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Creative financing, or...everyone is a wealthy 'real' doctor?


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jrbartlett, on 24 Jun 2015 - 7:08 PM, said:snapback.png

I wish I'd had the chance to respond to this thread earlier. I own a Duesenberg, Auburn, Cord, Packard and Locomobile -- all very expensive cars -- plus two Buick Rivieras and a Lincoln convertible that aren't very expensive. I've never inherited anything, I grew up in a poor neighborhood, I volunteered for Vietnam and my college degree is in a low-paying profession. But what I did have was an extremely high work ethic. I've simply outworked all my peers for decades, learning a lot along the way and getting better at what I did, and over time it was recognized and rewarded (I've always worked for others). It wasn't until my mid-40s that I could buy the Auburn, my late 50s when I bought the Packard and Locomobile, and my 60s when I bought the Duesenberg and Cord. So you can't make sweeping generalizations -- everyone's situation, talents, choices and resulting opportunities are different.  

 

I have a strong work ethic.  I work so hard during the week that I am dead tired come Friday evening, and need the weekend to recharge, and still work at least one Saturday a month!  I think a lot of what you accomplished is simply being in the right place at the right time.  Your wages were not FLAT the first 25 years of your career, you had more job opportunities, and were in the right place at the right time when those cars came up for sale, plus you bought some nice cars that, in hindsight, were (relatively) bargain-basement prices.

I agree with Mr. Bartlett, and I respectfully disagree with mrcvs.

I too have managed to acquire a 29 Duesey, a '10 Maytag, a 67 GTX Hemi convert, 3 Hemi hardtops,  and a bunch of other cars that I love even if they were not too costly. I'm not bragging, I just want to help inspire others to realize their potential. I grew up poor, inherited nothing, started with nothing, never even dreamt about going to college. I do not consider myself rich, I still borrow money to buy cars, but then I pour myself into paying it off rapidly.

What people should consider is that the incredible wealth of this Nation is available to anyone who strives for it. Look around you, money is EVERYWHERE in huge quantities. In the industry that I am in, roofing, $100 million changes hands within a 100 mile radius of me every year. I just need to get a very small fraction of that. It is the same for everybody, if you cease to limit yourself, you can get all the money you want. The key is service to others. The more you give, the more you get. Make your own luck. Luck is the intersection of knowledge and opportunity. We all have luck, but is your mind open to recognize opportunity when it knocks? Put yourself in the right place at the right time. Don't limit your self by your current vocation, location, education or age. Read about Colonel Sanders, he was in his 70's when the started making his KFC fortune, and we've all heard of the 19 year olds who have made millions.  Working hard is not enough, you have to work smart! You have to work to serve others and to make money. Not to "put in your time" not to excel at your trade, but you have to put yourself in a place and a situation were people will pay you lots of money to get what they want from you! I am a skilled machinist, I did that for 7 years before I got into roofing. I could stand at a Bridgeport making chips until they carried me out on a stretcher, and I still wouldn't have much money. Now, if I would borrow the $ to buy 20 machines and  hire 20 machinists to run them, and a couple salesman to keep them busy, then I'd be making some serious money. Do you see what we just did? We used other peoples money and other peoples time to increase our service to others.

The process is simple, but not always easy: Decide what you want from life. Learn how to get it. Use the knowledge to make a plan. Set goals for accomplishing each stage of the plan. It all needs to be written down. Act on your plan, review your plan and you goals daily, chart your progress, modify your plans as you learn more, and don't let the inevitable setbacks stop you. Use the goals to keep you focused. Then watch your dreams unfold. Go to the library. There are thousands of books that explain how to do this. One of my favorites is Earl Nightingale.

 

Don't look at yourself as the poor guy with no luck who can't afford anything. Dream big. Your dreams now are your future reality. Good luck!

 

 

Edit: mrcvs, you are a veterinarian. Americans spend 60 billion per year on pets. 30 billion on vets and supplies. Divided by 102,000 vets, that is an average of $292,000 each.  That is a LOT of $$. Start thinking about how to tap into that more. Can you produce 4 times as much as average thru multiplication of effort using other peoples time and money, that would be almost 1.2 mil per year. How about 10 times as much as average?  Sell pet health plans? then you get paid even if the pets are healthy, plus lock in your customer base. Internet sales of veterinary supplies? Open Multiple veterinary locations staffed by employees that you oversee? Delegate the time consuming tasks and spend your time and energy building your business? There is so much you can do.

Edited by Joel1967 (see edit history)
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Joel,

 

I like your intersection of Hemi cars and prewar Classics.   The Model J is certainly one of the great Musclecars of all time.  I had the opportunity 15 years ago to buy one of the 10 or so Hemi 68 GTX 4 speed verts.  It wasn't cheap but I probably should have followed through.

 

I think I have said this so much I'm like a broken record.   Off the top of my head I have pretty good insight into the backgrounds of at least a dozen collectors that we could all agree are in the very wealthy category.  Every single one of them has a story similar to yours.     Everything you said is spot on but I feel you are wasting your breath.   People reading this thread fall into two buckets automatically.   And the buckets have nothing to do with net worth or the number of cars you own.  It has everything to do with your outlook on life. 

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Hi Joel, Al and others. I have to agree that for some taking chances pays off, sometimes big. I think that growing up middle class has probably led mrcvs and myself to be very risk adverse . I know I am. By starting from nothing a certain "I have nothing to lose" attitude develops. For some this attitude leads to prison , for others success.
  People raised in a middle class environment realize that they do have something to loose , are quite calculating {some would say timid}, and tend to move in incremental  steps. They tend to put emphasis on specialized training, hard work and persistence rather than leaving things to luck.
  I know as an Engineer all of my training has been toward a situation where everything is measured , calculated and nothing is acted on without a factor of safety. It's the way Engineering works. We strive for 100 % safety and service especially in the Marine transportation field, and our passengers expect no less.
 And it is the complete opposite of how an enterprising  businessman operates.  It's a proven fact of human nature that some of us are risk takers , and some are methodical step by step watchers of all the details, cross all the T's, dot all the I's. If a Business man takes a risk and looses that is a tax loss or at worst bankruptcy. If a licensed professional takes a risk and looses its lawsuit, professional association inquiry , license suspension or revocation, court of inquiry and at worst Jail.
  I think that most customers of a Vet want the Vet's mind to be on the Animal in front of him, rather than if the insurance subsidiary is performing this quarter.  And I know my passengers expect me to be 100 % focused on running the ship I am an officer on, as well the international marine authorities that grant me my certificate of competency insist on it.  
 With reference to the original question that mrcvs started all this with I don't think that there is any real question about weather wealthy, successful people can have nice old cars. I think it is pretty self evident that they of course can.
And I think it is also pretty self evident that the ability to be a successful independent business man is something that only a select few will possess.
I never thought I would get "wealthy" as an Engineer , or own a Duesenberg. And in that respect I am not disappointed.  I did however think that a nice old car or two was a reasonable expectation, the Jury is still out.
  There is always the exceptional practitioner of a given skill that also has the "knack" for business, but they are a pretty rare bird I think.
There is no doubt the trait of outlook shapes your career path. The next time I ride on or in any public transportation device; be it land ,sea or air, I hope the operator and maintenance staff shares my outlook ;and yes, very few of them will get rich.
And you are correct Al; it is my outlook in life/ career/ approach to how I do things, that makes it impossible to get rich. That outlook is also what leads my employer to entrust me with 4, $5,000,00.00 main engines and indirectly a $250,000,000.00 Ship / the safety of up to 1800 paying passengers.
 Joel, I know you are trying to be helpful, and I do appreciate your candid advice. But what you are suggesting is that we just be exceptional, but that is by definition something that is rarely achieved. Your message is not news to me. As I mentioned in a previous post one of my lifelong friends Father was a man such as yourself, and growing up I listened to many "advice sessions " that covered a lot of the same ground as your post.
But I know myself; my strong points and weakness, and I probably don't have what it takes to be successful in the world of business. I was first a mechanic, then an Engineer. The logical, step by step ,methodical way my brain is / has been conditioned by years of training and experience makes me a details man. The world of business takes a visionary who can work in "broad strokes" , in other words pretty much the opposite of who I am.
Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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I think most people probably think the way you do Greg which is perfectly fine way to approach life.  Incremental improvement and achievement and minimizing the risk of catastrophe is a prudent way to go and probably the smartest thing when you have kids to worry about.    It also means you won't be driving a Duesenberg but that shouldn't be a problem.  I would argue that your average collector will get just as much joy from any particular car as the wealthy guy gets from his top end collectable.

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I find that regardless of the cars price, I am interested in it due to its mechanical design, styling, or other unique features. I find the supercharged Dusenberg as interesting as a White steamer. That's what makes this hobby so great. You start in one area of interest and usually end up somewhere else. Ed.

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I suppose it is a reflection of the fact I have been involved with cars for 40 years or so, but I don't find very much interesting about the mass produced American cars from the later teens onward. The early cars I like were not produced as a "consumer product" like the Model T and so many others, but were rather substantial machines built with quality and durability taking precedence over list price.

I also have a very soft spot for old trucks for much the same reason, as well as late 50's - early 70's purpose built "sports racers" , Lola, Lotus, Elva. Chevron ,March , Tiga etc., also for technical reasons as much as anything else but they are not vintage cars in the AACA way of thinking of vintage cars.

Nearly anything I am interested in has become fairly expensive as the decades have passed, and the majority of them are now beyond me. It would be great if any of my cars ; other than my 5 year old Hyundai Accent, were driveable, but that is a hurdle for the future.

And sure a White; gas or steam ,sounds great! Know where any budget priced ones are available ?

I am also a big fan of Pierce, but they are also for the most part well outside my budget. Any that I could afford would most likely stagger me with restoration costs.

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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Another idea for mrcvs to get the Pope Hartford:

You've had the rental property for 21 years. Hopefully it is paid off, or paid way down. Refinance it, and pull out as much cash as you can. Not knowing anything about the property, I am going to guess that you will pull $100,000 out of it. Use that as a down payment on the car. Finance the balance thru Woodside, JJ Best, or one of the other specialists. The car loan will be $175k at 4.75% for 12 years, with a monthly of just under $1600. (assuming you paid retail for the car, but you can do better)

Every day, when you see that beautiful car in your garage, when you carefully put your wrenches to it, when you proudly take it for a drive, and savor the enjoyment it brings you, you will feel very motivated to make sure that YOU NEVER LOSE IT! You will WANT to get to work early, you will WANT to make those extra sales calls at lunch time and at the end of the day. You will begin to automatically upsell customers. When a chance to flip a car for 5 grand shows up, you'll do it.  Every opportunity to make more money that you have been ignoring because you are "comfortable" will be eagerly embraced, and in a few years, you'll find that the car is paid off, then you'll move on to the next one.  I know this this works, because I have done it. You can do it too!

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One small obstacle to this plan is possibly the fact mrcvs has said he has a wife. Not only that but a wife who is not a big fan of old cars. And a wife who is probably legally a 1/2 owner of the investment property.{and everything else he "owns"]

Were I to put a plan like this into action my current wife would rapidly be my X wife. And I would have nothing to show for it but a large legal bill. I suspect mrcvs is in a similar situation.

Most of us in the hobby are 1/2 of a partnership, it tends to get in the way at times. That other 1/2 seems to often think of "old car nut's" as just being "nut's".

Otherwise I like your plan; should I become single at some point in circumstances that do not involve the net worth fall over a cliff of divorce, I will do much the same using the value of my house{currently my 1/2 house}.

I used to enjoy a PBS series many years ago "Rumpole of the Bailey", the main character Rumpole would refer to his wife of 40 years or so as "she who must be obeyed". It probably means more to those of us who are married.

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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What if you blow up the 5 million dollar engines, and it sinks the 250 million dollar ship and drowns the 1800 passengers? You have a lot more risk in your occupation than I have in mine, but you are used to it. You control it, you have back up plans on your back up plans. That same steadfast planning and logic can be used in a side business to get more cars into your life, but reducing risk to comfortable level. Take calculated, well planned risks. I'm not talking Las Vegas here, it's not a roll of the dice. Only buy cars that you are reasonably certain are solid investments. That way, if you lose your income you can sell the car and be just as good or better off than you were before.

When you are on your last leg, in the nursing home, everything material thing in your life will be contained in single drawer and a 2 x 2 x 6 foot closet. And none of it will follow you to Heaven.  So it's not a big worry that you might lose money. Resign yourself to the inescapable fact that you WILL lose it all.

 

My wife, bless her heart looks at my collection as her life insurance policy. And the big thing is trust. She trusts me that I will do everything in my power not to bring ruin upon our family. That takes time and conditioning to develop.

Edited by Joel1967 (see edit history)
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You do have a very positive attitude, and I am inspired by it. And any way you would be interested in swapping wives ? Mine trusts me all right, she trusts that I am going to sell most of the cars I currently own and keep one or perhaps 2.

  I know money can be made in old cars; and in my pre- married days I did to some extent, unfortunately I live in Canada, the land of high taxes, comparatively low wages, an ever sinking dollar, substantial border fees, sky high cost of living and property prices and a few other  {we are  in a all but declared recession due to the crashing price of crude oil}.  I have sometimes contemplated the purchase of some land in WA. state or Oregon for the basic purpose of buying and selling cars and parts without having to import them into Canada, however the recent revelation that the two countries are going to share information about Canadians visiting the U.S., and more to the point limit Canadians to a max of 4 months in the U.S. {either in the sum of daily visits or longer visits, eg. 120 days total in a year.} makes the idea impractical.

  The Canadian old car market is pretty flat;  we don't have all that many to start with, they are for the most part pretty ordinary cars, and few in Canada can afford to participate in the hobby. E bay prices are a fantasy to most Canadian sellers, the price anyone local can / will pay is usually a fraction. I also have come to the conclusion; perhaps not completely true but seems so in general, that U.S. purchasers don't want to consider vehicles from outside the U.S. . Unless it is something really special , and priced very attractively they seem to not be interested.

Were I in the U.S. I have no doubt I could make things work. It's a much bigger market, no border to complicate things , overheads esp. land are a fraction of the cost. I go to a number of Pacific N.W. swap meets each year, the difference in the cars available in Portland Ore. or Seattle WA. compared to Vancouver B.C. is amazing.  But when I look at the tiny little Canadian $ in my wallet , and the expensive barrier to cross at the border I soon return to reality.

 My Wife; God bless her heart, looks at my collection as another bill she will have to pay to have the property clear again upon my passing. She knows I would never bring ruin on the family, but she thinks I have brought ruins to the back yard. I have been trying to condition her for 30 years but it hasn't worked yet, she still thinks it's old junk.

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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It would be difficult to quote the numerous responses since I last posted, so I will attempt to cover all bases.


 


I think those who have an entrepreneurial spirit are NOT inclined to attend college.  They don't need to.  I find it laughable that colleges now have majors in entrepreneurship.  It is something you are born with, not something you learn.


 


As I said may posts ago, I grew up lower middle class in a wealthy area of the country.  My parents did not own a home when I was growing up.  I equated 'wealth' to home ownership.  I determined to do this as soon as possible.  I thought it was the reason why they were broke all the time.  Going to college, and getting out with loans, this decreases one's risk tolerance.  I got out, earned 25 cents more an hour than I had without the degree, and had purchased what became the rental property quickly (could not find a job within commuting distance)--and, don't try this at home boys and girls, I purchased that place on that income simply because I found a wealthy individual who was willing to give me a loan.  I got no breaks on the loan, just was able to get it.  That winter was a long one--I had no ability to assume any risk, as I couldn't even afford to heat the place, etc.  I was dying a slow death.  Then landed a job elsewhere.  I think that had I been given a home, had no mortgage or rent to pay, and had no student loans, either by not attending college or having it paid for, I could assume a lot more risk.  I am not trying to sound selfish or self-centered, but this does happen to some lucky individuals, and would have made options greater in number and more attractive.  Not having anything and working so hard, makes one averse to risk.


 


I perform regulatory duties in the meat industry and I see individuals who made a ton of money, '80's and before.  Their kids are spoiled, they goof off, and were 'handed' a business.  But times are leaner now, and many of these old timers keep coming in to work all day long because they can't even trust their kids.  It is a brutal business, now too much competition.  Raise the price on a pound of beef a dime, and watch customers leap to your competitor.


 


For me, IDEALLY, I would have had a family business that I could run, but run well, something in which there is limited competition.  Not much risk, the opportunity for profits, maybe substantial.  But that didn't happen!


 


I see folks in the veterinary business, and that is no longer rosy.  For some it is, but for many, it is not.  Many get out now with $300,000 in loans, the economy isn't what it was, the AVMA has increased the number of seats in vet schools to out of state students and in foreign schools, because this generates revenue.  Sometimes, in private practice, you wait for the phone to ring, and it doesn't.  A competitor could open up a few miles away and then you can watch your customers dwindle.  You have to do stupid gimmicks, sometimes, like walk customers and their pets in with an umbrella when rainy, wipe the dogs' feet down, etc.  When in vet school, a business class detailed two competing vet clinics in the same market, both looked attractive visually, inside and out, and one grossed far more than the other.  What they didn't tell you is the one grossing more, had a bread making machine, and the waiting room smelled great!  I have little patience for these 'games', but this is how the profession has evolved.  Too much competition, too few resources.


 


I said I was somewhat risk averse, so, to me, the answer was to go to college and to work for a major corporation with huge profits, and, by default, have a well above average salary.  I did not realize that this was at all risky.  For me, it seemed not risky at all.  Of course, the 'risk' here would be that you would never get into major corporation XYZ, due to better potential employees, or you would get in and go no where for various reasons.  So, this was risk, too!  I got my useless liberal arts degree, and risked not getting into that major corporation, as un-risky as that might seem, and indeed never got in the door.  Now, too, I realize that little risk, going to work, even working hard, may never pay off.  To be the movers and shakers, it takes innovation, being more than just run of the mill.


 


When I was growing up, I would wonder why my parents worked for someone else, NEVER thinking that I, too, would ever work for someone else.  For me, it seemed really simple.  You own a corporation that manufactures widgets.  These widgets sell for $25 each.  They cost $12.50 to produce, including overhead (rent, supplies, resources), and salaries.  Make 1,000 widgets daily.  Make $12,500.  OR, hire a lot of folks in your field, all of which work for an hourly rate,  Ensure each produces at least 4 times his or her hourly rate.  In theory, hire more folks, 'earn' 3 X what they bring in, pay overhead with a third of that, and for every employee, your income is twice what they earn.  Hire 100 folks, in theory, your wage is 200 times that of the hourly paid worker.  Seems like you could sit back and get really rich, maybe barely even ever show up for work.  I thought I had a mind for this.  Turns out, in hindsight, they were all 'get rich quick' schemes that never panned out, a LOT easier said than done.


 


I knew at a young age I needed a substantial salary to fund my hobbies.  Never thought my hobbies would ever give way to reality.  For me, this is what hobby X, Y, and Z cost, I simply have to earn that to support them.  Didn't ever reason it might be the other way around:  This is what I will earn, how to I want to spend my limited funds?  Probably will never get into hobby X and Z, and maybe do hobby Y on a no frills basis.


 


My 2 cents worth, for what it is worth!

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Oh, out of all that, an important take-home message is that when you have limited employment options, and your student loan payment comes due monthly, as does your mortgage, it really knocks the wind out of your sails.  When you are just scraping by, how can you invest in a business, etc.  In those days, my mortgage payment was $600 a month, then I had to pay taxes and insurance on it as well, and I had a student loan payment, which seems inconsequential now, but was a struggle to pay then.  Heating, gasoline for work, food, etc.  On top of that.  And bringing in $49 a day before taxes 5 days a week.  Not much money left over to be innovative and assume risk.

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And...one other thing...

 

I had stated that my parents did not own property when growing up, in the 1980's.  Real estate, to me, was a way to wealth.  Folks made so much money off of real estate then, it was unreal.  NOT the case anymore.  Here we are, 10 years out from the boom times, and real estate is stagnant where I own properties.  I could have tripled my money on that rental property had I sold it 10 years ago.  Now, if I wanted to sell it, I would be lucky to sell it for a third more than I paid for it, and it would take a LONG time to sell it.  I still owe $6,000 on it.  Hoping to pay it off before the end of the summer.  Someone suggested taking out a loan against it and purchasing that Pope-Hartford with it.  Well, I am SO MUCH looking forward to paying off this mortgage that getting a HELOC loan against it, and having a mortgage again, is unattractive.  NOW, with greatly reduced expenses soon, and a rental income coming in, perhaps I could 'bank' this income for a while (or a LONG while) and purchase a Pope-Hartford or something similar.  Now, that's an idea and a goal!

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Real estate around here is BOOMING, but many say we are in a speculating bubble and it will collapse at some point. The unknown is for how long money from mainland China will continue to pour in.  Some are saying that we haven't seen anything yet as the Chinese authorities are about to make it easier to bring money out of the country. I don't know how it can get any more expensive, but I said the same thing 10 years ago when prices were 1/3 of what they are today. Many are also quietly saying that a lot of the money is the result of "something nefarious " and the Vancouver housing market is a key part of a global money laundering scheme. A couple of the most blatant cases have been front page news lately.  If so what simple wage slave can compete for a place in the market, all I know is the scale of wealth has to be seen to be believed.

More or less anyone who earns their income locally is priced out of the single family residence market  ,Vancouver city and near suburbs are entry level or tear down at about a million and a half. Something decent on the west side is 5 million and UP. Bidding wars on new listings are almost par for the course and sales of a hundred thousand or more over listing price are not uncommon. Defies logic but in North America we don't generally realize how wealthy a substantial number of Chinese business people have become. And most of those want a plan B in case trouble happens back home.  Many of the properties sit empty or perhaps a grandparent and a child once purchased, must be nice to be able to afford a 5 million insurance policy but there are thousands of them doing the same thing.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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Hi Joel and others. The other problem with the buy and sell game is it already a very competitive market. There are at least a couple of well connected , knowledgeable, and well financed people locally that are in a position to beat me to every really good deal.  {they both post on these forums} And there are any number of people in my position in the market ;  bottom feeder to most people, that have a much better chance as well. My shift work means it is often a week or more before I can view a car {I work 12 days at a go at odd ball times}. Unless I am very lucky ; or the "deal" is actually no deal at all, someone else is generally there first.

  In addition to vintage cars I have been quite active with British sports cars over the decades. At one time I would encounter the same car over many years and  sometimes owners. For the last 15 years or so once they come up for sale as often as not they are exported to Europe or the U.K. obviously never to be seen again. The remaining stock are either hopeless basket cases needing more spent on them than they will ever be worth or showpieces that have had time and $ spent on them and will command a price that leaves little room for profit.

  This part of the market only works if you are the local buyer 1/2 of a team that has a seller 1/2 in either the U.K or Europe. I know that is the case for the gent up the road from me who frequently dispatches 911's and SL's {along with the odd Austin Healy or MG}  to his brother in Europe. Unfortunately I have no such partner.

  I am sure that if a person was retired {which I hope to be in 3 years} had capital {well no},had a building to work out of {again no}, had a tow vehicle {probably not a Hundai Accent}, then providing they had knowledge of old cars{check mark} things might work out.  Until then I will probably not be much more than a footnote in the vehicle buy / sell game.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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I am sometimes asked advice by young people wanting to go into business for themselves. I have a stock question I always ask them. "Are you willing to put your house, your marriage, your credit rating and everything you own on the line to make your business succeed?" The answer is almost always "Well, I won't risk my house". I then tell them "If you are not willing to risk everything you have then you have no business going into business. You don't have the personality for it".

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I am sometimes asked advice by young people wanting to go into business for themselves. I have a stock question I always ask them. "Are you willing to put your house, your marriage, your credit rating and everything you own on the line to make your business succeed?" The answer is almost always "Well, I won't risk my house". I then tell them "If you are not willing to risk everything you have then you have no business going into business. You don't have the personality for it".

Yes, that would describe myself, but...I grew up with so little, it is a really difficult concept to risk what I worked so hard for.

 

On the other hand, 'no risk, no reward'.  For me, I got in my head the (ill-conceived) notion that a college degree would provide for any opportunity I desired, it just was up to me to find it.  A college degree never really did this, except maybe when only very few had them, pre WWII, or even pre-WWI, from a select school only.  It recently provided for a decent lifestyle, but never could go hog-wild.  Now, you are lucky if it even gets you a job, afterwards.

 

So, I was willing to take little risk.  I saw lots of folks who took risk, already growing up wealthy, and their rich daddy bailed them out when they failed.  Lacking a rich daddy, I decided the best option was to work for someone else.

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One of the thing that I learned as I got older was that being self aware was an important quality.  I feel reading your posts you really haven't gotten to that point.   Step one is to look in the mirror and think to yourself "What can I do today to improve my situation".    Btw,  reading between the lines,  I'm not sure you have a very bad situation, you just seem to think there are guys that have it a lot better by luck.

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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Hi Al, I am probably the annoying one but I am sorry if you take me that way.  I agree that circumstance and luck can to a point be overcome with effort and persistence. I have been grinding away at the old car thing for 40 years after all, so if nothing else I have demonstrated persistence. And a couple of my projects are the beginning of very worthwhile cars.

  The "improve my situation" aspect is always more of a challenge, and for some it works out better than for others. When I retire I will be 60 ; I really can't see myself doing my current job any longer than that {average life span of Engineers who work beyond that is distressingly short according to research by our global professional Assn.}, but I was at one time a High School Auto teacher and will attempt to get on our substitute teacher call list once I retire. In any event the time afforded to me once retired will allow me to organize and hopefully sell off a lot of surplus old car stuff. I know if nothing else that will improve things with my wife. And as Joel has pointed out there is always the possibility of using ones experience with old cars to do a little horse trading, preferably with a bit of a profit for the effort.

  My advice to mrcvs is little different than yours. I think you got the wrong impression because I could identify with his lack of satisfaction about the cost / reward ratio of our educations . And I was sympathetic with him on this point, no doubt at all. But it was only to provide some context to the fact that regardless of income there is always a way to work towards your goal. It just takes longer. Even raw materials and especially equip. are expensive enough to require a pretty substantial outlay, I acquired my lathe, milling machine and woodworking machines over a couple of decades.

  I have always felt the old car hobby is much more than a destination {a wealthy person buying a ready to use restored old car for example}. Instead I have for a long time now seen it as a process or if you will a journey. I have spent untold hours at swap meets, talking with older more experienced people. I have accumulated a substantial reference collection, books, manuals teens and twenties magazines, sales material , you name it {a spare bedroom filled to capacity with bookshelves and filing cabinets}. And I have collected the equiptment and tools enough to pretty much build a Brass car from scratch {and know my way around most of it}.  I have been in total immersion mode for as long as I can remember and I guess mrcvs hit a cord of resonance with me when he mentioned the slow erosion of disposable income that he was experiencing.

  But my message to him has always been keep at it , keep positive and always look for opportunity.  Some will always be in a position to enjoy instant gratification, but others less well off can still participate {well perhaps not with a Pope as nice as that would be}. It will take longer; require one to be resourceful , and take more creative thinking, but it is achievable. And if nothing else a big brass project becomes an engineering education in itself. With a minor in historical research to boot.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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One of the thing that I learned as I got older was that being self aware was an important quality.  I feel reading your posts you really haven't gotten to that point.   Step one is to look in the mirror and think to yourself "What can I do today to improve my situation".    Btw,  reading between the lines,  I'm not sure you have a very bad situation, you just seem to think there are guys that have it a lot better by luck.

What 1912 Staver has said is invaluable!  He has done it the way I may have to do it someday.

 

No, I don't have it bad, or very bad at all.  I do okay for myself.  Yes, however, there are guys who have it better than me.  Originally, growing up, it was the 'by luck' folks.  I am now out of that area and in a very blue collar area of the country.  Those that make it big do it by working for themselves and by perseverance.  The ones I see took the risk, and are the lucky ones.  The ones I do not see are earlier competitors in the field, who failed, for whatever reason.  I should have taken more risks in life.  In what field(s), I don't know, but I should have done this.  I think not knowing what to take the risks in was part of the problem.

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Hey Greg,  I think by the end of the day yesterday I was getting in to a sour mood and I should not have  added that sentence as it was not appropriate - so I removed it.   Your point about the hobby being a journey and not a destination is a good one.   

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wow, lots of interesting discussion on life here with some smattering of good advice concerning collector car choices thrown in for good measure! Admittedly I got sucked in when someone suggested this thread as one of the few interesting threads going on right now - I think summer has a lot of folks in the garage vs. on the PC.

Couple of quick thoughts come to mind immediately - life is full of choices, and opportunities as Joel and others have pointed out. Also, to A.J.'s point - it does pay dividends to look at one's self honestly. I am in a corporate environment, and just responded to the annual questionairre for management about "relocation" with an honest "no thanks" knowing full well this limits advancement, but I am also at a stage in life where I don't want anyone wasting my time nor do I want to waste my employer's time, I know full well I could be losing out on some financial opportunities but other things outweigh that. So a lot of this comes down to choices we all make no matter what one does for a living. Another example could be a factory worker choosing to invest in night school or not to better themselves.

I always wanted a Packard, worked hard got a nice one a few years ago that I then chose to move along partially due to the fact I wanted to put some money back into the "general fund" as my kid was considering law school. A choice (no coercion involved!) and I thought well, if I want another one I can always go get one later on. Not too far down the road, and we now have three moderately priced hobby cars that don't keep me up at night worrying about paying for them.

Life does not pass luck out evenly (although I am a firm believer that one's efforts and choices are the biggest impact on luck). Some of us are born into wealth, which is nice, but I don't need to look much further than an employee here who was born without his arms and is thrilled to have a job somewhere vs. sitting home with his parents and dying of boredom. If you are vertical, and can drive your antique car you are a LOT luckier than a lot of folks in situations like that.

Anyway, since everyone put in two cents I figured I would so the same. Best advice on collector car choices IMHO, is Ed's noting collectible cars tend to give a lot of enjoyment at all levels. Get something you are comfortable with both in terms of the size of the project, cost and an era/type of car that will hold your interest. Aspire to something if you want, or be happy with a long term car. It is a great hobby whether your ride is a Model A Ford or a Duesenberg - but the "A" is easier to park! :-)

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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Aspire to something if you want, or be happy with a long term car. It is a great hobby whether your ride is a Model A Ford or a Duesenberg - but the "A" is easier to park! :-)

I couldn't agree more, but...

 

Every time I bring up the main page of aaca.com, and all those old cars come up, the 1910 Maytag, unrestored, makes me drool all over the keyboard.  :D

 

Sure, riding in a Model A is fun...but something I haven't done is ride in a Maytag!

 

By the way, THAT specific car, where is it these days?  How much would I have to 'aspire to', in order to call that my set of wheels?

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The Maytag is a model A so you could ride in a model A and a Maytag at the same time. That car is in a collection of a guy that tours a lot and loves his cars I met him at an auction and then again when I was at an HCCA tour. He is a real nice guy he has 2, the unrestored roadster and a restored touring. you can PM me if you just have to know his name, I don't like spreading peoples name around the internet when I really don't know him that well. As far as value, ask Joel1967 he has one I believe he bought the restored 1910 touring out of sparks that was for sale. Don't know what he paid. But I am sure the unrestored original one is worth a pretty penny, In fact the owner of it may have been a doctor when I think about it. The problem with the Maytag is there is only probably a dozen cars out there mostly Maytag's some are Mason which is what they were called before Maytag bought the company. Duesenburg brothers designed the Mason and helped develop it into the Maytag but they didn't last long after Maytag took over before they left and started their own company. The early Masons most likely were built with Duesenburg hands and Maytag's probably not depending on when it was made and since they are a pain to date you will never know. Also Mason's were raced a lot in hill climbs they are great performers but if you scatter a crank in that aluminum block your done, it is only original once! If I were you I would buy an 2cyl Buick or Reo if you are looking for a 2cyl car, they are just as much fun and if anything happens your not spending the price of an restored Model T ford just to repair the engine.

 

Chris

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Not to stray too far OT but Joel, I assume from the background given is "HemiJoel" on youtube - and he has done some fantastic videos of maintenance and repair on his Duesenberg.  Just a quick thank you Joel, most entertaining - and while Duesy owners are a small group, those who wrench them personally I am thinking are an even smaller group.   :)

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Yup, that's me on YouTube. Back before I had the Duesenberg, I spent 20 years lusting for the details. I wanted to see one with the hood open, I wanted to crawl under it, sit in it, drive it, hear it run, take it apart,  figure it out. So now that I have the ability to do so, I want to share the experience with others who may have the same passion that I do for these special cars. Thus, the YouTube videos.

Also Chris is right about the 1910 Maytag that I acquired. It is formerly of the Harrah collection, then purchased by Mr. Jim Sargent of Reno, who commissioned Clyde Wade to restore it. It is a Model C touring. (if this is too far off topic, let me know and I will delete it)

10000_zps14ian0ky.jpg

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Hi Joel, that's a sweet Maytag !

 My father has always maintained that if I had simply put as much effort into becoming wealthy as I did into the cars my situation would have been far more satisfying in the long run.  He started me on old cars as a young boy but always as a spectator at shows and similar gatherings. He worked for a G.M. dealership where the owners were also old car fans. And several of the cars were restored at the dealership over the years, so my Father knew the sort of expense a nice car involved. He being a working family man knew that sort of expense on a hobby was out of the question, so he has always been somewhat against my efforts to be an old car owner despite my situation of non -wealth.

  My Father is the product of the times he grew up in. { he is 81 and going strong} Born in the bleak years of the depression, he has always lived by a simple rule. Whenever you think you want something look in your wallet, if the cash is not there think about something else. I grew up in the 60's and early 70's when it seemed like anything was possible if you were prepared to work for it. We have since had a few recessions and probably our own depression depending who you listen to. My optimism now looks a bit foolish compared to my fathers practical in the extreme outlook. I used to think of him as defeatist but now see how it has worked for him over his life, and have a new respect for him. He is a text book example of contentment and lacks for nothing in the necessities of life.  The prize as you demonstrate is so tempting, and I feel I will be satisfied with my involvement even if I never come close to something like your Maytag ,sensible parental advice be dammed!

 Despite my involvement with the mechanical world for all these decades, I really haven't progressed very far along in my pursuit of the prize. I can after all these years see my Father's point that I should have attended to the one thing that is crucial to a hobby that is as expensive as old cars. And that I should have focused my energies on securing the level of wealth that is at the end of the day as important as any amount of enthusiasm for the subject. However I have learned not to dwell too much on past mistakes, and will continue to pick away at old rusty junk until I can pick no more. It's more in my blood than the drive to succeed at the world of business or investment.

 It would be nice to think that there will someday a solution to the money situation, but that one is probably beyond me. Real estate is the most common road to success around here and amongst people I know, but it now takes such titanic resources that it has become the domain of people who are already quite wealthy or who are part of an investors syndicate. I have neither the capital or the connections to take part in our local Canadian market. Nor the time, I already work 12 days on , 6 off and my first 2 off are more or less recovery days from all the body clock disruptions.

 When I see a car such as yours it does jolt me back to my personal reality of how far away from a finished machine I really am.  I am thrilled to see cars like your Maytag ; it keeps the dream alive, but at the same time demonstrates just how high and long the uphill stretch is. Well ; back to the sand blaster, and I better pick up another box of welding rods next time I am in town.  

 

Greg in Canada

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Greg is also taking on an unusual project which may require more research, fabrication and other restoration work and certainly more work finding parts than say the T speedster project I have. I think thats an admirable effort. I hope you view the process as a rewarding experience. At the end of the day you will have a unique vehicle, more work but your not as likely to see yourself at a show as I am with either of my fords. Of course at the rate I am going we just may finish at the same time, early 2020 perhaps!?

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Back to topic of affordable brass cars ready to go, it would be interesting to get feedback on some of the lighter cars of the era in terms of road ability. Seems some nice alternative choices in this month's antique automobile. Buicks seem to represent a nice compromise between power and price, but if a two seater fits the bill are there any other choices that come to mind?

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I like early Buicks a lot. They are reasonably numerous; quite well built , and offer decent bang for the buck. I looked at a few before I took on the Staver. Most of the brass Buicks I encountered were small and mid model tourings, which appear to have been built for pretty compact drivers. As I mentioned in another post I an just shy of 6'2" and found the space allotted to the driver of these cars a  somewhat uncomfortable squeeze.  And a Model T is even worse.

 The Staver was a good compromise as the original body was long gone. If I ever find a surviving Staver car body I would of course use it but chances seem slim, a few Staver bodies have turned up but they have been from a strange automotive styled buggy Staver offered in 1913-14. With no factory body at hand it only seemed natural to build a speedster which allows me to have all the leg room I require. Staver did not catalog a production model speedster in the "40 H.P." series ;  Bearcat and the like style, such as a number of other makers did. But they did build a small number of factory racing cars; mainly on the small model, but at least 2 on the large w.b. model like mine. I intend for mine to end up as close as possible to the factory built racers except I will install fenders and running boards for road use.

2020 seems a bit optimistic, there is still a long way to go. The big missing part is the lower part of the engine. Its more or less the same 4 1/2 x 5 Teetor Hartley as the 1912 era American Underslung Tourist uses {anyone got one under their workbench gathering dust?] , which has proved a difficult thing to find. At some time in the future I may have to bite the bullet and get a pattern made for a crankcase casting, but this will be a last resort because of the high cost. Baring that if I can find a suitable era and size engine from something else I may resort to a substitution but once again as a last resort.  The car mounts the engine to a sub frame so the engine mounts need to be narrow. But its definitely a learning experience. Now if I could only get my 15 year old son interested. {he likes my MGA so I haven't given up hope}.

Greg in Canada

 

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Fords and Buicks were mentioned, above, as reasonably-priced cars from this era.  I think Hupmobiles are, as well.  What else comes to mind?

 

I have to mention, though, and I can't explain this.  My daily driver is a 10 yr old, rather mundane VW.  I could care less about having a unique modern car that turns anyone's head--reasonable to lower cost with at least some reliability.  However, when it comes to a brass era car, Ford Model T's and Buick's are 'okay', and then there are Maytags and Pope-Hartfords!

 

In any event, when the time comes to purchase something...Fords, Buicks, Hupmobiles and...????

 

By the way, I joined the Horseless Carriage Club of America.  A periodical to arrive every 3 months for me to drool all over!

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HCCA actually has a pretty active Facebook page so you can drool daily as well. I know some of the posters are active here but since fb is so picture and video oriented you do pick up some cool vehicles and event coverage.

Greg, an MG T is one of those cars I always wanted but never bought. Almost this year but we went for the A (ford) instead. MGA is a cool car.

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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The photos in the above post were taken in the previous owners shop. They date back about 15 years when I bought it. The Stevens Durea engine was incorrect and was not included with what I bought. I have not reassembled it to this stage since I bought it but have been working on individual parts.  Once I have more shop space I will take some more up to date photos.

 

Greg in Canada

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Well, I attended the following today:

 

http://awkscht.com/index.html

 

Das Awkscht Fescht in Macungie, PA, 2015.

 

Okay, LOTS of early stuff, almost, but not quite, to the point where it made my 1917 Maxwell almost seem new.

 

So, maybe just maybe it is my personality, I guess being raised in an area where there was lots of wealth, except my family didn't have any of it, so I guess when there is a price tag attached to something, even though I don't have tons of money, it is FUN to dream of having unlimited funds--e.g., I bought the Pope-Hartford yesterday, today I bought something else with an ungodly price tag--and, oh, I attend Barrett Jackson regularly and I always make sure I come home with a half a dozen cars or so!  :) That sort of personality is what got me stuck at good ol' State U, BTW, although it wasn't like I could have afforded anything better, but I really complicated things by ensuring that, other than good ol' State U, I applied to high dollar colleges.  Fortunately, I only got into one of them, and the financial aid was such a joke that it made good ol' State U the only viable option.  But I digress...

 

So, at this car show, there was a 1912 Buick, a few EMF's, a 1909 Maxwell-Briscoe, some early Dodge Bros cars, an Overland or two, a really neat 1913 Studebaker, and lots of Model T Fords.  Without a price tag attached, I liked virtually all of them.  Not sure about a Model T Ford, with the three pedals and all, but I could be happy with a 1913 Studebaker or a 1912 Buick.  I am into antique firearms as well, and I get listings from time to time, and I dream about purchasing high dollar firearms, one lot after the other, and wonder who these folks are.  But, in the end, a vintage firearm that I can use from time to time, seems to be more my style.  Maybe it is only 90%, and not 100%, but still respectable...

 

Not saying I am ready to do anything now, or maybe I am.  But, maybe not this week, or this year, or next year, but if you are in the Macungie, PA area and have an early Brass Era car you want to sell at a reasonable price, PM me.  By the way, I love a bargain! :D

 

If you have not been, you need to see this car show if you are anywhere nearby.

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  • 1 year later...

Update:

 

No, I don't have that Brass Era car yet, but I have joined the HCCA and enjoy the quarterly journals.  Also, perusing the Classifieds section on their website makes me drool.  I have realized, in the past year, either that I had completely missed the boat, and either focused on that super rare pre-1915 car, like the Pope Hartford or a 1910 Maytag, and given up hope, or that some of the lower priced stuff, is more readily available and/or that the lower priced stuff isn't as much of an economic hurdle as previously perceived.  A few months ago, I did locate a 1913 Studebaker for $25,000, and there is a beautiful 1910 Maxwell for sale currently at $32,000.  I am trying to pay off some pesky student loans in the next year or so, and once I am free of that burden, it makes sums such as these not seem so cumbersome.  So, I am optimistic that maybe not in the next year or two, but relatively soon, I will be in possession of said Brass Era car.

 

As I start to become more knowledgeable and pursue the Classifieds for this sort of car, how do you determine what is a fair price to pay, or what such car(s) are worth?  I guess, I mean, how do you not overpay?  The best I can do is maybe locate a similar car for sale and note the asking price of that one, and see if the one I might be interested in is priced less, of course not really knowing if that "other" car is fairly priced, or actually ever sold at that asking price, or anywhere even close to the asking price.  I mean, how many 1913 Studebakers trade hands in any given year?

 

The other hurdle I face is a lack of garage space.  Trying to work on that...my wife adores the cookie-cutter house in suburbia, whereas I am more of a house and barn in the countryside in which the barn can house several cars...of course, fully realizing that a barn isn't the best of places to store a car--more accessible to vermin, etc., than an enclosed garage.

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