Tag: Auctions

By on April 1, 2014

 

hairpin

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…

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By on March 26, 2014
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People buy with their eyes in this business. Always have and always will.

I don’t care if you are a pseudo-sophisticated Yuppie wanna-be who thinks that Subaru is a value brand, (It’s not. They cater to the Costco crowd.) Or an impoverished mother of five who is taking her $6000 tax check and blowing it on the Cadillac of minivans.

Image completely rules this business. New or used. As much as I would love to sell old sturdy wagons and functional minivans that will last for another seven years, my customers want the modern-day crossover. The SUV that hypothetically gets great mileage if you read the window sticker upside down. A compact with an impossible to find leather interior, and of course, the upscale ride with the nice big wheels.

The first test of whether a car sells in this business comes down to a simple question.

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By on March 18, 2014
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Malcolm Pray at the wheel of his “French Mistress”. Full gallery here.


At the New York World’s Fair in 1939, eleven year old Malcolm Pray Jr. came down to the city from Grenewich, Connecticut to attend the fair. At the French pavilion, a Delahaye 135 Roadster with a body by Figoni et Falaschi, one of twelve made, caught the boy’s attention and he admired it so much that he made a sketch of its lines and kept the sketch, never forgetting the car. He went on to graduate from the University of Virginia and did a stint in the U.S. Air Force before moving back to Greenwich where he got a job selling Volkswagens for Morlee Motors on West Putnam Avenue, the same street where he would eventually operate a group of foreign car dealerships.

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By on February 12, 2014

littlebangtheory.wordpress

 

When I peruse the websites of some of my local yards, it seems like some of these cars have very little damage but some insurance adjuster has written them off based on whatever metric the company uses.

I’m an experienced shadetree mechanic and it seems like getting a 3-4 year old car for 30% of its original MSRP would be a screaming deal, and since warranty coverage is no longer an issue, it comes down to diminished value on the salvage title. I tend to keep my cars for 8-10 years so who cares.

Here’s where my doubts creep in.

If it was such a great idea, I would have surely read more about it. In the case of this one nearby yard,  they have a huge collision repair facility. So why aren’t they repairing and flipping these cars? Googling doesn’t provide a whole lot on the pros and cons, just on the procedural aspects.

Any experience or stories ?

Steve Says:

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By on February 10, 2014

car.mitula.us

A reader sent me these parameters for picking his next vehicle
I’m at a crossroads. I’m looking for a cheap – laughably cheap – like less-than-$3,000 cheap – car for my next daily driver. It’s got to be economical (near 30 mpg hwy) and fun to drive, with decent aftermarket support (so I can throw a couple mods at it – I’m a gearhead). Oh, and since I’m 6’1″ and have a 1-year old daughter, it needs a back seat.
We can skip the DSM/Mitsubishi reliability warning.
By on January 29, 2014

amazon

Life is sometimes about extremes, and with the extreme life of buying and selling cars comes two cars, recently purchased by me, which easily represent the polar opposites of all things automotive.

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By on January 28, 2014

HPIM1628

We received an interesting email the other day here in the TTAC underwater battle station. As is frequently the case, this one was about a used car. But not just any used car.
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By on January 22, 2014

07dts1

98 dealers are busy looking at 89 vehicles. Check engine lights are being scanned. The hoods are opened, engines are revved, and Bluetooth is the technology of the moment. Wholesalers, along with professional car buyers like me, are busy making arrangements with those dealers and individuals who want to buy an auction vehicle on the cheap.

There’s only one problem with all this. We’re on the eve of tax season. A time where everyone short on dough files a tax return on the expectation of a nice four-figured refund in early February. Millions of those refunds will eventually be used towards one of three purposes: paying down debt, purchasing electronics, or putting a down payment towards a nice used car that will likely be financed to the hilt.

The prices at this specific auction are always high. But today, they were in outer space.

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By on December 4, 2013

Imagine you’re going on a 27 mile hike over the course of three days.

It’s a long journey ahead. Hills nearly as big as mountains. Wet and slippery ground everywhere.

And the sun? It can beat you down to the point where you feel as ragged as a wore out mop. There will be no hiding from the obstacles ahead. None.

Now imagine if your partner for this journey came up to you, and the first words he blurted out were, “Those are some nice boots you have! But I got a killer deal on mine.”"

Would you think they were, well, a schmuck? To put it lightly?

Now consider this…

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By on November 22, 2013

mustangsplus

I admit it. Every once in a while I buy a vehicle that simply doesn’t work out.

Everything checks out at the auction. But then, I get a birthday surprise.

It could be a transmission that randomly goes out of overdrive after about 20 or 30 miles. Or an engine that has far too many aged wires for me to easily track down a stubborn check engine light.

Sometimes I buy a 4000-pound ATM machine that only allows you to put money into it; a rolling lemon, par excellence. Then I have to figure out how to make it into lemonade, lemon meringue pie, lemon tart, and even repair fodder for the other rides on the road that are still lemon-free.

Lemons are never fun… but every once in a while fate has a wonderful way of smiling on a pitiful set of circumstances. 

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By on November 16, 2013

lamb1

If the numbers truly don’t lie, then TTAC readers are extremely interested in the Lambrecht Chevrolet saga; it’s been one of our biggest stories of the year. And now, there’s a coda of sorts to the ultimate old-cars-in-the barn tale.

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By on November 5, 2013

Nurburgring_lap

Nissan. Cadillac. Chevrolet. All brag about being the Lord of the ‘Ring, upsetting the German automakers to no end. Yet, one of them may still have the last laugh through the act of saving the Nürburgring from certain doom.

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By on October 15, 2013

Ringman1

Steve Lang might not be “thrilled by the shill”, but here at TTAC, we’re delighted to see him return. As always, he drove a tough bargain, but he’s back. Look for more “Hammer Time” articles from our rogue buy-here-pay-here specialist in the future! — JB

“Did he just try to run me up on a $500 car?”

The auctioneer had seen my bid, taken it, and then moved his body to a 90 degree angle from where I stood. He quickly took a bid. A bit too quickly for me to believe it.

Magically, a $600 bid had been taken somewhere between the sea of bodies and the coke machine, as he quickly went back to me looking for more. I saw the low mileage 1994 Geo Prizm with the banged up body slowly move away as the auctioneer tried to make eye contact and get me to bid again. Except I wasn’t watching from the same spot anymore. I walked away. The shill bidding that would have cost me at least $150 was now worth nothing.

I knew his trick because, a bit over 10 years ago, it was my job to help the auctioneer make it work.
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By on August 6, 2013

Other than the AC/Shelby Cobra, which has been ineptly reproduced in horrifying bulk by various people up to and including Carroll Shelby, and Bentley, which for the past decade has been the unwitting target of a sustained global counterfeiting operation in which Volkswagen Phaetons are refitted with welded-up pairs of turbochaged VR6es and cross-eyed Kia Amanti front ends to make so-called “Flying Spurs”, no major automaker has been the subject of so much fakery as Ferrari. It’s not always as simple as Mister Twos pretending to be 360 Spyders. Some of the most controversial “fake Ferraris” started their lives as real Ferraris.

Now, a prominent Ferrari broker (and faker) says that the company is taking steps to prevent the sale of fake Ferraris, even (or perhaps especially) ones that originally hail from Maranello.

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By on July 17, 2013

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While Equitorial Guinea is one of the wealthiest countries in Africa,  only half of the people have access to clean, safe drinking water. One fifth of children born in the country die before they are five years old. Two years ago the French government raided the €80 million, 101-room mansion near the Champs Elysees belonging to Teodorin Obiang, the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, in power since 1979. Among the treasures found in the mansion were a cache of supercars, which have now been sold off.

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