Trip to the Classic Auto Mall

20200828_124612

A longtime friend contacted me recently and asked if I wanted to go on an adventure.  That adventure? An excursion to the Classic Auto Mall in Morgantown, PA.  I only recently heard of the place when two customers told me about their visit.  They described an old mall converted to a museum and sales facility.  They also said the massive collection was a bit overwhelming. This meant I needed to see it!

20200828_121032

The low rent district. Higher end vehicles were up front.

20200828_120917

John, his wife Diane, and I met in Gettysburg and rode up together, chatting vintage cars, catching up, me spilling coffee all over the place.  Maybe an hour or so later we arrived.  The mall is your typical smaller 1980s indoor mall.  Opened in 1985 it survived until 2011.  Sometime after that the antique auto mall took over.  Attached at one end of the mall is a recently renovated Holiday Inn.


1909 Dorris pickup.  Dorris vehicles were made in St. Louis, MO from 1907 to 1926.  This may be the only assembled one in existence.


20200828_112316

1923 Chevrolet Weidman Motor Home.  Obviously an unrestored example, I was really excited to see this.

Great video of a restored example.


The Classic Auto Mall houses a massive barn find collection.  These vehicles are in areas you can walk through, and displayed behind store windows as well.  There are many rarities, some of my favorites hi-lighted through this article.

Classic Auto Mall is also a place where you can sell your own antique car.  These are consignments and a large portion of what you see throughout the mall are consignment vehicles.  This means there is a constantly shifting collection to visit.  As for the prices? There were a handful of vehicles priced at market value, but as with many online sellers, a high proportion of the prices were far beyond the market value.  A Willys CJ2A that would maybe sell for $7,500.00 was listed at almost $16,000.00  A rusty VW Beetle that would normally sell for maybe $2,500.00 was listed for around $9,000.00  Some vehicles were fairly priced.  I am unsure if this is pricing by the auto mall, or just unrealistic sellers.


20200828_111616

20200828_123707

20200828_123716

20200828_123343


The barnfind collection goes on and on.  I would say the barnfinds were my favorite part of the collection.  Pierce Arrows, Hudsons, Grahams and other rarely seen early marques.

The Classic Auto Mall is free to visit, and definitely worth the trip.  Staff were friendly and helpful.  The parking lot is massive and they do offer rental rates for hosting events in or outdoors.

For more information on the mall, visit their website at: www.ClassicAutoMall.com

20200828_120811

Bob’s Barnfinds

Some antique cars work to find their way home to my friend Bob Kurland’s shop. In 2012 Bob received a call from a crack head (literally, it was proven in court). The crackhead said he had an antique car in the garage and wanted to sell it to Bob for $400.00.  Bob packed up the flatbed and headed into Baltimore.

desoto04

Bob said when he reached the house he had to back the flatbed through a fence,” it was like threading a needle while wearing a baseball glove.” He opened the garage and saw the drivers side window was broken as the crackhead could not figure out how to open the door.  The crackhead had also removed the car battery using a hacksaw.

desoto06

The crackhead came out and signed a receipt for the sale of the car then Bob headed on his way.  As he looked in the rearview mirror Bob kept thinking that the car looked familiar. Finally he took it to a carwash and sprayed the car down, it looked like new with all the dust removed.desoto01

The interior was in perfect condition, even the fold down interior wooden cargo bed.

desoto07

As Bob cleaned the car an oil change tag on the driver’s side door caught his attention.  He looked down and saw that he was the last mechanic to do an oil change on this very car.  His signature was still on the sticker.

desoto08

Bob remembered an old man who used to work at a Desoto dealership.  The fellow used to bring the car to his shop for maintenance and other work.  After the last oil change they never saw him again. When Bob went to file for a salvage title he found that the car was listed as stolen and then he learned the rest of the story.

The old man’s daughter was ecstatic to find that Bob had the car and it was not scrapped. She told Bob that her father passed away shortly after that last oil change and the car had sat in the garage since then.  She visited the car weekly until it disappeared and she figured her crackhead nephew had scrapped it. She met with Bob and gave him all her father’s photo albums and records pertaining to the car.  The car had found its way back to its mechanic and she was happy with that.

desoto03

Fast forward to a month or two ago and Bob was at a gas station with the Desoto.  An old lady came up to him and explained that her husband had passed away, and would Bob be interested in seeing her husbands Pontiac.

IMAG0949

The 1941 Pontiac had been sitting in the barn for 15 years. The price was extremely fair so Bob brought it home.

IMAG0947

IMAG0946

The original oil change coupons and owner’s manual were in the glovebox, and original tools in the trunk.

IMAG0951

Bob gave it a change of fluids, bled the brakes and started driving it.  We went for a ride today and I was really impressed with this survivor. These old cars seem to like to come out of their snug retirement homes so Bob can put them on the road again.  Thanks for the ride Bob!!.

IMAG0953

Barn wagons

I look through my posts and there seem to be many barnfinds in here.  Not sure how I keep stumbling into them but I hope you folks enjoy them.Image

Last week a couple of us went to a neighboring town to look at a gathering of Willlys wagons and a pickup.  All of them have been sitting for 20 to 30 years.  A couple outside and a couple inside/ outside.ImageImage

The two I am showing here are a 1940s two wheel drive wagon and a modified 1940s panel delivery.  The wagon does not have an engine but is very solid.  There is another later wagon in a field with hurricane six engine and full drivetrain. Maybe put the two together??

Image

The building was falling down around the panelvan the last time I was here a few years back.  The last large snow a couple years ago apparently took down the roof over it.Image

If anyone is interested in these or the 1950s Willys pickup (actually rather solid with a nice cab and little rust) let me know.  I believe they can be had for a reasonable price and most have titles.