2006.08.02 No time like the present for a vehicle with a past

Written by David Green.


I’m not currently in the market for a new vehicle, but I can’t help checking out the classified ads anyway. There’s always something funny, puzzling or weird to amuse me. Sometimes, I’m not sure if the seller is serious or not.

For example, an ad for a 1958 Dodge Coronet states, “must sell, have two 1958 Dodges.” That couldn’t have been a surprise, he had to buy them in the first place, right?

Or the seller of a 1965 Mustang who claims “car is garage kept in a filtered air capsule.” Gee, just like that John Travolta movie where he was a boy in a plastic bubble.

I enjoy the ads where honesty really is the policy, such as: “1982 Ford F100...don’t expect much,  $450.”

Or “1970 Pontiac Trans Am....looks good from a distance.”

Perhaps you’d prefer a “1957 Nash Metropolitan Convertible, former Shriner’s parade car...no top fabric, terrible paint and upholstery.”

Too old? How about a “1987 Ford Mustang GT. Loud, fast and rusty...$1,100.”

How about a “1991 Chevy short box...61,000 miles, Odometer only works part time.” At least they’re honest about it, just like the owner of the “1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport...tires 75% good!” Do they mean each tire has 3/4 of their original tread or three are new and one is bald?

Then there’s the “2004 Hyundai Accent...great on gas, after all, how far can you drive one of these?”

Maybe you’d like a car with two great selling points, like this “1987 Ford Thunderbird...needs only headlights to legally drive, ...Hood latch works, $1,000.”   

I personally like the ad for the 1991 Dodge Stealth: “needs engine and window regulator, ran and drove good before.” You probably could have nursed it along without the engine, but that window regulator is essential.

Could you use a nice truck? “1994 Ford F250 Supercab...don’t let the largely unattractive exterior fool you, this truck’s interior is kinda rough, too”     

I laughed at the ad for the 1971 Ford Pinto for $750 which stated “no dreamers.” Does anyone really dream of a 1971 Pinto?

Then there’s the 1973 Corvette ad which states: “The last owner was an adult woman that cared for this car as if it were her own child.” That would explain the pacifier and burp cloth in the glove box.

There’s no lack of cars with celebrity connections, some more celebrated than others.

How about a 1986 Mercedes Benz 560SL, formerly owned by the late Dean Martin? Or another celeb Mercedes, a 1987 450SL owned by the late Redd Foxx of “Sanford and Son” fame? 

Some celebrity cars are even available with autographs. Only $6,950 will get you a replica of Ernie Irvan’s 1989 Pontiac Grand Prix NASCAR stock car, autographed by Ernie. Or someone with $29,000 to blow may prefer the 1981 Delorean with “dash signed by John Delorean, a story in itself.” Unfortunately, the owner doesn’t share the story in the ad, nor does the ad say if the car comes with snow tires. 

Or how about a 1971 Pontiac Catalina, once owned by the Wrigley company. Don’t be surprised to find gum under the seats.

Want a remembrance of a long-forgotten 1960s rock group? How about a 1975 Pontiac Firebird, purchased from the dealer by Ventures guitarist Don Wilson for his girlfriend, just $22,500?

Or how about two celeb stories in one vehicle? Just $28,000 will get you an authentic 1976 Ford Torino “Starsky and Hutch” coupe “celebrity owned by ‘Funk Master Flex.’” I must admit I’ve never heard of Mr. Flex, but what the heck, I’m sure he doesn’t know me, either.

Finally, we have a few cars used in obscure movies.  Interested in a 1969 Dodge Coronet 4 door, featured in a flick called “Circumstances Of Fate?” It’s only $6,800, which means I’m probably not the only one who doesn’t remember the movie.

A whopping $99,000 will get you a 55 foot Lincoln limousine, supposedly seen in a movie starring Bruce Willis called “North.” I’m drawing a blank on this one, too, as well as “The Punisher,” a movie starring John Travolta. At least the Travolta movie’s 1968 Plymouth Road Runner is available at $16,900, a great price for a 60s muscle car.

Finally, there’s a person who wants to sell a 1966 Chevy El Camino, “as seen in movie ‘American Graffiti.’” I hate to call anyone a liar, but since the movie was set in 1962, do you suppose there really was a 1966 Chevy in it? Misleading exaggerations in the car ads, can you believe that?

   - Aug. 2, 2006


  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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