This week I was musing on the title “Rust in Peace”. (I think some classic car magazines have used this as a title for photographs of nostalgic/rusty collections they feature).
This led me to find the following Facebook page (via a well-known search engine):
This might be of interest if you love American automotive history.
If anyone finds anything similar for British cars (or even European cars) please share (and I will put it into a future post).
Recently my Uncle sent me the following YouTube video. It must belong here even if it doesn’t feature one wreck of the week but many:
This is 7 minutes of heart-break. For I have known so many of these cars and there seems no way to contact the current owners to ask if they will sell one of them to me.
The first scene opens at MacLeod Limited of Skye; this seems a great lead until I find that Skye is the home of the clan MacLeod, so there must be many – many MacLeod limited of Skye.
Here we find not just lost cars but lost makes of cars. Hillman for example – at one stage a well-loved brand but no more, similarly Austin, Humber, Singer, Sunbeam…
The cars highlighted are:
Nissan 300ZX 1983
1979 Nissan 280ZX
1961 Austin A40 Farina MKII (I have a friend with a 1966 version)
1970 Wolseley 1300 (for years I drove past a garden that had one of these permanently parked as it gradually corroded away)
1964 Humber Sceptre MKI
1966 Humber Sceptre MKII
1971 Humber Sceptre MKIII
1965 Singer Vogue Estate (which must be a very rare car indeed)
1964 Singer Gazelle V
1960 Sunbeam Rapier Series III
1961 Hillman Super Minx MK IV (my Dad had one)
1960 Hillman Husky Series II
1969 Hillman Imp
1966 Hillman Imp (my sister had one)
1972 Hillman Hunter GL
1973 Hillman Hunter GL Estate
1966 Ford Thames 307E (I haven’t seen one of these anywhere else)
1954 Ford Consul MKI
1962 Ford Anglia
1964 Ford Consul Capri (this is quite a valuable car now)
1964 Ford Cortina MKI
1963 Ford Cortina MKI
1966 Ford Cortina MKII
1970 Ford Cortina MKIII
1979 Ford Escort MKII
1955 Vauxhall Cresta EIP
1962 Vauxhall Victor FB Estate
1961 Vauxhall Victor FB Estate
1962 Vauxhall FX 4-90 FB
1957 Vauxhall Velox EOPV
1958 Vauxhall Velox PA S Saloon
1959 Vauxhall Velox
1962 Vauxhall Velox PA SX
1959 Vauxhall Cresta PA
1960 Vauxhall Cresta PA
1962 Vauxhall Cresta PA
1968 Volkswagen Beetle
1967 Volkswagen Beetle 1500
1970 Morris Minor 1000 Van (a van which judging by the nation’s favourite auction site is in high demand right now)
1967 Morris Minor 1000 pickup (I’d love one)
1961 Morris Minor 1000
1953 Morris Minor 1000
1953 Morris Minor 1000 series I tourer
1979 Morris Marina (as so loathed by Jeremy Clarkson)
1967 Morris Mini (a Morris Mini no less before Mini was a brand in itself)
1969 British Leyland Mini
1968 Morris 1100 MKII
I wanted to gather them all up (like some abandoned puppies) and take them all home with me.
But mostly I was tearful for times lost that can never be again.
However, as my uncle pointed out, people really want a car that you can start and run with lowest cost and maintenance. A 1969 car is not going to offer you that. Even in a 1976 car – starting was something of an art. Roadside repairs were also not unknown.
These mostly look very restorable. But given the video was posted in September 2017 there is every chance they have gone the way of many other unearthed collections. (In that they are now the raw materials for a Chinese fridge).
If anyone reading this knows of their fate I would be interested to know.
However this is Wreck of the Week. Whilst nostalgia is great for the soul we are here to examine corrosion. And outlandish prices paid for the steel carriages of yesteryear.
Some American muscle this week, or some parts of it in any case. (What is a part of a muscle? – meat perhaps.)
£2550 seems a very sensible bid and well below the kinds of prices I’ve seen cars of this type fetching.
This one for example is asking $45,000: https://classiccars.com/listings/view/1067958/1967-ford-mustang-for-sale-in-mesa-arizona-85204 (roughly £33582 or €36585).
The devil as always with these things is in the detail; what did our lucky purchaser get for his 2 ½ thousand pounds (roughly $3417 or €2882).
The upsides are it’s a coupé (which is desirable as a body style). The seller vouches for the solidity of the “body tub” (whatever that is worth). And some of the seats remain.
The downsides are it’s an automatic (manual is preferred – at least in the UK). It has no dashboard. Some of the seats are missing. There is no V5; no NOVA; no title; no import paperwork. (It sounds like a nightmare to register with the DVLA).
Of course you also need to deal with a car that recently emerged from the swamp. Carrying swamp detritus like some creature in a Scooby Doo cartoon.
I’m not the seller but unless the moss is performing some structural function I think I might have power washed that off before listing it:
I suppose this is now what is described as an “honest” listing. i.e. nothing has been made of the car and there are no attempts to spruce it up, including clean it evidently.
All the tyres are flat, but those alloys are not the most in keeping with the character (unless you want to race it). Look again at the expensive one for an example of what I mean https://classiccars.com/listings/view/1067958/1967-ford-mustang-for-sale-in-mesa-arizona-85204
In its favour all of the rust looks to be surface-rust. So it may not require the intercession of a man with knowledge of the arcane art of sticking two bits of metal together.
If the original colour was that blue then it seems a charming choice, but given the range of shades visible who knows.
The front wing arch lip has a split in it. Miraculously the rear arch seems to have escaped so rescue might come just in time.
Well I’ve got to say if I were being followed by something looking like that along the M5 I would be tempted to make like Shaggy and Scooby. (And not after the Scooby snacks).
It is in fact barely more than a shell. It looks like it has been raced – holes for bonnet pins are in evidence. (Unless these were drilled there by someone for the effect only).
The screen surround looks remarkably intact given its overall appearance. I think I might have been tempted (but then my thinking is on the romantic side of sensible).
The rear wheel arch has corroded through here. It’s hard to tell at this magnification but the front wheel arch possibly as well.
Given the state of the rest of the car it is surprising that the rear lamp clusters seem all present and correct. Whether the internals have survived corrosion is anybody’s guess.
The rear screen is present and as we saw passenger door glass is present. It is odd that the driver’s door glass and the windscreen did not survive then.
The drilling on the driver’s side wing – not replicated on the passenger side wing – seems to mark a long-lost aerial. I thought perhaps a wing mirror but the door mirrors survive. Usually holes of this type are where the crusting starts so this one is pleasingly intact.
The roof thus far seems to be subject just to surface rust. Parts of the rain gutter though could be getting a bit close. There also seems to be sill damage just ahead of the driver’s side door.
On the face of it I would have limited confidence that much could be rescued except for the metalwork.
In fact the front wing on this side is in better condition than on the other side. This wing (barring possibly welding up the old aerial hole) might be saveable. (They might both have to be saveable – dependent upon availability of parts for these cars. Fifty years is a long time in parts sales).
A V8 engine employing that well known corrosion inhibitor – a damp old pink towel. Thank goodness someone thought of that. Either that or it is the latest in free flowing air filter design and I’m revealing my (no doubt massive) ignorance on the subject.
This engine seems to have received much more recent attention than the rest of the vehicle. Aside from the distributor – it appears in great condition. This reinforces the idea that the engine was the most important part of the car.
This is what you would see in a race car. A body made of Papier-mâché, an engine made of volcano.
The oil filter canister corrosion says it’s been stood for a while. But perhaps not so long that a refresh of the internals (a rebore/regrind so-on) might not see it run again.
Wow that looks like it’s made a permanent home in the forest floor. But I believe what we are seeing is a sorry-looking gearbox in the interior of the car. This was home to Squirrel Nutkin more recently than to the bum of a keen driver I’m thinking.
One hopes that the oil is still in the interior of the gearbox and that water isn’t. Outside appearances seem to indicate an expensive rebuild could be on the cards.
No sign I notice of the seats or the state of any other part of the interior.
Probably safe to assume they are all completely wrecked then.
Well wow, I would not have expected that. This looks like an intact underside. Some consistent elbow grease, a DA and a quantity of sanding disks might just be able to resurrect it. It’s quite awe inspiring when you have seen the rest of it.
(Conceivably I’ve been overcome by appearances. If you are more Eagle-eyed do point out the crumbling bits which I have missed.)
This is presumably the chassis number which confirms that this is a genuine V8 (at least to those in the know).
What I can’t get over is how primitive it looks, to be honest. If you had knowledge of chassis number sequences and a set of number punches. It looks like you could rig up a facsimile of this in an afternoon on a spare sheet of steel and stitch it in.
No doubt no one is doing that, but it does make you think.
Well given how little is there I hope that parts availability is top-notch for a 1967 Mustang. In the interests of the brave soul who purchased it I also hope that parts prices are on the inexpensive side (you’re going to need a lot of them).
Well my hat off to the man, woman or child who has taken this on. Should you have meandered across this blog do leave a comment about what you intend to/have done to the car.
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Credit to the property website from which the original idea (for Wreck of the Week) came:
(Unlike that house-orientated site, this series of blogs is about elderly vehicles).
Photo by jamie r. mink on Unsplash