"something of an extraordinary nature will turn up..."

Mr. Micawber in Dickens' David Copperfield

Kit Foster's



October 11th, 2012

1974 Comet price

Three years ago I devoted a post to buying a car at Hershey for less than $3,000. I found the pickings were pretty slim, and that the only one I’d have been able to drive home was a Studebaker Lark for which the owner was asking $3,800.

Yesterday in 2012’s Car Corral, however, I was struck by the number of decent cars for $6,000, or a little more, that were not only driveable but pretty nice as well. Take a look at what I found.

It was Rambler day in the Corral, for I found this very tidy, if spartan, 1968 American for under $5,000, plus a nice 1966 Classic, albeit over my price target.

An even six grand, though, would buy this rare 1987 Pontiac Sunbird GT convertible, if such a car appeals to you (it didn’t to me). This 1978 Ford LTD Landau represented more car for the money than the ’68 Rambler American, although not in as good condition and not to my taste. Upping the ante to $8900 would buy this 1979 Pacer “Village Squire,” but only for somebody named Wayne.

Breaking the seven grand barrier would allow a couple of running 1920s cars, like this 1928 Chrysler Model 62. It looked pretty solid, if distressed and weatherbeaten. Even better, though, was this 1928 Chevrolet at $7,900.

This 1956 Studebaker Flight Hawk looked interesting, but I thought that $9,500 was too much for a car that obviously has been poorly rodded. There were several viable projects in my price range, like this barn-fresh 1926 Model T, but it was not of sound mind and body. A 1970 Olds Cutlass was suggested as a 4-4-2 clone, but not only was it beaten and battered, there was trouble in the engine room.

When all was said and done, I think I’d have spent $6,450 and driven home in the nice lady’s 1974 Mercury Comet.

Update – Oct.11

I was wrong about this 1960 Rambler American. Its onwer was asking $10,000, not $6,500. Having owned a 1951 Rambler I’m quite partial to these revival Americans, although I didn’t care for the Continental spare. This onlooker didn’t either.

A few other cars in my six-grand price range turned up today. This 1963 Studebaker Cruiser looked pretty good at a distance, and its $5,250 price was in range. However, close examination showed the ominous bubbles to which Studies are all too susceptible. More enticing was this 1938 Oldsmobile, straight and solid at $4,500. Among newer iron was this roomy 1986 Ford full-size LTD station wagon at just $3,750. All things considered, though, I still prefer the Comet.

Serendipity: n. An aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
“They were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”
Horace Walpole, The Three Princes of Serendip
© 2004-2017 Kit Foster
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