If you are a car guy, or gal, one of the things you need to do is attend a car auction. I have done so several times and almost always have a bidder’s card but have yet to purchase or sell a car at auction so I am certainly no expert.
My wife and I recently attended the RM Auction held in the Spring of 2018 as part of the AACA (Antique Auto Club Association) Spring Meet in Auburn, IN. It was a terrific combination of high end car show and collector car auction. Both were going on at the same time. Since we had our 1969 Dodge Daytona entered in the show it did get very busy at times trying to see the best of both and get the Daytona ready for the Judges.
The Daytona did well winning its Senior Award in only its second outing. We will be back next year for the Annual Grand National Meet where it will be competing for it Annual Grand National First Prize.
We did have our eyes on a couple of cars that we wanted to take home. We were absolutely positive we were going to bid on a certain convertible at the auction. We knew what was a fair market price for the car based on its condition and options etc. One draw back of such auctions is that it is very difficult to even start one of the cars and nearly impossible to drive one before bidding. If you can find the owner or an auction representative you maybe able to do so but it is rare.
It was a very rainy day and the car was displayed inside the main building with the top down. I had pulled up the top cover and looked at the top to ensure it was new. The owner’s representative was present and said the top was brand new and the car well maintained. It did not have the appearance of a show car. The interior and details suggested an old restoration and many miles of happy motoring since.
When it was getting close to time for the car to cross the block we ventured outside into the rain to the see the car with the top up. That was the smartest thing we did all weekend.
When we walked out to look at the car with the top up it immediately became apparent to us that the color of the top was all wrong for the car and even if it was new it looked terrible. Worse than than the color was how badly the top fit. Over the front doors the top missed the top of the windows by a good inch! We also noticed the rear windows were not rolled up all the way. When we tried to roll them up or down they would not move!
At this point we decided the car we had been lusting over all weekend was not going to get a bid from us! When the car crossed the block under the bright lights and the top down (some windows were up and some half down a clue to a problem) bidding was fast and furious. It looked beautiful from the audience’s perspective but we knew better. The winning bid was nearly three times what we felt was a fair price based on condition!
The lesson learned is to look every car over very thoroughly even though it is a high class respectable auction treat every car like you were buying it off eBay or Craig’s List!
On the other had there was another car that we really liked but didn’t think we wanted to spend what it would sell for. We casually visited with each other while it was on the block saying what a great hot rod it was. Before we knew it the car sold for half of what we thought it should have sold for. Did we miss a good deal or did we miss something about the car’s condition others had not? We will never know.
Here are just a few of the cars that caught our eye at the RM Auburn Auction.