The truth is, some of the best classic car deals I’ve ever heard about were for cars that were never advertised anywhere, the buyer was found through word of mouth, or perhaps an old car story was told, someone investigated, spoke with the owner and put a deal together.
But how do you get plugged in like this?
Get plugged in by immersing yourself in the car hobby. Attend car shows, subscribe to magazines, sift through eBay auctions, but above all, talk to people.
You need to let people know that you’re into cars. Tell your friends, family, neighbors that you’re always looking for something attractive, different, enjoyable, and classic.
I’m one of those guys who comment on the old classic filling up at the gas station and ends up talking to the guy for 15 minutes.
That’s the kind of guy who says, “My buddy’s got a ’56 he’s been talking about selling, do you want his number?”
People need to think of you when they go over to their great uncle’s, and he tells them he’s finally going to get rid of that old convertible that’s been sitting in the garage since the 1970s.
People need to think of YOU when they’re driving out in the country and see an old British sports car with a for sale sign in front of it.
Exude this sort of genuine interest, and before you know it, cars for sale will start coming to you.
It’s no secret to my friends, neighbors, countrymen that I’m a car guy. It just seems to what I end up talking about with people.
If someone can relate a subject to cars, it will always hold my attention. I’ll mention a few examples of how word of mouth has presented people I know with several great opportunities recently and me.
1958 Triumph TR3A
Most recently, just this week, in fact, I got an email from my neighbor’s ex-girlfriend regarding a 1958 Triumph TR3A she was given by her uncle some years ago.
Now, my neighbor and his girlfriend went their separate ways the better part of a year ago, but she remembered several conversations we had about her little TR3. I told her to let me know if she ever wanted to sell it.
Wells, she wants to sell the car now, so she got my email from my neighbor and sent me some photos of her TR3 via email this week.
The fact that I don’t have the $20,000 the car is probably worth, or any garage space for it is another story entirely.
The point is, after a brief conversation across the back yard fence almost a year ago, she thought of me first when she started thinking about selling this car.
It’s a 1974 model, the last year with the excellent looking chrome bumpers, but it didn’t have wire wheels.
It’s not the best year for an MGB with all the smog equipment it’s got on it, but it isn’t the worst year either. I don’t remember every detail, but the lady offered it to my dad for $2000.
He actually felt wrong paying so little for such a great car, so I think he paid her like $2,500 for it, started it up, and drove it home.
It had been sitting for a long time, so he had to do the brakes and some other things to the car, but it’s an incredibly original, low mile, rust-free car.
He got this car thanks to his friend that knew his neighbor was trying to sell “an old car.”
He wasn’t even looking for an MGB, but sometimes you just have to take advantage of it when a great opportunity comes along.
By letting people you come into contact with know you’re always looking for another fun car, they will think of you when they see or hear an opportunity.
These are generally opportunities that don’t come up for others. You can often get to cars before they go on the market.
These cars will likely be close to home and comfortable for you to go look at… and in the end, as much as we think the car hobby is about cars, it’s really about people.
The friends you make while searching for fun classic cars, the friends you make while driving them. It’s all about people.
I love being the person my friends think of when they see their neighbor push an old covered car out of the garage, and over time it’s put me in contact with some beautiful cars and even more excellent people.