Auction Day: Putting All The Holy In Toledo

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang
auction day putting all the holy in toledo

300,000 miles. Precious few vehicles get up to this point of longevity without some serious issues. This afternoon over 90 vehicles were auctioned off in front of over 90 dealers. Only 1 car hit that miestone. A plain-jane 1997 Toyota Camry with substandard paint and a broken front bumper on the driver’s side. Check engine light on. Prior Rental. Title Branded. Scratches galore.

It went for over $2300. That was one of many “Holy!” moments.

2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo: 141k, Auto & Alloys, No Roof: $5500

2006 Toyota 4Runner Limited : 139k, Prior Fleet, Loaded: $12,700

2000 Ford Focus SE Wagon: 198k, Auto & Alloys, No Roof: $2800

2006 Honda Civic LX: 114k, Auto only, $8100.

2007 Ford Expedition XLT: 205k, Prior Rental, Leather, 4WD No Roof: $10300

1996 Ford Windstar GL: 98k, Forest Green, Xmas Tree Dash: $1750

You may see a small trend here. SUV’s for all of the griping and moaning about gas prices, are still in demand. In fact there were two Explorers that went for more money than what I paid for the exact same vehicles four years ago.

A 2000 Explorer Eddie Bauer with 171k went for $3350 and a 1999 XLT model with leather went for $3650. This was not to be outdone by a 2002 Toyota Camry repo with an assortment of dents and scratches that went for $6700. That nearly matched one that I bought 3 years ago that was in clean condition.

There are a lot of strateiges that I try to use in the course of an auction. Holding bids when the auctioneer is looking for price support. Delaying my next bid after five or six have gone through, to encourage doubt and uncertainty as to the vehicle’s value. Bidding in front of allies and potential allies who abide by the king’s rule of ‘looking out for each other’.

In some sales you can get your advantage by doing these things. But today? I may as well have been in Toledo bidding against 90 strangers. I finished second with the following vehicles and took back nothing.

1994 Toyota Camry XLE: 185k, Auto, Leather & Roof, Good Carfax: Stopped at $1800

1998 Toyota Camry LE: 101k, Auto, LE model, Scuffs on passenger doors: Stopped at $3000

1999 GMC Jimmy: 199k, Clean, 4WD, Leather, Roof: Easily Financed: Held at $1500… sold at $1600

The good news is that I got seven other vehicles last week. Most of which were at ridiculously low prices and resembled the “Hit Em’ Where They Ain’t” philosophy I try to embrace at the auctions.

You can always find a good deal. Just not at a popular auction during tax season. Speaking of which, feel free to let me know what was the worst deal you have ever seen in your retail travels.

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2 of 35 comments
  • Chicagoland Chicagoland on May 07, 2012

    The 300K mile Camry is a prime parts car for an Auto Recycler. It will get picked over quicker than 4 old Cavaliers. The buyer will double their $ or more. Toyotas are like fresh meat in pick and pull yards, to keep others running.

  • SuperACG SuperACG on May 08, 2012

    Makes me feel good about my Focus Wagon (it's in my avatar pic). It's a 2002 with 74K I got in 2009 for $5000 after tranny flush and 4 Michelins. It's got 118K now and needs shocks. Glad to know it's still worth something. Also have a 2000 Explorer XLT Sport Package (one level below Eddie Bauer) with 4x4 and no leather. Needs reg and battery though...

  • Gemcitytm Why does it seem every EV seems to have ridiculous amounts of power? Yes, I know they're heavier than ICE models but who on earth needs 708 HP? How about a nice, compact EV with, say, 250 HP and 350-400 mile range? Is that impossible with today's tech? (I currently drive a 148 HP Mazda 3 ICE and it has all the get-up-and-go I need.)
  • CEastwood I could have bought one of these if I had the cash in 76 for $1000 white , red interior , 3 speed stick with whitewalls/ wire hubcaps - it was mint and gone a day after I saw it . But the real catch that got away was an all original 69 green Camaro RS convertible 327 4 speed with 46K on the clock for 1800 that I saw a few months earlier . Young and poor was not a fun place to be !
  • KOKing I'm in an emissions check only state, and I'd trade that away for a safety check all day.
  • Bd2 The hybrid powertrain in the Sportage and Tucson are the ones to get.H/K should discontinue the base NA 2.5L powertrain and just build more of the hybrid.In the future, maybe offer a 2nd, more powerful hybrid (the hybrid 2.5) which will first arrive with the next Telluride/Palisade.Kia also needs to redo the front fascia for the Sportage's refresh.
  • The Oracle I say let the clunkers stay on the roads.