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What cars do you wish you had not passed on buying?

In another thread, keith said he wished he had a “do over” on not buying an MGTD for $400.

Here’s a cut and paste.

Quoting @keith

keith
July 20
MG McAnick, You could be right, but there was a TD that I had a chance to buy when I was young. It belonged to a friend. He wanted $400 for it but I passed because a former owner had taken it to Earl Schieb for a $29.95 paint job. They painted everything, including the chrome an ugly light blue.

keith
July 20
If only I had a “do over”.

End of quoted material


I’m curious. Of all the cars you have been offered, what cars do you wished you had bought but didn’t, for whatever reason.

I’ll go first.

I passed on an MGTC for $800 in 1969. Granted, I already had my first $400 MGA and a $750 Mercedes 190SL, so it wasn’t like I needed another car. Should have gone for it, even though I needed another car like I needed another hole in my head.

There have been literally dozens, maybe hundreds, of others, but that one has gnawed on me for years. I’ve always liked the “classic” MGs, but I’ve never owned one, just MGAs and MGBs by the dozen.

This is easy for me. When I reenlisted for the first time in the Air Force I got an enlistment bonus. I started looking for a vehicle to fix up and found a nice 1933 Ford 2Door Coupe with suicide doors. When I asked the owner for the keys he said the engine was locked up. He knocked the price down from $1500 to $1200 hoping for a sale. I walked away and have been kicking myself ever since.

1968 GT350 Shelby Mustang for $2500 low miles one owner. 1968 Ford Galaxy 500 conv. It had not been finish being put together at the factory. It was all there. $900. With all doc’s. Had been in the back of a body shop for over 10 years under a cover. 1965 396 425hp Corvette documented factory test car. Saved from the cushier. I let it slip away. I could have had it for $8500. I did some of the restore work on it. Sold in a BK auction.

The fish that got away for me was a 66 Corvair Monza last year.

I went to Jersey to pick up some aircooled parts from a guy that was moving to CA. He had to get rid of a bunch of stuff, most of which I bought. He didn’t advertise this Monza because someone was interested in it. Since the buyer flaked out, he offered it to me for $1500. He wanted it ‘gone’ as it was moving in just a couple of days.
It ran but needed some carb and brake work - nothing crazy. Strangely enough it had racing slicks in the back. A Monza is not a race car.
It was in nice shape as it was stored in the garage most of its life. Paint was flat but could be buffed out.

Of course, I already have three vintage cars. A fourth one would have flipped my wife out but that can be fixed with a nice dinner and jewelry.
I should have left a couple hundred bucks for a deposit, right there and then. The next day, after I decided it was worth ticking my wife off for, when I called him back, the other buyer decided had already called to buy it after all.

About a month ago, we went to a VFD Carnival in my wife’s parents small town. They auction off a car every year. This year, a retired teacher put up her 2002 Taurus SE with 76,000 miles on it. The car was immaculate, with only a few small scratches in the paint. I offered $3945 for it; the winning bid was $4001. I thought about going to $4025, and should have. I was too hung up with the owner value, but it was actually a trade-in and was reconditioned by the dealer. And it included a dealer guarantee. Who says you can’t get a good car for $4000? I missed a good one here. It’s not an exciting car, but it would have been good, reliable transportation for the kids.

Not car, a bike, but still a motor vehicle. It was an early 1940s Harley Davidson 45 in about 1968 for little money but no title due to a divorce situation. Possibly I avoided more trouble than I could know.

I was too young to buy it (12 at the time) but my brother’s friend had an Austin Healy 3000 Mk II that he was selling after my brother figured out how to get it running decently. Oh, if I had some money then!

Regarding cars, I remember passing up a slick 1958 Corvette back in about 1972. Clean, running great, stone original, and for 850 dollars. Ow.

As far as motorcycles I passed on several back in the mid 70s.
A complete non-running bone original Indian Chief for 400 dollars and 3 or 4 Indian Chief rolling chassis assemblies with several engine/transmission assemblies for an additional 500 bucks or so.
There’s a 150 grand or so in today’s dollars still kicking me in the rear… :frowning:

@ok4450 Ow is right.
I knew a guy in the early '70s who rode his grandfather’s Indian Chief to class and also had his Kaiser Frazier on campus. The Frazier was the first car I knew of that had over 200K miles. Of course that was only about 10K a year.

Back in the early 70s the Dodge dealer here had a used orange Dodge Daytona sitting out on the lot that they couldn’t seem to give away for 1800 bucks or so. Who knew… :frowning:

Back in 1973 my late brother in law gave 400 dollars and a pair of stereo speakers for one of these; same color, clean, and running great. He eventually sold it for the same amount. Ow again…

http://www.mustangdreams.com/Shelby-Cobra-GT-350.htm

The guy who sold him the car is still a long time friend of mine and has gotten over it but his brothers still remind him of what a sap he was. :wink:

Lets see, now most of the cars I passed on, I could not afford at the time, but in addition to the TD, there was a 57 T-bird for $1900 I passed on because it was pink, A 63 Studebaker Avanti for $1900 but I didn’t have the money and a 57 Corvette for $1200 but it only had a 3 speed on the floor and a single 4V 283. Oh yeah, a 427 Ford Cobra (the real thing) for $7500 but I chose to get married instead.

I knew someone when I was 14 years old who had a '71 Road Runner 383 four speed. He took me for a ride in it and it was about the most fun I’ve ever had. That car had a lot of power. He was offering it for sale for two grand, but of course I didn’t have that kind of money, and my father knew it was not a good first car for a teenager, so it never happened. I also have had some vehicles I wish I had never sold, like a couple of vintage Chevy trucks, a '71 C20 I used for a daily driver and a '68 C20 roller I had intended to install a 350 and TH400 in, but never got around to. As to good fortune, I don’t have any fantastic stories of my own, but remember reading in a magazine about a fellow who, in the '80s right before the price of muscle cars exploded, snapped up a '70 Hemi Super Bee for $1800 because it was making a horrible noise in the front end and the seller thought it would surely cost a fortune to fix. Turns out the car was in dire need of a set of brake pads and rotors.

Mint condition 91 CRX Si with only 25,000 miles on it for $4,000 about 6 years ago. Should’a bought it as a companion for my other CRX, but passed.

Oh yeah, a 427 Ford Cobra (the real thing) for $7500 but I chose to get married instead.

My condolences. :stuck_out_tongue:

A JPS Lotus Europa. Bought a VW Scirocco instead.

Back around 1967, the local Ford dealer had a Bentley (circa early '50s) on his used car lot. Burgundy and silver, with beige leather upholstery, it stood out–very high and very different–from the mass of early '60s Detroit iron with which it shared the lot.

I spotted it on a Sunday, when the lot was closed, and the exterior looked…decent.
Certainly not pristine, but fairly decent for a car that was probably about 15 years old.
On a whim, I tried the door handle, and found that the car was not locked!

Inside I went, and inhaled the intoxicating aroma of old leather.
Yes, the leather was somewhat “checked” from age, but it was so thick that it likely would have stood up for many years to come.

I lifted the hood, and found a huge straight-six engine. (Prior to this, I did not know that there had been six-cylinder Bentleys and Rolls-Royces in the '50s) The engine was reasonably clean, although far from looking factory-fresh.

The price on the placard in the window was something like $1,500, which made this purchase something to consider. However, the next day I started to look into parts prices for these cars, and when I found that…for instance…a muffler cost over $1k, I decided that I would not be able to maintain this noble old beast.

So, after one final visit to that lot, I bid farewell to the Bentley that was not destined to be located in my driveway. But, in retrospect, I really regret not buying it.

“So, after one final visit to that lot, I bid farewell to the Bentley that was not destined to be located in my driveway. But, in retrospect, I really regret not buying it.”

Have you seen the Brit Top Gear segment where James May discusses the problems a Bentley owner faces (he is one)? You might not regret it after you see the story.

I have seen that segment, but…I still wish that I had bought it.

I’m crazy about Bentley’s, too. My favorite is the Brooklands Coupe - Garnet with black hides. But I’ve never seen one except on line, so it doesn’t qualify for the current poll.

530 BHP and a ridiculous 774 #-ft of torque from the twin turbo. Incredible.

1968 MGBGT, could not get the financing to go through before the trade in of my bosses car, I got to drive it for different occasions, and that car was sweet!