Posted on: August 23, 1984

From Rootes Review
Vol 9, #8, 1984

by Bruce Johnson

We have all heard those ridiculous and corny stories about finding Dusenbergs in barns, haven’t we? How about the old lady who advertised her deceased son’s ’53 Corvette in the local paper as a ’53 Chevy with an asking price of $100? There is also a variation in which the Corvette becomes a ’55 T-Bird advertised as a ’55 Ford. Have you heard either of these tales?

How about the 800 original mileage Alpine, have you heard that one? If not (only 2 or 3 people have heard it), sit down and read on. This one is actually true!

Those who are up on our marque know that Chrysler stepped on the toes of quite a few Rootes dealers during the brief time they controlled the U.S. distribution of Sunbeam cars. One dealer–the hero of this account–became so annoyed over Chrysler’s actions that he actually sued the corporation. I never heard the exact details of the suit, but I do know that the effect of the suit was to delay the sale of a brand new, untitled, carnival red Series V. The suit dragged on and on (as all lawsuits do), and before anyone knew it, the Series V was no longer a current model. When the case was finally settled in the early 1970’s, the dealer decided to simply continue storing the car. He apparently didn’t relish the prospect of attempting to talk potential buyers out of deals for a new 240Z or Jensen Healy and into a deal for a “new” 6 year old Alpine. The car then laid in storage for another 10 years gathering dust and trying to hold on to its new car smell. Recently, one of our hardworking TE/AE club detectives tracked it down and learned its strange history.

What is the condition of this automotive Rip Van Winkle? Frankly, I have not seen it so I can only pass on the owner’s description. He advised me that the car has about 800 miles on the clock and that it has not been run recently. It was stored outside for a while, so the paint is somewhat faded and the top and dash pad need replacing. I was also, told that the original tires still have their side beading on them and that the rest of the car is, to put it simply, just unused.

Your next question would probably be concerning the future of the car. Is it for sale? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is that it isn’t for sale at this time. The present owner has not decided what to do with it. He may sell it in the future or he may just continue to store it. If he does decide to sell it, you can be sure that the asking price will not be cheap. He knows what he has got and he obviously is not in any hurry.

As a service to both him and our club members, we have given him a standing offer for a free classified ad in our newsletter!

That is something that never happened in the tales of the mythical Dusenberg, T-Bird, or Corvette.

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