20 Classics For Twenty Large!

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I’m guessing that most of us here on Barn Finds would buy more cars if we only had the room for them. We have all been infected by the car lust bug and it’s only harsh reality that prevents us from buying more cars than we will ever need or be able to restore. Many of us continue to dream of having enough space for our own private junkyards.

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But some of us out there do succeed in buying and keeping all the cars we ever wanted and did not need though. Thanks to reader Mike J, here is a pretty good example of collector lust gone awry – a collection of 20 cars from 1930 to 1966 for sale here on craigslist in Louisville, Kentucky for an asking price of $20,000.

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For whatever reason, this collector has decided to part with his treasures, and like so many hoarders we have seen, it seems likely he values them more highly than the market does, and besides, selling 20 cars in one lot is not an easy thing to do.

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Not only do your buyers need to share at least some of your enthusiasm, but they also need to have the wherewithal to move 20 cars, the space to store them, and the patience to sell off the many less desirable cars to finance the cost of restoring the one or two that really stand out from the crowd.

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If you are going to sell 20 cars in one fell swoop, you will need to write a good ad and provide some really great pictures too.

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Unfortunately, in this case, our seller not only does not provide a complete list of his 20 cars, there are no descriptions for any of them, and only a few are even pictured – at long distance too, no details visible.

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While the cars are said to be in “fair shape” by the seller, and among these cars, at least the 1963 Impala SS, the 1957 Chevy wagon, and the 1966 Charger are all desirable cars, with so little information provided and so many challenges ahead, it seems likely that it will take a dealer to handle this collection, albeit at a price lower than what the seller is seeking.

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I’d love to know what Barn Finds readers think of this interesting but mysterious group of cars. Maybe a group of us can form a syndicate? I would not mind owning one of those trucks…

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Comments

  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    I’ve emailed the seller asking for a list of all the cars. I’ll post any reply I get.

  2. John

    Forming a syndicate is what I asked/suggested recently and no one picked me up on. This would seem like a great place to start. The Charger (1966?) on its own could fetch 20m.

    • The Walrus

      Doubtful. Super nice 66/67’s can be had, ready to roll, for $20K. A 68/69 on the other hand would have buyers lined up to take the whole lot for $20K, and then some.

  3. Glen

    I used to own 20 acres, my brother( a mechanic) always said I should turn it into a scrap yard. I should have listened. Made some Maple syrup on it for awhile than sold it, complete with a ’51 Massey Harris tractor.

  4. Dave Wright

    I will write the check if someone lives closer……….this looks like a great opportunity. Love wholesale buys. This looks like a triple your money deal to me.

    • Nessy

      A great opportunity you said? Triple your money too? This will be a hard sell at 20g. There is no way you can triple your money here. 60g? No.

  5. Ben T Spanner

    Long ago, a friend called and stated that he had found a local stash of old British cars. The owner’s widow was not aware of the collection until the husband passed away and people began calling and asking for their garage rent. He lived in an older section of town, with lots of alley garages. He probably had 20 or so, with some holding 2 or 3 cars.

    Every car had partially dismantled. Some garages had 5 or 6 radiators, others several front fenders. The widow did not want to deal with multiple buyers, so my friend contacted one person for each make. I was to buy the Austin Healey “cars” and parts.

    I got to see the contents of one garage. The woman had a ring of 20 or so padlock keys. We found the correct one and pulled the rotten old door open. There was a big Healey with the frame cut off behind the front wheels. It was buried under many piano rolls which spilled out into the alley. At least we saved what was left and had lots of used parts.

    • Barzini

      I have wondered what becomes of cars and parts hoards when the owner passes and the estate may not know what they have. There used to be a GTO collector (Vern the goat man) in Southbury CT who amassed several 1964-66 GTOs and a barn full of parts during the 1970s and 80s. After he passed away, it was never clear what happened to the cars or parts. It’s not hard to imagine an executor who had no idea what he or she had on their hands. I have read stories about honest buyers who did not take advantage of the situation, which always impressed me.

  6. AMC STEVE

    Just from the ones shown you could triple your money. They look like easy flips to, however inspection is required.
    Then you need the space but there you go BF a years worth of flips in one find!

  7. RON

    Wow Would love to have one of those trucks especially the cab over at a reasonable price It would have to be even to just save it as a driver . That takes a lot of room and tires alone would be a small fortune and getting them mounted. If someone winds up with them I would like to hear from them on the cab over

  8. junkman Member

    Dream on you guys, with a ton of work and choreography plus the money for shipping and getting the 3 or 4 good pieces decent enough to sell. You are upside down. Just doesn’t make CENTS. Buy some lottery tickets the chances to win are better. Just sayin…….

    • Nessy

      You are right junkman, there is no way anyone would triple their money in this yard unless there is something really special not shown in the photos….I would be very suprised if someone came in and took away everything for the 20g asking price.

      • Doug Towsley

        You guys saying this is junk and not worth the money are out of touch with reality. When I had my shop I loved buying in bulk, Sell of a percentage to recoup my investment and I have a bunch of nearly free vehicles to work with. Thats how i have 2 FREE Ducatis sitting in my garage among many other vehicles. Certainly on site inspection is needed and logistics, but holy cow folks, this is the way to buy stuff. Im on the wrong side of the country and no longer in the business so im out, but all i can say is this deal is gonna find a very happy home soon. And as they say Cash talks and you know what walks.

  9. Howard A Member

    The trucks are both Dodge’s. The red cabover, forward could be pre or just after the war, (not sure what that front bumper is about, early rookie sticks?) but the blue one is a ’39 or ’40. In ’41 I believe they moved the headlights farther out on the fenders. Cool stuff. Probably the tip of the iceberg.

  10. Woodie Man

    Leaving aside the issue of how far upside down you’d be at the end……. I like every make and model here

  11. Alan (Michigan)

    Look closely in the backgrounds of some of these photos…. Is that an International wagon? ’57 Chevy wagon (black/white)? I see a couple of 60’s Ford pickups as well…
    The ’57 Ford appears to have been set up as a drag car. Nostalgia drags are the rage… I wonder how far it was modified, and whether there is any lettering that would indicate a history?
    Not one, but two 58-60 T-Birds?
    Certainly, logistics for moving the cars would be an issue…. and a place to put them would be needed. But the price… I think that there is an upside available.

  12. Glen

    None of the vehicles seem to be overcome with weeds. That could prove to be a good thing, unless they have been pulled out to show them better.

  13. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    This reminds me of an auction where there were 50+ Corvairs, and, curiously, a bunch of postal trucks. The auctioneer started with the Corvairs. One bid…all for one money. $55 for each car. One bidder. Always wondered how those cars were extracted in a timely manner by this gentleman and his crew. None were rollers.

  14. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Howard’s right on….they do fight over those early sub nose Dodge cab over’s…..what’s under the hood of the Charger….is it a 4 speed….? There are some odd one’s in the back ground….mowed?….that’s a rarity in it self….

  15. Jim

    It’s going to be difficult to sell such an odd grouping of cars and trucks. On the other hand if someone grabs if I’d be interested in the ’57 Fairlane, maybe the snub nose truck.

    • Doug Towsley

      Why would it be difficult? Im confused? You pick the ones you arent interested in, select 2 or 3 that are easiest to prep to sell and start marketing them. Once you have those done, you do another batch.
      I know a guy in Texas that just sold 7 motorcycles in the last 3 weeks. Big D cycle in Dallas just bought out a big collection and currently has 6 bikes up for sale. Theres a guy here locally who has a mix of Industrial equipment and cars and trucks right up the street from me. Sold 2 dozen vehicles in the last 6 months. Theres a shop that opened up about a mile from me. They bring in 2-4 cars per week, and sometime move out just as many. Got several people working there and they flip even more that never come to the shop. Buy at sales, estates and Auctions and have buyers often times before they finish the paperwork. Tough racket, but people do it all the time.

      • Jim

        Difficult meaning it’s a limited market, I can handle one or two at a time, I don’t have the real estate to store twenty vehicles until I sell them off or part them out to keep the one or two I want. Transporting twenty cars gets very pricey, I have a friend who tows for me in exchange for welding ect but if I asked him for twenty tows I’d have to build him a new flatbed. For every 20-30 guys like me there’s one maybe two who could handle that group. All the time you spend handling the group is time away from family, work and your own projects. It all adds up.

  16. Mike

    That trailer looks heavy duty too, something else you could sell. I’d say a person could make a few dollars on this deal, might take a few months but still possible. Don’t just drag them home, clean them up maybe try to get some of them running. etc.

  17. Mike L

    I live in the Louisville area if you are serious and need some one to take a look at this collection.

  18. John Chapman

    Wow, You are talking 20 Classic cars for $20K or B.O. Man, I live in California, And looks like a good Turn over for an investment. But to ship them out to my shop, it would cost me a lot of cash. You all live out there closer, this would pay for it’s self in the long run. Just an option of my own. But I’m retired now, but I used to buy and sell farm equipment and all kind of whatever that came along. I wish that I had my health back and then. I could go out and collect them up. Good Luck with this one?

  19. Bobsmyuncle

    Interesting. It would be risky buying unseen thats for sure. Shipping even across state would be very expensive.

    But if you have a good buddy in the towing business,

    You live fairly close,

    Weren’t in a rush to recoup your money,

    Had space to store them,

    And actually intend to keep one or two,

    This could be a great deal. That’s a lot of factors that need to line up though. I’d really like to see how this plays out in the end.

  20. AMCFAN

    Pics are not current. Louisville has lots of snow currently. Hopefully these are close and you have the time and means to move everything yourself. Paying someone else would be pricy if even possible. Need more info to justify because the money wouldn’t stop after the initial purchase. These are Rust belt cars. Louisville is less then 100 miles from Ohio. The low cut grass isn’t going to help much. They all will have rust.
    Other things to consider. Does everything have a title? Make sure you see them and are transferable to you prior to handing over any cash. Anything without one is usually worth 1/3rd of the price. Many places will not take them for scrap.

    Scrap is at an all time low and makes the real value at about $200 each or $4000. for 20. Roughly figure your fuel cost. X the amount of trips you would be making. Rent a loader. Add the $16K ($20K -$4K real cost) That’s what you would have invested. Hopefully you don’t break any equipment along the way. The damage from wear and teat cannot be measured. You have to take the bad with the good. I do not see a whole lot of good.

  21. John Chapman

    These are some good factors to think about? I talked to a friend of mine that lives in Modesto, Ca. And said basically what you said about this area. He was a car hauler from coast to coast. He retired and sold everything. He told me, to just stay with my one project I’m rebuilding now and be happy with it. I had to agree, and now, I owe him Lunch next week. Lol I hope he doesn’t eat to much?
    Thanks Again,
    John

  22. n2oldcars

    At $1,000 a car, that`s not to bad a deal. Is a 66 charger worth a grand, oh yeah. A 57 wagon, you bet . T- birds, I think so. All and all a good deal, with the caveat that they do have titles.They really should be inspected too! How complete are they? with the price of fuel right now shipping them might not be to bad. Of coarse you got to have the space to keep them though, have the patience to wait to find buyers (or not) Who knows, they might take a cash offer. IF I could, I go for it.

  23. AMCFAN

    The type of vehicles you are considering have minimal value. You are paying $1000 up front each. Depending on where you are moving them you may add at least a minimum of $600. per car. If so that would be cheap. I doubt you could find a transport company with a team of guys spending all day loading. If you do it your self your labor cost will be zero. What is your time worth? You will need help. It won’t be free. How many will you plan to haul at once? How you plan to drag them out? Is your rig 4X4? Hope it isn’t wet and get your truck hung up. Fuel costs. Yes it is low. It still costs per mile. From What I see you will sell a few cars and make money. Some you will trade money on. The bulk you will loose on.

    I know as I was involved in a deal like this along with a friend only it was 25 cars and a few tractors. My buddy made the deal. At first everything had titles. Then most did after we paid. Titles were still in previous owners name. Who passed away. It got worse. It took 6 weeks for 4 people to navigate and our travel time to and from was about 130 miles. The last 5 was on a one lane gravel road that our trucks would barely fit. That five miles felt like 30. You can never plan enough. Every thing bad that could happen did. My buddy was trying to get a hook on something secure on a 70 Chevelle that had sat so long it sunk into the ground. Reaching under the car he got bit by a snake. Had no cell service. 45 min. from a hospital. When there neither one of us knew what kind it was. In the end we paid the guy to clean up his field and beat the hell out of our trucks and equipment in the process. We each more or less broke even only because scrap prices were at a record high. Unless you have the resources and the know how to attempt a job like this don’t do it. It is better to buy them one at a time. Leave it to the guys on TV

  24. Jim

    That 25 car deal sounds like something Satan put together for you guys. I have a quick story that’s the opposite, I went with a friend any 10yrs ago to pull a one car trailer to help with a 6 car buy he made, all fifties sedans. We prepared for the worst, tires and wheeld, jacks, chains, shovels, lumber and my 12,000lb winch that plugs into my receiver hitch. When we got there Saturday we found the farmers son didn’t want people tearing up his Apple orchard, he used his giant tractor with forks to lift them out and line them up in front of the main barn on a hard packed dirt lot, even aired up the tires(ones that had them). It took an hour to load all the trailers, I even bought a drill press from his son. Great day! But very rare, I’ve also spent hours cutting down two trees that had grown up through the bed of a ’35 Chevy pickup then cut a few more to get the trailer in and out of the woods. It’s all fun and I hope to go again.

  25. Doug Towsley

    Well, I guess this comes down to seeing a glass half full or half empty. It is NOT worth getting excited over if you are not close by or at least in the same state. That is a given right there.
    But it is all about how you pursue opportunities. Too little information to go on, but It IS possible to work out a deal to use a tractor on site and or fork lift, looks like there is likely to be that kind of resource on that property. I have rented and or commandeered property from people before. Who is to say you dont re-arrange the vehicles into one small area, Set aside what you want, and resell the ones you dont want to monetize the buy/flip right there? Dont know until you ask or find out. Maybe one of the neighbors has a barn or storage for rent? Its also ALL about networking. I know guys in the tow business’s I also have a neighbor who has a farm with 2 18 wheelers with low boy flat bed trailers. He has loaned one to me before and I paid his brother to operate one once as well. Bet i could fit a lot of vehicles on those flat beds. I also know a lot of truckers who work for cash. It is true deals can go south, and things can get complicated but from what I saw, that looks like an attractive deal. Certainly if you live in a subdivision, Condo, trailer park and dont own the land or facilities this is a non starter. I live in the country have property and have the resources. Wrong side of the US so its a nonstarter for me. But i am sure someones going to get this stuff unless there is other issues. Check this guy out, Recently did business with him and if this was anywhere in a 400 mile radius of him he would be on site so fast your head would spin. See: http://www.industrialsurplusoregon.com/

  26. Jim

    That’s it, the more homework you do the better and makes things much easier when there’s less surprises. One thing you mention I’ve never come across is the property owners allowing the vehicles to remain on site to be resold, that would be like hitting the lottery, I’m sure it’s happened just not to any friends or myself, some will give a few days to arrange transport but once money changes hands get ’em outta here!

  27. Doug Towsley

    Well I agree with you Jim, Both with the research and being open to new ideas and options. My suggestion with the property generally doesnt work out. I did have success on a couple occasions where I was just dealing with the most spectacular families who were REALLY happy to get help clearing out estate and horder situations.
    In one case I found a neighbor who was so happy to see the places cleaned up he came in with his sons and helped us as well as allowed me to store stuff in his barns while we made arrangements and transport. Small community and was more than happy to run off people poking around. He was a gem.
    But in general, I agree. Heck I have had stuff stolen after buying it. Just took in some shop equipment and inventory from an old friends business. The family had a bunch of relatives who were drug addicts and they were stealing stuff left and right. The guys sister begged me to come clean out what remained before it was all gone.
    While I am not looking for shop inventory anymore, Ran across a deal 2 years ago in Atlanta. Hoarder inventory of cars and motorcycles. I told one of my overseas guys about it. I warned him it was risky and we paid a friend to go on site to protect the purchase but still,,, We couldnt get the stuff out fast enough and in a 30 minute window the neighbors came over and stole 2 motorcycles while he was hauling stuff to a secure storage facility.
    I also made the mistake of trusting people I knew, And had 2 occasions where I didnt move large inventory fast enough and the SOBs resold some of my stuff. I could go on and on about examples but sometimes it can be difficult to manage the resources to pull these things off. My point is, Sometimes it works out, sometimes not.

  28. Doug Towsley

    Oh, one last example. Estate sales and situations are especially troublesome. In those case some family just wants stuff gone. But others are emotional and want to save everything and can be VERY irrational. Some, the most dangerous are in a power struggle and feud. We had at our museum a family contact us to donate a very cool vintage vehicle. We display some, but also sell items to fund our non profit museum so we always talk to people about their donation and strategy’s both to benefit them as well as support our museum.(This happens all the time actually) So about 2 years ago in one case we got a really sweet donation we all were very happy about. About 6 months later we got a very nasty demand letter from a lawyer demanding the return of the vehicle. As I recall we had already been working on it. We took a vote and although we COULD have fought it legally and been in the right, the museum board chose to just hand over the vehicle even though the relative had no legal claim. The consensus was it was not worth spending money on legal defense and bad press. Believe me, This did not go over well with anyone but it helps to be philosophical about such people whether you believe in Kharma or whatever.

  29. Jim

    Somebody in the family decided they were going to make a fortune on the car I’m sure. I’m hoping you brought it back in pieces anyway. I’m sure the six months would have worked in your favor but you’re right the bad press could have been a bigger issue. There are way too many lawyers willing to pervert our legal system at any means and it’s allowed to continue like a runaway train. But I won’t use this forum for political anything, we’re here for fun.

  30. Doug Towsley

    Well Jim, I think we are both on the same page. Most relevant to this forum is the point that there are reasonable people and those who are not for a variety of reasons. I was looking at a number of vintage vehicles last night on Feebay that i find interesting and trying to control the urges not to email the sellers and telling them their ads are terrible or they are full of BS. Its hard sometimes to restrain myself.
    One guy with only 1 picture, no description and a price double fair market value. Another with claims their vehicles is the BEST you will ever find of this marque (Not by a long shot) along with some very destructive and poor restoration practices (idiot) and then, to cap it all off misleading references to celebritys to enhance its value when in fact no connection exists. (McQueen, Dylan, Elvis) Some forums have a section where you can post the worst such eBay and CL ads and can be entertaining or at least a how-to on what NOT to do.
    As to lawyers, my FIL who is a retired Police detective often likes to say “Remember that with all Doctors and Lawyers, 50% graduated in the bottom of their class”. My Dad was a lawyer and while I am biased, I think he was one of the good ones. But like anyone he had his flaws. He was REALLY good at giving advice to others yet failed at times to follow his own. While he orchestrated his own estate so it should have been turn key it turned into a acrimonious mess and some horrible spitefull things happened and not unusual at all in estate situations. Thats my point of my warning. Tread VERY carefully when dealing with assets in a estate. One of my Dads old associates also gave me some good advice worth remembering. He said “In estate law, If you are a good lawyer you do the best job you can for both the client that hired you as well as the interests of ALL the beneficiaries. Settle disputes quickly, be transparent and avoid obvious problems. Settle the estate as quickly as possible and in the end leave no questions about how things were handled. If you do that you will get ALL the work you need. BUT, and its a BIG BUT, there are SOME attorneys out there who exploit the situation, incite discord, stir the pot and try and get the principles to go to war against each other in order to rack up billable hours and profit as much as possible, Those are the bottom feeders in the profession” So I thought that sums up the problems in a nut shell.

  31. Jim

    You’ll get no arguments from me, in all trades and walks of life I believe most people are just decent hard working folks trying to make a living and take care if their families. It’s the thieves and knuckleheads that stand out in the crowd. Most lawyers are probably good at what they do(I have one), but when you encounter a bad one it usually costs you money and lost sleep. My wife was a nurse for 25yrs before she passed and although I grew up thinking whatever a Dr said was always right I learned from her to not trust them until they’ve earned your trust, just cause daddy had enough money to pay for medical school and were able to remember enough to pass the tests doesn’t make them a good Dr. I’ve walked out of a few drs offices when I realized they weren’t going to help me just their income. I happy to say I’ve found most car guys to be good people, like people with dogs it seems easy to get along with them. Being a service manager in Ford Lincoln Mercury dealers I’ve wanted to personally main or kill some car salesman for the crap they pull cause I usually had to clean up the mess, in general car dealers isn’t a nice business, I have met a few salespeople who didn’t rob every customer possible and I’m still friends with them, they are the few. I too have looked at a few “professional restorations” and almost lost my lunch, body filler 3/4″ thick, cracked chassis covered with undercoating, vinyl tops glued down over rust, engines filled with 90w oil to name a few of the ones that stand out, again it’s not all but those you remember and learn from. On the other hand my 72 Monte + 69 Torino I bought out of state and wasn’t able to fly out to go see but the sellers were more than helpful, sent me tons of pics and helped when the transporter came to pickup, when both cars arrived they had given me extra spare parts. The gentleman who sold me the Torino actually sent me a very large box of parts and manuals after he finished cleaning the garage, he wouldn’t take any additional money so my wife did some homework and we sent a $100 gift certificate for a nice local restaurant to him. We still stay in touch. I think you need to do your homework with anything in life, the more knowledge you have the less chance of getting burned, you can’t avoid every possible problem but it cuts down on lost sleep. Doug if you’re ever in the nyc area let me know, I’d like to sit and talk awhile.

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