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The best car you could have owned free


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#1 Lotus11Register

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 12:56

In your life full of cars, were there any you could have picked-up for nothing, and chose not to? What was the most interesting car you ever could have owned, for no investment, and instead walked away from? What do you regret or what are you thankful for in your decision? Any photos ?

Edited by Lotus11Register, 03 May 2009 - 18:25.


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#2 Paul Taylor

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 13:14

How many people are lucky enough to have been offered a car for free?

Not quite on topic, but close enough as it's about walking away from a bargain...When my grandad was searching for his first car in 1967, he found an XK140 for sale for around £100, which needed a little work doing to it, but was otherwise a runner and in good condition. He instead opted to buy a 1947 Morgan 4/4 for £25 which needed even more work doing to it and he has regretted it to this day...

Edited by Paul Taylor, 03 May 2009 - 13:14.


#3 Stephen W

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 16:31

Not quite on topic, but close enough as it's about walking away from a bargain...When my grandad was searching for his first car in 1967, he found an XK140 for sale for around £100, which needed a little work doing to it, but was otherwise a runner and in good condition. He instead opted to buy a 1947 Morgan 4/4 for £25 which needed even more work doing to it and he has regretted it to this day...


My Dad went to look at a car back in 1946. The dealer suggested that he might fancy one of the two sports cars in the back. My Dad was gobsmacked when he wandered through to find two pre-war classics - a Bugatti and an Alfa Romeo. Unfortunately my Dad couldn't afford the £50.00 for either nor the £75,00 for the pair!

:wave:

#4 Giraffe

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 18:02

I remember Gillie Tyrer offering my dad his gullwing Merc (complete with fitted luggage) for £2000 in about 1966. My dad said he didn't want a secondhand Merc as his first, and purchased a 230SL new instead............ :well:

#5 RTH

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 18:04

A friend of mine was offered a Bugatti 35B for £750 in 1961 at the time he had just started work and didn't have anything like that money.

I was offered a 1929 Austin 7 Top Hat saloon in good running order in 1967 for £5 - at the time I had nowhere else to put it.

#6 David McKinney

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 18:17

Still waiting for someone to respond to Jay's question

#7 Kingsleyrob

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 18:24

Still waiting for someone to respond to Jay's question

No.
Therefore didn't walk away from one.
Therefore have no regrets.
Therefore have no photos. :well:

Rob :wave:
PS did buy my first car, a 1955 Austin A30 for two quid in 1974 but that's off topic...

Edited by Kingsleyrob, 03 May 2009 - 18:27.


#8 Giraffe

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 18:29

No.
Therefore didn't walk away from one.
Therefore have no regrets.
Therefore have no photos. :well:

Rob :wave:
PS did buy my first car, a 1955 Austin A30 for two quid in 1974 but that's off topic...


£2? You were robbed,.......... Rob.................. :wave:


#9 Giraffe

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 18:40

On another thread, I've recounted the tale of Hamish Longden giving Aston Martin DB4GT reg 230AYE to my mate's dad, Peter Green for nothing! We ran it as a pub cruiser in Anglesey. Hamish was much happier with his new DB6............. :eek:

#10 TooTall

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 20:32

I used to own a Triumph TR7 and was offered several more for free. When the head gasket invariably blew and the head refused all of my efforts to remove it. I gave it away to a friend, who was given at least 2 others, also for free.

A friends father many years ago had an Alfa Romeo that constanly broke down and left him stranded. One day it died on him and he coasted into a gas station, put the signed pink slip under the windshield wiper, key in he ignition and walked away.

Cheers,
Kurt O.

#11 HistoricMustang

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 23:51

I bought my "HistoricMustang" for $700 dollars just before the guy was going to haul it to the crusher.

Restored it and raced for 10 years with the car getting a 1st place at Daytona. It is now in Europe tearing up tracks. Damn! :love:

Henry :wave:

#12 Melbourne Park

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 01:33

A neighbour said I could buy his vintage car for ten pounds. That was a lot of money, because I was I think 6 years old. I raised the money, and then discovered he was not serious. That's the closest I've come to a bargain I'm afraid.

A friend bought his Silver Ghost for $2,000. It was advertised in the Melbourne Age's used car column, with under Rolls Royce, Silver Ghost, and the country area in Victoria (Australia). My friend knew of the car, so he drove straight out to the fellows farm, and the Ghost was there in a field. He bought it, and he's almost finished restoring it.

Anybody who can get a dozen leather tubes properly sowed (which go over various shaft connections in the machine), please post where here! You need a Singer 29 sowing machine, which is completely adjustable, and has what are normally the bottom and the top parts of a sowing machine, all locatad on the top.

Here's a picture of the car (after just a bit of restoration) : ;)

Posted Image

Edited by Melbourne Park, 04 May 2009 - 01:44.


#13 Todd

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 02:30

In your life full of cars, were there any you could have picked-up for nothing, and chose not to? What was the most interesting car you ever could have owned, for no investment, and instead walked away from? What do you regret or what are you thankful for in your decision? Any photos ?


I had a girl offer to buy me a brand new Jeep Wrangler in 1994. I didn't really want one, and I don't think it would have felt all that free. I also remember turning down a very early 450SL. It was red, I think Cinnabar Red. IIRC, it had very low miles and this was in the mid '90s. Incidentally, the woman who offered it to me recently contacted me out of the blue for La Jolla real estate advice. I turned the SL down because I had another car that I liked better, I'd been down the old Mercedes road before, and it was just too much to accept from a family friend. In the late '80s, I had a friend's parents try to give me their Ford Econoline conversion van. They were leaving for Saudi Arabia, and I don't think they had time to sell it. I didn't want anything to do with it, and I hope I wasn't too insulting in my dismissal of their offer, on top of not being any help getting rid of the thing. I was in highschool, and I just couldn't imagine bringing that huge eyesore to my parents' house. Speaking of my parents, my mother offered me her 1987 Porsche 924S with about 40K miles, but it was an automatic, so I never took her up on the offer and eventually she sold it. I think I've also been offered some old Volvos, but I don't remember the details.

#14 dretceterini

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 05:36

I've been offered a number of beat to crap Alfa sedans from the 1970s and 1980s that I turned down.

#15 ray b

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 08:07

we [about 6 of us ] spare changed a 57 chevy from a guy getting drafted in 67
I think he wanted 25 and we had about 20 between us
too bad it was a 6 auto and a 4 door to

as close to free as I have come on a car deal

#16 Chezrome

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 08:19


A Citroen CX was offered me once, for free. Just had to collect the thing. But I did not have my driverslicense. Bummer. I was tempted anyway.


#17 Mistron

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 10:08

not one I was offered and turmned down, but one I was offered and accepted - A Rover 25. I do regret it though! It was my mums, 3 years old and about 15k miles, but being a Rover - of no residual value.

It meant I had to get rid of my Marina though, and I really regret that!

:drunk:



#18 Lotus11Register

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 13:09

There was an interesting car abandoned and available for the taking in 1971. It was parked in the weeds beside the railroad tracks just north of 79th Street in Miami, Florida. A sticker on the windshield declared it was headed for the crusher. I took a look.

It was a small, open two-seater with enough space behind the seats for another small seat. On the hood (bonnet) was small emblem with the four rings of Auto Union and a DKW shield. Underneath was the typical DKW 3 cylinder engine & transaxle unit. The fender wells and firewall area were pressed steel. But the body work was all-alloy, and beneath the tail the structure was a tubular space frame. All I knew about cars had been from magazines and a few books but I recognized this car as looking like a Porsche Spyder with a longer cockpit and a different nose. As a fifteen-year-old in need of a job it was within my price range, but what was it and how could I make it run again?

I returned to the scene with my mother and we visualized it sitting in the back yard. To my surprise she said I could have it. Probably she thought this would keep me out of trouble, the way a dog gets chained to a tree. So I considered it carefully. The heap had been severely vandalized and someone had pulled all the wires from under the dash. Having recently installed a radio in her car I knew how much trouble that could mean. We went home and in a few days when I came back to ponder the car again it was gone.

Posted Image

For the longest time I thought it was a DKW Monza, but those had glass bodies. While researching other things in the next thirty years I stumbled onto these photos. The car next to the railroad tracks resembled a Flintridge DKW (top of photo) at the front, but the rear was just like the Wendler DKW Spyder (at bottom). Plus the Wendler body was alloy, and they made the Porsche 550 Spyder this car had reminded me of. Whatever it was, it was a strange thing to find in the weeds.

It doesn’t really haunt me, since I found other things to chain me to trees, but that would have been my “free car.”


#19 Melbourne Park

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 14:14

There was an interesting car abandoned and available for the taking in 1971. It was parked in the weeds beside the railroad tracks just north of 79th Street in Miami, Florida. A sticker on the windshield declared it was headed for the crusher. I took a look.

It was a small, open two-seater with enough space behind the seats for another small seat. On the hood (bonnet) was small emblem with the four rings of Auto Union and a DKW shield. Underneath was the typical DKW 3 cylinder engine & transaxle unit. The fender wells and firewall area were pressed steel. But the body work was all-alloy, and beneath the tail the structure was a tubular space frame. All I knew about cars had been from magazines and a few books but I recognized this car as looking like a Porsche Spyder with a longer cockpit and a different nose. As a fifteen-year-old in need of a job it was within my price range, but what was it and how could I make it run again?

I returned to the scene with my mother and we visualized it sitting in the back yard. To my surprise she said I could have it. Probably she thought this would keep me out of trouble, the way a dog gets chained to a tree. So I considered it carefully. The heap had been severely vandalized and someone had pulled all the wires from under the dash. Having recently installed a radio in her car I knew how much trouble that could mean. We went home and in a few days when I came back to ponder the car again it was gone.

Posted Image

For the longest time I thought it was a DKW Monza, but those had glass bodies. While researching other things in the next thirty years I stumbled onto these photos. The car next to the railroad tracks resembled a Flintridge DKW (top of photo) at the front, but the rear was just like the Wendler DKW Spyder (at bottom). Plus the Wendler body was alloy, and they made the Porsche 550 Spyder this car had reminded me of. Whatever it was, it was a strange thing to find in the weeds.

It doesn't really haunt me, since I found other things to chain me to trees, but that would have been my "free car."

Wow. Audi was formed from several companies, one being DKW. Their front wheel drive systems went to Sweden after the war, where SAAB built an aero style body using lots of the DKW technology. I doubt though that such a car would have been FWD. Surely such a car would be valuable nowadays.

Edited by Melbourne Park, 04 May 2009 - 14:15.


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#20 Tony Matthews

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 17:47

In 1986 a Company that I occasionally worked for launched a road rocket which I fell in love with at first sight. I was allowed a Press car for a weekend which only made my longing even stronger, so, feeling a bit cheeky I phoned my contact and asked if there was any possibility of buying an ex-demonstrator. 'What colour do you want?' - 'Er, black please!' - 'No problem, you will be contacted when there's one available.' A couple of months later the call came, I was given a delivery date and told the final, slightly discounted price. I sold my current car and arranged a bank loan for the balance, and the car was delivered. I was so impressed by the car that I was regularly getting up at five in the morning and putting a hundred miles on it before starting work, and waited for the invoice. Waited and waited, the money sitting in my bank account. Eventually I put so many miles on it that it needed a service, and although I could have had it serviced by a friend who had a local garage I decided that my pride and joy should be serviced by a garage affiliated to the car's manufacturer, and duly left it in a smart service centre some miles from home and got a lift back.

An hour later I got a call from the garage asking where I had bought the car, as there was no record of it on their computer files. I explained that I had bought it directly fom the company and they said that they would have to verify that before they would touch it. Five minutes later I had a call from my contact. 'Haven't you got all the paper work?' No. I said, and I haven't had an invoice either. 'Jesus Christ, you mean you haven't even paid for it? I'll get the documents in the post today, and I want a cheque from you by return!' The next morning I had all the documents, posted a cheque and phoned the service centre who confirmed that they were working on the car.

Out of interest I checked each document, including a set of separate light-weight sheets recording its press life, servicing, etc. One sheet had a large patch of 'Snopake' correcting fluid at the top, applied in several layers. Intrigued, I held it to the window, but couldn't see through it, so I switched on my powerful work-lamp and held the paper close to it. There, hand-written in biro, were the words 'Written off'.

If I had used my friend's garage -

#21 sterling49

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 18:03

In 1986 a Company that I occasionally worked for launched a road rocket which I fell in love with at first sight. I was allowed a Press car for a weekend which only made my longing even stronger, so, feeling a bit cheeky I phoned my contact and asked if there was any possibility of buying an ex-demonstrator. 'What colour do you want?' - 'Er, black please!' - 'No problem, you will be contacted when there's one available.' A couple of months later the call came, I was given a delivery date and told the final, slightly discounted price. I sold my current car and arranged a bank loan for the balance, and the car was delivered. I was so impressed by the car that I was regularly getting up at five in the morning and putting a hundred miles on it before starting work, and waited for the invoice. Waited and waited, the money sitting in my bank account. Eventually I put so many miles on it that it needed a service, and although I could have had it serviced by a friend who had a local garage I decided that my pride and joy should be serviced by a garage affiliated to the car's manufacturer, and duly left it in a smart service centre some miles from home and got a lift back.

An hour later I got a call from the garage asking where I had bought the car, as there was no record of it on their computer files. I explained that I had bought it directly fom the company and they said that they would have to verify that before they would touch it. Five minutes later I had a call from my contact. 'Haven't you got all the paper work?' No. I said, and I haven't had an invoice either. 'Jesus Christ, you mean you haven't even paid for it? I'll get the documents in the post today, and I want a cheque from you by return!' The next morning I had all the documents, posted a cheque and phoned the service centre who confirmed that they were working on the car.

Out of interest I checked each document, including a set of separate light-weight sheets recording its press life, servicing, etc. One sheet had a large patch of 'Snopake' correcting fluid at the top, applied in several layers. Intrigued, I held it to the window, but couldn't see through it, so I switched on my powerful work-lamp and held the paper close to it. There, hand-written in biro, were the words 'Written off'.

If I had used my friend's garage -


I am intrigued Tony, what was this road rocket? It must have been quite special to get up early for a thrash.......

Edited by sterling49, 04 May 2009 - 18:03.


#22 Melbourne Park

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 23:00

In 1986 a Company that I occasionally worked for launched a road rocket which I fell in love with at first sight. I was allowed a Press car for a weekend which only made my longing even stronger, so, feeling a bit cheeky I phoned my contact and asked if there was any possibility of buying an ex-demonstrator. 'What colour do you want?' - 'Er, black please!' - 'No problem, you will be contacted when there's one available.' A couple of months later the call came, I was given a delivery date and told the final, slightly discounted price. I sold my current car and arranged a bank loan for the balance, and the car was delivered. I was so impressed by the car that I was regularly getting up at five in the morning and putting a hundred miles on it before starting work, and waited for the invoice. Waited and waited, the money sitting in my bank account. Eventually I put so many miles on it that it needed a service, and although I could have had it serviced by a friend who had a local garage I decided that my pride and joy should be serviced by a garage affiliated to the car's manufacturer, and duly left it in a smart service centre some miles from home and got a lift back.

An hour later I got a call from the garage asking where I had bought the car, as there was no record of it on their computer files. I explained that I had bought it directly fom the company and they said that they would have to verify that before they would touch it. Five minutes later I had a call from my contact. 'Haven't you got all the paper work?' No. I said, and I haven't had an invoice either. 'Jesus Christ, you mean you haven't even paid for it? I'll get the documents in the post today, and I want a cheque from you by return!' The next morning I had all the documents, posted a cheque and phoned the service centre who confirmed that they were working on the car.

Out of interest I checked each document, including a set of separate light-weight sheets recording its press life, servicing, etc. One sheet had a large patch of 'Snopake' correcting fluid at the top, applied in several layers. Intrigued, I held it to the window, but couldn't see through it, so I switched on my powerful work-lamp and held the paper close to it. There, hand-written in biro, were the words 'Written off'.

If I had used my friend's garage -

:lol:  Hmm that was an expensive service ...
When you sold the car, did you tell the new owner that the car had been "written off"?  ;)



#23 xbgs351

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 23:06

About ten years back I had the opportunity to purchase a HT Bathurst Monaro that required restoration for A$700, but alas I had no where to store it and hence didn't buy it.

#24 Tony Matthews

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 23:54

:lol:  Hmm that was an expensive service ...
When you sold the car, did you tell the new owner that the car had been "written off"? ;)


I still have it! Obviously there had been an administrative error, several press cars were written off, someone probably just picked out the wrong chassis number, and wrote mine off!



#25 David Birchall

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 02:52

The late Peter Price was a great finder of 'lost' racing cars around Vancouver in the seventies and early eighties--usually I was with him.
One day we went to deepest, darkest Surrey-no not that Surrey, the one over here-to follow up on a tip about an 'old race car'. What we found was a late forties Ford chassis, fitted with a 390 cu inch Ford engine and Mistral body. The brakes were original, the chassis was mostly original and the body was tagged on with a few pieces of bent metal. We had been racing just long enough to know that this thing was deadly! It was free, or almost, but we slunk away without taking it and told no one about it, ever! It may still be there but rather you than me!

Edit: I just reread the thread title and of course this is probably the Worst car I could have had for free!

There was the Alfa 1750 supercharged for 50 grand in the mid eighties but of course that isn't free (Bloody near though....!)

Edited by David Birchall, 05 May 2009 - 02:56.


#26 Melbourne Park

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 10:00

About ten years back I had the opportunity to purchase a HT Bathurst Monaro that required restoration for A$700, but alas I had no where to store it and hence didn't buy it.

You mean an ex-race Monaro?  :eek:

#27 Melbourne Park

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 10:01

I still have it! Obviously there had been an administrative error, several press cars were written off, someone probably just picked out the wrong chassis number, and wrote mine off!


Even better. Great. So how many cylinders does it have?  ;)




#28 Tony Matthews

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 10:29

Even better. Great. So how many cylinders does it have? ;)



An even number!