Friday, December 28, 2012

Cool dusty classics hidden in a warehouse at Koury Investments

The Kansas City area is full of cool secret car stuff, if you know where to look.  This week I had the opportunity to visit one of those hidden gems, when we made a stop at Rich’s Classic Cars in Grain Valley, Mo.  When you look at this place on the outside, you’d never guess you’d find all the great cars inside.

Owner Rich Koury has been buying and selling cars for 40 years, and when you visit with him, you realize that he really enjoys the hobby.  As we toured his inventory, he was ready with a story on each and every car.  He’d tell you how long the guy owned it before him, where it came from, and sometimes even the dealership at which it was originally sold.

“I like Corvettes,” Rich stated as he opened the door of his warehouse, and indeed, classic Corvettes made up the majority of his inventory.  Now most of these aren’t 100-point show cars, but in a way they’re even more interesting with a little bit of character.  Take this ’65 coupe.  This old car was mostly original, with a really old repaint and several desirable options.  It had things like power steering, power brakes, power windows, a power antenna, and Power Glide automatic transmission.  It also had an AM/FM radio and factory air conditioning.  You’d have a hard time finding another one equipped like this.

On the other hand, this ’71 Corvette coupe had very little equipment at all.  It didn’t have power steering, it didn’t have power brakes, and you shift the gears yourself.  What it also didn’t have a lot of was miles.  Koury claimed it only had 24,000 original miles, and it looked like that was probably right.  Plus, it was “on sale” for only $33,000.  Heck, if I had 33-grand, I could think of worse things to buy than this nice old Vette.

Hot rods more your style?  How about this neat ’40 Ford coupe?  This car had a lot of potential.  The interior was upholstered in the original pattern.  The stance was right.  And the flathead was detailed with all the right hop-up parts.  I’d just put on a set of chrome wheels, spider caps, and whitewalls, get that modern radio out of the dash, break out the polish, and hit the road.  This could be a great little hot rod for somebody.

This ’41 Plymouth wagon sitting in the middle of the room was one of the most impressive cars there.  The craftsmanship of these old woodies really is fascinating.  This one had a flathead six under the hood, and looked the part with its black vinyl top cover and wide whitewall tires.  Just look inside at that headliner.  It’s more like a piece of furniture than a car.

I actually found this place poking around on Craigslist, but Koury also advertises in Hemmings.  But for the most part, that’s all the promotion he does.  I don’t think he gets too excited about moving the merchandise.  Some of these cars look like they’ve been sitting here awhile.  This ’47 Buick Roadmaster convertible has been here for three years.  This could be a pretty nice car for someone, as it was already treated to a cosmetic restoration, and it was very original under the hood.

If you like these or any of the other cars in the slideshow below, be sure to check out Rich’s website here.  These are fun cars to look at, and you never know, you might just drive out of there with a project of your own.

And for a nicer version of the slideshow, click this link.

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