I'm shopping for a specific car to the point I'm willing to travel out
of state. Therefore, my searches will bring some interesting concerns
and one in particular is a car which was sold at an auction. The title
is clean and apparently no accidents and other problems with it. I'm
wondering then what are reasons why a car would be sold at an auction?
It may be nothing but I'm under the suspicion auctioned vehicles have
had problems in the past.
Anyone with knowledgeable insight on this topic?
Often new car dealers will auction a car if it isn't a model that moves well
in their area or is older than they want to stock . Doesn't mean that there
have or have not been problems . Where did you think used car dealers got
their stock ?
Well, having spent half my life in the auto business - and half of
that at dealerships, I can tell you that New Car dealer's used car
lots are only half or less local trade-ins at that dealership. Often
the local Toyota dealer will take the used Toyotas from, say, the Ford
dealer, and the Ford dealer will get the Fords from the Toyota dealer.
It's a lot simpler when the same dealer principal owns several
different dealerships. Any dealership with a large used car lot will
have "auction cars" on the lot. If a car doesn't move on his lot, it's
off to the auction and he comes back with one he figures he can sell.
One color or model will not sell in one area, but sells like hotcakes
30 miles away.
When you are talking "used car lots" not tied to a new car dealer,
well over half will generally be auction cars - the rest local
trade-ins he wholesales from local dealers. Many used car dealers have
"contracts" with local dealers to take any trade over, say, 4 years
old - and if he can't sell them, HE takes them to the auction. Others
just have "contacts" at the dealerships - the dealer knows "Bob's Used
Cars" will take every GM vehicle that comes in, "Bubba's Auto
Emporium" will take every pickup he can get his hands on, and "Guido's
Auto Mart" will take every European car that comes in. Then there's
"Can-Save" used car sales and leasing who will take anything he can
buy for under $1500 - $2500 if it looks REALLY good - that he can sell
to folks with bad credit and get it back for non-payment and resell
it again 2 or 3 times. Modified "tuner" cars and "muscle " cars and
"gagsta" vehicles are his hot sellers. He also buys all the used
"bling" from the local auto wreckers and is occaisionally the target
of local plice investigation into local chop-shop and auto-theft rings
when questionable vehicles are found on his lot..
Dealers keep the best cars for their own lots and the rest go to
auction. Sometimes, a dealer will do a swap with another local dealer.
In my town, the local Caddy dealer took a very nice Lincoln in trade.
He sold it to the local Ford dealer that would be better poised to get
the best price.
If a dealer has a good month and takes in more trades than he can
handle, they go to auction. OTOH, if he is doing well on used cars, he
may buy at auction to keep his lot filled. My local Buick dealer told
me he makes more profit on used than new cars.
I suppose it depends on what type of auction, and how many miles on the car.
I've bought 3 cars & 1 truck through a repo auction over the years. Not
one of the vehicles had over 4K miles on it. All still came with a
factory warranty for the drivetrain & for body rust out. That was a
manufacturer warranty. One of the vehicles was Turbo Charged, and
something happened to the system at about 40+K miles. I was surprised
this was under warranty, but something about the EPA states something
about the fuel system must carry a 50K warranty. Needless to say, I was
glad I didn't have to absorb the cost.
I've looked at auctions to buy a car, but I have the opposite problem
from yours this time. That is, they rarely sell convertibles, and even
if they have one, it's not worth going far for just one. But if they
have what you want, and other places don't have it, that changes
They'll let you start it and let it run a bit, won't they, even if they
won't let you drive it? That will tell you a few things, though not
about the transmission, or the suspension. You can test the steering
and brakes a litle. I've always bought from private sellers, always
test driven it, but I still set aside 1000 dollars for repairs. Now
that cars cost more, I set aside 2000 dollars. Only spent it once,
however. But if I can't drive it, I'd double the amount I set aside,
4000, or even more. I do want a good interior and body because fixing
those are expensive. Fixing the drive train etc. I might be able to do
When I shop, I don't ask the current owner any questions. I don't want
to make a liar out of him, or be mad at him if I find out his answers
On Wed, 1 Apr 2015 21:56:27 -0700 (PDT), bob_villa
Absolutely correct. But driving cars is not about practicality for
many of us. I've not had a convertible for years but it would be a
consideration for a second car. My car is the top of the line, fully
loaded with a turbo that I don't really need either. Or the XM radio.
Or the power heated seats.
Following your logic, we should stop making Corvettes, Miata,
Mustangs, and a couple dozen other cars.
Bring back the Dodge Diplomat, the car everyone must drive.
On Wed, 1 Apr 2015 21:56:27 -0700 (PDT), bob_villa
You haven't thought this through. Of course there are practical
reasons to have a convertible. It takes me where I want to go, which
is by far the major reason for having any car. I've been to 30 states
in one, with the top down, and driving is a pleasure, rather than a
chore. When the top is up, it's warm and cozy inside, even in the
coldest, rainiest weather**, and when the top goes down it's like taking
a walk but you can go a lot farther. **This might not apply to some
foreign two-seaters. Don't know, I've never owned one. I'm not looking
for a sports car, just a nice car that carries 4 to 6 people whose top
When the top is down and the car is stopped at a light, people on the
sidewalk talk to me as if I were standing next to them. And it's easy
for me to talk to them, for directions or whatever. And when my car is
stuck in a traffic jam and the top is down, it's like sitting on a park
bench, instead of huddled in a closed car.
When my older brother first gave me his '65 Pontiac Catalina, when he
went to Viet Nam, it was just a novelty for the first year, but after a
year, I realized how great they are.
I suspect you've spent little time in an open convertible -- How much
time have you spent in one? -- or you wouldn't have posted. Either
that or you're just annoyed at me personally, as several of your posts
Better luck next time.
On Thu, 02 Apr 2015 17:20:36 -0500, Gordon Shumway
You're right. I'll go back to ignoring him. I guess I wanted to give
a paeon to convertibles. I never understood religious missionaries
until they stopped making American convertbles in the 70's and I started
telling everyone how wonderful they are, compared to sedans.
I forgot to mention that they are good for carrying things. I've
carried doors, plywood, a desl. and a 4-drawer file cabinet in the back
seat at various times, all standing up, and when I had a full size car,
twice I moved a spinet piano. Put a double bed mattress on the trunk
and where the top goes, and drove at about 25mph where the road was very
good. 10mph were it was rough. Lots of other big things fit back
there when the top is down.
I only saw his post because Ed quioted it.
Rbow, I've heard that small foreign sports cars have tops that are a
pain, and I saw one in "The Graduate" but for all of my ragtops, I
haven't even had to get out of the driver's seat. I push the button and
latch the top when it reaches the windshield.
They got better but the late '50s and early '60s Brit cars were
primitive in more ways than one. Even the Healey 3000 was a piece of
work. They were Kool though. I looked up some old road tests and I could
smoke most of them with my Yaris but they felt faster back in the day.
The tonneau cover was my problem. I fitted it on a warm summer day and
it looked really sharp, taut and white on a dark blue car, bounce a
quarter off it and all that good stuff. I was styling. Coming home on a
chilly evening and almost pushing the car down the driveway to get the
damn thing snapped was another matter. Say the hell with it and leave it
open guaranteed a thunderstorm at 3 AM.
Then there was the '57 Ford Skyliner hardtop convertible. I'm amazed
some manufacturers are trying something like that again. Those who don't
know history... Maybe they've worked out some way to get more than two
cans of beer and a dead rat in the trunk when the top is stowed.
LOL. I'm sure.
I have had a problem with my top shrinking, on at least two cars. I
think instead of vinyl, I shoudl have gotten canvas or whatever I have
now. For all my complaints, the top is 5 or 10 years old and it's still
very easy to latch.
One time when I was getting a new top, the top guy, without any
provocation from me, explained how he put the top on loose so when it
shrank it would be just right. That's great. So I come to pick up the
car and he says, "Everything's fine, just be sure to put the top up
before it gets dark." What!!!! Night is some of the nicest time to
have the top down. But it didn't actually shrink, come to think about
Yeah, amazing. It's bet the Skyliner worked better because they had
all that room back then, but I know it didn't work very well.
Not from what I've read. If you're on a vacation trip to some place
with better than average weather, you definitely want the top down, but
where do you put the luggage. In the back seat? Then what happens when
you want to see a museum or have lunch? Take the luggage with you?
My only convertible was a '62 Austin Healy Sprite. It was a fun little
car but the convertible top, frame and side windows lived in the trunk.
When it started to rain, you got the frame out, dropped into two
sockets, spread the top over it and snapped in down all around. Then you
attached the windows with the knurled screws. It wasn't all that
waterproof either so you were resigned to having a wet ass if it rained.
Oh, and then there was the Fiat Spyder but the less said about that the
better. Italians design some sharp looking machinery. Actually working
reliably is way down on their list.
All in all, if I want fresh air I'll jump on one of the bikes.
I've had the pleasure over the years of driving a '65 Pontiac
Parisienne convert, a Sunbeam Alpine, an MGB, and MG TD, a Jeep CJ and
a chopped off VW Beetle. Didn't own any of them but had custody of
them for extended periods over the years.
Had no top for the TD or the Vw. The Poncho was nice and snug. The CJ
was cold and drafty. The B and the Alpine were lots of fun and
reasonably weather tight.
None were particularly practical cold weather vehicles - not a
problem with the Alpine or VW as they were in Africa -and I'd never
have any of them as an "only" car,or a "winter" car.
On 04/02/2015 09:07 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
When I was in school one of the rich kids had a Ferrari. All those down
draft Webers and I don't think there was a choke in sight. It wasn't
much of a winter ride in upstate NY.
The guys at work were busting my chops about what I was going to do when
winter came when I was driving the Sprite. I bought a '62 Continental,
showed up one Monday, pointed out to the parking lot, and said 'Winter
We went up to Quebec on our honeymoon and I ran most of the way at
90-100 mph with my bride snoozing happily. I rented a Dodge Colt (1972
mitsubishi sardine can) to get around Quebec City a little more
gracefully. I'd get that damn thing up to 25 and she'd throw a panic
attack. I've got to say Japanese cars have come a long way.
How about Lucas electrical system?
Wife once drove Sunbeam GT with dual side draft Zenith carb.
Lucas .... windshield washer fluid was in a dangling bag. Awful car.
I had to bribe her to dump it buying her a new Eagle Summit.
Little Mitsu. AWD job, she drove this car for 10 years. Then
she got Suzuki SX4 JLX AWD. This car is very reliable. Has wonderful
heater for winter, no timing belt(has chain). After this one she wants
Benz B200 as her last car.
Ah, the Prince of Darkness... Brit cars provided me with hours of
amusement. Another favorite was standing there with a length of hose
stuck in your ear trying to get the SUs to all hum the same tune. They
made sophisticated synchronizers but I was strictly of the poor boy
shade tree school. Literally. I pulled more than one engine using the
backyard maple tree and a come along.
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