This is another in the Drifter Life category. This entry is for all those vintage-in-the-barn stories, sold a $50,000 bike for an RC and moonpie, etc.!!
If we knew then what we know now… <LOL>
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My fellow Drifter riders. Ron Ottow (Dancing Bear here)
I would like to share a story with you that is not only true, but made me sick to my stomach.
Last weekend I was out riding and stopped at a place for a bite to eat. I had been by this place quite often and decided to give it a try.
Candy and I went in and suddenly struck a conversation with the owners, there wasn’t many people in there. They mentioned thy would like to get more of the biker crowd in and asked us what we thought should be done. We gave some suggestions what to do to get them in, but the food was so fantastic it would bing them back.
The lady likes to collect old things and She took us to Her warehouses to look at some of the items, totally unbelievable!
She then said She had sold 2 motorcycles She had. She had gotten them from some relation and they had been kept covered in a building out of the weather. She said they had an Indian head on the front fenders. I described the front fenders and founf out they were 2 original late 40’s Indian Chiefs both Indian red and in great condition. They both ran and the people who bought them actually rode them.
She thought She just had 2 old motorcycles and sold the pair for $1500.00 (750.00 each).
I immediately started to get sick to my stomach.
When I informed Her of what She had and how much they would actually be worth then She was also sick to Her stomach.
The moral of this true story is if you don’t know what you have, a little reseach can go a long way to helping avoid a blunder such as this one.
We saw Her tonight, She is still sick about this.
Ron Ottow (Dancing Bear) VDOG #1621
happens more than you would think… got out of the Navy in 1982.. came back to Kansas to visit the folks for a vacation.. Dad tells me there is a Sunday auction, with a 69 Chevy listed, from an estate sale, my Dad wants to go look at the car for my neice.. we are thinking some “Impala” or Caprice” nice BIG car she can learn to drive…. get there late… bidding is closed… it’s a 69 CORVETTE!! WITH 39,000 ACTUAL MILES!! went for 3,700 dollars!! her son had bought it before he went to Vietnam, she had kept it for”keepsakes”… and “IT was taking up to much room” … we talked to her after it was all over.. she said and I quote…………… “that’s what the used car dealer, told me a 69 Chevy was worth” ……….. frzb
Had a mechanical breakdown one time in Oregon, had to hitchhike back to Ca.
Stayed one night at a place where they had a big black motorcycle in the barn.
The guy said he’d do the top end, then take it to San Francisco & get $1,200 for it.
Vincent black shadow, 1953, all original.
$1,200 seemed a like a lot of money for an old bike in ’72.
I’d never heard of Vincents.
It’d be worth maybe $45,000 in Ca today.
When I was 19 I was married and had our first child on the way…. ya 19…. ! You’ve all heard of the “Harley in the barn” thing, well it does happen and it did happen to me. Heard about an old fella that my dad knew that supposedly had an old harley in his barn…… after persuing several of these wild goose chases i was skeptical but since the old fella did have a model T Ford that he’d bring to town on sunny days I thought ” well just maybe ” so I went to see him. ” Yup I do ” he said…. ” actually I got two of em in there…. my brother and I both went to Toronto many years ago and bought em “………… my heart rate went up several notches. Turns out they were Harley “Hummers”…….. not real Harleys I guess but the price was right … $150.00 for the pair. Took em home and the one actually ran…. the other needed some tlc but I was in no hurry and enjoyed riding the running unit around the house. The timing was off I guess on the one that ran and sometimes the motor would start and run “backwards”….. what a riot…. get my buddies over and have a few cold ones and see who could make the most laps around the house “backwards”.
After several months a fellow that worked at the same factory as did heard about them. He was …. and still is…. a vintage British bike collector. Anyhow things being what they were with my situation ( being an expectant dad and all ) I decided to surrender to his offer to buy both of the Hummers. I thought I was making a super profit…. he came and looked them over and gave me $500.00 for the pair.
Being the meticulous fellow he is he spent several months refurbishing both of em and taking them to several bike shows and coming home with lots of trophies and prizes. It wasn’t till years later I discovered that one of the most unique things about these bikes was that they had ” consecutive serial numbers “.
Man my butts still sore from kicking my own &$$….. but $ 500.00 paid for a whole lotta diapers and formula back in 76.
Keith Ramsay (KARamsay)
It has happened everywhere. I used to ride occasionally with a fella that had an cherry old 53 HD. His story was basically as follows:
I saw and ad for an old Motorcycle in the paper. Curiosity got me and I went by to take a look. Old lady led him out to the barn and said it has been her husbands. She wanted $500 for it and he needed to take it today. He knew what it was, told her that it was worth more than $500 and told her to call her son or a neighbor and they’d work out a price for it. She then told him that another gentleman was coming to look at the bike in a short while and if he had $500, it would be that guys motorcycle.
At the age of 13, I dug a 1938 National Duolian out of my grandmothers neighbors basement. she sold it to me for $25. I later went back and found all the original parts except for one (The tail bridge). In high school, I later traded that guitar for the top of the line Ovation Guitar. Probably about a $1200 value. Biggest mistake I’ve ever made.