Friday, June 26, 2009

Wheels of Fortune! Enjoy the story.........

Here's a friend's story about her cousin and his car. The cousin was having terrible financial problems but couldn't bring himself to part with his car for emotional reasons; they'd been through a lot together! Here's how my friend emailed me the story:

The Barracuda, (don't know the exact year, early 70's) was parked on blocks in a quiet residential area in the San Fernando Valley for the past 30 years. Unable to afford restoration, yet unwilling to part with it, my cousin hung on to it and it sat there all those years.

Suddenly, some woman came to his door offering $8,000 for it and saying she wanted to buy it for her husband's birthday. The offer was refused though my cousin could have sorely used that money...he just wasn't ready to part with it, that's how much he loved that car. She somehow got their phone number and continued to make offers, my cousin continued to refuse though the money was so tempting.

A few weeks later, the car was missing, it was taken during the day, right off the blocks (no tires!), without any of the neighbors hearing or seeing anything. When they reported the theft to the police, they were gratefully surprised by their interest and response. My cousin decided to check out a restoration shop in the area and, as he was describing the vehicle, the owner remembered that someone had either called about or actually brought it in for an estimate. He was more than willing to contact the investigating officer and the woman who'd brought it in was arrested (she was actually part of a car theft group) and the car was brought to the shop. A client of this body shop saw the car and had to have it for his collection and offered $85,000.00. "SOLD!", was my cousins response!"

When my friend told me this story, I had to have it for the blog. The cousin paid about $3500 for it in the '70's and got $85,000 for it ... and it was stolen without WHEELS, on blocks, how's that? Do you have a story like this? I hope so!



Tony C said...

That's a great story Z!

I by no means made that margin in my story; however, my mother picked up a copy of Ronald Reagan's autobiography 'An American Life' in hardcover for me from a library sale table for fifty cents. Turned out to be a Limited First Edition book that brought $495.00 in an eBay auction several years later.

Don't judge people. I donated $50 to the library and gave mom $100 (that's all she would take). I already had a copy of the book anyway...of course.

Ronnie made us all a lot of money in the day.

Ducky's here said...

$85,000? Man, what did he have, a '70 convert with a shaker and a 421 hemi?

Z said...

Great story, Tony C.
You remind me that I found a first edition of THE SUN ALSO RISES at a house sale down the street about 30 years ago...I gave it to a friend who collected Hemingway first editions...*damn! ( but, he WAS thrilled...said it was the best wedding present they got!) must have been some car. I think it's the ugliest thing on or not on wheels!

Ducky's here said...

In a true story of honesty, I was at a yard sale and bought some old baseball programs from an elderly woman.

One was the 1936 All-Star program from Braves Field, the rarest of All Star programs and generally valued at around $1500.

I returned, explained what she had returned it. I just figured she needed the dough, no way was she well off.

Debbie said...

That's a great story. My hubby bought one of the very first Datsun (Nissan) 240Z cars that came out in 1971 I think. He paid a little over $2,000 for the car brand new.

Can you imagine only paying $2,000 for a new sports car? He could have sold it for a fortune if he still had it.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

cube said...

Great story. Wish it would happen to me. Mr. Cube & I are sentimental about our 1987 Crevrolet Blazer because it was our first new car & the one in which we brought our babies home from the hospital.

No, that's not a typo, she is a CREVROLET and it took us about 11 days after we bought her to notice the misspelling. Another thing that made her too special to part with. OK, maybe if someone made me a fantastic offer ;-)

Anonymous said...

That's a great story, Z. And Ducky's is quite a story as well. Maybe he's one of those "compassionate conservatives" or something.


David Wyatt said...

I believe that'd be a 426 Hemi. The 421 was a Pontiac bigblock. Awesome, Z!

Joe said...

I have no story like this, but I'm not done yet.

Always On Watch said...

I drive my cars until they won't drive any longer. So I guess that I can't make any money this way. **sigh**

Family antiques and jewelry heirlooms might be a different story, but I tend not to part with any family "stuff."

Z said...

Ducky, elderly woman needing cash? I'd have sold it and given the dough to her..nice you returned it.

Debbie..I LOVED the Z..(for obvious reasons!)>>my cousin had one and scared the living #@*($&*(@#& out of me by driving along at pretty good speed and taking the key out of it..I thought I'd die. WHO KNEW!? I'd forgotten that till now! I wish you could make a ton of money on that now, too!

CUBE! That's GOT to be worth a lot with the misspelled name! How weird is THAT! Good on you!

Waylon...wrong :-)

D Wyatt...looks like you and Ducky must know something about Barracudas..he guessed the same thing. I think it is the singularly ugliest car on the planet.

Joe, VERy glad you're not done yet! God bless!

Always...isn't it a bummer having nice family jewels worth something? How can we sell them, right?!

Bryan said...

How many languages can you say "SOLD" in?! What an experience that must have been! :0)

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pris just bought a collection of "Priscilla Magazine" for me. The dates are from 1908 to 1934.

I don't know if they're worth anything, but, It's pretty neat. I never heard of this magazine before, and no, I'M not THAT old.

Guess I'll have to find out more about this. Mr. Pris is the collector around here, and I appreciate that he bought these.

We pass things down to our kids and grandchild, and it would be nice if these have some worth.


The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I'll be damned if I sell my lego collection!!!

Warren said...

Nostradumbass strikes again!

David Wyatt was right on both counts. If it had a Hemi, it would have been a 426. The 421 was a Pontiac engine.

Also, the "Shaker" was a Ford ram air set up. It was sold on 69 and 70 Mustangs and 70 and 71 Torinos.

Ducky knows as much about cars as he does anything else.

christian soldier said...

think you will be interested in my last three posts..WOW-I posted more today than I ever have..
Guess the largest TAX increase in American history go me going..
list of the 8 traitor Rs among the posts!!!
and my 'YOU Go Girls'!!!-Bachmann and least we have two w/ a spine- a Congresswoman and a Governor!!!

christian soldier said...

OH-and a Bradley vs a sniper--it brought a smile to me!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Z, nothing like that story.

Warren said...

The last few years, the Barracudas, have been hot collector items. in 2006 , a 68 Hurst Hemi "Cuda" went for over 2 Mil at a Barrett-Jackson Classic Automobile Auction. There were only 50 of them made.

That puts them in the super rare category. If you actually had one you would be a total fool to drive it.

Until 1967, the Barracudas were butt ugly!

Z said...

Bryan, what JOY, huh? He REALLY needed some money BIG TIME! xx

Warren, REALLY? Ducky..OOPS.
And thanks for the info about the Barracudas..I think they ALL were ugly...sorry, but...just not my cup of tea. To think the guy probably had it on blocks because he either couldn't afford new tires or something was slightly wrong in the engine and he couldn't afford to fix it! GOOD LUCK!! It kept it in pristine condition, I guess...or pristine enough.

MK...amazing, eh?

Pris..I never heard of that magazine, either.... a Woman's magazine, I take it? HOW COOL!

Carol..I'll come over and see!

David Wyatt said...


I tell ya, those Torino 429's were awesome! Probably some of the most underrated automobiles ever, just my opinion.

Z! You thought the 'Cuda was ugly? Oh my, this may be the first time I disagree with you! But I also admit that the Dodge Challengers, though similar in design, were nicer looking. Now you got me getting all sentimental! I really appreciate vintage tin! Saw a gorgeous '63 1/2 Galaxie fastback yesterday, it looked original! OK, I'll stop now!

RightKlik said...

Wow...amazing story! Thanks for sharing.

christian soldier said...

PS-I loved my '76 International Scout - a lot--
I drove it for 13 years --my husband was driving it -a guy followed him - and asked to buy it -
I didn't want to sell-we did needed the $$$ at the time so ...
sold it for what I paid for it...
Still remember that vehicle jwith fondness....

Warren said...

David, they changed the body style in 67. The first "Cudas" were built on a Plymouth Valiant chassis and I don't think they offered it in anything but a slant six. If I remember right, starting in 67 you could get it with any power train that Chrysler offered.

I never owned one but I did have a 70 Dart Swinger with a 340 and 2, Holley 650 CFM, 4 barrels, ram air, 3:55 positive trac rear end. Metallic green with a flat black hood and twin scoops. Rally wheels, Goodyear raised white letter G70-14 "Polyglass" tires.

It tended to overheat if you ran it over 140 MPH for more than 8-10 minutes.

I've driven much faster cars but none of them were full sized or as much fun to drive.

My brother took over the payments when I went in the Army and traded it off shortly afterward.

Torinos were great cars and the 429 was possibly the best engine that Ford ever built excepting the cross bolt 427 side oiler racing engine they dropped in the Shelby Cobras.

Big old boats by todays standards. Now we can look forward to driving electric golf carts.


David Wyatt said...


You sure are bringing back some great memories now. That Dart musta been really sweet. I agree with you about the 429, but the 428 SCJ was also very strong. Of course, probably the strongest FoMoCo v-8 was the "Semi-Hemi" 427 SOHC.
Z, I am sorry I believe I took this thread off track. Just seeing that 'Cuda brought back memories! My first car was a '65 Impala SS! I believe I may have also added that the Lord used that old car to bring me to the realization of my need for Christ! I'll always have a soft spot in my heart fot it due to that. God Bless.

Z said...

David, Mi casa es tu casa!
Sometimes it bugs me when people go off topic because I think my post is important and people aren't paying attention to the point (I must admit) (and that doesn't happen often)..but on something like this, with people I like so much..FIRE AWAY!

I'm glad it was a fun platform for you guys...good memories of favorite cars and an education to boot! (pardon the British pun)