Again we have been on an inspection tour last weekend, looking for classic cars. This time we drove to Emmerich, where North Rhine-Westphalia adjoins the Netherlands. There is a yellow/black 1973 Ford Mustang Mach I for sale at the US car dealer RD Classics. Like usual the pictures on the net are showing a vehicle in putative dreamlike state and the ad’s text says the car would be in “outstanding condition”.
When entering the the storage/salesroom Adrian and I recognized this wasn’t a dealer of selected top cars. A 1955 or 1956 Imperial in quite poor condition welcomed us at the entry. Further back in the storeroom the Mustang was waiting. Coming closer it became clear to us that the dealer’s understanding of the adjective “outstanding” isn’t realistic at all. The paint job showed the same cracks we saw on the Firebird and doesn’t quite live up to European demands for a good paint work. Windows seals had been painted over or had visible marks of spray. The engine compartment was covered with a thick layer of anti-rust primer, clearly reminding me of the outdoor coating of ferry boats. At least the interior withstood a sketchy survey, which might be owed to the spreading disappointment.
Aside from all this I was especially annoyed by the fact that the car wasn’t ready to drive although I had asked the dealer up front. He said, test drives would only be possible if the customer had clear intention to purchase. There would be simply too many requests for it. Accepted. I can understand this. But after I had asked this beforehand, got a positive reply and spent a day of driving about 500 km to have a look at the car, I was considerably pissed off finding the radiator dust-dry and not even a battery in the car.
Because we could not reconcile the extremely self-confident pricing policy with the Mustang’s condition we rather took a look at some C3 Corvettes which are for sale as well. Of the six offered cars on the net there would be only three left, the others had been sold during the week, the dealer said. Later we found us asking ourselves who could be willing to pay such high prices for restoration objects like these because the similar priced Corvettes in the storage would require another five-figure for restoration, we cautiously estimated. Missing and hardened seals, clearance that makes you wondered if both parts are still belonging to the same car, large quantities of silicone used as window seals, worn out or horribly replaced interiors and – of course – the classic: damaged thermoplast paint. It got me thinking that I could find such little rust.
Quite frustrated we started driving homeward soon. But first I called a private seller in the Ruhr Area with whom I had set up an appointment basically because it was en route anyway and I wanted to use the opportunity. My hopes weren’t too high as the seller already told the car wouldn’t be ready to drive when I called him in the morning. The car hadn’t run in a few weeks and there wouldn’t be a battery installed at the moment. That didn’t sound all that well to my ears. But we had set up the appointment and it would be a detour of just a few kilometers anyway.
To find out what had been waiting for us in Mülheim at the Ruhr read on tomorrow…