On our local ads we recently added the tagline: "We'll pay cash for your old classic."
Well, since then we've had some interesting "offers". It seems like everyone has some old heap they want to sell, and almost invariably they have it in their mind that it's their golden ticket to fame and fortune (or at least fortune). We get calls from people trying to sell old Camaros, Mustangs, Buicks, Cadillacs, etc.. Given our area of the country, they're usually domestics. Last week we had a guy call with a `68 Ford Mustang FB (fastback), and he was convinced it was worth "$150,000, at least", because, "my boy saw one on the internet that sold for that much". Right.
He brought it down, it barely ran, and the thing looked like it'd been worked over with a ball bat. I had to explain to him that the car online was an A1 condition Shelby GT500, not a plain 289 Fastback with rust and half the windows cracked. I showed him the value, he didn't believe me, I was obviously trying to rob him. "Well can it be turned into a GT500?" My partner replied, "Not unless you have a time machine or $150,000." He's a brilliant mechanic, but he isn't known for his social graces.
Yesterday we had something similar, or at least that's what I thought at first. A man calls, and I happen to be answering the phone because our office manager was at lunch, telling me he has a very rare car that could be quite valuable and wants to bring it down. Trying not to be optimistic, I tell him to bring it by when he has a chance. A few hours later he does, and my jaw almost hits the floor. There on the lot is a 1963 Maserati 3500 GTi. No joke. Then he starts out with, "I was looking online and I saw where one sold for $90,000..." and I cringe, so does my mechanic, but then adds, "but I know that car was in mint condition". I nod, relieved. We look it over, and it's quite nice. The paint has a nice patina, and the interior, though patched, is in decent shape. He cranks it up, it sounds fine, though it does miss a little and isn't running as smoothly as it should. It had obviously undergone some restoration at some point, but that was many years ago.
He'd bought it at an estate auction a few years back and had put it away in a storage shed, taking it out every once in awhile for a drive. One thing we noticed was that the Lucas fuel injection was missing and had been replaced by carbs, not uncommon because most mechanics don't have a clue about how to fix the Lucas system when it breaks (which they're prone to do). I remark on that and he tells us that it may be in the trunk, there's a "box of parts back there". So we check it out, and sure enough, there's the FI and manifold in a box, along with other misc parts. Score. We then get down to the meat of it, what does he want? Not too long ago these weren't very valuable and it hasn't been until recently that the market has started to catch up with them. They're just as rare, if not more so, than a same year Aston Martin DB5 (and more attractive, IMO). He throws out a number, it's a little high, so we go back and forth until we reach an attractive price, $27,000 and repair his truck, which needs a complete overhaul. I'm very happy with it, and I'm keeping it.
Now we just need to get the fuel injection back on it and get it all fixed up.Edited by Magick Man - 4/10/13 at 11:24pm