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Another Rare Barn Find becomes a Project Car-Part 1

Part 1

We recently received an email from a friend in Southern California. He knew Katrina and I had been looking for a 428 CJ Dan Gurney Spoiler for many years, eight to be exact. Not once in all that time did one ever surface that we know of.

My friend’s email gave the details of a Craig’s list car for sale that was reported to be a 428 CJ and was a 1969 Cyclone painted in the right colors. Clones of these cars are not difficult to do but it was worth a look. I immediately called the seller and discussed the car’s details over the phone but he stated he didn’t think it was a real Dan Gurney car but since I had to be in California the next week any way I made an appointment to see it.

The seller owned a body shop where the car had been abandoned sometime ago by the original owner who had passed on. There were a bunch of parts in the trunk which went with the car. After three hours of crawling under and over the car I knew I wanted it. I also knew the engine was a 390 and not a 428 BUT I also knew the car was originally a 428 SCJ Drag Pack car with Ram Air and 4-Speed! I hit the Mother Lode!

A price was agreed to, down payment made, paperwork signed and a shipper arranged for. I completed my trip to CA and returned home. A couple of days later I received a call from the seller wanting to know when he would get the rest of his money. As agreed to at the time of the sale, I had obtained a Cashier’s Check from my bank and sent it to him Registered, Signature Required mail. It took a couple of days and he had not received it and was getting a little nervous.

To be Continued…

It seems even though the ad had run out and he got some tire kickers no one was interested in a 1969 Mercury. Before I showed up he had made arrangements to re-list the ad and this time the phone was ringing off the hook. He told me he even had some fellow in New Zealand calling him and begging to buy the car!

Normally I would shrug such chatter off as an eager seller wanting to put pressure on the buyer. This time I wasn’t so sure; I said is the guy in New Zealand named Robert? There was a long pause from the other end of the phone and the seller said, yes I think so! I couldn’t believe it! I know one car collector in New Zealand and he is trying to steal my car out from under me. I told the seller to tell “Robert” the next time he calls the car is sold.

I wanted to have a little fun with this and sent an email to my friend Robert in New Zealand and told him, “If you are the guy trying to buy the Dan Gurney car in Southern California, get off it. I already bought it!”

I had no more than clicked on the send button for the email and my phone rang. Yep, it was Robert!

We had a good laugh and he wanted to know how good the car was and was it real. The answers were, it was more than it was advertised to be and it is very real.

What are the chances two friends, one in Tennessee and one in New Zealand, would end up almost bidding on the same car in Southern California without knowing it? You have heard the saying “Its a Small World” well it is also a “Small Car World”.

If you want to know more about this newest Barn Find we will be bringing you all the details and all the photos in a few days. This great car is going to return to all its 428 SCJ pumping glory and beauty. It is now our newest Project Car.

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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at

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One Comment

  1. Never knew Gary was a car collector LOL ? When i first posted the original add on the torino forum , i ribbed gary about not jumping on this one earlier, New Zealand doesnt deserve such cars anyway, they probably just add a bunch of sheep skin to it! LOL

    Look forward to the restoration process pictures.

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