As many of you are aware I bought a Studebaker Lark at an estate auction, but it was actually one of the more mainstream vehicles on offer at the auction. Here is an overview which includes everything from a snow-plane, a sixties pickup diesel truck, a British limousine to a classic electric car. There were a few others I had considered bidding on that I will highlight as well.
As mentioned before I was one of the later people to pick up my purchase, so for some of these vehicles I need to use the supplied auction photos rather ones I have taken. We will start off with some of the other cars I considered. I will say perhaps I was a little ambitious in my virtual browsing as most of these went for more money than I initially suspected.
I really liked the look of this 1966 Volkswagen Woody conversion. I thought maybe if the rabid Volkswagen fans did not notice this auction, I might have a chance at it. While the roof needed some attention overall it appeared to be a high quality conversion.
Alas, it was not meant to be as someone else ponied up $5,700.00 to take this beauty home. Auction link.
Another oddity that I could be interested in if it went cheap enough was this 1980 Commutacar. I have always been intrigued by electric cars but put off by the generally high acquisition cost. No being able to inspect any of the cars during the auction meant that I could not test the batteries or operation of the car, so it would have to go cheap. The pint sized car with a giant front bumper ended up selling for a strong (in my opinion) $4,950.00 which put me well out of contention. Auction link.
Here is another oddball (are you sensing a theme yet?) in this 1959 Beardmore Taxi. This vintage cab was equipped with a diesel engine and while parts supply would be a major concern, it did appear to be in fantastic condition. I figured this would go above my price range and not at $4,100 it did. At that price I believe someone got a great deal on a very unique motor. Auction link.
The Triumph Mayflower probably has few fans and while it is not a classic beauty I have always had a bit of a soft spot for it. They certainly do not come up for sale very often. This 1949 Mayflower appeared to be in great cosmetic shape and was likely an older restoration.
The interior appeared to be in good nick as well with an ominous box of random parts in the passenger foot-well. Additionally I am a sucker for banjo style steering wheels.
Unlike most, this one has retained the original flat head four cylinder engine in the snug engine bay. The description stated that it needed a head gasket, but as I understand it, quite often the head cracks on these as well. Many of Mayflowers have received an engine swap from a Triumph Spitfire as the original engine was a bit marginal even when new. This one sold for a very reasonable $2,150.00 and I am sure I will kick myself in the future for not buying it. Auction link.
This Nash Airflyte looked like an easy revival candidate much in the same vein as the Studebaker. Being a two door fastback body style it likely had a better value upside when completed.
The Nash looked a little weathered but potentially a very solid car. This one sold for $3,100.00. Auction link.
This little buggy was certainly neat and appeared to be built with mostly Ford Model T bits and an unspecified Honda trike engine. The body was all wood but certainly showed as a high quality build. The only question was what could one do with it? It would be tough to make street legal in Alberta but maybe needs a person with some land could tool around with it there. The question of use was for someone else to answer with a sale price of $2,300.00. Auction link.
There was another 1963 Studebaker Lark up for re-homing in this auction, but in the more desirable Wagonaire body style. This one was the Custom trim and originally dark red in color, making it a Canadian car. This one was equipped with a six cylinder engine and automatic transmission. It went a little cheaper at $1,000 compared to the sedan I bought, but it appeared to be quite a bit more work to get it back on the road judging by the auction photos only. Auction link.
File this under not seriously considered but I love this 1940s Snow-plane. Unfortunately I would have no place to store or use it but just look at how fantastic it is.
The engine was described as a Menasco 135 HP which if you look closely you can see it is of the inverted inline style (head at the bottom). I did spend more time than is probably healthy joking with my wife that I was bringing this one home as the bidding stayed really low until near the very end when the hammer fell at $4,910.00. I was bummed not to see this one in person at pickup time.
One of the other highlights for me was this 1964 GMC diesel pickup truck with an interesting color. Note the custom grille on this one with the word diesel on it.
It had a 3-53 Detroit Diesel and five speed manual transmission which was installed when new. A real heavy and heavy duty combination.
The interior had a number of interesting custom touches as well. I was happy to see this one in person.
The rear was customized as well. The topper looks period correct as do the slot mag wheels and I suspect this would have been an expensive build when new. This unit sold for $12,499 but I doubt you will ever see another one. Auction link.
Do you know what else is unique? A 1990 Jaguar limousine in North America fits the bill for me. The Jagggggg went for only $1,950 but again what are you going to do with it? Auction link.
Here is a rare Canadian car which at first glance just looks like a 1964 Pontiac Parisienne two door wearing some partial hub caps.
But as its special party piece this one has a 327cid V8 and four speed manual transmission which must have been seriously uncommon. I am not sure what the red light is under the dash, but perhaps a shift light? The aftermarket gauges hint that the car may have seen some racing action in the past. This one sold for $4,700 which is probably a decent deal given the rarity of specification. Auction link.
If you thought the Parisienne was optioned uniquely then this 1964 Mercury Montclair might blow your mind.
Another four speed manual transmission hooked to a FE big block V8. The interior looks in good condition with bucket seats but the color scheme and pattern does not scream sporty, at least to me.
You know what else is not sporty? A continental spare tire kit. This cannot be a combination seen too often. Big block, V8, manual floor shift, bucket seats and continental kit. I do wonder if it was a factory order or someone pieced it together after the fact. Auction link.
This Canadian market 1966 Valiant Signet looked a little rough but it probably has survived this long because it is a two door and …
it is equipped with yet another four speed manual transmission. This time the engine is a slant six rather than an eight but I bet this was a fun car.
Someone named CountBob bought themselves a neat project for $1,750. Auction link.
My friend Rod was interested in this 1977 Dodge dually pickup truck for trailer pulling duties but bailed out before it sold for $4,000. Auction link.
This 1962 International Scout was very tempting but these vintage Scouts are hot right now, so I knew it would be out of my budget range.
It was rather appealing however and made $7,600 during the auction. Auction link.
This mint looking 1985 Dodge Power Ram has to be rare as a low mileage unicorn. It was also a little old school with a slant six, four speed manual and 4×4 drive-train.
Factory fresh interior with three pedals (four with the park brake I guess). The shift lever looks a like awkward with that bench seat. It went for an even ten grand. Auction link.
Amazingly this 1947 Reo Speedwagon with the rare pickup body style went for almost the same money as the Dodge, pulling in $10,300. I know which I would have preferred. Auction link.
There were quite a few older vehicles as well. This post is getting rather long so I will pick only a couple to highlight, including this 1938 Chrysler Royale Business Coupe. It sold for $11,260. Auction link.
This 1918 Buick Roadster is an attractive vintage car and 1 of only 985 six cylinder cars produced. I do not follow values on these but $23,523 feels like a deal to me. Auction link.
What struck me about this auction is there were very few “normal” collector cars like an early Ford Mustang (ok, there was one project 1957 Chevrolet Nomad). Not that there is anything wrong with those but I am always drawn to the more unusual. This auction had the odd and unique in spades. I would have a hard time picking a favorite if it were my collection (ok, it is the snow-plane!). I hope you enjoyed this mini-tour. There is more at the auction root site itself here and it works best to sort by Bid Price Descending to view the vehicles.
I would really like to know the story on that GMC Diesel, it almost looks like a promotional/test bed type of thing.
It wasn’t a factory job, for sure, as it’s too amateur-looking and used Thunderbird seats. Somebody just really wanted a diesel GMC pickup. My guess is perhaps they were a GMC HD truck dealer or operator.
The snowplane is unique. Looks like it could be mounted on a flatboat to make a swamp skimmer.
Decent prices for uncommon vehicles. That Ski-Plane is so awesomely 1930’s Retro!
I found the prices a bit all over the place. Some were more than I would have imagined and some were decent deals. That is an auction for you I guess.
These are Canadian prices so you can multiply them by about 0.78 to get US cost but were subject to a 5% fee to a maximum of $750 per item and then 5% sales tax.
The Commutacar front bumper and the Mercury’s rear, now that’s a pairing! Interesting stuff here, though I think you did well with the Lark. Let us know how that goes. Thanks for writing this up.
I would not want that Commutacar front bumper so much, as running into something would not be the big risk, in my opinion. Where I would want it is on the back, for the people who would more likely be running into me!
Can you imagine turning into or backing out of a slightly inclined driveway with that Merc? I think that back end would be scraping the road big time!
I believe that front bumper contained batteries. The original Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar had three lead acid cells under the seat along with the relay-powered controller. It also had a range that, to my memory, was about 35 miles.
While I never followed the car after the Commutacar’s builder bought the setup, I wouldn’t be surprised if they attempted to double the battery capacity by stuffing more batteries in the front. I certainly hope so, because that design made an already-odd car way more ungainly.
I love that Bug woodie – if I’d never seen a Beetle I may have thought that’s how the car was originally built, and I can’t say that for many custom VWs I’ve seen over the years. Looks practical too, with solid increases in front and rear luggage room. A+!
This was an impressive collection. The GMC Detroit Diesel truck is nifty, but I do wonder why anyone would go through the trouble of repowering with an engine that made 101 horsepower and 205 foot pounds of torque at a cost of doubling the engine weight. The lightest 3-53 weighed 964 pounds! I thought it sounded like a good idea until I realized the engine weight I was looking at was in kilograms.
I think the bargain of the vehicles listed here was the REO Speedwagon. That’s a lot of eyeball for ten grand! You’d think someone would pick it up to promote their business, but I guess such optimism is no longer warranted.
I wonder what the ’85 Dodge was just purchased to do. Granny gear in low range would make it capable as an off road work truck, but the days of cars and trucks that couldn’t climb a mountain at close to the speed limit have passed where I live. When this pickup was new, there were extra truck lanes on the ascents on I81 which were also used by diesel cars and underpowered economy victims. Speeds in those auxiliary right lanes could be downright pedestrian. These days, the tractor trailers may be slower than the speeders, but they’re close enough to the speed limit that they would run right over a Ford Granada 6 or a Volkswagen 1300. They also feel free to pass one another at any time, which often means that they’re running side by side for miles and miles.
The buyer was on the Coldwarmotors Youtube channel.
That’s what I thought as soon as I saw it 🙂 You guys are so spoiled with your cheap un-rusted cars.
Wow! A number of fascinating vehicles there.
I was strangely attracted to the woodie Beetle too. I don’t see the intake for the cooling blower, but it must be somewhere, presumably.
I’m always attracted to bathtub Nashes, although not as much as Hudsons.
The snow plane is fabulous! I had to look up to refresh my memory of the Menasco engine.
The GMC pickup with the 3-53 diesel is a fascinating piece. Somebody really wanted a diesel pickup back then! The low mileage suggests that it wasn’t perhaps all that successful. The 3-53 made 100 hp, and was a bit noisy, to say the least. And it weighed 1000 lbs, which would have been almost twice the weight of the V6 gas engine originally in it. The seats are from a Thunderbird.
I suspect that the 327/4 speed combo wasn’t all that rare in the Pontiac, as that was the top performance combination on these Canadian Pontiacs. And the same applies to the big Mercury, but oh, that terrible conti spare! No, that was not available as a factory option, especially by this time. Ugh.
The Dart GT with the slant six and four speed really speaks to me. I have a major soft spot for these Dart GTs, preferably the ’63-’64, with the protruding headlight. But the /6 with the four speed combo is quite rare; this is the first one I’ve actually ever seen. We did a post on that combo here, which was only available in ’64 and ’65:
Speaking, I see that this Canadian “Signet” is a ’66, so the four speed behind the /6 must have been still available, as by ’66 it was only available behind the V8 in the US.
The REO truck is appealing too…
I found an old article on the Beetle on Barnfinds with some work done to the wood since. – https://barnfinds.com/woody-conversion-1966-volkswagen-beetle/
Canadians in generally ordered performance versions (and convertibles) in much smaller quantities than their counterparts in the US which is why I thought the Pontiac 327/4spd would be rare. Lots of inline sixes/3spds or V8/powerglides around.
Trying to ID the unidentified red car in the first photo. Some version of a Buick, perhaps? The radiator styling and the swoop of the cowl area are exaggerated versions of that peculiar mid 20’s style, sort of a “post art-nouveau”, before things went more “Art Deco” and “streamline” in the 30’s. If it still had the original huge headlight lenses instead of the safety light conversions, the overall look would be even more extreme.
That look must have quickly dated and obsoleted the car in polite company, at the time, much as the late 50’s looks did in the 60’s.
Sorry, that one is a 1924 Buick Opera Coupe that sold for $9,300.
Wow, what a selection! I changed my mind on which one I wanted four times during the read!
Oh yeah, nice Stude wagon, it won’t get any better than this.
OOHH, four speed Pontiac for the win!
Fastback Mercury with a manual, yes! Just lose the continental kit.
In the end the 38 Chrysler would get the nod from me, even at that price.
I thought of you the minute I saw that 38 Chrysler.
Is that a taxi meter in the GMC diesel? Great selection of unique metal. I’ll take the Merc and remove the conti kit!
No. That’s the kind of devices the used to put in big trucks to track speed. Which tends to confirm my guess that this was a trucker’s pickup.
I think you did well on your Lark. The wagon is cooler when all things are equal, but all things are not equal here. V8 Studes carry a hefty price premium because the sixes were never as durable. Plus, yours is in better condition.
I am amazed at the prices on some of that stuff.
I think I’d take the Merc, and yes the Conti kit would get removed. Though truth be told being north of the boarder I was really hoping to see a Monarch or Meteor.
The price on that baby Scout is insane, it looks pretty rough.
That Continental kit on the Mercury reminds me of this:
James William Bottomtooth III
There was all sorts of stuff I’d find interesting. Personally I’d have bid on the Ford Louisville fire engine since I’m on a medium duty truck kick lately. Also the VW woody.
Triumph Mayflowers don’t interest me but sell well in japan where they like the Bonsai Rolls-Royce look.
What an interesting bunch! The VW conversion is appealing, but appears to have been built without such frivolous frills as tail lights.
The ’66 Canadian Valiant is super extra unusual by dint of its 225/4-speed powertrain. That combo was available only in ’64-’65 in the States; in ’66 if an American wanted a 4-speed A-body they had to take a V8 engine, and that remained so until 1975.
Kind of a dazzling price for the ’85 Dodge pickup. I can see the basic worthiness, but by ’85 the poor old neglected 225 was putting out 2-digit horsepower. I once watched a truck much like this one, with a not-very-heavy load in the bed, repeatedly fail to be backed up a not-very-steep hill. The truck was only about 2 years old, the driver was plenty skilled with the clutch, and the engine was in proper tune, but it just didn’t have the spoons to do the job. Kept bogging and stalling.
Even the factory-built, non-stretch ones didn’t fix well or stay fixed when young and don’t improve on those fronts with age, so I reckon you’re going to get very fed up and very broke and then sell it for less than $1,950, is what you’re going to do with it.
I just can’t “un-see” that 64 Merc. Was LSD a thing in 64?
Limited-slip differentials and lysergic acid diethylimide both existed in 1964, yes.
I was stunned at the selling price of that Commutacar, it went for at least double what I would have expected. This does not bode well for my dreams of someday digging up a Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar (what they called them back in the 70’s).