Ed's Project Car Swap Meet BLOG

Challenging Challenger

EdsSwapMeet.com is a website designed and marketed as a place where classic vehicle enthusiasts can shop for project vehicles or parts and services for their projects. We do this by providing a vehicle swap meet structure to the site where vehicle product manufactures, restoration shops and swappers of parts have a permanent space to display their wares. In order to prove our point we decided to practice what we preach, as they say, and acquired our own “Basket Case” project car, a 1970 Dodge Challenger Convertible.

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Dead Man's Curve Car Show 2016: Labor Day: NJ Best

First, before we begin, in observance of Labor Day, let us just say thanks for the jobs that have helped so many who buy classic cars, restore classic cars and create the marketplace to attend a weekend of fun, cars and not one thought about the craziness of the world around us.

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Ok. Here we go…where? Mahwah, New Jersey. Mah what? No, Mahwah. It’s a secluded place in northern New Jersey set amongst beautiful mountains, forest and a Sheraton Hotel and Sharp Industries business campus. It’s the easiest drive on Route 287 just two miles short of the New York state line.

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1933-1936 Auburn Vintage Car Story

Later, the founder of the Auburn automobile, Cord, had purchased the Lycoming and Ansted engine companies, several mid-western industrial corporations, and Checker Cab, as well as holding shipbuilding and aviation interests. Perhaps in order to avoid a scandal over the management of his enterprises, Cord went to England in 1934 where he dropped out of sight. The fortunes of his company were eventually handed over to Harold T. Ames, president of Duesenberg.

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Buried 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS Found

Some Kids Were Digging In Their Backyard When They Hit Something. Police Have Never Seen Anything Like This. We all grow up digging around in sand boxes hoping to strike it rich and find some hidden ancient treasures. What we typically find is a rusty, old Matchbox car or a present left behind by a cat. Either way it’s very rare to find something desirable. Well, that’s not quite the case with a young group of boys in California. They were digging in their yard when they found something that would make anyone’s jaw drop and their mouth start drooling. In 1978, these kids were digging around in their yard when they came across something big, something metal, and something very, very valuable. A buried Ferrari!

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1962 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud: James Bond Movie Car

Introduced in 1959, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II set a new standard for luxury cars. For the first time ever, a Rolls-Royce was powered by an V-8 engine and the chassis and suspension were significantly updated from the original Silver Cloud. Although the new Silver Cloud offered a host of innovations, in the traditional sense, ever-conservative Rolls-Royce still implemented a ladder frame chassis that allowed for one-off, coachbuilt bodywork.

Unexpectedly, the factory did not offer an open version of their standard saloon body, and customers who desired the ultimate in top-down motoring had to commission a coachbuilder to create a custom body on the new Rolls-Royce chassis. Perhaps the most exquisite Silver Cloud II of all was the Mulliner Drop Head Coupe, a delightful open body that incorporated the lines of the saloon, giving the car a strong family resemblance.

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Jonathan Winter's car.

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1964 Ford Fairlane: Not Really But I'll Try to Lie

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Everybody had a First Car: Mine, a 1964 Ford Fairlaine: Hey, don't laugh.

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In the good old days we played high school sports, hung out in the hallways of the school between classes thinking we were “cool” watching the young ladies walk by. It was sports, dreams of cute girls, and the anticipation of getting our license to drive to school in our own car. No school bus for us. We were way above that.

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1964 AMC Rambler Saved My Life

1964 Rambler Saved My Life

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In 1974 to 1976 I attended the University of Wyoming in lovely Laramie. Being from New Jersey, it was a 1,300 mile trek that usually meant 38 to 42 straight hours behind the steering wheel each way. My roommate who was also from my hometown split shifts driving with me.

Rarely could I say the trips were "non-eventful." I do recall one tale of extreme notoriety. It was January and we were driving back to Laramie to start the spring semester. We were young, stupid and therefore, fearless. My dad had the wisdom to buy oversized snow tires for my 1964 Ramblin Rambler before we left Denville, New Jersey. In addition, he cut cardboard and placed a full sized piece in front of the car’s radiator because he said it’d help keep the engine warm in the cold air. We were fine with all this but really thought he didn’t have to do these extras for us because we were seasoned cross-country travelers. Hmmmm. Really?

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Chevrolet Corvette Z06

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Because for less than $4,000 more the Corvette Z06 can be in your driveway, starting from $78,995. The supercharged Z06 is touted as one of the best performance-for-dollar cars you can get in today’s market and how can you ignore its gorgeous style? With 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque at your disposal, it’s hard not to see why the Z06 would be a collectible in a couple of decades.

The first time I saw the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, I couldn’t wait for the day to come when I’d be able to finally drive one.

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Plymouth Superbird Barn-Find Project

Hot Rod, Written by Ryan Brutt on October 27, 2015

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People say there are no more cool cars left hidden in barns or hanging around in junkyards. While barn finds might not be as prevalent as they once were, there are still some incredible cars out there to be discovered. Sometimes those hidden cars can go from sitting in a concrete cell to a show car in the blink of an eye—especially when that car has a big-block, a large, pointed nose, and a wing on the back.

Roughly 1,900 Plymouth Superbirds were produced for the 1970 model year. These cars were built in a large part to bring Richard Petty back from Ford. He had gone over to Ford in 1969 because its NASCAR Talladegas had a slipperier profile then the equivalent Plymouth B-bodies Petty had been running. He also kept needling Chrysler Corporation to give him a Daytona Charger ride for 1969 and Chrysler ignored him. Plymouth was able to bring him back to its side with the Superbird, creating a nearly unstoppable force. While the old adage “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” might have been true years before, Superbirds did not do well on the showroom floors around the country, with stories of a few of them still sitting in showrooms in 1971, or being converted to conventional Satellite front ends. Yet by the 1980s they were gaining in popularity and collectability.

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Sandblasters, Auto Repair & Restoration Equipment

Our valued sponsor at Ed's Project Car Swap Meet.com, Brut Manufacturing Company, produces automotive repair, restoration, and sandblasting equipment for customers ALL around the world. Brut Manufacturing was founded in 1975 by Lynn Neiss - a body shop owner and auto body repair instructor. Neiss was frustrated by the lack of high-quality racks, benches, and stands needed to support and hold the various body panels and parts during his repair and restoration processes. As a result, he relied on his many years of valuable experience to create a substantial company, Brut Manufacturing to resolve these problems. Thus, Brut Manufacturing now offers car shop owners and restoration experts the best quality, designed and unique sand blasting, door and bumper holders, and more, in the automotive industry.

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This business started in a small garage but today Brut Manufacturing operates out of its 25,000 square foot facility in Navarre, Ohio! Each Brut product is hand manufactured by its skilled technicians who are dedicated to superior craftsmanship. Their attention to detail ensures the company's products will be a key component to your success in completing the quality work your clients demand. This dedication by our team of experts toward manufacturing high quality products has made Brut a leader in the industry. It provides its vast list of clients with sandblasting and other equipment that their auto body shops need to succeed.

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1970 Boss 429 Original, 12,000-mile Drag Survivor

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Written by Drew Hardin on April 23, 2015 Contributors: Wes Allison, Owners Shotgun 429
This 1970 Boss 429, for example, an original-paint, original-interior car, now lives in the rarified air of the most desirable of Detroit's supercars. In 1970, though, things were different.

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On December 21, 1970, McCoy Ford in Southern California's Orange County put an ad in the Los Angeles Times offering not one, but three Boss 429s that were still in inventory. "There had been so much excitement with the Boss 429 introduction that the Ford dealers held them back and asked exorbitant sales prices," remembers Nancy Eszenszky. "There wasn't a sale price in the ad, but here it was, almost 1971, and these three still hadn't found owners. We wondered if we'd be able to afford one."

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1953: The Corvette Comes off the Drawing Board

Corvette: Beginnings: 1953

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Only 300 Corvettes were produced in 1953. This is number 283. The whereabouts of roughly 225 of these cars are known these days. The first two cars appear to have been intentionally destroyed by Chevrolet at the proving grounds.

Surprisingly, at this point in American automotive history the one vehicle that raised very little interest from the public was what we call….the sports car. In fact, in 1952, more than 4 million new cars were registered. Of that number, only approximately 12,000 were classified as a sports car. This is primarily due to the fact that cars had always been deemed modes of transportation for the family. People did engage in racing but the sports car was not largely considered a candidate for this activity given their style had not yet gained substantial recognition by the public.

GM recognized that this was a segment of the automobile industry that had unlimited potential. GM’s VP of styling, Harley Earl, had been given unlimited funding and freedom to explore. The more he listened and read about sports cars, he was of the opinion that he could put such a vehicle together for $1,800, which was close to the cost of such cars by Triumph and MG and near half the price of Jaguar’s $3,345 XK-120.

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Both styling and engineering wanted glass covers over the headlights, like many of the European show cars at that time. However, this was illegal in the United States so the fencing mask became an acceptable alternative.

Earl wanted to put a V-8 engine in his new sports car, but only Cadillac, Buick and Oldsmobile produced them. Most sports cars that preceded this new innovation of car were made in the mold of the 1930s sports cars which had a long hood and short rear deck.

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Each of the first 300 cars was essentially handmade both in the molding of its fiberglass panels and the assembly of its mechanicals. The car was available only in Polo White with a black convertible top, red wheels and red interior.

The initial wheel base of the newly designed Chevy frame was set at 102 inches, exactly like the Jaguar. However, this new car had equal weight distribution on the front and rear wheel axles.

The first Corvette’s body assembly took place in Chevrolet’s customer delivery garage in Flint, Michigan. Start-up was slow, grueling and exhausting to the assembly workers. It took work crews three 16 hour days to assemble the first Corvette, which was completed on June 30, 1953.

At first, Chevrolet produced one car every day. Soon thereafter, however, the number rose to three cars a day.

Six months later on December 24, 1953, Corvette production ended at the Flint, Michigan facility. Four days later, December 28, 1953, production resumed in St. Louis, Missouri. This plant was the old millwork building for buggies and early automobiles.

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Corvette production was targeted at 300 cars for the first year, 1953.

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The end of the assembly line was not always so formal. But completion of each of the early cars was a significant occasion. First year production was set at 300 cars but supply exceeded demand for a car that leaked rain and had primitive side curtains instead of roll-up windows. By year end, 183 had been delivered. These cars may be the second, third, and fourth cars produced.

Initially, the secret name for the production of this car was Project Opel. And the styling department did actually work for GM’s German Subsidiary. A plaster model was made for the 1953 Motorama event. If the public warmed up to the car then production would begin in the summer of 1954.

Standard GM parts from other cars were incorporated into the car wherever possible to keep production costs down; brakes and steering mechanisms were reconfigured to adapt to the car. Chevrolet’s existing six-cylinder engine was approved by upper management but it was reworked to generate more power by adding mechanical lifters, a new aluminum intake manifold for three Carter carburetors, a kind of split exhaust manifold leading to separate exhaust mufflers, and pipes on each side at the rear, and by increasing compression ratio from the stock 7.5:1 up to 8.0:1 to get the engine’s horsepower up from 115 to 150.

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The "Blue Flame Special" was Chevrolet's passenger-car six-cylinder engine slightly modified to produce 150 horsepower. General Motors aggressively pushed the Powerglide automatic transmission for the Chevrolet line and no manual three-speed was available nor could one be modified quickly enough for production.

The designers wanted to duplicate the manual transmission of Jaguar and MG but no four-speed existed at the time in America. Besides the two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission was already well matched to the engine.

These costs and time problems leading to the exhibit at Motorama led to the decision to build the car’s body using pre-formed fiberglass. Then in 1954 it would be made of steel. The car’s production target was 10,000 in 1954.

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Individual seats were contoured into the interior. There were only two options offered; a heater for $91.40 and the signal-seeking AM Radio at $145.15. However, these were included on each car produced. The radio's antenna was a wire mesh that was embedded into the inside of the fiberglass trunk lid.

The first car appeared at the Motorama exhibit in brilliant white, bearing the name Corvette which was used to honor the trim, fleet naval vessel that performed great heroic escort and patrol duties during World War II.

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Chevrolet ultimately rejected at steel body to the car because tooling costs would expand four to five times that of fiberglass.

This is the first of a series of articles about the beloved Chevy Corvette by JP. 


 

Family Buys Blood Money Auction ‘71 Hemi Cuda

In September 2014, the U.S. Marshal’s Department held an auction in Lodi, New Jersey of a collection of muscle cars maintained by super thief David Nicholl, who bilked the government of $33 million dollars several years before. Of that $33 million, Mr. Nicholl purchased and stored nine elite, collectible cars, including a 1971 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda, a 1970 Superbird, a Camaro, a super Nova and several other cars. These nine American classics netted close to $2.5 million in less than an hour of fierce bidding.

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Auctions of criminals’ possessions are not rare with the U.S. Marshal’s office. What is a big event though said Marshal Juan Mattos is that these vintage cars were unprecedented for any such Federal auction. "We have sold properties, we have sold cars, we have sold jewelry, we have even sold horses, but never in the history of the U.S. Marshals Service have we ever had this much horsepower being sold in one event," Juan said.

As stated above, the cars were seized from convicted felon David Nicoll, who amassed close to $33 million in a scheme that involved bribing physicians to order unnecessary blood tests and other lab work for their patients from Nicoll's former company, Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services in New Jersey. More than $5 million of the ill-gotten cash was spent on cars including the ones sold today, which the classic car world dubbed "The Blood Money Collection."

Co-auctioneer Harry Byrnes of A.J. Willner Auctions said the unique grouping of such rare muscle cars drew surprising attention explaining, "we got guys coming in from all over the country." Over 150 bidders flocked to the warehouse in Lodi, N.J., and over three dozen more participated online. The highest bidders spared no expense.

This leads us to discuss the remarkable Buzby family story behind this event.

Rich Buzby paid $347,500 for the 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda, which was only partially restored at the time of the auction. The primer-painted coupe was displayed with the disassembled parts strewn on the warehouse floor around it. He said the fact that the car was in pieces didn't take away from its value. "It's one of 48 ever made, there is a lot less than that that still exist, and in 1971 in the 'Cuda world it's the top of the market," Buzby added, "we see it as an investment."

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Notice the word “we” in Mr. Buzby’s explanation. Mr. Buzby and his wife comprise the “we.” She was involved in the auction from day one. Her husband is no car collecting cowboy who simply runs with the family checkbook and buys another car for his prideful stable. Instead, the humble man and his precious wife were partners in this endeavor from day one. And she always has been such a partner prior to any classic car acquisition.

You see, the Buzby’s “fell” into collecting rare cars. It’s an amazing story. You see, it was their middle teenage son who first got their attention focused on classic cars. Lucas, age 17, had his eye on a 1970 Dodge Charger RT 444 as his fantasy car. This would be his first classic car if mom and dad would only approve his buying such a car. They thought it was just a phase in a growing young man’s life. But Lucas put “his money where his dream was.” He put the cash together through hard work and odd jobs to demonstrate to Mom and Dad that this was not a silly chapter in his young life. When he showed them the cash, and told them he found the car down south in the Carolinas, they bought in and said, “He’s put the cash together, let’s go look at the car.”

It was on this trip that Little Egg Harbor Police Chief, Rich Buzby thought this car thing is kind of neat! They got to the car, bought it and then loaded it up on the trailer for the trip home to New Jersey. Then they decided to make a short detour on the way home. They stopped off at Richard Petty’s museum in Ashboro, North Carolina (which has now moved to Randleman, North Carolina).

A serious dosage of “fate” was attached to this trip. The Buzby’s actually met Mr. Petty! And to top things off, he took a liking to the boys. After a cordial ten minute hand shake hello, Mr. Petty decided to turn the Buzby’s chance meeting into a personal tour of the museum. In all, it was a four hour personal tour by “the man” himself. He educated and charmed them into understanding the wonderful world of classic cars. In fact, Mr. Petty signed Lucas’ new Dodge Charger with his name and his famous car #43. Despite having an ill wife that was on his mind, he never let on to this during the whole tour. He proved himself to be a super great guy to everyone.

This experience affected the entire Buzby family. Rich’s other son then reminded his Dad of his love for the 1972 Gran Torino with a sport roof. This led to the acquisition of a second Buzby classic car in a most peculiar way. While on vacation in Virginia to view the history of the civil war, they spotted a Gran Torino across the “battlefield” on a hill far away. They set out to find it and were successful. Liam had saved some money but Mom and Dad were just as enthralled with the car. They spotted Liam the balance of the cash to buy this 1972 Gran Torino Sport 351 Cobra Jet V8 car with the sport roof for $16,000. And then papa Buzby, Rich, felt the tug and gave his heart to these awesome old cars. To be specific, it was Petty’s 1970 Superbird that knocked his socks off. The whole experience was the genesis of an entire family sharing in the love for classic cars.

Later, Rich Buzby and his wife joined his sons in collecting classic cars. The boys got the ball rolling and then he and his wife began to appreciate the investment quality these purchases represent for their future, as their 401k so to speak. More important though, it’s the power of mutual love for something that has worked to knit this family together in a more meaningful way than soccer games and music lessons could have ever done for them.

The whole family now attends car shows as one group. They sit together behind their car at the show and they commiserate with the public at large. Everyone adds their thoughts to the conversations. They talk together, laugh together and spend Dad’s money together for food, drinks, and parts for their cars at home.

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So, back to the auction, Mr. Buzby bought the car but it was only AFTER his wife collaborated about the bid. In fact, it was she who concluded that this car was meant for their 401k portfolio. Rich agreed, pulled the trigger with the auctioneer and the last man bidding backed down to relinquish his desire for the Barracuda to Mr. Buzby…and wife.

The car is now in Richmond, Virginia being restored by the best of the best, Frank Badalson and Charles Morris in Farmsville, Virginia, who has done NASCAR engine work for Penske and Earnhardt.

Along with the ‘Cuda, a 1970 Boss Mustang went for $265,000, a 1969 Yenko Camaro drew $315,000, and a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird fetched $575,000. (The sale of the Superbird happened just before the Cuda auction took place. Rich thinks this may have diminished the passion of many people for the Cuda. Remember, the Superbird was a completed vehicle and the Cuda still needed a lot of work. Rich has the contacts and resources to see this car brought back to classic perfection.)

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The money from these auctions goes to a victims’ compensation fund. Nicoll’s sentencing date was to be in December of 2014 but has yet to take place. Technically, he was expected to spend the next 15 to 20 years in prison. However, those sentenced to date have gotten up to five years. As evidenced by this auction, David Nicoll, so far, has honored his agreement to forfeit $50 million to the government as restitution.


By JP with the help of Fox News archives. 


 

Superbird Found Nesting in a Barn

Gotta love a good barn find, and this is no exception to that. We know these hibernating cars are very "rough" (using a polite term) as barn finds usually go. For some reason, none of the barn cars found still have the shine they had when they left the show room some 45 years ago. I think its poor housekeeping but who am I to say. They all come rusty, soiled, frozen in place and frozen in time. But there is something good about this. It's certainly better than finding a clump of twenties in a parking lot. You have found something that many people simply covet. And I checked, coveting your neighbor's rusted out car is not a sin. Someone will feel relieved to know that.

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So, a short while ago in 2015, someone found the holy grail. He was looking for a beat up Ford Fairlane and found the crown jewel(s) that many would die for. This find is exciting but there is more to it than what meets the eye. That is, with some money, I mean, a lot of money and expended time the Super Bird can be good as new again! Really. That's the car we are focused on here. We're inclined to think the Super Bird along with a 1971 Hemi Cuda could be the trip to Disneyland you always dreamed of. Yup.You can't argue with that.

So let's take a look at this recent barn find in 2015; amazingly, there are still people who continue to wander into the right places in the 21st century. This time it was in Illinois....farm country that is, not the inner city of Chicago. Someone had to put on his (or her) hiking boots and get to the magical barn in some God-forsaken place that is home to more cows than people. In this hunt, every barn, every abandoned garage must get a look. People with guns often protect their property and you run the risk of explaining to your doctor how the buckshot penetrated the seat of your trousers.

Then one day, totally unexpectedly, you open the doors to a cadaver called a barn and you see all kinds of cars, a Super Bird, a Dodge Challenger and more. You've found the mother load of automotive treasure and you now have to be honest about your find and embark on the next step of figuring out what super eccentric old man owns the dang thing(s). From there you have to either go to the hall of records or you'll have to talk with someone who, naturally, remembers every detail about Uncle Jack's love for those car(s) that really look like they've been butchered and hanged to dry. To your dismay, you learn that they will not part with his piece of "petrified wood" in the barn too quickly, or too cheaply. So now you're asking yourself why you are so obsessed about classic cars.

But the thrill of it all begins to seep back into your mind and it's all good. We've concluded that the pursuit of the "barn find" has to be an obsession for the young at heart or people who will never lose that love of the roar of that Hemi engine or the sight of that car coming down the road looking so cool.

Despite these wonderful thoughts, we don't mean to rain on your parade; but, if you're going to find a rusted out Super Bird pent up in someone's dusty, crusty and mildew filled coop, you better have the cash reserve and the where-with-all to turn that scrap metal into something purdy or sellable.

Otherwise, we have just read a good story about someone finding some cool, old cars in a barn. Now it is time for the finder, or someone else with the know-how and the budget to refurbish these gems to lure that very meaningful find into the show car(s) it is truly meant to be. Remember, the finder is not always the winner. It's the owner of the find that wins first. Thus, it's now open season to all who know how to schmooze to get their detectives out there to find the owner, then make sure you shined your shoes and have a cashier's check in hand, and then may the best bid truly win. Good luck to all who pursue the Super Bird. It is the true diamond in the ruff. It's a dream car.

And here's the Super Bird we've been lampooning below. Can anyone envision it when it is done? If so, tell our readers about it. How much is that car, in its current state, worth to you? What would someone pay for it? Please log in and reply so we can learn how this car has new life waiting for it.


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General Lee arrives with its Confederate Flag and lots of Viewers

On July 10, 2015, the General Lee with its Confederate flag and two stars of the Dukes of Hazard that drove the car on the TV show were at the Carlisle Pennsylvania MOPAR car show to talk about the car, pose for photographs, and just have a lot of fun with a large portion of the 40,000 people who attended the event.

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Since all the hoopla over the show being cancelled from reruns because of the Confederate flag on the car’s roof only recently happened, people were jazzed and anxious to view the subject of all the excitement! The Carlisle promoters probably couldn’t have been more pleased with TVLand’s decision to stop the reruns due to the TV Network’s super sensitivity to the flag on the roof of the car. The car was one of the many topics discussed at this gigantic car show!

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Not surprising, there were some kiosks at the show that had Rebel flags for sale. However, no one was seen buying one or carrying one around. When asked, everyone we spoke to said basically the same thing about all this nonsense. They all said they watched the show when they were young for the long legged lady and the cool car that had lots of “guts under the hood.” The flag simply reminded them that the show took place in the south (Georgia) and those actors were just “good ole boys” having fun on each show driving a super cool car with a beautiful gal at their sides. Yup, it was that simple.

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Again, not one person had a racist comment to make about the car or the flag. However, they did say they thought the Network was run by fools (my word, since mine are much more appropriate for a PG rated story).

The sellers of the flags were just trying to cash in on the network’s stupidity; no one was seen buying one. In fact, none were seen by us in anyone’s hand that walked the 60 acres of cars, car stuff and excellent food vendors. (Oh yeah, we did see some people who had a small American flag in their hand, hat or pant pocket. (We didn’t ask them about the flags. We get it. God bless America!)

All said, 40,000 people had a lovely weekend and enjoyed seeing plenty of awesome show cars and many found the parts they need to finish their own dream car. By the way, those who knew who Bubba Watson, the PGA golfer who paid $200,000 for a General Lee is, they thought his tweet that he would put the American flag on the car’s roof was also dumb. Each interviewee kept repeating this generic message; it was never about racism; it’s about a cool car from the south. Bubba….do ya get it yet? Many also said to Bubba, “Good luck getting your $200,000 back when it’s time to sell the car.”

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Written by JP.

1959 Fuelie Corvette Comes Out of Hiding After 44 Years

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Jerry Heasley, 6/8/2015, © Provided by Hotrod

 

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Prince took down the inner walls to reveal the Vette.
 

Michael Prince could hardly contain his excitement. He’d heard stories of his father’s ’59 fuel-injected Corvette all his life, and now he was the winning bidder for the car, walled up inside a barn for 44 years. As Prince stated, “I had to chain saw trees that were 16 inches in diameter.” Then, once inside the barn, Prince had to tear down wooden walls the owner had placed around the ’59 Vette to keep lookie-loos away from his treasure.
Latest Corvette slideshow and pricing

But, the story gets even stranger. For most of his life Michael Prince actually knew the owner, Carroll Johnson. “There was a period of time of about three years, from 2004 to 2007, when I saw him almost every work day.” The two worked for Prince’s uncle. Many times, Prince would ask if he could take a look at it or if he’d be willing to sell it.

Johnson wouldn’t say no. Instead, he would “just walk away.” Growing up, Michael heard stories from his father about the Snowcrest White, fuel-injected/four-speed Vette. Right after buying the Vette, his father “promptly removed the hubcaps and chromed the wheels and added chrome center caps to complement the wide whites.”

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The interior was stock, but obviously tarnished by time. © Provided by Hotrod The interior was stock, but obviously tarnished by time.

“He told me about running the car on Mulholland Dr. I’ve got pictures of the car with drag racing trophies sitting on the hood and the decklid.” The ’59 was a winner at the dragstrip, but wasn’t as dominant when the ’60 Corvette fuelies came out. So, Michael said his father explained how he and his brother simply went to the Chevy dealer and bought the improved ’60 model fuel-injection unit. Suddenly, he was competitive again and back on top.
The ’59 was a piece of family history from long ago and far away that intrigued Michael, who was born in 1967. His father had “a barrage of cars: a ’57 Chevy, a ’58 Chevy, a ’65 GTO. Dad was from a little town called Campobello, which is just north of Spartanburg, S.C. He moved back there, from California, in the early 1960s and took the Vette with him.”

Soon, the ’59 Vette was well known around the area. Harold kept the car pretty much stock. In 1963, Pontiac introduced the Grand Prix and Harold “had to have one.” He traded in his ’59 Vette. One of Harold’s childhood friends, Carroll Johnson, hustled down to the dealership to purchase the ’59 Vette. Johnson replaced the fuel-injection unit with a four-barrel carburetor and painted the Vette blue. He traded the chromed wheels for a set of aluminum mags.

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The ’59 Vette was walled up inside an inner structure inside a barn. © Provided by Hotrod The ’59 Vette was walled up inside an inner structure inside a barn.

Johnson drove the car for 5-6 years in the area and took it with him on a move to Atlanta. There, the car suffered front-end damage. When Johnson returned to Campobello in 1969, many potential buyers kept stopping by trying to buy the Vette. So, Johnson pulled the car into a barn on his parent’s farm and eventually virtually entombed the classic Vette to keep prospective buyers away.

Michael Prince told us, “Everybody knew this fellow had bought it from the dealership after my dad had traded it in, and boarded it up inside a barn. It was not unknown, but it was certainly unseen.” When his parents died, Carroll Johnson and his brother moved into the old home place on the farm. His brother died earlier and Carroll died in 2013, leaving 21 cars and all his possessions, including the Vette. He had no family and no will. His cousin liquidated the estate.

The cars and estate attracted a lot of attention. Michael Prince wanted the Vette and teamed up with his brother David and uncle to bid on a lot of 12 vehicles that included the ’59 Vette. Corvette enthusiasts in the area did not know the ’59 was a fuelie. Bidders could “take a peek” at the old Vette through a door in the barn, but they could not actually get into the space to touch the car and really check it out.

Michael’s dad died three years earlier. He had “wished to get it back,” and had asked Carroll about buying it. However, Carroll was a buyer and never a seller and Michael said Johnson “wouldn’t talk to him [his Dad] either, about the car.” It was with high anticipation that Harold’s son, Michael, cut down the trees to clear a path and then tore down the walls to reveal the Vette he’d dreamed of all his life.

“Neighbors and people who had heard about the car for all their lives came out to see. I think that they were almost as excited as I was to see that the car actually did exist.” Michael was surprised by how much the Vette had degraded, from “the years sitting in a dirt floor barn as the home to squirrels, ’coons, and field mice.” I wondered about the fuel-injection unit. Yes, Michael found the fuel-injection unit in an adjacent room in the same barn, where he also found the tach-drive distributor.

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The engine was originally fuel injected, swapped out years ago for a four-barrel carburetor. © Provided by Hotrod The engine was originally fuel injected, swapped out years ago for a four-barrel carburetor.

Another surprise was the original engine was not in the car. Michael and his uncle Jerry hunted through multiple barns on the 60 acres for the 283. He could not find the engine until later when his uncle talked to “this old fellow named Cooter,” who was close friends with Carroll. Cooter led them to the matching-numbers engine in another barn on the property. The ’59 has both tops, a Wonderbar radio, and came from the factory in St. Louis with the 290-horse fuel-injected 283. “I’m pretty sure it has Positraction, too,” Michael said.

He plans a complete restoration, but just got the car. One more mystery remains. As of this writing the next thing he plans to do is get the trunk open. Legend has it that Johnson rounded up N.O.S. parts to fix the front end and those components are supposedly in the trunk.

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2015 Carlisle MOPAR Car Show and Swap Meet

The weekend of July 10, 2015 the Carlisle MOPAR Car Show and Swap Meet was held in Pennsylvania.


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Given the longevity and professionalism of this event, the anticipated 40,000 car lovers arrived from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, New Jersey, Oklahoma and other places to experience everything offered by small and large vendors, alike.

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EdsProjectCarSwapMeet.com was there to share information about our cars for sale, vendors who advertise with us and to scope out the event site for interesting things to share with you.

It was a shoppers' wonderland of gadgets, do-hickies and thing-a-ma-jigs for every MOPAR fan.

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People brought cars they found to sell or used to own to sell.

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The TV stars and General Lee from the Dukes of Hazards TV show were there to share their love for America, Dodge products and people from all walks of life. (Read our story about this car on this site; with more pictures.)

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The Super Bird bought at the "Blood Money Auction" was there and on display. (Read our story about this car on this site; with more pictures.)

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And then there were more Super Birds there than we thought constituted a true life flock of Super Birds. (Read our story about this car on this site; with more pictures.)

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And then there were more cars proudly displayed there, too.

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More pictures from the show will be added to this site to give one more of a feel of what you may have missed. Please log in, share your experiences, sell a car, sell you services/business, or add an article of your own regarding your knowledge of cars and/or the people who love them.

Thanks,
JP

Rare Barn Finds Featured in National Publication

Pistorius Barn Find of 1929 Peerless

From Barn Find to Chairman's Award Winner at the 2014 Lake Mirror Concours D'Elegance

Peerless Barn FindAny car person who loves the roaring '20s era knows what you mean when you refer to the "3 P's." It is an acronym for the most popular of the high end cars of the late '20s - Packard, Pierce-Arrow and Peerless. But would you be surprised to know that Peerless is the most rare of the 3? Having been in production for only 30 years, today there are less than 350 Peerless automobiles known to exist. Would you also be surprised to hear that Peerless even outsold Packard in 1920? Yes, it is a fact. But interestingly, Peerless is the only company of the "3 P's" that did not go out of business. The Board of Directors of Peerless made the business decision in 1931 to cease manufacturing automobiles and change their manufacturing plant into a brewery for Carling Black Label Beer. They made one car as their swan song, a 1932 V16 aluminum bodied Peerless currently housed in the Crawford Museum in Ohio. With the end of Prohibition, and the advent of the Great Depression, sadly this was a smart business decision after all. Fine automobiles struggled to survive the challenges of the Depression and WWII.

Award Winning Peerless SedanThis 1929 Peerless Sedan was a virtual "barn find" when Brando and Joanne Pistorius found it in Valparaiso, Indiana. This car was bought in a collection of five by the owner who had parked them in his barn for the past 25 years. Prior to that, they had been well kept in Pound, Virginia, as part of the Dexter Dotson Collection for over 30 years. After Mr. Dotson passed away in 1991, his widow put the collection up for sale. It was only after the buyers closed their deal for these five Peerless' did they come to realize that they were actually cousins to the Dotson's!

This 1929 Peerless Sedan is a Model Six-81, one of eight known to exist, and the only one with unique steel "artillery" wheels. While Mr. Dotson gave it a complete restoration over 30 years ago, current owner Brando Pistorius recently completed a partial restoration that came out just beautiful. The mohair interior was intact and in good condition, but the paint and chrome needed to be completely redone. Brando also made certain that the mechanical and electrical condition of the car would be in excellent running condition. The Pistorius are known for their touring and do not shirk from driving their beauties. They once drove their 1930 Packard from Tampa, Florida, to Montreal, Canada (over 4,000 miles in 23 days).

This 1929 Peerless is a 4-door Sedan with a Continental 6-cylinder engine, 66hp, 248.3 cubic inches, 116" wheel base. A roomy 5-passenger car with footrest in the back, handrail that holds a Peerless embroidered blanket, 3 new pull down shades for privacy and a mounted bud vase. The rear mounted spare wheel and 5 new whitewall tires complete the look of real distinction and class for this historic vehicle.

Crushed Glass Media

Brut Media BlasterThere is now a new material on the market that practically reinvents the world of sandblasting.  The material is crushed glass media.  Crushed glass media is the very best for blasting and cleaning sheet metal body panels for automotive restoration.  It will not warp 20 GA sheet metal and will etch the surface making it perfect for body filler or primer and paint.  Blasting at 90 psi on metal and 70 psi on fiberglass works best when using 40-70 grit size.

Crushed glass media is produced from ground-up bottles containing 1% free silica non-reactive and inert.  It can be used near and around water.  It is also cleaner, safer and faster than sandblasting and other media.  Although safer than otehr media, you must always use proper sandblasting protection. Being manufactured from old bottles, it is also eco-friendly since those bottles are not going to a landfill.

Crushed glass is CARB approved for outdoor blasting until Title 17.  It is also approved by US Military under MIL-A22262B for blast cleaning.

Some of Brut's Blasting Media Includes:

  • 4# Pit Grit 10100
  • Case of 6 4# Pit Grit 10106
  • Crushed Glass Blasting Media 50 Lb Bag #69700
  • Crushed Glass Blasting Media Pallet #69701

Some other good blasting medias to use in Brut Sandblasters are:

  • Coal Slag-Black Beauty: 40-60 Grit
  • Star-Blast-Dupont: 40-60 Grit
  • Glass Bead: 60-100 Grit
  • Aluminum Oxide: 60-80 Grit

King of the Hill Car Show, Mine Hill, New Jersey

Everyone loves a car show, a car swap, a car anything, as long as it has something “good” to look at. We at Ed's Project Car Swap Meet have been at Turkey Run at Daytona, Florida, Pomona in California and Carlisle in Pennsylvania, to name a few huge events. We have seen tens of thousands of people go through their gates, yet it doesn’t mean they’re the only shows that get it done.

Recently, as I live in New Jersey I saw an obscure sign on the side of the road. It said “King of the Hill” car show on May 16, 2015 at Canfield School in lovely Mine Hill, New Jersey. I thought to myself, is this worth going to? Can they put on a show that compares to the big boys?

On Saturday, I got up, got ready and told my wife we’re going to Mine Hill to check out this car show today. It’s overcast but not raining; let’s give it a try. As we approached the school, we saw cars parked along the roadway. That was a good sign. We parked and approached the school parking lot. I looked from a distance and said to Sharon, “Hold on, I’ve got to get my camera.”

Was it any good? In short, my camera batteries wore out before I could complete photographing the wonderful cars that people brought to share with public that just love cars. The car owners were your typical approachable, and more than willing to discuss their gem car parked right next to them.

I began taking photographs and interviewing some of the car owners. Each had one thing in common; “I’ve been attracted to custom, vintage and classic cars since I was a kid.” Most were old enough to say twenty years is a kind estimate of the time that they have had this passion.

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Especially warm was Mike from Moonlight Bike Detailing in Newton, New Jersey who was sitting with his beautiful friend, right next to his showroom quality 1982 Collector’s Edition Corvette with a 350 engine, 50k miles, scrubbed clean, displayed well and ready to rock the moment the urge struck. This car was a magnet. One look and you had to stop by and dream. (But, by the way, he shared his own little secret; as much as he loves Corvettes, anyone with a cherry condition 1971 Road Runner can peal him away from his Vette. Mike’s at 973-876-5134.)

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You love trucks? Oh man, Joe had his 2005 Dodge “Rumble Bee” looking like, go ahead, take me for a spin, you’ll never get out again. The engine belonged on a B-52 bomber. It’s a 6.1 liter, 394 cubic inch board stroked balanced and something else that only a motorhead could truly understand. The vehicle has rear wheel drive, black in color 610 horse power at the fly wheels. Did I get it right Joe? He has been a car man since his dad introduced him to them as a little boy in Wharton, New Jersey, 33 years ago.

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Then I ran into the 1966 Nova. Dick, from Dover New Jersey, has been a GM man for 20 plus years, tries them all, and has had this sweet baby since last year.

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Next I could not resist the 1951 Ford, 2 door custom with a 302 Lincoln engine in it. Andy of Rockaway sat proudly by his car admitting that he’s been loving these things for more than 25 years.

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A 1948 Ford Pick-up F-1, from Syracuse New York, with a chevy 350 engine caught my eye.

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This show of sixty plus had so many head turners that my camera batteries let me down.

Jim from Rockaway New Jersey had a 1940 Chevy Special Deluxe that he bought 10 years ago. It more than caught your eye. You had to run to it. The flames painted on the front were just like the decals I put on my model cars as a boy. I ran to that car. It was a live version of one of my childhood fantasy cars. The flames were custom done by a pro and the new paint job never touched them. Over the years he’s had four collectible cars but this one will be hard to part with….unless you want to buy it. It’s a drive me car; don’t just park me. Jim said it’s the Sunday drive car that turns heads and gets all the friendly approving waves. To date, it’s got 20k of his miles driven on it. Jim, this is a car you insure for a lot of money because someone besides you wants to drive that bad boy real bad. Yee haw, now that’s a ride!

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Finally, I saw this blue 1957 blue Bel-Air station wagon that was the same today as it was almost 50 years ago. Chris of Randolph got the car from the original owner, his wife’s father. The car has never left the family and it was brand new when her dad got it. It was super sweet to experience. My own childhood bounced right back to the front of my brain. I remember this car well.

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And there was so much more to talk about. Please follow all the pages of pictures as you will see why this was such an enjoyable few hours in May. If you live near Dover, New Jersey, put this annual spring event on your calendar. It’s a juried show. The food is excellent and the Mine Hill ambulance auxiliary puts it together every year. It’s a slow paced, kick around, relax, enjoy, chat, laugh and go home content kind of experience. Put it on your calendar, you’ll be so happy you did. - See more at: http://edsprojectcarswapmeet.com/forum/past-events/180-king-of-the-hill-car-show-new-jersey-review#sthash.YjyGHXbt.dpuf

Car Lovers: My affection was Birthed with a Corvette

Red CorvetteAt some time in each of our lives we have a memory or experience which stands out as the moment when we first fell in love with cars. With me, JP, it was when I was five years old in 1959, going to kindergarten. I was standing at the school bus stop at the Carvel Ice Cream building on Route 10 in lovely New Jersey. I would watch the traffic go by, commuters on their way to work, and I saw it. What was that?? My older brother, Ed, who knew everything because he was 7 years old, told me, “That’s a Corvette!” I said, “Wow! I love that car!”


Restored CorvetteWhen a five year old falls in love with a car, what does he do??? Naturally, he starts to count them. I would never lose track. I always remembered the number of the last car I counted. I would add the new car to my memory. I’d say, “Hey, Ed, there’s another Vette, number 105…..” I did that until I broke him down. He finally begged me to stop nudging him and then telling him about the latest car number when it got to over one hundred. He got it, I was in love.

Project CorvetteIn 1973, my 21 year old neighbor stunned us kids (I was 17 then, and still in love), he drove a black ‘64 Corvette, fastback, four speed with a 427 engine with wide rear tires. I waited patiently until he said to me, “Hey, JP, want to go for a ride in the Vette???” Without hesitation I was in the passenger seat. I said, “Where to?” He said, “We’ll go down to the quarter mile straight road that runs next to the Erie Lackawanna train tracks in Denville.” I screamed in delight.

We got to the end of the straight-a-way and I remember Jimmy revving that baby up, popping the clutch and I was in glory. We hit second gear, boom, my head snapped back, third gear, again my head snapped back, and when we got into fourth gear he had to shut it down. Whew! Talk about, “Take your breath away!” I squealed with JOY!!

The wonderful noise of that engine, the banging of the gears and the smell of the tires is a memory that is still just as fresh today as it was then.

MGBI never bought a Corvette. However, I’ve made plastic models of them as a kid. That counts, right? All this excitement led me to buy my own “Corvette.” A bit downgraded but still a lot of fun. Since it takes money to buy a Corvette, I went with the next best thing? I bought two MGBs, a 1964 and 1967, when I was 19. They were fun to rebuild, thanks to my Chilton manual.

MGB InteriorBut I never bought a Vette. Now I just roam the car shows and say, “How do they get into those things.” Yup, 60 years old and I can’t imagine riding that low to the ground now. Oh well. They’re still worth counting, number 25,201…. Each car show I go to brings back these cherished memories. Thanks to all those Corvette guys. I love ya. Keep’em runnin' and gunnin'.

JP

Flipping Classic Cars: What You Need to Know

Originally Published in DailyFinance.com by Hank Coleman, March 2014

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Is investing in the classic car market the next big thing? If so, is it right for you? :ohmy:


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With TV shows about finding, fixing and flipping classic vehicles all the rage right now, it's no surprise that investors burned by the real estate crash who are looking for a new get-rich-quick scheme are finding this one: A classic car offers the lure of a hefty potential profit, with a far smaller outlay of capital than a house requires. But is it a good investment -- something you should consider to help diversify your portfolio?

If you're thinking about investing in a classic car, you don't want to lose your shirt in the process. Here are some things to consider before you take possession of a pink slip:

Don't Invest in a Classic Car on Impulse


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"Never buy a classic car on a whim," says Ryan Guina, a classic car owner and publisher of the website Cash Money Life. "It's important to familiarize yourself with the market before buying so you know you're getting a reasonable deal."

The old adage is true: Your profit is made when you buy the item for a great price.

 The old adage is true: Your profit is made when you buy the item for a great price -- whether it's a car, house or any other investment. Counting on your ability to negotiate an exceptional price when you sell later is a poor way to make money.

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Do You Want to Drive Your Classic?

How long do you plan to drive the classic car that you bought for an investment? Will it be your everyday vehicle? Would you be happy if your classic car was your primary mode of transport for a while?

You need to remember that it might take you some time to fix and flip your car. So, consider buying a car that you not only know about but also are willing to drive for a while if you need to. You don't want to get stuck with a car you only bought because you thought it was a good investment.

Don't Forget the Extra Maintenance Costs


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Classic vehicles can be expensive to fix and maintain, and you can't let those costs sneak up on you. It's just like factoring in maintenance and vacancy costs into the rent you charge as a landlord: If your margins don't include a cushion for "unexpected" maintenance costs, you're much less likely make a profit on your restoration.

Get Car Insurance Designed for Classics

Guina says it's a good idea to purchase specialized car insurance. "I was surprise at how inexpensive my insurance policy was on my 1973 Corvette," he says. "The best way to find a good deal is to shop around for an insurance company that specializes in classic cars."

Those types of insurance companies might very well be the best route for you and your investment to ensure that it's properly covered.

Much as prices do for fine wines and baseball cards, the values of classic cars can fluctuate over time -- they don't simply depreciate like new cars start to do the moment you drive them off the lot. You'll want to make sure that your insurer considers recent sale prices from reputable auctions and other venues when it values your classic car.

Do You Need a Dealer License?

Every state has laws on the books that address car dealer licensing requirements. For example, Florida considers anyone who sells three or more cars in a 12-month period a car dealer. The practice of buying and selling a lot of cars without a dealer license is known as "curbstoning." Not only is it illegal, it can also be a red flag for buyers -- which can make reselling your restored classic more difficult.

So if you're buying and selling a lot of classic cars in a single year, you should consider getting a dealer's license. That often will entail shelling out for an annual fee, insurance, bonding, and other costs.

Whether you're trying to make a quick buck flipping or simply looking for a sweet ride to refurbish and drive yourself, a classic car can be a lot of fun and a great investment. But as with any investment, there's a lot to consider before you buy.

Have you bought and sold a classic car? Did you start out just looking to flip it for a profit? Or were you after an everyday driver to enjoy before selling?

Hank Coleman is a financial planner and the publisher of the popular personal finance blog Money Q&A, where he answers readers' tough money questions. Follow him on Twitter @HankColeman.

32 Best American Cars to Restore

Feature Article from Hemmings Classic Car

June, 2010 - Richard Lentinello

Judge for yourself, do you agree with the premises set forth below?

Restoration is an expensive proposition. Even if you can perform most of the work yourself, it's still going to cost you a tidy five-figure sum to buy the necessary parts, materials and paint supplies needed to transform an old car from a worn-out relic to a dazzling show beauty.

If you've decided to restore a particular old car because you have a longstanding attachment to that model and are not concerned about its value or whether parts can be easily found, then we applaud you--that mindset should be the primary focus of this great hobby of ours. However, if you enjoy old car restoration but prefer your projects to be easy and relatively cheap to do--with, perhaps, the added bonus of making a few dollars on it when it's done--then these are the cars you should consider for your next venture.

Of course, the majority of these cars won't make you stand apart from the crowd at a show or cruise-in, but you will be able to complete their restoration far faster and a whole lot cheaper than if you chose a car that was rare, or had only been made for a few years.

Another factor to consider is the actual purchase price of the car. While some of the cars listed here can be bought for around $5,000, others will cost four times as much even if they're basket cases--but keep in mind that those higher-priced cars will also bring four times the money when sold, so it kind of equals out.

But the one common feature enjoyed by most of these cars--and the main reason why they are on this list--is that they're backed by a huge parts supply, making them a lot easier to restore than something rare like a Pierce-Arrow, a Forties-era De Soto or a V-16 Cadillac. The availability of an extensive line of reproduction parts, especially new body panels and exterior trim, makes restoring these cars incredibly straightforward. In fact, their restoration will be so uncomplicated that you'll find yourself interested in undertaking more restorations in years to come.
Sometimes going mainstream has its advantages.

Buick Riviera -- 1963-'65
There's no question that this is the absolute best-designed American car of the post-war era--it's simply spectacular. As a result of that fine styling, more people are starting to restore and collect these beauties. Expect to pay a premium for the 1964-'65 versions with the dual-quad carb setup, though all models are well worth restoring. Several companies are now beginning to offer reproduction parts, which will make future restorations less difficult than they are now, should your car require replacement panels and trim; reproduction seat covers and door panels are already available, and they're excellent. Restored correctly, an early Sixties Riviera will remain forever on the Most Wanted list.

Chevrolet Bel Air -- 1953-'54
If you love Fifties-era Chevys, these cars make a great alternative to the ever-popular Tri-Five models, especially as more and more Bowtie enthusiasts are starting to appreciate their handsome yet conservative looks. Reproduction parts continue to increase in selection, and the prices are very affordable. All mechanical and electrical parts are easily bought, and for reasonably low prices, while used parts are easy to come by. Disc brake conversions and other high-performance upgrades are also readily available.

Pontiac GTO -- 1971-'72
Even with the prices of early GTOs, especially those with Tri-Power and Ram Air-spec V-8s, beyond the price point of the average Joe, you can still own a Pontiac with those three little letters on the front grille: Just consider the 1971-'72 models. They're an extension of the reshaped A-body that bowed in 1968; apart from a few changes here and there, they still retained that menacing look of a GTO. Tons of body and trim parts have been reproduced, along with a whole host of go-fast goodies to tweak your car for better performance. This country is filled with GTO fans, so values will continue to rise, but only for factory-correct cars that have been restored well.

AMC AMX -- 1968-'69
Clearly the best looking of all the AMXs built, interest in these cars continues to grow as more enthusiasts realize just how special and fast they really are. You'll pay a premium for the 390-cu.in. Go Package models, but the non-Go Package 390 is equally desirable. In fact, even the smaller 343 V-8 models are now sought after, with the 290 V-8 less so. Reproduction parts are available, but the line isn't that extensive, although it continues to grow, and many mechanical parts interchange with those from the Big Three. The cars are pretty basic, so they are not hard to restore. For American Motors fans, these are considered the AMC muscle car to own, followed by the 1970 version, so there will always be a market for them.

Lincoln Continental -- 1961-'66
Rarely will you meet someone who doesn't like early Sixties Continentals. Their upscale, classy shape means they'll never go out of style, so there will always be a strong demand for these models. While some body and trim parts have been reproduced, there isn't an overly huge selection, although most mechanical parts can be found fairly cheaply, and pretty easily, too. It's perhaps not a car for a first-time restorer, as these were essentially hand-assembled automobiles--an experienced specialist may be needed to make it right. But just try to find a more affordable four-door luxury car that can be easily located and quickly sold, and that's fun to cruise around in with five of your buddies--we bet you can't.

Ford Model A -- 1928-'31
This is the Mustang of the pre-war era. Literally every part is available, including new body panels and all trim pieces. There's also a growing aftermarket of speed parts such as performance cylinder heads and five-speed gearboxes. A huge production run means lots of cars to choose from--and cheap. Support from two large international clubs means that experts ready to provide help are everywhere. Best of all, the cars' simplistic nature means that they are very easy to rebuild. Roadsters and coupes seem to bring the most money, but even a Fordor sedan has a market. Still, don't expect to make any money restoring one, because the Model A market is, and will most probably always be, a buyer's market due to their popularity and availability.

Packard -- 1951-'54
Fifties cars continue to climb in terms of desirability, and the absolute best-built models are those with the Packard nameplate. Aside from the Caribbean, which is too pricey to include here, these are beautifully styled cars that are very well constructed, with lots of quality detailing throughout. Nearly all mechanical and electrical parts can be bought new, and for lower prices than you'd think. Body and trim parts may be a little difficult to locate, but if you know where to look, there shouldn't be any problems; good club support means you'll be able to find what you need quickly. You'll never have a problem selling a well-restored Packard. Of course, once you drive it you may never want to sell, as the experience will make you feel oh-so-special behind the wheel.

Ford Mustang -- 1964-'68
Mustangs make ideal first-time projects because practically every part you'll ever need is only a catalog or website listing away. In fact, we can't think of any part that hasn't been reproduced. And there are literally dozens of companies supplying all the parts and accessories you'll need. Mustangs are also backed by excellent club support, with numerous experts everywhere. Projects are still easy to find and, when restored, early Mustangs almost sell themselves.

Chevrolet Camaro -- 1967-'69
Same as the Mustang: Everything you need to rebuild one, no matter how rusty it may be, is available brand new. As Terry McGean, editor of Hemmings Muscle Machines, put it, "The '69 Camaro is the '32 Ford of today," which means there will always be a huge demand for these cars. You just can't lose restoring one. Best of all, they are fun to drive, reliable, and can be made very powerful thanks to a huge aftermarket for performance parts. The only downside is that even rustbuckets and rollers can no longer be had for $2,500.

Dodge Challenger -- 1972-'73
It's the same story as with the Plymouth 'Cuda listed later. While most Mopar fanatics seem to prefer the 'Cuda, the Challenger is actually better appointed and detailed, with a more upscale look about it. Reproduction of parts continues to grow, making even the rustiest project car salvageable. These later models with the small-block V-8s are the most affordable to buy and the easiest to find, but they sell quickly due to an ever-growing demand for E-bodies. This is one of those collector cars that must be restored to exacting factory-original standards for it to be worth anything.

Pontiac Grand Prix -- 1962
It seems to be every Pontiac fan's favorite Grand Prix: If you had to restore a GP, this would be the one. Its popularity never seems to wane. Basically, it's a full-size muscle car, but at half the price of a GTO--yet it, too, is powered by a 389-cu.in. V-8. Reproduction parts are increasing in availability, while every mechanical part (not to mention lots of performance parts) can be bought new, and at moderate prices. Interiors, including door panels, have been reproduced. Their handsome styling and racing heritage make these first-year Grand Prixs the ideal Sixties-era Pontiac for those seeking something different. With more than 30,000 built, they're not hard to find; as an alternative, consider the Catalina, which is a bit less expensive.

Cadillac -- 1965-'66
"Big, bold and beautiful" best describes these comfy land yachts, which offer perhaps the best bang for the buck of any Sixties-era collector cars. Every mechanical part is available, and at very reasonable prices, although some trim parts are hard to find. To replace body panels, you'll have to settle for used parts, but that has the advantage of being cheaper than new panels (if they were available). Engines offer plenty of power, and the spacious interiors can accommodate a family of six. Best of all, it won't cost a fortune to buy one; they're far more affordable than you might think.

Studebaker Golden Hawk -- 1956-'58
More than just Studebaker fans covet the classy Golden Hawk: This is one of those cars that it seems everybody wishes they could own. Plenty were built, so you should have no trouble finding one to restore. And a whole lot of body and trim parts have now been reproduced--plus, there's a good supply of NOS parts remaining. Quality construction throughout means that Golden Hawks aren't any more difficult to restore than your average Chevy or Ford. Thanks to their upscale character and show-stopping good looks, a well-restored Golden Hawk will command a premium price tag.

Pontiac Firebird -- 1970-'73
Early second-generation Firebirds, just like the Camaro, have become highly sought-after these last few years in response to the soaring prices of the first-generation F-bodies, which are now beyond the reach of the average enthusiast. Although the high-performance Formula and Trans Am are the most desirable models, their higher values don't make them as accessible (if you can find one for a good price, though, those would be the models to buy). There are lots of reproduction parts available, including many new body panels. The cars are easy to restore and easy to sell, assuming you restore them correctly to factory specs.

Chevrolet Bel Air -- 1955-'57
Due to the fact that you can buy just about every single part to build yourself a brand-new model, including all-new body shells for the '57, how could we not include the lovable Tri-Five models? The huge following of enthusiasts worldwide ensures that these cars will always sell quickly and for good money; demand for them will probably never falter, at least not in our lifetime. Thanks to being produced in large numbers, there are still many project cars available; '55 models are the most affordable. Stripped-down 210s are the cheapest, but they, too, are fast becoming very collectible--it's not just about the dolled-up Bel Airs anymore.

Mercury Cougar -- 1967-'68
Below the skin, the Cougar is all Mustang, which makes finding mechanical and electrical parts a breeze. But even some body panels and trim pieces have been reproduced for the early Cougar, so restoring one is not a hard proposition. Complete interiors are also available, along with tons of performance parts, brake upgrades and suspension parts. Solid club support means there's lots of knowledgeable enthusiasts to assist you, and a solid demand from both Mercury and muscle car collectors. The supply of restoration-ready cars is plentiful; also consider the 1969-'73 models, especially convertibles.

Oldsmobile Cutlass -- 1968-'72
While muscle car enthusiasts prefer the more expensive 4-4-2, the less powerful Cutlass offers the same great ride and inspiring good looks. Its chassis parts interchange with all the other GM A-body cars, so finding brake and suspension parts is a piece of cake, and highly affordable, too. Exterior body and trim parts haven't been reproduced to the same extent as a comparable Chevelle, but lower production numbers means that these are a lot rarer--and yet not so rare that you can't find one to restore. They're out there, and for reasonable prices, too.

Ford Falcon -- 1964-'65
Like the Cougar, the inner structure is all Mustang, so brake and suspension parts are pretty much the same. Lots of body, trim and interior parts have been reproduced, and the line of aftermarket parts to increase power is very large. Many Falcons were built, so they are easy to find today. And their simple design makes them a great project for the inexperienced. The models that will return the most money are the hardtop and convertibles, especially the better-performing GT versions. Also consider the earlier 1960-'63 Falcons, because many fans prefer the early, rounded shape over the later, squarer body.

Plymouth 'Cuda/Barracuda -- 1972-'74
Hardcore Mopar fans want the 1970-'71, while the later models, especially the 1973-'74 cars, are the cheapest to buy (and they're even cheaper with the smaller 318- or 340-cu.in. V-8s). An extensive supply of new body, trim and interior parts makes restoration a breeze. Just make sure the body isn't twisted due to serious rust, because there is no frame. In time, values will rise for the later models, as well as those small-block engine cars. Demand will always be there thanks to their good looks and wide appeal.

Chevrolet Impala -- 1965
Since the majority of 1961-'64 Impalas have been either customized or turned into low-riders, the next affordable full-size Chevy duly became the 1965 model, followed by the '66s, '67s and '68s, etc... In fastback form, the '65 has a racy character to it, thanks to its sloping roofline and six separate taillamps. While reproduction parts aren't as plentiful as for the early models, there are plenty of new parts available to make even the rustiest project fairly easy to complete. Mechanical parts are very inexpensive and can be bought everywhere. Of course, the SS model is the most valuable, but even those with straight-six engines are becoming highly sought. The huge Chevy fan base ensures that values keep increasing steadily.

Cadillac Series 62 -- 1957
With more than 32,000 produced, finding a good, running but restorable example of this Cadillac model is quite an easy task. All Cadillac sedans made this year were of the hardtop body style, so they all have that fantastic Fifties look and great style. Although these can be a tad too difficult to restore for first-time home hobbyists, with a little help from the Cadillac-La Salle Club's many members and specialists, it can certainly be accomplished. For body parts, you'll have to make do with used pieces, but at least all the mechanical parts are available new. These '57 models are the most modern-looking of all the Fifties-era Cadillacs and make a great alternative to the '57 Chevy; believe it or not, they can be bought for about the same price.

De Soto Fireflite Hemi -- 1955-'56
Fireflite Hemi-equipped De Sotos may very well be the most affordable Hemi-powered Mopars in existence, which is why they made this list. While it doesn't possess the same muscle as the later 426 Hemi, the smaller 291- or 330-cu.in. Firedome Hemi still lends the car a certain level of superiority. Reproduction parts are basically nonexistent, so you'll have to search for used body and trim parts if needed. But the car's build quality is very good throughout, which should make it uncomplicated to restore. Running project cars can still be found for sale without difficulty, and for only a four-figure sum--yet their rarity will set you apart from the crowd.

Chevrolet Chevelle -- 1971-'72
Aside from the early Mustang, more parts have been reproduced for GM's line of A-body cars than any other. The 1966-'70 Chevelles are already kind of pricey to buy, so instead, go for the more affordable 1971-'72 hardtop or convertible models--they're substantially cheaper, yet nearly all the parts are the same. Restorations are straightforward, thanks to their basic body-on-frame construction. Having many admirers means they'll sell quickly and for a reasonable price, but like most muscle cars today, they have to be restored to stock specs.

Chevrolet Corvair Corsa -- 1965-'66
If you want to restore a car with parts that are plentiful and cheap to buy, then look no further than the Corvair. Nearly every part has been reproduced and can be bought from several sources. They offer simple mechanicals and are easy to work on, and there are plenty of specialists and club members to provide help. The Corsa's four-carb 140hp engine is more desirable than the standard 110hp version, as is the 180hp Turbo engine; these models bring the most money. But even first-generation four-door sedans have a following. Regardless of which model you choose, Corvair restoration is fun, fairly inexpensive and very rewarding, and they're a blast to drive, too!

Ford Thunderbird 1961-'66
If you can't afford an early 'Bird, then these models are the next best thing, and a whole lot sleeker, too. We love the square 'Birds, but they still don't command the same level of interest as the early Sixties models, although that is changing. Each year, more and more parts are reproduced for these '60s Thunderbirds, making restoration easier, although not nearly as easy to the 1955-'57 'Birds (for which nearly every part is available). Demand is on the increase for these 'Birds, yet prices are still relatively low. And they sell quickly, too.

Plymouth Barracuda 1967-'69
Although reproduction body panels aren't as readily available as they are for the 1970-'74 E-body Barracuda, more and more parts are being reproduced each year. Factory-correct interiors are now available, along with other trim items, making restoration of these good-looking pony cars a bit easier than before.

All mechanical parts are available, including a long list of aftermarket performance parts. Prices on project cars still hover in the $3,000 to $6,000 range, depending on body style. The fastback body seems to be the most desirable, and with E-body values beyond the reach of young enthusiasts, these Barracudas make a fine alternative.

Chrysler 300L -- 1965
Of all the Letter series models, the L is the most affordable to buy and the easiest to restore; it shares many body and trim parts with other mass-produced Mopars.

Like the cars that came before them, L models are very well built and finely appointed, with distinctive trim and robust mechanical parts. These cars will continue to rise in value, although finding one to buy to restore may take time, because only 2,405 hardtops and 440 convertibles were built. However, that means there will always be a demand for them. More importantly, it won't cost any more to restore a 300L than a comparable Imperial or Fury, so choose a 300L if you can.

Plymouth Duster -- 1970-'73
If you love Mopars but can't afford a 'Cuda, Charger, Challenger or similar muscle-type model, here's the next best thing. Dusters are easy to work on, supported by numerous specialists and parts suppliers, and because they were mass-produced in big numbers, they are easy to find, with many well-used examples being offered for sale everywhere. Prices, however, are starting to climb, as fans get pushed out of the higher priced segment of the Mopar hobby, so Dusters (and Demons) are seen as the next-best thing. The 340 model is the most desirable, but expect to find mostly 318 V-8 cars for sale.

Ford -- 1957
Interest continues to increase for these great-looking Fords. Because they were built in large numbers, it should be easy to find one to restore. And because they're backed by a fairly large offering of reproduction body, trim and interior parts, not to mention easy-to-find, inexpensive mechanical parts, restoring one will be a straightforward exercise. Their simple body-on-frame construction doesn't complicate matters, while an extensive range of high-performance parts will only add to the car's fun factor. While it may take longer to sell than a '57 Chevy, that's changing--enthusiasts are starting to realize just how special these cars really are, and that you just don't see them very often.

Chevrolet Corvette -- 1978-'82
One of the best-styled Corvettes is the late Seventies fastback: Its forceful, aggressive lines never fail to make a splash, and you can buy one in good running condition for less than $10,000. Plenty were built, so finding a decent example is easy. With dozens of Corvette specialists selling just about every part needed, including new reproduction parts and high-performance speed parts, restoring one is a relatively simple process. Backed by excellent club support and specialists, it's no wonder demand is on the rise for these models--but only those cars that are restored to original specs will bring top dollar.

Dodge Charger -- 1968-'70
Beauty and brawn all in a single package makes for a very special car, as is the case with these Chargers. Considered by many to be the best-styled muscle car of all time, the Charger's outstanding design will ensure its popularity for decades to come. Every mechanical part is obtainable, with the list for reproduction body panels growing daily. Like many cars of this era, rust can be an issue, but all patch panels are available. Production totals were fairly high, so they are easy to find. The bigger the engine, the more you'll pay, but it will also be worth more in the end. But regardless of which engine provides the power, Chargers are a blast to drive, handle well and look fantastic. You can't lose.

Chevrolet Nova -- 1968-'70
This model Nova is the Duster equivalent for Chevy fans. Large production numbers (over one million built) equals affordability today, making the Nova an excellent first-time restoration project for those on a budget--just avoid the four-door model due to lackluster interest. Filled with low-priced Chevy parts, this just may be the cheapest car on this list to restore. Numerous performance parts and large disc brake upgrade kits are readily available to enhance its drivability. Keep it looking stock, though, and it will be far easier to sell down the line, especially if it has a small-block V-8 under the hood.

As stated above, this article originally appeared in the June, 2010 issue of Hemmings Classic Car. You can contact the company to order back issues of Hemmings Classic Car or subscribe.

1951 Studebaker Woodie - Never Slow Down

Written by Tim Bernsau on May 19, 2015 Contributors: Eric Geisert, Dennis Varni's Fastback '51 Studebaker Woodie

1951 Studebaker

Gray Baskerville accurately described Dennis Varni as "a hot rodder's hot rodder." Since buying a '31 Model A as a teenager in the late '50s, Dennis doesn't seem to have slowed down … ever. He has amassed a phenomenal stable of collector cars, trucks, vintage race cars, and motorcycles of practically every type, including the '29 Model A roadster built by Boyd Coddington that was named America's Most Beautiful Roadster in 1992. He has participated in motorsports all over the world, including numerous trips to Mexico to race in the famous La Carrera Panamericana, to South Africa for the South African Rally Championship, and to the Bonneville Salt Flats, right here in the U.S., where he drove his Falconer L6-powered "Speed Nymph" streamliner just shy of 350 mph.

1951 Studebaker

Dennis has more checks on his hot rodding bucket list than just about anybody we know. So did you really expect his latest street rod to be something ordinary?

Any 1951 Studebaker woodie custom could be considered out of the ordinary (how many can you think of?), but Dennis, builder Curt Hill, and the people who had previously helped create this custom woodie, have taken the '51 to an extraordinary level.

This car was under construction when Dennis made the winning bid for it at the auction of the late Joe MacPherson's prized collection. The unfinished project had been started by Doug Carr of Woodn' Carr. It had already been transformed from a sedan to a fastback (based on Thom Taylor's design sketches) and was already a woodie. The top was chopped 2-1/2 inches, and the rear fenders were stretched 18 inches and treated to custom taillight lenses and bezels. The '37 Ford headlights were installed by Steve Davis, who had done some of the early fabrication on the car.

1951 Studebaker

Dennis contacted Curt Hill at Hill's Rod & Custom in Pleasant Hill, California, about turning the just-started project into a finished car. A few changes were made, including replacing the wood. The new combination of lighter curly maple and darker African mahogany, built by Julian Cigarroa, covers a steel frame, and the wood was shaped to fit the metal structure. The idea is borrowed from the '47 Ford Sportsman, which used a steel skeleton to support the outer wood. The rear features a tailgate/liftgate combination. The wood is protected with clear lacquer. The rest of the car is finished with British racing green, which Dennis chose to highlight the colors in the maple and mahogany. Final bodywork and paint is the handiwork of Brandon Penserini at Altissimo Custom Paint & Restoration in Napa. Custom wheels, measuring 15x8, were built by Larry Westervelt. Four '56 Studebaker horn buttons serve as center caps. The sidewalls on the 255/60R15 radial tires were buffed for a smooth show-car appearance.

1951 Studebaker

Hill's Rod & Custom replaced the original Studebaker frame and suspension with a new chassis from Art Morrison Enterprises, featuring an AME IFS setup in front and Currie 9-inch with 3.73:1 gears in the rear. JRi coilover shocks are mounted at all corners, with C4 Corvette disc brakes at each wheel.

Such an unusual car deserved an equally unique engine. For a while, Dennis considered dropping in a Cadillac engine to create his own version of the Studillac, the Cadillac-powered Stude coupes custom-built in the mid '50s. Then he remembered the one-of-a-kind induction system he'd found at a swap meet decades ago. The mechanical fuel injection system, with wild-looking air bodies, was a prototype created by Propulsion Development Laboratories in the '50s. Everybody had seen it on the cover of Hot Rod magazine in 1959 and nobody had seen it since. The setup is finally in service, feeding a Ford 427 FE engine. Dan Brewer in Torrance, California, did the assembly on the engine and converted the PDL mechanical injection to work with a Hilborn electronic system hidden under the manifold. Edelbrock cylinder heads are topped with Edsel valve covers to replicate the look engine on Hot Rod's cover. The new combination produced 410 hp on the dyno. An adapter fits the Ford to a GM 700-R4 transmission. This is one of the rarest, most unusual engines you'll find in a hot rod, but Dennis is almost nonchalant about it. "Nobody puts Edsels in Studebakers," is what he said.

1951 Studebaker

The interior was entrusted to Sid Chavers in Santa Clara, California. Chavers built custom bucket seats and covered them in tan leather with gray-toned fur inserts. No need to replace the '51 Studebaker dash, so Redline Gauge Works restored the appearance of the factory gauges and updated the internals. A reproduction '54 Stude steering wheel came from Shrock Brothers, which specializes in repro Studebaker parts. Lucky 7 Customs gave the wheel and column their wood grain paint. The perfect accessory to the interior is the set of vintage alligator-grain luggage in the rear deck area, which Dennis found in an antique store in Washington.

The end result is a genuinely unique custom that would probably hover around the top of most people's lists of great Studebakers, great woodies, and great customs.

Welcome to Ed’s Project Car Garage

Who are we? What are we? Will you run to us or away from us? These are important questions and they are the key to our readers understanding why we are, possibly, the new wave of community for car lovers from all points around this huge and wonderful world.

Who are we?

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Simply put, we’re a couple of car loving maniacs who want you to enjoy every aspect of car collecting, car selling, and car building from one convenient spot on the internet. And, we want to entertain you! This is more than a website. We are becoming the conduit for every type and kind of car lover to share their car, buy a car, locate expert services and products from shopping at one site. It’s all going to be here; one stop shopping!

In addition, we have so many interesting areas to explore during your visit. All you to have to do is simply sit back and spend an evening reading about old cars, custom cars, muscle cars, your car, vintage cars, their makers, their buyers and about those experts who want you to contact them to work with you toward getting your car either spruced up, repaired, sold and/or help you buy the right car.

How will we do this?

As we tool this endeavor together, this humungous undertaking, you will share in the excitement of seeing people come together to share their love for every type of car at one website. We will do this by making this the easiest website you have ever used. We will also do this by making it so easy for you to understand how to post your thoughts (for free), your pictures and stories (for free), your articles about cars (for free), your products and your professional car services at very reasonable rates.

Each section has a “drop down” that will help you refine your searches of the website to very specific cars, products, articles of interest and service providers from all parts of America. In addition, you will know you are reaching the car world. That’s right, the car WORLD. Our Google reports tell us we are reaching people in Germany, Israel, England, Scandinavia and other countries; that’s up to 12% of our views are from distant lands. Ed's Project Car Swap Meet website is creating a community of car lovers that will serve one another and entertain car lovers alike from all parts of the world.

And you can be a part of it by simply logging in and supplying your thoughts, your pictures, and your articles about automobiles for free, your advertisements for car sales, parts and professional services at a reasonable cost.
(And by the way, don’t be embarrassed, despite our making this so simple, I personally still need to call the customer help line, i.e., Ed, to get things done. You too, can make such calls to Ed's Project Car Swap Meet.)

Simply give us a call for a guiding voice or we’ll create your user information, then set up your car for sale ad, or help you create a listing for your business (that will tie into your current website, if that’s all you want) for a reasonable fee. And yes, we do have PayPal or you can give us you confidential credit card info or simply send us your check.

We are the easiest website to use. If you’re reading this, you know this is the truth.

Why create an Account?

Create an account so you can participate with our website. Don’t just be an unknown who comes and goes. We like that, don’t get us wrong, but we want YOU to post things with us (in good taste, of course). We are a family and we want family friendly fun to abound from these pages. Husbands, your wives will be able to join you as you show her your post of the two of you at the car show. Kids, show us that dream car you saw at that show. Sellers, design (with our help, if needed) a post of your car, your auto parts or your car building or repairing services to people from all around America. You’ll find our costs much more to your liking especially when your volume of sales goes way up. We are not one of those sell sites that takes a portion of the set up and then the sale price. We ask for a one time inexpensive advertising fee. Cheers and good luck to you.

Thank you!

As Americans who love this country, we are so glad there are still things innocent, pure and wholesome to do in this great country. There is baseball, football and car shows and car owning. Join is in keeping car owning one of our great joys.

God bless America and thank you to every veteran who gave to keep this country great! Enjoy your time here on EdsProjectCarSwapMeet.com.

We love ya,

Fast Eddie and JP

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