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.
Rich, the mastermind behind the Rocket Surgery Racing mid-VW-engined Renault 4CV, just got hired to install a daily-driver-suitable modern drivetrain in a ’53 Ford coupe. The owner wanted to keep it all Ford, EFI makes for much better real-world drivability, and so a late 1980s or newer Ford 5.0 or 5.8 (aka 302 or 351W) V8 engine looked to be the best choice. Running donor cars and trucks that fit those requirements tend to go for four figures, so it was time to hit a Denver-area police-impound auction. Here’s what happened yesterday. (Read More…)
H.J Mulliners gave this model design the name “Flying Spur” which is well documented as the heraldic symbol of the Johnstone Clan in Scotland. The “Flying Spur” was awarded to the Johnstone clan for their help in allowing Bonnie Prince Charlie to escape on horseback.
That’s authentic British heritage, no Bentley-by-Breitling-by-Bentley-by-Brietling-by-Volkswagen needed. You’re looking at one of seven Flying Spurs for sale, from the collection of a Hungarian who escaped that Communist state to become an engineer, succeed beyond his wildest imagination, and acquire top-shelf examples of the Flying Spur wherever they could be found. That’s even cooler than the cars themselves, right?
Tune in, drop out
With Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale over, aging hairy-chested executives are now returning to McMansions all across America, short seven figures but up one or two muscle cars. Yes, there were some big sales this year, like the Batmobile that went for $4.6 million even though it’s based on a Lincoln and doesn’t have any rocket launchers. But this Barrett-Jackson summary is for all the car geeks out there, highlighting a few less publicized sales that still managed to raise my eyebrows as I sat on my couch watching the results and eating donuts.
Not too long ago (but in a galaxy far, far away) I wrote about the deals you can get on unpopular new cars that have brand new replacements waiting in the wings.
Today we’ll examine what happens when those vehicles fall off the depreciation cliff. Again.
11,285 miles. Or maybe not?
This 12 year old minivan graced a fairly large audience of dealers that were long dog tired of all the minivans that were passing through. There were green ones that were as unloved as they were large. Purple ones that dated back all the way back to the Y2K era and the peak of minivan mania. A red one that came in an unsellable three door version.
Then there was this one.
photo source: Wikipedia
Statistics Canada reports that there are more than 26 million registered vehicles deemed fit to ply our 900,000km of Canadian roadway. Not bad for a group of souls who wear wool socks for six months of the year and feast on poutine. Transport Canada sets regulations for such things (the cars, not the poutine) and is thus charged with crashing, smashing, and otherwise ruining brand new vehicles with single digits on their odometers – all in the name of safety, of course.
9:15 A.M. Labor Day.
I get a surprise message on Facebook this morning from a guy who bought an old Volvo 940 wagon from me nearly six years ago.
“That BMW? What did it go for?”
A month ago, I posted this article regarding the grey market Bimmer. It had sold on the block for a mere $2,300 due in part to a broken odometer. I clicked on the Ebay listing hoping for a fair disclosure. Instead I got…
This 2009 BMW 535i has 45,000 miles and looks absolutely drop dead gorgeous. It offers nearly the same acceleration as a 550i, and far more space than the 335i, which is more sought after in the enthusiast world.
To me, if you’re a true keeper, all of this is good news. The better news? It’s a lemon!