Apr 4, 2014

The Poor Man's Guide to the Barrett-Jackson Auction

'35 Packard Convertible.  What you expect at Barrett-Jackson.
I'm interested in who this sells to,  but it aint gonna be me. 


Don't be stupid, This is not a Poor Man's Guide.  That guide would be simple: Stay Home!

 But if you find yourself accidentally at the auction with your child's college fund available, you could sneek off with something interesting.

This is not what I'm talking about.    This Camaro is way too cool for you.
So stop staring at it and keep looking, no wonder you don't have a sports car. 




Barrett-Jackson, Palm Beach is coming April 11th, and I'll be glued to the television.  These cars pictured  will be up for auction and I'll be watching them instead of the the "blue chip"cars. They aren't Bugattis, Packards, or Boyd Coddington Customs.  They might just be the auction "misfits", and an opportunity for a awesome deal.

Flawless # matching V8 4 speed Mustang.  This isn't gonna go cheap.
So stop looking. These are not the cars you're looking for. Move along.


I haven't blogged in a while,  so you thought I was dead didn't you.  Nope, just moving, having a son born, and starting a new career.  Now onto business.

To clarify, I'm calling these perfectly nice automobiles misfits because the bar is set pretty high at Barrett-Jackson.  Meaning the cars are usually impeccable, original and unmolested or alternately, modified to a highly custom degree. Like Foose machines on Overhaulin for example.  That said, the attendees may not be looking for cars that don't fit clearly into one of those two camps.  Other auctions might be different, but this is a pretty upscale affair.
'68 "custom" with wrong paint and wheels mean this might just go cheaper.
Unoriginality can be your friend when you don't want to pay a premium.
A bit too flashy for me, buy it, and sell off those hideous wheels ASAP.
An "all wrong" Camaro, done well like this would be nice for $25K

Like any red blooded car guy, I would really like to go, but the real world is keeping me from it.  Not to buy, but just for the fun of spotting cars for the average guy. Spotting cars that may not fetch big bucks is big fun.  After all, anyone can pay top dollar for a super-star automobile, but spotting the cars that might be worth more to you, and  less to others takes talent, or experience, or luck, or humility, or something....  I don't know what you call it, but it is a very important skill and I've got it. So pay attention, and help me find a way to get paid for it while you are here....  

Typically not an auction type car,  the BMW M3 is a hoot of an overlooked convertible, and safe.
Though this has staggeringly low miles many may pass on it,  two big factors may be in you favor
The SMG is a better tranny but unpopular, especially when you need a hand free for your baby's bottle.
Also M3 fans don't like convertibles, they are heavier and slower.     So that's a win if you don't care..
Low miles if these are under $30K they are an amazing value.  High miles, think $15K if you luckly

Perhaps we'll call this Money Ball for cars. 
I recall a misfit from a past Vegas Barrett-Jackson auction.  My Aunt Dee's GTO, she bought it cheap if memory serves me correctly.   It was all alone on the auction block, lost in a sea of super perfect cars and bidding frenzies.  Like the undercard at a boxing match, people may or may not pay attention. Budget minded car guys should pay attention at these moments, because its our time to strike.  

This GTO was bought in Vegas and is exactly what i'm talking about. I'll explain:
Nice, but wrong wheels, B quality paint, wrong tranny and poorly fitted panels.
This GTO went cheaper than others and is a super car to actually DRIVE now.
Currently your budget may be more about Matchbox cars, and premium coffee.  But pay attention and watch every minute of the auction on television.  When did Noah build the arc?  Before he had the spare cash for a convertible, that's when?  Seriously,  it's nearly as much fun to watch as it is to buy at Barrett-Jackson. Seeing cool cars go for reasonable money, might be sad for the seller but screw him. It gives us hope for my own collection some day, once we find an 8 car garage, with a modest shanty attached for our family.


'92 Fox Body Mustang.  This could go completely ignored and is quite a car.
LX Summer Editions are rare and ea$y to own, the market for these hasn't begun yet.
Most 90's Fox Body Stangs are hideous, but his one will prove a collector eventually,
I dig it, but you'll need to get your wife on board, which if you are me, it won't be easy.
If under 40,000 miles, these will be worth $20K.  Over that mileage: figure half that.

Lots of people are watching the big dollar cars, and that's just fine.  I'm keen on the cars that will be washed with soap from under the kitchen sink, not the ones that will be detailed at auto-salons.  No offense to auto-salons of course, I'd love to own one some day.     It's these auction misfits, that might go cheap, and more importantly inspire me to scour Craigslist for similar hidden value.  Meanwhile we can all watch an hone our skills at spotting these misfits.

1970 Oldsmobile 442 convertible.  Typically a W30 powered car goes for mad money.
The catch is this is a fake W30,  so it might attract less attention from serious collectors.
Who cares if the numbers match, you're going to change diapers in the back seat anyway.
 If it goes for under $45K you need this car, and an Exxon credit card.
Let me stop right in the middle of this blog and apologize for my style departure.  I have not been the smart-ass that you have come accustomed to.  Rest assured, I'm am still full of contempt for you and myself for not owning one of these cars already.  Apparently being a wise ass, requires more time and focus than I currently have. I'm hiring an assistant who works for animal crackers, but not much help yet.



We are focusing on convertibles for one good reason.  It's spring, and the sun is coming out. Convertibles in spring are not a good idea frankly, and certainly unoriginal,   These cars would all go cheaper if snow were on the ground, so basically this blog ain't worth shit.  Buy hey,  you didn't exactly need a credit card to log into my blog now did you?

1970 Chevelle SS.   Damn nice car, but undocumented.
W/out documentation this might attract less interest and money.
And no, these aren't good in the snow. Dig those stripes?
If this goes for under $45K, buy two of them.


You'll also notice that I've skipped all the two seaters.   Why, because it's my blog, and 2 seaters are dead to me.   I'm not blogging about any car that can't haul my wife and son. The dog on the other hand, can stay home.  Your kid too needs to grow up with a cool dad, so pay attention because you've still got options.  If your wife will loan you your balls for a few hours anyway.

Though popular in Europe, slant nose Porsches are not a hot item in the USA
This one is also a "custom"  911 Slope, so wasn't even a slant nose originally.
So it could be wanted by nobody, and be a deal.  Yep, they've got back seats.
If this went under $25K you couldn't loose as a car to drive regularly.

Make your kid cool by letting him grow up in the back of something better than a minivan. Although the population at the Palm Beach auction might be pretty loyal to some of this older American iron,  these all have some shortcomings that might make then turn out to be misfits. Misfits for the real world use at non-premium auction prices.   As a weekend driver, any one of these cars would cost less than a new Volvo SUV, some might cost less than a year of private school.  Send that kid to public school and give him an education on the open road.




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