That's a TWO-0-8, not a THREE-0-8, featured
Meet Dave. Dave has a blog. Everyday, Dave posts an interesting (and obscure) classic car that is for sale. Think Bring A Trailer, but less commercial. I read it daily.
Q. How did you come to the decision of starting a blog showing old cars for sale?
I wrote about the details in my very first post. Basically, this was an outgrowth of something I was doing with a business associate. She was very knowledgeable about newer cars and I was sending her e-mails with info about older cars. We had a falling out and the e-mails stopped, but I realized that I really liked looking for the cars and doing the research. Figuring that there might be 5 or 6 other people in the world who would like this info, I decided to keep do the research and turn it into a blog. I'm amazed (and sometimes frightened) by how many people now read it and enjoy the often weird, offbeat cars that I write about.
Q. Without revealing too many trade secrets, how do you find the cars you feature? What websites do you go to besides eBay andCraigslist?
eBay and Craigslist are the main sources, but I'll look at AutoTrader.com and a few marque-specific forums. For the most part, I like presenting cars that are non-traditional classics and are affordable to most people. eBay and Craigslist seem to have the best selection of those types of cars.
Q. What sources (online or paper) do you use to research background information about the cars?
I have a big book called "The Standard Catalog of Imported Cars 1946 - 1990", which is where a lot of the dry figures come from. I usually do a Google search for the car I'm writing about, hoping to find someone who wrote about some real world experience. Forums, clubs, and even Wikipedia are all good sources for information.
Q. You must look through hundreds, if not thousands of car ads a month. What are some current trends? Which cars or types of cars are undervalued? Overvalued?
There are so many cars that I feel are undervalued right now. The Triumph TR8 and Stag are two that come to mind right away. British style and a V8. Both were trouble prone cars and that may be what's keeping the prices down. Many of the 1990s German cars are at the bottom of the depreciation curve right now.
Overvalued is tougher. A car is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Based on how many were built and their specs, I feel that a lot of the 1980s and 1990s Japanese cars are selling well above what they're really "worth". But, there's a huge demand for them out there, so the prices are high.
Q. You have owned a number of quirky cars over the years. What car do you regret letting go the most? Why?
Wow. That's a tough one.
I wish I had kept my 1979 Renault R17 Gordini. (I had a 1976 too, but the '79 was a better car.) It was unique and fun.
I liked my Rover 3500 SD1 a lot. I traded it for an MGB and in retrospect that wasn't a smart move. In the US MGBs are a dime-a-dozen compared to the SD1. I should have kept it and just bought an MGB.
I absolutely loved my Alfa Romeo Milano. It was probably the best all around car I ever owned. I bought it with 8000 miles on it and it had close to 180,000 on it when I sold it to my friend Tony. It was pretty tired by then. I don't regret selling it, I regret not buying another one to replace it. (And that still may happen).
Once or twice a year, on a warm summer night, I regret letting go of my '87 Alfa Spider.
Q. Have you bought any of the cars you featured?
No, not yet. But I've been tempted. I'm pretty certain it will happen at some point. (I probably won't feature it though, I'd try to keep it a secret so no one would bid against me!)
Q. What would you say to a person who is on the fence about buying an older car for use on weekends and summers?
Go for it, but be realistic. If you're not very mechanically inclined and on a budget, buy something fairly reliable and easy to work on. An older BMW, a 240Z, or something like that. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty, any MG, Triumph, Fiat or Alfa Romeo would be a good choice.
The biggest mistake I see people make is not looking at the reality of owning older cars. I know a guy who bought a Jaguar XJS. He was blown away by the fact that he could buy a beautiful 12 cylinder car for less than $3000.00. He drove it for about 3 months. Something went wrong with it - I don't remember what - and he couldn't afford the repairs (which were close to the initial price of the car). It sat in his driveway for 2 years before he eventually sold it for less than $1000.00.
Parts and repairs can be extremely expensive on older cars. An XJS (and many other cars) are great cars to own, but make sure you have the cash to keep them maintained and running. You don't want your dream car to become a very expensive piece of lawn sculpture.
People should also remember that many of the cars I feature haven't been sold in the US for a very long time. (And in some cases were never sold in the US at all.) Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, Opel, etc., etc., parts may not be as pricey as Jag parts, they can be difficult to find.
Q. How do you have the discipline to post something on your blog every single day? Is it hard for you?
I enjoy doing it, so the discipline part is not much of a problem. It's only hard on the days (sometimes weeks) where I can't find anything really cool to write about. Those days force me to be a little more creative than I naturally am.
Q. Bitter SC or Mazda rotary pick-up?
Bitter SC. I didn't even have to think about that one!
Q. Why do you love cars?
I really can't answer that. I don't know. I just find them fascinating. The looks, the power, everything about them. I really can't explain it.
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