Good evening -
Having some time to spare before the coming snow storm, I in fact went to look at #1775 in St. Louis Park today. Dale is a nice enough gentleman. We have enough in common with our love of all things wheeled including old British Bikes so as to be disarming to him - so much so that when done looking at the MKII he shared with me the 6 bikes he has in his basement shop. Very fun.
Unfortunately, I think he got in over his head when buying this car. The hood needed - and STILL needs - extensive work, as it had had severe pitting from the underside. He suspects a result of a carb fire in the past. The hood repair has been all but botched - even to my novice eye. In the very least it will require extensive filler work just to make smooth, and then the paint. Those in the know will already be aware that the car was repainted at sometime to its current faded red, and BOY did they paint it! Over-spray everywhere in the trunk and its lid. there is minor rust bubbling at the fore and aft corners of the driver's door, and surface (at least) rust appearing at most of the seams (along the rain channels, at the bases of the "C" pillars, etc...) The underside looks FAIRLY clean for a car of such vintage, but there is damage to one of the passenger side frame "outriggers" - as if it had been jacked from the wrong spot and then some rust has set in. The doors don't seem to sag, but definitely require a good tug. The driver's side door glass is cracked top to bottom, and the upper dash pad is trashed and has a cover over it. The hub caps have also been painted the same red in between their vanes, and so have the wheels themselves - including the spare. I got to hear the car run. It's cold up here, and the car ran like it was. He reportedly rebuilt the carb, but said the choke was sticking. I didn't hear anything horrible coming from the engine. He also reported the car needing to be in neutral in order to start... That's disconcerting. The exhaust did not seem loud, but there were spots in the visible bends that have had patches welded in. He reportedly replaced the timing chain and water pump, as well as the brake master, but had not worked on the brakes themselves... just the wheel bearings. The car shows 42XXX miles. Hard to tell how close that is to not having rolled over. Besides the dash pad, the interior was fairly clean with incorrectly re-done white seats in good shape. Needless to say, I did not get to find out if the gauges and heater were working. All of the windows seemed to work - however slowly. Tires are very old white walls. All of the chrome appeared to be there except the CONTINENTAL across the front, and the chrome bar below that. The rest of the chrome was actually pretty decent with minor pitting at best.
He said he's been told that fully restored the cars can bring upwards of $150K, but also conceded one might spend near that much just getting a car to that level. I get the feeling he'd move SOME on his price for the "right" buyer, but not certain it would be enough for one of limited resources as myself.
Any more feedback/advice/encouragement or warning(s) would be greatly appreciated.
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