AlfaTazio

1928 Pierce Arrow at Bonham's auction

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Posted (edited)

My two cents.. all the old car cost money.. Just do not tell the wife how much....

 

I just bought one bolt off ebay for 65.00..

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Edited by nick8086 (see edit history)

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The only thing cheap on an antique car is the owner..............

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6 hours ago, nick8086 said:

My two cents.. all the old car cost money.. Just do not tell the wife how much....

 

I just bought one bolt off ebay for 65.00..

 

 

 

That reminds me of when I was at Hershey a few years ago with my wife.  I bought a little plastic knob for my Packard. And I showed it to my wife, who said:

 

WIFE:  I'll bet that little plastic knob was $50.

ME: That would be something, wouldn't it.

WIFE: Was I close?

ME: 50, exactly, dear.

 

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The only thing cheap on an antique car is the owner..............

 

 

damn straight!

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It’s sad restoration costs are running away like they have been for the last ten years...........it’s going to alter the hobby in ways difficult to predict. The cars aren’t going anywhere, and finished cars will still be collected and driven, but the days of total restorations done in one shop are going to be fewer than before, and only one the very rare and super exotic. I think cars like the Model A and a Model T will find new interest as they are simple to work on for a back yard mechanic, and parts are readily available and affordable.

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16 hours ago, franklinman said:

I personally love that word "recommissioning". Exactly WTH does that tell anyone?

 

It is a Navy term for bringing a ship into operation, usually with a new purpose. Properly decommissioned is the word you WANT to hear the seller say. Old cars are abandoned in many ways. A museum car could best be called "benevolently abandoned".

 

A ship or building can be "mothballed" when taken out of use, decommissioned, but be careful where you use the term. I monitored a mothballed building with an obsolete nuclear accelerator where the previous occupants had taken the IT communications switch with then and severed my network connection. I put in a trouble call to the IT help desk about our problem. After a week without restored communication I called to follow up. The technician wouldn't go into the building because of the mothball gases.

 

Sometimes you get a pain when you laugh.

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Well, they're not wrong in saying that you'll have to work on it to make it operational again. They don't know just how much work it will need; they're obviously being vague since they don't want you thinking too much about it. They're really hoping that you won't bother looking too closely and that you'll simply assume that it's good to go with a fresh set of plugs--they did say it would be a great tour car, after all.

 

Plus when you start thinking that you can have an open Pierce for 50% of market value and get all excited, maybe you'll leave logic and reason at the door. Auction fever is real--they're counting on it--and by being vague they feed that fever (and as a bonus, they're not at all responsible later when you find out that "recommissioning" actually means "another full restoration").

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We made top irons for Ron for 2 of his early Pierce tourings  many years ago.  

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I seldom praise auctions but I must give Sotheby's a thumb's up. Client of ours bought a $100k car that was described as in good shape mechanically.  After about $11k in desperately needed engine work we made the car road worthy. Our client complained to Sotheby's and to their credit they paid the entire bill for the repairs.  I can only assume they then went after the person who consigned the car and obviously misrepresented its condition.

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On ten percent of the hammer price I am surprised they would even bother to complain. It’s easy to dump three grand on six new tires today. Depending on thr customer the auction house will listen to reasonable complaints, of very big dollar cars. Let’s face it, the best money you can spend on a car is hiring an expert to go over it, and if you spend money and they tell you to pass on the car, it’s even a better value. 

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Where can you auction a collector car for ten percent? I thought it was 20% plus 10% or 15% buyer's premium plus admission fee plus other fees for paperwork. They really rake it in.

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20 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Where can you auction a collector car for ten percent? I thought it was 20% plus 10% or 15% buyer's premium plus admission fee plus other fees for paperwork. They really rake it in.

 

10% is pretty standard, although many charge an entry fee and a premium for both "prime time" and/or TV time if it's an option. Both buyer and seller pay a commission. The auction house will often negotiate on both ends to get the deal done, which is how they're often able to sell cars for a below-reserve price and still pay the seller full price. I resent it, because I'd be out of business in a week if I charged an extra 10% (people lose their friggin' minds over the $150 we collect to do title work and pay to FedEx paperwork back and forth), but in most cases, the auction house is pulling 20% on every car. Some have truly egregious sliding scales where the vig is 10% on the first $25,000, 15% up to $100,000, and 25% on anything over $100,000. It's nuts, but since you're at an auction, I guess it's all OK.

 

22 hours ago, edinmass said:

On ten percent of the hammer price I am surprised they would even bother to complain.

 

You'd be shocked by what people complain about if they think they can get someone else to pay for it. In fact, just moments ago I was dealing with a guy who bought from me what might just be the world's finest 1969 Pontiac GTO convertible. It was a Ram Air IV convertible built out of a real Ram Air III car, commissioned by the legendary Rick Hendrick and restored by John Kane Restoration, the world's leading GTO shop, at a cost of nearly $200,000. It was a true #1 car in every way and we gave to the guy a $10,000 discount on an asking price that was already about 1/3 the cost of the restoration. That guy is going to have the nicest car by far at any show he attends (it won't even be a fair fight at the local cruise night) and I can count on one hand the number of cars I've had that were better. Check out this incredible car:

 

001.thumb.JPG.ffb5cabae576e2d83f011a8d9eef4394.JPG042.thumb.JPG.3ce667f9a945d9832ed6685f292a5a84.JPG050.thumb.JPG.5d79517fbeaef5890a2df2df36b0a6ff.JPG072.thumb.JPG.9fc910185b2bc3ad840424e2910ec860.JPG078.thumb.JPG.4fe6e453bd20c1cb2404be9a53d4cc9b.JPG084.thumb.jpg.4fea985b50f27a3e3eec6dd286d82177.jpg

 

Anyway, he found a mark on the passenger door. I go over the cars pretty carefully and I didn't even notice it. It was so minor, he said he couldn't even take a picture of it, but it was there nonetheless. The truck driver who delivered the car pointed it out and said it was a rust bubble, and boom! Upset customer who seems to want a rather significant hand-out. YOU BOUGHT THE NICEST GTO IN THE UNIVERSE, GOT A 15% DISCOUNT ON IT, AND YOU'RE $(@*ing COMPLAINING?!?

 

People are ...... They always want something for nothing. And the auction companies, like me, are probably interested in happy customers and not people who will tell everyone that they think they've been screwed. They know we'll cave because we value our reputations. So they do it just to see what kind of hand-outs they can get. They embarrass themselves and use up all their good will (you think I'm answering this guy's calls when he needs information about the car in the future?).

 

Sorry, rant over. People definitely suck.

 

 

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11 hours ago, mercer09 said:

The only thing cheap on an antique car is the owner..............

 

That stigma really hurts an owner willing to pay a fair price considering what it takes to run a legitimate business. "Those whom came before" have put the service provider on his guard. Some will do the bare necessity, some will cut corners to "save you money", some will tell you they will cut the rate and work during slow times. I have seen the chiselers out there. It hurts to follow behind them. One ends up guilty by association.

 

To the Pierce-Arrow in the topic, the answer to its value is in the motivation of the buyer. If there is something to the ownership that really rings the bell inside the buyer, whether technology, style, history, art, whatever; then with due diligence and a little common sense, it will be an overall good experience. Anyone buying the car so others can see them in a tin Great Gatsby costume, well, it probably ain't going to work out. The auctioneer knows how to find out. That's his job.

Bernie

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5 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

10% is pretty standard, although many charge an entry fee and a premium for both "prime time" and/or TV time if it's an option. Both buyer and seller pay a commission. The auction house will often negotiate on both ends to get the deal done, which is how they're often able to sell cars for a below-reserve price and still pay the seller full price. I resent it, because I'd be out of business in a week if I charged an extra 10% (people lose their friggin' minds over the $150 we collect to do title work and pay to FedEx paperwork back and forth), but in most cases, the auction house is pulling 20% on every car. Some have truly egregious sliding scales where the vig is 10% on the first $25,000, 15% up to $100,000, and 25% on anything over $100,000. It's nuts, but since you're at an auction, I guess it's all OK.

 

 

You'd be shocked by what people complain about if they think they can get someone else to pay for it. In fact, just moments ago I was dealing with a guy who bought from me what might just be the world's finest 1969 Pontiac GTO convertible. It was a Ram Air IV convertible built out of a real Ram Air III car, commissioned by the legendary Rick Hendrick and restored by John Kane Restoration, the world's leading GTO shop, at a cost of nearly $200,000. It was a true #1 car in every way and we gave to the guy a $10,000 discount on an asking price that was already about 1/3 the cost of the restoration. That guy is going to have the nicest car by far at any show he attends (it won't even be a fair fight at the local cruise night) and I can count on one hand the number of cars I've had that were better. Check out this incredible car:

 

001.thumb.JPG.ffb5cabae576e2d83f011a8d9eef4394.JPG042.thumb.JPG.3ce667f9a945d9832ed6685f292a5a84.JPG050.thumb.JPG.5d79517fbeaef5890a2df2df36b0a6ff.JPG072.thumb.JPG.9fc910185b2bc3ad840424e2910ec860.JPG078.thumb.JPG.4fe6e453bd20c1cb2404be9a53d4cc9b.JPG084.thumb.jpg.4fea985b50f27a3e3eec6dd286d82177.jpg

 

Anyway, he found a mark on the passenger door. I go over the cars pretty carefully and I didn't even notice it. It was so minor, he said he couldn't even take a picture of it, but it was there nonetheless. The truck driver who delivered the car pointed it out and said it was a rust bubble, and boom! Upset customer who seems to want a rather significant hand-out. YOU BOUGHT THE NICEST GTO IN THE UNIVERSE, GOT A 15% DISCOUNT ON IT, AND YOU'RE $(@*ing COMPLAINING?!?

 

People are @ssholes. They always want something for nothing. And the auction companies, like me, are probably interested in happy customers and not people who will tell everyone that they think they've been screwed. They know we'll cave because we value our reputations. So they do it just to see what kind of hand-outs they can get. They embarrass themselves and use up all their good will (you think I'm answering this guy's calls when he needs information about the car in the future?).

 

Sorry, rant over. People definitely suck.

 

 

Well put Matt! I do not deal in higher end cars because I can't afford to lose the amount of money that goes with trying to sell them to the a$$hats who always do nothing but bitch no matter how far you bend over or drop the price. I do find many nice cars for sale and have a very small number of people who I will arrange to buy them at a discounted price that leaves them enough to resell thru their respective dealerships in Canada and Europe. But only one guy who takes them to USA auctions. He pays what I ask after I show and tell him via phone and email. Right now buying in Canadian $$ and selling in USA $$ is very lucrative and "easy money" Only if you know what your buying for resale.

    I get offered many higher end cars that are likely on the money but it seems that market whines the loudest over the most trivial stuff. More like bragging rights when telling buddy the story of how he "lowballed" the desperate seller and then went back for more money after the sale. 

jan19 087.jpg

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These 2 Chevrolets were examples of very well documented original Canadian cars with unquestionable pedigree's that I was able to find new homes for without dealing with public morons.

jan19 010.jpg

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ed Luddy said:

Well put Matt! I do not deal in higher end cars because I can't afford to lose the amount of money that goes with trying to sell them to the a$$hats who always do nothing but bitch no matter how far you bend over or drop the price. I do find many nice cars for sale and have a very small number of people who I will arrange to buy them at a discounted price that leaves them enough to resell thru their respective dealerships in Canada and Europe. But only one guy who takes them to USA auctions. He pays what I ask after I show and tell him via phone and email. Right now buying in Canadian $$ and selling in USA $$ is very lucrative and "easy money" Only if you know what your buying for resale.

    I get offered many higher end cars that are likely on the money but it seems that market whines the loudest over the most trivial stuff. More like bragging rights when telling buddy the story of how he "lowballed" the desperate seller and then went back for more money after the sale. 

 

 

That's interesting because I [usually] have the opposite experience. I try to avoid cars under $20,000 unless the margins are really good. The problem is that they cost just as much for me to market, and the customers for "inexpensive" cars usually use up a disproportionate amount of my time. Like 10 times as much (no joke).

 

Inexpensive car buyers have 20 questions on the first phone call, most of which are answered in the description but he didn't bother reading it. He thinks this is some kind of scam because he found the car online, so he's very skeptical and would never, ever send anyone any money without seeing things in person. So I first have to convince him that I'm not a crook. Then he'll ask for a bunch of photos in addition to the 80-100 photos already posted online that I have to go take (which means pulling the car out of its spot). Then he'll call back and ask a bunch more questions that his buddy thought of that he should ask or about things he read on the internet. If it's a car newer than 1985 or so, he'll ask me to buy him a CarFAX ($30 a shot), which obviously we don't do as a matter of course because most of our cars are older than that. Then he'll hire an inspector (which is always OK) and that guy will use up a bunch of time even though he doesn't know what he's looking at. Then he'll get a report from the inspector and will call again to ask questions about the things the inspector found. Then he'll decide he needs to see it himself (which is always OK). He'll come see it, he'll want it on the lift, and he'll want a test drive, so we tear the shop apart for him and everybody stops what they're doing to help move cars around. After the test drive he'll look around the showroom while he thinks about it. Then he'll go out to lunch with his wife to ask permission. Then he'll come back and say that his wife won't let him buy it at my asking price, would I take sixty cents on the dollar, CASH MONEY? We haggle some more, he goes to talk it over with his wife again, and eventually we come to an agreement. Then we start to do the paperwork and he realizes that he has to pay for the thing and thinks he's going to drive it home after giving us a check, which obviously isn't happening. So we spend a bunch of time trying to talk him out of driving it home that moment and to let us set up shipping for him, but he's convinced himself that a long drive in an unfamiliar old car is the smartest, cheapest way to get it home. So now he needs to go to the bank. When he gets back from the bank, we sit around for a few hours entertaining this guy and his wife in our offices while the wire is processed. He also decides that he needs the title right then and there because he had a bad experience once and seeing my $5 million inventory doesn't do much to convince him that it's not all just an elaborate ruse to steal $12,000 from him. Once the wire hits, we have to get the car ready for a cross-country jaunt (which also means my mechanics have to drop everything else they're doing on other cars). While the guys are doing that, we drive 30 minutes and two towns over to the title office with him to do the title work on the spot instead of doing it online and mailing it to him a few days later. We also have to get him a temporary tag while we're there, so that's another line to wait in. When we get back to the shop, he'll wander over to the T-shirt rack and ask for a few free T-shirts ("You know, so I can advertise your business."). Eventually he drives away after a 6-hour ordeal and everyone is happy(ish). 

 

More expensive cars? They call, they ask a few questions to verify it's what I say it is, they ask me to arrange shipping, they ask me to send them an invoice for the whole shebang, then they pay for everything with a wire transfer the next day. A few days later we put the car in a truck and it leaves. A week later, the title has been processed digitally and we overnight it to the new owner.

 

/What was this thread about again?

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Unfortunately Matt, what you have just described is how most of must buy cars, because we really don't quite have enough money to fully participate in this hobby, and how the lucky few , for whom money is really no problem, can buy cars. 

Unfortunately for us all the majority have money difficulties.  Its not that we are completely out of our depth and shouldn't be looking even at Vega's, it's just that we can't simply waltz up , take our pick , and cut a cheque on the spot. Life's a bit of struggle for some of us. We usually eventually get there but never the easy way.

 Like I mentioned in another thread, twice within the last 8 months I have been within a few days and a couple of thousand $ from closing deals. In both cases overseas buyers came up with the price just as I was about to put it all together and clinch the deal. Neither of those cars will ever come back to North America. I am beginning to wonder if any of this stress and major disappointment  is worth it in the end. It might be time I look into collecting clocks. The 6-8 thousand {Canadian} I put into the hobby each year would fund some nice timepieces.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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2 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

Unfortunately Matt, what you have just described is how most of must buy cars, because we really don't quite have enough money to fully participate in this hobby, and how the lucky few , for whom money is really no problem, can buy cars. 

Unfortunately for us all the majority have money difficulties.  Its not that we are completely out of our depth and shouldn't be looking even at Vega's, it's just that we cant simply waltz up , take our pick , and cut a cheque on the spot. Life's a bit of struggle for some of us. We eventually get there but never the easy way.

 

Greg in Canada

 

Oh bullsh*t, don't turn this into a class warfare thing. There's a right way and a wrong way to do it. The problem isn't the inexpensive cars themselves or their profit margins, it's that inexpensive car buyers think they're getting ripped off and don't trust anything or anybody and make everything harder than it should be, both for themselves and for me. They think they're out-smarting the system even though they're actually doing it the hard way. If they'd trust us when we tell them it's smarter to ship the car home, even if it costs a little extra, they'd have a much easier go of it. If they'd save all their questions for when they come to visit instead of asking all the questions, then coming to visit and asking them all again, everyone would be a little fresher. If they would let us do our jobs (because that's what we get paid to do and we've done it far more than any of them have) they'd understand that submitting a title electronically isn't a security risk and that wire transfers don't give the bad guys unlimited access to your bank account.

 

I literally had a 70-something-year-old guy fly in from Colorado to buy a $16,000 1940 Ford. He stopped at the tire store and bought four new radials, which were in the trunk of the taxi and which he expected us to somehow mount for the drive home. To Colorado. From Cleveland. In February. In an unrestored 1940 Ford. I explained to him that even if everything went perfectly, his journey would take days, he'd be paying for food, hotels, and gas, and it would likely cost more than shipping it, and if, God forbid, something went wrong, he'd still have to ship the car home as well as himself. At that point, he thought I was trying to hustle him and got pretty angry. He wouldn't listen to reason and eventually called a taxi and I guess went back to the airport. He did ask me to return the tires and give him the money, which I did. He killed most of a day, pissed me off, and wrote a bad review of our business. Nevertheless, I'm quite certain he left thinking I was the @sshole. He thought he had it all figured out and was being smart and prudent, and all I could think of was a skinny old dude frozen blue inside an ancient Ford on some mountain pass. Yeah, I'm the bad guy for trying to solve his problem in a smart, safe way.

 

It isn't that rich people "waltz right in and buy whatever they want." It's that people who trust me to be a professional have a lot fewer hoops to jump through and everything goes a lot smoother. Inspections and personal visits are always welcome, and we treat everyone with the same courtesy and respect regardless of what they're buying. But the low-cost cars are always the guys who are just so sure I've set up this whole elaborate business just to rip them off for a few thousand bucks. It never occurs to them that we know what we're doing (they're always the ones who tell my wife how to do her job in the title department--"make sure it has the right mileage on it!"--and who ask me to help them cheat on their taxes and lie about the sale price). They won't even make the logical leap that if I'm going to throw away my business, my reputation, and possibly my freedom, it ain't going to be for an $8000 1984 Buick Riviera. This isn't a trick, but they're just sure it is because, hey, used car dealer. Amirite?

 

You can be smart and you can be prudent, and it doesn't matter how much money you have. But if you expect to be ripped off and act like you have all the answers and treat people like they're pulling a fast one on you, it makes things a lot more difficult. Some folks have serious problems with trust, and it ain't the rich people. Many buyers want freebies, deep discounts, and a way to cheat on their taxes. They want guarantees and try to trick me into saying things that they think will be a guarantee. Buyers of sub-$20,000 cars do it far, far more often than even guys who buy $30,000 cars. I don't know why, but there it is.

 

And if that's how you do it, Greg, then you're doing it wrong. 

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

...how the lucky few , for whom money is really no problem, can buy cars. 

...waltz up , take [their] pick , and cut a cheque on the spot.

 

Greg, it's not that way in my observation.

The truly wealthy whom I've known (say 8-figure salaries,

not including extra income from investments, etc.)

have been just as careful with money.  They may have more cars, 

some of their cars are more expensive, but they will pay only a fair

and realistic amount.  

 

Maybe I've met only the modest rich folks, but they

are no different from anyone else.  They don't put on airs,

and if you met them in the hardware store you couldn't tell

the difference between them and the average citizen.

They watch their expenditures.

 

As The Wall Street Journal once wrote, "No one ever got rich

by going shopping!"

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Actually , I would probably fall squarely in to your no hassle group of buyers. I never expect anything of the seller other than a reasonably fair price. I would never dream of expecting a seller to go out of his way to make the deal. And certainly no throw in's or freebees.

Actually the shipping thing can be a real hurdle for some of us. Coming up with the extra $3500.00 for shipping is what delayed  last weeks missed  deal enough to let the other buyer have a chance. For once I was seriously interested in a car 2000 miles away. And for the first time in my life from a dealer ,although it was in fact one of his personal cars. He, as I am sure you do as well provided a good set of photos and described the car very accurately. The last thing I was trying to do was build a case for some sort of after the fact beef. Just the right car at the right price. It's all I ever ask for. Definitely too far to trailer it home myself { it was near Chicago}. Might not seem like much but for some of us even that little extra takes a bit more time.

I generally deal in person . Pay cash, show up with my trailer at the sellers convenience. If the seller volunteers to help with loading fine, but I would never expect it. I have bought quite a few cars over the 40 years or so I have been in the hobby and I can't think of any time I got the feeling a seller thought I was being a pain. The last few years have definitely been more difficult. Could be learning to live on a retirement income, could be the crappy Canadian $  could be the influx of overseas buyers, most likely a combination of all 3.

 I just know that after 40 years it really isn't nearly as much fun anymore, not for me at least. Probably is a bit of a class thing , I have gone from border line upper middle class to a definite lower middle class standard of living.

 

Greg in Canada

 

 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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Greg, your part of Canada, from what I hear,

is a very expensive place to live.  (So are parts

of California and Washington.)  The typical housing cost

in those areas must take away the average person's

discretionary income, making hobbies more difficult.

 

Things will correct themselves in time, I hope for

the sake of everyone there.  In other states and

provinces, costs are in much better proportion to

what people earn. 

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Yes John, you are absolutely correct. It is part of why so many Western Canadian hobby cars are ending up in the U.S. and elsewhere. 

 

Greg

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20 hours ago, 1935Packard said:

 

That reminds me of when I was at Hershey a few years ago with my wife.  I bought a little plastic knob for my Packard. And I showed it to my wife, who said:

 

WIFE:  I'll bet that little plastic knob was $50.

ME: That would be something, wouldn't it.

WIFE: Was I close?

ME: 50, exactly, dear.

 

 

The only bad thing is I gave my wife all my old cars in my will.. She can not drive a stick shift car...  Not sure if this matters..

 

90 percent of them have a clutch...

 

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Even buying a "sorted" car is no guarantee that a rod won't start knocking, or worse, 1000 miles down the road....... :wacko:

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