View Full Version : The one that got away

lakeside #29
12-01-2009, 06:08 PM
Whenever you get a group of old racers or hot rodders together invariably someone will bring up a car they got rid of for any number of reasons, finaces, family obligations, and many many others. The one you really regret letting out of your possesion. In short "The one that got away". Take a minute and lets hear your "One that got away".

Personally I had two that I wish I had never sold and have kicked myself ever since.

The first is a 1951 Ford Victoria that I bought from Elmer Dalton in early 1966. She was red, nose and decked, and equipped a with fine tooth Buick grille. The best part was under the hood. It was a 1950 303 Olds engine and Hydro trans. I was 17 and a senior in high school. The motor was .030 over and had cylinder heads and 4 barrel off a '53 Olds 98. It ran pretty good and could run with most '55 Chevy's. It had loud pipes and I added a Weiand intake with 3 Holley 94 carbs. I bought the manifold from Webb's auto wrecking for $25.00 complete and I rebuilt the carbs. I eventually screwed up the transmission and needed to get rid of the car and sold it to a neighbor for $25.00. This was in 1968. I've regretted it since.

The second was a 1940 Ford Deluxe business coupe that I bought in '68 a few months after I got rid of the Vic. She had an old but presentable black Lacquor paint job, a tired flathead, and a mostly non-existant interior. I had the flathead rebuilt and had Eddie Watson put in an interior. Any of you south Denver guys remember Eddie's shop? It was on Alameda just west of Bannock St. The entire job cost me $175.00. That included seat, headliner, door panels, panels behind the doors, kick panels, and carpet. It was beatiful. The rebuilt flathead did nothing but overheat. All flatheads are known for their hot tempers, but you could not go 10 blocks without this motor blowing its stack. After the engine shop told me to get lost, I got a '57 283 Chevy motor out of a wrecked 210 with 96,000 miles from Gene Plue plus an adapter plate, '50 Merc bellhousing and everything needed to complete the swap. Eventually the car got a '39 Ford floor shift trans, a Rochester 4 barrel and a custom dual exhaust by Lifetime Mufflers on South Broadway. Jerry Ash, the owner was a customer of mine and cut me a deal. It also had new chrome reverse wheels, baby moons and Dunlop tires. By then I had bought a Lakeside modified and needed money. The '40 was sold to one of my pit crew for a price so low I won't reveal it. I regretted selling then and still do now.

Ok now it is your turn, what was your "One that got away"?

12-01-2009, 07:23 PM
It was the summer of 1969 right after barely graduating from high school and just before going into military boot camp at Lackland AFB, TX. I stupidly sold my '55 Chevy Nomad Wagon for a mere $750.00 to a fellow "south-sider" in Cheyenne, WY. One piece of the side-trim pot-metal chrome or a front-fender "eyebrow" are worth much more than that now. And not to mention my re-built 265 CID Power-Pack V-8 that allowed me to set the P-Stock NHRA Track Record at the Cheyenne Timing Association Dragway. I'm still kicking myself for selling my "Mad." ~VB

Olen McGuire
12-01-2009, 08:32 PM
Thanks Chris for starting this thread. Mine was not a race car, but I had one that got away.I was leaving Chanute Air Force base in 1958 to be stationed at Lowery Air Force base in Denver. I bought an old 1946 Packard Clipper 8 from another GI at the base for $100 dollars. I drove it to Alabama and then to Denver and noticed that all I had to do was put gas and water in it. It was running a little rough so I bought a carburetor kit and rebuilt it at a local gas station because I was friends with the owner. It still seemed to run rough so a Captain that I worked with wanted to buy it for $150 dollars with the stipulation that I would return $50 if the block was cracked. He wanted to rebuild it and he knew that car better than I did. Well, I thought that at least I would break even and I had put another 5,000 miles on it. To me I came out ahead no matter what. Long story short, the block was cracked and I gave him $50 back. By way of another friend, that Captain kept it for 20 more years and sold it for $150,000.
Below is a pic of one just like it, but it's not the one I had, dog gone it........


12-01-2009, 10:25 PM
This is a real nostalgia kick. My first car was pretty forgetable, but my second was a 60 Chevy BelAire 2dr hardtop--a relatively rare bird. I would like to have it back, but I did sell it to but a 63 Impala SS with a 327/4-speed and factory tach. I would really like to have it back, especially since I sold it to a moron who wrecked it. Then bought a new (my first new car) 1973 240-Z, nice car that served me well. Sold that to go back to college, and after graduate school many years later bought a nice 65 Corvette that I restored. I don't have to worry about missing that one because 25 years later I still own it. I debate selling it now and then but wake up and come to my senses. My son is 15 and will probably inherit it someday. A lot of my friends get to try lots of different cars because they buy, trade, and sell their rides routinely. The older I get, the more I hang onto things like this Corvette.

Quick Time
12-02-2009, 03:35 PM
Great thread and I'll give it a try but don't grade me on the spelling.

In about 62 I traded my Triumph Cub Scrambler (bought it from Faye Myers in about 59) for a full fendered 32 Ford 5 window model B. Came with the perfect four banger but no trans or rear end. I put a Pontiac rear end in, welding hangers to still use the cross spring. Managed to buy, from John Dekker, a 340 CI Chevy that Bandimiers had built. He had run it in his street 34 sedan. That was a 283 bored 1/16th and a 1/2" stroker crank. Body was flawless and complete a couple of fenders just started to crack but nothing serious. Never got around to paint or upholstery.

In 66 I got the wild hair to move to Calif and pulled the motor, trans and sold the car for $450.00 (ouch). Disassembled the engine put it in the trunk of my 63 Plymouth Sport Fury. You might have seen it around town, bright red, deep blue tinted windows, deep chrome reversed rims with slicks. Geez what we did in those days.

Really wondered where the duece coupe ended up as the guy that bought it was in Denver at the time. Sold the little four banger for about $50 bucks or something.

Be schocked at what the value of the car is today.


12-02-2009, 05:11 PM
What a fun topic, thanks "professor" for starting it. Sounds like a lot of guys had some pretty cool cars. Went through a lot of cars during my reckless youth and daydream about them occassionally including a '32 Chevy 5 window, a '40 Chevy coupe (I was third owner!) and a '50 Olds 88 two door. But here are a couple that I'd really like to have back:

My first car that actually ran reliably was a '51 Chevy four door fastback. Not really car guy material, but split the manifold for dual exhausts that sounded pretty nice. Too many doors prompted me to trade it to a guy who had a '34 Ford 3 window with a full race flathead in it. No! I didn't get the coupe, but he was willing to trade his '34 Fordor as part of the deal. Paid him $25 to transplant the engine and I was in business. Engine ran OK, but had local stock car hero Curly Doggett tune it up and then it really ran! Still, the guys got on me about all those doors so traded it to another local racer who collected cars out on his farm for a '33 Victoria. Kept the engine. Threw on some steelies with big and littles, now it looked like a hot rod. The trio of 97s drank/leaked fuel like crazy, but for a year I had the fast car in town. Rough and ragged, it was not the car to date in, plus the plugs began to fowl with oil that was getting past the rings, so sold it to a guy in Scottsbluff. Recently learned that Ford made fewer than 5,000 of that model. Didn't know what I had. Number 1 on my list of cars I wish I'd never parted with.

Eventually another '51 Chevy came along, about the start of the mild custom craze, this time a two door. My brother and I had the only two raked cars in town. Chopped the coils, mounted VW 560s in front and Caddy 820s in back. Bounced down the road a little like todays low riders. My girlfriend was embarrassed to ride in it, but I thought it looked cool. Did all the mild custom tricks, nosed and decked, side pipes, twin sunken arials, chrome mylar tape on the top, scalloped & pinstriped. Moon discs at first, then reversed rims, but had to paint them as Denver Bumper wanted $25 a piece to plate them. Just finished them off with '50 Chevy caps with three bar 'knock offs' bolted on. A little hardware store white enamel was sprayed on the dash and garnish moldings using a spray attachment on mom's vacuum cleaner. Wish I had a photo of that car. Drove the CHP nuts on my trips from Nebraska to Pueblo where I was going to school. They didn't like the way it was lowered nor the scavenger pipes that didn't exit past the bumper. Pulled over too many times by THE MAN, so I sold it to help pay the bills. Did manage to save the glove box door. (shown below) Crummy lettering, but married my girlfriend. She framed it and presented it to me for our 40th a few years ago. Sentimentally, I'd still like to have that car, or maybe build a clone.

12-02-2009, 07:06 PM
I had been out of high school for a couple of years when i came across a Plymouth a customer had and it needed a clutch. So I doled out a grand for the plymouth a 1966 Sport Sattelite, 440 powered with a 6 pack set up and a 4 speed.

The guy couldnt get the set up right on the carbs and cooked the clutch. It took some work and time but finally got it right.

4.10 gears, street tires, mufflers and with good gas It went a best of 13.92 @ 107 mph. Not bad for a heavy car. In the end sold it after a year for 2900 bucks.

The car is still around,a guy in Golden ownes it now. It has the correct 383 on board now. He even won some awards at Mopars on the Mountain at Bandimere. It is cool to see it around knowing that it did not die some tragic death.

12-03-2009, 06:36 AM
Oh, man; do I have to admit this to a group of car guys? Well, here we go:
My first car was a 1941 Mercury Convertible that my Dad got for $50.00 back in 1969. It had been brush-painted yellow and we called it the banana boat. I had to have the distributor rebuilt because the bushings were worn out. Playing Grand Prix on the dirt roads around Leyden, I took a corner too wide and hit the left side tires in the ditch. Had to remove the tie rod when I got home and straighten it by hitting it against the light post outside the house (learned that by watching Sam Sauer do the same with #60's tie rod in the pits at Lakeside). A few months later, the left rear axle shaft broke. It had been bent in the incident and finally snapped. My buddy, who had a '40 Ford, tried to remove the axle for me but we couldn't get the Jesus bolt loose, so I sold the car for $15.00. Yikes!
A few VW's later, I got a 1957 Porsche 356A Normal coupe. YESSS! Well, it sat most of its time with me while I served Uncle Sam in Korea. When I got home, I decided I needed something more reliable and something to carry my go-kart so I could go racing. So I TRADED IT IN on a - ready for this - 1974 Chevrolet LUV pickup! Gawd, what a moron!:doh:
It's been 35 years, and I STILL kick myself in the *** for that decision at least once a month! Do we live and learn? . . . .

Olen McGuire
12-03-2009, 08:33 AM
Yeah Paul, we all have 20/20 hindsite. I've done some bad deals and some good ones, but I bet the go-kart was worth more than the LUV pickup.~Olen :cowboy:

12-04-2009, 06:37 AM
Olen: It would have been if I had actually raced it against other drivers. Just ran a few practice laps and wound up selling it. Sigh.:banghead:

12-04-2009, 01:03 PM
Yeah--there's been a few----my first car (1970)--was a 65 rambler marlin--looked like a charger--rand like s&&t----6 months later while working at a chevy dealer on so. colo blvd--i bought a 69 SS396 of the back lot---and after a year in vo tech in hi school, and workiung at the dealer--i built it into a copy of a Yenko sc--427 with a muncie--etc---fast car--too fast----56 points on an 8 point licence fast----sold it at evntually went stock car racing--wished i still had it----another car I wish we kept is 70's petty ent car in my avatar---but we ran the goodie out of it and the chassis went to nebraska in 85---and the last car was the all starr/ rick carrelli/terry stubblefied modified I ran in 85 and 86 with the sam sauer plymouth body on it--chassis went to butch wallace's cousin. and I don't know where the body went--kt

Thomas E
12-04-2009, 03:33 PM
Yes the one that got away. I have had several, the one I remember most is a 1969 Ford Ford Torino Talladega.

We got it new in '69. And it made short work of trips from Denver to Colorado Springs.

It was a basic Torino fastback, that had a 428CJ, 335 horse, C-6 automatic, and that extended front end. Staggered rear shocks, an oversize diameter exhaust system; bench front seat, a in-dash tach.

About '71 it suffered some hood damage, and other maladies, I decided not to mess with it and sold it for cheap, through "Rocky" and was sold on the third day. All I remember about who bought it was somebody by the name of Barton.

Ford model "T" 1969 version.