We did it!!! We have been looking for a classic car for the last 4 months now and man, has it been CRAZY! I have always wanted a classic. Really, anything pre-1960 and after we attended VLV18, my man jumped right on that band wagon!
Now our budget wasn’t huge. We were hoping to find something under $6,000. To us $6K seems like a decent bit of moola! As we searched we realized that we faced a number of challenges.
Most of what we could afford were rust buckets!
While these cars could be great finds for the right people, my beau and I were in no place to start with a shell of a car. From that week on, we began to make some guidelines around our purchase…
- 1950-1958 model.
- Minimal rust.
- Must be able to be taken for a test drive and viewed in person.
- Must be able to be to be driven home, no matter the distance.
- Mostly, if not all original.
- Truthful, considerate sellers!
For $6,000 we were really asking a lot. We searched high and low, mostly on the internet and through word of mouth with help from our friends and co-workers. Throughout that time we found around 10 cars that were worth calling. Out of those we went and looked at 3. The first was a 1956 Mercury…
The ad made it sound like it was in waaaaaayyyy better shape than it actually was. It smoked, lurched forward and over heated in the quick 10 min test drive we took it on. Not to mention it was covered in rust. I think the guy was pretty desperate to sell because he later called us and offered it for $1,500 below his original asking price. That was probably a great deal for someone, just not us.
The second was a 1956 Ford Fairlane…
We drove on up to Washington, (about 1.5hrs). We met the owner and took the car for a test drive. This one was AMAZING compared to the Mercury we just experienced! After talking it over, we made an offer. The owner said he would think on it and get back to us the next day. We were almost back to Portland when he called and accepted the offer! Good lord were we excited! We asked if we could drive back to pick it up the following Saturday, (we looked at it on Wed. night). He told us that he would be gone on a fishing trip so it would have to wait until he returned sometime the following week. We said that was fine and offered to mail him a deposit. We went to bed that night ecstatic!
In the morning I mailed him the deposit, along with a lovely letter thanking him for everything. As I made my way into work I realized I had a voicemail. It was the owner, and booooooyyyyyy did he sound different! That friendly, sweet man was gone and on the phone was a mean, cold, and extremely rude voicemail. He blamed us for not coming and getting it sooner, (remember HE was going to be out of town, not us!). He also said that it was now first come, first serve and ended with “Good Luck”. Jerk.
I immediately called him back, no answer. Called his work #, no answer. Emailed him, no answer. Finally my man called the home number and was greeted by an outrageously angry woman who proceeded to tell him that she chewed her husband out and he never should have made the deal. Wow. Someone call Jerry Springer! In the end we canceled the check. Someone else can have fun dealing with the bad juju that is sure to come with that vehicle!
A few weeks later we found her…..
The 1952 Ford Customline was my original dream car and this 1952 Ford Customline belonged to the sweetest lady. It was her recently deceased husband’s cruiser.
This car is almost 100% original and in the most incredible shape! The engine has been rebuilt, all the chrome is there and in amazing condition. Everything works, the interior and exterior lights, clock, gauges, EVERYTHING! It has new whitewall tires and even comes with extra parts, and the original manuals! It drives like a dream and is as sturdy as sturdy can be! She even gave us all the service records she could find and said she would mail us the rest!
We spent almost 2 hours talking with her about her life, her husband, their love. There wasn’t a dry eye in that kitchen. We brought her champagne and left promising her pictures of the restoration and the car at the wedding next August. We are so proud to be able to keep his car cruisin’ for years to come. She gave it to us for under $5,000. We still can’t believe it. Things just have a way of working themselves out.
Cruisin’ & Day Dreamin’