On my walk between the cheap Chinatown parking under the 880 overpass and my office, there’s a Salvation Army lot where they sell donated cars. Mostly these are rather mundane sets of wheels such as clapped out Daewoo Leganzas and Mercury Sables – the most interesting thing before this car was a Miata missing substantial chunks of its dash that probably would have made (or was the parts car for) a great LeMons racer. But walking by the lot a few weeks ago, I saw an unusual looking shape in the lot. That was a Beetle, but two cars up from it was this:
Last registered in 1982, this car looked surprisingly clean underneath, as if it had been parked inside a dry building or at least on a concrete slab. Wherever it was had not been mouse-proofed – bring along your face masks and whatever you use as protection from Hanta virus, since there was a nest underhood and mouse leavings in the interior. It still features its (original?) Pirelli CN36 tires.
The interior wasn’t a complete disaster. Except for the flaking dashboard veneer. And the mouse poop. And some additional ventilation in the body, but I’ll get to that later.
Here’s the value in this car. What is a Lotus twin cam worth (hoping against hope that it’s not seized)? What about the dual carbs? Seems these would both have appeared in other Lotus products in fairly similar guise. The wheels are also worth something. Not that I’m one to advocate parting out such a beautiful car, but maybe this is the only way to success with this.
The extra ventilation I alluded to above is visible in this picture. The rear of the roof has cracked (did someone try to push the car and do that instead?), allowing the rear window to fall in partially. California blue plates suggest it’s been in the state since new. So, the steps to success are 1) Buy Car 2) Disassemble & sell 3) Profit!! The number for the Salvation Army sales line is 510.774.8873.