Old Junkyard

Jeff in the Junkyard: Memory Lane

I decided to go a bit old-school this week and post some finds from yards I used to visit. I say “used” because they’ve since been cleared of anything remotely interesting and replaced with late-model garbage from the major U.S. car brands. Of course, the bitter pill I swallow every time I look at these photos is realizing how many good parts I passed up – these were taken at a time when I was more looking for photos than parts! Read more »

1972 Pantera

1972 DeTomaso Pantera: Stored Supercar

This 1972 DeTomaso Pantera is said to have been recently removed from barn storage and is now listed here on eBay with a Buy-it-Now of $65,000. More and more, these Italian-bodied, American-powered supercars are being offered with the promise of significant returns as the high watermark for sale prices continues to move upwards. This example is said to be a low-mileage, early car with only 13,500 original miles. Despite this, it was still repainted prior to going into storage so some originality has been lost. David recently wrote up a barn find DeTomaso discovered on craigslist and listed for $25K, which seems like a far better price for a car that isn’t known for its cheap maintenance or restoration costs. While I agree with the seller that these cars will continue to enjoy steady increases in value, $65K seems to put him ahead of the curve for a car that’s already been repainted once. What do you think – is this is a shrewd investment or a case of too much, too soon?

1978 California Daytona Spider

The California Daytona Spider!

Now, don’t get too excited! This isn’t actually a real Ferrari Daytona. It’s a California Daytona Spider and it’s a dang good replica. It was built by Tom McBurnie and is based of off a 1978 Corvette. McBurnie actually made molds off a real 365 GTS/4 Spyder and had planned to make a few changes and sell the car as his own. A few of the completed cars even made their way onto the set of Miami Vice, but the company ended up running into legal problems and production stopped. The owner of this one had it commissioned back in 1990, but it took two years to get it back. The excitement had sort of fizzled by then, so the car ended up sitting in storage for many years until now. It is now listed here on eBay and the auction ends tomorrow. It may not be a real Daytona, but this might be as close as many of us will ever get. Thanks goes to Frank F. for the tip! Read more »

Woodland Treasures

Jeff In The Junkyard: Woodland Treasures

I had to find some new territory recently. It was bittersweet, in a way, because this latest yard represented the last of my “new” places on a list of six yards I identified over the winter. So, I’ll need to find some new stomping grounds to keep things fresh, but this particular yard has so much hidden in the woods that I’ll likely go back for multiple visits. The big score of the day: a set of very clean factory Recaro sport seats! Now, onto the finds! Read more »

Fiat 500

1959 Fiat 500 Nuova: Frog Eyed

You don’t think of Fiat 500s as being rare, but this frog eyed 1959 Fiat Nuova convertible is indeed rare. Don’t get too excited, they call it a convertible, but it just has a large (for this little car) sunroof. The 35,000 miles on this car must have been fun miles.The engine is not seized but the floor pans will need some help. Also, there is no interior except for the seat frames. Thankfully, parts are easy to find. Did you see the little guy on the dash? Wouldn’t you like to give him a new home? Bidding for this patina covered frog eye is at only $1625. You can find it here on eBay in Shawnee, Kansas.

1957 Dual Ghia

1957 Dual Ghia: One Of 117

Here’s one you don’t see everyday: a 1957 Dual Ghia convertible, listed here on eBay with an asking price of $185,000 and the option to submit a best offer. As far as rare vehicles go, the Dual Ghia is certainly worthy of respect: only 117 examples ever assembled and far fewer known to exist today. These cars were a short-lived dream by Dual’s founder, Eugene Casaroll, whose company orchestrated the shipment of a Dodge-supplied chassis to Italy where Ghia installed the hand-built body and assembled the interior. Then, it was sent back to the U.S. to receive a Dodge V-8 powerplant and PowerFlite automatic transmission. This example on eBay is said to be fresh out of long-term ownership and ready for restoration, but given the lack of information in the listing, it’s hard to determine how much work is needed. The body appears straight and the interior mostly complete, but an original Ghia would be shod with gorgeous wire wheels instead of the unsightly black steelies it currently rides on. Determining how much of the car remains original versus what would need to be replaced or fabricated will likely be an important step in assessing its current value, but even with that in mind, finding a car this rare in project condition may be unrepeatable for quite some time.

1926 Fiat 509 Torpedo

1926 Fiat 509 Torpedo: Italian Barn Find

When most of us think of Fiat, images of compact cars come to mind, but this 116 year old company hasn’t always built small cars. At one time, they were the Ford of Italy and produced just about every type of vehicle imaginable. Take this 1926 509 Torpedo, which could almost be mistaken for a Ford or Chevy of similar vintage. It has been parked in this barn in Sicily, Italy for the past 50 years, yet looks to be complete and solid. I love the Torpedo body, although a spyder might be a bit more fun! These cars were known for their luxury and surprisingly enjoyable steering. This one is going to need to be restored, at least mechanically, and really deserves to be preserved! You can find it here on eBay with a BIN of $15,500 and the option to make an offer!

Siata Spring

1970 Siata Spring: Topless Oddball

We last featured a Siata Spring in May, 2015 and that one gave clear indication that these cars can rust underneath while looking fairly solid on top. That makes me very cautious looking closely at this find from Jim S, which is for sale here on eBay. The Siata is located in Carlsbad, California, and has a buy-it-now price of $7,000 but the seller is entertaining lower offers. These cars were built on the contemporary Fiat 850 platform but with a very different body. This one is showing rust on a lot of edges and some previous bodywork around the nose. The side curtains are missing and although the engine turns freely, the car does not run and has been off the road for about 10 years. The seller is the third owner and states the second owner, a friend, used the car to travel around Hollywood back in the 1970’s; I can see where this car would be well-suited to that task. The fact that the pictures include jumper cables, a removed air filter and a fresh electric fuel pump lead me to believe someone tried to start the car but was unsuccessful. I’m thinking the buy-it-now price is high for the car, but who knows what kind of offer the seller would accept? What do you think this find is worth in it’s current condition?

Ferrari 275 GTB-4

Ferrari 275 GTB4 Found In Venezuela

A while back, I received an email from Alvin A about some Mercedes 300SLs that he and his father had found in his native Venezuela, you can read that story here. Along the way he just happened mention something about a Ferrari too, so being the car fanatic that I am, I had to ask him about it. He told me he would get me some photos of it and he has followed through with his promise. As you can see from this somewhat blurry photo, Alvin’s father is clearly standing next to a Ferrari 275 GTB/4! Read more »


1971 Fiat 850 Racer: Ambition Required

So I had to do some digging to see if this 1971 Fiat 850 Racer on eBay was a case of a poorly-worded description or a project car worth looking at. It turns out there was indeed a ‘Racer’ designation given to some of these rear-engined coupes that were originally designed by Bertone. Calling it a Racer was by no means a case of excessive marketing jargon, however – Bertone actually prepared one to compete in the 1969 Monte Carlo Rally to demonstrate the car’s capabilities. Sadly, this example is a long way from competing in anything and the seller has set the price to reflect its condition, noting that the no-reserve listing opens at scrap value. It’d be a shame to see a rare car like this Fiat 850 Racer scrapped, but you’ll need some relatively deep pockets to bring this one back. Of course, if someone snags it for $300, there may be some room budget-wise to keep it from being an upside-down investment. Would any of you take a chance on bringing this one back?


Stored for 40 Years: 1961 Fiat 1200

A classic barn find here! Located in Charlotte, North Carolina and listed here on eBay with an opening bid of $2,000 (with reserve not yet met), this Fiat 1200 convertible has been waiting to be rescued for 40 years! Taken off the road for a leaky top at 57k miles, this largely unmolested car has almost no rust and looks very complete. The seller has even loaded a collection of photos here in addition to the ones in the eBay listing. There’s no mention of engine condition in the auction, but I was able to find a parts specialist here that seems to have most of what you would need to perform a complete rebuild if necessary. The seller even thinks the paint could be brought back to “new condition,” I don’t know about that but I’ll bet it would be perfectly acceptable once cleaned and detailed. Let us know if you’re interested!

1971 Pantera

1971 DeTomaso Pantera: Barn Fresh

Here’s an exciting find, a 1971 Pantera with only 18,000 miles! This is one of those poster cars, found hanging on the walls of many future gear-heads. This was the first year of the Pantera, replacing the Mangusta. The Ford 351 V8 had lots of torque, which meant you weren’t always having to shift, plus parts are quite easy to find. It was rated at 330 horsepower, but like other cars of the day, that was conservative and about 30 to 40 horsepower low. The pedals were offset, so seating was a bit funny and six feet was about as tall as a driver could be, but that’s not bad for a car like this. Pantera values have been climbing, with nice cars selling for $40,000 to $50,000 dollars. This one could be worth a decent amount with some work, so the $25,000 he’s asking doesn’t seem too bad. Find it here on craigslist. So, if you have the means and you’re under six feet tall, you could soon be stylin’ in your very own mid-engined supercar! Did you have a Pantera poster hanging on your wall as a kid?