Huge Estate Sale: Restored, Projects, Parts, & More!

On October 6 in Muskegon, MI, there will be a live, on-site estate auction of restored cars, project cars, parts cars, and parts. Whoever amassed this collection was an equal opportunity collector. I’ve counted twelve different makes of cars and trucks. In the picture above are three of the best cars in the auction. This 1959 Chevrolet Impala convertible is powered by a 348 engine. The convertible in the background is a 1940 Ford Deluxe. The yellow car at upper left is a 1933 Chevrolet coupe. For more information, go to the Art Smith Auctioneers website.

Here is one of the project cars. It’s a 1933 Plymouth convertible with a rumble seat. Looks like most of the bodywork has been completed. At this stage, one could go either the hot rod or restoration route. Like many cars of the 1930’s, it has suicide doors. They soon fell out of favor but look cool today.

Most of parts cars and project cars are outside and in pretty poor condition. This 1959 Chevrolet Impala is rusty but has some good parts such as the stainless trim. I see it has accessory front bumper guards which are not easy to come by. I’m guessing the car, the extra fender, and hood will go as one lot. The car in the background is a 1951 Mercury.

This could be called a field of dreams. Attempting to restore some of these cars could quickly turn into a nightmare, however. There are bound to be a lot of good parts here anyway. I see a Mustang, a 1953/54 Chevy Belair, a 1959 Chevrolet Impala 4-door hardtop, a 1948-52 Chevy 5-window pickup, and a 1967 Ford. There’s a Chevy or GMC truck cab from the “square” era. What else do you see?

For someone looking to build a rat rod, there is lots of good stuff lying around. Heck, this one looks like it’s almost done already. Just hop in and go. This is said to be a 1933 or 1934 Dodge or Plymouth truck cab. Yes, there were Plymouth trucks in the 1930’s.

Evidently, this guy had a thing for hoarding fenders. There must be hundreds of them scattered about. If you ever wanted to be a Hershey swap meet vendor, here’s your opportunity. Or if you are a parts vendor looking to increase your inventory, bring a very large truck, or maybe several trucks.  Some of the good Ford fenders may bring decent money. Ford stuff is always in demand. Parts for other makes I expect to go cheap. Hopefully, the useable fenders will find a good home and not end up in a scrap metal recycling facility.

There are loads of mechanical parts too including several complete engines. Is it a 348 or 409? I think I see the dipstick on the left side. From what I have read, that indicates a 348. That transmission looks awfully small. A 3-speed? Have you seen anything here you like?




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  1. Bob S

    I think that is a 4 speed on that W engine. I had a buddy that had a new 58 Chev Impala SS, with the 348 tri power, and it had a factory Borg Warner T-10 4 speed. He broke the tailshaft on this tranny, and apparently that was a common problem when it was used hard. GM went to the Muncie 4 speeds in 1963.
    The car went like stink, but it scared the crap out of us one day when all three carbs stuck full open on Hastings Street in downtown Vancouver. He went through all the gears and dove for the ignition switch. We required 4 diaper changes.
    Great car, weak transmission. B/W solved the problem by introducing the Super T-10. I have one, and they are a great tansmission.

  2. 86 Vette Convertible

    If you can’t find something there you like, you’re not a car/truck person!
    I wish we knew what the history off all this was, it had to be multiple lifetimes to accumulate all that.

    Like the 59, like many of the others but won’t be there – that’s life.

    • Frank Sumatra

      Bold statement.I see one nice car and a field full of scrap metal waiting for a ride to China. I guess I’m not a car/truck person. Please don’t let my third Corvette know or my old pals the 69 Z-28 and 70 Boss 302 . Thanks

      • James Sterrey

        Boooo! Go back to BaT!

      • CATHOUSE

        Well Frank I suppose that we just look at things differently. You see a field of scrap, I see a field of gold. I see a lot of things that will find a new home and a new life. Sure some will end up being parted out and some of the remains will go off for scrap but quite a bit will be saved. I would love to have the whole collection but time, space and money will keep that from happening.

    • GearHead Engineer

      I like that ’33 Plymouth. I’ve been thinking about a pre-war car as my next project and that looks interesting. But timing and location are not on my side.

      I would like to just walk around the place even if I didn’t buy anything. Where I live, we don’t see places like this anymore.

      – John

  3. michael h streuly

    The camper looks good to me

  4. Gaspumpchas

    Too bad this stuff has sat on the ground so long, I do see a few potential nuggets in here. Better get a tetanus shot before you go. Would love to attend with a trailer if it wasn’t so far away. Good luck to our intrepid BF bidders!

    • mike D

      out of the whole group, I see maybe 5 or 6, the rest are too far gone, , the tin worm got to the majority of them ” might” be able to salvage a few parts , but, of course, I am no expert

  5. redsresto

    I spent four years flying out of Traverse City, MI. Used to fly past Muskegon regularly; I liked trying to spot and ID old cars in fields. Wonder if I flew over this collection.

  6. jw454

    The picture of the “W” head motor shows the oil dip stick on the left side of the engine. That makes it a 348 Cu In. Dip stick on the passenger side is a 409 Cu. In. Also, I think the transmission is a 4 speed.

  7. Mountainwoodie

    Either this was a business or the owner lived alone! I just cant imagine having that much stuff laying outside. I’d have to build an airplane hangar or I wouldnt be able to sleep at night.

  8. Uncle Bob

    Interesting. That pile of fenders is mostly ’36 Ford, roughly half fronts, and half rears. The rears are a mix of sedan and coupe/roadster. There might be a ’35 or two mixed in the rears, but it’s tough to tell without a profile shot.

    There have always been “estate auctions” involving collections like this, but we are seeing more and more as time goes by. Back to that aging thing that some still choose to wish weren’t the case. I was having a discussion awhile back with a younger guy who was lamenting how difficult it was to find these old cars. Given he was half my age he obviously had a different perspective and life experience profile. I told him that while I understood why he had his point of view, that based on my life in this hobby segment it’s been getting easier and easier every month to find these cars. Maybe not easier to afford them……..yet……but easier to find. I relayed the story of my search for a ’36 Ford roadster to build about 20 years ago. There were precious few on the market (only found 2 in a years time). Now, we didn’t have an active internet at the time, but I had what we used to call a pretty good “network” of similar interest friends. Anyway, now there are ’36 roadsters regularly available. At one point in time earlier this year I knew of 6 for sale. Times they is a changin’.

    • Bobby Miller Bobby Miller Member

      I agree. I’ve made the same observations you described.

  9. canadainmarkseh Member

    With every one of these estate sales there are fewer parts left to scrounge from. Some of this stuff won’t sell and off to the crusher it goes. Municipal governments are happy to see these go and they won’t be coming back, so I hope the spare parts are grabbed up by people that know they need saving.

  10. chrlsful

    any ’83/6 LTD/Marquis wagons?
    That’s a fox-bodied (dwn szed) vehicle.

  11. Kenneth Carney

    Seeing the ’59 ragtop reminds me of my uncle’s ’60 Impala ragtop.
    What a gorgeous car it was too! Used to make some spare cash
    washing and waxing it when I was a kid. Broke my heart when he
    tradef it in on a new ’66 Chrysler Newport 2-door HT. And while that
    was a sharp car too, it just never had the class that the ’60 Chevy did.
    Later on, (I was 15 then) I bought a ’60 El Camino off a friend of Mom’s
    that had the 348 V-8 and factory 4-speed tranny that Bob mentioned,
    only my 348 had the tri-power set up as well. After fixing the rot in
    the cab floor and bed, I used the truck to carry band equipment with
    no trouble at all. Wound up selling it to buy a ’54 Ford 3/4 ton pickup,
    but that’s another story I posted not long ago. Sure wish I had my uncle’s ragtop again. Many fond memories there.

  12. stillrunners

    What WHINERS…..he most likely saved the stuff outside and delayed it being your last years washer or hot water heater !!!! Hopefully some of it gets used and is not made into your next new truck !!!!!

  13. tom

    I’ve purchased from this auctioneer, and I can say the prices were quite reasonable. Hopefully there’s a stash of oem/nos parts hidden away in there somewhere. I might go just for the experience.


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