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1978 Dodge Lil Red Express

October 6, 2016 / 0 Comments / 482 / Uncategorized

This truck had been trapped in a garage in a suburb of western Chicago for about five years after a downed tree cut off access to the garage.  We dragged away the tree, rolled the truck out of the garage, and gave it a once over.  The truck looked great, original wood and decals were perfectly intact and the frame did not show any significant corrosion.  We purchased the truck from the family of the gentleman who had owned it since the early 1980s, who were happy to free up some now-accessible garage space.  

We rolled the truck onto a trailer and brought it over to the shop.  We cleaned the ignition points and put some fresh gas in ‘er, and she fired right up.  

We were so drawn to this truck because of the interesting history of the “Lil’ Red Express”…..in 1978 this was THE FASTEST AMERICAN PRODUCTION VEHICLE FROM 0-100 MPH as tested by Car and Driver.  An amazing feat for a vehicle, let alone a pickup truck, with aerodynamics not much better than that of a refrigerator.  Because of a loophole in emissions regulations, the 1978 Dodge Lil’ Red Express Trucks did not have catalytic converters.  What they did have was a special High Performance 360 C.I.  4-barrel small block (EH1), which was a modified version of the 360 police engine (E58) producing 225 horsepower @ 3800 RPM. The package also included Hemi style mufflers with a crossover pipe breathing through two chrome stacks located behind the cab, a special 727 transmission, and 3.55:1 rear gearing.

We sold the truck to an enthusiast who loves the truck dearly and is in the process of restoring it to its original condition.  

1938 Packard 1604 Super 8 Touring Sedan

October 6, 2016 / 0 Comments / 251 / Uncategorized

“Ask the man who owns one” – Packard sales moto

Thanks to a tip from a friend who frequently drops by CCC to talk cars, we unearthed this beautiful Packard from a home in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago.  The car sat in the corner of a dusty body shop for nearly twenty years before we were made aware of it.  We were blown away by the originality of the car, and especially by the fact that the motor still turned over.  The car was 99% original, still wearing it’s original black paint and broadcloth seats.

The car had originally been owned by a wealthy woman who had the jump seats removed, as she would not be driving the car, but rather, shuttled around by her chauffeur.  When she passed away, the car was given to a museum in Northern Ohio, where it sat on display from 1951-1963.  In 1963 the museum went belly-up, forcing them to liquidate their entire collection. As the Packard was heading to a local auction to be sold to the highest bidder, Charles Millner (Millner’s Cafeteria – Urbana, OH) literally chased the car down and bought it before it went across the auction block.  He paid $600 for the car, an all-original museum piece.  At the time, Charles had a large car collection, which, over time, was narrowed down to only 3 cars; a ‘35 Ford Phaeton, a Model-T Roadster, and this ‘38 Packard Super 8.

In 1998, Charles sold the car to a man named Wally in Chicago. Wally installed an electric fan and temperature gauge in the driver side glove box and parked the car, storing it in a garage here in Chicago for the better part of the last two decades, where we discovered it. Upon purchasing the car, we rolled it onto a flatbed and brought it to CCC, this being the first time the car had seen sunlight in nearly twenty years.  We poured some Marvin’s Mystery Oil in the cylinders and let the car sit overnight.  In the morning, we gave the car some fresh gas and fired it up.  Much to our surprise, the car’s straight-8 ran fairly well.  We have since gotten the car running and driving as it should, and take every opportunity we can to get the car out in the public eye.  

*Many thanks to Dave Millner (son of Charles), for giving us such a neat history lesson on this stunning Packard.  

His and Hers Cadillac Coupe Devilles

October 6, 2016 / 0 Comments / 399 / Uncategorized

We got a call from a gentleman who was attempting to close out his wife’s uncle’s estate, who had recently passed away.  He and his wife were trying to get the estate ready for sale when the realtor called and said they needed to get the garage cleaned.  The couple then went over to the garage and opened it up, ready to start clearing out old scrap wood and garbage; much to their surprise, the garage was not full of trash but rather two Cadillac Coupe Devilles tucked side by side. The two cars still had the original window stickers on the car!  One car had 4,800 miles, the other had 14,000.  Both were completely original, well documented, and ran like new with nothing more than a quick tune-up.  We were ecstatic to help awaken these beautiful Caddys from their slumber and get them back on the road.  We cleaned up the cars and both sold in a matter of days, the new owners thrilled to have such an original, low mileage example.

1971 Jaguar XKE 2+2

October 6, 2016 / 0 Comments / 261 / Uncategorized

We bought this XKE from a guy in Michigan who had acquired it with the purchase of an old warehouse.  The car was buried underneath broken ceiling tiles and a hefty glaze of pigeon droppings.  We were told that the poor Jag had been taken on a storage lien after it sat in annual storage for over thirty years.  Luckily the windows and doors were closed when the car was originally parked, so the interior was surprisingly well-preserved.  We dragged the car out of the tight nook it had been confined to only to realize that the rear end and transmission had been dropped and stored next to the car.  We bolted some caster wheels on the car and rolled it up onto a flatbed.  Back at CCC we took inventory of all the scattered parts and got the rear end, transmission, and brakes back on the car.  Four carburetor rebuild kits later, we had the Jag purring just as it had the day it was parked.  Shortly after the completion of a long and thorough restoration, the car was sold the car to an XKE enthusiast in Sweden.  

1958 Mercedes Benz 220S Convertible

October 5, 2016 / 0 Comments / 384 / Uncategorized

We purchased this Merc from the original owner, a World War II veteran whose fascination with Mercedes began when he fell in love with the 540K of the 1930s while serving overseas. Years later, back on home soil, he purchased this ‘58 220S Convertible and drove it for a number of years before falling ill. The owner was in the early phases of a restoration of the car when he became ill and could no longer work on the car himself. Knowing that his health was an issue, he decided to let the car go. The family of the owner contacted us and asked if we would like to come take a look. The car was nearby, in Chicago’s Sauganash neighborhood, so we jumped in the flatbed and headed over there. When we arrived, we found the dusty, albeit nicely preserved and largely complete 220S that you see in the photos. The 220S is a handsome car, and we were happy to bring this one back into the limelight.

10 Classic Muscle Cars With More Horse Power Than Advertised

October 5, 2016 / 0 Comments / 233 / Uncategorized

There has been a longstanding suspicion within the automotive community concerning factory-published power output numbers of the muscle cars of the 1960s and 1970s. Read more

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