Click on the feature image below to navigate through all of the pictures in this article:
You may recall our “How To Buy Three Corvettes For $20,250 Like A Boss” post from our coverage of the Mecum Harrisburg 2019 Collector Car Auction this past August. While sitting next to Joe, a retired private bidder, we watched him purchase three 1986 C4 Corvettes during the first two hours on Thursday, August 1st, 2019, the first day of the Mecum event. The first day of most auctions are usually filled with driver quality bargains, and Joe took full advantage of this during the first two hours. First, he placed the winning bid on this 1986 Maroon over Gray leather C4 convertible with just under 40,000 miles for $7,000. A short time later, Joe next won this 1986 Silver Coupe for $5,750. Finally when Joe won this yellow 1986 Coupe for $7,500, he proudly stated with a laugh, “Okay, that’s enough. I’m done for the day!”
So, for a total of $22,275 ($20,250 for the Corvettes plus ten percent for Mecum’s Buyer’s Premium, or $2,025) Joe walked out of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania the proud owner of three nice 1986 Corvettes. When I asked Joe what he planned to do with three 1986 C4s, he simply replied, “Flip Them.”
Fast forward two months later and we confirmed Joe made good on his promise. The same day he purchased his Corvettes, Joe contacted the huge Classic Car Auto Mall located in Morgantown, Pennsylvania about sixty miles east of Harrisburg to pick up the cars and consign them. Do a search on their website, and you will find Joe’s three Corvettes now listed as stock numbers 1670, 1671, and 1672. To our knowledge and based on our personal observation of these three Corvettes while we attended the Mecum auction, Joe didn’t need to have anything done to his three Corvettes other than the Classic Car Auto Mall staff photograph and start promoting his cars on his behalf.
If you click on the links for each of the Corvettes, you’ll quickly realize Joe marked up his C4s for the sale. For convenience, we’ve pulled together the table below to see just how much and what his estimated profit could be if three unsuspecting buyers end up paying the asking price:
So for two hours “work” sitting at an auction on a cool summer afternoon in central Pennsylvania, Joe hopes that three buyers will pay a $3,500 premium for the cars he purchased and did not add any value to. We don’t have anything against Joe, Mecum Auctions, or the Classic Car Auto Mall as we firmly believe in Capitalism and the relatively free market economy we enjoy in the U.S. Unfortunately, the story of these three Corvettes was lost before they crossed the auction block at Mecum Harrisburg 2019. They were sold as is, where is to Joe with no warranty stated nor implied. The only history is Joe’s brief ownership who had these cars trailered to the Classic Car Auto Mall before the Mecum Harrisburg 2019 auction ended. Its very likely he’s never even driven these cars.
Our point is this: Caveat Emptor (Latin for “Let the Buyer Beware”) is alive and thriving in the collector car hobby. If you’re interested in buying a collector car or truck, learn the history of the vehicle before you negotiate. We believe there is a story under every hood, however if that’s lost in double flips like this one the car has lost its value. So remember, Know this history or no sale!