COAL: Honorable Mentions

Some of the cars that I have owned have not been long enough, or honestly memorable enough to write a complete article about them. So I will mention them here as the honorable mention COALs.

First up, in 2018 I got a random message on Facebook from someone who had a 2004 V70. She was looking to get rid of it, and wanted it to go to a good home. She had gotten attached to the car, and had bought it new. She let her son drive it when he turned 16, and he took it to college. Well, time got the better of the car, and it started to develop some issues. She had looked up Volvo clubs in Arkansas to reach out to anyone there, and somehow found me.

She was wanting $250 for it, although it stalled when you turned sharp, and the interior was in bad shape. The sunroof had failed, and water had destroyed the leather seats. Other than that, the car was perfect. I told her I would gladly take it, and find a use for it. I met her at her house in Fayetteville one Saturday to pick the car up. When I got there, the car really didn’t look that bad. I could not get the car to stall while turning left, but she admitted that her son is the one that told her this info. I loaded it up on the trailer and headed to Clinton.

David had a friend who was in need of a car at the time, so I agreed to sell her the car for $250 with the understanding it needed some work. David tried and tried to replicate the stalling, but never could. It was a 2.4 NA 5-cylinder, so it was pretty easy to work on. The car ran great, and even the AC worked. I basically bought and sold that car within a day.

Next, is another 164 parts car. I found an ad on Facebook for a 1971 164 in Parsons, Kansas. I of course had to look into it, and came to find out it was kind of unique. The car was stripped, and had no engine, but the trans was in the trunk. It also had the very rare GT Rally instrument cluster, which sell for a lot even in bad shape. I made the guy an offer $250, and he accepted. He just needed the car gone from the side of his house. It was his dad’s at one point, and he had done a lot of work to it before he died.

I went up to Kansas with my dad to get the car, and it was a smooth easy transaction. I recall the reason that I had to part it out was it was in an accident at one point, and it had some sketchy repairs done. I do not recall the rust being that bad, but then again it’s been a bit. I ended up selling the 4 speed overdrive transmission for more than what I paid for the car. The rest of the goodies were just icing on the cake.

Coming in at number three, is the 2008 Toyota Highlander. Now, I sold my rare 2009 V70 for this. I greatly regret this. It’s the same thing I did with the 2010 S80 V8 and the Land Cruiser. You would think I would learn. I thought I wanted something to tow the Casita with besides my truck, but not another 4Runner. The Highlander appealed to me because it seemed so versatile. Well, after the sale of the V70, I went looking. I found several, but all were too much or had very high miles. I finally found one in St. Louis, and bought it.

This was right when COVID was hitting, and there was not much on the market. I got a good deal on it, as it needed a few things, and the guy was going to buy a new car that weekend. It had 172,000 miles on it, and was a single owner. The first thing it needed was a deep clean. He had two kids, and they trashed that car. For some reason he just sold it to me without cleaning it, so I found a bunch of good stuff.

Second thing it needed was a rattle fix. The heat shield had come loose above the muffler, and was rattling like crazy under the car. I had to cut some of the heat shield off, and get a new one molded for the Highlander. I also had an ABS light come on one day after driving. I used my OBD2 scanner, and found that one of the wheel speed sensors had gone bad, causing it to throw an ABS and traction control light. I got 2 sensors cheap from Rock Auto, and threw them on and reset the code. Good as new.

I realized that we would be working from home a lot longer than we thought, so the Highlander just sat. I decided to sell it, and take the money instead. It took forever to sell earlier this year, but in the end someone saw it in my driveway with a for sale sign on it, and bought it.

Lastly is my latest purchase, a 1973 1800ES. Someone had sent me a link to a forum where someone said they spotted a 1800ES. I looked, and the car was right in my backyard. I contacted the guy and he said it was his neighbor’s, but did not know much about it. Come to find out his neighbor was selling a whole slew of cars that he had out in a field. Some included a VW Rabbit, Renault Gordini, Chevy Pacecar, and a few Buicks (about a month later I found all of those cars at a U-Pull It. Saved it just in time!). The cars had sat in a flood zone and had been subjected to flooding for many years. The seller was just trying to get rid of them before they got swept away.

I got the address, and found the car. The seller was not home, so I left a note on the car, and he called me back the next day. He wanted $300 for the car, and I did not even argue with him on it. I picked it up the next day, and took it home. It’s worth mentioning that my wife was out of town that weekend, and came home to a beautiful Volvo.

When I got to digging into the car, I found out how bad it was. The car was so rusty from years of sitting in a flood zone that the spare tire, kept in the trunk, had rusted into dust almost. The frame was pretty bad in some areas. I also found my biggest packrat nest ever in the car. I took off all the goodies, and sold what I could. When I doubled my money I just stopped selling, and stashed the rest of the parts for left my collection.

Just as I was about to scrap it, I got a message from a guy on the forum saying he would like to buy the entire car. I told him it was in bad shape, and supplied him with tons of pictures. I wanted to make sure he did not think it could be restored. He told me that he was coming from Alabama, and wanted it for some of the good sheet metal. I could not argue with that, as most of the sheet metal on the sides were ok. He offered me $800 for the car, and then went through my parts stash that I have collected for years. I think I made out alright on the car in the end.

That’s it! Those are the honorable mentions that are worth including in my car buys, but just did not make the cut of a full post.