One of my favorite times of the year is Arizona Auction Week, from January 11-19th and we have so many choices! Barrett-Jackson, Russo and Steele, Gooding & Co, Bonham, Leake and RM Sotheby’s all show up to auction off every collector car imaginable from Alpha Romeo to Zaporozhet ZAZ 965. Sports cars, super cars, race cars, horseless carriages, touring sedans, hot rods, classics and muscle cars, whatever your flavor, it is here, shiny, and for sale. Before you dive in, here are some tips on jumping into the auction pool…
Do your homework.
Before you even buy your bidder’s passes, attend one or two auctions to observe how they operate. It is good to know what your purposes are. Flipping means you’ll need to pick cars that move, like popular muscle cars, however you have to keep purchase price in check. Drivers require a keen eye on condition, making sure you hear it run, and making sure it doesn’t “mark it’s territory” with leaks. Touring cars mean that you’ll need all the dependability, safety and comfort, but the price goes up for that. Collectors are typically the ultra-rare, low mileage gems that are museum-worthy.
Define and stick to your budget. The selling price isn’t the end all: buyers fees, registration fees, taxes and transport should be included in your total budget number. All that paperwork you filled out for the auction basically means that you can’t back out of your deal once it is hammered complete, so really understand what you are paying for. Also know that every 40 to 80 year old car needs repair. Your diligence with your homework can help mitigate post-auction costs.
Research the catalog or auction website to create a shortlist of vehicles to bid on, then research the history and photos presented and check the vehicle identification number (VIN). You will need to know if you are bidding on an original or clone as it impacts the value.
Be there Early and Late.
Register before you get there, get your finance, credit checks and paperwork in order and bring your ID. There are a lot of good deals to bid on before and after the TV coverage. If you have an opportunity to preview the cars before the auction begins, you will be better armed with an inspection. Sometimes you can chat with the staff, or the consignor before the action starts, starting the car and sharing details about the vehicle that are not in the description.
The auction juice.
Did you use your bidding hand, or your beer hand when you bought that? A few drunk people that want the same car, can drive the price up increasing profits, which is why bidders at some auctions get many drink tickets with their passes.
The auction hangover can be an expensive lesson for some. That car that you wanted so bad, can turn into a purchase that you regret. You spent well over what it’s worth, or perhaps it will take a hefty investment to make it safe to drive. Heck, that can happen without the auction juice, but why make it easy for them?
Enjoy the spectacle that is Arizona Auction Week, and for all the details on the 2020 plans, download the Auto Auction Guide from here: https://www.experiencescottsdale.com/auto-auctions/
If you need inspections, repair, upgrades, or restorations on your auction scores, call Superstition Specialty Cars now at (480)774-6809 to schedule. We specialize in hot rods, classics and muscle cars. See you at the auctions!