Project Car Search Engine:

Our First Logo

This was our first logo and now I wish I'd kept it. I think I will revive the tag line "Where long forgotten classics get a second chance in life." We want to wish all of you many good things in 2009. Help yourself by helping your neighbor and we'll all be just fine. -- Larry and Susan from

Bridge to Nowhere and Back Again

old car bridge Larry and I have to cross a lot more of these type of bridges than one would think. Most of them have been demolished and ugly cement bridges with solid cement on the sides making it impossible to glance lazily down into the lazy river below.

The people in the area fought the destruction of this bridge and won. I try to take all visiting relatives across it. It is so entertaining. City folks freak out and want to get out and walk instead of going across in the car.

It is covered with snow right now but without snow, you'd see two wooden plank lanes drivers use to get across. It creaks sometimes. I love it.

But it is scenes like this that make our job of locating project cars interesting and we never leave the camera at home.

Bonnie and Clyde it Ain't

vintage car Also thought you might enjoy this old photo of some Missouri folks back in the 1920s visiting family in the Ozarks. Because of movies and so on, I was under the impression that only gangsters and bank robbers sat on their cars for photographers.

This beautiful touring car, convertible no less, made a statement back then, but it would make an essay today.

Five New 1939 Dodge sedans $7534.09

I knew the man who bought these five new Dodge cars. He was an old man when I met him in a coffee shop in Preston MO. His name was Tuck King. He died a rich old man.

But as a young man in 1939, he saw the opportunity to be the first person to open a new car lot in this little Missouri town. The cars arrived by train in Bolivar MO. He and some friends drove the cars back to his new car lot from Bolivar, about 40 miles.

One day when I was having coffee and writing in my notebook in the cafe, he came walking in, slowly because he was in his 90s, and sat down opposite me in my booth.

He gave me this piece of paper and said he thought I'd find it interesting. I did and now I can share it with you. Tuck passed away several years ago. I've had this information since just before he died.

Classic Hudson Grills Gone Wild

These three late 1940s or so Hudsons (we think they were all Hudson), have grills worth more than the car itself. If Larry and I had someone to invest in us, we could do so much more. As is we had to let them go to the crusher because the owner would only sell the whole car or nothing. With the economy so bad that businesses are shutting out their lights and closing for good all across the states, you would think our project car business would also tumble but that is not the case and we are surprised. Business is picking up. All we can figure is that it makes good economic sense to purchase a project car and make it into an electric car or solar powered car and sell it for a fortune. Whatever the reason, we are okay with increased business. Back to the original point of what I was talking about here: these fascinating old heavy full chrome grills -- talk about a lost opportunity.

Project Truck Heartbreaker

If your heart doesn't tug just a little when you look at this photo Larry took, then you're not a lover of old classic trucks. Maybe it's just us but this picture elicits a feeling in me that makes me want to restore this old work horse. (pic got deleted somehow).

I'm won't. Larry won't either, unless he really, really wanted to. This beautiful old beast is gone. Hope someone loved it and bought it to bring it back to life again. This project car business is rough sometimes. We want to restore nearly everything we come across, but that is not possible. The most we can do is find someone who can restore these old trucks and project cars.

Broken Street Rod Dream

Larry and I were traveling south of here taking left and right turns on gravel roads just looking for old project cars. We stopped in here because of the sad deserted street rod alone on weeded lot. The house looked vacant but we left our card and asked the owner to give us a call. Then we stopped in at a place about a mile down the road and asked those folks about the street rod and who we might call to ask about it. "He's a truck driver," said the chubby but sweet farmer, "gone most of the time. Just got a divorce, you know." No, we didn't know. But these pictures speak a thousands words about how life takes big turns and dreams are knocked down. Whoever the man was who worked on the street rod, we could just tell he loved doing it. We could see his broken heart and dying hope as we stood there silently by his unfinished project. But it was getting dark and we, as usually, we basically lost, which never bothers us because who cares? All we do when we get lost is head the car in the general vacinity of home and push the gas pedal.

Rare Kit Car For Sale

This long-nosed roadster sits in a huge barn with a roof about to fall in on it. A husband and wife team drove this roadster in parades for years and took home the blue ribbon on several occasions.

But then the husband died. The wife called us and asked us to come and see her rare kit car and sell it for her. She lives about an hour from our place so from us. When we got there we instantly liked her.

Now, this roadster just sits under its cover in the garage about twenty feet from the house. She was asking too much for it for one thing: $12,000. She priced the car with her heart instead of her reason.

This happens so often we're no longer surprised when it happens.

Forgotten Zepher

We tried to buy this Zepher but the Crusher man bought it instead and wouldn't let it go, not even for $5000. These was one of the hundreds of old cars and trucks an old man had collected over the years starting around 1940 or so. The only real problem with his collection is that he parked them in long rows out in the weather in a rolling meadow.

But both Larry and I will always treasure the days we were able to wonder around through all these magnificiant cars and trucks. You can go see all of these photos, over 100, at Picasa. see project cars and trucks

1952 Mercury Monterey Barn Find

Larry and I were driving to a distant little town south of us to look at an old Easy-Go golf cart. We made lefts and rights and lefts on gravel roads until we were completely lost, but is often the case, when we get lost we find treasures. We are taking this photo from the inside of the car on the road. That's an old 52 Monterey coupe sitting undisturbed in the pole barn.

We contacted the owner who happens to be a truck driver. Yes, he'll sell it if we can find a buyer and he named his bottom dollar. The classic car is in surprisingly good condition.

El Dorado Springs Day

When this guy Terry called us one evening and said, "I have about 3,000 old cars I'm going to crush by Oct 9. Do you want to look at them first?" we said "yes" of course and headed west down Hwy 54 to El Dorado Springs MO.

Those cars are all gone now, sold or crushed. This is Larry checking our an old beauty of a car. We took plenty of water and coffee because it was a long trip to where the cars were located and the weather at the time was burning hot. I only looked at cars parked in the shade and ran from shade tree to shade tree all day.

Looking for Old Trucks to Sell

This is a 1923 Ford Model T Express Wagon. It's not very original in design for the era since it looks almost like a wagon that should have horses pulling it. But for some old timers, it was just what they wanted.

Ford wasn't exclusive back in the 1920s. There were over 200 car makers in America back then. But Ford latched onto the "assembly line" way of making autos and by 1940, he'd eliminated all but 17 competitors.

Before Ford went with the assembly line, back when each Ford was made by hand, buyers could have their autos painted in a variety of colors, but not black. After the assembly line went into effect, Ford said, "They can have any color they want as long as it is black." Ford used Japan Black because it dried so quickly. From then on, all Ford Model Ts were black.

Oh, To Be So Lucky

Some retired car dealer in Portugal called in a photographer to document his vintage car collection. 

The photographer he hired obliged but then sort of created a great barn find story to sell his photos to other magazines.

The story took off and was published in vintage car magazines, but one alert writer, Tom Cotter, just could not believe someone would sell an old place and not mention that there were hundreds of vintage cars in the barn so he investigated.

Cotter learned that the photographer was hired by the owner of the vintage cars to document the cars with photos, as I mentioned earlier. Cotter revealed the truth of the story which in itself made a great story. 

But nevertheless, in Portugal there is a huge barn with all these beauties parked inside. 

Larry and I would probably faint if we opened a barn door and saw hundreds of perfectly preserved cars like these.

1932 Duesenberg J Judkins

Today our travels were virtual and since I am a Cleve Cussler fan, I couldn't resist a bit of Duesenberg history. Two German brothers came to American and founded the Duesenberg Automobile and Motors Company in Iowa. Fred and August Duesenberg taught themselves about automobile engineering and were passionate about sports cars, experimenting at every turn.

This beauty is one of their great achievements. Gary Cooper and Clark Gable were among their clientèle. The rich called their automobile by the nickname "Duesy." Later, all American's used the slang word "Doosy" to mean something exceptional.

Going Nowhere Fast

Larry is starting to pick up some great leads about some classic project cars. One guy at the parts store told him he had some GTO muscle cars he wanted us to sell. He also had a few Olds 442s. That will be coming up on our website soon.

Ready for a Road Trip

We are going on a back road trip soon so we can locate some classic project cars for renovation. This trip will be in the Camden County region, where Lake of the Ozarks is located. We call such trips our Vacation. As soon as we can both find a Free Day on the same day, we go.

Halted Life

Larry and my life came to a screeching halt May 6 this year when my mother moved in with us. We lived and worked in our home and were very comfortable and relaxed and we also smoked at will. Mom moved in with us due to her health and all my time since that date has been nursing her back to health. She is able to walk some, dress herself now, and take her own shower now so I finally have some time to get back to work on my blogs and websites and VintageOzarks. com. Thank you all for waiting for us to get started up again.

When Owners See a Classic Beauty in a Rust Bucket, it ain't good

We've been locating classic restorable project cars for about four years now and the one thing that we find most frustrating is what we call "someday." We have seen some dynamite restoration project possibilities but the owner, usually dirt poor, will not part with it for any price. "I'm going to restore it someday," he says. We go back after a year or so and the car hasn't been moved. One such car, a 1953 Chevy 2-dr, is still sitting out in the woods with trees growing around it. The trees would have to be cut down to move the car. The second most frustrating thing we experience is when the owner will sell the car but wants top dollar for it. The price he quotes for a #5 car is the price a #1 might sell for. This happens mostly with older folks who inherited the car from their parents and it is still sitting where their parents parked it. But other than those two elements, this is a rewarding and interesting business to be in. Locating restorable project cars for sale.

Getting Fenders Ready to Ship

Larry is removing the inner fender on a 1940s-1950s truck fender, not an easy task. The bolts he is loosening have been in place for over 50 years. Today Blogger is not cooperating with loading pictures on my blog so I'll come back later to post the pictures. We shipped these fenders to Michigan.

NAPCO Trucks -- What are they

Let's talk about NAPCO trucks. Northwestern Auto Parts Company, picture of original building to left, started up their four-wheel drive conversion business in 1918. NAPCO really didn't get their business going good until after World War II.

The government contracted with businesses like NAPCO to make their war vehicles more powerful off-road. After the war, NAPCO turned their energy toward the private market and made conversion kits for trucks so factories could turn a regular truck into a 4x4.

It didn't cost much and it was more powerful than any other method. An interesting little site about these conversion kits is History of NAPCO trucks

Dooley Bend Bridge

Larry was out taking videos of a few classic truck start ups which you can see on the website at One video is of a 1971 Chevy K-10 4x4 owned by a guy who takes exceptional care of his vehicles and the other video is of a Gator with the owner driving it around. After he finished, he took a back road home and took this photo. If you enlarge the photo, you'll see an old iron bridge with wooden slates to drive on. Very few of these old bridges are left around here. I'm always sorry to see them be replaced by ugly cement bridges. One this iron bridge you can look down as you cross and see the stream or river, depending on the rain, below. Almost all the roads around here are gravel.

Long Day Over

Larry and I walking back from a long walk through a pasture with lots of cow patties, tiptoeing through sucking mud (lost a shoe), climbing a hill and then walking through bushes with thorns that actually reached out and grabbed at our clothing to see a 1953 Ford F100 that probably ran out of gas there and was never moved again. Will post a picture of it here soon. But in the same little area we all saw artillery wheels, tailgate of a 1940s Ford truck, and heard about 300 bullfrogs shouting their disapproval of human beings being near their big pond. We think it is possible no other human has been near their pond for 20 years at least. By the way, Larry and I have started a Project Car Forum so we can interact with our visitors and members. We hope you visit the forum.

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Barn Finds in Mennenite Land

Saturday Trip to 100 year old farm where nothing has ever been removed

A nice little old lady phoned us last week and said she had three old trucks she wanted us to sell (1953 Ford F100, 1963 Chevy Apache C10 and a 1969 Chevy C10) so we headed out her way today. As you can see by the sign we were entering Mennonite territory so had to watch for horse-drawn buggies. Her place was a good ten miles further.

When we pulled into the narrow dirt drive onto her old farm we saw cars dating back to the 30s, parked in the 50s and never moved again. I'm posting some pictures of those coupe beauties on our website's RustBucket pages later tonight. Larry and I (and his brother Gary who just came along for the ride) walked in cow pastures and mud pits and climbed fences and opened gates and moved broken limbs (fallen during the big ice storm) to see these vintage rust buckets and a few restorable classics.

We'll be researching these cars and trucks over the next few days and post them accordingly on our website by Monday, March 24. I'm going to post this entry but we have a few stories to tell about this venture for sure. As Gary puts it, "They've lived there 60 years and got rid of nothing." And Larry added, "The biggest problem I see if that the owner thinks these vehicles are in great condition and wants to price like they are. Basically, I could only see three cars worth even trying to pull out of there: the 68 Chevy C10, the 57 Ford Fairland, and 66? Pontiac Tempest." And me, the only one I think is any good is the old 1968 IHC Scout 80.

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Rocket 88 Finds a New Home

We sold our 1954 Olds Super 88 project car to a good home. The new owner, Fred, fell in love with the Rocket 88 and plans to restore it and do so quickly. When he is done with the classic Olds, he and his wife are going to invite Larry and I out on the town (Springfield MO) in the 1954 Oldsmobile. If you'd like to see Fred and his friend drive the Olds onto the trailer to take it away, click on the link above. Larry and I actually miss the old blue beauty, much more than we thought we would. We are considering making it our business icon. Good bye old friend. We started Vintage Tins of the Ozarks because of that one car.

Laguna Finds Good Home

Here comes the new owner of the 1974 Chevelle Laguna we had for sale at Vintage Tins.
He and his brother flew in on a small plane from Kansas. We met at a small local airport.

However, for a time it looked like the deal might not go down because we got a phone call about half an hour after their arrival time, "We're very low on fuel," he said. "We landed in Nevada, MO but they don't have any fuel. Can we met at a closer airport?"
Truly concerned that our new buyer might crash somewhere in the Ozark hills and never be seen again, we quickly agreed to rendezvous at an airport about 40 miles closer to where they were.
We, Larry in our car and me in the classic Laguna (which was smooth as silk on the road), got back in our cars and headed west. The buyer was there long before we pulled in.
I parked the Laguna in a parking slot and looked toward the airport restaurant and saw a big, handsome Viking-looking young man come striding towards the Laguna with a big smile on his face.
He had long naturally curly red hair that blew back from his face as he walked over. He wore an attractive light brown mountain man type jacket that complimented his look. He took one look at the car and was slightly put off by some minor rusting around the vinyl but when he looked the almost like new original interior and started it up, he was sold.
He drove it back to northwestern Kansas and his brother flew the plane back. That night we got an email "Not one problem going home. The car is everything you said it was." Another happy buyer and more.
He has asked us to sell two vintage project cars he owns -- 1946 New Yorker and 1950 Chrysler Windsor. You can see these car on our website.

1941 Willys Jeep Delivery Van

Remember back when I told you about our trip to Camden County, MO to look for a prewar 1941 Willys Jeep? It is actually called a 1941 Willys Jeep Delivery Van by the owner. He says Delivery Van because of business logo painted on side which has faded badly.

We received pictures from the owner via the internet and better instructions on how to get there. Here are the pictures. We need to have a full day at our disposal for travel to go see this one so it will be a few weeks if not in March when we do search it out. If you are interested in this vehicle, contact us through our website at Vintage Tins of the Ozarks or email Larry.

Car Screeches to Halt for 1949 Chevy in Field

Larry went out Saturday on his own since I had to work on the websites. He found this 1949 Chevrolet and after talking to the owner, discovered that it still ran. The same owner also had a 1941 Chevrolet Special Deluxe sedan, a 1951 Chevy 2-door rolling chassis but had lots of chrome script, a 1954 Chevrolet 4-door solid but rolling chassis as well, and a 1964 Studebaker Daytona.

Every one of these classic project cars were parked willy nilly in the field next to the owner home. If you are interested in these project cars, visit our website for complete information.

We Never Know What We Will Find

We were just taking a short cut over to the other side of Pomme de Terre Lake when due to too many turns on unmarked gravel roads we got lost and lo and behold saw this Gypsy-looking wagon. I fell in love with it but there was no one around to talk to and this is as close as we got. Not a project car I agree but so much more. If we can get lost again and find it again, we'll let you know the story behind this great old wagon.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

We had a big rain. The gravel was soft. This truck was being backed out of the garage bay on the right. Larry knew to back out and stay to the left and he tried but the drive gave way and the truck slid sideways and landed precisely between the big oak tree and the cement porch foundation (the white rectangular area).

When I say precisely, I mean you could put a piece of paper between the front bumper and the cement foundation but that is all you could put there. The same exact thing is true of the tree and the back bumper. But to both our amazement there was not a scratch on the truck. Would that be true by the time we winched it out of there?

Larry tied a winch to a tree about 20' directly opposite the truck and due to a serious shoulder injury Larry could do nothing strength-wise so I had to do the winching -- up and back, up and back, and inch by inch with the use of strong boards, cement blocks, and other contraptions we got the truck free. It took about two hours. The truck never got a scratch. Which is wonderful since it was not our truck.

1939 COE

Larry located a 1939 COE and wants to turn it into a car hauler. I like the idea myself. We want to put the cab of the COE on a mobile home chassis. I think that's what Larry said. We dream of fixing it up as a car hauler with Vintage Tins of the Ozarks painted on the doors. We could deliver the cars we sell to the folks who buy them.

So far all of our car buyers have been from out of state (Michigan, Illinois, Nevada, Georgia). We could make good money delivering these project cars. But first things first. First, we have to buy this project COE and then buy a chassis for it to go on. But like all things in life, we'll just take it one step at a time. Step one was to take the pictures.

The Lost Pocket Watch

Larry's pocket watch was his motivation, his incentive, his pride and joy but he doesn't have one anymore because I washed it. So now without fail, every time we head out somewhere to see a project car, he complains about not knowing for sure what time it is. "We're going to be late, " he grumbles. But I ignore him since we have a nice bright digital clock in the car, our cell phones show the time on the face, and the radio DJ tells us what time it is every ten minutes but I don't say anything. I am keeping my eyes open for the right pocket watch, I already tried to buy him a $12 one at a discount store but he said it didn't have the "feel" of the old one and so I returned it. I knew better than to buy the junky one anyway. It has been almost a year now and still no pocket watch but we never take a trip but what it isn't brought up. There was something about the feeling he got when he pulled it out of his small watch pocket in his Wranglers that made him feel right with the world.

Coming Around the Mountain

We were driving around last summer and ended up way down in the boondocks when we came upon this old road. We tried to drive down the road but just around that bend the road deteriorated into a wagon trail.

No sign of life anywhere, not human life that is. The trees hung over the trail as we proceeded and made it dark with shadows and eerily quiet. We had visions of coming upon an old deserted farmhouse with a Dusenberg parked inside in mint condition, but instead we came upon cows and lots of them. We're not exactly at ease in a herd of cattle, especially when every one of them stopped what they were doing to stare at us.

All Larry could say was "Do you see a bull anywhere?" One cow, then two, started our way and away we went. Sure this entry had no great barn finds in it but thought you'd like to know how dangerous a job we have as we scout around for classic project cars to save for posterity by taking pictures and putting them online for wonderful renovators like you to restore to life once again.

Scenery Makes Our Job Pleasant

While we drive around the country here in the Ozarks looking for project cars and trucks, the scenery keeps us happy between barn finds. We usually take a hot thermos of coffee and a cooler to hold my coffee cream and maybe a snack. We don't have any particular destination in mind, but we do have a certain region we want to explore. Here we are headed up near Lake of the Ozarks. We veered southward because we've heard about some old project cars in that area. We kind of know the whereabouts of a 1941 Jeep delivery wagon (and pre-war vehicles are always wonderful to find). However, we did not find the place in the backwoods with the pre-war jeep and we didn't find anything else either. There are no street names in this region, unless you go into a town. But we plan to go back to find this vintage truck or van or wagon this Spring.

The Ones That Got Away

One day about six months ago Larry and I towed a 82 Volvo to the Crusher (Scrap) Yard, the price of metal was higher than ever so it seemed right and was right. We received over $200 for it. But then we couldn't resist just walking around the huge (but ugly) scrap yard. We saw amazing antiques (wagon wheels, cast iron potbellied stoves, plows) which had not been crushed and since they were separated from what was going to be crushed, the scrap yard likely sells them to a collector which is better than destroying it. What is not good is how often vintage antiques find their way to a metal graveyard. And we know for sure some vintage project cars including classic car and truck chrome and script is in that heap as well. While we were there we watched the old Volvo as it was crinkled, trunk popped open by the guy operating the forklift, roof pounded in, then he picked it up and drove off to a huge pile of crushed cars and lifted it up high and placed it on top of the heap. I had tears in my eyes. What an emotional experience and one that I highly recommend if you've never seen it happened up close and personal like that. Especially if you love cars.

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