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Here’s a brief history of the car as I was able to piece together. Luckily the Connectiut title listed the last 4 “titled” owners. I was able to contact the one person who actually drove the car and cared for it. Here goes:
The car was bought as a Chevette based kit from British Coach Works by a Connecticut man circa 1986-88. He never finished the car or titled it. He died circa 1992 and his daughter, the executor of his will, sold it in 1996 to another Connecticut man. This guy completed the car and titled it as a 1998 Comp/MG (Component car). He never drove it and sold it in 1998 to a local woman in Coventry, CT. She put just under 2,000 miles on it before donating it to Connecticut Public Broadcasting (CPB TV) in December 2003. She is the only actual “user” of the car. She was the earliest owner listed on the title and told me the history you just read.
Now it gets ugly. CPB uses a wholesaler (Statewide Auto, a Meriden, CT junkyard) to sell donated vehicles. It is they who leave it out in their yard all winter. They sell it to an auto detailer in Willimantic, CT in May 2004. He starts to clean it up but loses interest when he sees how bad the interior really is. At least he kept it in the shop out of the weather. In July 2004, he consigns it to a local wheeler-dealer who sells stuff (mostly used trucks/SUV’s) on eBay. I see it and contact the guy. He tells me if I hit the “buy it now” to end the auction and decide after looking at it I don’t want it…no big deal. So, I hit the “buy it now” for $4,500 on 27 July 2004. I drove the 215 miles up to the car on 29 July 2004. It is mechanically great except for wheels/tires and interior. I negotiated the price down and loaded it up on my trailer and towed it the 215 miles, though the New York City commuter traffic, back home.
I have been updating the lady owner on it’s progress via e-mail and picutres regularly. She is thrilled that it’s been rescued and found a good home.
I’ll post the leather and stichwork story later on. It wasn’t cheap…but man is it nice!