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Motor Vehicle Appraisal Service

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Motor Vehicle Appraisal Service

My name is Tom Marks, president of the Motor Vehicle Appraisal Service. I’ve been involved in the automotive and powersports industries my entire life. I made a career in this business as a technician, salesperson, business owner, and instructor. It actually has been more than just a career, it’s been a lifestyle and a passionate journey that I enjoy every single day. Through the Motor Vehicle Appraisal Service I get to share my skills and expertise with everyone and anyone that loves this lifestyle as much as I do.

1949 Studebaker 2R5 pickup truck

11/15/2015 – Earlier this past week I received an inspection order from One Guard / Road Ready inspections to take a look at this Studebaker truck for a client out in Minnesota. The inspection order stated that the truck was a, “1949 Studebaker M5 pickup.” I did some research before going out to take a look at the truck and discovered that the model designation for this truck is a 2R5, not a M5. 1948 was the last year for the M5 and it had a very late 1930’s look about it. The ’49 to ’53 Studebaker pickups had in my opinion a much more rounded and aerodynamic look about them.

I met with Larry Mathews at Old Boyz Toys in Arundel, Maine where the truck was located. Even though it was dark by the time I got there I could see that there were many classic vehicles, mostly old trucks, on the premises.

Like anything different that you see for the first time, that first impression becomes the benchmark for how the rest of the inspection is going to go. The truck didn’t look too bad from about 20 feet away. As I approached the truck, evidence of previous bodywork could be seen under the paint job. Usually what I do in cases like this is to get as many photos of the problem areas as I can. The next thing I’m looking at is rust. There were obvious areas of rust repair with body filler on the outside and inside of the cab and on the inner sides of the truck bed.

From a mechanical aspect the truck was almost all there. The only things I noticed that were missing was the drivers vent window post and window channel, the spare tire, and jack. The spare and jack might have been factory options and not necessary to drive the truck.

The motor was a little reluctant to start and required the use of a jump pack to spin the 6 volt starter. Once it started it ran smoothly and didn’t seem to smoke. The transmission and clutch engaged both first and reverse quietly and there were no unusual noises while moving it back and forth in the garage.

A road test is one of the most important parts of the pre-purchase inspection. Unfortunately in my opinion, this truck was not ready to be road tested. The headlights were dim and it did not appear that the charging system was operating properly. The turn signals were not all working and a taillight was out. The tires were badly dry rotted and the rear tires were bald. I was told the truck wasn’t registered. Not a good combination for an evening drive on a cold fall night.

Overall this truck is a great candidate for a complete restoration or street rod. It still needs work just to be an occaisional driver. Despite areas of rust under the cab it is still a relatively solid truck. I love the body lines on this thing.  I would give this a condition rating of 4-.

Pre-purchase inspection on a 1967 Ford Fairlane 500

I inspected this car yesterday at Carroll Street Autos in Dunbarton, NH. The inspection was done for One Guard / Road Ready Inspections for a client located in Texas. The inspection was completed within 48 hours of the request.
The car is a nice original example of Ford’s mid size car line, The car appears to have been well maintained and cared for and looks great as a “20 footer”. A closer look at the body reveals what I would consider ‘garage dings’ on several locations on the body. These are small dents that probably occurred as a result of interactions with lawn tools and kids bicycles. There had been previous attempts to cover scratches with touch up paint, The body is rock solid and does not show any signs of collision damage. There is a very small hint of surface rust that is on the bottom of the doors, other than that no other rust inside or outside of the body was observed.
The interior is in remarkably nice condition for a 48 year old car. Some mold is on the rear carpeting that needs to be cleaned. The front seat shows some wear on the drivers side but it’s not terrible. The front seat foam on the drivers side is wearing down and could stand to be replaced. I couldn’t get the radios or clock to work. The original AM radio sounded like it wanted to work but I couldn’t pick up a station in the dealers garage.
There was an attempt to revive the condition of the engine bay with some fresh Ford blue engine paint. The inner fenders and shock towers have been painted black. One of the things that I did notice was that the lower half of the motor is painted orange. This makes me wonder if this is the original motor or a re-built replacement. I was not able to observe engine numbers to verify this or not. Parts in the trunk suggest that the water pump and spark plugs have been replaced. A carburetor rebuild kit was also in the trunk and I believe that I was told that the radiator was also replaced.
In the trunk, the original mat and jack are in place. The finish inside the trunk looks to be original with sound deadener  and white paint sprayed somewhat carelessly around. No signs of rust anywhere in trunk. There is a homemade prop rod included for the trunk lid that does not want to stay up by itself.
The under carriage and suspension appeared to be in great original condition. There is undercoating on the floorpan and it is thick in some spots in the front wheel wells. It has been on there probably since the car was new as a dealer installed option. The metal underneath appears to be solid with no signs of rust. The only surface rust that was observed was on the rear leaf springs, nothing unusual there.
The engine starts right up and initially idled smoothly. After the road test as I pulled the car back into the building the engine started to idle rough. It seemed to occur just after I turned into the driveway, almost like it was starved for fuel. Assuming the carburetor was recently rebuilt, was the float level properly set? Other than that the road test was great. The suspension feels compliant and firm. The steering is predictable. The transmission shifts properly and firmly. The car accelerated well up to 60 mph and cruised nicely. Manual drum brakes – think before you brake!
Overall – Condition Grade 3

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