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Ted Furth stands next to a 1959 Chrysler Windsor with 45,000 actual miles.

For the love of big, old cars

A few years ago, Ted Furth traded in his day job to pursue his passion — buying, reconditioning and selling big 1950s, 1960s and 1970s Chevrolets, Pontiacs, Buicks, Cadillacs, Chryslers and Dodges.   Photos, story by Fritz Busch, The New Ulm Journal

Ted Furth can't get much more in love with older, big cars.  Not muscle cars. He wants the type that can be bought and sold for far less money.   Mostly four-door sedans, hardtops with an occasional two-door convertible thrown in. "I've been car crazy all my life," said Ted Furth who lives with his wife Tamara on her family's original farm site just east of the Sigel ball park. "As a 13-year-old, I remember telling my dad I wanted a 1939 Chevrolet a neighbor down the street had," Furth said. "I started buying and selling old cars as a hobby," he added. "It's still fun for me. I still feel lots of passion for it, every day when I get up in the morning."
Each summer, Furth takes several of his cars to some of the world's largest antique vehicle shows in the Upper Midwest.
"It's the joy of meeting other gentlemen that share your passion and swapping stories," Furth said. "I may sell a car or two at a show and buy one to bring home." Storing several dozen cars in insulated sheds on the farm site, Furth lists his business as Ted's Tuna Boats on several web sites including oldride.com, AntiqueCar.com, Craigslist and eBay Motors. He gets e-mail queries and phone calls from people he doesn't know and others he met over the past few decades in the vintage car business. "Since they're available at reasonable cost (his average car price is about $4,400), lots of people buy and enjoy four-doors," Furth said. "I'm kind of like a matchmaker. People ask me to find them certain types of cars. I know who to call to find them. For me, it's not just about money. I have a deep love and appreciation." He has shipped late 50s cars to several european countries. "Some people there are crazy about old cars with big (rear) fins," Furth said "Chevrolet Impalas and Caprices from the 1970s are popular with inner-city customers who convert them to low-riders or put large, chrome wheels on them.

Furth would rather work with old cars than new ones.
"Newer vehicles are full of sensors and plastic. I'd rather work with chrome, steel, big leather seats and wrap-around glass," he added. "It keeps me going when I sell a car to someone and they drive off with a big smile on their face."


Ted's Car of the Month

                      1961 Chrysler Imperial

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6/8
8am
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6/13-14
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How to Choose Your Project Car

Classic Cars for Driving or Showing
First, you want to decide whether you are looking for a driver, a car that you can get out and drive on the weekends and not be worried about stone chips, or a true collector car, something that you are going to take to shows and want in perfect original condition..
Classic Car Maintenance

You also want to consider maintenance costs. While a lot of people will look at something like a mid-year Ferrari and say, Wow, I can own a Ferrari for thirty thousand dollars, the maintenance costs for that car could easily be ten thousand dollars a year. Whereas by comparison, if you look at a classic muscle car that seems expensive compared to a Ferrari, maybe forty or fifty thousand dollars, they are quite simple cars and the maintenance can be relatively cheap. There are great resources out there. If you go to wikipedia or any of the owners' forums for those cars, you can often find the history and the range of models, and what changed over the years.

Classic Car Modifications

You also want to look at what has been done to the car -- if it has any modifications, are they modifications that are tasteful, and improve the value of the car and improve the drivability. This is a great example. This is a 1973 Bronco, and we restored this car and went through everything. We painted it, we went through the drive train, we upgraded the brakes, wheels and tires. And we did a lot of things that are period-correct upgrades that people did back in the time, but still look really cool today.

                Testimonials

Hi Ted,

 I Gave the 51 GMC pick up to Kathy for her birthday as planned.  She was thrilled.  She loves it!  Just wanted to thank you again for all your help in making this special gift possible. 
Thanks again!                    Keith G. Norwalk, Ct

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