Hammer Time: Public Auctions

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang

We just had a public sale close up in Atlanta. This was a place I called ‘The Red Light District’ for the whorific dealers and management team that ran it. These putzes used to steal keys after the cars ran through, knock out odometers (to hide real mileage), put racing oil in the engines, and did everything short of telling the truth to their customers. But for every jerkoff at this place that bought a near dead car at the impound lot sales and sold to a clueless public, there were other public sales that did offer some (not all) good vehicles. How can you tell the difference? Here’s one clue. Look for the names of the sellers. If new car dealerships, credit unions, banks and rental companies make up the bulk of their business, it’s generally a good operation. It doesn’t mean the car you eventually buy will be worth a flip. But if you’re willing to play the automotive lottery you deserve to dream. Just make sure you don’t buy anything too shiny or hip.

Steven Lang
Steven Lang

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  • KeithBates KeithBates on Dec 18, 2008

    @ Verbal... Not really, racing clearances are the reason for the 50wt... I've run .0035 to .0040 on the mains... A high volume oil pump really helps... SteveL

  • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Dec 18, 2008

    Not all racing engines run 50W. Frankly, the trend is toward multi-vis. And everybody tries to ease the load on the engine by minimizing oil flow these days. Ask anybody who builds from NAPCAR to F1. This is one of those 1950's kinda solutions. Like putting sawdust in the trans. Not that it doesn't happen (and sorta work), but it's a misnomer. Like calling it dino juice. It was never from dinosaurs, it was some combination of plants and a microbe (that we think we may have finally identified). But I digress... Very few racers (and nobody that I ever met in the last 20 years) run any lubes that are not synthetic. The flowability, molecular size and other techie crap few here would care about would make a 50W synthetic a bad choice. It'd go past those leaky seals, rings, etc.

  • 50merc 50merc on Dec 18, 2008

    In my younger days STP was the most popular remedy for tired engines. It's still around, isn't it? About auctions: My guess is the safest auction is an estate sale. Chances are, a car is in pretty decent shape because the late owner expected to keep driving it. I think next safest (absent special circumstances) would be vehicles being retired from fleets simply because they've reached a certain age or mileage. I figure dealers' trade-ins are riskier because if a car is in good shape, it will be kept for resale. To "turn the inventory" they use dealers-only auctions, right? Repo's are often bad deals, I've heard. Deadbeats tend to trash cars they're going to lose anyway. What's your take on these points, Mr. Lang?

  • Johnster Johnster on Dec 19, 2008
    Steven Lang : Just make sure you don’t buy anything too shiny or hip. Can anything ever be too shiny or too hip? OH!!! MY EYES!!!