One Good Find Deserves Another!

Mach 1

From Brandon P.Hey Guys! So, I have two interconnected stories that I thought you might find interesting.  Since you recently posted some stories about being reunited with previously owned cars, I thought I would tell you about mine. When I was 15, I bought my first car.  A 1980 Pontiac Firebird Formula.  I was driving it as I restored it until the engine broke down. I didn’t have the know-how, or money to fix it, so I eventually sold it after graduating high school in 2007. Last fall, I just happened to come across it for sale on Craigslist. It had passed through several owners since I sold it, but it was surprisingly still only 30 minutes from my parents farm where I had kept it. I didn’t have the space to store it, so I passed on it. But my wife and I have since bought a house with a two car garage, so I just bought the car back a few weeks ago.  Ironically, the guy I sold the car to never transferred the title, so the car was actually titled under my name for all these years!

My Formula

I’m now on the hunt for various parts to restore the car. Just this past week, I met up with a guy in Southern Wisconsin to buy a few things. When I pulled up to his house, I noticed that he had about 15 Firebirds and Camaros around his farm. All second generation. Some parts cars, and some with new paint needing to be reassembled. In his barn he had a pair of Trans Am Pace Cars, which he is planning to sell. After seeing that he had so many cars and parts, I mentioned that I was also looking for a hood.  He said that he had one, but it was at his shop (about 10 minutes away). I was in a time crunch, but knew I should get the hood since I was already there. Well, after we got there he opened up the shop to reveal another 8 cars!

Trans Am

A third generation Firebird, some more second generation F-bodies and a Mach 1.  These were all complete cars.  Some just needed minor work. One of the T/A’s only had 43k miles!  As we loaded up the hood, he mentioned that he had a Formula that is probably very similar to mine, but it was in the next building over. I was running really late at this point, but couldn’t resist. He took me into an active manufacturing plant, down an elevator and into the huge basement underneath. As the door opened, I was shocked to see a collection of approximately 60-80 more cars! Mostly GM cars, but some Fords, Mopars and VW’s too (spanning across many time periods)!  Most of the cars were covered, but the ones I could see were in great shape.  Through this whole experience, I didn’t even take pictures, because I was in pure shock!


As we were leaving, he had to take the cover off of one of the cars to show me. It was his dad’s 1967 Shelby GT500! His father bought it from the original owner for $3000.  The original owner parked it, because he was scared to drive it (I had to take a few pictures of that one!). Needless to say, I’ll be staying in touch with him in case I need something in the future. If/when I get back there, I’ll be sure to get some more pictures for you! Almost forgot.  There was a variety of old motorcycles and mopeds down there too! I’ve attached a picture of my Formula, and some of the car collection. I had my wife take them while I was looking at parts, so they aren’t the best angles. Thank you.

Thanks for sharing this with us Brandon. The old car world can be an exciting one. You never know who you will meet or what you will find. Good luck with your new project!


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  1. Dbauer

    Brandon, I live in SW WI and restore old motorcycles. Where did you say this guy lived? I would LOVE a chance to see some of these cars and bikes, if possible. Maybe make a purchase or 3!

  2. JW

    Great story I love it, happy as hell for you.

  3. jim s

    great story. i hope you will keep us updated on the project. and make another trip back to take photos all the vehicles the person has. maybe he will also become part of the BF family.

  4. MikeH

    This reminds me of a story I heard years ago from the owner of the car. He was a young guy living in northern New Mexico in the late 50s. His only truck was a 46-47 Hudson pickup. He went into business on his own and opened a garage. He really needed a wrecker but didn’t have the money–new business, young family. One day a guy’s car came in that had blown an engine or something equally catastrophic. The new garage owner sold him his Hudson Pickup and used the money to buy the needed wrecker. He always regretted selling the Hudson, and years later acquired other Hudsons. One day, he was telling someone how much he would like to have a Hudson pickup and the guy said he knew where there was one sitting in a field behind a gas station, somewhere around Amarillo. The guy goes up there and, you guessed it, it was his pickup and still had the title, never transferred, in the glovebox. Evidently, something had gone wrong with it and the buyer had left it there. He said it was really a parts car, but he had to rebuild it because it was his car. When I saw it, 20 years ago, it was perfectly restored.

  5. Doc

    To the Firebird story above, my Dad taught me to always send the info to DMV when you sell a car with the name of the buyer than call weeks later to be sure the info got through !!!

    Otherwise you may get there tickets or worse !!!!

  6. Justin

    It is always a good idea to take YOUR plates off of the car that you sell. This will force the buyer to transfer the title into their name.
    Should you have a accident that totals your car, be sure to get your plates off of the wrecked car. Some states will continue to tax you until they receive the old plates or you transfer them to your replacement car.

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