Hidden Auction Gems? Government Surplus Sale!

You never know what you’ll find at auctions featuring government-owned surplus or repossessions, as this latest assortment from auction company Bid Fast and Last goes to show you. The auctioneer specializes in all manners of sales, from estate clean-outs to equipment auctions, but their June sale is all about vehicles, equipment, and tools offered up by the U.S. government. This includes the sweet 1923 Ford T-Bucket hot rod that still fires up on starting fluid and comes with a proper set of keys, but be forewarned, it’s not going cheaply – bidding is already up to $8,000. Find it and all of the other vehicles up for grabs here on BidFastAndLast.

It’s hard to tell if this sale features all government-owned items, or if it’s a mixture that includes some repossessions. The full auction catalog features a variety of items that seem more like personal possessions rather than truckloads of barely used office furniture from some defunct federal agency. This 1986 GMC K3500 4X4 pickup could be a retired municipally-owned workhorse, but the privateer license plates and awesome vintage dealer plate frame suggest otherwise. The long bed isn’t the preferred configuration, but given the rough cosmetics, it seems unlikely this GMC is destined for restoration anyway. Pull out the dents, sand and paint the rust, and go to town for cheap – it even comes with a title.

Here’s one I don’t expect to find in an auction like this: a 1971 Toyota Corolla wagon. It’s a nice looking specimen, with clean, straight body panels, good glass, nice chrome bumpers, all of its original hubcaps, California blue plates, and a surprisingly decent interior for a car that can otherwise be considered a tow yard find. It even comes with the preferred manual transmission, a hard component to find in the land of vintage Japanese wagons. With what appears to be minimal rust, it’s of little surprise that bidding for this vintage Toyota is already up to $2,000.

And for the European car fans, we have a classic 1980s drop-top. This battered Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible is part of the R107 lineup, and while these cars command very respectable money when found in low mileage, survivor condition, they’re worth considerably less when the odometer has seen some action and the body looks like this. Still, it runs and drives (or at least goes backwards and forwards, as shown in the YouTube video). There’s a high bid of $650 at the moment, so it’s going cheap if you’re looking for a restoration project. Do you see anything here or on the rest of the auction catalog that you’d take a chance on? Thanks to Barn Finds reader Bigcat for the find.


WANTED 1958,1959,1960 Chevrolet Corvette Looking for body and interior for a resto mod project 1958-1960 corvette Contact

WANTED 1974 Pontiac Grandville Need a new windshield for Granville convertible w antenna. Contact

WANTED 1959-1961 (and) GM Cars Cad,Chevy,Corvair,Pontiac,Olds,Buick Wanted parts/donor car. I need a “Cantilever”,”Flying Wing”;”flattop” roof assembly. Contact

WANTED 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400 my wife’s first car, red with red interior would be ideal, any locale Contact

WANTED 1964 Ford Fairlane 500 2 dr HT I need both rear quarters Contact

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  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    That 1940 Ford is already bid to $14K.

    One of the body styles I have lusted over for 60 years…..

    Looks to be in great shape, will probably bring All The Money!

    Like 3
    • BigDoc98783

      That makes two of us.

  2. Howard A Member

    The 1st pic brings tears to my eyes. At one time, someones pride and joy hotrod, and a nice one too,, left to rot and turns up at auction. This isn’t B-J or Mecum we’re talking about, people with fat wallets trading 5 and 6 figure vehicles amongst each other, this is desperation row, and the vultures took whatever they thought had value, ( more than likely due to health debt, don’t believe me? My brother and I got literally screwed out of my parents home because of my old mans nursing home costs, that the govt. demanded sucked us dry) and it ends up here. Still some interest in the hotrod, $8 grand, probably a shred of what it cost, but therein lies the attraction. Someones downfall is another ones gain. Nice.

    Like 7
    • Joseph

      Yeah! Free collector cars for everyone!

      Like 1
  3. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I see some items of use. Require much work, which at this point in my current state of poor mental health, would be more than I have to offer. Besides the fact all my money’s gone now. Oh well, no sense crying over spilled milk, as my step mother used to say. Shoot, I might even get dressed and go out of the house today it’s only 92 degrees out. Maybe I’ll fire up the 64 Riviera and cruise about the rural area of Ft. Bend county here in Texas. Oh, but then again that would require gas money, but I could scrape together some coins from my buried coffee cans. Just kidding, life’s not that bad.
    God bless America

    Like 3
    • Howard A Member

      “The Golden Years”, John,,,

      Like 2
  4. Howie Mueler

    I really don’t see that T-Bucket going much higher than $8k.

    Like 4
  5. Bill McCoskey

    Howard A, and anyone else this might be able to help,

    While it’s too late for Howard, there is a way to prevent losing a home as he did. To anyone who is elderly and is worried about such a situation where the government takes everything of value, here is what my parents did:

    They had an attorney create a “Revocable Trust”, and put the house and cars in the trust. The trust was in my and my brother’s names. Our parents had full use of the house during their lives, but on their deaths, the house was transferred to us, without needing to pay any taxes. Mom was in a nursing home, nothing they could do to take the house, but they tried!

    Like 7
    • Howard A Member

      Hi Bill, before I get into the kerfuffle below, my old man was self employed his whole life, we had benefits through my mom’s nursing job. She had a ton of benefits, including nursing home, fell over dead one day, never used any of them. My dad, however, had nothing and his business records were such a shambles, it took us THOUSANDS of dollars in lawyer fees to straighten it out. He lived for another 2.5 years, in a nursing home, and amassed a debt of $108,000 bucks, that WE had to come up with. The only thing left in their “estate” was the house, which sold for $72,000. The govt. took the rest in the shorts. Now, I’m not crying for the govt., but that’s just one case, in thousands, and you wonder why we’re in such bad shape. Dad was smart enough to put our family cottage in a trust for the family, his name wasn’t on it, but by then, the cottage was in disrepair, and we didn’t get much.

      Like 3
      • Dave

        Pennsylvania has something called “filial responsibility”, which has resulted in more than a few children being saddled with the bills that their parents rang up. They would have billed you for the difference between what the assets sold for and what the bill was. Google it.

      • Bill McCoskey


        Another reason NOT to live in PA. I know many out of state vintage car part vendors who have been hounded by the dept. of taxation, for stupid reasons.

        Back in the early 1980s PA started a program where any “out of state” vendors or businesses wanting to sell on a temporary basis, had to establish a bank account with a PA bank, and all taxes owed for the event [even a 1-day event] had to figure out the taxes owed and deposit the money in the bank BEFORE leaving the state.

        So this would require an exhausted vendor, at the end of the event, to sit down & figure out how much to pay, then go to the local bank branch and make a deposit. This was before ATM’s were at banks, so if the show ended on a Sunday, [and this was a suggestion by the PA state tax office] the vendor should wait until Monday [or Tuesday if Monday was a holiday] to make the deposit, because based on the law, the vendor wasn’t allowed to remove the tax amount owed, out of the state!

        Fortunately, many “BIG MONEY” out of state companies got together with state leaders and said they wouldn’t come back, and plans were already underway to sue in Federal court. The requirements for the PA bank account and immediate deposit was dropped.

        One company I know does not sell anything in the state, having a car shop only in N.J. The company only displays their services at shows like Hershey & Carlisle, yet because the state of PA says everyone having a vendor space in a show MUST have a tax number & account, they must file a “report of no sales” four times a year. There is no exemption in this case. Regulations like this drive businesses away from a state, causing a negative tax revenue effect.

        I had to sue in the state in Maryland courts because the PA tax people couldn’t admit the dept. of taxation had screwed up. We had to go thru the pre-trial hearing where the judge said it was obvious they were wrong, and if they wanted to proceed with a trial, the judge said it was unlikely they would win. He told my attorney if the state wanted to proceed, he should request a summary judgement!

        Legally I should still have a substantial positive credit should I decide to conduct business in the state again [not gonna happen!]. I was advised to accept a credit, as the cost of trying to collect on a debt would end up costing me more time & money than the value of the settlement.

        They should have a sign at the entrance to PA: “Closed to new small businesses”.

        Like 2
  6. Dave

    Google “EPA Superbird”, you never know what you’ll find at these auctions.

    Like 1
  7. moosie moosie

    After a thorough deep clean up and check out of the drivetrain this “T” Bucket might not be too bad of a hot rod. The next listing on that website showed a very interesting ’51 chevy pick up.


    Careful here. I spoke to my broker a month ago about hauling a car from Cali. It is a shippers market. Due to the pandemic a lot of haulers quit. If you are not on a budget you may want to get a legit quote first. It may take weeks to get picked up. If so could get hammered on storage fees. Before the pandemic I was paying about .30 a mile. I am cheap. Now it is easily $1.50 plus a mile.

    Like 1
    • Steve R

      It’s not just the pandemic, it’s the number of people sick of the state. A friend just bought a non-running car that was located about two hours outside of Dallas, it cost $1,000 to have it delivered to the San Francisco Bay Area. The driver said rates are sky high leaving the state, but it’s a buyers market for cars going to California, they are happy just to make expenses on the trip west to pick up more cars heading elsewhere.

      Steve R

      • Steve R

        It might sound that way to the dimmest members if this site.

        Steve R

        Like 4
      • Steve R

        Back to playing your old games. Fabricate a story about someone you know nothing about, then use that lie to paint them in a negative light. Knowing there are people who read what you say that don’t take the time to recognize your claims are created out of thin air. This is what manipulative people do to deflect attention away from their empty argument.

        Steve R

        Like 7
      • Howard A Member

        Stop it, stop it, STOP IT!!! Take it to Facebook, I don’t want to pay to hear you guys bitxx,,unless it’s about prices. Election’s over,,,

        Like 5
      • Dave

        No, Chester, it’s economics. Anyone hauling anything for a living tries to avoid an empty vessel for obvious reasons.
        People migrated to Cali to escape the Dust Bowl. People moved south when Northern industrial activity was encouraged to move offshore.
        People are moving out of Cali. Moving companies have to get their stuff back to Cali and most of the time it’s empty. They have to adjust their prices for the loads they have to compensate.

        Like 2
      • MitchRoss Member

        I am probably the guy AMC fan talked to because I’m a broker who doesn’t charge any fees to fellow AMC guys. Anyway, car shipping prices are through the roof everywhere, not just CA. There is a used car shortage and dealers are buying anything and everything they can find wherever it is. Many independent car carriers have gone out of business due to inactivity in the beginning of the Covid crisis and besides that, insurance prices have doubled in the last year, as has the price of fuel.

  9. nlpnt

    I could see myself road tripping that Corolla wagon all the way to the northeast, the T-Bucket not so much.

    Like 1
    • Dave

      Better rent a box van for that trip, because the tinworms will start munching on that car as soon as you cross the Mississippi!

  10. Gary Rhodes

    Man, that 40. looks good! Check it over, wash it and drive it. That T bucket would be ok at 4k but isn’t worth more in mho.

    Like 2
  11. DON

    That T bucket looks like it could have been on a cover of a 1979 Street rod magazine .Definitely dated, but could look great again !

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