Lots of Layers

This was actually a very nice looking little Chevy II with good parts and nice paint, but it did exhibit one of our red flags: obvious reapplication of several paintjobs. A paint thickness magnet could give you a good guess as to how many paintjobs are piled on top of one another, but if you’re without that useful tool, another way to spot this is to pay attention to body lines and reliefs. These two cutouts should be quite sharp, but the many layers of paint have softened the edges. This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but definitely something worth considering and bringing up.

The “hero” Car

We’ve all seen the quickie respray cars that are dolled up with cheap paint splashed over who knows what to try and lure the unsuspecting to a quick sale. This one was exactly that, a car that appeared to have not run in years, but had a fresh (but poorly applied) coat of Dukes of Hazzard orange, and Vector wheels that had a steady stream of daydreamers gliding over picturing a big “01” on the door. Beware of any seller who’s relying on emotional reaction for a sale and go over cars like this with a fine-tooth comb.

Chrome Won’t Get Ya Home

This one is in the same line of thought as the quickie respray; hose down the dirty old engine with a multitude of cheap chrome parts and fake braided line to create the illusion of a hot rod engine. Look closely and you’ll notice it’s a stock smog-era engine probably sporting a couple hundred horsepower at very best. But at least it has headers. The lesson here is always assume the engine is worthless unless proven otherwise with receipts and a testdrive that impresses you. We heard this one run; it was making more than one suspicious noise.