Chasing Down a Dino

I got a text message from a friend of mine with some pictures of a Dino GT that might be for sale. It was in a warehouse in the Bay Area of San Francisco and was owned by the same owner for about 30 years.

Whenever I get a message or a text like this, my heart would beat a little quicker as I started expanding the pictures on my phone to get a better look at the pictures. I was told this was an un-restored Dino with original paint and interior. My heart would speed up a little more.

The details seemed to support the claim as I tried to find clues in the pictures.

When i saw the odometer and it said 17,158 miles, I asked my friend if this could be possible, and he confirmed the current owner didn’t drive the car much during the past 30 some odd years and the paperwork and receipts seemed to support the mileage! My heart was at a full race!

The owner of this car was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and was in the early stages of this debilitating disease. My father suffered from Parkinson’s and I was all too familiar with the loss off motor control. Lynne and his wife Diana had decided it was time to sell the cars, and the Dino was part of the collection. Their price was strong, but needed the money to help with their future taking care of Lynne and his condition. I would have flown out to SF to buy the car myself, but I have a college age kid that’s taking priority of my spending! I had to be patient and find the right buyer for this special car.

About a month later, I had someone contact me about buying a DIno at one of the dealers in the States. He asked if I would be interested in going out to inspect the car and perform a PPI. We talked about what he was looking for, and what his budget was, and I told him about this car I had found in CA earlier in the summer. I called the sellers to make sure the car was still available and arranged to go out to see it in person. I was flying out to California for Monterery week, and was landing in SFO before driving down to Monterey. There was just enough time for me to meet the family in Oakland before the Monterey weekend. The family was still firm on the price, but I felt if it was truly an un-restored low mileage Dino, it could be worth every bit of it.

I almost didn’t make it to California in time after a cancelled flight (I’m not flying United again!) and a scramble to book another flight on another carrier to make it out for my scheduled day, but I was determined to see this car!

The car was exactly as represented, largely untouched, with original paint, chrome, and interior. The car had its original tool kit, and owner’s manual pouch with service receipts dating back to 1978! After a test drive and a compression test, I stepped outside, called my buyer and gave him a green light to buy the car.

I stepped back inside and told Diana and Lynne we had a deal, and worked out the details to how money would be transferred and title exchanged. I know this hard for Lynne to see his car go, but I hoped the money would help take some of the sting away. I’ll have to find out how much he paid for this car back in the 90s, but then again that information may sting for the new owner!

As soon as I got to Monterey, I called my shipping dispatcher to schedule a slot on a truck headed back east. It was Tuesday before Monterey, and most of the collector car carriers were congregating in Monterey, but with the auctions a couple days away, slots on the trucks were not filled with the fresh purchases. I figured if I pushed the funding of this car, we could have everything in place by the end of the week so I reserved a spot on a truck. My planning paid off as the Dino was loaded on a truck 8 days later headed for my shop. I can’t wait to see this car in my shop in a week or so and to share the details of this super low mileage survivor car!!!