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Old 02-12-2018, 08:49 PM   #1
TJMack
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Default Garage Sale Model A

In January of 2013 I was out with my wife “garage-saleing” in Venice Florida. I usually sit in the truck while she shops for stuff for her antique business. Upon returning to the truck this one day she said “did you see the old car in the garage?” I said no, and got out to investigate.

The garage door was open but all I could see of the car was the headlights. It was totally covered up with sheets and blankets except for the lenses of the lights. Not even the grill was showing. I couldn’t tell what kind of car it was, but the headlight gave a good clue to the age.

I asked the two elderly women at a table in front of the garage if the car was for sale and they jumped up and said no, the door wasn’t even supposed to be open. The car belonged to the old lady who owned the house and was letting them use the driveway for the garage sale. They immediately closed the door.

A few days later I went back to the house to see if the car might be for sale. When I knocked on the door I could hear someone inside rustling about, but they would not answer the door. I didn’t give up, though. I went back a few times more over the next month or so to see if I could catch someone outside. I even tried having my wife knock on the door in hopes that if the old woman saw another female at the door she might answer it. Didn’t work.

I still didn’t give up. I kept going back by the houses until a year later I finally found a lady outside that I could talk to about it. She was not the “Old Lady” who wouldn’t answer the door, but she was the actual owner. She told me what it was, but still wouldn’t let me see it because she said her garage was such a mess. Regardless, the car wasn’t for sale because her son was intending to fix it up for her twin grand kids’ 16th birthday. She admitted that she didn’t hold much hope in that happening.

Over the next FOUR YEARS I kept going by the house and if I saw her outside I’d stop and renew her memory that I’d be interested in buying it if it became available. So, last December I happen to be going by and saw her. When I stopped she said, to my surprise, that Yes, they were considering selling it because the kids turned 16 the previous August and had no interest in the car.

I finally got to see what it was and then talked with her son and daughter-in-law and struck a deal. It’s a 1929 Special Coupe with a rumble seat. It sat in that garage for 40 years without moving. A quick inspection showed that the body was exceptionally solid with only a few minor spots of rust and cracks in the usual places on the front fenders.

The paint is lacking, and the grill shell and bumpers are all surface rust giving the car a great survivor patina. The interior was “customized” somewhere along the line with a rolled and pleated seat. Most of the car looks to be OEM, with some variations that occurred over the years. It’s not show quality by ANY means, but it is COOL. It's the first Model A I've ever owned.

The moral of the story is, keep your eyes open. The barn finds are all gone. The cars are now to be found in garages in the cities. And a corollary is; don’t give up.

I'll elaborate on my experiences in later posts. I hope some will enjoy.
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Garage Sale Model A

"Bear" Down Try Hard, Never Give Up. NEVER !!!
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Garage Sale Model A

Great story. Thanks for sharing.

Ken
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Garage Sale Model A

Had a similar experience years ago. Wife and I were trying out our new bicycles riding up and down some side streets and alleys in our neighborhood when I noticed those headlights peering out of a garage. The elderly owner wasn't around to speak with, the housekeeper didn't know anything about it. I must have ridden my bike past that car for 8 months before finally catching the owner. Her husband had bought it in 1942 just before going off to the Pacific war, and they drove it for years, finally parked it in the garage when he died.
She wasn't interested in selling it then. But a friend of hers from Hawaii had told her it was worth at least $17,000! It was a '30 Tudor in about the same condition as your sport coupe. For all I know, it's still there.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Garage Sale Model A

Heh we were having a garage sale - i was out back with a sawsall and a chisel tryign to remove rock hard AA tires from rims in 91*F heat. I heard an ominus packita packita packita noise out front then it shut off. I peered around the corner and to my suprise what looked like a rusty barn find Model T out front. Immediately figured out who the owner was and showed him my AA project. He was impressed and we talked for quite awhile and i got to look over his car. It was a 1925 phaeton all original, 1st owner was a good friend of his dad and been stored in a barn for ages. He said all he did was get the mechanicals sorted out and drive it as is. Has all sorts of Roosevelt for president and buy war bonds stickers on the back haha. I see it occasionally floating around town.

Might sound dumb but im doing the call occasionally and stop by when i see the guy out who has a 1982 escort wagon...we used to have one and i wished we kept it (first time thats been said about an escort)
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim/Alabam View Post
"Bear" Down Try Hard, Never Give Up. NEVER !!!
Or eat more prunes.
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:04 AM   #7
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Or eat more prunes.
Or white castle - whatever floats your boat
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:28 AM   #8
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I spent 20 years watching a 30 tudor sedan melt into the ground. A fellow had it in his backyard with plastic over it. I would stop ever so often and chat and he was always "going to restore it". Predictably, the top went in, the plastic became a reservoir, the tires and wheels went into the dirt. If I had the means back then, I should have made a time lapse documentary of the car going into the earth. It would have looked like a true melt down. Work, family and life kept me from going by after a period of time and my guess would be it became some new steel via a junk yard.
A story I have experienced, seen and heard more than once.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: Garage Sale Model A

" The barn finds are all gone " , well not quite . I know of a 29 Tudor , about 5 miles from me , that I have known about for over 30 years , that belonged to the Dad of a fellow I worked with . It now belongs to the fellows brother , still sitting in the lower level of the old barn [ last time I asked about it a few months ago ] , just wasting away . I plan on checking it out again this summer and get more pics of it , when I visit the guy again . Anyways , there still out there , just well hidden like this one .
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:27 AM   #10
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People are funny about these things. I went by a yard where the owner had several older cars and seemed to be selling the parts. He had a parts car that I wanted so I talked to him about selling me the thing. He had a price that was at least 3 times what it was worth and said that he would shove it over a bank first rather than sell it for my offer. The next day I went back with cash in hand thinking that might soften him up a bit and sure enough he had shoved it over the bank in back of his place.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:06 AM   #11
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Default Re: Garage Sale Model A

Friend, Ted was ridin' his bike down an alley, a sign on the garage door read, " MODEL A PARTS FOR SALE"--Lady came & showed him a pile of stuff, for $150.00---Opened the other door & said, "OH, this goes with it"---It was a COMPLETE '30 roadster!!!---By late afternoon, he had it RUNNIN' & DRIVIN'---
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:36 PM   #12
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Pictures, we all like pictures.
Paul in CT
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:01 PM   #13
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Pictures, we all like pictures.
Paul in CT
Well YES, Paul,
But when a Friend is comin', I print out special pics for him. He says, "That's NICE" & when he leaves, he DOESN'T even take them!
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:43 PM   #14
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Default Re: Garage Sale Model A

Barn finds do still exist! This is what I dug out of my mother-in-laws barn.
Attached Images
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:56 PM   #15
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Default Re: Garage Sale Model A

Your story is inspiring. I found a long-stored Model T I have been trying to get. I am nothing if not persistent. I need to circle back with the owner. Sometimes they think they are gold, though.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:16 AM   #16
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Default Re: Garage Sale Model A

Jemelton#,
What a great find. I hope you get the tudor back on the road. How long has it been sitting?
What are your plans?

Last edited by Neil Mylar LakewoodCA; 02-14-2018 at 03:18 AM. Reason: Spellcheck
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:03 AM   #17
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Default Re: Garage Sale Model A

I had a similar situation with an airplane at the local airport owned by an absentee owner that was going to be restored someday. My offer was refused. I started protecting it and preserving it with his permission and no promises. 3 years later I received a call @ 2AM ! and my offer was accepted. Saved a bundle of money for a small amount of money and a little labor, it was a winning gamble.

John
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:24 AM   #18
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Default Re: Garage Sale Model A

December 2 2017 I was talking with a fellow I used to work with over coffee.
He said he needed to clean out his pole barn to make space, and had a Model A that he had bought 27 years earlier and needed to sell.
I told him when he was serious I would like to look at it, he says lets go look.
I really was not planning on starting a project but had always wanted to restore one. He said it had been over 30 years since it ran, the engine was free though
He made a price offer and I new I could part it out for that so I agreed.

I paid him on the spot, before he could change his mind.
Trailered it home the next day, unloaded the inside and found a lot of stuff I had no idea where it went or what it was, there was even a pretty unused Binks spray gun in there.


The inside load
After getting rid of the mouse debris, cleaning out the oil pan, starter, generator and setting up a jumper on the ignition, 3 days later I started it up.

Trying to learn faster than the bank account goes down
Most of the driveline has been done and now starting on the body, I need to find a mentor nearby to point out what I am missing
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:52 AM   #19
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Default Re: Garage Sale Model A

looks like a very nice find!!
when in doubt on something just ask on here you will receive all kinds of info.
also for the most part all parts will find there own location just like an over sized jigsaw puzzle.

Tinkirk
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:02 PM   #20
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Default Re: Garage Sale Model A

Quote:
Originally Posted by TZBrown View Post
December 2 2017 I was talking with a fellow I used to work with over coffee.
He said he needed to clean out his pole barn to make space, and had a Model A that he had bought 27 years earlier and needed to sell.
I told him when he was serious I would like to look at it, he says lets go look.
I really was not planning on starting a project but had always wanted to restore one. He said it had been over 30 years since it ran, the engine was free though
He made a price offer and I new I could part it out for that so I agreed.

I paid him on the spot, before he could change his mind.
Trailered it home the next day, unloaded the inside and found a lot of stuff I had no idea where it went or what it was, there was even a pretty unused Binks spray gun in there.


The inside load
After getting rid of the mouse debris, cleaning out the oil pan, starter, generator and setting up a jumper on the ignition, 3 days later I started it up.

Trying to learn faster than the bank account goes down
Most of the driveline has been done and now starting on the body, I need to find a mentor nearby to point out what I am missing


Looks like the metal is in nice shape, and of course the Tudor is one of the easier ones to restore. You need the shorter 28-9 outlet for the top hose.
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