Hammer Time: Iacocca's Auction Triumph

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang

Who wants a 1996 Chrysler LHS? The last car to ever impersonate an Iacocca inspired Chrysler New Yorker glided down the auction lane in pure anonymous bliss. The Mazda 3 behind it had already hooked all the dealers looking for some sub-prime finance fodder and hey, I knew that the 3’s transmission was toast. I was not in the mood to have a dogfight with half the dealers at this sale. My job was to pick my battles and find the dealer queens, but which ones?

There had already been several nasty machines that went through the block that evening. Most of them were plain junk. Three Camry’s that each had over 375,000 miles went for $850 and up. A Cadillac with engine and transmission issues? That went for clean retail.. north of $2000. Even an 18 year old Caravan that was ridden with onion peel paint went for $700. I had picked out the LHS. The least popular car to sell short of an early 90’s, V6, Mercury Cougar. Why?

The owner. I can tell an awful lot of things about the prior owner just by what is in and on a car. Are the tires pricey Michelins or cheap Wal-Mart’s? Does the interior look well kept? Or is it as rough as a wore out mop? Did the vehicle come with a dealer advert in back that came from a buy-here-pay-here lot? Those cars usually have low-quality parts and neglected maintenance that will result in you ‘polishing a turd’ with several hundreds in extra reconditioning costs. You need to handicap and bid appropriately.

The LHS had all the right ingredients. AAA and AARP stickers on the rear windshield. New-ish Michelins. An immaculate interior with no paint fade. Despite the fact that full-sized Chryslers are often as popular as herpes, I wanted to make sure I got it. It was profit incarnate. The auctioneer started at $2500… went down to $2000… and then quickly went down to $1000. At that point I clenched my fist near my left shoulder which means, “I’m in at $1000”. Seven seconds and no other bids later I was the new owner of the car. It’s now off the lot and on the road. Along with that onionized Chrysler I mentioned. Yeah it was ugly. But that 92’ model had only 78k and a LOT of Chrysler OEM parts. Most owners of old minivans don’t care about the look. They just need it for the hauling.

Steven Lang
Steven Lang

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  • Golden2husky Have to say he did an excellent job on the C7, especially considering the limited budget he was given. I am very happy with my purchase.
  • Marty The problem isn't range; it's lack of electricity in multi-unit building parking. All you need is level 1 - a standard 120v wall socket - and if you're plugged in 10 hours overnight you get 280 miles per week or more. That's enough for most folks but you can use public charging to supplement when needed. Installing conduit circuits and outlets is simple and cheap; no charge stations needed.
  • 2manyvettes Tadge was at the Corvette Corral at the Rolex 24 hour sports car race at the end of January 2023. During the Q&A after his remarks someone stood up and told him "I will never buy an electric Corvette." His response? "I will never sell you an electric Corvette." Take that Fwiw.
  • Socrates77 They're pinching pennies for the investors like always, greed has turned GM into a joke of an old corporate American greed.
  • Analoggrotto looking at this takes me right back to the year when “CD-ROM” first entered public lexicon