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My Classic Car Story: Building our own collection

Craig shares how he and his wife found their first three classic cars – a Mustang, F100 and Corvette

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This story is about three classic cars my wife and I have purchased over time. The first is a 1967 Mustang convertible we bought about 25 years ago in Northern California.  My wife and I saw the car on the road separately and fell in love with it.

We both remarked on the car that evening to each other only to discover it was parked on a used car lot in the small town of Paradise, California. Yes, that is the town that was destroyed in the 2018 Camp Fire.  

1967 Mustang convertible | My Classic Car Story: Building our own collection

We knew the owners of the car lot, contacted them the following day and subsequently purchased the car for slightly more than they paid for it.  Luckily, the car was not in Paradise when the fire destroyed our home and we still have the car and love it.  We’ve used it on several occasions to carry high school prom queens around the track sitting on the boot.

Our second purchase was a 1966 Ford F-100 advertised on ClassicCars.com. I had looked at several other similar vehicles and even had an independent examiner go out and inspect them for me as they were all over the USA.  

1966 Ford F-100 | My Classic Car Story: Building our own collection

We ended up buying this one sight unseen from a Ford dealer in Texas. Talk about being nervous. We’ve never spent that much money on something I didn’t kick the tires on first.  

My nerves weren’t any better even when it arrived. We live on a narrow country road and the car hauler couldn’t deliver the truck to our house. So, we met in a large parking lot in town.  

When I saw the truck in the trailer and what appeared to be a quarter-inch clearance on each side, my blood pressure just about broke the meter. The driver was exceptional and pulled it off the truck without a mark.

The truck has won at several local car shows, and we used it recently to pay our respects to a fallen police officer by driving it through town along with several hundred other vehicles displaying the American blue stripe flag on the tonneau cover.

Our third purchase was kind of a fluke. I look at ClassicCars.com almost daily and while looking, I saw an ad for AutoHunter.com, which had just started. I visited the online auction site and saw a 1962 Corvette up for auction.  The bid was at a reasonable price at the time and had less than 24 hours left on the auction.  

1962 Corvette | My Classic Car Story: Building our own collection

We talked it over and decided to put our 2 cents in – well, really more than 2 cents, but you get the idea.  We watched the bidding continue to climb to our max and beyond. Kind of bittersweet we didn’t get it, but there must have been a reason.

Well about an hour later, while in a grocery store, I got a call from AutoHunter management. First, I thought they were just asking how I liked the site and the bidding process, but boy was I wrong.

The other parties bidding on the Corvette were unable to complete the purchase, so it came to my highest bid if we wanted it. We took the car, again sight unseen, and this time we didn’t have time for an inspection.

After talking to the seller and his friend, a car hauler, we felt more comfortable with the purchase.  It was brought to my driveway in a single-car enclosed trailer in perfect condition.

I put license-plate frames on it with my wife’s name and told her after 38+ years of marriage, I no longer have to buy her any gifts.  If you believe that I have this bridge for sale, just give me a call!

I would love to attend an in-person auction at some point, but it will have to be without my checkbook as I have no more garage space.

-Craig Gill

Do you have a classic car with a story to share? It’s easy. Just go to this link, fill in the information and submit your story.

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