Looking For Clues

A potential buyer inspecting a car before it is sold at auction.

I watched with a grin as she knelt down on the pavement, in her fancy silver snake print jacket, leaning under the rear of the silver 1966 Nova on all fours. It seemed silly to me that she would crawl under a 50 year old car in Scottsdale at the “premier lifestyle event”. Now that Dave is taking on classic car inspections at Superstition Specialty Cars, I get it now. With the frantic pace of auctions, the dim lighting at someone’s garage, the filtered (or just bad) on-line photography, it is really difficult to quickly assess the quality of a classic, hot rod, or muscle car. Especially if your are under a time limit to get it all done. In this case, the car was lined up outside the North Hall at WestWorld ready to cross the block soon. Looking for leaks, rust, straight frame, upgraded suspension parts are all helpful to identify future repair, restoration, or upgrade costs on your new-old ride. 

After scouring for a comprehensive collection of what to review, identifying the quickest way through the inspection points, and finding the best course of action for disposition, the creation of 158+/- inspection points allow for an in-depth review of a vehicle. The results often are used to help decide to buy, to keep looking, or negotiate repairs or price during the purchase process.  

What we have discovered after over 100 inspections? Nobody checks their wiring, fuses, or bulbs. No back up lights, turn signals inoperative, dash lights out, are all very common findings during an inspection. When a car sits for a while, battery failures, fuel leaks, bad gas all become top of the list to repair, however those larger issues such as transmission failures, bad clutches, top end issues are not easy to pick up on in auction if you don’t have time to do your homework. Most of our inspections occur at consignment venues to be the eyes for the buyer, but inspecting 18 cars in four hours prior to the inaugural Mecum Auction at State Farm Stadium in Phoenix you begin to realize that there are some issues with all of them. They are 50, 60, 70 years old or older, and could have a number of modifications, repairs, or other issues racked up over the years. Clean them up, buff them out, roll them quick over the block, and you may quickly find that your “good buy” turn into thousands in needed repairs to make your ride road-worthy. 
It is better to know than to guess. Need some help scoping out your new buy? Contact us at Superstition Specialty Cars (480-774-6809) to schedule your inspection today!

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