I buy a lot of cars, which means I often find myself thinking about car sellers and buyers. These are two interesting groups of human beings. In many cases, they’re openly trying to screw you. In other cases, they have no idea they’re screwing you, and you don’t discover they have until four days later when you go to put your briefcase in the trunk and it’s full of rain water.
This got me thinking: What is the least trustworthy group of automotive sellers in existence?
I’ve bought cars from all of them. New car dealers. Used car dealers. Family members, friends, auctions, and strangers on the Internet, from Craigslist to Cars.com to Autotrader to web forums. Every transaction is a little different. And every time, I’m wonder to myself: Is this person going to screw me?
That’s why I’m soliciting your opinion on a topic that’s near and dear to my heart (and wallet). Which car seller can you count on to be the very worst?
During the last week, much has been written about the “Driven By Disruption” auction Dec. 10 by RM Auction/Sotheby’s.
Most of that reporting was about Janis Joplin’s Porsche, which sold for a mildly outrageous sum of $1.6 million (plus fees), which beat the estimate about 2.5 times. Other top-dollar cars were mentioned as well, especially the first Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato sold in almost a decade, or the Ferrari 290 MM that was driven by the famous Juan Manuel Fangio in the Mille Miglia. Both cars brought even more eye-watering amounts of money – $13 million for the Aston, $25.5 million for the Ferrari. The Aston even set a historical record for the most expensive British car ever sold at auction.
The message is clear: The collector car market is not only alive and well, it’s thriving. Cars sell for ever-higher sums and they are a marvelous investment value. After all, they aren’t making any more classic Ferraris and Astons, are they? So the value can only go up, right? (Read More…)
Babies are tough. Bosses can be tougher. But the indisputable boot camp of bare knuckled stress inducers has to be a young dog that hasn’t been given the care, love, and discipline it needs and deserves.
Not even the Volkswagen Passat W8 I bought last year can compare to the ball busting doled out by an 8-month-old female boxer named Luna, a hyper-cute animal that ruthlessly channeled all of my inner Cesar Millan this past weekend, and defecated it right on the carpet.
According to Kelley Blue Book, auction prices for Volkswagen’s diesels cars are dropping faster than similar models that are powered by gasoline.
According to auction data gathered before and after news broke that Volkswagen had admitted to federal investigators that their cars illegally polluted, prices for Volkswagen diesel cars dropped 16 percent. Prices for Volkswagen gasoline cars only dipped 2.9 percent over the same period.
According to the car industry site, interest on the Volkswagen diesel models has only declined 2.4 percent.
Steve McQueen’s 1976 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera fetched $1.95 million at auction, according to Hemmings Daily.
The specially ordered, air-cooled turbo Porsche had a few cool factory features including dual mirrors, limited-slip differential, black leather buckets and the original tag with McQueen’s custom-ordered slate gray color still riveted to the door jamb.
Considering a fine 1976 Porsche 930 with 64,000 miles on the clock went for nearly $300,000, I figured the auction for charity of McQueen’s car would fetch around the same.
I’m wrong. I can admit that to you now.
The last car the King of Cool custom-ordered will be up for sale next month in Monterey, California.
Mecum Auctions (via Autoblog) details the 1976 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera (sold here with the internal type number — 930 — in its name) that McQueen ordered shortly before he died. The 3.0-liter, air-cooled turbo 911 will be sold for charity, with proceeds going to Boys Republic, a nonprofit school for at-risk teenagers in Chino Hills, California.
According to Mecum, the car was fitted with a switch to kill the rear lights if McQueen was being chased down Mulholland. That’s so cool.
Dubbed the “most famous Ferrari known to exist” by Mecum Auctions, the white “Miami Vice” Testarossa will hit the auction block August 13-15 in Monterey, California.
The amazingly entertaining history behind the car includes details about the Testarossa, which was repainted white, and its life after the hit ’80s show.
With just over 16,000 miles on the clock and a recent $8,000 engine-out service, a piece of American television history can be yours (probably for a lot of money).
How do I know you love me? (photo courtesy: zazzle.com)
TTAC commentator dtremit writes:
Hey Sajeev —
Inspired by your recent Mazda3 Piston Slap, I thought I’d throw this question your way. Seems like something the B&B might have advice on.
I have a 2005 Mazda6 that is a rather desirable used car…on paper. It is in excellent condition mechanically, and has fairly low miles for its age (about 78k). Single owner, and I have maintained it well, though I am not sure the mess of receipts in the glovebox counts as excellent documentation. I have a good set of Nokian snow tires for it on steel wheels, which would go along with it. It would make a good car for someone for quite some time to come. (Read More…)
Jack Baruth has a very thoughtful post on selling his green stick, apparently an Audi. (See No Fixed Above: Stick it to ’em.) Here I delve into his logic as a devil’s advocate.
A key observation throughout his post is that most (newish) used cars move through dealerships, and for many there is an auction through a Mannheim or Adesa in between the trade-in and the used car lot. The same is true in Japan: the graphic above is of a car auction in Osaka, though on-site buyers sit at computers with a huge display of the two virtual “lanes” with no audible action. (For more see my post on a June 2014 visit at Auto Auctions, Japanese Style.)
I have been trying to find a Lexus GX470 for several months now. Either a 2012 or a 2013.
What I have found is that these vehicles simply don’t exist here in Tennessee.
I have gone through every Lexus dealer in the state, along with a few others that are out of state. I can’t find a GX anywhere.
So I thought that maybe I should try to look at a Toyota Sequoia, or maybe even a Toyota Tundra instead. I have found a few of these vehicles at the dealerships, but the prices are stupid high, and I just can’t justify paying what they want me to pay.
I am a cash customer, and I don’t think I’m too picky when it comes to cars. What I wanted to ask you is whether you can actually find a good deal on a late model GX at the auctions.