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1955 under purchase consideration. Advice?
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67 Florida Deluxe
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:09 pm    Post subject: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

In 2007 I owned a 1956 Strato Silver oval with red interior. I LOVED that car but I had to sell it to pay for education expenses. Fast forward to now and I'm looking for another good oval (preferably a ragtop, but cost is still a consideration.) I found this https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2345025
and had a lengthy conversation with the seller. He is supposed to be emailing me a bunch of additional photos. It is supposedly an August '55 build date, making it a very late '55. It has no rear bumper or tail lights shown in the classified photos but he said he has them and the tail lights are snow flakes. I know that '55s had hearts (and maybe also eggs), but not sure when the snow flakes appeared in the production run. My '56 had snow flakes. In addition to pics, pics and more pics (undercarriage, bottom of A and B pillars, bottom of doors, apron/spare wheel area, H apron area, rear bumper mounts, etc.) what are things I should ask that are specific or unique to a '55? This MY is new territory for me, but I know there were some progressive changes during that year. Thanks!

-Kent
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67 Florida Deluxe
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:29 pm    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

I just got the VIN and it corresponds to a May 1955 build date. The engine # also corresponds to a May '55 build date. This should help ID the correct style of tail lights. (Seller's confusion apparently came from August 1955 issue date of original title.)
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oldsplitvw
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:00 pm    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

I saw that car in the classified also. Personally I think that's one of the better (best?) Ovals on samba now. Looks super original, just get it running the way it is and enjoy the heck out of it.

Late 55 ovals with bullets should have snowflakes. (If I'm wrong someone please correct me).

If I were on the market for an oval I would be all over that, assuming it is as clean and solid as it looks. Go look in person, crawl under with a screwdriver and push on the underside of the heather channels, pans, etc. You could buy a junk project 55 oval for $6k and easily be into it for $10,000 with parts hunting, rust repair, interior, etc etc and still not have a car that nice.

edit: looking at the pics that thing is awesome. If those seats, headliner and carpets are original that is an awesome find. It would be a crime to rip it out to "restore" the car.

Just my opinion
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BGLOCOTE
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

Egg tail lights= semaphores and no bullets. There is no hard date on the conversion but started April/May. I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong. And when people talk about 55's they say correct me if I'm wrong! Lol
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motofly196
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:35 pm    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

If it is a May 55' car, it's delivery destination determined the tail light style...up until 2 May 55', it would have Eggs in the USA. But that car has no semaphores, so it's not a Euro car...or a USA Egg car. Snowflakes are correct for that particular car.

Here's a good read on tail lights.
http://www.wolfsburgwest.com/wired/wired_08_01/wired_08_01.htm

Looks to be a very well preserved car, that has been taken care of. If that is in your price range for a nice car...better move fast, or someone else will.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:45 am    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

can't help with the lights but when I saw that ad I thought 'that's an honest looking car' ...and I think you would be the ideal next owner!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 3:48 am    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

Odd rims, one with white inner one with black... But as others have said, looks like a good start
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:24 am    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

If Will likes it, go for it.
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67 Florida Deluxe
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:37 am    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

Thanks for all the great replies, learned a lot about tail lights! The WW link is very informative. I noted the rear wheel reversed color scheme, too, and the seller said that he has the original 5 proper color coded wheels but the rears are snow tires put on oddball rims. The "snow" comment scares me because of potential rust issues. Seller says the pan, doors, body panels, etc are "rust free" but I have found one man's idea of "rust free" is often very different from another's Wink . Also, look at that front bumper. And it's NOT a Brazilian replacement Shocked . Unfortunately, I'm in FL and the car is on the farthest corner of the country possible (of course! Rolling Eyes ) so I can't just pop in for a look-see. Thus, I am having to rely on pics. And lots of them. And an honest seller; there are some out there. Right now I'm in a holding pattern awaiting an answer to my question about the engine that is not in the car and photos of critical rust prone areas.

I hope the car checks out as represented because I think it'd be a good one.

-Kent
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motofly196
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

That area of our state doesn't get alot of snow. I just purchased an oval, that also came with snow wheels. From an area that gets very little snow. It only has rust in the battery area. Hopefully this car is just as nice underneath!
I cant believe how nice that interior is.... What a time capsule!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:55 am    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

I would not pay that much, but you didnít ask that.

Nice car for resto project
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67 Florida Deluxe
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:01 am    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

txoval wrote:
I would not pay that much, but you didnít ask that.

Nice car for resto project


I didn't but I would like that input, too Smile .

I was thinking more resto-mod. Bagged and slammed pan scraper, throw in a monster engine with standoffs, reverse the doors and do one-piece windows. And with the small oval rear window, it'd be really cool to chop the top by 8 to 10 inches.
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67 Florida Deluxe
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:02 am    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

KIDDING!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:01 am    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

If you're in any kind of search for an oval and that fits the things you're looking for you better go get it.
I'd be all over it- and I'm less than 2 hours away- if I hadn't already got a project recently. In the US cars like that are rarely for sale for anything affordable to the average person. I'll have $16k into my 54' puzzle and it won't be anywhere near as nice and clean as that car. Shit. And the kind of rust that happens here in the PNW would be totally obvious if there was any on that car.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:18 pm    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

Well here's a nice little nugget of information that was conveniently left out of the ad AND our conversation yesterday. (Note the ad says "motor is out to be cleaned.") When I asked about the engine during our conversation last night, he said the engine was removed to clean it up and paint the tins. He said it hasn't been cleaned yet or tins painted, he was holding off because some people may want it dirty, others may want it cleaned and painted. I texted him last night a few minutes after our chat and said "I assume the engine will be reinstalled and running so that it can be loaded onto a transport truck. Are there any issues with the brakes or anything else that an auto transport company would need to know for transport?" Got a reply to that text today just a few minutes ago. What was omitted from the ad and our chat was that he didn't want to reinstall the engine; he wants an 'as is' sale, you pick up the car and associated bits. I told him he should have included that information in the ad and our conversation.

Long story short, there's no way to know if the engine actually runs AND there's no way for it to get transported back to FL unless I go out there, ensure everything is boxed up, engine gets strapped on a pallet or somehow reinstall it with no tools or anything.... wtf! Whatta f-ing waste of my time Rolling Eyes
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motofly196
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:30 pm    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

There are a few shops nearby that could install that engine for you. Shipping companies will move a car without an engine installed. They do it all the time, and honestly, I'd rather move around a VW bug than a 57' Cadillac.
You've given this guy plenty of spotlight for his ad through this thread. I bet it's already being pursued by someone local. I know plenty of guys in the Tacoma area that would love this car...the engine not being installed shouldn't be a deal breaker. It's just part of buying VWs these days.
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67 Florida Deluxe
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

I understand that non-running cars get shipped all the time. I also understand that a shop can reinstall the engine. Getting the engine and car to a shop when the seller wants to be hands-off and I'm over 3,000 miles away is a little challenging. Also, who knows if the engine is even operable? That's a big consideration when determining how much to pay for a car, not including all the added expenses this would entail over and above transport from WA to FL. Unfortunately there's not a local concierge one can call to take care of all this stuff in a trustworthy manner. Too many moving parts, unknowns and logistical challenges. It totally sucks not to be within driving distance because I'd pick it up myself. So if someone is lucky enough to be close by to pick it up themselves, well then, I guess it's their gain. Sucks for me, though Confused
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 3:14 pm    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

The ad says itís been in storage for 41 years. Not knowing what was discussed over the phone, I would assume nothing works, which is why itís way overpriced.

The fuel line is probably clogged, reserve valve gummed up, choke cable stuck like they all are, soft brake lines dry rotted, brake fluid turned to syrup, master cylinder shot, shifter coupling about to break in two, transaxle wonít shift into gear, rear axle boots dry rotted, and a few mice have made homes in the tunnel and heater channels.

It appears to be a complete car, the original early seats are a plus, but this car needs a ton of work. At the current price it will sit on here for a long time
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67 Florida Deluxe
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 3:20 pm    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

The ad's already been renewed at least once. Don't know if the price was ever adjusted. He's owned it for a couple of years and (for some reason) I got the impression he had driven it. If it's sat for 41 years even after he got it, then it's like my '65 that I found in a barn in S. GA. Granted it has only 11k documented miles, but I had to re-do everything. BIG difference in value between running condition versus sitting for decades.
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67 Florida Deluxe
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 29, 2020 3:44 pm    Post subject: Re: 1955 under purchase consideration. Advice? Reply with quote

Recent pertinent info:

-Car ran for 3 minutes off a bottle of gas and tube to the FP
-Never driven by current owner
-Brakes are said to work but have not been redone ( Eh? )

I would assume it's the same as my '65 was. Everything needs redoing.

Please disregard my post Sad
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