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Classic Car Corner - More Trucks

  • Written by Tom Berg, Windermere

MORE TRUCKS. In my most recent column I noted that I had just bought two Willys trucks and was building another roof to cover more cars so I thought I was done buying for now.

Classic Car CornerAlas, it was not to be. Recently, after my Friday night visit to the Duvall Grill where I had my usual dinner and two beers I went home to relax and thought I would cruise through Ebay just to see what was going on.  I honed in on the Studebaker listings and saw a green 1954 Studebaker R-3 pickup in Phoenix that looked nice and the listing was set to expire in an hour so I called the seller just to find out more about it with no intention of buying the truck.  I asked the seller a few questions and hung up but a few minutes later he called me back saying he would pull the truck from the auction if I wanted to make an offer. I was going to Phoenix in two weeks anyway so I offered him $200 more than the current bid and oops he accepted! To make it official he asked for a deposit which I paid through Paypal and we had a deal. He ended up not pulling the truck from Ebay and it ended up with a final offer $600 more than what we had agreed upon but he never mentioned that and neither did I. I have a rule to not buy cars that I haven’t seen so I broke that rule, plus I realized that when I did finally get to see my new purchase if I didn’t like it I would most likely not get my deposit back. Also, after the fact I realized that he had only had one previous sale so I wasn’t too confident about the deal I had just entered into.

Two weeks later I arrived in Phoenix, got the address for my new truck and headed off to Mesa. I couldn’t find the address I was given so I called and found out the address I had was wrong and the new address was 20 miles away.  I'm not sure if I transposed the address numbers or was given the wrong address but I wasn't too happy.  Finally I found my new truck and it didn't look too bad. A little bit of rust down low but it did start and drive ok so we had a deal. 

I had arranged for a car transportation company to pick up the truck and bring it to Woodinville. I didn’t want it to sit at its current location at a condominium complex for a few days so I had AAA haul it to a friend’s house back in Mesa. He’s a car guy and I once sold him a very rustic 41 Chevy pickup. I even sold his home for him in Woodinville when he moved back to Mesa so he was happy to store it safely at his home for a few days. I thought I was in good shape until the day before my truck was to be picked up when I called the transportation company and was informed they wouldn't haul it for me.  They claimed the price they quoted me was too low and they couldn't get anyone to haul it. That industry is really shady but I was referred to them by a fellow real estate broker in my office who had used them successfully on the same route so I thought I would be okay. I ended up having to find someone else for $400 more and my new Studebaker finally made it to Woodinville.

My new truck was supposed to be the R-3 model and is titled as a 1954. It has what I assume is the original V-8 but upon further investgation I have discovererd that no V-8s were put in half-ton Studebaker trucks that year.  I also have a bigger back window and different badging on the truck so it is actually an E-series 1955 truck. The 1954  R-3 is rarer but I’m ok with it being a 1955.

This truck is currently at Mike’s Repair for a carbureter re-build and a new tie rod end so watch for me soon driving around in my new green machine. In closing, I must ask myself “if this were a local truck would I have bought it and would I have paid the same?” I don’t know but perhaps in a few months I’ll have enough time to drive it around and I’ll have that answer.

News flash – just bought another truck, couldn't resist. Gonna have to sell something sometime.

 

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