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).

Wreck of the Week

The weekly blog item for fans of rust and nostalgia – welcome.

Once again it’s a rusty piece of Ford history, from 1966 this time (MRA835D currently there is no listing on the DVLA database https://vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/ConfirmVehicle):

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CORTINA-MKI-SUPER-GT-ESTATE/272999163648

Some brave person has already decided that this is the car for them as it is now listed as sold. The amount of rust in this one really does cause me to pause and praise nostalgia for all it is worth.

s-l1602

Looking at this the front wing appears to be attached by gravity and there are signs of corrosion in the front, in the roof, in the sill, in the wheel arch…

It’s registered in July 1966 and according to the advert has done only 60,000 miles since then.

I do like the single spotlight attached to the front bumper and those wheel trims are lovely.

s-l1602

This view confirms that front wing is flapping like busby. The rear presents as just surface rust however. The description confirms why – it has been in poor storage – presumably storage in which water gained fairly frequent access at the front end of the car. How many great cars have been lost like that I wonder?

s-l1602

This interior shot gives some idea why you would want it. Hopefully whoever now owns it has the skills to match. The advert states “The interior of this car is in superb, un-touched condition with a patina that you cannot buy new. With only one minor tear on the offside front seat base. The dash has never been to bits and the headlining is perfect. Door cards are good and all the GT bits are present and in excellent condition. There are some factory fitted switches and sockets under the dash, and a factory fitted pillar mounted spot lamp.”

The listing goes to some length to point out that this is a genuine car. This leads me to suspect that there are a few fake MKI Cortina GT Estates out there. This site gives you some guidance on telling the difference:

http://MKIcortina.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=24:how-to-spot-a-real-gt&catid=5:useful-links&Itemid=5

This site gives a review of the MKI Cortina in general:

https://classics.honestjohn.co.uk/reviews/ford/cortina-MKI/

There are not many MKI Cortina estates for sale in any spec currently. But looking at the saloon cars a GT spec version seems to add a healthy premium over the standard version.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FORD-CORTINA-MKI-GT-MKI-CORTINA-GT-CORTINA-GT/332127396159?hash=item4d5455e13f:g:CxAAAOSwB-1YowCM

The history declared is rather interesting: “Believed to be one of 12 or so made for an order in Kenya, which was never completed, so the cars were sold through Ford dealers around the country…” Sadly there is that “believed to be…” so we can’t be certain, but that would certainly make it a very rare beast indeed.

This image is enough to strike dread into the heart of anyone who has wrestled with a welder – and lost. When the advert states that it needs major reconstruction work it is not being short with the truth.

It states “the front end needs major re-construction, with work required to both A posts/ panels, chassis legs/outriggers, sills, heater plenum/bulkhead, offside screen pillar, plus other areas of minor repairs…”

s-l1602

I look at this with the words “where would you start” in the back of my mind. However perhaps the old girl is due for a less venerated fate as the advert states: “all of the GT running gear is original and the 1500 GT engine turns over.” I have a sad suspicion that someone may just re-shell the car and lose part of the history in the process. (Although given what it looks like in the photographs I can’t say I could blame anyone for restoring it that way.)

s-l1602

Amazingly the floor pan looks intact in this shot. But the inner wing is history and without a good one to measure from I have no idea how anyone would reconstruct it.

s-l1602

A very shabby looking bulkhead (although compared to some of the other parts of the car this is almost reassuring. There is at least some metal to take measurements from.

s-l1602

The advert states that “there is not a servo fitted, as it was omitted, in favour of a properly plumbed-in Redex lubrication system (presumably to overcome the poor fuel quality in Kenya)”. Looking at this shot I imagine a servo could be fitted although that Redex system would be a lovely part of the history of the car to retain.

Unsurprisingly both strut tops are showing signs of having been plated before. But at least it means that they still look intact in this photograph.

s-l1602

I’m assuming this is the spot lamp referred to in the advert. Unfortunately it seems to be held there by the power of prayer.

A nice touch for this advert is the inclusion of the original log book:

s-l1602

This shows it as a Super GT (which according to Internet sources log books, for other genuine GT cars, sometimes do not show).

The interior still looks lovely as the advert describes and is the main appeal of this car.

s-l1602

It looks like you could scrub it and get in for a drive from this angle. I particularly like the line of Gauges across the centre of the dash.

This small rip apparently the only sign of interior damage (and I wonder if a skilled man could patch that.

s-l1602

If only it hadn’t been stored so badly…

However I am reassured that someone has already taken it on. If they happen to read this blog please send in some progress shots of how you get on with it.

If you liked this article why not follow this blog Follow The Procrastination Pen on WordPress.com

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 vehicles).

Photo by Mikes Photos from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/equipment-machine-machinery-metal-190539/

Wreck of the Week

Another rusting relic this week for the corrosion fans to enjoy.

The idea came after reading the property website:
http://www.wreckoftheweek.co.uk/

I thought that something should exist for cars, buses, vans, lorries and motorcycles.

When I look into it the nation’s favourite auction site is casting up many dozen examples of rusting relics. Many that require extreme bravery and much metalworking skill.

This week’s wreck is a piece of German manufacturing history:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mercedes-Fintail-220-LHD-Restoration-Project-or-Spares/323003442386

It is located apparently in Arboleas, Spain

.

One of the advantages of Spain (from a metal perspective) of course is that it is beautifully dry.

s-l1600
 

That is not to say that signs of the corrosion beetle are absent. The sills on this example look worthy of some close attention.

Although listed as suitable for spares I am not certain what spares you will be able to glean.

s-l1601
 

For a start there are no doors and the car interior is more like a shed. The seats are squeezed into it and look torn and stained.

Fortunately front and rear glass is in place.

Confusingly the listing states the registration date is 08/10/1964. But in the same description also maintains that it is a 1967 Mercedes 220.

I’m not certain how those two things can coexist.

The 220 reputation is for being bullet proof. Indeed the body on this seems to have survived moderately well.

But a lot of parts are missing – this picture has no sign of an engine for example.

s-l1602
 

It looks like this car was a donor in the past. One of those magnificent stacked headlights is missing. As is the proud chrome grill.

s-l1603  

A quick scan of the Internet reveals that the 220 is well served with parts however https://www.niemoeller.de/en/mercedes-benz-oldtimer-spare-parts/spare-parts-catalog-mercedes-benz-170-220.

I’m taken by the location which looks like a cross between a wasteland and a prison yard in these photographs.

s-l1604  

The price seems low at £500 (currently with no bids). But a better prospect is https://www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk/mercedes-benz/220/223226 at €4,850. (Although it lacks the stacked headlights I notice.

This one looks even better https://www.classic-trader.com/uk/cars/listing/mercedes-benz/fintail/200/1967/117659 at £22,098.

So it does look like these 200s fetch a reasonable sum.

However at the end of any restoration you would still have a left hand drive car.

It does look as if Right Hand Drive versions are not rare https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mercedes-220-SEB-W111-FINTAIL-STACKED-HEADLIGHT-MODEL-1963-/222789612102?_trksid=p2141725.m3641.l6368.

Sadly the chances of rescue for this old girl are not looking high. At least not in the UK (There are no bids at the time of writing).

Although it would be marvellous to be proved wrong. And to see the before and after photographs.

Wreck of the Week

Not a lot of feedback this week.

I seem to have more people reading the blog who are keen on a) the writing material b) the counselling material.

However I will persist with this on the basis that the rust aficionados are not quite so outspoken.

The concept is based upon the property website:

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

Although I feel that there should be something similar for things with an engine.

This week has had so many potential examples of wrecks that I was struggling to know what to choose.

That is until my partner pointed out that this week’s car is a “gangster car” which meant it was the top choice.

I have no firm feelings about what a “gangster car” should look like so this one may well fit the bill better than most.

This is the car I’m talking about:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1953-ALVIS-TC21-FOR-TOTAL-RESTORATION-MANUAL-GEARBOX-DELIVERY-POSSIBLE-/122865998941

Unlike last week this one is a classified ad so that I can only guess at what it finally fetched.

On the upside it is very well served with photographs.

These give a very good idea about what is involved in restoring it.

I have little familiarity with Alvis. So I thought this time I would take a quick look around to see what they are, how desirable they are and so on.

Wreck 1

It turns out that all car production ceased in 1965 which is a bit before I was born.

The likelihood of significant replacement panels being available is unlikely.

From the above photograph the front bumper might stand re-chroming. But there is a lot of rust worm obvious in front of the driver’s side front wing.

The TC21 was noted for its bonnet scoops – which this one is missing.

Perhaps only one variant actually had them.

Wreck 2

It looks like production was between 1953 and 1955 only. At 1953 this is an early one.

Those running boards look like they are going to need significant attention.

A quick scan of the available TC21 cars out there reveals that £20,000 – £45,000 is needed to buy a good one.

So perhaps this justifies the interest in this.

Wreck 3

However there is no V5 and only the seller’s say-so that getting hold of one is straightforward.

Of greater interest in any case are the fabrication skills that you’re going to need to resurrect this car.

It looks though like a number of TC21s are now on wire wheels. So the steel wheels – and what look like good condition tyres are a bit of a surprise.

Wreck 4

This side view is a lot more revealing.

The rear wing is apparently attached by prayer and the boot surround needing a touch of magic.

I do love the rear wheel arch covers though – give a look of style to the car, although I bet they are a devil to keep clean.

Wreck 5

The boot floor in need of more than a polish.

The lack of underside shots means we have to speculate about the chassis’ condition.

I notice that some Alvis cars were built with an ash frame. I’m not clear if it includes the TC21.

If it does welding might well be the least of the problems that you would have to encounter.

Wreck 6

The nearside view doesn’t look any more awe-inspiring than the offside.

It definitely looks like it is going to need some specialist skills to put that back.

Wreck 7

The engine though looks amazing; apparently a 3 litre and 100bhp in the day.

Despite having the aerodynamics of a cocktail cabinet it could apparently reach 100mph.

Piling along at 100mph in a mobile stately home is an achievement particularly in 1953.

Twin SUs at least look like the kind of thing that can be recovered in 2018.

Wreck 8

Perhaps we should focus on the interior:

Wreck 9

Oh dear it looks like Mr and Mrs Mouse moved in a little while ago and fancied a meal of leather and horsehair.

No escape from a complete reupholster from the looks of this.

Wreck 10

But what a dashboard and what door cappings, a period of style and grace which it appears worthwhile trying to recapture (if your pockets are deep enough).

I love how far the speedo is from the driver as if watching one’s speed is for lesser people.

Wreck 11

And lastly another view of that engine.

It looks like it was on for £3750. So there is some ceiling for that £22,000 asking price.

But with this quantity of work I have to hope the buyer is very skilled as that could be swallowed in bodyshop fees.

It would be sad if it had only been purchased to supply parts for another TC21.

Wreck of the Week

I love crumbling old things.

Show me something pristine and I‘m impressed no doubt.

But the thing that captures my imagination is some romantic old ruin – one awaiting the care and attention of the dedicated.

People who can bring a ruin back to life are my heroes.

However at heart I love things when they are showing their age. Shabby, crumbling, worn are all aspects that interest me.

I have been following a site called Wreck of the Week for a year or more:

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

in which Sue lists out the most intriguing old ruins she has found recently – often with land or to-die-for features.

I love this website.

Whilst I have spent way too long in my life looking at crumbling old ruins my first love is for things mechanical.

Every week I spend a daft amount of time perusing classic car sites and auction sites looking at heaps of rust – those which someone with enormous resources might just restore to working order.

Sometimes I even see some post restoration.

I now think that a wreck of the week based on cars, vans, trucks and so on would be an idea.

Like Wreck of the Week it won’t exactly be weekly. I am considering that I’m only going to look at it if it causes me some interest.

With luck it will be of interest to others too.

So for this week I thought that we’d start with:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ford-Cortina-MK1-Pre-Air-Flow-1964-2-Door-1500cc-/112728034430

I find it awe-inspiring how much anything with the Ford badge attracts now.

I started out with a profound love of everything with a griffin on the nose (Vauxhall). It seems I chose unwisely based upon the values that Ford cars now attract.

This one is a 1964 so 54 years old at present and with the appealing CND rear light arrangement.

There is a large amount to do with this one.

wreck1

The seller states that he has only the shell.

Such that although it is declared as a 1500cc this is largely moot – someone will be supplying a suitable engine from elsewhere.

wreck2

The car was last on the road in 1984.

But given there is no running gear – a seized engine or rusted on brakes are not going to concern you.

wreck3

The shell, does not look as doily-fied as many such vehicles.

If you stick around to read probably many I shall feature on this blog.

But the seller does state that the front panel needs replacing. Whether such things are still obtainable after all this time I do not know.

wreck4

Thankfully it has a V5 – so you would not have to wrestle with registering it.

However availability of spares for a 54-year old car may not be optimal in my experience. Especially items like front wings and interior for example.

The registration number is listed as historic, 4 numbers and 2 letters, xxxx NU. But it is hard to know if this is sufficient to justify the final bid which was £2,050.00 after 43 bids.

This in anyone’s book is very healthy interest.

It would be interesting to see if the car pops up again post restoration. Firstly to know how long it took to restore (surely measured in years rather than months). In addition to know how much a restored one of these would fetch.

At least you can say that it would be something that was nearly entirely of your own building. There is so little left of it.