December 4, 2020

The Car History of Alex Beloff III

A UNIQUE BARN FIND!   WALNUT CREEK CALIFORNIA 1996, BOB M. APPROACHES ME WITH A VERY HUSH HUSH SPECIAL INTEREST CAR HE HAS DISCOVERED.  BOB IS A TOLEDO BOY WHO MADE HIS WAY TO CALIFORNIA MANY YEARS AGO.  HE TAKES CARE OF SHOPPING CENTERS, WAREHOUSES AND STORAGE FACILITIES.

HE IS PROBABLY THE BEST INSIDE GUY ALIVE WHEN IT COMES TO KNOWING WHO’S GOT WHAT OR RECENT DEVELOPMENTS.

HE SAID, ALEX I FOUND IN A BARN IN A HEAVILY WOODED AREA ALMOST OBSTRUCTED FROM VIEW A 1962 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX. HE IMMEDIATELY SAW MY EYES LIGHT UP. 

IT HAS BEEN THERE FOR MANY YEARS.  DON’T KNOW HOW THEY GOT IT IN THERE.  THERE IS NOT ENOUGH ROOM TO OPEN THE DOORS.  ALL FOUR TIRES ARE FLAT.  IT’S HUGGING THE DIRT FLOOR.  THEY HAVE USED THE HOOD, DECK LID AND ROOF FOR STORAGE.  BAD IDEA.

TALKED TO THE OWNER AND HE WANTS TO GET RID OF IT.  NO ONE SEEMS TO BE INTERESTED.  I KNEW YOU WOULD BE.  HERE’S THE DEAL.  VERY FEW PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THIS GRAND PRIX.  I WANT $600 UP FRONT.  THAT WILL HELP ME TAKE CARE OF THE EXISTING OWNER. 

HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS.  IT’S GOT BLACK CALIFORNIA PLATES MEANING IT CAN BE TRACED BACK TO THE ORIGINAL DELIVERY DEALER NEW.  AN EXCELLENT PEDIGREE.  NATURALLY IT HASN’T RUN IN YEARS.  THE BUMPERS ARE RUSTED, THERE IS SO MUCH FILM ON THE CAR AND WINDOWS, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE INSIDE. 

HE SAID,YOU ARE THE BEST I HAVE EVER SEEN AT RESURRECTING AND RESTORING OLD CARS AND YOU ARE THE ABSOLUTE AT RETAILING THEM FOR RESPECTABLE MONEY.  WHAT EVER YOU SELL IT FOR, I WANT HALF OF EVERYTHING OVER $600. MULVEY AND I ARE THE KIND OF GUYS THAT AGREE ON A HAND SHAKE.  THIS MIGHT INTEREST YOU BUT EVEN IN THE STATE OF TEXAS AND CALIFORNIA, IN MANY CASES, A VERBAL AGREEMENT IS BINDING BY LAW.  I WAS ECSTATIC – THE ULTIMATE BARN FIND.  WE AGREED.

I BOUGHT MY WIFE OUT TO HELP ME IN MY OLD RWD 1978 CADILLAC SEVILLE ELEGANTE 5.7 LITER 350 V-8 TURBO HYDRAMATIC.  I HOOKED THE PROPER TOWING EQUIPMENT AND CAREFULLY INCH BY INCH STARTED TO SLIDE THE OLD GRAND PRIX OUT OF THE BARN.  ONCE OUT WHICH REQUIRED SOME MANEUVERING BECAUSE IN FRONT OF THE BARN THERE WAS A DEEP RAVINE.

I IMMEDIATELY JACKED UP THE CAR AND PUT FOUR NEW WHITE WALL TIRES AND WHEELS ON THE CAR.  YOU WILL NOTE ON THE PHOTOS THAT I WAS ABLE TO CLEAN A SMALL AREA IN THE FRONT WINDSHIELD, SO I COULD SEE WHILE MANUALLY STEERING (NO POWER STEERING AS CAR WAS NOT IN RUNNING CONDITION).

I CALLED SOME EXPERT FLATBED TOWING PEOPLE THAT WE USED AT WAYNE STEAD CADILLAC WHO CAREFULLY CABLED IT UP TO THE FLATBED AND SECURED IT.  WE THEN HEAD FOR OUR HOME IN BENICIA CALIFORNIA.  FOLLOWING BEHIND, I LOVE CALIFORNIA, MOST EVERYONE AROUND IS A GEAR HEAD) PEOPLE WERE HONKING AND WAVING WITH THUMBS UP THE MOMENT THEY SAW THE OLD TIRED (FIRST YEAR) PONTIAC GRAND PRIX BECAUSE SOMEONE WAS GOING TO BRING IT BACK TO LIFE.

WELL ONCE IN THE DRIVEWAY, I STARTED SCRUBBING AND CLEANING.  I WAS IN A STATE OF SHOCK AND ALMOST UNCONTROLLABLE HYSTERICAL JOY.  THE BUCKET SEATS WITH THE BEAUTIFUL FIRST YEAR CHROME OVER THE TOP OF THE SEATS WERE UNBLEMISHED.

THE CONSOLE WITH THE AUTOMATIC SHIFT AND ATTRACTIVE CHROME PONTIAC TACHOMETER GAUGE ALSO ON THE CONSOLE WERE PERFECT WITH NO EVIDENCE OF PITTING OR ABUSE.  DOOR PANELS AND DASH WERE GORGEOUS.  HERE’S THE BEST PART – ALL OF US PONTIAC LOVERS HAVE APPRECIATED THOSE IMPRESSIVE CLEAR PLASTIC STEERING WHEELS WITH THE CHROME SHAFT.  UNFORTUNATELY, THROUGH AGE AND ABUSE, THEY CRACKED BADLY AND BECAME FADED AND DISTORTED.  THIS STEERING WHEEL LOOKED LIKE NEW OLD STOCK.  IT WAS BREATHTAKING.

I DID NOT REMOVE THE INTERIOR OF THIS CAR.  I WASN’T SURE OF THE CONDITION OF THE FLOOR, ANCHOR BOLTS AND FASTENERS AND  IF THERE WAS ANY EXTENSIVE CORROSION THAT COULD NOT BE SEEN.  I DETAILED GIVING THE INTERIOR A VERY PATIENT AND THE BELOFF TREATMENT RIGHT DOWN TO THE FACTORY CREASES IN THE UPHOLSTERY.  IT WAS ALMOST AWARD WINNING.

EXTERIOR – I KNEW IT WAS NOW TIME TO CALL IN A PROFESSIONAL DETAILER WITH A MOBILE UNIT BECAUSE I WAS NOT LETTING THIS CAR OUT OF MY SIGHT.  HE BROUGHT OUT THE ORIGINAL LACQUER PAINT, ELIMINATED MINOR SURFACE CORROSION ON ALL BRIGHT WORK, INSTALLED THE FACTORY CORRECT WHEEL COVERS THAT WERE IN THE TRUNK, AND MADE SPECIAL NOTE OF THAT GREAT BLACK CALIFORNIA PLATE THAT SAYS, “I AM REAL WITH A PEDIGREE”.

AS THE VARIOUS STAGES OF BEAUTY TREATMENTS WERE BEING COMPLETED, NEIGHBORS FROM EVERYWHERE WERE STOPPING TO ENJOY THIS ONE OF A KIND SIGHT.  BENICIA HAS GREAT CAR SHOWS AT THE HIGH SCHOOL GROUNDS EVERY YEAR.  IT SEEMS MOST EVERYONE HAS ENORMOUS RESPECT FOR OLDER SPECIAL INTEREST VEHICLES OF ANY DESCRIPTION.  MY NEIGHBOR ACROSS THE STREET HAD A SPECIAL PACKARD CONVERTIBLE.

BY THE TIME I PUT THE LAST COAT OF POLISH ON THE CAR, CLEANED THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT, THE TRUNK, AND ALL THE GLASS, IT WAS THE BEST LOOKING NON-FUNCTIONAL 1962 GRAND PRIX ANYONE HAD SEEN IN 37 YEARS.  I HAD CROWDS OF COLLECTORS FIGHTING OVER THIS BARN FIND WITH SATCHELS OF MONEY.  I SOLD IT FOR AN AMOUNT OF MONEY IN ABSOLUTE SECRECY.

I TOLD BOB IT HAD BEEN SOLD AND I SAID, BOB, YOUR HALF IS A LOT OF MONEY.  BEFORE I CALLED BOB, I TALKED TO FRED BADYNA AND I SAID, FRED I FEEL I HAVE TO LIVE UP TO MY OBLIGATION WITH BOB TO SPLIT THIS MONEY.  IT’S A LOT OF MONEY.  DOES HE REALLY DESERVE THAT KIND OF MONEY?  I DID ALL THE WORK.  FRED SAID, WELL WHAT DO YOU THINK.  I SAID, YES, HE DOES.  HE SAID, WELL I HAVE TO AGREE WITH YOU BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW IN THE FUTURE WHAT BOB WILL TURN UP.

THAT SUMMER OF 1996 FOR A BRIEF MOMENT I OWNED IN MY VIEW THE NICEST 1962 BARN FIND.  FOLKS, SLOW DOWN.  TAKE A MINUTE AND REALLY THOROUGHLY EXAMINE THE BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS.  IT SHOULD BRING YOU A LOT OF JOY AND SATISFACTION AS IT CERTAINLY HAS ME.

RETURN

 

error: Content is protected !!