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New Member With Questions About Antique Car Sale


DrumBob
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Hello everyone. I have been a fan of early 50's American cars all my life and am finally getting into a position where I can buy one soon. Being a novice, I have questions. I have found two 1950 Oldsmobile Rocket 88's in the Nashville area. I found them on a muscle car website, and wonder whether they are scams or not. Both cars are priced quite low and seem to be in spectacular condition. The terms of sale are the same; they sell you the car and deliver it, and you have a period of time to have it inspected by a mechanic to determine if you want to keep it, or get a refund. In one case, the seller purports to be an older lady whose husband passed away. In another, it appears the seller may be a dealer, but I'm not sure, because he hasn't provided a name or phone number. The lady seller hasn't provided a phone number either, but said the car is located at a shipping service in Indiana. The prices of both cars is very reasonable, even very low, which is a red flag. The other red flag is, the terms seem too good to be true; take delivery and you can return it for a refund if you are not happy.

 

I'm hesitant to send someone several thousand dollars if I'm unsure whether or not these are scams. Do scams like this exist in the world of antique car sales, and how should I handle this going forward? Any help is appreciated. Thanks. 

Edited by DrumBob (see edit history)
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Nobody will ever give you a car, ship it to you at their own expense, let you sit on it for a few weeks, then ship it back if you're not satisfied. NOBODY. That's pure lunacy--the old car world isn't Amazon.com.
 

If it seems too good to be true...

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1950 Oldsmobile 88 Deluxe

4dr Sedan

8-cyl. 303.7cid/135hp 2bbl



 
#3 Good
 

$10,000*

+5.3%
 NEVER,NEVER buy a car  without inspecting it personally
 
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I agree with the others above:  These are not legitimate

sellers.  The cars may not even exist.  If any pictures exist,

they are likely copied from some other listing on the internet.

 

Here are some features that you may see in such frauds:

 

(1)  You can't come to see the car, or send a friend.  The

seller is crippled, or overseas in the military;  on even on

an offshore drilling platform;  or the car is already crated

at a "shipping facility" and ready to be sent out.  Obviously,

the criminal doesn't want you to verify his lying claims.

 

(2)  There is a false sense of urgency.  They want you to

act without thinking.  This false urgency may be due to an

asking price that is abnormally low.

 

(3)  You can send back the car for free if you don't like it.

This is absurd.  Transporting a car across the country costs

around $2500 from a reputable enclosed carrier.  I know of

no seller that will do it one way;  no one will do it both ways!

 

You should report the frauds on those other websites.

We'll be happy to offer good advice and encouragement here.

This is a genuinely good hobby that can bring you miles of enjoyment.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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It's a scam!  Do not fall for it! 

You will periodically find early 1950's Oldsmobiles posted for sale here in both by current owners and re-posted from on-line advertisements for such cars we forum participants find.   You will find the very Oldsmobile that will satisfy your interest plus be a worthwhile value for your money by being patient, investigating multiple cars and selecting the best one you find for the money.   Good luck in your pursuit.

Steve

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Spend at least a year getting a lay of the land and look at a dozen cars before you buy anything.   There is about a 95% chance you are going to get screwed as a first time buyer.   If you like Olds, join the Olds club and study.  Participate in their forum.  Post cars here that you are interested in and we will destroy them for you.

 

I'm at about a 50% screwed hit rate and have been doing this for decades.

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4 minutes ago, alsancle said:

Spend at least a year getting a lay of the land and look at a dozen cars before you buy anything.  

 

Good advice:  To take your time, join a club, and see 

what is out there.   It sounds like you've been watching for

1950's cars for a while already, and it might not require a year!

My first old car was the 2nd I went to see, and has turned out fine.

 

Also:  Join an antique-car club where you can participate locally.

For example, the AACA has "regions" (local groups) spread around

the country, though it is most active east of the Mississippi River.

Local people will encourage you, and may even tell you of cars

that meet your criteria.

 

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Here's one way that can flush out a possible fraud:

 

If you are interested in a car, have the seller take and

send you a particular picture which you specify.  Make it

very specific:  such as a close-up of the steering wheel with

that day's newspaper, or a car magazine, also in the

picture.

 

That way, a fraudster can't merely use someone else's pictures.

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All sage advice, if you join a car club you will get to see many makes/types first hand - none for sale but owners with a lot of great advice on what and why they own what they do.  JOIN A SINGLE MARQUE CLUB and Join AACA ! We were all 'new' to this once and needed to be educated , you will soon know who to believe.

If you join a local club you may be able to get a brief ride in a car of the era you seek, makes a big difference.

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Total scam, I just turned in a "dealer" to the Michigan attorney general for operating the same sort of scam supposedly out of Big Rapids Michigan. The "dealer" pirated classic car photographs from other legitimate dealer websites, and is offering the cars for sale on their own website, for extraordinary attractive prices. It's the same old sthick, they will send it to you and if you don't like it send it back to us. One of the cars they were selling happened to be a Porsche I had gone through for a client. I had a good chuckle over that, as I know exactly where that car is and it most certainly was not for sale. Then I started making calls. This has been going on for a long time, here in Michigan, this is the third criminal outfit I've come across pulling such scams. They will wait until a low-level dealer closes their lot, and then use their name and address (with a new phone number) to build a fraudulent dealer website. There's no activity physically at the car lot, so the state of Michigan is typically none the wiser until a guy like me turns in the outfit. They don't even care if you wire them the full purchase price, even if they can get you to wire them $1,000 deposit money, it's easy money for them, selling cars that don't exist. 

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Join your local AACA chapter and/or local chapter of the national marque club. You will always get a better car if you use the resources of the club to help find and purchase your car. The members know the cars and the car's histories.

 

Go it on your own and you risk swimming with the sharks. Or worse, you show up at the first gathering and hear someone say "Oh, you bought that car."

 

And don't trust anyone over 30. The older they get the more they think it's their duty to teach the green horn, wet behind the ears, tenderfoot (terms one under 30 doesn't use.)

 

My favorite:

 

"Oh Elmer, I almost bust out when you told the American slicker you needed money to paint the porch."

olds1948.jpg.fd6ee285dd0149be90b1eae2e72795e5.jpg

mother-porsche1.jpg.962d88a353ffe508287d9daad430af11.jpg

 

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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If you have waited and saved for a long time good for you. This offer should be all the reason you need to save a little longer so you can personally go see the car AND a valid title for any car you are thinking of buying. If you don’t think it’s a valid reason to keep looking I know of a bridge for sale you can get rich on charging tolls as no one has though of doing it yet. 
dave s. 
it’s a scam. 

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As others have said, this is a scam.   

 

Last year, my friend called for my advice on a daily-driver van he found for sale online.  It had all the hallmarks of being bogus.....unusually low price, selling for elderly relative, can't communicate because the seller was on a remote military base, the car was being stored on "the eBay Motors lot" ready to be shipped (seriously!!).  My advice was to run the other way, which he did. 

 

Listen to the good advice about getting to know the car you want and joining a club so you don't become a victim.

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I was looking for a new'ish pickup about 2 years ago and got almost the exact same sales pitch from a guy on CL. Price of the truck was too good to be true. The ad was for Delaware. When I inquired I was told I could not look at it because it had already been shipped to Montana. Widow selling her husbands truck was the 'reason' for the low price. Said they would ship to my door if I didnt like it I was under no obligation to buy and they would take it back.

 

Follow alsancle's advice. 

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5 hours ago, DrumBob said:

Hello everyone. I have been a fan of early 50's American cars all my life and am finally getting into a position where I can buy one soon. Being a novice, I have questions. I have found two 1950 Oldsmobile Rocket 88's in the Nashville area. I found them on a muscle car website, and wonder whether they are scams or not. Both cars are priced quite low and seem to be in spectacular condition. The terms of sale are the same; they sell you the car and deliver it, and you have a period of time to have it inspected by a mechanic to determine if you want to keep it, or get a refund. In one case, the seller purports to be an older lady whose husband passed away. In another, it appears the seller nay be a dealer, but I'm not sure, because he hasn't provided a name or phone number. The lady seller hasn't provided a phone number either, but said the car is located at a shipping service in Indiana. The prices of both cars is very reasonable, even very low, which is a red flag. The other red flag is, the terms seem too good to be true; take delivery and you can return it for a refund if you are not happy.

 

I'm hesitant to send someone several thousand dollars if I'm unsure whether or not these are scams. Do scams like this exist in the world of antique car sales, and how should I handle this going forward? Any help is appreciated. Thanks. 


 No one in their right mind will buy or sell a car under those circumstances … 👎

 

 

Jim

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1 hour ago, Gunsmoke said:

Anyone think DRUMBOB may be pulling our leg?

Absolutely not! I have wanted an early 50's car for decades, and I'm at the age where if I don't do it soon, I may never get one. I  began to realize today these two cars were a scam, and I came here for some advice. I also stopped to see a local guy who does classic car restoration, told him what I'd found, and he also said they were a scam. I very much appreciate the good advice here. Thank you. 

Edited by DrumBob
error (see edit history)
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If you really want an old car, then you are doing the right thing. Checking in here is a good start. Joining the aaca might not be a bad idea either. Is that the particular car you want or something that 'caught your eye' ?  Its a loaded question to ask which one you should buy, everyone has their own opinion on what is the best. Same thing with what decade to buy from. If you are patient you will find a decent car. They are out there. 

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Just had this scam happen to a good customer regarding a boat located in NY. Seems on the way to NH to hauler's truck was involved in a crash that totaled the boat. AG's office is involved as well as local and State police. Outcome doesn't sound good. Stay away, far away!!!

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I'm going to take a look at a '49 Chrysler sometime this week, being sold by a private party about 40 miles away in NY. It looks like a bit of a clunker, but he has provided a very good description of what has been done and what it needs. A '49 Chrysler isn't my dream classic car by any means, but it can't hurt to look. 

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Buying your first old car can be a dream that can turn quickly to a nightmare. So often even good looking old cars (with promises from sellers) turn out to being a "money pit", even if the initial investment is not large. So go slow, find a knowledgeable "old car guy/gal" who can give you some sound advice on anything you decide might be a candidate (ideally someone familiar with the particular year/make you have in mind). If you aren't able to do a lot of basic mechanical/electrical or body work, paying for it gets pricey fast, and for some cars, parts are scarce as hell. General advice on here these days, as a newbie, "buy something already properly restored", and you will be much happier starting out, and your end costs will be a fraction of a "project car". In later years, when you get familiar with the challenges of being an old car owner, you can then consider a "project car". Just my 2 cents worth. BTW, apologize for the earlier comment questioning your post, we get scams on here too.

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9 hours ago, alsancle said:

Spend at least a year getting a lay of the land and look at a dozen cars before you buy anything.   There is about a 95% chance you are going to get screwed as a first time buyer.   If you like Olds, join the Olds club and study.  Participate in their forum.  Post cars here that you are interested in and we will destroy them for you.

 

I'm at about a 50% screwed hit rate and have been doing this for decades.


 

The stuff I talked you into has worked out great so far............

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I'm a fan of cars from that era, and some of them offer a lot of for the money (if you were buying them by the pound!) Find something fairly local with a solid body; I enjoy finding cars that have sat in storage for extended periods and need the brakes/fuel system gone through. Fun to resurrect, and you get to know the car really well. A 49 Chrysler is my latest toy; not fast, but an enjoyable drive. Fluid Drive is a neat novelty. Whatever you buy, 99% of the folks won't care what it is, what's under the hood, how many doors it has...their eyes will light up, their hands will wave, they'll ask questions. 

 

Don't buy a rust bucket. Don't buy a car without a title. Ask questions.

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2 hours ago, Gunsmoke said:

Buying your first old car can be a dream that can turn quickly to a nightmare. So often even good looking old cars (with promises from sellers) turn out to being a "money pit", even if the initial investment is not large. So go slow, find a knowledgeable "old car guy/gal" who can give you some sound advice on anything you decide might be a candidate (ideally someone familiar with the particular year/make you have in mind). If you aren't able to do a lot of basic mechanical/electrical or body work, paying for it gets pricey fast, and for some cars, parts are scarce as hell. General advice on here these days, as a newbie, "buy something already properly restored", and you will be much happier starting out, and your end costs will be a fraction of a "project car". In later years, when you get familiar with the challenges of being an old car owner, you can then consider a "project car". Just my 2 cents worth. BTW, apologize for the earlier comment questioning your post, we get scams on here too.

Not a problem. I appreciate your good advice. I'm not a super handy guy with tools, so it's best for me to buy something in decent shape. I understand the pitfalls of buying a car that needs thousands of dollars worth of work. I figured that once I get a car, I'll get a shop manual and try to teach myself how to fix it. 

 

I've been warned a couple of times not to buy a car without a title. What are the disadvantages of a situation like that? 

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15 minutes ago, DrumBob said:

I've been warned a couple of times not to buy a car without a title. What are the disadvantages of a situation like that? 

It depends on your state, so if you might think 

about doing that, call your local AAA office or D.M.V.

to see what is involved.

 

At worst, it's well nigh impossible.

At a minimum, it's more work to get a title in your name.

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22 minutes ago, DrumBob said:

I've been warned a couple of times not to buy a car without a title. What are the disadvantages of a situation like that? 

 

Consider the presence of a clear marketable title the same as any other part of a car. 

 

There are cars that are extremely rusty. People cut and weld in new floors, quarter panels, rocker panels. Sometimes they have to swap the entire frame. Many times, parts have to be found in other states. 

99.99% of the time this much work to resurrect a car is not worth the effort. BUT IT CAN BE DONE.

 

There are cars that are completely disassembled and exist in boxes and piles on shelves. Most time these projects are missing important and sometimes even common parts. Assembly takes a lot of knowledge and experience. sometimes subassemblies have to be sent out of state for specialized restoration. 

99.99% of the time this much work to reassemble a car is not worth the effort. BUT IT CAN BE DONE.

 

You CAN get a title and current registration for any car in any state. Knowing the vehicle title laws for your particular state is a skill that an experienced car collector should have. (I am very familiar with California) Sometimes it is easy, but sometimes the process is long, bureaucratic and requires paying extra fees and maybe posting bonds. Sometimes it takes getting the car titled in another state and using that title to register the car in your state.

99.99% of the time this much work to TITLE a car is not worth the effort. BUT IT CAN BE DONE.

 

As a novice you want the best car you can get so that you have the easiest path to enjoyment.

This means, good mechanics, good body, good interior and good title. 

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If I see something I like, and the price is cheep, I tell them I'll bring my trailer and the money. If I like the car, truck, or (have seen scams with tractors even.) Yeah, that too. We will make a deal and I will load it up. Most of the time I never get an email back. It's a quick way to sort them out. Dandy Dave!

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Looking at a couple of early Oldsmobiles and also considering a 1949 Chrysler is like someone choosing between oil and water. The guy you known who does car restorations can elaborate on that for you. Right now he is your best source. Pay him his hourly rate for half a day or take him to the best restaurant in town for a long lunch. I am in New York and know a few good lunch spots between Buffalo and Syracuse. PM me I would share enough of a lifetime to advise you against a car that will disappoint you. (Thinking about a 70 mile ride up to Buffalo for lunch right now)

 

I am an impulse buyer and can fix most of the stuff I may run into. I also know how to bail out of a mistake and send misjudgement along to the next owner.

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34 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

Looking at a couple of early Oldsmobiles and also considering a 1949 Chrysler is like someone choosing between oil and water. The guy you known who does car restorations can elaborate on that for you. Right now he is your best source. Pay him his hourly rate for half a day or take him to the best restaurant in town for a long lunch. I am in New York and know a few good lunch spots between Buffalo and Syracuse. PM me I would share enough of a lifetime to advise you against a car that will disappoint you. (Thinking about a 70 mile ride up to Buffalo for lunch right now)

 

I am an impulse buyer and can fix most of the stuff I may run into. I also know how to bail out of a mistake and send misjudgement along to the next owner.

I know it's like oil and water with those two cars. One is a hotrod and the other is not. I'm not rigidly locked into any particular brand, so I'll be looking at cars that fit the era I like, which is '49-'53. If I do go see the Chrysler, I'm not bringing my checkbook. Just going for a look to assess it as a possibility. If, for some reason, I like the car, I'll come for advice moving forward. 

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Set out some goals, questions and answers, ideas and write them down on paper.

1) How much are you willing to spend/invest on a hobby car.

2) What do you want to do with the car when you own it? Weekend drives, local or long distant cruises, tinker with it more than drive it?

3) A project, or a sorted out driver, or a show and shine car?

4) How much time do you realistically have to spend on the car?

5) Do you have storage or calculated storage costs?

6) Are you willing to spend the time and money reading, learning and busting knuckles working on it?

7) How about tools?

 

As just about everyone on here will tell you buy the best, most complete, mechanically sound car to start with. Don't worry, it's an old car and will afford you lots of opportunity to work on it and fix it as you go!

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