I’ve always been fascinated with odd vehicles. TWICE over the years I have owned right-hand drive postal Jeeps (DJ5D) circa 1970’s. Cars on my “fantasy list” if such a thing exists would include the Checker Marathon, Pacer, Gremlin, Matador, VW Bus, maybe even a DeLorean. When I was young, I couldn’t afford to buy these kinds of money pits, and as I have aged, my common sense outweighs my fascination. (Far and away my favorite was the old boxy right hand drive postal jeeps, who knows, I may even be stupid enough to buy another one someday) But I digress.
When I was a kid, I knew a guy who owned a local convenience store who had an old hearse he used to haul supplies for his store, like a big station wagon; I always kind of thought it would be neat to own one. So now there’s one for sale near me. The sign on it says 1987 Cadillac hearse, 94500 miles, runs good, $3,500 obo. I walked up and took a look at it today. $3,500 seems like an awful lot of money for a car that’s almost 30 years old, with limited appeal. I mean, yeah, its a CADILLAC, but its also a HEARSE for crying out loud. And if I recall correctly, those mid-80’s Cadillacs weren’t the best built motors in the world to begin with, were they? ALSO, the car has one of those “body wraps” with the name of the guy’s business and graphics all over it that I would have to paint over. Up close, the car looks like its spent years and years sitting in the sun, the wrap and the hearse top is dried out / cracked.
I haven’t actually talked to the guy, usually someone selling a car that old, the first thing they say is, “Well, you don’t have to have the state safety inspection because its old enough to put historic tags on it.” Me, I would insist on having my mechanic check out the car. . . So what say ye, what do you think something like that would be worth, I’m thinking $1,000 to $1,500 --IF-- it doesn’t have any serious mechanical problems. I’m not thinking about a restoration, I’m thinking more like, paint it over with a few cans of black krylon and have a nice old beater / hauler / conversation piece for a few years. As long as it doesn’t cost too much money, why not? Insurance and registration with historic tags would be next to nothing. If something expensive breaks, just sell it for scrap.
Years ago, I missed out on a Ford Ranchero I drove past every day on the way to work. It was for sale for $1,700 obo. Over the course of about 6 months, it dropped to $1,400, $1,200, $1,000, $700, I finally called the guy at $500 and was going to test drive it, but he sold it that day. I think I may be looking at the first stage of a similar situation, or is there a big demand for old hearses?
Also, I wouldn’t mind hearing stories about odd type vehicles some of you have owned or wanted to own. Didn’t one of the regulars here say he used to own a Citicar? When I was a kid there was a nearby dealer who had one of those for sale (although I didn’t know what it was at the time). I remember it was on his lot for months and months and months before it was finally gone.