Egregious Flip: 1973 Ford LTD Country Squire Station Wagon – $17,500

Feb 2020 | Articles, Classifinds, Wagon Wednesday

Part of the fun of searching through Craigslist posts every day is playing detective looking for clues in each picture provided to confirm a collector car is not dealer sale or other facts pertinent to a possible sale.  At first pass, I thought this 24K original mile 1973 Ford LTD Country Squire currently listed  here on Craigslist in Pasedena, Maryland  was going to be our next “NEW!” (Short for “No Effin Way”) Award winner as the asking price is $1,300 higher than the $16,200 #1 “Concours” estimate the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool currently has listed.  As I uploaded the pictures to this post, I spotted it: a “Mecum Auction” paper front plate still on the unregistered car.  That clue was all the ammunition I needed to do a quick search on Mecum’s website confirming this car was in fact Lot# J191 at the Mecum Kissimme 2020 event on January 3rd, Day two of that Auction House’s annual ten day event.  Okay, you might be thinking, “So what, maybe this guy tried to sell it and it didn’t make its reserve.” 

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The current caretaker apparently was the winning bidder.  Mecum has the selling price listed as $10,450, however this incorrectly includes the auction house’s estimated ten percent buyer’s premium and fees of $1,045.  So the seller won the car at an estimated hammer price of $9,400.  Since they haven’t registered the car yet, they haven’t paid sales tax. Figure and estimated $1,500 transport bill to get this Country Squire from Florida to Maryland and the current caretaker is all in on this car for an estimated $12,000.  Now you might say, “So what? Maybe they just didn’t like the car or they bought it at a good price to make a quick flip.”  Sorry, but its worse. Much worse.

To be clear, we are firm believers in free market capitalism and everyone has the right to make a little money if they get a decent car at a low price, add a bit of value to improve the car, and sell it to a new caretaker as long they are truthful and transfer the car’s story.  Candidly, that’s the plan with our 1984 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz.  However, as we stated in our recent Auction Fee Manipulation post, we firmly disagree with auction houses and seller’s alike adding the fees paid to artificially inflate the value of a collector car.  If this seller currently had the car offered at $12,500, he would prove our point once again as he tried to artificially increase the value of the car when in fact, he did nothing.

Unfortunately, this seller takes it up one notch further by now asking $17,500 for this low mileage Country Squire.  Above #1 Concours money.  A 67% price premium after only 54 days of ownership (as of this writing) of doing nothing more than parking it on their driveway. Egregious.  Highway robbery at its finest and a prime example of what’s wrong with the Collector Car Hobby today.  Collector cars are supposed to vehicles to enjoy, not pawns among market speculators hoping to make a quick buck. 

Worst of all, with this car having only 24K original miles, there must be a great story to go with it.  Both Mecum and this owner make no mention of why this car has such low mileage and what was done to keep it in like-new condition.  We can only hope this story hasn’t been lost in the chase for the almighty dollar.

We created GuysWithRides.com to be an oasis from this ridiculous behavior and very soon we will be announcing our plans on how we will do that successfully.  Stay tuned.

Here’s the seller’s brief description:

“1973 LTD/Country Squire 4 door Station wagon 24,600 original miles V-8 luggage rack official Marti report runs and look great 17,500

Do you have an Egregious Flipper story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

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