Oh, good tip on the correct brake fluid... dot 4, right?... I'll check with the garage and see what type they used.
Here's an up to date:
They replaced the two front brake lines and still no brakes. They replaced the master cylinder and now there's a very hard pedal. I haven't driven it yet, but they said it is VERY HARD to stop the car pressing pedal VERY HARD. It's getting expensive. Last phone call and they were thinking the vacuum line.
Note: I found out this afternoon that the master cylinder was replaced not long before the car ended up parked (due to minor traffic accident). Does anyone think it could have really have gone bad? And a bad master cylinder is (1.) the whole thing or (2.) an O-ring seal or (3.) what? (I'm out of guesses). I'm uneasy about this $230++ replacement - should I ask for the "old" one back?
And the former owner's son says it was parked for three years, not five.
I've gotten really good information and am reluctant to ask... but... Besides the vacuum booster going bad, what else could cause a HARD PEDAL such as I described? I had no trouble shutting off the car when I cut it off several times and didn't notice any accessory malfunctioning.
As always, all advice appreciated!