Auto enthusiasts often dream of taking an exotic car through some of the nicest stretches of winding roads the world can offer.
Hairpin turns… beautiful smooth roads…. nice scenery… and all the power and finesse one can summon in a car made for the perfection of that very moment.
Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, the list of great cars serving this unique purpose of vehicular bliss is as long as the opportunity is unique. Even the most frugal of gearheads want to experience this thrill sometime between now and their eventual nirvana.
But then again, I may be completely wrong on all of this. Actions speak louder than words in the enthusiast community, and what I find inside a lot of gearhead garages looks a bit like…
There comes a time when the prices for used cars at the auto auctions go the way of an exuberant bubble.
A small army of consumers get their tax refunds. The car lots wake up from their winter slumber, and values for vehicles go the netheregions of the human imagination.
I sell cars during this time, not buy them. In the last three months of every year I will usually buy a lot to avoid the tax time market prices. Sometimes as many as 12 vehicles in a day. But when tax season comes, I buy a chosen few and sell them by the dozen.
Then, after the buying frenzy begins to ever slowly ebb, there will be a welcome break in those hedonistic valuations. Where instead of winding up $1000 to $1500 behind the selling price, I wind up second to another bidder. Almost always to a guy who has been buying cars for a long time. Today was that day.
What percentage of new cars sold this year in the United States have European badges?
This market has ceased to make sense.
$7300 (plus auction fee) for a 2003 Honda Accord EX coupe with 220k and a bad rear bumper.
$8800 (plus auction fee) for a 2003 Chevy Tahoe with 102k and scrapes along the side.
$23,800 (plus auction fee) for a 2003 Corvette Z06 with 16k and some really crappy plastic add-on’s.
Keep in mind that last price was well over two grand higher than on Ebay. Same miles. No Wal-Mart quality chrome add-on’s. No interior detail needed.
What the hell has happened to the car market?
The BMW Z3. In my mind this model is the only convertible of the late-90’s that made the 2nd gen MX-5 seem… a bit plain. Even with a near 10k premium when it was released, this car was quite a hot commodity for those willing to pay for the privelege.
But what if we could turn back time just a bit? What if right now I could get you a forest green 1997 BMW Z3 with the 1.9L four cylinder, all the options and only 21,000 miles on it? Would you be willing to pay.. say… $10,000+? Well guess what…