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Car auctions, Are there any that a normal human being can afford?


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Iv been watching the major car auctions on the TV and am just stunned at what some of those cars bring. Most bring more than what I paid for my house 15 years ago. I agree that a few of them are bring what they deserve but holy cow, Some of them are just way out in left field. Is there any car auctions that are more human priced? Something that you could buy and not be afraid to drive it on the highway.:eek:

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I had to laugh a little bit when I read your post. I was thinking along similar lines as I watched some of the BJ auction. You certainly get to see some beautiful cars, and I definitely do not watch it to gauge the value of any of my cars, lol! I don't know if there are any "working man" auctions anymore, most of my cars I have bought from "someone who knows a guy that has a car" type thing. It appears you have to drop a 150K, or so, to get a pat on the back from the guy sitting next to you, for a job well done.

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I think there are probably a few good buys at every auction, particularly when a car has no reserve. It all comes down to who in the room wants the car when it crosses the block. I was at a Mecum auction last year and struck up a conversation with a dealer while I was eating lunch. To say he was crying in his beer understates his outlook. He said he had cars that didn't receive any bids at all. If they had no reserve, they likely would have sold cheap. There was a '37 Buick I was curious about that didn't meet it's reserve either and I'm fairly confident the bids were phantoms. Had it been allowed to sell, I suspect it would have been a good deal.

Edited by Buick64C (see edit history)
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Many times the best deals are right here on the AACA site. I don't have access to the Velocity channel so no B-J this year. NBC Sports network has been carrying Mecum auctions so I get my fix there. They too get some crazy prices.

Terry

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My brother called me when the red 1958 Plymouth was on and it was up to $180,000. I turned it on just as the Plymouth was finishing. It went to a commercial break and I counted 10 commercials, that's when I shut it off. I don't know how anyone can deal with that! I have better things to do with my time.

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Will, there certainly ARE reasonably priced cars at auctions.

Some companies try to focus on the high end of the market;

others on a variety; others on more modestly priced cars.

Someone who attended Barrett-Jackson's auction in Arizona

said there really are modestly and reasonably priced cars there,

but those aren't usually televised. You know how TV sensationalizes

everything!

Look at Silver Auctions. I don't know specifics, but I believe they

focus on the "working man's" collector cars, such as $5000 to $20,000.

I see you're in New York State. Once a year in central Pennsylvania is

the "Central Pennsylvania Auto Auction" of antique cars in Lock Haven, Pa.

It is held in the middle of July. The rest of the year, they auction used cars.

They have plenty of reasonably priced antique cars at their auction,

and they are very buyer-friendly. For example, there is NO FEE to

register to bid. Buyer's commission is 4%, seller's commission is 4%,

with a $500 minimum and $1500 maximum for each commission.

You can look them up on the internet or phone them at 800-248-8026.

Myself, I'd rather deal person-to-person with a fellow hobbyist.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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On the local Kijiji ads they want $3500 or $4000 for cruddy cars just above parts cars. Anything decent $20000 up. This for run of the mill fifties, sixties and seventies cars.

I sold cars just as good for $500 $1500 $3200 a year or 2 ago, and threw in $1000 worth of parts.

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Watch her site:

http://www.vanderbrinkauctions.com/auctions_current.php

I gone to two so far...

Check out the car web sites of the car you want..They post cars from time to time...

or

http://www.parts123es.com/autoroundup/return.arp?utm_source=Auto+Round-Up+Newletter+Subscriber+List&utm_campaign=9443e76212-Auto_Round_Up_Newsletter_88_01_15_151_15_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1431b10fbc-9443e76212-86555297

You know the best deal is from a car club member....

Edited by nick8086 (see edit history)
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I have been to Barret Jackson once, as well as several other car auctions, and can tell you a few things about them. First, Barret Jackson gets way more hype than it deserves due to its media coverage. Not all of the cars there are high profile, rare, pristine examples that go for ridiculous amounts of money. But those are the ones that get all the TV coverage. If a car is less desirable, needs work, and doesn't get much bidding action, it simply isn't televised. So because of this, everyone thinks they only auction the best most perfect condition cars, and that is not the case. But because of that, many cars will bring more money there than they would at other lesser known auctions.

Second, there is something about the auction atmosphere that does stupid things to people. It becomes more of a competition about having to win the auction than about what is actually being auctioned. Add people with too much money looking to build instant collections, big egos, and lots of free flowing alcohol that is found at most auctions, and you get cars selling for 2, 3, or even 4 times what they are worth. I have seen "barn find" collections that are so over-hyped that cars that look like they were pulled out of a junkyard sell for more than what you could buy a nicely restored or original example for.

Now it does take two or more people that want the same car to produce these results. If no one is interested in a particular car at that particular time at an auction, then you can pick up some cars cheaply. I know some people that got a pretty cheap prices on a 1961 Imperial 4 door, or a 1925 Pierce Arrow limousine because everyone else at the auction was looking for muscle cars, Corvettes, and '50's convertibles. So those two cars generated practically zero interest and bids.

So in that case, if it is a great deal on a car that you, but no one else wants, then go for it. But personally, I think an auction is generally the worst place to buy a car. Instead of being able to pick and choose from many of the same model if you wait over time and check around, you are limited to what is there. Most auctions only allow a small window of time to inspect the cars, and many will not even let you drive or even start the cars, and it is way too easy to fall into the hype of having to win and overpay.

Personally, I would rather take my time looking for the car I want, and then have plenty of time to inspect and drive it without the pressure of having to keep instantly bidding higher or lose it on a car that might not be as great as you first thought it was. Unless it is some really ultra rare example, there are usually plenty more of whatever model you are interested in that are not at auction. And there are no registration fees or buyers premiums.

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If you go to B J and others on their internet site you will find complete restored cars for under $10,000 . A lot of times there sites also show past auction sales and prices . For tv they have to show the high dollar stuff ,even know more common people would watch it if prices were realistic. This ford truck sold in that $13,000 range . http://www.barrett-jackson.com/Archive/Event/Item/1932-FORD-ONE-TON-PICKUP-181505 181505_Front_3-4_Web.JPG

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On the local Kijiji ads they want $3500 or $4000 for cruddy cars just above parts cars. Anything decent $20000 up. This for run of the mill fifties, sixties and seventies cars.

I sold cars just as good for $500 $1500 $3200 a year or 2 ago, and threw in $1000 worth of parts.

Don't forget, what they are asking is not what they are getting. I have less than $4500 in both of my 1939's.

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This coming weekend I'm going to go look at a 51 Olds 88. It is dealer priced but it's about what I'm looking for in a car. I want a rust free 4 door 50's something with signal lights and relatively easy to maintain. The only other thing is it has to have is a automatic transmission so the wife can drive it. I gave my 49 Plymouth to my son in law to get him started on the hobby so that just leaves me with my 1919 Ford Model T touring car and I need another go fast car that car keep up with traffic for long trips and has a heater for cooler weather.. Consider this an open invitation to e mail me what you have.

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AS was pointed out some of the lesser auctions like Auctions America produce some lesser prices. I would however, caution you to go to the auction and look at the vehicle (s) that you want to buy. Pictures and films can be done very creatively and show the car in a better light than you would think. It is an investment, but better to take the time than to have regrets after buying!!!

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I went to a Fort Lauderdale, Fla. auction with a friend

a few years ago. We cursorily looked over the cars beforehand,

and it was obvious that a 1961 Imperial had missing trim;

a 1958 Buick Limited convertible had an incorrect interior.

On the auction block under the lights, the cars looked perfect,

though they were #3 condition cars. And with the auctioneer

telling half-truths--glorifying each car and not saying a word about

imperfections--I did not at all get the comfortable feeling that

dealing with an honest and sincere hobbyist always gives.

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Will, be patient and you'll find just the car you want.

Don't feel pressured into paying a dealer's high mark-up.

Some dealers advertise prices 100% above what they

just paid for a car. Check price guides, such as Old Cars

Report Price Guide or their annual book (by Krause Publications).

I recall a couple of nice 1950's GM sedans advertised on

this AACA Forum. And there are undoubtedly others on

the antique-cars-for-sale websites.

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Will, be patient and you'll find just the car you want.

Don't feel pressured into paying a dealer's high mark-up.

Some dealers advertise prices 100% above what they

just paid for a car. Check price guides, such as Old Cars

Report Price Guide or their annual book (by Krause Publications).

I recall a couple of nice 1950's GM sedans advertised on

this AACA Forum. And there are undoubtedly others on

the antique-cars-for-sale websites.

d advice.

Sound advice John, I totally agree ! Wayne

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We have this conversation every year. There are always bargains at any auction, but you won't see them on TV. Instead, they show multiple red mid-year Corvette roadsters (I stopped counting at 15). I don't know why, but that's the way it goes. The early days of any auction will have a LOT of bargains and the last day will also have more than a few. Sunday's B-J coverage had the highest-priced car of the day sell for under $60,000. Now, that may seem like a lot of money, but it's really not in the grand scheme of things. I also saw a nice 1964 Impala SS sell for $22,000. That's not crazy. The bargains are there, but you also have to be there to see them. The TV producers aren't going to show them to you.

Now, if your idea of a bargain is a $3500 4-door sedan with rusty rockers, well, no, you won't see one of those.

Coverage overall was pretty good, but I have to wonder about the directors' decision to cut to a commercial in the middle of bidding on the Whatthehaye hot rod. Not everyone's cup of tea, but one of the halo cars of the auction and right before it sold for several hundred thousand dollars, oops, gotta get to a boner pill commercial, STAT!

And please, whomever is in charge over there, please please please get rid of the blonde girl and her ceaseless yammering about Twitter. I'm not going to Twitter her with questions and I'm tired of listening to her talk. I record the auction and start watching an hour or two after it starts so I can fast-forward through the uninteresting stuff and commercials (it's not like I'm going to bid, so watching it on tape delay does no harm). I couldn't grab the remote fast enough when she came on. Ugh.

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I saw something I viewed as encouraging: non-authentic cars in general went for much lower prices, even if all shiny. So those base level 60's cars with later chromed Chevy big block engines and late model wheels seem out of vogue.

There was a "mild custom" Ford convertible (wrong paint, interior, and drivetrain, but isn't that almost right?) that looked like a real dud in price.

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Rusty, I think for most cars it's still a buyer's market.

Reasonably priced cars in nice shape will sell readily, though.

You'll often see asking prices that border on the irrelevant.

It's sometimes an optimistic seller, and more often a business-driven

dealer. Some dealers are great guys; some seem to price their wares

in the stratosphere, almost double actual value, and hold onto

those asking prices like grim death. But you'll see, when those

cars eventually go to auction or Ebay, that the selling prices

really are reasonable. Are those dealers trying to build a facade

that their cars really are worth their high-profit prices?

Dealers, we envy you that you can build your workday around the

cars you love. But high asking prices give the appearance of greed.

(And I'm casting no aspersions on the good dealers, AACA members,

such as those who post on this forum! One part-time dealer I know

is one of the kindest, most genuine people in the hobby.)

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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And please, whomever is in charge over there, please please please get rid of the blonde girl and her ceaseless yammering about Twitter. I'm not going to Twitter her with questions and I'm tired of listening to her talk. I record the auction and start watching an hour or two after it starts so I can fast-forward through the uninteresting stuff and commercials (it's not like I'm going to bid, so watching it on tape delay does no harm). I couldn't grab the remote fast enough when she came on. Ugh.

I completely agree Matt! I have trouble reminding myself that the "show" is made to appeal to everyone, just those of us who want to see great cars. More Magnante knowledge, less sparkle.

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What got me was Velocity's abysmal closed-captioning. The bubble-headed bleach-blonde's non-stop yammering was bad enough; then to watch the CC in mangled English... I guess it was closer to Engrish, really.

I was in me favorite Italian joint watching it with the owner, who is a car guy himself, so the volume had to be muted for everyone else. Now, the other TV showing different programming? CC was flawless, so it HAD to be Velocity's doing. As much money and advertising as goes thru a B-J auction, the closed-captioning should have been perfect.

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That dopey girl is hard to take.

To me, the strangest part of the auction is that when this or that car is sold (usually a Corvette), the two pundits will often identify a "prominent dealer" who was the buyer.

How can a dealer stay in business by paying auction prices for cars? I suspect that some of these transactions are being choreographed for the benefit of the camera for the purpose of building up a value for a car that will later be resold by one of the parties.

Then again, I am suspicious by nature.

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re. the title of this thread " ... are there any that the normal person can afford?"

No "normal" person would buy an old car. You have to be a little nutty to even think about it. Maybe a lot nutty.

Don

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A local auction company is having an auction of the estate of Carl Wishek (Acampo, CA) on February 7, 2015 that includes:

30 Vintage vehicles to incl. 1922 Nash Roadster, 1929 Stutz M, (2) 1931 Nash sedans, 1929 Packard, 1930 Studebaker Commander, 1927 Nash Coupe, 1914 Studebaker 2 door, 1933 Packard Twelve, 1995 Lotus Esprit, 1995 Ferrari 456, 1973 Lamborghini Espada, plus Ford Mustangs, Model A’s, Lincolns, Mercedes, Cadillac, Maserati, & more. Large assortment of new & used auto parts, machine shop equipment, tractors, motorhome, etc.

http://huismanauction.com/index.php?ap=1&pid=41261

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re. the title of this thread " ... are there any that the normal person can afford?"

No "normal" person would buy an old car. You have to be a little nutty to even think about it. Maybe a lot nutty.

Don

LOL.........considering America's love affair with cars I guess there are an awful lot of nuts running around....... :rolleyes:

Maybe auctions are for the ones with stupid money to spend so us commoners can get deals down in the trenches of the real world....... ;)

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go to the Atlantic City Potter King auction in February-plenty of reasonable priced cars because it is the middle of February and never gets that much publicity.

although may not be there much longer, as AC is pretty much shutting down.......................

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I enjoy small auctions with 100 cars or less. I go to as many as I can and see a lot of the same people from a 400 mile radius. We find great deals good restaurants and help each other out as much as possible. We don’t want or need to go to the big TV auctions where crazy people drive prices too high.

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At the RM "St.John's" (AKA "Motor City Auction") there was a NICE 1955 Packard Caribbean convertible that I worked on and knew, the only negative I can cite on the car was that it had been converted to the "Ultra-Torque" trans (Chrysler 727 TF) which may be seen as a plus by some. The car gaveled out at $42K, which for that car is cheap. It was bought by a speculator, and is offered for sale on his website now at a higher figure. My old boss also had a '55 Caribbean in the same auction, a better car (meaning REALLY nice, high point car) it only sold for $62K, and again, was bought by a wheeler-dealer and is for sale on his website. Both cars are a case where the buyer for that particular make/model/year was not there, or following the auction, and the cars went for a good price for the buyer.

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Usually the cars that come on the block early in an auction are the lower priced vehicles and some bargains may be found since the larger number of bidders may not be present. Usually RM and Goodings have higher value cars and not many bargains. Auctions America (Owned by RM) does have auctions with lesser value cars. The auctions they run at Carlisle are good examples of interesting cars at affordable prices. Also, the annual Branson Auction in Branson, MO always seems to offer some good prices although I have only read their results and not attended the events.

A friend attended some of the Scottsdale auctions last year and was surprised by the number of dealers who were bidding. He asked some of them how they could buy at auction and resell at a profit. They stated that they set limits on the cars they buy and add 20% for needed repairs and reconditioning for resale. They actually work backwards from their proposed selling price to determine how much to pay for a car. I have auto dealer friends who buy many cars at auction (I live about 10 miles from Manhiem Auto Auction in Manhiem, PA.) and they all say, "I make my money when I buy the car." That is, what they pay determines their profit when they sell.

Auctions such as B-J and Mecom are good television entertainment, but we must remember that these are businesses that rely on commissions from the sales of the vehicles to make their money. Thus, they attempt to extract the highest possible sale for each car as it crosses the block.

Perhaps the best method, although perhaps not the fastest, to find a collector car one wishes to buy is to attend Fall Hershey or the Charlotte Auto Fairs or other events that have large car corrals. Even if you do not buy anything it is still great entertainment and you get to kick a lot of tires.

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I'm curious why the hotties in the red dresses at BJ? I love a beautiful women but when I'm buying a car, she's in the way and a distraction. Another pet peeve is the over use and 90% of the time, mis-used term "RESTORED". If its not as built from the factory, it's CUSTOM, period. Mid to wild, custom is custom. A 34 Terraplane with a 350 chevy is NOT restored.

When you have to pay $400 (I'm not sure the exact number) just to have a bidders number, you have to expect the buyers to be more affluent generally.

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It seems as though I'm seeing more negative reactions to this year's sale, both online and in 1 on 1 conversation. The most notable comment seems to be about "...crazy people with too much money..." in general terms. I have to ask, how many of you truly believe that the guy who pays $350K for a Camaro is ignorant, dumb, stupid or some ego-maniacal dim wit? I've been selling cars off and on for over 30 yrs. Everything from a Model A project car to a Model J Duesenberg, and a list so long of muscle cars I can't recall all of them. Within the hundreds of folks I've dealt with there's never been some mope just dying throw 1/2 again as much as the car's value just because he can. How did some of the televised buyers become able to bid what they do, win or lose?

Ladies n gents that's sour grapes, plain and simple. The majority of buyers with the loot to play are sharp about what they want. If it isn't them crawling in and under the car it's their agent or expert inspector that gives a thumbs up or down. I've been that guy several times. Why does 1 orange Yenko Camaro get bid to $225K and the one 6-7 cars later struggle to see $150K? Because the 1st one was a better car, PERIOD. Do any of us think that all 1932 Packard 900s are now worth $250K? I hope not. That car belonged to the late Mr. Bill Buddig. There was never a square inch of his cars out of place or in less than #1 condition. If you're a Packard guy you understand without words why that strong bid happened. The 33 12 behind it? Why so low? I don't know that car in particular but I can only guess that it wasn't nearly as crisp and well presented as the 900 regardless of the magic that TV cameras serve.

Every principal I've ever dealt with was nothing like what many say about the B-J bidders. To carry on about it? Well now, who would the ignorant one be then? He might be found over the top of his bathroom sink. Just sayin...

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