Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Futurliners

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Photos via MAG Auctions.
While a much-hyped and fully restored Futurliner consigned to auction apparently failed to sell over the weekend, another one of the 12 GM Parade of Progress buses recently found a new home after traveling from California all the way to Germany.
Futurliner No. 3, once declared “the most original unrestored Futurliner,” now sports what restorer Dave Kindig called a “painstakingly perfect” restoration, complete with a cutaway Allison J-35 jet engine in its display bay. Nobody seems to know what happened to No. 3 in the years immediately following GM’s decommissioning of the Futurliners, but by the 1980s it ended up in the hands of concept car collector Joe Bortz, and a decade later, it made its way to California-based truck collector Brad Boyajian. Boyajian, who had advertised No. 3 in its unrestored condition for more than $450,000, sold it at auction in 2011 – reportedly for $247,500 – to an unidentified buyer, who then took it to Kindig’s Utah-based shop for a full restoration.
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Photos via MAG Auctions.
Kindig’s crew, which tore the 33-foot 12-ton GMC 302-powered Futurliner down to its skeleton, ended up having to replace most of that inner structure and fabricating from scratch some of the impossible-to-find components, including the windshield. Other items, like the 45-pound solid zinc “GM” nose letters, remained in place throughout the years, which saved at least some time and effort. Kindig, who was able to source another cutaway engine to complete No. 3’s display, also managed to find the original unique-to-No.3 wheelcovers, as he noted while on stage with the Futurliner this past weekend.
Consigned to Motorsport Auction Group’s inaugural Hot August Nights auction in Reno this past weekend, the Futurliner attracted bids as high as $2.6 million, but failed to meet its reserve. Negotiations reportedly continued afterward, but MAG spokespeople were unable to be reached following the auction.
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Photos courtesy Futurliner.com.
Futurliner No. 9, on the other hand, has not been treated to a restoration in decades. Bob Valdez bought the one-time Makita Tools display van in 1984 and gave it a stars-and-stripes theme as he outfitted it with an Art Deco-style bar. Aside from perhaps No. 10, Valdez’s No. 9 had been one of the most visible Futurliners, thanks in part to the paint scheme and to Valdez’s habit of parking it on city streets in and around his home in Sherman Oaks, California.
But with a recent sale to a collector car dealer in Jena, that may soon change. Michael Gross, CEO of ChromeCars, said that he originally wanted something like a Greyhound bus for his newly opened dealership and collector car display, but came across No. 9, which Valdez had offered for private sale off and on since 2008. “Valdez kept trying to correct the price upwards,” Gross told Der Spiegel. “At some point, though, he understood that the bus would be in good hands with us, so we were able to reach an agreement.” Gross didn’t reveal the purchase price.
Gross doesn’t plan a complete restoration to Parade of Progress livery. Rather, he said he intends to freshen up the interior of No. 9 and keep it in ChromeCars’ private collection.
No. 9 is now the second Futurliner to find a home in Europe. Several years ago, No. 8 sold to Nicklas Jonsson, who has undertaken a complete restoration of the Futurliner.

Source: blog.hemmings.com

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

31K Mile 1955 Buick Riviera

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This 1955 Buick Riviera is said to only have 31,461 miles. I’m inclined to agree with that after looking over the pictures here on eBay. It’s located in Bakersfield, California, and is said to have been garaged it’s entire life and has no rust!

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It’s pretty obvious the paint is glossy in the pictures due to being wet, but I’m betting the paint would come up nicely if treated correctly (Josh, do you offer classes?) I love the look with all the chrome, wide whitewalls (but not too wide) and what I think are the original wheel covers. The two-tone paint is just right, too. I suspect it’s been repainted, but it looks like a quality job–I’m not going to count it against it being a “survivor,” but feel free to do so if you feel that way.

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What a great grin! All the shut lines look pretty straight as well; it looks like this one hasn’t even been in a fender bender! I would love to have this one to drive the family around. The seller gives us the history of the car, which was a two-owner car prior to the current seller (doesn’t that just make it a three-owner car?) There’s a lot of original documentation included as well, and the spare tire is said to be the original one!

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While a little dirty in spots, the interior is really gorgeous and I’d encourage you to visit the ad to see how pretty the detailing is. There’s a period “motor minder” aftermarket vacuum gauge attached to the steering column. To be honest, I’d prefer an automatic in a car like this, but I’m certainly not going to complain about the three-speed. The “air conditioner” mentioned by the seller is really a window-mounted swamp cooler, but it would be a neat accessory to try–I wonder how much cooling they actually provide? Is there a reader out there with experience?

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Needless to say, the under hood appearance looks as original as the rest of the car. Assuming that’s the original engine, it’s a 322 cubic inch “Nailhead” V-8. In case you haven’t guessed, I really like this beautiful car and wish I were in a position to consider bidding on it. While not being perfect, this would be a great weekend driver and a car you could be proud of owning, and over time some detailing would go a long way!

Source: barnfinds.com

1953 Nash Rambler Deliveryman

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When this 1953 Nash Rambler Deliveryman popped up here on eBay with active bidding and the reserve unmet, I immediately began digging for more information on this funky variant. But there’s some deja vu at work here as well, since Chevy tried to recreate this vehicle with the modern-day interpretation (or was it an abomination?) known as the HHR. Like all attempts to imitate the original, the effort fell flat and the model was later discontinued. This little Nash actually still has windows behind the slab-sided panels that convert it into a miniature delivery van, and it looks very original in the photos. While the design is considered most iconic in Metropolitan form, I’m surprised by how well it translates to a mini cargo carrier. Of course, it’d be hard to resist the urge to customize and convert it into the baddest mail truck in town! What would you do with this rare Rambler wagon if you owned it?

Source: barnfinds.com

1959 Nash Rambler American

1959 Nash Rambler Pickup
Here’s a vehicle that you don’t see every day – a 1959 Nash Rambler American that someone started to convert into a pickup! Listed here on eBay in Elmer, Missouri, “El Rumblero” is a vehicle that will have you standing out in the crowd at your local Cars and Coffee gathering. With a buy-in-now price of $3,500 and an unmet opening bid of $2,900, maybe there’s some wiggle room if a buyer showed up with a roll of $100 bills?


Roof Work
The bodywork that has been done so far actually looks pretty good, but there aren’t any photos of the bed. It would nice to know what’s left to do to turn what was once a very cool 2-door wagon into what will presumably be a very cool pickup. There will be some fancy fabrication work to do to make it a show-stopper.

Cut Floor
Even though this car/truck is supposedly a Tucson native and the seller says that there are “virtually no rust problems”, you’ll need a welder and a lot of skill, or least a lot of ambition to finish this project.

El Rumblero tailgate
Personally, I can do without the over-sized wheels, but it sounds like those don’t come with it anyway; it’ll arrive with a set of 15” Chevy rally wheels on radials. I’d sell those to offset the price of some AMC factory mags. You’ll also need to factor in the price of a new drivetrain which is El-Missing here. I’d look for an AMC V8 and 4-speed to sink into this truckster to make sure that it’s DNA-correct.

Almost Ready To Haul
This isn’t a project for the faint-of-heart, but it sure would draw a crowd once it’s finished. The seller has done some modifications to the suspension and obviously to the body so you’ll have to find a drivetrain, figure out how to put it in, finish the bodywork, sort out the interior, and then just ramble up to the front of the line at the next cruise event. Do you like the idea of this Nash pickup or is this project just plain loco?

Source: barnfinds.com

1954 Ambassador

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1956 Hudson Rambler Sedan

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Pretty isn’t exactly a word that the average classic car lover would use to describe a car. And, pink isn’t exactly the color that the average classic car lover would want on a classic car. So then, why do I like this car so much?! This 1956 Hudson Rambler sedan, found here on eBay in Bethel, PA, is one pretty, pink car that I wouldn’t mind owning. I’m a huge fan of this grille, and of this design, in general; it’s got the unusual factor that I look for in cars. There is no buy-it-now price and the current bid is $3,300 which seems like an absolute steal for a pink project this pretty!


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To me, this car defines the 1950s American automotive scene as much as any other car does; yes, even as much as the 1957 Chevrolet. I admit it, I’m an AMC / Nash / Hudson fan so maybe I am biased to both the design and the color combination here, but at least with this one you won’t see yourself coming and going several times at every car show as you will with a lot of other 1950s models. As most of you know, in 1954 Nash merged with Hudson and became American Motors Corporation but the Hudson name would carry on through 1957. Both Nash and Hudson carried the Rambler name in 1956, this one happens to be of the Hudson variety.

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As you can see, the seats have been recovered in the ubiquitous velour material that seems to be popular with folks who vary from stock materials. I’m pretty sure that the solid gray seat color and pattern has been toned down quite a bit from what would have been the original color, of which fifteen were available that year. You can also see the overspray on the door jambs, I might expect to be doing a little bodywork on this car if you’re the winning bidder, I have a feeling that it’s been dolled up for the sales photos but maybe the current owner bought it this way. I might have laid down $0.40 worth of masking tape before hitting the gray with a spray can, that’s just me.

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This is one cool, albeit hard-as-steel dash. I would personally wear the seatbelts here for a bit more safety against those pesky texting drivers that you’ll encounter every day on the road. According to the auction listing, the current owner bought this car last August to restore it but has too many other projects so this pretty pink project is being pushed out the door.

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Again, more overspray here and the pink looks pretty thick on the door jambs, covering up things that may not have originally been painted at the factory, but the seats seem like they’re in nice condition even though they’re not the original color or pattern. There should be enough leg and headroom here for anyone this side of Michael Jordan. I’m guessing that the fold-down seat / bed still functions and would make for some interesting overnight stays at a campground.

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This is the 195.6 straight-six “Typhoon” engine that was used until they came up with their own V8 and it had 120 hp on tap, as well as a 12-volt system for the first time. You won’t be able to show off to Jay Leno in a burnout competition but it should move this car along at legal speeds without too much trouble, all while getting around 30 mpg. With about 80,000 miles on this engine the owner says that it runs but it also smokes a bit.

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I think that this would make a great project car for summer cruise nights. This car looks like it’s in nice shape and if a person doesn’t mind a non-factory interior this one looks usable enough until you can afford to bring it back to an original color scheme. Or, maybe you’d rather just enjoy the car as it is now. Is this partial project car too pink for you or would you park it in your driveway?

Source: barnfinds.com

5 Window, 1968 Dodge A100 Pickup

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It’s hard to imagine there was a pick-up truck war brewing in the 60s that featured single cab designs with low loading floors and beds out back. But with compact cargo carriers like the Corvair Rampside and Ford Econoline racking up sales, Dodge set out to get a peice of the action with trucks like this ’68 A100 Forward Control here on eBay. This example is a rare 5-window version that will need some work to return to hauling duties.

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Despite looking a bit rough around the edges, this A100 runs and drives but will require some brake system troubleshooting. Rust is said to be minimal and contained to the lower sill behind the driver’s door (visible in this photo). Not much else is said about the truck’s history other than the mention of its distinctive window configuration, but more info may be needed to kick-start a listing with a $4,000 opening bid.

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The interior looks pretty rough, with some old towels being used as seat cushions. New seat upholstery will definitely be needed, but if the slant six and automatic transmission remain in usable condition, throwing some money at the interior doesn’t seem unreasonable. The seller says in one of the bidder questions that he has driven the truck daily but that the brakes are “scary.”

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Only a face a mother could love? The A100 certainly isn’t the prettiest face in the crowd, but the 5-window design is attractive – though it doesn’t come close to giving the 21-window VW Buses a run for their money. But that’s not what this Dodge was about, since it was answering a challenge from the VW work vans and offerings from Chevy and Ford. Which would you choose and why?

Source: barnfinds.com