613 St. Mihiel Drive
Riverside, NJ 08075
Guys like Clarence DeBolt make it possible for people to buy cars from decades past without first owning a South African diamond mine.
They're sitting out there on his C&C Auto Sales lot in Riverside, shedding raindrops just like everyday rides, for all the world to see: Neat stuff, running the whole gamut from nearly pristine Cadillacs, to hot-rodded hay haulers, to V-8 Chevy Novas that have clearly seen better days.
One-stop shopping for the old car buff, with merchandise tailored to suit any budget.
"A lot of the people who stop in say they were just driving by on a weekend and saw all the old cars," DeBolt says. "Most of them can't believe I'm selling them so cheap."
Aging Detroit iron has always been a good investment, but some cars are better than others. Obviously, the difference between a rusty 1948 Plymouth with rotted upholstery and a jewel-like 1969 Dodge Daytona with a 426 Hemi is measured by the number of zeroes on your check.
DeBolt's candid about the fact that he's not after buyers looking for "100-point" collectibles, slavishly maintained and destined for the cover of "Cars and Parts" or other buff books. Most of the older stuff on his lot looks its age, to varying degrees from rusty project cars to SHOW STOPPING examples of the hobby ......
"A lot of the older cars end up going to hot rodders," he says. "A lot of guys are just looking for the body, and most of the others aren't coming in here for an original car anyway.
"If the thing's not original, I'll either do it up myself or just sell it as a project car," DeBolt says. "I take'em any way I can get'em."
"Original" generally means a "matching numbers" car, which in turn mean the original engine, transmission and body with their matching serial numbers are still all together and fully restored. In many cases, cars sold at C&C are hot-rodded to varying degrees with fresh drivetrains, lowered suspensions, custom wheels and interiors and new paint.
Others are bone stock. Some visibly need sheetmetal or interior work - just to keep the tinkerers smiling. The wall of DeBolt's office is covered with before-and-after Polaroid photos of these handyman's specials.
Here's some examples of the stuff DeBolt sells, and what getting into a serviceable classic can cost. They're all sitting on his lot waiting for a good home.
-1962 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe: Powered by 1975 Chevy 400 cubic inch small-block V-8 equipped with performance connecting rods, crankshaft and valvetrain; beefed-up Fairbanks transmission with 4.11 Positraction rear, black paint, Cragar wheels, cassette stereo and largely original interior. .
-1954 Cadillac 60 Special sedan: All original except for pearl white custom paint with 46,000 miles. In DeBolt's words, "If the bumpers were rechromed it'd go quick."
-1952 International Harvester pickup: Fully customized and hot-rodded, original box frame replaced by a Chevrolet passenger car unit with independent front suspension. Repowered by 350 cubic inch Chevy V-8 with four-bolt main bearings and performance exhaust headers, Turbo-Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission, fat wheels and tires, custom interior, canary yellow paint with flames, 12,000 miles since the rebuild.
-1958 Chevrolet Impala coupe: A smooth early '60s-style mild custom with Lincoln taillights, "lake" exhaust pipes, chromed wheels, dummy spotlights and tuck-and-roll interior. Big-block 427 cubic inch Chevy motor and Turbo-Hydramatic 400.
-1964 Ford Galaxie 500 four-door hardtop: Completely original except for fresh factory paint with 112,000 miles. Asking price is $2,200; far less than a convertible of the same year world run.
DeBolt describes himself as a lifelong car freak who spent his formative years wrenching vintage cars into running condition. Before he was 20, he'd already owned more rigs than most of us will get titled in our lifetimes.
"I was buying and selling old cards when I was in high school," he says. "I had 38 of them within three years, and then the township started telling me I better get a dealer's license."
After honing his skills at his own body and repair shop, DeBolt opened C&C in 1989 at the corner of River Road and St. Mihiel Drive. About half the inventory is normal used-car stock including things like Z-28 Camaros, Jeep Wranglers and an assortment of four-by-four pickups. the other half is some AMAZING Automobile finds..... street rods, kustoms, muscle cars..you NAME IT .. and he can LOCATE ANYTHING your heart desires.....
DeBolt advertises his wares in an assortment of old-car newsletters,magazines and on his website and all over the internet. The investment wins him customers from as far away as Europe.
"I've sold cars in the past year to guys from Finland, Ireland and Switzerland," he says. "The guy from Finland bought a '32 Ford coupe that was my Dad's car. We took it over to Philly and put it on the boat ourselves."
"Europeans like cars that are complete and ready to go," DeBolt says. "The Swiss guy took a '63 Comet convertible, which is fairly rare; and the guy from Ireland bought a '52 Chevy four-door sedan. That's not an exceptionally rare car but I guess it must be over there."
DeBolt zeroes in on his "vintage tin" by combing through old-car classifieds, junkyard prowling, and just by keeping his eyes peeled.
"Right now, I spend about 20 hours a week looking for'em," he says. "I just cruise through the farm country; look behind people's houses. I got a '47 Chevy out there that I found dumped behind a farmhouse in Chesterfield, so it works."
If you are a bonafide car nut THIS IS THEE PLACE to visit.... FRIENDLY, KNOWLEDGEABLE people with a STRONG hot rodding background that treat you as a member of the family......