The bidding kept going down and down at the inop auction. A sale where all cars are usually either dead or dying.
“$200! would-a-give-me $200! $100! $100! How about-a-hundred!”
Pretty soon the bidding went all the way down to $50. For a whole car! No takers. No sale. Until…
I was a member of the auction staff at this public sale. Unlike other junk public auctions which usually offer cleaned up basket cases from the impound lots, this one specifically sold dealer trade-in’s.
The vehicle in question was a 1993 Subaru Impreza. Four speed automatic. 165k. Primer. The vehicle didn’t even have a lick of paint on the outside.
But it looked clean. Too clean to be used as crusher fodder at an auto recycler.
“Rick? Do you think the Chevy dealer would take $25 for that thing?”
It just so happened the owner of that dealership had a twin brother who also happened to hear me ask about the car.
“You want that junker Steve? It’s yours! Enjoy your new tinker toy!”
So for $25, plus a $50 fee, I had my own Subaru paperweight. That was until I replaced the battery and the shiftlock overdrive mechanism. It ran like a top. Two weeks later I bought a 1988 Toyota Mr2 at the same sale with about 110k for $225 that only needed a fuel pump.
Two cars for less than $500 altogether.
Eventually I sold both vehicles on Ebay for $1576 and $2712 respectively. A rally coordinator for Subaru flew in from California and kept the Impreza for another 50k miles before turning it into a race car. The MR2 went to a super nice guy in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where thin framed older cars have limited lives.
I’ve made more money with plenty of other cars over the years. But these two have always been close to my heart. What about you? What was your best deal? Feel free to throw in a parts story or two if you like.