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Pig in a Poke: 1926 Chrysler 70 Roadster

It never ceases to amaze me how many project cars are popping out of ultra-long term storage.  The problem seems to be that these projects often come partially disassembled and possibly missing key parts.  If you are in the mood for a challenging project such as this, then have a look see at this 1926 Chrysler Model 70 roadster for sale on eBay out of Bayside, New York.  While a Chrysler Model 70 is certainly a desirable car, especially a roadster, is there enough there to properly restore the car without spending years searching for the little pieces that may be lost?  Or, is this a pig in a poke?  Is it worth taking a chance on with bidding languishing at a lowly $3,050?

Walter P. Chrysler was an interesting individual.  He worked his way through a succession of automobile industry jobs before incorporating his own company in 1925.  The company’s roots were the Maxwell brand, but it wouldn’t take long for the Chrysler name to find its way onto automobiles.  The new Model 70 actually debuted in 1924, with the name being derived from the car’s unheard of at the time 70 MPH top speed.

These cars were so fast that they became fixtures of the early racing movement.  From hill climbs to being one of the earliest American cars to race at Le Mans, the Model 70 was a terror.  This solidified Chrysler’s reputation as a well-engineered car and helped set the brand apart in a very competitive market.  Other examples of the car’s fine engineering would be its four-wheel brakes, seven main bearing engine, full pressure lubrication of said engine, and a replaceable oil filter.  Once again, these were features that were revolutionary at a time when the Model T Ford was king.

The car you see in these pictures is currently being auctioned on eBay and bidding has only crept up to a meager $3,050.  Part of the reason for this may be that the car is not very well described in the ad.  All we are told is that the car has been in the seller’s possession for three years and that this is a project that needs to move on.  We are also given a very confusing description of the engine’s condition that starts with the theory that the engine hasn’t run since the 1960s.  The rest of the sentence kind of gets jumbled about whether it is locked up or not despite soaking the cylinders in diesel and automatic transmission fluid.

On the positive side, the pictures seem to show that the car is mostly complete, and the body looks to be very solid.  There are pieces that are obviously absent here and there.  Sadly, we are not told whether the parts are available, sitting in a box behind the golf door, missing, or sleeping with Jimmy Hoffa.  The car surely could be restored at some cost.  It is just going to be hard to locate anything that is missing given the car’s age and the fact that these cars don’t enjoy the tremendous aftermarket support of more popular vehicles.

In all, this may be an auction that is worth watching.  Chrysler Model 70s are a great pick if you want a car to drive and tour with from the twenties.  Those engineering marvels that debuted on this car set it apart from its contemporaries.  It will take a lot of work, but this is a desirable car that might just sell at a price lower than we expect.  The pig in a poke aspect of the ad may just work in the buyer’s favor.  Hopefully it will find a good home.

As a postscript, this is my 500th article for Barn Finds.  It is hard to believe that I have written that many articles, but here we are.  It all started when I got the urge to start writing professionally about the same time Barn Finds was advertising that they wanted to hire writers.  It took a lot of self-encouragement to send in my first story, which was on a local Ford with a moonshine running history.  Jesse and Josh were patient with me and helped me to develop as a writer as time went along.  I do admit that I drove Josh nuts for a while with my excessive use of commas.

In reaching this milestone, I want to thank Jesse and Josh for their patience, my fellow writers for their encouragement and positive messages, and I would especially like to thank the readers for their feedback.  Your comments have made this endeavor very rewarding.  I have learned a lot reading the comments you leave.  Some of them have been very encouraging and some have delivered criticism that I needed on various points.  I am constantly amazed by the encyclopedic knowledge our readers have on vehicles and their fantastic stories and personal accounts on individual cars.

All of you make up the Barn Finds family and while we can be a bit dysfunctional at times like all families, I can say that the bond that holds enthusiasts like us together is amazing and transcends all of the division we face in the world today.  It is a pleasure to write for all of you.  I hope you enjoy the articles I write and that I am able to do this for a number of years.

Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    Congrats Jeff on 500! Well done and keep ’em coming.

    Like 30
  2. Howard A Member

    While, I’m, happy, to, hear, of, Jeffs, success( what’s with the commas?), I’d like to take this opportunity to thank ALL the writers. I’ve found, it’s the “members” that are a special group, non-members, not so much. That little red moniker signifies camaraderie, and a bond, of sorts. Jeff mentions a family, I don’t know if I’d go that far, but a group of buds hanging out, talking about what we love, or DID love. Same feeling, just worldwide now. I, for the life of me, can’t figure out the merit of having comments at all. I’m being partial, but I think only members should be able to comment. To the non-members who come and go, remember, we pay to be here, and not to sound weird, but, unlike me, there are some very sharp folks that add a lot to the authors posts. Remember again, it’s their job and might not know squat about a certain vehicle and some, non-members mostly, have the gall to say “get your facts straight”. That bothers me more than anything, I think the writers do an excellent job.
    Jeff mentions why so many “projects” lately. Seems to bolster what I’ve been saying all along, this is a perfect example. This was gramps car, tinkered with it when he could, got sick, died, and here we go,,again. Not many want this today, with little, if any connection to a 1926 Chrysler. It’s so much easier, apparently, to just buy a nice one, than pick up where paw left off. Today, it’s just an “old car”. The appeal would be putt putt around in an old car. Few care what it is anymore. In the words of one of my favorite “driving music” groups, BTO,,”You ain’t seen nothin’ yet”,,,
    Good luck , Jeff, and thanks for the many great posts, as, I feel, the hobby as us old farts know it, goes ’round and ’round the crapper.

    Like 16
    • Howard A Member

      Oh, just one more thing,,I mean no disrespect, well, maybe a little, to the “non-members”, but it’s a plug to become a member, and help the site( whispering to staff, meet me out back for the payoff) Seriously, though, I have belonged to several automotive sites, non I actually paid for, but I can say, with the memories and people, I think BFs is worth it.

      Like 11
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    Jeff, with 500 under your belt you should assume that you are a success and the folks out here in auto crazy land think so too. That said, I bet it’s not going to be easy to get all that WD40 off that Chrysler.

    Like 8
  4. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Congrats Jeff, nice work!

    Like 3
  5. Timothy DeVan

    HAPPY 500 keep up the great work and great success on the nexf 500

    Like 0
  6. Tbone

    When it is inevitably hot riddled, I hope that it at least gets a mopar power train.

    Like 0
    • Tbone

      Rodded, not riddled. Proof that I’m not as good at multi tasking as I thought

      Like 3
    • Mike G.

      I truly hope it’s restored to stock… not slaughtered by some ham-fisted hot rodder!!!

      Like 5
      • Charles Turner

        Me too Mike, but I’m not holding my breath. Most of the time I feel like no one is much interested in common sense anymore.

        Like 2
  7. Jay E. Member

    500 write ups, 500 cars. You must be a walking automotive encyclopedia. You do a really good job making each post not seem like a rehash of the same model, which has got to be tough, especially om Mopars.
    Funny how some cars design just exudes muscular power. Clearly this ain’t no Model A. It was good to read that the first impression was correct, this was a muscle car of its day. Costs to pay to have a restoration done have become so high that a project like this, while worthy, is out of reach of most of us. I recently had a relatively simple job done on my 57 and the bill was over a grand, about 3x what I was expecting. Then I saw the majority of the bill was the labor cost. From now on, if I can’t fix it myself, it wont get done. Which will eventually lead to another car entering the market.
    Years ago, Howards posts were always at the top, I wondered why. Since I now involuntarily wake up at 4am, now I know.
    BF is evolving, much like Hemmings. I still visit BF every morning, but no longer subscribe to Hemmings. I think an open comment section is the reason I keep coming back, I certainly read every one. Even from the non members, who eventually might become members just like me.

    Like 5
    • Howard A Member

      Hi Jay. It’s been said, but for 35 years, I started work at 1am, so even retired, I’m up at night. By now, I’d have half a day in, if I was lucky. While it’s not cool to plug another site, even though I found out about BarnFinds on Hemmings, Hemmings has undergone yet another transition, of sorts. They lost a lot of followers with their modern format, I think, but has since returned to its roots, kind of. I doubt BFs will ever become another Hemmings, this is much more personal, and the staff here aren’t faceless entities, I feel I actually know them, and the writers personally. One writer, I actually do know personally.
      Far as affording a classic car, not to whine( too loudly) but as a senior, our savings are rapidly being diverted to healthcare. Good luck with any dental work, and a recent visit to the ER when I wiped out on my bicycle, cost $1200 AND THEY DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!! Insurance still haggling it out, but if not covered, we simply have to pay it, with little chance of working to get that back. I cringe at just keeping the old Jeep a going, much less a classic vehicle. Needless to say, I was pickled tink when I sold the squarebody.

      Like 2
      • 67Firebird_Cvt 67Firebird_Cvt Member

        Jesse & Josh, have you ever considered having a link on this site that lists the writers with a short bio, maybe with cars they own or owned and industry experience? Not trying to be nosey, well maybe I am, but it would be interesting to see.
        Otherwise, I visit the site every day and that’s why I became a member.

        Like 1
      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        There is a list on the about us page.

        Like 0
  8. matt

    Correct Mike G.,
    Us non-members can’t leave a thumbs up.
    But the bloviator can I suppose…

    Like 7
    • Mike G.

      You’re right, the thumbs up function isn’t offered to us mere readers. I’m a senior, senior citizen on a very fixed income…no spare funds for membership. Good comment, Matt.

      Like 2
      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        You don’t have to be a member to thumb up comments. Just click the thumb! If it doesn’t work, there’s something up with your browser. Maybe you have Javascript disabled?

        Like 1
  9. pwtiger

    I actually lived in Bayside during my teenage years where I became a terror on the road. Sad to see it change when I took a trip back east a few years ago. This old Dodge is really cool and would be worth the trouble to at least get it running and driving. About 30 years ago up in Humboldt county I met an old boy that had an old Dodge Roadster that sat outside for decades after the key was lost…

    Like 3
  10. V12MECH

    Back to the Chrysler, a true classic, checks all the boxes from Walter’s era. An era that is way in the past, being a hot rodder, this isn’t rod material, that market is changing also, mostly going back to 50’s era type builds, meaning A-bone’s and ‘ 32 & up. Hard to say how this gem will end up, can’t see it selling for much more than the $3K at this point, needs way too mucho dinero to make it a viable project, but some dreamer might think so, good luck to that person.

    Like 1
    • NW Iowa

      It’s been bid up to $8500 with 3+ days remaining. So, there’s hope for a restoration.

      Like 1
      • Mike G.

        We can only hope. My late dad’s first car was this exact model.

        Like 0
  11. V12MECH

    Good, hopefully it be properly restored.

    Like 0
  12. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:
    Nov 15, 2022 14:24:58 PST
    Winning bid:
    US $9,950.00
    Immediate payment of US $500.00 is required.
    [ 23 bids ]

    Like 0

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