FREE 1946 Dodge 3 Window Coupe!

Brian BirknerBy Brian Birkner

In this day and age, some people do some strange things. Apparently these 3 cars were abandoned on a street, and one of the cars is a 1946-ish Dodge 3 window coupe that appears to be in reasonable condition. The car behind the Dodge appears to be a newer Honda product, and the car in front is unknown. Ironically both of the newer cars are complete train wrecks, while this Dodge looks like a partially restored, or stalled restoration effort. The Dodge looks to be worthwhile for the price, as it is FREE. You may even come out a little on top if you take the other two and scrap them, even though scrap values are a bit low at the moment. Find this 3 window freebie here on craigslist out of Hyattsville, Maryland. Thanks to Jonathan W for the freebie submission!

Although abandoned, the Dodge is eye catching for its beautiful 3 window lay out, and its relatively decent looking body. One thing that caught my eye right away was the painted engine bay, and the original style air cleaner sticking out of the engine bay, as if the original engine is installed. It would also appear that there is a radiator installed, as well as enough suspension, and other various parts to make this a roller. Although only provided with one photo, there is no rust to be seen. It even appears there is a Cragar wheel on the front passenger side of the car. I suppose the better question to ask is, who wouldn’t pick up this 3 window freebie?

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Comments

  1. Larry K

    A $300.00 Pinto wagon and now this? My car hoarding dreams are coming true!

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  2. doug6423

    Ummm….
    These are stolen vehicles that have been stripped of their valuables. Most likely the Dodge had a nice engine in it. They weren’t just ‘Abandoned’.

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  3. DrinkinGasoline

    For safety sake, I think I’d do the “Midnight RePo Hook-up” on that Dodge. Then there’s the title issues to contend with….um…no. Might not be worth the hassle even if I had a clean VIN. Parts, yes. Consult with the city first. The ad is most likely from a neighbor who doesn’t want to look at them and I don’t blame them but this is not the way to deal with it.

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  4. That Guy

    Good point. I think a scrapyard would be required to check the VIN numbers, and that could well be why these were dumped on the street rather than cashed in for scrap value.

    If you helped yourself to any of these and they have been reported stolen, you could find yourself in an unpleasant situation down the road. So to speak.

    Once or twice I’ve been tempted to haul home an obviously abandoned classic car. So far, good sense has prevailed and I’ve resisted. The possibility of ending up with previously-stolen property is just another reason to say no.

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  5. Michael V.

    Yeah, I just don’t want to be behind you at the DMV with a car you picked up on the street. There was a ’57 Ford near me that sat on a side street with the door open for about five years. Someone had bought a house to restore and had just rolled the car out on the street. I tried to get a title and gave up after a couple of years of bad advice. I even had the state trooper who was in charge of titling cars try to help me and failed. It eventually disappeared, I think it was towed to the city impound lot, where it probably will sit until the end of time.

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  6. Aidan F

    Just gimme a good chassis, the missing body panels and racing interiors parts and an LS1

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  7. David Montanbeau

    The engine still in the Dodge as you can see the air cleaner pocking up.

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  8. DrinkinGasoline

    I got to thinking…what if that Dodge was someone’s resto project or parts donor for a project and it was jacked-n-hacked. Maybe…maybe not. I sent an e-mail to the Hyattsville, MD Police Dept. about the ad. As an enthusiast, I would sure hate to see someone’s project get jerked out from under them, if, that is the case. Sorry BF folks but, nothing is free. There will always be a price of some sort.

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  9. DrinkinGasoline

    I don’t imagine that most folks will reply to this posting as it is certainly not the most “on the up and up” article to grace the pages of Barn Finds. I wonder though… Given the text of the ad, and I quote : “No need to contact me. Pick it up with a tow truck or towing trailer at any time.”
    Along with the pics, wouldn’t that have raised huge red flags ? I’m a bit disappointed that this made Barn Finds. In a way though, there might be a silver lining in this black cloud. I will update the responses from the e-mail’s sent.

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  10. John D

    Way back in my high school years, I bought a 48 Dodge Business coupe. I learned a lot of restoration facts with that car. Like, I have very limited automotive restoration skills. I did manage to pull the engine and transmission (oh I disliked that Fluid Drive). I tried fitting a slant six from a 66 Fury or Satellite that our dealership was scrapping. I couldn’t make it fit. Again limited skills with big ideas. Hey, I’m an optimist. I bought another flathead 6 from a 39 Dodge pickup a friend was street rodding. I got that to fit but had to make new mounts. I rebuilt that engine but never had it running and after owning it about 20 years, I swapped it with the guy I bought the 39 engine and tranny from, for a sweet looking 65 Fiat 1500 cabriolet, but that’s another story.

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  11. Big Mike

    I received a couple of “Free to a Good Home” cars 15 or so years back. Both had been projects of a kid that grew tired of and just let them sit in his parents garage. Well I found out about them and went to look at them, my favorite was a 64 Chevy Impala SS hard top, the other was a 66 Impala 2 door Convertible.
    That is the best part of the story!!!!
    Come to find out their kid was serving time in the Dept of Corrections in Illinois for felony drug trafficking, and the parents wanted them gone, so they called me. It took me almost 2 years to get them titled under my name. Thanks to the Dept of Revenue in Missouri and the Missouri Highway Patrol I was finally able to apply for a new VIN number under a salvage title for both cars. It was a mess but heck at least I got them done!!!!!
    I still have the 64 but sold the 66 some years back.

    My 64, pretty ain’t see!!!!!

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    • AMXSTEVE

      Look’s like a 63 to me.

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    • David Montanbeau

      63 Here was mine in 1980.

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  12. Aidan F

    Looks amazing Mike

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  13. Jay E.

    Its becoming harder to scrap cars, often a title in your name and a bill of sale is required. No VIN, no place will take it unless you cut it into smaller pieces. At 50.00/ton, it isn’t worth it for the metal. The abandoned car process for title is long and expensive.

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  14. Clutchartist

    The car in the photo is NOT a 64 Big Mike

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  15. gary

    If you really want them, then contact the city. Let them know that you are willing to haul them away if they are willing to provide documentation that they are abandoned cars. Store them for the required time, usually at year, at a going market rate of around $50 per month. Apply for possession of the property due to lack of payment for storage and you own them out right. I believe that you also have to make an effort to contact the owners.

    This is basically the same process that scrap yards go through for abandoned cars on the expressways.

    But that’s a lot of work to go through for what I’m seeing in the pictures

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  16. Beemoe

    In MD, there is a little known form whereby you can waive liability to the state. Useful if you have a car with signed title, but owned by a dead guy. If there is no title at all, and you have a friend who has a garage or tow business (or can con one), they can get a mechanics lien and get a title that way. Regardless, no title = big hassle.

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  17. John Hess

    Looks like some street in Detroit

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  18. Pontiactivist

    Posting has expired.

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  19. Bill McCoskey

    As a long time Maryland resident and someone who knows the area well. Let’s just say Hyattsville is not somewhere that you can leave a vehicle like that outside on a street, and have that 50 pound copper & brass radiator remain in the car. Thieves in the area are famous for removing the cast aluminum bridge railings for scrap.

    Maryland is very difficult to deal with in getting a title issued in cases like this. Buy the same series [Deluxe]1946 thru 48 Dodge sedan with a good title, switch bodies & drive train [if nice]. Wheelbase & overall length for both the sedan & coupe were the same [119.5″ & 204.5″]

    There are several “recyclers” in the immediate vicinity of Hyattsville, none will touch a vehicle without documentation, due to the rampant thievery in the region. I doubt the Dodge is stolen in the manner we think about a stolen car. Probably was sitting on a rental property that the tenant abandoned on vacating the place. Landlord had it removed. Recycler said “No papers, no money, hence it’s sitting on the side of the road.

    Over the last 50 years I’ve pulled dozens of abandoned vintage cars & trucks off the side of the road or out of a landlord’s property. Only one was I able to get a title to. about 1986 I found a ’65 6 cyl Mustang coupe by the side of a major highway about 2 miles from my shop. No tags. 100% complete. On the second day it had the State Police orange tag showing it was considered abandoned, not stolen. Hooked up my tow bar to the front bumper and took it home.

    Several weeks later I pick up a hitchhiker walking along the same road [I lived on the road]. Since I had several “beater” cars for sale cheap I asked him if he needed a cheap car. He said yes, because his old Mustang broke down, so he took the tags off and abandoned it. I asked him if the car was blue, and of course he said yes.

    A couple of days later we made a cheap deal and he was riding in a ratty but reliable 1959 VW bug. [Old enough to get historic tags without the dreaded Maryland vehicle inspection*]. As part of the deal, I got the signed title to the Mustang! Found a very rusty ’66 Falcon with a nice 6 cyl engine, and did a quick engine transplant.

    If I was interested, I would contact Hyattsville Police and ask them if they cared if the car ended up in your driveway or garage. Bet the response is “please; help yourself – get it outta Hyattsville!” That won’t be an official response, but it will tell you that a 1946 parts car sitting abandoned on the roadway isn’t high on their priority!

    *Maryland vehicle inspections were implemented in the late 1960s to make it difficult to buy a used car from individuals. By law [still in effect today] you cannot sell a vehicle without first putting it thru inspection, and it must pass in order to sell it. The inspection certificate must be displayed in the side window of the car for sale. There is an exception to this requirement, if you sell it for “rebuilding”.

    The only time a vehicle in Maryland needs to be inspected is when it is sold. I have cars that have been in my possession for 40+ years, and have never been inspected after I bought them. The car dealers love this law because all of their cars go thru the inspection process.

    When it comes to older vehicles, Maryland inspection can be very onerous. Even the slightest crack in the steering wheel [any place on the wheel assembly] and it will not pass. If the crack can be seen, it fails!

    State inspection law says there can be ZERO play in steering joints. I sold a late model Ford Taurus wagon a few years ago. The Ford factory spec for the tie rod ends [when new] allows for 10 thou clearance. 80 thou was the safe limit for play. These had about 20 thou. Had to replace both tie rod ends because they had slight play in them. THE NEW PARTS HAD JUST AS MUCH PLAY! But now it had new parts so it could pass inspection. And of course the new “remanufactured” parts had about 25 thou clearance! “WTF?”

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  20. DrinkinGasoline

    I contacted the Hyattsville police chief’s administrative assistant and the reply was that this was in Prince George’s County P.D.’s jurisdiction. E-mail forwarded.

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  21. Wiley Robinson

    You can run a VIN search to see if it’s stolen. This car will most likely get crushed I’d think.

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  22. Doug Towsley

    Here in Oregon its easy to retitle or get a title, Bad news if you break the law but its not as hard as people think. I realize many have reasons to be afraid and due diligence is the rule, not an exception. I simply write down the VIN and info and walk in to local sheriff and ask… Hey,…Im thinking about another project. Can you check if this is stolen or??? MOST but not all but MOST will happily run numbers. I never had anything that was stolen, But I make clear to ANYONE the first thing I will do is run numbers. Now days I also take a pix of them AND their ID with my phone. Got a problem with it? No deal then.
    But ive gotten some freebies over the years. Datsun 510 off the freeway. The prev owners had sold it a few weeks before and new buyers blew it up and abandoned it. When I explained Oregon law they were mighty happy to sign off the papers making me new owner. I have done this many times.
    An interesting foot note: I cant say about currently but during the 70s up into the 1990s it was very common on military bases for abandoned vehicles. Many reasons. But in some cases GIs simply didnt care, Drove to the Air terminal and left their cars in parking. There was some pretty awesome wrecking yards in Europe on bases. The proceeds of parts sales over costs went to MWR -Morale-Welfare-Recreation which supported the troops in many ways from camping gear to sports equipment. At Ramstein, Frankfurt and Torrejon I shopped for parts. I heard of many others. It was a goal of mine to hit more Military base wrecking yards as some cool vehicles showed up including some cool perf. parts but alas.. only was able to hit a few. But man those were some interesting finds sometimes.

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