CC Goes to the Auction: Part Four – The Purchase

As I had hinted before in previous installments, the auction did not exactly go as I had planned. Bidding was online only, so I was able to bid from the comfort of home, but that made it hard to juggle multiple bidding interests. Each car had its own ending time which was bumped an extra minute with each additional bid. So there was a real possibility that one would end while you were bidding on another. Scroll down to see what I ended up with…

The more “daily driver” cars were scheduled to finish first so that is where I targeted my attention initially. I had settled on the 1995 Cadillac as my primary target, with the 2003 Acura RSX as the backup choice. The bidding was going well with the price being a tick over a thousand dollars on each. As I was bidding on the Cadillac, my wife walked in the room to check on my progress. I tend to find things go better if she does not know every detail of my vehicle purchases or process. As she saw the big Cadillac on the screen there was much flailing about and gnashing of the teeth. My wife learned to drive on an early 80s Oldsmobile Cutlass and has remained solidly not a of fan of larger American cars. Trucks and SUVs are oddly exempt from this wrath, but preference is not always logical. This distraction meant that the RSX had closed and been sold to someone else. While she moaned about “what will the neighbors think” (I am sure they have seen worse) I hesitated upping my bid on the Cadillac. As a result, it sold for $1,325 + 15% buyer’s premium + 5% tax giving a total of $1,600Cdn (approx $1,200 US as of this writing), which I considered a bargain. Oddly, this was the exact same dollar value that the Acura sold for minutes earlier. I would have happily taken either at those prices.

I attempted to regroup with the Cadillac and Acura options gone and now had only seconds to consider what else to place a bid on, if I indeed wanted to. I briefly considered the Camaro with the V6 and 5 speed, but I had not really looked at it closely during the preview. I would imagine after sitting for a decade on a used car lot it was probably more of a light project than an immediate daily driver. At the same time, the PT Cruiser was trending higher than I wanted to pay. In the end it sold for $1,525 + fees + tax, and the only way I was getting it was if it went really cheap.

But what about the little blue Mustang? I had seen it briefly when my son had bought his Fiero several months ago. According to the paper on the windshield it had passed safety inspection and had low kilometers. On the negative side, there was some fender rust and that dreaded automatic transmission/small engine combination. Off the top of my head, I cannot recall the last automatic transmission car I have deliberately bought for myself. Screw it, I tossed in a low bid on the Mustang and was declared the winner a few minutes later. The whole thing was a very surreal experience. I had spent real money with just a couple keystrokes. It also felt rather frantic. I can see why people get caught up in the moment and over pay.

There was not much time to waste, so I swapped over to the project side of the auction. In the fury of daily driver bidding I had missed the 1975 Chevrolet Camaro, which sold for a very reasonable $857.36 including all fees and tax. It would take a couple multiples of that to get roadworthy and respectable again, but a solid project for someone (else).

Dodge Rampage

I was now mostly interested in the 1983 Dodge Rampage and 1969 Ford F100 Custom Cab. Somehow I won a car I had not looked at in depth and was now bidding on two trucks. I figured the rusty Rampage would go for a couple hundred bucks, which would make it a feasible project. Quickly the bidding came down to myself and another bidder. They persistently bid me up before I threw in the towel at $550 without fees and tax. The other bidder promptly won it at $560 + fees + tax, for a total of $676.20, but who knows how high they were willing go. Perhaps they had not inspected it in person.

I turned my attention to the 1969 Ford F100 Custom Cab, which was in fantastic project condition but I was still internally wrestling about wanting to own a full size pickup or not. Plus, it would be another Ford and I am nothing if not diverse in my automotive interests. My waffling meant the hammer fell at $1,325.00 before fees to another bidder. I am still kicking myself for not going higher on this one. I bet it could be revived very easily.

Plenty of decent project vehicles went in the remaining minutes, but I let them slide as I did not want to make a foolhardy and forced decision. A project car is something you should have passion for, otherwise it becomes a chore. And who pays to do chores? So in the end I settled for just the win on the Mustang. My friend Rod narrowly avoiding winning the 1984 Buick Skylark station wagon that sold for $175.00 + fees + tax. He did, however, win the 1970 Datsun 521 pickup for a token amount. It is a little better than the photos show, and we are able to get it running with a few hours work a couple weeks later.

The Datsun is perhaps a story for another day, but here is a better look at the Mustang in “as bought” condition. The interior was actually quite good with only a tear in the driver’s seat. The shifter of sadness does not instill me with joy, but this is another chance to enjoy minimal cost motoring again.

The LX badge had gone missing at some point, but the dealership one is quite interesting. Kingland Ford from Hay River, Northwest Territories. That is quite far north and sparsely populated, so older cars from that area are not common either.

For comparison Hay River is roughly at the same latitude as the lower portions of Alaska. The dealership still exists but is now known as Aurora Ford. Perhaps a summer road trip destination?

Amazingly the car has only 84k original kilometers on it, which is roughly equivalent to 52k miles therefore it should have plenty of life left in it.

The final auction results are here if you wish to peruse them. Just remember each one was subject to 15% buyer’s premium then 5% sales tax on the total. A Canadian dollar is worth roughly 0.76 of an American one. Feel free to let me know what I should have bought or considered. There were definitely a few bargains that I am kicking myself for not snagging. Additionally, a few went for surprisingly strong selling prices. An auction can go that way, I guess. In the next installment we will assess the Mustang a little further and perhaps fix a few things.