Wreck of the Week

This week I’m starting to wonder at the value of things well the cost of old cars mainly.

I realise, being in my fifth decade, that things are bound to have been cheaper “in my day”. However it does seem to me the reason we are seeing so many classic car wrecks of late is about how much money they bring.

People who formerly would have left rotten hulks under a damp tarpaulin are now listing them as “barn find”.

Recently I have seen cars which are barely more than a V5 and a set of panels.

Cars which at one time would have been reasonable projects are now attracting startling amounts of money.

Take this week’s example:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1970-Dodge-Charger-1969-1968-/.

This is listed at £13,440 – or for those persons who prefer your currency in American that’s roughly $18,548 at today’s exchange rate or €11961 for the European readers out there.

I’m not in tune with the prevailing view on classic car prices but £13,440 seems to me a great deal of money.

According to a recent article, that’s the sort of money that you will pay for a second-hand Porsche Cayman.

It is wonderful that this rush to buy old cars means that a lot of “barn finds” are blinking their way into the light (and the pages of this blog). But it does show me that nostalgia has a hefty premium associated with it.

The listing is ended and so I was filled with wonder at the depths of people’s pockets (or their ignorance of more modern alternatives – take your pick). However I notice that the advert quotes a website. Looking at this website the car is still listed there.

It looks like it didn’t sell after all. The photos seem to be better quality on the website but not to any huge degree.

The adverts are subtly different on the nation’s favourite auction site than on the main website.

I was fascinated by the exhortation to “PAINT IT BLACK, CUT A HOLE IN THE HOOD AND BURN THE TIRES OFF JUST LIKE IN THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS” (shouty text is in the original).

I wonder if a film connection adds a few £ to the value. In addition if you were paying northwards of £13,000 is it in order to cut holes in it? not that it doesn’t come without holes in any case.

Charger 1

So the subject in question is a 1970 Dodge Charger which is accurately described as a “project car”. On the face of it a quite serious engine fire has taken place. The bonnet (or hood I imagine – USofA looks like its natural home) is badly rusted all over and seems to twist upwards on the nearside. (Passenger side given this is a LHD vehicle).

However neither advert mentions anything about an engine fire so the cause of such localised paint removal remains speculation.

Charger 2

Ok, so this looks less like fire damage and more like someone went crazy with paint stripper, the paint leached off all down the RHS. Sadly the photo does not zoom well enough for great detail. But it looks like a former filler job is starting to lift away at the front edge. Conceivably the wing is going to need replacing/rebuilding.

Charger 3

Blimey so it is also two colour. Judging by the spray it might be that someone tried to respray it in pea soup at some point in its life. It would be laudable if it had saved the car. But as we can see the rear wheel arch is going to take some gentle treatment. The sill and front wing are not looking too brilliant even at this magnification.

Charger 4

Possibly the most engaging view of the car – a lovely shape – if only more of it were like this (well minus the overspray in any case).

Charger 5

This is obviously where the “Needs some welding” part of the advert asserts itself. Large amounts of daylight where floorpan used to be.

The advert is careful to state that “All parts [are] available at www.rockauto.com”. Given that includes all the steel panels this would be very helpful (that can’t be true of many cars from 1970).

Charger 6

The advert states “Complete car except for interior” and certainly the engine bay parts seem present. The colour here looks different to either of the colours on the exterior of the car so I’m guessing it’s had an “enthusiastic” previous owner or several. At least two separate attempts to paint it with non-toning colours (in varying degrees of effectiveness).

Still there is enough refurbishment time here to keep a restoring man humming in his garage.

The ad states that this enormous thing is a “383 V8 Big Block” which “ran when parked”. That seems nothing short of miraculous when you look at it. Cars sometimes defy all predictions. However later on the description states: “Straight out [of] the barn. Not cleaned, not tried to start, nothing done to make it look better.” So perhaps we should not be overcome with enthusiasm. The engine probably needs exactly as much work as it looks.

Charger 7

When it states no interior it means, no interior, although the ad states “Included are 2 good 1968 Mopar seats” . I think that’s just the start, carpets, door cards…

Charger 8

… and whatever was in front of this originally, surely some kind of rear seat?

I’m intrigued by this: “Charger expected in Holland end of March 2018.” Which makes me wonder where it is, surely not a sunshine state with that amount of corrosion?

The advert states “US Title and all EU taxes paid.” In the UK however you’re going to need a NOVA.

The process for this can be quite involved: http://fbhvc.co.uk/about-us/news/_article/22/hmrc-issues-guidelines-for-registering-restoration-projects-imported-prior-to-nova/.

So consideration of these unexciting requirements should probably precede any “reasonable down payment”.

Helpfully they’ve given their location which turns out to be here:

“500 meters from the DFDS ferry in the harbour of IJmuiden in The Netherlands.”

According to the website: www.hotrodharbor.nl: contact Barry on hrharbor@gmail.com for more details.

Oh and you’ll need to arrange your own shipping.

(I hope someone is brave enough. But I’m fascinated how people find this money before they start the restoration.)

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Credit to the property website from which the original idea (for Wreck of the Week) came:

http://www.wreckoftheweek.co.uk/

(Unlike that site, which is about houses, this series of blogs is all about vehicles – rusty ones at that).

Author: Phil Maud

Keen on privacy and IT Security. A volunteer counsellor. I use blogging to improve my writing.

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