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The Time Bomb! Re: '66 in San Diego

Strapping_Lad

Member
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'66 Midget in San Diego

I just got back from San Diego... car less...

This thing was much more rough than the guy lead to believe. To confirm it, the head gasket was blown! I put the proper rad. cap with the right depth and only after a couple minutes of running the car and checking the cap, it had already built up a bunch of pressure. The guy said it doesn't want to idle below 900rpm and will die out (ran at 1300 rpm). Something he didnt mention to tell me. The oil gauge was leaking from the back and oil was dripping down on to the transmission tunnel. To top it off, the front carb float was spewing gas out of the overflow... of course he did have a tube attached to it. So gas was slopping out onto the engine bay and... wait for it... the EXHAUST MANIFOLD! Holy crap! If it tried to drive the thing home, it would be up in a ball of flames before I left his house. I took the front float off and the thing was totally busted with holes in it. The body was pretty rough and some nice bondo places were spotted by my brother. This was a sad, long day in my search...

...It had a really nice steering wheel.

Avoid this one if you ever see it again, unless you are local and could tow it home.

So does someone know of a DRIVABLE but not perfect early midget for sale? I am sick of taking time to go see some total POS car. The nerve of people like this seller really pisses me off! I should have done all of us lbc lovers a favor and put this guy out of our misery.
 

Sarastro

Obi Wan
Gold
Country flag
Online
What? It had a nice steering wheel and you still didn't buy it? Heavens!

Seriously, they're out there. Might take a while, but keep the faith!
 

jvandyke

Luke Skywalker
Offline
None of that stuff sounds too horrible to correct, if you picked it up for $1500, could correct the head gasket and carb situation for less than $100. Spruce up the interior with more time than money and drive it. But I don't blame you (in fact I commend you) for holding out for a better driving example. If you're looking for a decent turn key driver, this isn't it.

I see the auction ended. Not too bad for a '66 I don't think.
 
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But, the fact remains: it was dressed up to sell. There are surely a bunch of horrors lurking in that car.
 

jvandyke

Luke Skywalker
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There's probably some challenges lurking, as in any 43 year old car, but to my mind, a '66 in that condition is worth $1500. The ad looks straight forward to me, he admits the warts, "runs very well" is a stretch maybe. Hold out for a decent driver Richard, how much do you want to spend? I wend shopping last spring with $5K in hand and landed a decent car, with hidden horrors and all!
 

nomad

Yoda
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I've bought 5 vehicles on e-bay. One I could'nt believe was as nice as it was and figured I got a real bargain. Two the buyers deliberatly omitted major flaws but put no premium on the fact they were completely rust free. I do. One other, the light surface rust turned out to be rust thru. I had enough money already invested in gas that I took it anyway. The last one I caved in to the sellers plea for immediate cash and sent him the full payment before I went to pick it up. Course he was'nt there when I did pick it up and I really got ripped on that one.
Promise to self----No more e-bay purchase's unless I can see it first!!
KA
 

jvandyke

Luke Skywalker
Offline
I've only bought one car off ebay and it worked out alright but I refused to do it this last time around. You just can't tell by pictures or even descriptions. In fact, I can't think of anything worse to buy sight-unseen than an old foreign sports car! I insisted to myself I'd have first hand inspection when I bought a Midget and it limited my options severely but also eliminated the stress and much of the risk. At the very least I'd try to get someone to inspect for me and report, and if it were a good enough deal where you could accept a few setbacks, fine. Other than that hold out and you WILL land one you love close to home. Might take a few months but a decent Midget is relatively easy to come by compared the Opel GT I was after....Patience is the key and that's hard for me when I'm obsessed with something.
 
OP
Strapping_Lad

Strapping_Lad

Member
Offline
I believed that car was a decent price for 1500, but if I had know ahead of time about the blown head gasket, which he denied on the auction, and the busted float, I could have brought the extra parts and driven her home. Owners like him make me upset when they can't put in the extra couple minutes to make the car right for selling. I think the way people approach hobbies, jobs, things that need care and attention (or cars) is reflected in the person that they are. He was no exception to the "lazy American" stereo-type.
 

nomad

Yoda
Offline
The feedback is worth quite a bit but I believe its a lot easier for some of these guys to be honest on a few parts than it is on a bigger investment like a car. If they won't be flexible and want a big deposit I think its a good reason to steer clear. Coarse a guy can always get some kind soul off the forum to check it out too!!!!
KA
 

mxp01

Jedi Warrior
Country flag
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I've purchased several cars on Ebay and all have turned out to be what I expected - some better than others. I've been fortunate that every seller I dealt with offered me the option of bailing out if I wasn't satisfied with the condition of the car I was purchasing.

I have been very pleased with my BE purchase in 2006. It was rust free, straight, and the engine worked. It needed brakes, a new tranny, different color paint (my option), and a new interior (again, my option), but those were all things I could handle.

Mike Pennell
 

bgbassplyr

Darth Vader
Offline
I too, bought a truck, Dodge Dakota, on ebay. Owner in WI, me in NC. Looked good in the ad. Communicated with owner, was assured by him that if it wasn't as described, he would return my money. A $100 airline ticket later, he met me at the airport, truck washed and waxed, looked like new, no rust (you could have eaten off the underside), fresh oil and filters, and a full tank of gas.

That was 3 years ago and except for one leaking water hose, not a minutes trouble. Best deal I ever made, because it is still worth in the Blue Book what I paid for it.

Jim
 

Sarastro

Obi Wan
Gold
Country flag
Online
The thing I find most interesting about this experience is how a seller can seem to be quite candid about a car's problems, yet they are much worse than stated. It's a good lesson in being careful.

Having said that, I did buy my bugeye off ebay 3 years ago. It was a recent restoration. I got a good deal on it, could see that the cosmetic work was good, and that's a big part of the cost. In the worst case, I figured I could redo a lot of mechanics and it'd still be a deal. As it happened, it needed a little sorting but nothing major.
 

GeeBee1

Jedi Knight
Offline
Bondo on the float, geeez, this one makes Pedro look like a saint.

Pat
 

Gundy

Luke Skywalker
Offline
Wow, and the pictures and ads look soooo nice.
That's a shame. Good luck in your search.
I recently bought the 1960 Sprite off e-bay.
Paid a premium price but it was worth it.
Seller is now considered a friend. Heck he sent me a Christmas gift. (see avatar)
Here's to good karma coming your way!
Ohm...spridget,spridget,spridget...Ohm....
 

Bob Claffie

Jedi Knight
Country flag
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You don't get a lot for your money anymore and $1500 is relatively peanuts. I'm not sure you folks out west appreciate what quality cars you have to choose from. In spite of the defects you mentioned, which sound simple and inexpensive to fix, if that car had been on the east coast we would have been lined up to buy it. Bob
 
V

vagt6

Guest
Guest
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You're so right, Bob.

I drool over the LBC availability out west, especially in the big metro areas in CA. Tons and tons (comparatively speaking) of Spitfires and TRs, my faves.

A relative galaxy of choices compared to what I'm lookin' at here in old VA.

Almost enough to compel an east coast LBC lover to to west . . . :cryin:
 
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