Q: Car Search and Appraisal
I am ready to buy my first Firebird. How do I find them and know what they are worth.
A: I see that a few of you are looking to buy. Let me share my story with you about how I found my dream bird. When I bought my 1968 400 convertible three years ago, I did a nationwide search. I employed a search agent I found in Hemmings called “The Locator”. For $25 he’ll compile a list of cars per your description, for $50 he’ll call the sellers and add info about the status of the car, and for $100 he’ll negotiate the deal for you. This was three years ago, so he may not be around anymore or his prices may have changed. Look in Hemmings under Services.
I also did my own search and found most but not all of the cars on the Locators list by going to my local library and search all the old Hemmings they had (2 years worth!). You’d be surprised how many cars in Hemmings do not sell, and then the sellers give up and put the car back in storage. 6 months later they get a call out of the blue and are very eager to sell.
Once you narrow your search and get serious about a car, call and find out as much as you can over the phone and ask for pictures. Then, if you are still interested, go to the library and get the yellow pages for the closest metro area to your seller. Find an auto appraiser and have him be your eyes. For $100 or so, you can get an independent third party’s opinion and a documented appraisal of the car. I did this and after I was satisfied, I negotiated the deal for less than the appraisal and then flew from Moline, Illinois to Denver and finalized the deal in the airport parking lot. Drove the car 900 miles home. What a trip! My wife told me she was pregnant with our first child while I was on my way back, but that’s another story.
Anyway, for what its worth, that’s how I found my Firebird, will probably employ this strategy again when I get the itch for another.
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Content last modified: January 20, 2014 at 8:11 pm