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Old 07-27-2006, 10:41 PM
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Help! How do I go about this?

OK, I'll admit it: I need help. I am starting to go check out local rods and I am confused about how things are supposed to go.

WHEN BUYING A FULLY FINISHED HOT ROD OR CLASSIC CAR FROM A PRIVATE PARTY OR DEALER - What is the sequence of events or if you prefer the proper protocole to follow?

As in: After talking to seller and asking all my questions and making the appointment to see the car and showing up, and showing them that I am serious about it, what am I to expect from the seller? Can I expect them to pull the rod out of their darn garage? Can I expect them to start it? Can I expect them to take me as a passenger around the block to show me it actually 'can be driven'? Last but not least, if I am interested in making them an offer, can I expect them to allow me to test drive the rod before I hand them my $20 to $40K? Is that a reasonable expectation on my part or am being naive and clueless? How does it work?

Do sellers expect the buyer to buy the car by just looking at it, without knowing how it handles, breaks, steers and if there are any vibration problems or any other issues?

So far I am getting this feeling that sellers want me to buy their rods "on faith", as though looking at it in the garage is enough.

Maybe I'm wrong since I have never bought a running, finished classic car or hot rod before, but it still doesn't feel right.

Last year I bought several dirt bikes & enduros and the sellers had no problem letting me ride them and trusted that, despite the fact I am a girl, I could ride them without breaking my neck and trashing the motorcycles. Yet tonight a guy who was selling a relatively inexpensive (19K) roadster did not seem to want to even take Jeff (my boyfriend) as a passenger around the block in the rod. What the ???

???? I need to know how you guys go about it and what are my "rights" as a buyer and what is the acceptable way to handle such a sale/purchase. I understand people don't want just anyone to hop in their priced vehicle and go for a joy ride, but from there to not letting you test drive it and still wanting you to pay fairly high $$$ for it seems very unfair (and somewhat unethical). Especially when the rods are made of misc parts and when you have no idea who built the darn thing in the first place

I await your feedback and advice! I want to do this right!

PS: I did pass on that rod for that very reason. The seller's attitude bugged me.
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:50 PM
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In my experience, it is a common courtesy to take the buyer for a ride at the very least, if they seem serious. When selling, I won't let the buyer drive it unless I see cash, otherwise it looks like a joy ride to the seller. It is their baby, especially if they built it. I find it hard to let something go that I've built.

I once sold one of my bikes I built. I showed him that it ran, and would easily do a burnout, but persisted to see or hold cash before letting him give it a shot. He handed me what I wanted for it, and rode it around the block. He seemed content, and said he'd take it. He then decided to take it for another spin before putting it in the truck to take home. He ended up laying the bike down in front of my house. Had I not had the money already, I dont know exactly what I would have done. Its different from bikes to cars, because of the seating arrangement, but either way the seller may have a knot in his/her stomach letting someone else drive it.

So, with cash on hand, I would expect to drive it. Without, I would expect at least a ride in the passenger seat upon showing interest.
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:34 AM
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re: how do i go about this

"Maybe I'm wrong since I have never bought a running, finished classic car or hot rod before, but it still doesn't feel right" ---- my experience (almost 40 years messing with old cars) has been follow your gut feeling - if it doesnt feel right, pass on it. when it feels right - go for it. i have found that inner gut feeling almost never steers you the wrong way -- hope this helps

jim
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Old 07-28-2006, 05:51 AM
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I would never buy a car ... without driving it ( except new cars from the factory ) and a DRIVE is reasonable ... after you show the money. On the other hand ... I have sold cars that the new owner did not request a drive. I recently sold a pre war Ford for almost 25 grand ... and the guy never drove it. I offered ... but he was satisfied it was a good car. He has since thanked me for selling him the coupe ... ( it was a real good runner ) ... but he did not know me ...

Your age and your gender can be a factor. A lot of sellers can be doubtful of your sincerity and the ability to pay. Do not be offended by that statement ... A lot of folks pretend to be able to buy something that they cannot afford and use the experience as a JOY RIDE or entertainment . Some folks are just JERKS ... buyers and sellers ...

When I go to look at a car ... I take the ca$h ... and after I look and think I may want it ... I ask for a demonstration drive ... if they say no ...I insist on a ride ... a couple of miles at least. If they decline ... I go get in my car and forget about them. IF the ride goes well ... I then SHOW THE $$$ ... and ask for a test drive.

NEVER been refused after showing the ca$h.
The cash usually works in negotiating a better price also ... when dealing with a private seller.

GOOD LUCK ...

Last edited by Deuce; 07-28-2006 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 07-28-2006, 07:53 AM
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Higirl,

Thanks for asking the question. It's great to see the different way folks handle this issue and that there really is no absolute way rodders go about the "buy" or the "sell".

In my experience any car being advertised/sold as "street driven" should be crossed off your list if the owner is unwilling to 1) take you, as a passenger, for a reasonably long demonstration drive and 2) upon a satisfactory showing of legitimacy as a qualified buyer, allow you to drive the car with the seller as passenger.

What is a "satisfactory showing" that you are legitimate buyer? Here are a few that ought to work:

1) A lengthy history of prior communications between the buyer and seller. This might be emails, phone calls or face to face. It's NOT just one or two calls or emails - but half a dozen or more which have exchanged a wide array of good questions and probing follow ups to answers given.

2) Distance traveled. If somebody has just driven 600 miles to look a car, I think one can assume they have made a "satisfactory showing". If they came from across town...not so much.

3) Mutual acquaintances. If you know someone the seller trusts and they will vouch for your sincerity (and ability to pay), this will in most cases indicate you are legit.

4) Cash. As noted by the prior posts, money talks and is almost always a good indicator that the buyer is serious.

5) Simply ask. I often ask during very early conversations (phone or email), "How do you want to handle the test drive procedure if I come for the inspection and am seriously interested in the car." Even the question alone will alert the seller that you are legit because you are asking what HE needs...not what you expect.
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Old 07-28-2006, 07:56 AM
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I would never buy a used any thing without a test run of it doing what it is suposed to do (lawmower, tractor, compressor, welder, street rod; you get my drift). Street Rods can be all eye candy and no go, or such a poor ride, poor handling or just painful, noisey POS. A test ride will turn a lot of this up and a seller that refuses to do that knows this and is looking for a sucker for good looks. As a seller, it is my job to be ready to back up my product. As a buyer, it is my job to show the seller I am a good prospect. In this day and age, I would not show a stranger that I'm carrying a large sum of cash, but I do carry a line of credit to show that I am capable of producing the amount of the asking price.

Bottom line, no test ride, then drive, no deal unless I'm buying a stated non running/drivable vehicle.

Trees
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:31 AM
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One will know when it is right..For me the price can vary quite a bit depending on if the car is complete and running or not..and yes if I am selling then I offer a ride and show the buyer what he needs to know to make a decision..And I do go along for the ride and I do try and qualify the buyer before we go on rides and such..

Just keep looking a big part of this hobby is the friends one makes..

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Old 07-28-2006, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trees
As a buyer, it is my job to show the seller I am a good prospect. In this day and age, I would not show a stranger that I'm carrying a large sum of cash, but I do carry a line of credit to show that I am capable of producing the amount of the asking price.

Bottom line, no test ride, then drive, no deal unless I'm buying a stated non running/drivable vehicle.

Trees
Great answers you guys! You said it well and laid it very clearly for me. So I was right for the most part. I guess I have one parameter to work out:

"BRINGING CASH OR SHOWING CASH OR SHOWING LINE OF CREDIT" etc...

No way I am going to drive around with 20 to 40K in my pocket (yikes). Also, since the prices I am seeing for the finished, fairly decent looking/built rods have been consistently around 30K to 35K, it is not likely I will be paying the whole thing cash. I am looking at about 15K cash from my bank account, I requested about 27K personal line of credit that I can instantly (or fairly instantly) turn into cash in my account so to pay 100% cash. Also, I have been approved with JJ Best (classic car financing specialists) for an auto loan of up to 35K (lower interest rate). All in all finances are there but not "instant cash" I can wave under the nose of the seller (unless I find a less pricey car).

WHAT DO YOU ADVISE ME TO DO? Pull out some cash (if so, how much) to bring along to show some "green" (hence - intent to buy) or bring a proof of line of credit (Trees, what did you bring with you exactely - what should I ask my bank to provide me with?) or a letter from JJ Best regarding financing? Or???

Last year I bought many toys, not so expensive, but the 4 dirt bikes I paid cash for (they are not expensive - no more than 2K each), the travel trailer I paid cash for (about 10K) and my toyota tundra towing vehicle I financed with the toyota dealer I bought the truck at. So it was always cut and dry, where the money was coming from and everyone was happy. With this purchase the lines are becoming blurry....

For exemple, JJ Best will take about 4 days to finalize loan and send seller the money. They request to inspect the car to make sure the collateral will be worth the money loaned. The upside is I get a "free" car inspection in the process hehe... But with other buyers breathing down my neck, will a seller be willing to wait the 4 days for JJ best to get their paperwork ready? Do I offer money for seller to HOLD the car? And if so how do I make sure they don't keep the money since i would not be walking away with a car or title... Of course a check, with a signed writen agreement comes to mind.

probably the best plan is to use the line of credit to move cash into my account, then pay the seller cash and THEN have JJ best finance the car and give me the check for their portion so I can pay back the line of credit (high interest rates) and then make payments to JJ Best. I intent to pay the car off as fast as I can - maybe 10 months to 2 years max.

Thanks for all your help. I am about to get out there some more this week-end to look at more cars and would like to be as sharp a buyer as I can.

Deuce; You are right, the gender and age does cause handicap. Although I am not as young as I look (but we won't tell anyone ok? hehe), sellers have consistently told me they have never received a call from a woman before well at least not for their rod .
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:39 AM
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Well the things I've bought and sold have been no where near 30k. So, in a case like that, I would probably bring around 10% of the asking price. In my experiences, I havent had to show the cash. It was just asked that I had money with me before driving. Or like said before, proof of credit so they know you can come up with the funds.
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Higirl
Deuce; You are right, the gender and age does cause handicap. Although I am not as young as I look (but we won't tell anyone ok? hehe), sellers have consistently told me they have never received a call from a woman before well at least not for their rod .
It is SAD ... but just a fact of life ... women do not as a general rule buy 1932 Fords ... so it is a new, learning experience ... for most of us old car guys. Age also ... brings a little creditability ... and how you present yourself. If you show up dressed like a homeless person driving a $400 car ... unfortunately you will be considered a $400 car range buyer.



When I showed up to buy the 1932 Ford 3W ... the guy knew I was serious ... when he saw the truck and the enclosed trailer. I also had driven a few hundred miles. I also had the ca$h ...

A CA$H FLASH should be sufficient ... just show a stack of cash ... and the seller will know you are serious. 5 thousand dollars in 20 dollars bills with a few hundred dollar bills or two on each end of the stack IS fairly impressive ... and makes a " attention getting deposit " if you actually decide you want the 32. IF a 5 grand deposit will not hold the car for a week or more ... you need to move on anyway ... the seller is not a person to be dealt with ...
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:55 AM
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Just called JJ Best and they are faxing me something "official" to show I have up to 40K financing with them (yes, he actually gave me 5K more the nice man LOL)... Do you think this will do the "show you are a serious buyer" trick?



PS: and don't any of you guys think that I am "rich" cause I'm not. In fact, spending that kind of money, for me, on a hotrod is completely crazy, which makes it that much more fun . My friends keep telling me that for that kind of money I could/should get a BMW or nice Nissan (YUK) - pssssht - as if ! They just don't "get it" - I have NO interest in buying a luxury sports car and look like the many stuck up chicks that drive them around the Los Angeles streets.

I embrace and LOVE creativity and uniqueness. I also have LOVED cars and the mechanics behind them since I was 14. Car + creativity = hotrod.

I rest my case your honor.
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Old 07-28-2006, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Higirl
I have NO interest in buying a luxury sports car and look like the many stuck up chicks that drive them around the Los Angeles streets.

I embrace and LOVE creativity and uniqueness. I also have LOVED cars and the mechanics behind them since I was 14. Car + creativity = hotrod.

I rest my case your honor.
Good for you, and good luck! If you do score a car, be sure to post pix!
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Old 07-28-2006, 05:25 PM
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Last year I bought many toys, not so expensive, but the 4 dirt bikes I paid cash for (they are not expensive - no more than 2K each), the travel trailer I paid cash for (about 10K) and my toyota tundra towing vehicle I financed with the toyota dealer I bought the truck at.

I'm willing to be adopted. And I come with my own, personal Fleet of Classic cars, too.



Higirl,

I think the previous answers have been some really good advice.

At the risk of "Sounding Like A Man" since the fact you are a woman I would not flash a lot of cash infront of a perspective seller. People are not always as they "Seem" to be.
Sorry but it's just the way the world is.

If I may offer some additional advice here. NO WAY would I consider buying any Rod, Classic, Muscle, Land Yaght, or Dinosour without taking it on a several mile cruise. There are vehicles out there that once they get hot, they stop running. So a quick ride around the block can be deceiving. It could be the reason this car is up for sale is the owner can't figure out why it shuts off out on the interstate? They've sank dollar after dollar trying to cure the problem but the answer just isn't there for whatever reason?

And just because they want $30k for a ride doesn't really mean it's worth the money. People tend to think their car is the best. Or it equals the same make/model car they watched sell on Barrett-Jackson last week that fetched $75k.

I'm just as guilty as any I was blinded by my love of wanting to own a particular car and found this one out on highway 41 was available. When I got it home buyer's remorse set in. I found out X & Y weren't that good about the car but too late my money was spent.
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Old 07-28-2006, 05:59 PM
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remember you hold

the cash to make the deal if the seller wont let you check it out by driving or inspection they move on
as they say
plenty of fish in the sea
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:35 PM
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Guys,

Would she be better considering one of these companies that will build the car for her to her specs? At least she would know what she has to start out with.

I guess a lot matters if you want origional metal or a kit.

You start considering that type of money for someone else's handy work, I would at least pay a knowledgeable appraiser a fee to look it over. Lots of money here...
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