Question of the Week: Tells us about the car that got away

1965 Porsche 911. Georgia titled it as a 1966 when I purchased the car in 1978. Drove it several years then put it up for my grandchild - perfect condition 60K miles, Black on Black.

2016, Grandchild says they want a Truck, not the Porsche. So Papa gets it out of storage and running again. Advertised on Ebay and a couple of places. I wanted 30K, but never made the bid. A local offered me $26K and I sold it. 3 Months later he contacts me and said he sent to Germany for a certification, turns out it was a true 1965, one of only a hand full left. Turns out the car was orginally white. He had it professionally painted for 10K and sold it for 105K during the Porsche price rally.

Loved that car, but Love my grandchild more!

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I have a short story to share. My wife & I owned a 1964 fuel-injected Corvette roadster when we got married and thoroughly enjoyed that car. When life moved on and we had to sell the car we both cried a little, but had to adjust. Fast forward twenty five years and a burning lust to find that car again and try to buy it back. Many avenues were tried and none worked because I didn’t have the VIN number to search with. Then a friend told of finding a car’s VIN by looking at car insurance records and walla: there it was. We were both so very excited to return to the computer search only to have our hopes dashed once again as there was no such vehicle still in existence. Not to be denied, I found a duplicate vehicle in a junk yard several states away so after some negotiating and three years of restoration, I re-created the original car with original colors AND fuel injection. I would rather have the original, but this story ends with us still enjoying the substitute car that gives us all the same enjoyable driving experiences.


1975 Datsun 280z, my first car. Was orange in color which helped hide the rust. 4spd, a blk interior. I never even got it legally on the road, before i traded it for a running corolla (the z needed a clutch which cost more than I paid for the car).
I always regret getting rid of it. Later on I bought a 1980 turbo z but it wasn’t the same. The 75 had such great lines ans was so cool to look at. I only drove it once and it almost didn’t make it back home. I paid $500 for the car which was all my money at age 16. I often wondered what happened to the car, since today they are very rare.

Way too many and of course most were the ones sold or traded like trading my (now favorite memory) A 67 vet L79 marina blue on white conv. traded even for a 70 Camaro SS/RS, that was in '72. When I was 17 my dad talked me out of a 66 Nova SS L79 all black but had a red bench seat because someone stole the black buckets, that was way back in '70 when I was 18. Many more came and went in my life @ 100 cars. At least l have a 66 GTO, burgundy post 4spd. W/ trips now.

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A1953 Corvette offered to me by an insurance salesman who had it in his garage, abandoned by his son, fully disassembled. Later found to be one of the earliest off the production line.

Good luck in finding the car someday, that would be nice!

I enjoyed reading all these interesting stories, I guess hindsight is 20/20. I remember as a kid seeing used Corvettes in car lots for under a grand back in the mid to late 60’s. There was a mint red and white 1957 Ford Ranchero a few blocks from my house for sale, probably in the late 80’s or early 90’s. I think he was asking $4,500. which was a very fair price back then. I went to his house which was on a cul-de-sac but you could see the car from the main street. He had an old gas pump in the driveway and his garage was very nice with a tiled floor and a lot of car memorabilia in it, definitely a car guy. The garage door was open but he wasn’t around so I waited a few minutes and left and thought I’ll come back some other day but never did. I don’t know why I never went back. I had a 70 Corvette at the time I was working on and had a lot of money into that, that was probably the reason. Another one was a 1953 Chevy pick-up for I think around $700. or less.I looked at with my dad and I decided to keep looking. He wasn’t a car guy but he’d go with me just the same, I miss those days with him. I looked at a few more and realized that 53 was the best I’ve seen. I called back a few days later and of course it was sold. I’ve had quite a few nice cars, motorcycles and boats in my life so I can’t complain, I’m thankful.

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1980, SA Texas classified ads: 1970 Boss 302 33,000 miles, 4 speed, got it in a divorce, reminds me of my ex, must sell. Called it was the ex-wife, she hated the car and him. So I had the 3k in my pocket when I went to meet her. She drives up in an absolutely stunning Boss 302. Took it for a test drive, beautiful car, sky blue paint, louvers, just beautiful. I offered her $2800. She declined so I left, realizing my mistake stopped at a phone booth on the way home, called, she had already sold it.

Mine was a a 1960 Red Chrysler 300 Two door,red and white interior. A dealer was selling the car for$300. In 1973. I begged my dad to lend me the money.

The year was 1983, I just sold my boat for $14,000, I wanted to buy an exotic of some type so I researched what was out there and weighed up which one would be the best I could afford (meaning upkeep) and found a DeTomasso Mangusta in Newport Beach for $16,000. I loved the Mangusta, and with the 289 ford in the back I could easily keep it maintained for a reasonable price. So I flew into Long Beach, rented a car, drove to Newport where the car was parked out front of a pool sales place. The guy seamed ok but the car was sketchy at best. All four wheels had different tires on them, the paint was a sloppily applied refinish complete with swirl marks from what looked like 80 grid disk, and the rockers looked a little lumpy (always a bad sign on an Italian car). Anyway I didn’t care because I could fix these issues and it would be a good bargaining chip at the end, so out we went for a test drive. Oh boy, after a short distance it starts to overheat, rides like a covered wagon, and the topper was the synchro between 2nd and 3rd was non op. Up until the synchro I was still fantasizing about how cool this car was going to be but the prospect of a ZF overhaul was scary and I was starting to doubt my vision for this car. Back at the pool supply place I laid out my cards. I told the guy that I had $14,000 cash in my wallet and want the car even with all the issues and his answer was " if you have $14,000 that means you can get another $2,000" ……I repeated no this is it I flew down here with $14,000 and can’t get any more. He said no deal, I said you’re crazy, I flew home saw a 1978 Lotus Esprit up in Petaluma for $10,000, drove up with a trailer (it had a blown headgasket) bought it and still have it to this day………yes it’s running now and I’m in the process of restoration ……again.

I was 17 in 1984 and found a 1966 Belvedere hardtop for sale in the paper. I called and arranged to see the car. Drove out to see it and it was right up my alley. 440 6 pack 4 speed, 3.90 Posi. The paint was an ugly metallic green, but the car had no rust and a nice white bucket seat interior. The owner took me for a ride and I was hooked. He was asking $3500. I told him I’d think about it and call him. Called the next day and said I’d give him $3500 for it. He said another guy had looked at the car and offered $3500, too. I said I’ll go $3700. We went back and fourth up to $4200 and I finally gave up. I bought my '71 Nova the next week. A week after that the guy called and said the other guy couldn’t come up with the money and I could have it for $3500. I regret that I didn’t take the money with me and buy it on the spot.

I was 18 years old and my cousin told me he had a corvette for sale that he had owned for years and didn’t drive it and it had been stored in his grams garage. My dad took me to see it as I did not yet own a car. This was 40 years ago. My cousin said it had a Pontiac rearend and when my dad heard that he said this is nothing you want and told me I should not waste my money on a mismatched car. Turns out it was a 1967 stingray! I’ll never know what I could have had but I sure know I wish I did.

Back in '71 I was looking for “the most perfect Corvair” and had taken out a want ad to that effect. I got a reply, offering me the car I eventually bought, but not before I had come across a '66 Corsa turbo convertible, new clutch, clean with just two small imperfections the size of a quarter on the rear carpet and front end panel by the headlight. With just 44,000 miles on it, it was beautiful. But it was Marina Blue in and out, and I couldn’t drive a stick. So not being a “blue” person and it being a manual, I took a chance and passed it up.

But within a week I had gotten the aforementioned reply. The owner had a '67 Monza convertible, automatic with factory air. But what sold it was that it was an automatic AND it was maroon (my favorite color)!

Today I probably would have been farther ahead with the Corsa, but I feel I didn’t do too badly, as I still have that '67, after 48 years and counting. What makes the difference is that I will probably never sell it, but the Corsa probably would have been sold by now.

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It is hard now to find them without factory air
Indeed, that’s the missing piece that makes my boy’s ride be an extremely fair weather ride around these parts. With a black interior, and sitting in the sun at long lights, it is quick to fry as an occupant in the vehicle.
I remember reading somewhere the presence of air conditioning on a corvair adds about 1000 to the value, so well done there.

The power glide tranny can be a bit temperamental, or, at least his is.

When I was in High School I had the opportunity to buy a 1968 Buick GS 40. My girlfriend’s father was friends with Gordon Johncock the 2 time Indy 500 winner. The car was Gordon’s and it was at my girlfriends because of the exposure there property gave it. It was on M 46 in Michigan, the main trunk across the center of Michigan going east to west. Anyway, I was stupid and didn’t realize how special that car was. The big problem was that it was yellow and white. No 17 year old country boy would ever buy a yellow and white car. It is a rare thing to have the opportunity to buy a racing legend’s daily driver. We went for rides occasionally and he could scare the absolute shit out of you.

I have two. The first was my '69 Sport Satellite. It was a 383 car that had a 440 sitting in its place. Car had a 727 Buckets, console, splapstick, rallye gauge package, and 8 3/4 sure grip diff. That car was FAAAASSSST, but couldn’t take a curve to save its life.

The second one was my 1979 Camaro. 327 340 horse, four speed. I sold one to go to college, and the other to move to Georgia.

In 1971 it was a 1967 Hemi 4 speed GTX that had light collision damage on the RF. The fellow that owned it, the next door neighbor had lost his drivers license for drunken driving and it could have been bought for $500. I was 20 years at the time. By this time the insurance companies had really wised up and were charging crazy money to insure hi performance cars - especially with 4 speed transmissions. I could have afforded the car, but not the insurance. Had to pass !!!

In 1967 I was serving in the USAF at a fighter base in Germany. A fellow pilot was being returned to the US suddenly because his wife had come down with a serious illness. He asked me if I would buy his car because he had to leave quickly. I asked him what he had. It was a 1955 Mercedes 300SL gullwing coupe. I am not a Mercedes fan but I thought I could help out a friend. I drove it on the Autobahn and liked the way it handled but the rear end was a little noisy. It had just been to the factory where a rebuilt engine was installed. He had just had it painted Silver and a new interior installed.
I asked the price and was floored when he said $3500. I was only earning $500 a month. I said I had to pass on it but wished him luck. I think he sold it to a local. 6 months later I returned to the US and brought back a 60 Porsche 356B coupe at a price of $1800. Sold that and bought a 1959 Ferrari 250GT coupe for $1400. Oh, the good old days!!!

Never mind. I brain farted. Already posted the two I let get away. If it’s this bad at 45…

The year was 1973 and a local dealer had just taken in a beautiful 1958 Dodge300 two door. Red with a white top and matching interior. The dealer only wanted $300 for it. I took my dad to see it and begged him for the money. He said no because of big v8 engine and ever increasing gas prices not to mention Insurance. That was a hard car to walk away from.