The Cars of Bob

 

1 1928 Ford Model A Rumble seat 5-window coupe A1795289

Bob restored this dry, Western Model A coupe for his wife Jean’s stepfather, then bought it from him and brought it to Portsmouth when he was assigned to Pease Air Force Base decades ago. It sat in a back corner of Bob’s three garages on Bow Street, Hanover Street and Peverly Hill Road in this semi-assembled condition. Mechanically and cosmetically it is sound and, aside from some missing trim parts like hood latches and the disassembled interior, complete. Even the paint is shiny and sound albeit with chips and scratches from long storage. Like the rest of Bob’s Cars we don’t expect it to run, drive or stop without some serious but straightforward attention. The important facts are that it is a dry, solid (as far as we can tell), largely complete project that should be completed with little complication. The bodywork is done, and even the paint is good enough to be driven on tours, to Model A meets and in parades. Bought as is, where is, with all faults and will be available before the auction for personal inspection.

2 1989 Chevrolet Camaro RS Coupe 1G1FP21E8KL180723

This Camaro RS is powered by a 305 V-8 and has a 5-speed manual transmission, power steering, power brakes, air conditioning, Pioneer CD stereo, huge amplifier on the rear deck and alloy wheels. The barely visible white crayon writing on the windows says this Camaro has a rebuilt engine, clutch and exhaust, although the rebuild is something like a decade old and hasn’t run in an unknown time. It has an old repaint that is not up to Bob’s high standards and there are some rust bubbles showing. The driver’s seat is torn although the rest of the interior appears to be sound, if a little musty-smelling. The odometer shows 16,324 miles. If Jim Cox were selling it at the Branson Auction he’d have it running and stopping in short order and call it a “”Gateway Car””, that is, an inexpensive, uncomplicated, enjoyable car that is a gateway to car collecting for a mechanically inclined novice or an ideal way for a dad, uncle or grandpa to introduce a youngster to the basics of automobiles and the fulfillment of making a long-dormant mechanical device come to life. Sold as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for pre-auction personal inspection.

3 1974 Volkswagen Thing 1842469261E M022669

Volkswagen built its Things (also known as the Type 181) in Mexico for the U.S. market during a time when dune buggies were a rage. Patterned after the World War II VW Kubelwagen, it has seating for four (or five if the three in the back seat are friendly) and is powered by VW’s nearly bulletproof flat four. Bob went to work on the body of this Thing many years ago, refinishing it to his usual high standards but then got distracted and never finished assembling it. The paint and bodywork are very good; there is a dent on the right rear fender that needs to be addressed. The interior appears to be all there, as are a jumble of soft parts than seem to include the top, top frame and side curtains. The engine is complete with its minimal accessories and the odometer shows 56,798 miles. It is probably a straightforward process to resuscitate it mechanically and assemble the interior and top. If there are missing parts they are readily available. With a consistent effort it could be on the road in time to enjoy the Fall foliage in style. It is sold as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for pre-auction personal inspection.

4 1974 Porsche 914 Targa 4742921283

This is a derelict parts car with dull, peeling paint, a scrofulous interior and a greasy, original engine, drivetrain and chassis. Bob may have had dreams of putting a smallblock V8 or salvaged Porsche 911 six in it, but nothing has been done to it since time immemorial and the bodywork has never been touched. It is sold as is, where it, with all faults and will be available for pre-auction inspection.

5 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa Convertible 107675W170803

  

GM built some amazing cars over the years, then neglected their development. The 1965 Corvair Corsa with 180hp 165 cid turbocharged flat six is one of them and this Corsa has that engine with a 4-speed manual transmission. Body rot afflicts Corvairs like Gypsy Moth caterpillars afflict oak trees and this Corsa convertible is seriously afflicted. Turbocharging was in its infancy in 1965 but the Chevy engineers figured it out for the Corsa. The turbo engine at only $161 more than the base Corvair was an incredible value, with thrilling performance. This example is a daunting project although the engine and driveline are complete (including the stock air filter) and the odometer shows 74,002 miles. It will take a skilled, dedicated, experienced body man to correct its rusty structure, but the driveline is a realistic donor for an upgrade project. It probably has not run since it came to Bob’s shop, doesn’t run today and would be dangerous to drive if it did. It is sold as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for pre-auction personal inspection.

 

7 1974 Bricklin SV1 Coupe 00041AB4S000731

This is a late 1974 Bricklin SV1 powered by the 360cid AMC engine with 4-speed manual transmission, one of just 155 4-speeds built in 1974 only. Finished (crudely) in Safety White, the odometer shows 5,090 miles. Other than that, we know nothing: the battery is dead, the doors are locked and we have no idea how to get into it. Like most of the rest of Bob’s Cars, it has sat for years and is a project — but a complete and preserved project — for a dedicated enthusiast. It is sold as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for personal inspection before the auction.

8 1983 Porsche 944 Coupe WP0AA0941DN450689

Bob’s Porsche 944 is a disassembled project with a sunroof. The interior is completely disassembled, glass is out, some body trim is off. The engine and driveline are in place as they apparently have been for years, probably since it left Neckarsulm. The driveline, chassis and suspension appear to be original and undisturbed. The VIN decodes to a U.S. spec S or S2, but there is no corresponding exterior identification. There is some wrinkling on the firewall that suggests it may have been hit and repaired. It could be a good parts car for a 944 owner, or a serious reassembly and finishing project. It is sold as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for personal inspection before the auction.

9 1966 Chevrolet Nova SS 2-Dr. Hardtop 186376N145380

This Nova SS is one of Bob’s dream projects: sitting under it is a complete four wheel independent suspension from a Corvette. It sits on Corvette alloy wheels. The body is in yellow primer, except the formerly vinyl covered roof which has older red primer. There is no interior, engine or driveline in front of the rear suspension’s differential. Some or all of the original, repaired and primed, body panels are with it but no body hardware, trim or instruments. The installation of the Corvette underpinnings is complete, neat and professional making it an ideal project for mechanically-inclined enthusiast happy to have the bodywork done by a consummate professional. Novas are light, stiff, strong cars and the addition of Corvette suspension means it will handle like little else on the planet. Finish it off with an LS4 crate motor, 6-speed and a set of sneaky stock-appearing steel wheels with poverty caps and it promises to be a prodigious street car. It is offered as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for personal viewing prior to the auction.

10 1977 Chevrolet Malibu Classic 2-Dr. Coupe 1D37U71472351

305/145hp 2-barrel V-8, automatic, air conditioning, power steering, bench seat, AM-FM, aftermarket alloy wheels. Both rear quarters have been worked, filled and are in primer. The odometer shows 8,840 miles. The paint is dark blue with a blue vinyl landau roof and red vinyl and velour interior. Sold as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for personal inspection before the auction.

11 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad Station Wagon

Bob had this car tucked away in a back corner of the Hanover Street garage and the Peverly Hill Road storage building for forty or so years. It is a “gasser” drag car with live front axle, wide rear slicks and giant fabricated scoop on the hood. There is no engine or transmission. It is parked in such a way that we can’t get the door open to read the VIN plate. There is an interior (of sorts) and the cargo compartment is packed full of parts of unknown origin. Most of the body trim bits are present, the paint is ancient, if not original, as is the glass which is adorned with period speed equipment stickers. The dashboard, instruments and controls are largely complete. As a restoration project it is daunting but its best use might be to complete it as an historic drag racing car, leaving its substantial originality and patina intact. It is sold as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for personal inspection before the auction.

There is an engine in the cargo area, but not its engine. Rebuilt, greased up and plastic wrapped, if it doesn’t go with any of Bob’s Cars it’ll be offered as a separate lot.

12 1978 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 1582067277

Bob got this Beetle convertible almost done, but never quite finished. It is fuel injected with a 4-speed and is finished in Bob’s favorite yellow with a charcoal vinyl interior and a black vinyl top. The odometer reads 34,592 miles. The bodywork and paint are very good for their age, the interior, top, instruments and glass are sound. It’s a Volkswagen, so bringing it back to running, driving condition should not be difficult and any needed replacement parts are readily available. Like many of Bob’s Cars, it has sat for years, at least since his daughters were in high school (and they’re not telling how long ago that was), but it appears to be all there and ready to be brought back to life. It is offered as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for personal inspection before the auction.

13 1986 Maserati Biturbo 425 4-Dr. Sedan ZAMBL1101GB323536

Finished in metallic blue with cognac leather upholstery, this Maserati Biturbo 425 four-door sedan shows 23,054 miles on the odometer. The twin turbo 2491cc Maserati V6 was rated at 185hp. The Biturbo 425 is extremely rare and luxuriously appointed and furnished with amenities and comfort features among which its rich leather upholstery and burl wood interior trim are particularly notable, giving it the aura of a fine gentlemen’s club. This Biturbo 425 is complete, original and unrestored with accumulated dirt and dust from years of storage. It is offered as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for personal inspection before the auction.

14 1939 Ford V8 Panel delivery

There is no visible frame number in the appropriate location on the left frame rail adjacent to the engine, and the grille, hood and front fenders are piled up inside the cargo compartment which is inaccessible in the location where it is stored. Bob was really good at storing things so there was no wasted space. We think it’s a ’39 on account of the 24-stud flathead V-8 and the label on a carton of replacement body panels in the back (although they also fit ’40 and ’41.) In any event this is a dream project with completed bodywork in grey primer, a full driveline with the aforementioned 24-stud flathead, 3-speed and complete suspension. The frame and suspension has been stripped, prepared and repainted. There are fenders and other body panels in the cargo compartment. Like several other of Bob’s Cars, this is a straightforward restoration project that can rely on quality bodywork with the remaining work involving only finishing it off mechanically, completing pre-paint exterior prep, selecting and applying the final exterior color and installing an interior. It would also hot rod well, but that would undo its impressive preservation and the work put into its partial restoration. It is offered as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for personal inspection before the auction.

15 1978 GMC C20 Silverado Pickup TCS2481512264

This is Bob’s shop truck, an interesting statement since it’s badged as a C20 Silverado but is according to the VIN a GMC with camper equipment. It shows some typical New England rust but is largely sound and complete. V-8 powered, it has an automatic transmission, air conditioning, AM-FM stereo and a drop-in bedliner. The dashboard is disassembled — for reasons known only to Bob — but other than that is a practical, reliable, usable utility truck. It hasn’t run in probably fifteen years but appears to be missing nothing essential. The odometer shows 23,264 miles; it should probably have at least a “”1″” in front of that. Given its identification inconsistency and its bodyshop origin a salvage history might be inferred. It is offered as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for pre-auction inspection.

16 1961 Chevrolet Impala 2-Dr. Hardtop 11837L13449

Finished in Red with a white accent and red interior the bodywork and paint of this Los Angeles built Impala are done well, and that’s about it. There is no engine or transmission. There are no seats or interior trim other than what is stored inside it [and what was found in a storage trailer the week before the auction]. The steering column shift quadrant suggests it originally had Powerglide. Refinishing is confined to the exterior and interior; the underbody has received limited attention.It has been stored for many years and moved around between caches so there are some nicks and chips as well as accumulated dust. It is a prepared canvas with the difficult bodywork and paint done to very good standards. It’s up to the next owner to complete it in the style and configuration desired. It is offered as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for personal inspection before the auction.

17 1995 Vogue Prima Vista 40′ Motorhome 1M9A2KGJ6S1379024

      

It looks better now that it’s out of the storage building.

Mitchell Motor Coach’s Vogue motor homes enjoy a reputation for high quality construction and finishing. This example is no exception. It is Caterpillar diesel powered and is in very good condition throughout. The odometer shows 43,846 miles. It has not been driven in five years or so and is offered as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for personal inspection before the auction.

18 Yamaha Golf Cart

Gasoline powered two seat golf cart.

19 1986 Chevrolet El Camino Pickup 3GCW80H5GS918345

20 1979 Lincoln Mark V 2-Dr. Hardtop 9Y898[S]767490

 

21 1991 Cadillac Allante 1G6VR3380MU100116

22 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited SUV 1J4GZ88Z7WC254330

23 1988 Ford F350 Diesel Wrecker 4WD 1FDKF38M7JB71070

Bob’s wrecker, a 1988 Ford F350 Diesel 4-wheel drive with cab-controlled hydraulic wheel lift (great for grabbing illegally parked cars). Like the rest of Bob’s Cars it hasn’t run in several years. There’s some rust in the side compartments and elsewhere and it will need attention to the hydraulics as well as the driveline. Sold as is, where is, with all faults and will be available for personal inspection before the auction.

24  Haulmark Enclosed Trailer with a Pantera inside it.

25 1972 De Tomaso Pantera THPNMR02375

  

Bob and I drove this De Tomaso Pantera from Merrick, Long Island to Redondo Beach, California in the 1980 U.S. Express in 42 hours 57 minutes with thirteen gas stops (using the stock tank), an extended police interview somewhere in mid-America and a trip half an hour back toward New York to pay a $75 fine at a court appearance in the Texas Panhandle. The stories linger. They could be elaborated, but the fact is that this is an historic Pantera.

After Brock Yates sold the rights to the Cannon Ball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash Rick Doherty realized there was further [crazy] interest in running again. The National Speed Limit was still a silly 55mph and honored mostly in the breach. I read an ad in Competition Press for Rick’s U.S. Express and thought, “”Who’s crazy enough, and has a car good enough, to do this with me?”” One day my work phone rang. It was Bob and it clicked. “”You want to run the U.S. Express with the Pantera! I’ve been looking for a ride.”” Thus does fate intertwine destinies.

We finished assembling it late the night before the start, drove to Long Island and stayed with my parents before calibrating the early digital fuel gauge (courtesy of Dodge Morgan’s Whistler, also supplier of our radar detector) and arriving at the start with maybe 6 hours sleep in three days.

Jump forward 37 years and the Pantera is entombed in a single car enclosed trailer on Bob’s property in York, Maine. We pulled the trailer away from the front of an old school bus to lower the ramp and with Tom Cotter, Barn Find Hunter, exposed it to the light for the first time in decades. Bob had reworked the fender flares and taken out the engine and transaxle. The old Beverly Hills car cover had adhered to the body. Little animals of the forest had left their nests. But among the boxes there was everything Bob had removed, carefully preserved: lights, handles, trim bits. At the head of the trailer under covers was a clean, pristine and probably rebuilt transaxle. Nearly hidden in front of it was a professionally rebuilt 351, still cocooned in the engine builder’s cosmoline and wrapped in plastic.

The Pantera rides on authentic [sic] 80’s gold center telephone dial modular wheels. There are original and aftermarket seats, a high performance camshaft, tube headers, literally piles of Pantera stuff. Tom Cotter said for the camera, “”This is a Pantera in a box””, which it is. As far as we can tell it’s pretty much all there, with an irreverent history which includes hearing the air dam hit the dips in I-40 at then go-to-jail-illegal speeds, “”skitch, skitch, skitch.””

Many Panteras have gotten the air dam, wing, flared fender treatment. This one got and used the treatment for a purpose.

Then there’s the story about the Ohio trooper who stopped Bob early one morning on the way back (I flew home), but that’s for the new owner.

We have a copy of an article from “”Overdrive”” magazine (“”The Voice of the American Trucker””) with a recounting of the U.S. Express, and there are pages of hand calculated mileage calculations evaluating different routes. There was no Google Maps in 1980.

It’s sold as is, where is, with all faults, comes with its stories and will be available for personal inspection before the auction. It should go into my barn, but I have WAY too many projects to take on one like this. I just hope it goes to a new home where it will be appreciated.