Storage Lot Classics: Why Won’t This Guy Let Me Buy His Car(s)?

mark IV


If you fancy yourself a pretty decent mechanic, as I do, you’ve probably seen a few CCs that you wanted to buy.  I bet you have even approached an owner or two to initiate such a transaction.  This is my story.

I am lucky to live in Thousand Oaks, CA. We have what is likely the most ideal weather (dry, warm, but not hot…and always sunny) on Earth, and it is a great place for my wife and me to raise our family.   It is also a place where many CCs can be found—cars don’t really rust here.

About a mile from my home is a flat lot (here) the landowner rents to contractors who need to park commercial trucks and equipment off-street.  So this landowner has a heck of little business—collect rent, pay taxes, keep profit.

Sprinkled amongst the dump trucks, cranes and box trailers is a diverse collection of CCs, each unique. This first one caught my eye about two years ago:

charger front

1974 Dodge Charger SE w/440 auto—highly optioned, complete, factory stock

My family had become fans of the television show “Burn Notice”, which prominently features a black 1973 Dodge Charger with a white vinyl interior.  This ’74 model is largely identical, save for those little rubber bumperettes and a few other details.  I thought I would build a clone of the “Burn Notice” car as a father/son project.  But then I checked the VIN.  This is a rare “U” code car—which means a very thirsty 440 lives under the hood.  Most of these were 318 or 400 cars. I bet the owner would want A LOT for this one….

charger plate

This license plate indicates the car was last registered during the middle of the Reagan administration—1984!

I headed down to the landowner’s office to ask if he could put me in touch with the Charger’s owner.  He gave me a dismissive look, and said “People ask me about those old cars all the time.  The owner isn’t interested in selling them.  Period.”  I am pretty sure that I was talking to the Charger’s owner, but he chose to characterize the owner as a third person.

Some time later, I returned to plead my case…to beg for permission to buy the Charger from the owner—whoever he is.  “The owner isn’t interested in selling those cars”. Period”… I was told again.

So, the rest of the collection:

mustang convert

A fully ventilated 1967  Ford Mustang Convertible with 289 V8: Bias ply tires indicate it has been a long time since this car went down the road. No visible mods—even a factory air cleaner under that hood.  The door has a little cancer in the front corner, though.


A 1976 Pontiac Firebird with “Super Sport” lettering on fascia (whatever that means—not a known Pontiac trim package), period Centerline wheels and evidence of a hard life.

Whoever dragged these cars here was certainly fair:  muscle/pony cars from Chrysler, Ford, and GM are all in attendance.  Perhaps AMC’s AMX doesn’t count in this collector’s mind.

But there’s more than just muscle cars here:


1963 Lincoln Continental:  What a classy design, with distinctive “suicide” rear-hinged back doors.  A thirsty 430 likely lives under that front-hinged hood.

And not only domestics are present:


Hallo! Circa 1980 MB SL  represents the Germans.


Hallå!  Circa 1970 Volvo 142 S represents the Swedes. I learned to drive a stick shift in one of these.


Ciao!  Representing Italy:  Two circa 1975 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000s (red car is a roller–no drivetrain–but mostly straight and not rusty. Gray car complete, rusty)


Ah…and what is this little roadster under the camper shell?

giulietta front

Oh my… a third Alfa!  An early 1960’s Giulietta Spider. Molto Bello!  I bet it would be tough to source that missing trim.

Moving on to commercials:

c series

When was the last time you saw a Ford C-series? This one has an FE series gasoline engine.

engine chassis

Maybe you can tell what this is. I am guessing mid-1930s to 1940s. There seems to be a pump of some sort back there….and a hopper or tank.


Surprise!  Does this help? (Note there are only six cylinders here, not the eight that period Buicks are known for.)

dodge rv

I feel like this Dodge RV is winking at me…and whispering “take me….camping!”

boat rv

If ever there was an RV that looked like a boat, this is it!

Since you read CC, you likely experienced a “What if….?” moment when viewing at least one of these images… “What if I could talk that guy into selling me that _____”?

I will never understand why some guys buy and collect unique old cars, and then just let them sit and rot in some forgotten field somewhere.   If I ever find my way to heaven, I will certainly ask that Lambrecht guy from Nebraska that question.  For now, however, my dreams about restoring and driving these classics must remain dreams….and I will be stuck wondering “Why won’t this guy let me buy his car?????”

NOTE:  Since these pictures were taken in Summer 2014, a cinder block has found its way through a number of the windshields and side glass on many of the CCs featured here.  I weep.