Hammer Time: I'm Gonna Git You Clunka

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang
hammer time i m gonna git you clunka

The nearby junkyard has over 450 Clunkers, with a couple hundred more to go. Explorers, Suburbans, Town Cars, Durangos, Rodeos, and Expeditions are literally growing like kudzu. You want parts? Forget the dealership. In fact, you can even forget the parts store and mail order companies at this point. The gravy train of cheap has come to feed the hogs of yesteryear. For John Q Gearhead, this may mean that the economics of beaterdom have changed forever. Namely . . .

You can now get a loaded up 10 to 15 year old SUV’s for the price of a mediocre pickup only a few years ago. I sold over a dozen Suburbans wholesale over the past week. They all had one thing in common. They all sold for less than $2,000 at the auction. Now the retail ‘cash’ price may be around the high 2’s to mid 3’s. But keep this in mind. This was where the $20,000 full-sized pickup used to find itself after about 10 years of good ownership. Now it’s the $30,000 to $45,000 SUV. For those of you who want a pickup with an enclosed bed, seating for eight, and a ton of creature features… the next few months are looking quite good. Just please don’t ask for one with a Toyosan nameplate.

Join the conversation
4 of 13 comments
  • Maxb49 Maxb49 on Sep 30, 2009

    Where can I get a big block Suburban for $2k? Please tell me!

  • PeteMoran PeteMoran on Sep 30, 2009

    $30,000 to $45,000 SUVs selling for $2k after 10 years? How many of these things were sold originally? Some Common Sense® carrying people have the gaul to suggest that C4C destroyed valuable property! Look at the owners of all those POS and the private wealth destruction they inflicted on themselves.... My calculator just exploded trying to work out how much PROPERTY value has been destroyed. $20,000,000,000,000,000 at least. Gazillions. It's gotta be tons of digital cameras or oil or something.....

  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on Sep 30, 2009

    Max, on a WHOLESALE level you can get them for $2 grand or less. The last 1998 Suburban with leather I bought was for $1600 and that was with 60+ dealers looking at the same property. Retail it will be in the high 2's to high 3's. Keep in mind that with most wholesale vehicles you have to spend money repairing and reconditioning the unit. That particular Suburban I ended up trading straight up for a 2002 Nissan Altima with 135k. The Burb' had 180k and it was a dealer kept vehicle. Both were reasonable since I'll end up having to spend considerable money on the Altima to get it front line ready.

  • Sammy Hagar Sammy Hagar on Sep 30, 2009

    This reminds me a lot of the Grand Caravan market; it's amazing how cheaply you can get into an early 00's 8-passenger van. Not to mention, you can be fairly choosy about it, as there are only a few billion of these contaminating our streets and highways. Sure, you have to Dodge (yuck-yuck) the "momma gunned and groaning" transmissions, and of course, many of these never saw paste wax or upholstery cleaner (in spite of all the leaky diapers, spilled Capri Sun's and upchucked fish sticks). But what kind of gripe can you have when you're spending $3K on a 2001 Grand Caravan? Two sliding doors, some limo tint, enough tread to pass the Lincoln penny test, standard power options, a single-CD stereo, built-in toddler/pet-monkey seats...it's a lot of value. And the best part? Drive it for 5 years, put 75K miles on it and then sell it for what you paid! Crazy. Cuckoo crazy. Of course, it is a ManVan...so you'll have to get past those issues. But again, it's got factory limo tint. And, if you are really sly, you could score some VW badges off of Ebay and make your own "Classic Routan." Hell, throw a few of those generic Ebay "Hybrid" badges on it too...you'll be scoring some serious hipster-doofus love at the next stop light. Yeah, ManVan...er, ManValue!