Wreck of the Week

My search for a wreck of the week brings up this week the hard cash that underpins a lot of the nostalgia boom we have seen recently:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2560739/Now-thats-fixer-upper-Wrecks-classic-cars-selling-MORE-new-models-prices-rusting-roof.html

“Barn Find” vehicles fetching equal to or more than fully restored vehicles; frenetic bidding over dusty relics; a craze for originality between buyers with infeasibly deep pockets.

This is a world that I can’t even tessellate with. The cars described would have been beyond my reach ten years ago and are beyond my reach today.

However, as we have seen with anything carrying a blue oval, the effects of this are not just confined to the rarefied heights of hedge manager salaries.

It has become (and looks likely to continue for a while to be) very difficult for a person of moderate to modest means to get involved in the classic car hobby.

However I remember a similar time in the 1980s where classic cars started to look a great investment. People bought crumbly wrecks gave them a cheap respray and flogged them for serious money.

Then there was a downturn: several people who bought cars as an “investment” got burned. The upside being that the guy who wanted to tinker in his shed got a look in once again.

We can hope that cars will start to return to sensible in the near future. However, sadly the keys to that E-Type I’ve always dreamed off are likely to remain in someone else’s hands in perpetuity.

“Rust in peace” searches this week bring me to this article https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/2092341/stunning-pictures-show-how-nature-has-reclaimed-cars-left-abandoned-across-europe/ featuring the work of Roman Robroek who loves to take pictures of abandoned cars. I took a chance that the name was unusual and believe that I have found the photography site that the article is about:

https://romanrobroek.nl/#transport

It is a fascinating site which causes me to regret the fact that I cannot operate a camera (even if given instructions designed for a five year old).

Some of the pictures are truly beautiful. In the case of the cars I do wonder where they are and if anyone will step up and try to save them.

Even better I have been in touch with Roman and he is happy for me to use some of his pictures in my blog. So I am very happy about that and grateful thanks to Roman. (The featured image in the blog this week is one of his).

This week’s YouTube video is a light hearted effort from Pathé set in Reading.

This shows a very different attitude in 1963 to today – cars having no value at all when they got to a certain age. As a result cars were dumped – quite literally anywhere that a person could find to dump them.

The announcer refers to the introduction of testing, which leads me to suspect that the MOT is not as venerable as I once thought.

It appears the MOT was introduced in 1960 so just 3 years prior to the film. A very large number of vehicles initially failed and so the requirements for testing were enhanced. (Presumably this was because the roads had many unsafe vehicles on them).

Initially cars older than 10 years were tested (many failed). In 1961 this became 7 years, in 1967 it became 3 years. Since then the requirements for the age of vehicles haven’t changed but the items being tested have increased with time.

The film takes a comedic approach which includes a very strange episode at the end involving explosives. This is more akin to something you might have seen a circus clown performing.

Many of the cars in the film would be very desirable today so it is sad to see that they were just discarded.

However the vehicles would have been merely 10 or so years old at that stage and 10 year old vehicles today have limited value. Little has changed.

I checked the example of LJ2393 (the smoking vehicle in the latter part of the film). It is not on the DVLA database. So it did not survive. No wonder that vehicles of this age are valued – precious few seem to have made it this far. The exploding vehicle has registration HH – TR645 which is an odd plate. Being the suspicious type I checked it. It is invalid and so almost certainly the vehicle isn’t a vehicle at all but merely a film prop.

This week I was sent details of some marvellous BBC sound effects which include some early car sounds and car-related sounds. http://bbcsfx.acropolis.org.uk/

This is listed as “Cars: 1.6 GL (Manual) 1982 model Ford Cortina. Exterior, tickover recorded near exhaust”. Which for anyone who is wondering what a car of the 1980s would sound like is pretty close to how I remember.

Ford Cortina 1982 Tickover Download audio

Back to Wreck of the Week proper and another ruster drawn from the nation’s favourite auction site.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/192460868689?ul_noapp=true

This one struck my eye because it is just up the road from me and very close to where my partner is working currently.

I say is, however the listing has been ended because the vehicle is “no longer available” so we have to assume it found a buyer, eager or otherwise.

 

Originally listed at £2,300.00 sadly there is no automotive equivalent of the land registry to determine what it actually made in the end. (Even if there was – the absence of any registration details makes such a search impossible).

We’re treated to 5, yup 5 gleaming pictures of marvelousness to sate our nostalgia demons. The text doesn’t do much more to convey anything:

“1966 FORD MUSTANG

SOLID SHELL

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET

THERE IS NO PAPERWORK WITH THIS CAR

I CAN DELIVER FOR £1.50 PER MILE

CAR LOCATED NEAR ROYSTON HERFORDSHIRE

CASH ON COLLECTION

PLEASE NOTE THE ANGLIA AND FAST BACK ARE NOT FOR SALE”

I’ve left the shouty text in place this time to convey the full-on nature of modern auction site listings. If someone was speaking like this I would rather be at the other end of a very long room.

Now Royston is a big place but for those not of the United Kingdom (or maybe those of its further flung elements of this nation) here is the approximate location of said vehicle:

So what are we getting in this “What you see is what you get” auction.

Shame it is not for sale that Anglia looks much more my cup of tea to be honest. I can’t see enough of the vehicle beyond it to make out what it is, but what a marvellous place with all these pieces of automotive history lined up just ripe for the restorer to feast his eyes upon.

In any case from the text we can ascertain that the car for sale is in the foreground, none of those in the background are so hands off sonny.

All we know about it is that it is 1966. There are no registration details and given there is no paperwork it is easily feasible that the car was never registered in the UK – we’ve covered the niceties of the NOVA system before.

However some comments on the impact where you have no documentation at all are here:

http://www.nsra.org.uk/newforum/showthread.php?61208-NEW-IMPORTATION-RULES-NOVA-(Notification-of-Vehicle-Arrivals)

Put it this way I am not certain I would want to wind my way through the various departments to satisfy them that the vehicle has been properly imported and that all relevant taxes have been paid. It is not clear what happens if you don’t satisfy them but an unregistered car is without value (unless you want to limit it to the race track) and unpaid tax can become an expensive problem…

So apart from the soft-porn focusing (we’re kind of used to that now I think ) what have we. No engine, no gearbox, no front wings, no ancilliaries, no suspension, little or no braking system, no front panels. In fact it appears more like the before in a banger race.

As it stands though what can be seen does not look excessively rusty. So it is possible that this could be used to reshell a car that was completely gone bodywise but had most of the parts.

Unlike a previous Wreck of the Week featuring a Mustang this one has a windscreen and so perhaps there is some hope for the interior.

To be fair, if you’ve been following Wreck of the Week for any period of time then you will have seen much rustier prospects but potentially not cars that have less included with them. (Even the windscreen wipers are absent from this one).

What surprises me from the pictures is that you can fit a stonking V8 between those suspension turrets but scale is something that photographs may not convey well.

Ok, the interior is not quite (but almost) a pond. Heavy moss growth indicates that starting on the car now before it gets much worse is probably an astute plan. The algae covered item may well be the front offside wing although there is no sign of the normal use of car-as-shed approach. This means that there doesn’t appear to be the usual smorgasbord of spares that some of these adverts entice us with.

Not a particularly easy view of much of the interior but apart from the previously noted no gearbox problem, there are no carpets, no seats, no dashboard, a steering wheel which is missing some parts.

On the upside it does look relatively intact metalwise – not much call for Joe le welder here. (Those fans of the welding art form can groan now).

I’m unclear why the rear footwell is a storage vessel for odd fastenings – perhaps it had visions of becoming a shed and never got that far.

Perhaps a better focused version of one we’ve seen before. So no clues about the rear, the boot area, the underside (other than what we can glean from the interior shot), the rear wheelarches – other glass in the car and so on and so fifth.

Well that’s it, no more images to enthral us.

So necessarily a brief one this week. You’ll have to go and do some real work now.

Next week lets hope someone who was a true David Bailey. Preferably one with laryngitis of the advertising text as well.

 

If you took this one home please let us know what you did with her, it would be fascinating to discover what kind of future she has..

 

 

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Image source Roman Robroek http://www.romanrobroek.nl

 

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

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

(Whilst that site looks at crumbly ruins this one looks at crumbly panels).

 

Wreck of the Week

This week expansion of the “wreck of the week” concept to embrace the whole world continues with the United States.

http://www.oldcarsweekly.com/features/smashed_dashes_and_crumpled_fenders. A site which uses the term “wreck” to mean involved in a body-altering accident. It shows how many uses the term can be put to. Some of the cars here are a mystery to me, not having my nostalgia from the correct side of the Atlantic. However my more general sense of sadness at the loss of something once great is certainly called into ascendancy by this site.

This week I found a “rust in peace” in Ireland. It is also a YouTube Video so kills two birds with one stone.

Instantly I must apologise for the dire soundtrack and that the guy filming it was trying to catch a bus at the same time. If I were you I’d mute it before clicking on it. I haven’t found a way of playing videos at a slower speed though.  Any technical person’s amongst you who have solved that let me know.

Yet again no idea where any of these cars are and so we must assume lost forever.

I notice that some images in that video are suspiciously similar to one another. I think some vehicles feature more than once. Hey he put something interesting on YouTube so who am I to criticise.

The Wreck of the Week for this week sold at a price that is within my reach. But given its condition it was going to cost a great deal more by the time it was restored. My partner thinks it needed a miracle. Perhaps not quite but some serious hard work certainly.

Of course the value reflects the fact that it has a blue oval on the nose.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/192451887410

It excited a mass of interest with 27 bids from no less than 13 bidders. People really wanted this car.

The seller was located here:

But the listing states the car location is in West Bromwich B70 which is here:

But is such a massive area you might as well say it’s in Somerset.

It was an interesting car not only imported but actually left hand drive.

Usually I anticipate that people import cars because the cars have spent their life in the blazing sun. Thereby barring a bit of faded paint they need very little work.

The seller (who we assume was open about its faults) lists the following as needing some attention:

“Shell needs a lot of work, sills and corner of the front floors. As it’s a 4 door it’s up for sale with no reserve still a good base to build something out of has all the running gear in place.”

Remarkably he also states that it “comes with a spare roof”.

Given a car stands upright and water falls from above, descending under gravity; normally the sills, floorpan and wheel arches lead in the rush to become one with nature. Once the roof has gone then really you’re dealing with merely compost and memories.

Thankfully it looks like the needed bits of paper have been considered already, unlike some we’ve seen. He states that “Imported, on the nova list, comes with all necessary paperwork to register, no import duties to pay.”

What we don’t have here is a story. As mentioned in previous wreck of the week articles the stories of a car’s history are in many ways its most appealing aspect. It went to Spain with a little old lady who took it drag racing at weekends, that sort of thing.

In fact we do not even know which country it was imported from. Given the need for a new roof I assume Atlantis.

Unhelpfully it is listed as 1966 (sellers please list the full first registration date). There is no visible number plate so I am guessing pretty nigh impossible to derive the full first registration date from any public sources.

I did not know that even though it is tax exempt you still need to apply for a  tax. But apparently if registered pre 1977 now there is tax to pay. This seems tempting until you recognise the incredible rate of attrition of cars that age. Finding a drivable one which is still affordable will be your first challenge.

Teeth grittingly he also lists it as MOT exempt. For my views on MOT exempt see a previous wreck of the week.

He states “Mot exempt from May so you’re able to register it as is and fix it up as you go along. You can even drive it and keep it on the street in this condition like a rat look beetle if you wish”. This sounds jaw-droppingly irresponsible (although I’m sure it sells cars). The car if subject to MOT would have to satisfy a number of safety checks before you can use it. Because it doesn’t need those checks, hey just drive it who’s going to notice?

57 demerits to the seller on that count alone.

So with a heavy sigh let’s have a look at her.

Firstly do not adjust your sets, the quality of the pictures really is of the “soft focus” variety. Given this is usually reserved for pictures of a quite different nature I assume it is not deliberate.

It looks like it has been stock car racing in which the emphasis was on lots of body contact. Where can we find a straight panel?

The LHS front wing looks beyond recovery, the door seems held in with straps, the glass (save the quarterlights) entirely absent.

The bonnet is making a break for freedom, the rear subjected to a bizarre origami experiment.

An odd chunk of metal seems to have been deliberately excised from the  RHS front wing with no obvious purpose other than to disfigure the car. The passenger side door (remember it is LHD) is attached with straps as well but at least superficially looks a useful panel.

The rear door seems to have been the loser in a door kicking competition. The door might be saveable, the wing doesn’t look like it.

From what we can see the headlining is waving the white flag. Given the presence of overriders I’d say the front bumper is inside the car.

Aha the need for a roof becomes plain, my goodness, what has been done to the poor thing. It’s possible it was rolled. Alternatively it’s been in some sunny scrapyard with another vehicle on top of it. Unearthed no doubt due to the escalating prices the Ford badge now attracts.

Even in this state it fetched £1,500.00 (roughly $2113 or €1724), which makes me wonder what on earth is a four door MK1 Cortina fetching now.

Ok here’s a similar one https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C957714 currently at £31000 (roughly $43662 or €35632) pheweee.

Ok now it all makes sense.

Various parts seem stuffed inside (together with a lot of glass granules). However even with my really strong glasses I can’t tell you what they are. In this shot even the intact rear has suffered a big ding on the LHS . There are no rear lights and judging by the vacant hole in the rear no fuel tank either. It is possible the  LHS rear door is saveable however.

Not exactly well disposed with photographs this listing (not that it affected it selling apparently). This is the last photograph in the series. If you remember the  Cortina GT estate you will recall how shocking the state of the bulkhead was. Kudos to whoever bought this – the engine bay is in good condition and remarkably the  strut tops look intact.

Unsurprisingly the LHS front wing looks the worst.

I’m not certain if any of the mechanicals are saveable or how much is there, possibly a carb and a dizzy, parts of the brake system and a rad. However I think it safer to assume at the very least it’s going to need refurbishment and very likely replacement.

So we’re talking a guy (or gal) who is either to metal what Michelangelo was to marble or someone with very deep restoration pockets.

If you are that miracle worker ahem I mean purchaser let us know what you intend to do with her.

 

 

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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 and will be all about automotive ancients).