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Old 02-04-2018, 08:55 AM   #1
Dr. OldKat
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Default (Not really) a barn find.

Quite by chance, last Thursday I practically stumbled across a “barn find” (as misleading as that term can be) of sorts in the way of a Model A and I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts on what I should be looking for and any concerns that you would have if you were in my shoes.

A friend mentioned that he knew of a man in our community that was thinking about selling an old pickup of some sort. When I expressed interest in learning more he called the man and put me on the phone with him. Turned out he was the retired Ford dealer in our town (population 4,000) and when he had opened a new location on the edge of town in 1967 a local man came in and said he had an old pickup that he wanted to trade in on a new pickup. The now retired dealer was surprised to see him drive up in a ’28 Model A Roadster P/U when he brought his trade in for appraisal.

He took the truck in on trade and turned it over to his service department to rebuild. It underwent a complete frame off restoration at that time; body work (he said there was only surface rust, no rust through), repainted it stem to stern, overhauled the drive train; including re-pouring the Babbitt bearings, line boring the block, new rings etc. Also addressed was a new interior and top, new tires etc. Again, this was in 1967. Talk about an “older restoration”! You guys know the drill better than I do what all is involved in a frame off resto.

For the next 40 plus years it sat on the showroom floor at his dealership and was only taken out now and then for parades or to drive his children and later his grandchildren around town. He said the truck has less than 30,000 miles on it, and probably no more than 1,000 since the rebuild. Therein lies my concern; at 1,000 +/- miles and 50 years since the rebuild that comes out to 20 miles per year.

Though it sat in a climate controlled environment for over 4 decades and has been in his shop/garage, that he calls a barn, since he sold his franchise probably 10 years ago … it has not been started in “about” 3 or 4 years. Worse yet, is the long term, infrequent use after it was rebuilt. I have not seen the truck since I talked to him, plan to do that this coming week. I did use to see it when I’d go to that dealership to buy parts, but never studied it in detail, nor up close. I just glanced at it now and then, best I can recall the paint job was a solid 5 to 10 footer, even after all those years.

So are my concerns about this vehicles lack of use off base? Just knowing about this truck by what I have posted here, would you be concerned about buying it under these circumstances? Next question is what is a fair price for it? The story behind it is pretty interesting, real cool actually. I’m just not sure that is enough to cause me to bite on it, especially if he is out in left field somewhere on what he expects to get for this thing. Honestly, we didn’t talk price; but the case being what it is and having not seen it in person … what kind of ballpark figure would you think I should offer?

Any and all comments are welcome.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: (Not really) a barn find.

Need pictures to get a better idea of price range.

As far as setting in storage for an extended period. If it’s been in a safe dry place, most likely not a problem.

We purchased our Sport Coupe out of a barn in up-state New York where it had sat for 35 years. Put air in tires, water in radiator, gas and battery. Car started right up. Could have driven it home, but clutch was rusted to fly wheel.

If you do buy the car. There are some things that you are going to have to check and/or replace before going on an extended drive.

Sounds like if price is right, you might have a real find. Enjoy.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: (Not really) a barn find.

Go see the truck, it is hard to put a price on it, without seeing it, or at least pictures.
The truck sitting in the showroom for many years wouldn't have hurt it. More importantly, did the oil and antifreeze get changed? Condensation inside the engine can do some damage, if the truck were in left to the elements. Meaning, barn stored as opposed to climate control. Did the fuel system get drained? Condition of tires? Ect....
What ever your decision, I'd move in on this deal. Sounds like a good truck.
Keep in mind, only 2 people need to be happy with this deal. You the buyer and he, the seller. Price is not always the determining factor. I know I'd sell my cars for a cheaper price if I felt they were going to a proper home.
Hope this helps. Jeff
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: (Not really) a barn find.

Sounds kind of fishy to me,
you should just forget about the whole thing (these are not the droids you are looking for)
And now if you will kindly give me the phone number for that gentlemen, me and the boys will look into this matter.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: (Not really) a barn find.

Dok, if you go to see the ’28 and are really impressed, let the owner know that. Once he’s convinved that you are going to cherish the car and fix everything that needs fixing, he will know that it is going to a good home. Don’t verbally knock the car in front of the owner. Keep all minor things to yourself. Major things are a different matter and should be discussed but not in a critical way. More of a concerned way.

Nothing is more frustrating than to have someone knock and pick apart a car you are selling. I’ve actually told potential buyers to just leave because of their nit-picking to try to drive the price down. They criticized their way right out of owning a neat car. If they would have discussed stuff with me and asked honest questions, I would have sold the car for a price that we both would have been happy with.

Good luck. A ’28 roadster pick-up is one of my wife’s favorite looking cars.

Mike
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:02 AM   #6
frank mcdaniels
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Default Re: (Not really) a barn find.

As we all know if it's early 28 there are some parts that are unique to this vehicle. Just getting to know the history of the car has value in my world. The memory of getting to see it earlier in your life makes it pretty cool. Good luck I hope you get it. Frank p.s. You should see if you can find the original owners family to see if they have any photos or memories of it.
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: (Not really) a barn find.

A picture says more than pages full of words...
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Old 02-04-2018, 12:03 PM   #8
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Smile Re: (Not really) a barn find.

Quote:
Originally Posted by burner31 View Post
Sounds kind of fishy to me,
you should just forget about the whole thing (these are not the droids you are looking for)
And now if you will kindly give me the phone number for that gentlemen, me and the boys will look into this matter.

LOL, a lot of us would go with you or beat you there!
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Old 02-04-2018, 01:00 PM   #9
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: (Not really) a barn find.

Buy it, change the fluids, new gas. Fire it up and drive it. Patina is even better.
Paul in CT
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Old 02-04-2018, 03:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: (Not really) a barn find.

^^^^^^ This.

The nice thing about our cars is that they are very easy to work on. Check the rubber, fluids and battery. That is basically it. I can't speculate on a price, as everything here is 2x the price anywhere else. But I wouls kill for a chance to own this.

Mike
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Old 02-04-2018, 07:57 PM   #11
Dr. OldKat
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Default Re: (Not really) a barn find.

Thanks for the comments guys. I plan to call him tomorrow and go look at it Mon, Tues or Wed of this week. I'll take pictures and though not the biggest techie ever, can probably figure out how to post them to this site.

Thanks again for the feedback.
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: (Not really) a barn find.

Dear Dr. Oldkat:

Remember there are very few things we can't reverse on a Model A after a long storage. The first thing is changing the fluids. You can deal with the rest afterwards. Purchase it, get it on the road and enjoy it!
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:59 PM   #13
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Default Re: (Not really) a barn find.

It would be interesting to have our Babbitt guys here pull that engine down to check out a 50 year old re-Babbitt job!
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:12 AM   #14
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Default Re: (Not really) a barn find.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. OldKat View Post
Thanks for the comments guys. I plan to call him tomorrow and go look at it Mon, Tues or Wed of this week. I'll take pictures and though not the biggest techie ever, can probably figure out how to post them to this site.

Thanks again for the feedback.
Easy way for pics:
Click the "blue post reply" lower left bottom of page, when text box opens, in the top middle of the bar you will see a "paperclip" click that, a window will open "manage attachments" click "choose file" then pick your picture, after you picked up to seven pics click the top "upload" on the right hand side of the text box, wait for it to upload.
You must type something, anything into the text box message, scroll down to see "preview post" at bottom of your text box, you should see your message as it will appear when you post, if you like it click "submit reply" to post.
Easy-cheesy
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:25 AM   #15
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Default Re: (Not really) a barn find.

Be sure to get in the car to check the fit. Like shoes, these come in different sizes and the early open pickup is in the small and narrow category. Great to look at but most don't fit. Also, owning a dealership is NO PROOF of any amount of knowledge about these cars. With most dealers, it's all about looks on the walk around, That's what sells cars The "Boys in the shop" get em running and the "Men on the sales room floor Sell them.

Last edited by 100IH; 02-05-2018 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 02-07-2018, 05:01 PM   #16
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Default Re: (Not really) a barn find.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 100IH View Post
Be sure to get in the car to check the fit. Like shoes, these come in different sizes and the early open pickup is in the small and narrow category. Great to look at but most don't fit. Also, owning a dealership is NO PROOF of any amount of knowledge about these cars. With most dealers, it's all about looks on the walk around, That's what sells cars The "Boys in the shop" get em running and the "Men on the sales room floor Sell them.
And, "the Boys in the shop" are often told to "Just make it run". "Don't spend any money on it!".
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