Stampede to Montana—Cheap Project Car Auction!

By Nathan Avots-Smith

Reader Tim K. tipped us off to this auction, currently ongoing in Miles City, Montana, and it is a veritable treasure trove of viable project cars! Few of these cars and trucks run (although several “ran when parked,” of course) and most have rust or some degree of body damage, but they are largely complete, and there is something for almost any taste—and some funky and unusual cars as well as some with broad collector appeal. With about a week to go until bidding closes, only a few of these cars and trucks have been bid over $1,000, and more than a few are even under $100, so let’s check out what’s on offer and start planning our mass Barn Finds coast-to-coast caravan to Montana!

You like muscle and pony cars? In addition to the ’65 Barracuda pictured at the top of this post (a slant six car with a manual), there’s this ’71 Camaro, which, in a lot description that is typically terse but droll, we are informed is “just a Camaro,” Z28 hood notwithstanding. There’s also a ’63 Pontiac LeMans; an engineless ’68 Pontiac Grand Prix; a similarly immobilized ’72 Torino (“hood is nice”); an ’85 Cutlass G-body coupe (“perfect 5.3 LS turbo swap car”); and a pretty solid ’66 Ranchero, plus a second Ranchero parts car, currently bid up to $36, that we are advised could be stripped for parts and the shell disposed of locally if a buyer is coming from out of town.

Prefer more classic American iron? This ’57 Caddy, currently bid up to only $525 is a good restoration candidate, despite what the company euphemistically describes as “mouse damage” to the interior. For a little prewar flavor, there’s this decidedly solid ’41 Chevy Deluxe coupe—currently just $51—plus, for the more adventurous among us, this partial Chevy, which is estimated to be a 1938. I’m sure the Barn Finds hive mind can confirm or clarify. There also a pair of AMC midsizers, both in the $150 range, and a ’57 Studebaker Scotsman just like the one my grandparents had when I was a kid, the rolling proof of the axiom that rare does not automatically equal desirable—but for 21 bucks, who cares!

More of an import fan? How about this cute little ran-when-parked Fiat X1/9, which comes with an extra door, all for $11 at current bidding! If you prefer your two-seaters Teutonic, there are three Opel GTs to choose from, the most expensive of which is up to $120, or if you prefer your German cars more proletarian, there’s a Kadett wagon (“air conditioning via all windows missing), a VW Fastback, and not one, but four VW Beetles, ranging from no bids to $230. One of the pricier lots, at $950, is a non-running ’75 VW Westfalia camper. For the import-minded with patriotic sensibilities, there’s a pair of Vegas and a ’76-ish Monza Towne Coupe.

There’s so much more here: trucks on trucks on trucks, including a number of latemodel runners, my favorite of which is a $75 ’95 Chevy Astro “former prison transport vehicle”; a pair of Honda scooters ($43 for both); wagons old and even older…not to mention bidding so low, it makes stupid decisions almost seem not stupid at all. Let the stampede to Montana begin! Which ones are you all bringing home?

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  1. Fred W.

    The only thing holding these back is transportation, which is $1000 to anywhere else. The VW bus will probably top $2000 by the end.

  2. angliagt

    I’m heading up to Montana,& then on to Virginia,
    but leaving next Saturday,so the auction will be over by then.
    Good thing I’ll already have the MGB GT on the trailer!

  3. erikj

    I,M in Spokane and have a trailer-maybe something left?i,ll check it out.

  4. Gear Head Engineer

    That Chevy cabover truck is hard to find, and there’s a following. This one looks pretty solid and not too banged up. Reflected in the current bid price – it’s currently one of the higher bids on this auction.

    I was interested in the Ramber 2 door. The first pic looks promising. But then you see the others. That thing is dented on every corner. Parts car.

    I like ’57 Caddies. This one doesn’t have much rot, but it will need everything. Very thorough on the pics so at least you know what you are bidding on.

    Overall, an interesting auction.

    – John

  5. Rod444

    Finally, something that’s not a million miles away. Just over the border in Canada, have my car hauler ready to roll and even PERMISSION FROM THE BOSS to go get a winter project. (I must leave quickly before she has coffee and realizes what’s she said – my lord, these must be the end times!)

  6. dm

    The “partial Chevy” is a 1940. Looks rough but have started with worse. Movin’ to Montana soon, gonna be a dental floss tycoon…

    • John D.

      You and your Pygmy Pony?

    • Neal

      Yippee ka-yo ka-yay

  7. mike D

    guys…. look close ON LINE AUCTION only! most are parts cars at best , unless you have a lot of ambition !

  8. Tricky

    Chevy COE already fast approaching the $3,000 mark…online auctions attract a LOT of buyers. I don’t think anything here will go dirt cheap!!

  9. Coventrycat

    I was hoping a Zappa reference would find it’s way here. Thanks, dm


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