Magic tricks

You may have noticed from the website that I am selling my company car, a 2005 Mustang GT. It’s not that I don’t like the car; in fact I love it. And don’t worry, I haven’t lost my love for internal combustion in general. I still have ten cars and seven motorcycles. However, I want to turn the Stang into a High Def television camera. Now where’d I put that magic wand??

I did a similar thing a little over a year ago when I turned my wife’s ’63 Falcon Futura convertible into a kitchen.

falcon

This was a beautiful little car but it had a three-on-the-tree, and after Ellen’s double knee replacement about two years ago, driving a clutch wasn’t all that much fun anymore. So she decided that she wanted a new kitchen more than she wanted the Falcon. She’d had it for 10 years and she’d had her fun with it.

Drew Alcazar, the owner of Russo & Steele auction house in Scottsdale, AZ is a friend of mine so I decided to give that a shot. I had never sold a car at auction (or bought one at auction, for that matter) so I didn’t really even know how to go about it.

I had to get it Scottsdale and my first thought was to drive it there. On the surface that seemed like a great idea! One last road trip in the car; just me and the Falcon. Fairly quickly tho, reality set in and I concluded that a 1,700 mile trip in January in a 45 year old car probably wouldn’t be the smartest thing I’ve ever attempted.

Fortunately, I have another friend in the Scottsdale area, Scott Cawley, who owns a classic car dealership, and he offered to help me out by being my shipping destination for the Falcon. I called a transport company and two days later they showed up at my place and within about a half hour the Falcon was loaded up and headed west.

It was a strange feeling as the transport disappeared in the distance. It was my wife’s car, but I was fairly attached to it. It was the only fully restored car in the stable and that was somewhat by accident.

I had always liked the first gen Falcons and when this one appeared in the local paper a little over a decade ago, I knew that I wanted it but I also knew that if brought home another car, El would kill me. I decided to take her with me to go look at it and when she saw it, she fell in love with it. (Yes!) So of course I bought it for her. What a guy, eh?

The car was a bit of a barn find and it was completely original, but the back window had gone opaque as old convertible back windows tend to do. However, because this limited her rear visibility, El didn’t like driving it with the top up.

I was going to replace the back window (about $75) but the original top was black and I felt that looked a bit clunky with the peacock body color. So I decided to replace the whole top with a white one (about $400). If I was going to put a new top on it though, I probably should paint it first. However, the 260 V8 engine smoked a little so I should probably rebuild that before I painted it.

Once the engine was rebuilt and I was ready to paint it, of course all the trim had to be removed and as long as it was off, I may as well have it rechromed. And when at that had been done, the nice original interior no longer looked all that nice, relatively speaking, so it got a whole new interior too.

At any rate, about $25,000 later, the Falcon had a back window you could see out of. And that’s what I call some pretty expensive hindsight!

The car made it to Scottsdale and with the help of both Drew and Scott, it went across the stage on schedule and actually brought the price I was hoping for. It now resides in Rhode Island and the guy that bought it did so because that was his first car when he was 16. It is also in good company since the new owner also has a couple Shelby Mustangs and an original Cobra. And now a Falcon!

Everybody’s happy. The Falcon has a new home and Ellen has granite countertops and a hardwood floor. Hopefully this next feat of prestidigitation will be equally successful, and I will turn the ’05 Mustang GT into a television camera (or at least part of one).

As for all my other cars and motorcycles, I plan on hanging onto them. But believe me, it’s a bit of a magic trick just keeping them all running.

Happy Motoring,

  1. John Hotchkiss says:

    I find it intersting to read about your own car experinces. Maybe you could do a show on your own cars.

    For example, I noticed you are driving a track style hot rod in your new introduction. Did you buy, or build one? What other cars do you currently own?

    Also, why doesn’t Speed TV run your shows more often? For those of us that are still working, it is hard to get to watch them on a regular bases.

  2. David A. Warr says:

    I too would love to see a show devoted to your own vehicles and a little about your passion for cars, when and how it all started.

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