Cars you let get away and regret

Discussion in 'General Station Wagon Discussions' started by HotRodRacer, May 17, 2020.

  1. HotRodRacer

    HotRodRacer Well-Known Member

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    Gather round the campfire, ladies and gentlemen, where we discuss the cars we let get away and have regretted ever since.

    My story occurred four years ago. I was browsing through Craigslist (back when they didn't charge a private owner fee for listing a vehicle for sale), and I saw a 1963 Ford Fairlane wagon for sale less than two hours from me. It was white, and 260 V-8 car, with a manual four speed. Overall in good shape, needed a bit of interior work, mostly around the drivers seat (worn from use).

    The price? $4000, negotiable. I waffled on it, and by the time I made up my mind, it was gone.

    Still stinging over that one.

    What about ya'll? (Passes the mason jar to the next person)
     
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  2. 60Mercman

    60Mercman Well-Known Member

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    ONE of my regret stories is easy to remember even though it is over 40 years old. It’s like your first girlfriend. You never forget. I remember as a teen ager my dad had a friend that owned a mechanic/body shop. He knew I liked old cars and had a ‘56 Fairlane in high school. He called my dad on a ‘57 Sunliner that was the quintessential one owner car. Colonial white over Dresden blue. I’m still bruised when I think about it. Unfortunately it was winter we went down to look at the car and for some reason it wouldn’t kick over. Sensing my dads growing impatience I felt like I was in a vortex as it was love at first site. During the ride home the conversation was how impractical an old convertible was in Chicago, even though I had lined up a neighbors garage. By the time I convinced my dad it was a really great buy. I think $750 at the time. The car was gone. I can’t see a Sunliner now that I don’t get a lump in my throat. Thanks HotRodRacer. You opened up a can of emotional scars, and on a Sunday no less. Lol
     
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  3. Krash Kadillak

    Krash Kadillak Well-Known Member

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    I've told this story here before, but I'll give it a go again...…..

    It was the summer of 1967 and I was with my dad on his milk delivery route in the Bel Air area of Los Angeles, a pretty ritzy area. I usually went with my dad to work at least once each summer. Between streets on his route, dad parked the milk truck to redistribute his load a bit. I went around to the back to help him from that side when I was distracted by a very shiny and glamorous white and silver 1958 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Safari station wagon. Man this thing was beautiful! And it had a 'for sale' sign on it, too! (I don't remember the price, but I believe it was cheap enough that I had the money for it in my savings account....) Unfortunately, I was only 15 at the time, and the parents had a rule - no kids with their own vehicles until AFTER you graduated high school.

    So - a great wagon lost forever to me. Still to this day wonder what happened to it...….
     
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  4. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    I didn't get a car in high school, either, for two reasons: 1) I didn't have bad grades, I had s#!try grades. I did take Driver Education, passed, had the certificate, but no license, and 2) each time a car came up, it was snatched away from me unceremoniously. The first two were in the family, Grandpa Fred's '66 Delta 88, which was heavily damaged when forced off the street in Seattle, and my Aunt Karen's '70 Impala 2-door postless, when she, and I, were gypped out of jobs by an unscrupulous bastard who took the Navy's money and ran off after we'd both been hired by that company. But, the one that, to this day, still bothers me, car #3, a '67 Impala Sportroof, black/black, buckets with console, 327/PG, Type 1 rallyes with 60-series tires. My leading Petty Officer was selling it, and he offered it to me; I told him I'd want to check it out, but likely yes. I had to stop at the credit union to draw out the cash, and when I arrived at his apartment, no one was home. But, I saw the car, looked at it as best as I could, and decided I wanted it. But after waiting a few hours, and left a note I'd been there, I went back to my ship. Next morning, we showed up at morning quarters, and after taking care of that, I went to him, told him I'd been at his place, asked if he wanted to do the deal there, as I had the cash on me. He said, "Sorry, but I sold it to my neighbor last night." The p!$$er about all this? He was selling the car for $300! If he'd not done that to me, I would've had a '67 Impala Sportroof as my first car! And for soooooo cheap!
     
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  5. HotRodRacer

    HotRodRacer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing guys. Sorry about the re-opening the wounds, Mercman, but I appreciate your story.

    I'm sure that others have one as well.
     
  6. Doghead

    Doghead Well-Known Member

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    If I were you, I'd buy the car without your parents knowing and simply park it somewhere off of the property, so that they can't know it's yours, if they even bother looking in that direction. As soon as you graduate, just go out and drive the car onto the driveway
     
  7. 60Mercman

    60Mercman Well-Known Member

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    You must have been a pretty crafty 15 year old if you would have thought of that. It would have been interesting to see how you play hide the Pontiac for 3 years.
     
  8. Doghead

    Doghead Well-Known Member

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    Lucky for me, I didn't need to, since I already had my first car at 15. Where there's no will, there's also no way. Who knows what would have happened, if I would have had crafty parents instead of the ones assigned to me
     
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  9. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Always looking for old ford crew cabs

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    When I was a teenager a worked for an oldtimer named Homer Splawn who owned property on either side of our place. They owned/raised Arabian show horses and had vast arenas and stables and barns that were constantly in need of maintenance. So I would go and do odd jobs for him and he would sit in his truck and tell me stories from his past. (He was a fascinating individual, I am very grateful that I had those opportunities.)
    Anyway, they had a 1960 GMC Suburban, teal and white tutone with a V6 in the lean-to next to the main barn. They bought it brand new in 1959 to pull their horse trailer. Apparently it came with "the little motor" as Homer called it and "that sumbeach didn't have the stones to pull that trailer with three horses like that lyin' salesman said it would" so after less than one year they ordered the larger V6 from GM and had it installed. According to Homer "that big sumbeach was so skookum I could pass everyone going up a grade with a loaded three horse trailer like they were standing still!"
    I had it in my mind that I wanted that Suburban. I devised a plan, where I would work for Homer, but instead of paying me outright, he'd keep track of the hours and then give me the GMC as payment. I told my Dad about it and he thought it was a great idea. So I presented it to Homer and he said "that sounds like a fine idea. Come up to the house sometime and we'll discuss the details."
    Here's where the "cars you let get away" part comes in.
    After having started the conversation, I felt like I had secured the GMC and unfortunately I procrastinated. I didn't immediately go and talk to him. In fact, I never did. A few weeks later I saw someone working on the Suburban, trying to get it started.
    That rig had been sitting in that spot for at least 20 years when I asked Homer about it. I assumed that it was safe and it would be there for another 20 if I didn't move it.
    Unfortunately I was wrong. Apparently after waiting for me to come and talk to him about it, and me not doing that he assumed I didn't want it after all. And, unfortunately the whole thing got him thinking about it just sitting there and decided he might as well sell it. He listed it in the classifieds and sold it rather quickly.
    The fellow working on the Suburban was a family acquaintance of ours who is into early to mid GM trucks. If I recall correctly he bought it for $500.
    And to add insult to injury, he still owns it and drives it regularly. He lives in the same neighborhood as I do, so I get to see it on a regular basis.
    Fortunately I did learn a valuable lesson. Ever since that experience, anytime I have ever been tempted to procrastinate when given an opportunity I think of Homer Splawn's old Suburban.
     
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  10. Grizz

    Grizz Are we there yet???

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    I’d be willing to bet ol’ Homer was more calculated than that. My money says the fella that ended up buying it had probably inquired about it before. (Probably more than once and maybe every time he saw Homer) Once you didn’t do what you said you would Mr. Splawn decided to give you something better than a ‘burban, a valuable life lesson. Unfortunately he quite possibly and unwittingly contributed to the spawning of yet another Ford enthusiast. Had he only known the err of his ways you might have that burban to this day:redface:
     
  11. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    Why do I get the idea that we Blue Bleeders got a life lesson from getting whacked on the knuckles with a GM yardstick?
     
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  12. Doghead

    Doghead Well-Known Member

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    Sooner or later, he'll have to give it up :dead: Maybe, it's high time you start bugging him about it. If you wait around like you did with old man Homer, he might also think that you've lost interest
     
  13. elB

    elB Well-Known Member

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    The only car I've ever not managed to pursue and regretted was a 1959 Edsel 6cyl with a 3 on the tree. I wanted the car for years as I saw it languishing on a dealer lot. No one wanted to give the guy the $1500 for it and when I finally inquired on it, he said that it had lost reverse and I could have it for $500. I told him I had to think about it, but my dad was having none of that with "a 35 year old car that doesn't run in the damn street at my house! You won't ever know how to work on it!" Knowing what I know now, it likely was just a worn\bad linkage adjustment on the transmission and the guy who owned the place didn't know how to fix it. A few weeks later the dealership was out of business and all the cars were gone. I was bummed. I'm still upset about it 25 years later as I haven't seen one in that decent of shape (no rust at all) for that price.

    I will say that it was one of the biggest motivators to learning how to do EVERYTHING on a car, solely to show my dad I wasn't a bum who sat around all day. I've bought and fixed a lot worse since then...
     
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  14. Doghead

    Doghead Well-Known Member

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    Parents can be extremely shallow, sometimes, if not often :slap: As parents, it's their duty to ensure that their children succeed in life, instead of taking sides with the Cruel World who's out there to whittle away at a son's or daughter's self confidence.
    Not directed personally in your particular direction, when a parent tells their kids that that they're stupid or that they're losers, those kids usually don't let their parents down in that respect.
    This sounds like a perfect screenplay for a "Son knows Best" television series
     
  15. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Always looking for old ford crew cabs

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    I've always been a FORD guy, first and foremost. But I have a love for classic American automobiles and would be happy to own lots vehicles from various marquees.

    I don't think so, but I suppose it's a posibility.

    His kids and his nieces and nephews are all into the same era GM trucks. The Suburban is going to go to one of his sons. I have told them both that if they ever want to get rid of it to let me know, but at this point it's become sort of a family heirloom for them. So the chances are slim.
     

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