time I was spending my (poorly paid) hard earned on going out drinking and clubbing with the mates - mainly Andy - the car dealer friend. I did buy many cars off him but they were beaters just to get to work in. You know the kind back then, cheapies with a bit of tax and test on them like the Fiat 126 for £40, the Celica for £120, the Granada for £180 etc etc etc..
    But every now and then there would be that 'something' that would really grab your attention and was, in reality, just that bit more over budget than you wanted to pay (even with the more than generous discounts). Sure, I could've skinted myself and got them but in your early to late 20's you still want (need) some spare cash for designer clothes/shoes and living it up at the weekend (and visit the drags and shows when they were on).
    A couple that spring to mind were the X1/9 that I would have dearly loved and a rather nice R5 Turbo in gleaming pearlescent white with aftermarket dished '17's. (That one was stunning). A girlfriend at the time bought the X1/9 so I got to drive it a few times and she offered to sell it to me before I resprayed it white for her. I ummed and aared for a fair while and figured there was no point as I'd get to drive it on occasions anyway. Once resprayed it looked absolutely fantastic and I was kicking myself for not purchasing it. Then, a few days later, she crashed it into another car. It was a write off. I saw it in a scrapyard a couple weeks later when there for some parts for another car (I miss those scrapyard days) and I had a look underneath. It was rotten as a peach and I'm surprised it didn't fold in half on impact! I thought to myself there and then that, in hindsight, I'd had a lucky escape with that one.

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