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Nebraska Fastback

Dans Fastback Find

We’ve all experienced finding a great classic car, only to have the owner tell you it isn’t for sale. We’ve heard just about every excuse in the book, but the most common is the classic “I’m going to restore it someday”. Reader Dan L came across this Mustang GT Fastback while visiting family and when he asked the owner if it was for sale, he got this response. Reading his story got us thinking about all the various excuses we have heard over the years, but we will discuss that more after we share Dan’s story. Read it in his own words right after the break.

Mustang Fastback GT

In April I visited my folks in Nebraska. I have had quite a few Corvettes, Mustangs, and one cherry GTO, so I am always looking for a new acquisition. One of my brothers had heard of an old Mustang Fastback in our home town of 200. So after some investigation I knocked on a couple doors and finally found the owner. I saw he had fire department memorabilia on his front door, so I took off my jacket because I too am a fireman in Colorado and was wearing one of my departments T-shirts.

Rusty Fastback

He was a little apprehensive when I asked if he had an old GT and if it was for sale? He laughed and said it was not for sale. I asked if I could see it and take some pictures. He finally agreed and this is what we saw. He purchased the GT new at the local Ford dealer 12 miles away. Winters in Iowa are tough on everything, lots of salt! He plans on doing a complete restoration… Someday!

Mustang Fastback GT 2

We have seen so many great cars left to rust away by an owner who dreams of restoring their car one day, but sadly that day never comes. While we understand the dream and believe that they have every right to keep their car and do with it as they please, it’s hard to see a car left to decay. This got us thinking about the various excuses and we thought it might be interesting to put together a list of every reason as to why a car’s owner is holding on to it. We think the classic “I’m going to restore it someday” is the one we hear the most often, so we are going to say it is number one on our list. So what are some of the excuses as to why someone won’t sell that you have heard? Our thanks to Dan for sharing his find with us!


  1. Chebby

    That Stang’s on its way to a town called Never.

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  2. Snidly

    I may hate rusty cars, but oh what I would give to have this one! Truly a life dream.

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  3. jim s

    i wonder what the story is on the bikes in the photos.

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    • Dan Lott

      It s in N E Iowa. Sorry if I typed it wrong . And I tried to buy the dirt bikes too …….No luck….Yet!!!!
      Thanx I am way hooked on this website! I will send more
      Thanx Fireman Dan

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      • DanaPointJohn

        Hey Dan…maybe offer to rebuild it with him? Somewhere during the process he will realize it is beyond his abilities and you will have earned his trust so he will be more willing to sell. Nice find!

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    • Tom S.

      I was drawn to that, too. “Oh, a dusty old Mustang. Nice. But look, bikes!” :)

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  4. paul

    If we on this page had a dollar for all the times we’ve heard this in our lives we would all be millionaires & wouldn’t need to be fishing for deals, we would just be buy finished ground up resto’s. Eh another one left to the rats to live in.

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  5. Dolphin Member

    Ahhh—-a real GT early fastback Mustang. These have special features, even if they don’t happen to be a A- or K-code. Love the look, so I’ve been looking at an A-code GT recently that hasn’t been hit as hard as this car’s body has by winter salt. There’s a lot of these out there (altho few are GTs), and life’s too short to deal with a “someday I’ll restore it” owner, so I’ll have to leave that to Dan or someone else. Good luck in the quest.

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  6. Brandon Devlin

    god I HATE people like that. ” Oh yeah I’ll be retiring err.. Restoring it…” yeah to the scrap heap. this is sadly one of the new reasons I don’t go into the classic cars. you usually have no idea unless there is MAJOR paper work with the car. Can’t wait to see about the new Challengers. or I’ll try and find my 2012 SRT8…but this is so sad to see…

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  7. Robert

    My friend and I went to look at two Mustangs in a barn. 1 coupe & 1 fastback. The owner said the same thing. That he would restore them and then sell them to retire to Florida. We knew he would get around to it. The visit ended after a few harsh words and we knew he’d never sell. After a rough winter one side of the garage collapsed and crushed the coupe. Of course the cheap bastard had no insurance. My friend went back and told him he was about to loose the fastback too and he’d have to live out the rest of his days in the miserable winters. My friend came home with the 65 fastback 4-speed 289 for half of what he originally offered the guy. Last we saw was the guys place was abandoned. I guess he finally did make it to Florida. Too bad it had to take the loss of the coupe to convince him though.

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    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Some people who think they’re sitting on a gold mine, aren’t all that smart. I’m reminded of a saying from my grandfather: ‘Poor people have poor ways.’

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  8. Bruce Rolfe

    I spotted a 69 Sportroof mustang sitting outside a small mom and pop grocery store ( if you can call it that) in Topanas CO. I asked the owners if it was for sale. “Nope gonna fix it up one day.” That was 5 years ago. Car is still sitting in the same place as the earth is trying to reclaim it. Sad.


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    • Dan Lott

      I’ve ridden past that Mustang on my Harley 15 times by Toponas, Colo. I still stop and ask, I think he gets a kick out of turning everyone down!. Maybe ……… Someday Fireman Dan

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  9. rusty

    Josh said “We’ve all experienced finding a great classic car, only to have the owner tell you it isn’t for sale. We’ve heard just about every excuse in the book, but the most common is the classic “I’m going to restore it someday”. ”

    ..finding? ….common Josh it was not lost..

    all the polava on websites about “finding” a car only to be told its not for sale and as such that irks people contributing … really is disturbing.

    The car was never lost nor was it offered for sale so no one has the right to lament the fact the owner doesnt want to sell it… doesnt matter what reason..it isnt for sale.

    live and let be…one day it may become available..then if its advertised for sale you may “find “it.

    There are more than enough found cars actually available to buy for a dwindling car restoring population. There simply is not enough restorers for the amounts of vintage cars that survive anyway.

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  10. Hutch

    Have you ever met someone who has something you would really like to have, and the only reason they wont sell it is because of the pleasure they get in knowing that they have something you want? I know a guy like that. Lots of cool unrestored cars and vintage tools, will never do anything with them, will never sell them, because he gets off on owning something everyone wants. Add that to your list

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    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Antagonists like that really piss me off; I just want to deck them with a right cross. Just as bad are the ones who agree to sell but the price goes up every time you talk about it. A simple ‘It’s not for sale,’ is sufficient.

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  11. Dave

    I can identify with the guy with the car. I have a 65 Tiger in my garage since the early 70’s and it still waits for me to start the restoration.

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  12. 3PedalRacer

    In 1989 I was told they would not sell me there 67 Mustang fastback because my brother was known to abuse muscle cars. I was the one buying them then street racing them. All these earthers out there should let us recycle the old cars into nice cars instead of a chunk of square metal.

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  13. Jim-Bob

    I’ve been the person saying “No, it’s not for sale.” a few times. Some people get annoyed that I won’t sell, but in the end it’s my property. Some just offer too little money and think they should be able to buy things for an insulting figure because I live in a not so wealthy neighborhood. Recently, I had a spate of used car dealers coming to my door, begging me to sell them my 400k mile 1998 Nissan Frontier. Yes, it was covered with algae and hadn’t moved in a year, but it was not for sale as I had planned to use it again in the future. What eventually happened to it is that I bought a used battery at the junkyard, rebuilt the brakes, put insurance and tags on it, washed it and returned it to active duty this week (Japanese small trucks are the zombies of the automotive world-they just keep coming back to life!). I was reminded of why it left active pizza delivery duty (the engine’s not so great, it needs a steering box and pump, the tires are as bald as slicks, the A/C needs major work and it has electronics issues with the gauge cluster), but it will see some of those things fixed (4 used tires…) and be used to rehab my house and life. This isn’t the only car I have brought back from the dead either as most of my cars have had at least one resurrection in my past, some after sitting for 5 or more years. Not every car like this goes to waste and some of us actually do go through the work and time to bring them back again after a long slumber. Even if we don’t, they still exist and will one day find their way back into circulation. Remember that if it weren’t for the hoarders, the collector car population would be much smaller than it is.

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  14. geomechs geomechs Member

    For years I’ve heard that H-word being used to describe an individual who has chosen to hang onto his precious cars or whatever else he has lurking inside his barn/garage/lean-to. So many times we lash out and call the owner a hoarder and don’t know the reasons behind his reluctance to sell. I’ve told this a while ago but I’ll repeat it here: There was a ’72 Jimmy sitting in the lot in front of an auto wrecker. When it was parked there, it was pristine, with less than 40K miles on it. But as time went by, Mother Nature began taking her toll. The paint began to fade, the tires that didn’t go flat started sinking into the mud. The window seals dried out, letting the weather seep into the interior. But any enquiries as to possible selling the truck were met with a verbal outburst from the owner.

    The truck belonged to his son who died suddenly, shortly after parking it where it was. The man simply couldn’t close that door in his life. I haven’t been there in a while but I understand that it is no longer parked there. I don’t know what happened to it but I hope that it is being treated to some TLC that it more than deserves.

    For some of us, life simply gets in the way. You buy a car/truck in high school and drive it for a while then park it with the hopes that you will be able to get on with the project then it’s college, jobs, family, moving around. I met a guy at a car show that held onto his Model-A pickup for 52 years before he was able to perform the resto-mod that he wanted to do all his life. But life forced him to sideline it for all those years. At least he was able to carry out his dream.

    On the 14th of this month I will have owned my ’47 Ford pickup for 47 years. I was 14 years old when I became the 2nd owner of it. I drove it for 5 years before parking it. Work is finally progressing but not because I lost interest in it for a spell; life got in the way for me too. Very few of us are lucky enough to be able to get a project and do it from start to finish all in one shot. But we do what we can. I firmly believe that if you let your dreams die, you die too.

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  15. Gregory

    Less than 15 miles from me I know a guy who had a 1966 fastback GT. A rust free San Jose built K-code. The guy is a picker, but he kinda knew what he had. I took me 5 years to get that car. Thanks Dad

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  16. C Bryant

    I’ve bought and sold cars for close to 55 years now and have learned a little trick that has paid me back 3 times now.When somebody told me they didn’t want to sell a car i would ask them if I could put a business card in the glovebox and if they did decide to sell,just call my number.I haven’t done it that often but have a real high rate of return on an effortless move like this.

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    • rusty

      C Bryant said ” When somebody told me they didn’t want to sell a car i would ask them if I could put a business card in the glovebox and if they did decide to sell,just call my number.”

      man what a cool idea…everyone loses a card given to them but not if they put it in the glovebox..excellent. non hassling approach

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  17. guggie

    to sum it up his car his dream , hope it happens ! everyone has dreams !!

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  18. Bill

    If the building lasts long enough, owner dies, then wife or kids (who are not interested in the car) end up selling it.

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  19. Rancho Bella

    I always get a chuckle when folks tell me “I’m gonna restore it”. I then think to myself…..buddy, if you only had one clue about the cost……………..

    I don’t bother any longer seeking out garage finds. To demanding.

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  20. Bill K

    A late 60’s power blue Ford Galaxy at the end of my block. It’s washed weekly but seldom driven. Sitting in the driveway beneath a MIA flag.

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  21. benjy

    Translation, When the garage or barn starts to fall down they restore it outside.

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  22. KE100

    What kind of bikes are there?

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  23. Tim H

    @ Barn Finds; “While we understand the dream and believe that they have every right to keep their car and do with it as they please, it’s hard to see a car left to decay. This got us thinking about the various excuses and we thought it might be interesting to put together a list”

    You say we have the right to do what we want but then you call our reasons “excuses”
    Bring on the heater, is that what you are all about?

    And here I got sucked in and commented.

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  24. Hemicars

    I have friends that are avid big game hunters. They display their bagged trophies in their homes like family photos. Others collect coins that they hide in locked safes only to rarely show them to others, or perhaps only to themselves. Over the years I have collected vintage cars and motorcycles as my trophies. Some I have restored, most are not and I know I will never have enough time in my life to do them. But they were obtained through the hunt and bag process much like those who use a rifle. Like a coveted coin collection their values have increased dramatically from the time I obtained them, but their values aren’t really the point, I just like owning them. I have allowed a select few to see what I have, but they know I don’t care to sell, they are the fruits of my efforts, my trophy heads, so to speak, hanging on the wall. I tell them it should be a great estate sale and how I wish I could attend as everything I like will be there. For those who think an owner of a classic or vintage car should sell because they will never do anything with it likely have never been in that person’s shoes, to feel the ownership of history and the memory of the hunt…the trophy on the wall.

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    • Paul G

      Hemicars, I couldn’t have said it better… Thanks!

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  25. Jim Masteller

    I came across a whole barn of Classic cars last year 1964 El Camino, 1952 Merc, 5 rare 1963 Corvair Spyders and a Very rare 1963 Corvair Pick-up….My interest was a 1957 Bel Air….took some time and cash in hand to get it…37000 original miles no rust and all there…going through it now 23 years of sitting in barn,,,But no rot or rust….When I ask’ed why he stopped driving and restoring the others he said ” life got in the way “….

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  26. Dutch 1960

    At least the guy is keeping it in a garage. It’s the ones that are left outside that bother me. If the garage is stout and tight enough to protect the car and not fall down around it, then more power to him. Sooner or later he will either restore it (or have it restored), or will sell it. He ain’t taking it with him when he goes to meet his maker.

    Also, whether to restore or keep as-is continues to evolve over time. Maybe this one’s proper destiny is to be cleaned up and detailed, rust and all. I actually have one of these put away, garaged now for 32 years. Back in the day, restoring and fixing the small dings was par for the course. Now, it would be criminal to do other than leave it as-is. The definition of what is appropriate changes over time, and it is only original once. My vote is when in doubt, leave it alone.

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  27. bowtiecarguy

    Here’s an exception to the rule-an owner who admits he’ll never get around to it and has it for sale


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  28. Auld Bobby Friendship

    A story, is that ok here? One day, when I was 3 or 4, (1952/3), my Mum was taking me past our village garage. The owner was going out on a recovery in a very odd-looking lorry(truck!)
    It fascinated me all my life, & one day, when I was 18, I asked the same garage owner if I could buy his old truck. He didn’t have much use for it but he, rightly, said he might need it from tint to time. Fair enough!
    A few years went by and he passed away & his son took over. When it seemed reasonable to ask, I again asked if I could buy this truck & the son, who I had know for years, agreed.
    The truck had been modified during its life at the garage & I wanted to put it back as it had been. Fortunately the owner had kept all the dismantled parts, except the seats, so I started on the project. I got some way with it, THEN I got married.
    I knew I couldn’t keep it and a chap asked if he could buy it. I agreed a price & he took it away. Subsequently he sold it on, (in the 1980’s) & I have since seen photos of it fully restored. I am SO pleased that it was eventually restored since, if it had remained in my ownership it would most probably have fallen into decay.
    So, some of you are perhaps wondering what this truck was?
    At the time I bought it, it was the only International M-2-4 in the UK., left over after D-Day preparations. I believe there are now 3 here.
    But I often wish I still had it or one similar.
    Hope this story is ok with all you guys.
    All the best,

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  29. Duckwise

    When I was 17 and a high school senior my stepdad purchased a 1965 mustang fastback. He drove it for 10 years and then gave it to my half sister. She drive it for 11 years and then parked it. It sat outside for 9 years and then she have a garage built and parked it in the garage. I had been asking her for years if she wanted to sell it and let her know that I was willing to buy it. She, too, said she was planning to restore it someday, even though she was financially strapped and I knew would never be able to do it. Last September she finally called me and asked if I was still interested in buying it. Of course I was as I have many found memories including that of my wife and I going to the prom our senior year in high school. I’m sure that she didn’t want to let it go because she also had many great memories. Her first husband was killed in an industial accident a few years after they were married. I’m sure they both enjoyed riding around in that car. People have their reasons. I sure I’ll feel a little guilty showing her the resored car but hopefully she’ll appreciate the fact it’s still around and that it’s being enjoyed and that it’s still in the family after 49 years.

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  30. Chebby

    I too have great frustration with the junk man who won’t sell–and Rusty and Jim-Bob made me realize also I’ve been on the other side.

    For a couple years I owned a 1973 Olds 88 Convertible that was in poor shape, but I drove all the time, eventually crossing the country in it. It ran great but everything was disintegrating at approximately same rate. The kind of car you enjoy until something major quits, then retire, otherwise you are going to open up a money pit that has no bottom.

    It had been really a sharp car at one point with its dark blue paint and white interior, but must have sat in tall grass for years. The entire underside of the car was rotted: big rusty holes, soft floors, everything. Above the belt line it looked really good though.

    It got a lot of attention, which was nice, but almost every time I stopped for gas, I’d have to have “the conversation.”

    “Hey, nice car.”
    “You wanna sell it?”
    “You gonna fix it up?”
    “Well, then what are you gonna do with it?”
    “I’m gonna keep driving it.”

    Or “leave it alone…enjoy it as is…let it rust”…whatever I felt like saying at the time.

    At this point, the questioner would usually get pissed off and personally offended, like this was some poor dog that cruel old me was neglecting to feed. Hell, man, it’s MY CAR, and I’m going somewhere in it. Be glad it’s not sitting in a yard somewhere!

    The thing is, not one of these looky-loos ever offered me any actual MONEY, because none of them were buyers in the first place. They just want to know if it’s available, and then, “why not?” You’d think I was sitting on a gold mine of some kind, but when I went to actually sell the car, I couldn’t give it away.

    A real FOR SALE sign somehow turned all those passionate collectors away….

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  31. sunbeadon

    Gregory and Dave – I loved your persistence story – my son is waiting for my ’67 Sunbeam Tiger II (bought in 1968 taken off the road in 1980) – “hey kid I’m gonna get to it some day!” Its now thirty-four years later – the body is done, the motor has been on my engine stand for 12 years, the tranny is on its way to YVR for rebuild, the interior is in the planning stages! One must have dreams!

    Josh – we are seeing more and more emotions creeping into your website – some good, some bad , all entertaining. It makes my day!

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  32. Dolphin Member

    Lots of interesting comments on here about owners who don’t restore or take care of a car, yet don’t want to sell it either.

    I think we all understand life getting in the way of a long and expensive resto, or even a short cheap one. Same for the guy who assembles a bunch of interesting cars, never does anything with them, including not driving them, and yet does not want to sell any. But it’s his call, so we have no choice but to respect that.

    I think there’s another part about this that also needs to be respected, and that’s the ‘value’ that’s contained in these vehicles, and I don’t mean cash value. I mean the value that went into conceiving, putting drafting pencil to paper, tooling up, sourcing materials, manufacturing, and marketing a vehicle. Then there’s everything that various vehicles contributed to getting us all where we are now. Vehicles are a part of the society they were made in, IMHO a very important part. Just about all of them have value—technology, style, practical use, historical significance, and so on.

    Vehicles are such an important part of our history that it would be wrong to crush them all when they became X-years old, never to be seen again. That’s an extreme example, but letting vehicles decay in fields or in rotten barns or even sometimes in decent barns works against the preservation of a part of our history that helped to get us here, much as crushing them does.

    If someone refuses to accept an offer for a vehicle that’s worth saving but is just sitting and decaying, with no effort to preserve it, sure that’s his right. But then I think the best thing you could say about that owner is that he isn’t showing respect for the vehicle and all that went into making it, and the contributions it made to help get us here.

    I guess we can all think of examples on BF where a rare and important vehicle was allowed to decay into the ground. That’s one less piece of our history for our grandkids, and their grandkids in turn, to see and appreciate. I want my grandkids to know a few stories about where we all came from and what got us here, and one of the best ways I know of to start understanding and appreciating that is through things like the vehicles at local Show ‘N Shines (for example) and the stories that their owners tell about them.

    Sure a lot of vehicles have been saved and restored, but the point of this terrific website is that it lets us talk about other vehicles that are still out there and could maybe be saved if some of the people associated with them had a bit more respect for them.

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    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Well put, Dolphin. Sitting on a car and letting it dissolve back into the elements is a slap in the face of those who designed and built it. Including the grandkids is another important part of our hobby. I’m sure that I’m speaking for most of us when I say that the actual cars are much better means to tell future generations about our passion than a bunch of faded photos in an album.

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  33. ConservativesDefeated

    All of us car nuts need to remember something. No matter how much we may covet another persons stuff….it’s their stuff. Hoarders or careless, lazy or unconcerned about the elements effect on their cars, it doesn’t matter. It’s their stuff. End of discusson

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  34. mike s

    I stored my triumph TR3b for 27 years that included 4 moves, two of them being over 200 miles before restoration to new condition. I always wanted to start the restoration but I firmly believe in the rule “If you don’t have the time, space, and money to restore your vehicle don’t begin.” Our primo TR3b has now been in the family 37 years and will be passed down through the family. Sometimes “restore it someday” is the truth…

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  35. Joge Dunyet

    In order to REstore it, it needs to be done being stored in the first place! Release the Beast!

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  36. Alastair

    Growing up in Vancouver, BC, in the mid 80’s I bought a 1970 1/2 Camaro RS Split Bumper in white. The car had been street raced and was in pretty poor shape and had seats in it from a modern firebird and I paid $2,500 at the time. I then decided I wanted to make it faster and started assembling parts. A friend convinced me I needed a super high powered Beaumont 396 motor and a Doug Nash 5 speed which I eagerly paid for but never got delivery of. He went out that weekend and got killed drag racing his corvette on one of the main streets.
    I took the Camaro to a friend to have the body work done, and the car was stolen out of the back of his house. I had no insurance, and the car wasn’t recovered.
    Almost 20 years later I got a letter from the insurance company with an attached letter from a 19 year old kid that the car had been found in an orchard in the interior of BC and as I was the last known owner would I like to sell it. I arranged to go over and meet him. The motor, tranny and interior were missing but the body was still in fairly good shape. Part of me wanted to keep it and do the work, but this kid had already built out a previous car and wanted to do this with his dad as a project. I agreed to sell him the car for $200 knowing that he would do the work right, the vehicle would be loved, and that the time he would have with his dad working on the project would be priceless.
    It was a good end to a crazy beginning, and I hope he was luckier with the car than I ever was. Some things are best let go, and doing what is right for the car is the most important thing in the end.

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  37. Doug Kielian

    neat site and lots of interesting stories, I live them every day restoring these classics from chasing down leads, BS-ing customers non selling hoarders, to slamming on the brakes because I thought I seen the rear end of a 70 Torino Cobra setting in the weeds beside a shed. I ‘ve been training young guys to become skilled talented craftsmen for over two decades now, they used to just show up at the shop all the time, I thought it would always be the same even better? But that’s not the case any more there are so few young guys wanting to even touch an old car let alone work on one or go hunt one down that might be in rough shape. I have so much restoration & custom work lined up and a lack of young talent! So if anyone’s listening send me some young passionate gear heads that I can train and help me get all this work done and get them a great started in a great career of metal working. Just like this young gun here Johnny Sparks & the REVERSION Mustang. Just my 2 cents for today
    Auto Kraft
    Lincoln, Nebraska

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