Question of the Week: What’s the best deal you’ve scored on a collector car?


Those are all wonderful stories. My major score was being lucky enough to purchase my Carrera on the cheap 14 yrs ago before the market exploded on ‘80s Porsche 911s. Fast forward that 14 yrs to a conversation I was having with a client telling him I was looking for a project car. Fast forward another year, unfortunately I had to share some news with him about some expensive repairs needed he said “well Mike, you said you wanted another project car. How about mine? You can have it if you like, I think we are done fixing it.” So my long time customer of just about 20 years gave me his 1995 Mercedes Benz E320 Cabriolet for $0.00. I have enjoyed this car while my daughter and I have put some love to it and one day I will pass it on to her. I still have my Carrera so I’m totally content.


Bought a 1974 Chevy Cheyenne Super way back in 1988 at auction-don’t remember what I paid but not much. I used it as a farm truck for many years and loved the full time 4 wheel drive with ability to lock the transfer case. Four years ago I began restoration. Thank you Hagerty for helping my wife understand it’s value!


I bought a low mileage 1969 Mustang convertible in 1998 for $3,500. It required some minor mechanical work and a visit to the paint shop to return it to its original color, but it is worth around $25,000 today.


My best deal was a 1958 Impala Convertible with a 348, automatic, full power (steering, brakes, windows, etc) which everything was almost in beautiful condition except for a dent on the left rear ‘fin’ above the tail lights which probably who have cost about $800 to fix at a body shop. I fixed it for about $75. I never painted over the primer spot. I paid $100 for it which the guy wanted $500. I owned it for a couple years and sold it for $3000. Back in the 1990’s. That car is worth about $50-60k now. I have owned a total of 7 '58 Chevy’s since then. 4 Impala’s, 1 Bel Air (2 dr coupe no post), 1 Bel Air (2 dr sedan with post), 1 Brookwood wagon (4 dr), 1 Del Rey (2 door),


Late 80’s I had a Chevy truck that was worth maybe $2500. Traded it for a rust free 73 Bronco.
I still have it in my barn today, still rust free.
I think I did ok… :wink:


I bought an E30 1989 M3 Diamonswartz black with grey interior in 2006 for $6250 in california. I have yet to sell it.


In 1995 I purchased a 1929 Model A twin sidemount rumble seat roadster for 3500.00. It was from second owner who inherited it from original owner. Still on original 1929 title. First owner disassembled it in early 60’s with around 50 K miles. He bagged and tagged every part and even purchased every NOS Ford part he could to reassemble. I painted and reassembled it keeping as much original as possible. Sold it 6 years later for around 20 K. Current best deal is an uncut 67 Ford bronco I got for free from new neighbor who was going to junk it.Somewhat rusty but runs and drives and 55K miles. That was 15 years ago.


I originally went to go buy a tractor from an old farmer who lived out in the sticks. Google maps couldn’t find the address, just brought you to an empty field. I grew up in the area and knew exactly where his farm was after a short phone conversation. Entrance is easy to miss if you blink as it’s very narrow behind a thick tree line.

I probably drove past this place a hundred times over the years and had never noticed the red Ford F-100 burried halfway in the ground under an oak tree. After making a deal on the tractor I inquired about the truck. Turns out because no one could find this place or he just got scam replies he pulled the add a d decided to scrap the truck.

I asked what he was asking for it and he told me 500$. I didn’t even haggle with him and handed what cash I had left from the tractor and told him I’d be back to pick it up. The next weekend me and a relative spent about an hour getting it running, idling (poorly), driving and stopping and I drove it as it was 2 miles up the country road to my family’s property. Got it fixed up and drove her an hour home on its maiden voyage.


It wasn’t actually my best deal, but a deal my dad made with a stranger. In 1998, my dad sold his 1967 El Camino to a young man that simply knocked on the door and asked about the car. He drove away for $200. The car had a recent paint job, no rust, and matching numbers. The original 283 had been rebuilt and reinstalled just two years prior. I was shocked, but it was his car


Several in my more than 50 years of buying and selling cars. The lowest price one was a 1961 Lincoln Continental convertible. With the suicide doors. I bought for $25 US as the owner said water would pour from the side of the motor and would not stop. A trip to Santa Monica Lincoln dealer mechanic told me that only in the convertibles, where the top disappeared into the trunk were freeze plugs located under the side motor mounts where they could not be seen. I raised the motor from beneath and replaced the rotted freeze plugs with a brass ones for under $1. Problem solved. Beautiful care I sold and bought back twice, Then got is back fro free after a drug dealer was arrested in it and had it towed. He had never transferred it from his name so I was notified I could get it from the impound for the towing fees. I also had an immaculate 1959 Lincoln Continental MK IV convert, with the glass sliding rear window and its own compartment where the top disappeared into. Bought for $125USD from a man who need the money when he found his wife was pregnant. Don’t even ask the fuel economy. But, has was as low as 19 cents a gallon at the time when there were some “gas wars” in southern California. .


1966 GTO Purchased from original owner in 2001 for $4500. Original 3 speed column car owner installed correct Muncie. Original paint/interior. I did rebuild the 389 4 barrel and dressed the engine up a little.


1998 prototype Aston Martin. Project Vantage. One off. Nobody wanted it, probably because they didn’t know what it was or it was too scary to take on. Bought direct from Aston Martin. Cost a fortune to put right but a bit of AM history and the car that got James Bond back into Aston’s (007 miles on the clock​:grinning:):ok_hand:


In 2013, I was looking to buy a used Corolla or Civic for my son’s graduation. I ended up buying an 87 Nissan 300 ZX for $1800 with just 30k on the rebuilt engine. It has about 250k on the chassis, but it’s a California car so no rust. We just replaced the transmission with one we found with only 111,000 on it. Runs like a top and looks great. Those models are going up in price, so we lucked out. Great graduation![Uploading: IMG_0364.JPG…


really long story short…

Coming home from work on graveyard and saw a fender sticking out from behind a motor home on the local “car lot” AKA corner on the main drag. check it out and find it is a four door 1965 Galaxie 500. It says “garaged 35 years” “original owner”…yeah, right…

Odometer reads around 36,000 miles. Upon driving and inspection, I believe it is legit original miles. The car has all kinds of things that would only still be there on a low mile car. I’d say this car is still probably 90% original. While not original, it even still has Montgomery Ward bias ply tires on the back, presumable at least 30 years old at the time…paid $4K for it in 2010…

long version here if you’re interested, includes a visit to the cop shop and a house torn down. it is incomplete, has notes to myself and is somewhat in disarray, AKA not done, but tells the story: http://myplace.frontier.com/~crucifyd/galaxie/galaxie-story.html


I love these Town Cars and will probably pick one up eventually. My wife always laughs at me and says it’s an old man car;)


Bought a Jag XK140MC for $200 in the late 60’s. It had been repainted with a brush and there were a few things missing in the interior, but it ran strong - was a daily driver till the electrical demons caught up with me. Sold it for $1200; thought I made a killing - would I love to have it now - you bet!
Also, bought a Ser. 2A Land Rover 109 pick up with under 7000 miles on it for $400. That one I’ve still got. Just put a new frame under it, so there is a little more than $400 in it now.


2010 - 1965 Corvette coupe… ad had not much more than Black, 327 & 4speed, 80K orig miles. advertisement happen to pop while my wife was searching online - located 1/2 way between Kansas City and St. Louis in the country - and I happened to be driving back to KC at the time, she calls me and tells me about the car. I tell her it’s a scam, but it had a phone number, so I called. After talking to the owner, turns out I was about 45 min from the car and went straight there. First person to show… turns out original black/black 327/365hp solid litter car, original motor, orig 4spd tranny, side pipe car, teak wheel, documentation, service records, etc etc – collector’s dream. Brother owned it until he died, owner inherited car 10 yrs prior, been in family 30+ years. Only modification was very well done rear flares from the 70’s, otherwise, great car. I didn’t haggle, I paid his asking price of $22,000. Bought it on the spot. Left a check and my drivers license, met wife 1/2 between cities with cash - 3 1/2 hours later, car was mine with title in hand!


Around '78 or '79, my buddy and I were taking the scenic route home and I spotted a '64 Pontiac Le Mans 2-door hard top. 4 flat tires and junk piled up on top a yard deep. It’s a 2-bbl V8 floor-shift automatic car, no body damage beyond a couple of scratches and door dings. Driver’s seat upholstery is split on the bottom; the rest of the interior fine. It has the vacuum gauge on the console. While I’m crawling over and under it my buddy is talking to the owner. He’s the original owner and he says he’ll take $50, but he wants the original AM radio out of it to put on his tractor. I had a used Clarion AM/FM cassette in the trunk so I offer him that and two twenties and he’s happy. We come back the next day with 5 gallons of gas and a small compressor and drove it home about 50 miles. It feels REALLY peppy. The following week, I put on headers and I’m going to swap on a 4bbl manifold & carb, when I realize it has '65 heads. I was sure, based on the amount of crud covering the motor that it was the original 326, but when I scrape off the front of the block the code is XX. Call up the guy and he says oh yeah, he threw a rod in the first year and, because he was towing with it, he talked the dealer into replacing the motor with a service block regular fuel 389. Bizzare.
Almost as good was the day I walked into a junkyard and see a fast back Barracuda sitting right inside the gate. It’s a '67 and looks really complete. Nothing special; just a 2bbl 318 with a column shift automatic. The yard owner says he doesn’t know anything about it; it was hauled in there that morning. We dicker a bit and he agrees to $150. While I’m doing this my buddy is fiddling around with it and as I’m handing over the cash, he starts it up. I drove that car for five years and never had to fix a single thing on it!


So? --what’s wrong with being a *“dirty” *old man? If you’re gonna be one, at least do it with some style!


In 2012 I found a 2002 Porsche 911 GT2 “widowmaker” with only five K miles on the odometer and in true mint condition for 60% of true market value as owner was moving countries for job requirements and couldn’t take the car. He sold it to me as a ten year old used car not realizing its true collector market worth. It was just one of those “being at the right time and the right place” with a car owner who had no clue of the collector market out there !!