Calendar Car: Tragic Triumph

tragic-triumph

If you recognize this car, then you must own our 2013 calendar. This Triumph is January’s featured find and we just wanted to let everyone know a little more about it. When we requested images for the calendar, reader and professional barn finder Dan H. flooded our inbox with photos of his discoveries. He has been trying to wrangle this particular one away from the owner for a few years now, but they just won’t let it go. Here is what Dan had to say:

The old blue Triumph sits, and sits, and sits in front of a tidy two story craftsmen house pretty deep in the ghetto. An old white guy owns it and he’s very kind to me every time I stop by. He tells me that he’s thinking of selling it but isn’t sure. Well one things for sure, he’s not getting any younger and the Triumph isn’t going to fix itself! I guess I’ll just wait this one out and see what develops. Apparently he also has two front clips that are a part of the deal. I think I’ll go check back in with the fellow and see how his bass fishing is going. Maybe I’ll get lucky but don’t hold your breath. I’ve been going over there 5 years now.

Well Dan, thanks for sharing and we wish you luck with this one. Sometimes the best finds take time to acquire, but the relationships made through the process truly are the most valuable. Does anyone have any good tales of people they have meet and friends they have made through our shared interest of car hunting?

WANT ADS

WANTED 1983-1986 Pontiac Grand Prix Looking for (White) preferably Grand Prix – Bucket Seats – Console – Maroon interior – Original Contact

WANTED 1986 – 1987 Chevrolet El Camino SS or Choo Choo Mint low mileage car , prefer white Contact

WANTED 1970 or 1071 Ford Torino squire wagon Looking for nice car ready to drive. Might consider rust free car to build. Contact

WANTED 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix Looking for reasonable shape rust free car in the Midwest $14,000 to $16,000 Contact

WANTED 1984 -1985 Ford EXP Ideally rust free, solid running car w/ man. trans. Prefer ’84, ’85 Turbo model. Or 86 Contact

Submit Your Want Ad

Comments

  1. scot c

    ~ best luck to Dan. i once left my business card under the wiper of an old Buick that interested me, asking if it might be for sale. i hadn’t quite forgotten the car 4 years later when i got a call from the attorney for the owners estate. the old guy’s son found the note i had left and told the lawyer to find out if i was still interested. i bought the car the following day and owned it for several years, and eventually wound up with 2 more, same year and model. the beginning of my Buick stable.
    . i feel fortunate to share a passion for cars with most of the people who are my closest friends, i just checked facebook and saw that 9 of my fb friends ‘liked’ Barn Finds.

  2. Horse Radish

    Jesse! I just got your calendar today and it is awesome, many thanks for doing that !

    As a fellow car enthusiast, but more an owner sympathizer so to speak to this and other owners:
    I would love to hear Dan’s CREDENTIALS::
    How many cars has he bought and sold ?
    and OF THOSE: HOW MANY HAS HE IMPROVED IN A N Y WAY ??,
    let alone restored, painted, reupholstered, rebuilt drive trains or improved otherwise.
    I myself am sharing my passion for old cars with anybody who wants to,
    As a few of my cars are showing to the outside world it is unavoidable to not get these notes, stuck to the fence or wedged under the windshield wipers.
    How about one DUCT-TAPED to a windshield (just today !).
    How apt/keen would you be to talk to this individual ?
    They all profess their total enthusiasm for that object of their desire that they have just discovered, (hidden from the rest of the world?).
    Now it’s just leaving it open for me to figure out, if they just feel they could pull off a nice fat profit by landing this deal in their lap.
    My motivation lies in assuring most of my car’s survival, as I have rescued the majority from the jaws of the crusher.
    Had I any interest in making a fortune off them I would have done so long time ago (and I may still do so).
    it is an insult to my intelligence when they pull up in front of my door and ask me to
    make them a deal.
    I have all but given up in finding the right buyer/s.
    I will have to restore my cars myself or part them all out…end of story.

    • Horse Radish

      Wow, I got shot down.
      BUT I guess merely the fact of NOT giving me a reply, but just a thumbs down validates part of my statement, flippers going around.

  3. FreeRider

    I remember stopping about every 6mos at a car & got the same story that it wasn’t for sale. Finally about 6yrs later & I moved several times but kept the same number I got a call & they said they were ready to sell & wanted almost the price of a new car. But then I didn’t have enough money even if I wanted to pay their price. So I had to pass only to check on it about 8mos later & it was still there & I bought it for the price I wanted to pay for it.

  4. Charles Gould

    Having hunted barn find cars for over forty years, and having successfully acquired literally hundreds of interesting old cars, trucks, RV’s busses, motorcycles and scooters in that time period, I have to disagree with Horse Radish. I have improved, or enhanced almost every single car that I have ever touched. Sometimes, that may mean simply saving it from exposure to the elements at the hands of the previous owner, while other times, that has included full restorations and everything in between.
    While I have sold some of my cars at a profit and some at a loss, I have retained a huge majority of the cars that I have acquired, so much so, that I had to buy an old warehouse and rent a second one to store them in. I agree that if you simply leave cars visable to the public, and judge the quality or intentions of your buyer from the tiny number of people who see your car, and leave a note to inquire about it, you may not be meeting the “right buyers” because finding the “right buyer”, who is passionate about your particular project, and who will do it justice (according to your criteria), requires a bit more effort than that. However, please do not forget that while we can become quite particular about who is deserving of our treasures, or who is willing to pay enough for them, there is still the possibility that some family member or estate attorney will sell the entire collection at substantially less than we had hoped for after we are gone, so don’t be too unreasonable in parting with the projects that you will never get to in your lifetime.
    Sure, there are opportunists and others who merely want to “flip” cars, but if you are a saavy entuhusast. they won’t want your car anyway, becuase you will likely not sell it at a low enough price for them to make a sizable enough profit on it. That doesn’t mean thatthey are wrong for trying, as you can simply refuse. However, I have left hundreds of notes on windshields, and I have bought some of those cars, and paid a very fair price for them to sellers who were thrilled to get them into the hands of someone who would take care of them.
    Also, those of us who keep cars (or horde them, depending on your point of view), tend to think that our stuff is more valuable than the market will actually bear, and we tend not to recognize that the ravages of time havbe taken their toll (especially on stuff stored outdoors). As a result, we tend to still want the old value even though the car may have deteriorated outside for years, and that may be why the offers on Jesse’s cars may have been disapopointing. That is why I sought the warehouses to truly protect these old cars, and why I try to keep nearly everything in running condition, and try to drive and use them often, and to share them with others by offering rides, or allowing friends to drive several so that the cars can all get exercised on a regular basis.
    It is not always heroic to save a car from the crusher, only to let it detriorate in the lower back forty exposed to the elements. Most car guys that I know are pretty passionate about almost anything automotive, and most negotiate aggressively to get a good deal, whether for themselves or to resell, but I can tell pretty easily who will love their new acquisition, and who merely sees dollar signs and profit. You can tell just by speaking with someone.
    I also do not begrudge someone making a reasonable profit on a car, and I am quite certain that very few of use would sell our prized posessions for what we paid for them, even if that is just a result of market appreciation over the time that we have owned them. If everyone is reasonable in their expectation of profit, there is room for everyone in the chain of ownership to have a little fun, and make a little money. If anyone in that chain is greedy along the way, then all of the profit (and usually all of the fun) is sucked out of that particular vehicle, as subsequent owners realize that their car is no longer worth what they paid for it. But I am a firm beleiver in Karma, and these things come around.
    While I appreciate watching the American Pickers show, one of the things that I really hate, is that they speak of their passion for the things that they buy, and then they immediately describe their profit as they intend to flip everything. That is NOT a passion for the article, but only a passion for the profit.
    If I intend to sell a project car that either requires a lot of work, or is not particularly valuable, I really try to find a younger enthusiast to pass the passion to, and I try to help them along with the project, buy lending tools, advice, encourragement or actually helping them repair or work on the car. I do this because the younger generation is getting lost from the hobby. They are getting priced out of the market, and many would prefer to have a virtual automotive experience on their computers, than to actually get their hands greasy under the hood of an old car. If you can instill the passion of collecting old cars in the next generation, the hobby will be passed on to them, and they will care for our collections when we are gone. If not, the hobby will be lost (or limited to “flippers”) and all of our old junk will decline in value as we lose interest, or as we lose our pulse.
    Chas

    • Horse Radish

      Hats off.
      I guess you nailed it .
      You would be the first I’d sell a car to, even for less, knowing it goes to a good home.

    • Dolphin Member

      “That is why I sought the warehouses to truly protect these old cars, and why I try to keep nearly everything in running condition, and try to drive and use them often, and to share them with others by offering rides, or allowing friends to drive several so that the cars can all get exercised on a regular basis.
      It is not always heroic to save a car from the crusher, only to let it detriorate in the lower back forty exposed to the elements.”

      Amen. That’s a really important part of the old/classic/vintage car hobby—not just keeping them away from the crusher, but keeping them from collapsing into a pile of dry rubber/plastic bits and rust flakes. Too often we see an interesting car that’s recently become available on Barn Finds / eBay / Craigslist, and it’s been saved from the crusher all right, but it’s suffered rain, snow, wind, sun damage in the back forty or in a barn with a leaky roof and lots of birds crapping on it, and it’s going to be a lot more work than if someone found a closed, dry place to store it. I have found unused garages in some of the places I have lived and used them for car storage and often you can get a deal because they are going unused.

      It’s great to hear the point made on Barn Finds that putting a car in a warehouse and starting/driving it once in a while is the next best thing you can do for the car hobby after not sending it to the crusher.

  5. 1750GTV

    @ Charles Gould,
    Well said.

  6. Tim H

    @ Charles Gould said ” If you can instill the passion of collecting old cars in the next generation, the hobby will be passed on to them”

    Why would you want to pass our insanity on?

  7. Mike H

    I knew of a Morris convertible but the guy didn’t want to sell. I called every six months for nearly 3 years. One day I got the call—he wanted to sell. Got the Morris and an AH Sprite for $75, So, asking never hurts, unless you’re asking Horse Radish.

    • Horse Radish

      What did you do with the cars ??
      Why would I sell you a car for $75, when I know you’ll load it onto a trailer and wheel it to the metal yard ??

      • Mike H

        You are a cynic aren’t you. It was two cars for $75 and that was in 1973. I still have the Morris, fully restored and a show winner. The AE Sprite, really a parts car, the engine was in the trunk, I gave to a friend who completely restored it.

  8. John D

    I have hollered to a guy about buying his car while driving down the street. A few months later he spun a wheel bearing, did not want to deal with it and gave me a call.

    At my car dealership, we often joked to get rid of a sales resistent car that we should leave the keys in it with the signed title and $10 for gas taped to the windshield. I never tried it though as it would be insurance fraud, but the joke came up too often.

    • GaThunder300

      Hey John!
      Next time you run into that situation, CALL ME!! :)
      I even have a Trailer, and can cover it until I am out of the State…
      even a “Dog” car can be made into something nice, and given a fresh opportunity in life!

  9. FRED

    I REMEMBER MY FIRST STALKING. I WAS 14YRS OLD AND A PAPERBOY AND EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE I WOULD GO TO THIS HOUSE TO COLLECT AND THERE IT WAS. THIS WENT ON TILL I WAS 16 AND GOT MY FIRST REAL JOB AT FIRESTONE I GOT MY FIRST BRAND NEW CAR A 1974 DODGE COLT THAT THE OLD LADY UP THE STREET COSIGNED FOR ME.I DID EVERYTHING YOU COULD DO TO THAT CAR.WHEELS AND TIRES,SUSPENSION LIFT A HEADER WITH A CHERRY BOMB MUFFLER AND OTHER GOODIES. I WOULD STILL DO MY STALKING BUT COULD NEVER MAKE A DEAL. I TURN 18 AND MAKING MORE MONEY THAN I KNEW WHAT TO DO WITHSTILL AT THE FIRESTONE STORE BUYING OLDER CARS AND FIXING THEM UP AND SELLING THEM.IT HAD BEEN A WHILE SINCE MY LAST VISIT SO I STOP BY TO SEE IF I COULD GET IT.HIS WIFE ANSWERS THE DOOR AND INFORMS ME GEORGE PASSED AWAY.I PAID MY RESPECTS AND WAS READY TO LEAVE AND SHE REMEMBERED ME AS THE PAPERBOY WHO WANTED WHAT WAS IN THE GARAGE,SHE ASKED ME HOW MUCH HER HUSBAND WAS ASKING AND I SAID $5,000 .SHE SAID IT WAS JUST TAKING UP SPACE AND SAID IF I HAD $$2,500 IT WAS MINE.AT THAT TIME I ALWAYS HAD $3,000 WHAT IF MONEY WITH ME.I PAID HER AND OPENED THE GARAGE AND THERE IT WAS.A1966 HARLEY-DAVIDSON FULL DRESSER.I STARTED IT UP AND TOLD HER I WOULD PICK UP MY CAR LATER AND OFF INTO THE SUNSET I RIDE. THUS BEGAN MY LOVE FOR HARLEY’S AND STALKING OLD GARAGES,SHEDS AND BARNS FOR THE NEXT DREAM RIDE.MY 23YR OLD SON LIL LITTLE FREDDIE ALL 6FT7IN OF HIM IS CRUISING AROUND ON IT.I WILL NEVER SELL IT NOR WILL HE.GOOD HUNTING GUYS.

  10. Doug M Member

    Hey! Thanks for this variation on comments… Horse Radish! Do not despair! I, too, am pretty much like Charles Gould, except that I don’t have the room or money to keep all my projects. I have met others, too, who do this out of love and respect for the cars. I love the chase, and the challenge of bringing an old classic back to a solid driver that others can enjoy. I sometimes, I feel like I should lurk around, fearing that I’ll be labelled a flipper, but I know that my love of cars and hands-on working on them will keep me in it for years to come (and I have been doing this for 40 years already -but always as a sidelight to my day job). Anyway, being a CPA, I almost always budget my projects out to keep from going upside down…. but profit is not my top motive. If I know that I can at least break even, and if my find is interesting, then I’ll often pull the trigger because I know that my project will help support my local friends in the upholstery shop, or our local, quaint, British repair specialty shop, etc. I don’t want them to give up as new cars become less user friendly. Each of my finds becomes “part of my family” for the 6 months to a year that I own it… and then it is ready to move on. I always say that when I stand back and look at a project and wish I had a bigger garage to keep it, -that is when my job is done and it is ready to move on. And for some unknown reason, my tastes are all over the board! I am currently working on a 72 FJ 55 Land Cruiser, and a 75 BMW 2002. In my inventory are two Porsche 914’s, two 912’s, another BMW 2002, a 66 BMW 1800ti, a Volvo 1800es and a 67 122 Wagon, and one 1952 Chevy coupe. And I usually include a British sports car once every few years. I do almost all my own detail work, but rely on others for upholstery and finer mechanical tuning. I recently even took on building a full set of custom luggage for a 1958 Mercedes Benz I worked over! I used to paint cars when I was in college, so I still do that myself. I usually end up with about 100+ hours into each of my projects before they are done. And, of course, I keep a photo book of all my cars starting with my first one back in 1970. I have collected pics of some of them at my my site http://porscheguy.blogspot.com/ for others to see. But, as you might guess from my inventory list, once I complete one of my “treasures” the only sane thing to do is to sell it. Otherwise, dry storage becomes a real problem. So, thanks for letting me lie down on the Psycho-couch and talk about my car obsession. I know there are still a lot of us who do this and are not just greedy opportunists… And thanks to this site, we can share the fun! (cars of mine that have been shown on Barn Finds include a white 1968 TR-250 and a silver 1958 Mercedes Benz)

  11. Doug M Member

    OH…. sorry, I got carried away by Horse Radish’s comments! I meant to answer the real question: “interesting follow ups from car notes.” I once tried and tried to talk an old guy out of a 1964 Chevelle Malibu convertible without motor and in rough shape, but not much rust. He absolutely wouldn’t sell unless I had lots of money!! About a year later he called me up and said “come get this car outta my field! I want it gone this weekend! …and you can just HAVE IT!” …..If course, I was surprised…but I wasted not time in getting over there with a trailer, either!!

    • Dolphin Member

      Great example, Doug. Guys with unrealistic ideas about how much their old car is worth often get to the point that they want the car gone NOW.

      You might need to wait a while until ‘NOW’ comes, but it usually comes sooner or later.

  12. geomechs geomechs Member

    It’s a difficult situation seeing a car or truck sitting outside untouched for years and the owner doesn’t want to part with it. I’ve been partial to ’38 Ford pickups for over 50 years but haven’t been able to get my hands on one. I’ve been as close as (last week in fact) under a minute to buy one but it hasn’t been in the cards for me.

    I stalked one for a number of years. The owner wasn’t fussy about selling it so I just kept in touch with the owner and his wife and remained on friendly terms with them (and we’re still on good terms today). Trouble was, another guy was after the truck too. Well, the owner’s wife often mentioned that they should allow that old truck to go to a new home. One day I heard that the owner had to be hospitalized so I went to see him. I didn’t say anything about the truck at that time but he did. I kept my cool and just kept tabs until he was out of the hospital only to find out that his wife had sold it to my competition.

    The end of the story was quite tragic. The new owner promised that he was going to restore it into its original state. But I knew who he was and that restoration was the last thing on his mind. I was right. The ‘creation’ he came up with would’ve made the worst butcher weep; it barely resembled the original and the workmanship left a lot to be desired. I’ve been tempted to show the original owners a picture but I’m sure that it would finish the old fellow off. And that would just bring my bitterness to the surface where everyone can see.

  13. Danger Dan

    Ahhhh Mr. Horse Radish, I enjoy your comments here as well as other sites,

    My credentials are as follows:
    1. College Drop Out
    2. Washed up mtn. bike racer
    3. Underground rap star
    I have been leaving notes, knocking on doors & scouring the local ads since 1986 when I first got my drivers license. My father kept a herd of Peugeot 403’s in the back of our brown shingle. Our elderly neighbor had convinced him they should buy every one in sight for $100 or less. The older dudes always had hot rides so why wouldn’t a young guy want the baddest wheels you could get? Did you think I was going to go down to the dealer? No! I would hunt the cars with 4 flat tires, broken windows, cat pee interior & no title or keys. Then the older guys would mercilessly bust my chops as I had to beg them to instruct me on the installation of a starter, alternator or heavens to Betsy a tranny. I’m a self taught wrench & do my best every time to do it right so the next guy doesn’t have to. I have formed friendships with both buyers & sellers. Most recently I bought, towed & disposed of 3 clunkers so I could pull an old norton out of the garage. The family was so happy to get their driveway back after 20 years that we laughed, shook hands, clapped backs & drank beer till the sun went down. I’m writing you from the sunny shores of Hawaii & have a new one for you! Island finds! Yes I will hunt cars till I die, everywhere I go.

  14. Dirty Dingus McGee

    2 in particular stand out in my memory. First was a 1948 Dodge panel truck, that was being used as a storage shed(Jesus wept). I worked on the old timer for about 4 years. Had to go out of town for 8 months on a job and when I came back it was gone. Talked to a neighbor and it turned out the old timer had passed away about 6 months earlier. His kin folk came in and “cleaned up” the place. Neighbor said he saw the panel truck leave out with what appeared to be a “we buy junk cars” character. I thought I was gonna puke.

    2nd was a 1969 Dodge Coronet R/T. Original 440-4 speed car. Trans was gone, motor and rear were still there. Rust was surface only, but getting worse every day. Car sat there for at least 5 years, that I know of. Went by a couple years after I had moved out of the area and it was gone. I only hope it went to a good home.

    I have managed to snag a few over the years tho, 1969 Super Bee 440 6 Pak, no rear, hood or intake, 70 Z28 that had been wrecked, passenger door and quarter, minor frame damage at spring mount. 68 Firebird convertible, blown trans(Turbo 350) needed a top.

    Sometimes persistence pays off.

  15. Cameron

    These can be a nice Triumph to own I am reliably informed, this one looks like it needs alot of resto though, that said my Dad’s TR6 is in worse condition I ca garantee that.

  16. william

    I felt Proud of my self the other day ive been stopping by this old guys house for almost 5 years inquiring about the old 1966 international pickup in his drive way and every time he was polite and said it wasnt for sale so i left my name and number, then 2 days ago i got a call about the truck from his son turns out the old guy pass on and the son asked if i wanted the truck so i went and pick it up only to find out if i hadnt bought it the son was going to crush it with the tractor and haul it away for scrap

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.