Our First Flip Was A Flop…

1971 Volkswagen Fastback

About a week ago I announced our plans to find, fix, and sell one car each month for a year. Well, we already had our first unofficial flip of the year. It wasn’t planned, but I did sell my Type 3 last month after getting completely fed up with the air-cooled quality heater. I was tired of freezing every morning during my morning commute and was ready for the toasty warmth of something Swedish. So, the VW was sold and a Volvo was acquired. I probably should have waited for that ground hog to come out though because it would seem that winter is over…

Hurst Wannabe

I appreciated the VW’s unique engineering and this particular one was a good solid example. I did have to address a few things to make it a daily driver though. The brakes were adjusted and bled, but that didn’t lessen my dislike for those bottom hinged pedals. New ball joints went in and an alignment, but that didn’t really make it handle well. Then a new shifter was installed with a reverse lockout that actually worked. That did make rowing the gears more enjoyable. These little jobs added up quickly though and before I knew it, I had added $500 to my original $2,500 investment.

1990 Volvo 740

So, $3k is what I had in it and $3k is what I sold it for. Not good for a flip, but considering that I drove it for a few months and then got all my money back out of it, I’d say we didn’t do too bad. I’m still having a hard time seeing why so many people love air-cooled VWs, but perhaps I needed to experience it during the warmer months. It’s replacement may be ugly, but it was cheap and I’m happy to report that the heater puts out enough BTUs to roast a hot dog! Too bad it’s no longer cold enough here to really need a winter beater, but I suppose the first trade of the year got us started in the right direction. We already have our next flip found and will present it later this morning. Stay tuned to see if we scored a deal or a dud!


  1. van

    Your problem with the VW
    Insert 930 turbo engine
    Depress right pedal
    Hold on

    Oh first get right with your maker

    • Ron S

      Wow… Wish I’d know you were going to sell it so soon. I woulda given you $3200. Heck, I’d sell my ’70 Ranchero GT to free up space. And it’s NICE.
      I just love all things air cooled VW.
      Have owned an average of three of each iteration of air cooled VW but I have a soft spot for Type III’s in that I lived out of a Squareback all over the Rockies when I was a long haired kid in the early ’70’s.
      Please keep me in mind if you want to off load another air cooled in the future!
      PS: None of the air cooled VW’s were comfortable winter cars. Plenty of traction but very little heat. And then there’s the “Armstrong Defrosters”.

      • davy beam

        I’ve owned my ’70 Squareback for nearly seventeen years, in Illinois and now Minnesota. The car gives me roasting level heat within minutes without fail. I’m the second owner and he has 62K. He isn’t pampered, just loved.

  2. piper62j

    Many of us who comment here made reference to flips that don’t work out well once in a while.. I believe the only ones who make $$$ on selling collectibles is Barrett Jackson or Mecum etc.. Builders and restorers usually break even, lose, or make a very small profit..

    That said, it’s all in the enjoyment of the hobby and love of the cars that keeps us involved. I just bought another 73 Mustang for myself to keep and enjoy while I puff it up for a few car shows..

    Hang in there guys.. better days are coming and you’ll score on a flip eventually.

  3. Dave Wright

    I always chuckle when people talk about all the money large collectors have……Jay Leno and the like. None of them made there money with cars. I was in Phill Hill’s shop many times………even with his star power, his money was made with his celebrity more than the car restorations. I don’t know of anyone that got rich with old cars.

    • Bob's your uncle

      I know a few people that got poor because of them though

    • MGA

      If you want to make a small fortune in old cars, you need to start with a large one.

  4. Howard A Member

    If I may, you have to flip cars that are actually desirable to the general public. While it’s one thing to “use and flip”, if you want to make money on cars, stay with Mustangs, Chevelles, Mopars or cars that someone will most undoubtedly resto-mod, like the step-down Hudson, for example. The VW is limited appeal, for the reasons Jesse stated, the Volvo, again, a good car to use, but not a lot of appeal. With the resources BF’s has access to, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a car that is a good deal and will turn over easily. I’ve found, EVENTUALLY, someone will buy just about any car, but if you want to move cars, my opinion is, stay with what sells.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      VWs have limited appeal?!

      Limited… Huh I can’t even think how to effectively reply to that except to say that the VW community is HUGE and passionate, and has been for many decades…to be quite frank you are absolutely wrong. Check out the number of users at Samba.com.

      • Jason Houston

        The Edsel community is huge and passionate and has limited appeal at the same time, but that doesn’t make the cars any more reliable.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        So now VWs aren’t reliable? You truly ARE Barn Find’s resident troll aren’t you?

      • DREW V.

        Doesn’t matter how many people your club or association has, certain brands of cars are not going to appeal to everyone, thus making them “Of Limited Appeal” to those who do appreciate them but they won’t matter a hill of beans to those who don’t like them… I personally like VW’s but not as much as I like Mopar Muscle cars so the VW has a limited appeal to me. Great lil cars but far from being the best…

      • Matt C

        I disagree on Edsels being unreliable, I used a 1959 Ranger as a daily driver for three years back in the 90’s and it never let me down.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Bobs, you can disagree with me, that’s ok, but I wouldn’t buy a VW if my life depended on it. Perhaps you misunderstood my point. I’m not saying VW’s aren’t popular, it’s just, nowhere near a Mustang, or Chevelle, or say a Hemi Cuda. If you want to make any money on classic cars, they should appeal to a great many people and not a small segment of the hobby. And for the record, a VW bus (Samba) would sell a lot faster than a Type 3. (especially in Key West)

        Like 1
      • Dave Wright

        Howard, I understand your point and if you were looking to open a VW dealership it would have more weight but you are only selling one. Not a hundred. There are plenty of people that wouldn’t buy a Ford or an over valued American hotrod that would love this little car. It only takes 2 bidders to drive prices at an auction…….if this little car had been taken to the Pomona Swap meet, it might have brought 6k or more…….all commoditys have to find the correct market. Like a Texas cattle drive. They were sold in Chicago and valueless in Texas.

      • Dave Wright

        I had a buddy in the San Fernando valley that was a pretty large truck and equipment dealer. He sold a lot at one of the local auctions. He would put his stuff across the block and bid it himself until it came to the price he wanted for it. ……..this was one of the infamous no reserve auction houses……..he had probably 100,000 of stuff for sale each auction. One afternoon, I stopped by his lot just to see how he was doing…….he was beside himself just coming apart at the seams….it seems that he had gotten sick the week before and his kid did not go protect his sale prices. Everything sold and he lost maby 50,000. I really didn’t have a lot of sympathy for him but it was one of his marketing strategies.

  5. jeff

    I always feel it’s a successful car if I drive it for some period of time then get all my money back out. I drove a 1972 Mercury Monterey for free for about a year (still miss that car).

    Anyway, I’ve bought and sold a few cars and my big lesson is to buy them low and sell them quickly, warts and all. It seems like the more I touch them with tools, the less money I make (or fail to make). I’ll be interested to see if your experiment verifies my results.

  6. Blackta

    The best way to make a small fortune flipping cars is to start with a large fortune.

    • D. King

      +2. And I agree with Howard A–this model wasn’t all that popular when it was new. Not much chance it would suddenly blossom later. A Bug or a Bus would have been more likely to turn a profit.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        Sorry man, but you are simply wrong. This model IS popular in the VW scene.

  7. Dave Wright


  8. RON

    Now guys, you have heard the TRUE facts and rest of the story. I think everyone of these comments represents the true story of the hobby. great evaluation that you seldom get rich, if you enjoyed the experience and you broke even or better!!!


    Just remember the money is made at the buy not the sell.

    • Dave Wright

      + another one……..

    • JamestownMike

      I agree, when your in the flipping game you make your money up front when you BUY! If you buy right (below value), your gonna make money when you sell.

  10. Jim

    Buy a car because you like it, will enjoy working on it, and driving it. When it comes time to sell, and you make a little money. Great! Otherwise it was just another opportunity to enjoy a fun car.

    • redwagon

      +1 jim that’s the truth to the hobby. dont anyone quit your day job to make a living selling cars that are not dd.

      it would be interesting to see if someone who ran a buy here pay here lot could do it on the side but my experience is that those folks are so busy with the first job that there would be no time for the second (unless no family, no kids, no other interests etc)

      • Jason Houston

        The thieves who run those sleazy “buy here, pay here” junkyards are lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut. They profit off the poor who have horrible credit, by inducing them to go deeper into debt.

        In the typical scenario, they’ll pay $600 at the wholesale auction for an old beater that might retail for $1,500. They’ll price it at $4,900. When some naïve working stiff, who probably has little or no education, walks into the trap, he’s squeezed for a down payment of perhaps $1,500, then agrees to make payments over the next five years at 48% interest until he either pays it off or it breaks down somewhere and ends up in an impound lot.

        These vermin don’t possess the moral conscience of a peanut.

    • Al8apex

      so true

  11. DRV

    Everybody here is correct on their comments, and the best one is it takes money to make money.
    It’s my experience that it takes a long holding time , not flipping time, to make enough on cars.( or volume)
    I am happy to have driven for free all of these years in fun cars, until my latest family car which may be my last car expenditure.
    I have one left to have fun with that won’t cost a penny over the coming years and I couldn’t ask for more.
    Hey, is that BGT next to your VW for sale?

  12. Doug M. (West Coast) Member

    I have done this for fun for many years! I totally enjoy the process. Being a CPA, I keep very accurate records of my expenses. If done carefully, you can consistently make out ok, with only an occasional slip. And, that usually comes with the first car of a type that you have not worked on before…the whole learning curve thing. I make money about 9 our of 10 projects. I have found two important rules: 1. AMC STEVE nailed the first rule! Buy right! 2. The second is that networking and patience will yield “finds” in due time… you can’t rush the purchasing process. Best Wishes, and remember, “the journey is as much fun as the destination!” (just ask my grandkids!)

    • Metalted

      Well said!
      So true. Thank you for keeping it about fun , not just$$$$

  13. Tom Hall

    Wheeler Dealers is a great show but it’s a good thing they have the TV revenue

  14. Dan h

    You broke even, that is not a flop.

    • JamestownMike

      If your sole purpose is to make money, then yes, breaking even is a flop. What is your time and work worth!

  15. AVO

    Is that Volvo the low mileage, manual trans 740 that was on CL here in Boise a few weeks back?

  16. notchback

    If the heater wasn’t cooking you, it wasn’t set up right. Every type 3 I have had would roast you. You should have checked out the heater first.

    • Lee Hartman

      You’re right, I’ve driven through a lot of Idaho winters in VWs. The heaters are simple to work on and I’ve never had a heater core leak to deal with.

      • Dave Wright

        Once I learned how they work……..with my first Porsche, a 1952 Continental coupe…at 16 years old, they always worked fine. A little slow to heat but once warm they would melt your shoes in the Spokane winters. I had a buddy with a bus and a gas heater……we came out from a party one night after we had forgotten to turn it off. The bus was nice and warm……..but we were out of gas. On this little VW, You guys bought it at Retail and sold it at Retail for Idaho. Hunting as always best on the edge off 2 environments, You needed to buy here and sell in California or on the coast. I have a shipping company that moves a car trailer twice a week between Boise and San Diego…charges 450.00 per car. There are a lot of silly old rules that work, buy straw hats in the winter…….you have to become more busisness like and less hobby like to monetize your efforts.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      I agree!

    • D. King

      I dunno–as a passenger, I’ve frozen many a winter day in our 356 (which we’ve owned for nearly 50 years). My feet were smoking, but anything from calf height on up gets pretty cold.

    • Wildfire

      I fully agree my 72 type 3 fastback roasted me and it was my first car in Salt Lake City the heater worked so well that we had to cruise with the wing windows open I saw that pic and thought it was my first can and was gonna try to buy her back :P I really miss that type 3

  17. Hoos

    Since you broke even, AND got to drive it as a dd, you are ahead. I buy my dd vehicles used, and keep them many years. After calculating the cost of the vehicle after selling it, throwing maintenance costs in, I am on the losing end financially.

    Zero cost = Win

  18. Bobsmyuncle

    Barnfinds, no offence but of course you didn’t make a profit.

    What have you done to make this car marketable? Brakes adjusted and bled? That’s an expectation of a roadworthy car, not value added incentive.

    To compound this you bought it at or near (this is a huge variable) going rate.

    In order to find profit you have to buy below value, offer a value adding incentive, or market the vehicle specifically.

    Examples of value incentive;

    Selling southern rust free vehicles in the rust belt. You are saving the buyer the trouble of shipping and offering something they can put their hands and eyes in in person which offers a lowered risk purchase.

    Bringing a European model to North America for much the same reasons.

    Performing documented rust repair.

    Offering extensively documented vehicles.

    Specific marketing can be the higher risk method, but if one is well versed in the scene, marquee, or trends, it can also be hugely profitable.

    Examples of specific marketing;


    That guy is going to make HUGE profit on a niche vehicle when he sells. Additionally benefitting from the media attention (something you should keep in mind and that I will return to later).

    Another example would be any of the ex drag cars you’ve featured.

    You can also manage this by resto modding, or performing popular modifications such as disk brake swaps, or dropping the suspension, or paint etc. Yes customizing can be risky but if you know the scene, there are tried and true methods.

    For example if everyone is dropping black Lincoln’s and you score a cheap black Lincoln, cleaning it up, performing a tried and true drop and marketing it to the right audience is a no brainer. It can as easy as swapping European bumpers for US impact bumpers. Heck some models just look way cooler with a slight drop and steel wheels.

    Hopefully you have the skills to be doing basic work yourself or this venture of yours is instantly challenged.

    This VW could also fit this category. Look at the interest another Fastback has garnered on ‘the other site’. European bumpers, and a slight drop would appeal to a HUGE group of VW aficionados.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      I failed to return to my thought regarding the media attention.

      You guys have the perfect medium for putting a car on display.

      If you were to dedicate a thread to each car, with written and photographic details of the condition and work performed you are adding that value that I spoke of. You are offering a candid look, essentially a PPI.

      When most of us see an ad hailing a recent engine rebuild we rarely take that at face value. In fact I put negligible value on it at all. There is little way to know how long ago, what quality of parts were used, or the competency of the builder.

      On the other hand a photo of new packaged parts, receipts, engine assembly, break in, video of a dynamic run etc is worth $$$.

      Same with body work. Fresh paint, is a great way to hide shoddy metalwork, but photographic documentation of each stage relieves the fears.

      Throw in some videos of the vehicle driving and/or attending shows, rallies, etc and you’re laughing!

      • Blindmarc

        They don’t seem to understand the cult following v-dubs have on the west coast. They were gold in the 80’s and still strong 30 years later.

    • Jason Houston

      Your advice started out professional, but then it hit a brick wall and fell into a pile.

      WHY does he have to customize some poor car just to make it salable? Adding all that lowering, etc. just reduces the size of the buyers pool. And then what if you’re unable to find a Bigger Fool to dump it on? Then you’re stuck with it and all the “improvements” [sic] you’ve done to it.

      BAD advice!

      • Bobsmyuncle

        Well if you actually read my comment you would understand.

        IF the car had been purchased below retail than yes it could have been sold completely stock at a profit with little trouble. It wasn’t though. So NOW in order to see profit you need to add value.

        I mentioned various methods of adding that value. Adding disk brakes to a drum equipped car could do it, so could adding a dual circuit system in a car without.

        Adding tint to a non tinted car in Miami or Vegas could be a method.

        Get the idea?

        I also stated that a higher risk way of doing it is to add customization. And I stressed the importance of knowing your audience and the ‘scene’. Maybe you glossed over that in your rush to spout out your opinions to the crowd.

        If you know ANYTHING about the VW scene, a slight suspension drop is easy and affordable and appeals to MOST modern buyers.

        Many such tried and true touches exist in various ‘scenes’ but you have to be familiar with them.

  19. jim s

    the volvo will make an interesting story. nice big, safe old box. as for the vw fastback i think you should give a beetle a try next time. BF is having a busy month will 2 cars bought and one sold.

  20. Jason Houston

    If you want something warm and Swedish try IHOP. If you want a car with a working heater, try something US-built before 1973.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      I’ve owned quite a few cars Jason and nothing has been warmer than an old Volvo. Yes, even the pre-73 American cars could not keep up with that heater. It makes sense though since they were built to withstand Scandinavian winters. By the way, I think you meant IKEA. IHOP is the American Pancake place…

      • Dave Wright

        I think he meant……..Swedish pancakes at IHOP………pretty clever anology.

      • Jason Houston

        No, I meant IHOP. It’s an American (?) pancake places that sells “warm and Swedish” pancakes. The acronym comes from International House of Pancakes. IKEA is a junk furniture place that sells junk furniture.

        Anyway, I would certainly hope that if Volvo can’t build anything but dreadful boxy cars, at least they should come with a reliable blast furnace. It’s gets waaaay cold up there!

  21. Dave Wright

    I like your logic……..but my modern aluminum engined R500 warms so qoickly that we have heat by the time we get to the road. Iron blocks heat slower and hold there heat longer all things being equal. Off course other engineering issues also play a roll. I am amazed at my newer Mercedes.

  22. Jason Houston


    Right you are on 1959 Edsels.

    But I’ll bet you never drove a 1958 as regular transportation?

  23. Blindmarc

    V dubs always take awhile to blow warm air. Someone got a good deal in my opinion. Type 3’s are getting hard to find.

  24. George

    Good deal for the buyer on the Type III. If you want to be warm, heck, if you want to be hot with a VW convertible with the top down in winter, add a gas heater. If you want to freeze your b***s off, drive a VW bus with rusted out heater boxes in single digit temps in upstate NY. Not to mention hitting a puddle with the water hitting that hot engine and the steam coming up the heater tube to block your view out the windshield! Love VWs and want another some day. So easy to keep running.

    • Jason Houston

      Hah..! You just made my day. George, I can feel every word you wrote! Now, I KNOW I don’t want one of those!! Thanks for the great diversion and good-morning belly laugh. You ARE the man!

  25. Sled Drizzledread

    I’ve flipped a little over 100 vehicles in about the last 25 years. Here’s a few rules I flip by. It has to be “in demand”, I live in Arizona so pickups and 4×4’s are what I flipped. When it comes to selling, the lower your price the bigger your potential buyer base. I tried to keep my selling price below $3500 and never ever went above $5k. I made a profit on probably 95% of my flips by sticking to those 2 basic rules.

    • Jason Houston

      Words to live by!

      Since we’re on the subject, here’s a few I’ve developed.

      1. For modern used cars, run the ad in the Sunday paper only, not the entire week.

      2. For modern used cars, take the phone off the hook until 11 AM. That will cause the bottom-feeders to drift away and the serious buyers, who won’t chisel, can get an even chance.

      3. Whatever the car you’re selling, never have similar cars lounging around. Park the car out in front of your residence as close to the street as practical so buyers can look it over without fear of the owner hanging around and breathing heavily. If they don’t like it, they’ll just get in their car and leave, with zero inconvenience to you.

      4. If the first questions out of a caller’s mouth are ”What color is it?”, “How long have you owned it?”, “Why are you selling it?”, “How’s the body?”, “What’s your best price?”, “Would you consider a trade?” tell him oops! it’s just been sold. These dopes NEVER buy anything. If they persist, I’ve been known to give them the answer they DON’T want to hear, such as, “Well, I’ve only had it a week. I got it from my buddy who buys and sells junk cars. It’s been hit real hard on the left quarter and the transmission slips just a little. I realize it’s probably only worth a couple hundred, but I’m hoping there’s a Bigger Fish out there who’ll give me $1,500 for it. I’d be willing to swap even for a Rolls Royce Cornice Convertible or a supercharged 1957 Thunderbird in a good color. Are you interested?”

      5. If you’re selling a non-collector used car, daily newspapers are ten times more effective now than at any time in the past. There are still plenty of folks who won’t use the Internet, and these folks are qualified buyers facing a very limited selection.

      6. If you’re selling a non-collector used car, don’t advertise on the Internet. There are jillions of cars just like yours, in fact, way more than the demand will ever meet. If you have a car that everyone else wants $3,000 for, list yours at $1,500. Otherwise, expect to sleep with it forever.

      7. Selling a non-collector used car that doesn’t run? Check out the local prevailing price for junk cars and price it a few dollars above that. Nobody is going to pay $1,000 for a 15-year-old car that needs a transmission, no matter now nice it is.

      8. If you have a collector car, the Internet is the best place. Price it so someone won’t flinch when they consider the delivery costs. And NEVER assume someone will want your “free” parts car if they buy the target car: all you’re really doing is asking them to pay for shipping TWO cars instead of ONE.

      When I list a modern car in the newspaper, it’s usually gone within the first hour the ad appears. A newspaper ad might cost you $30 or so, while the Internet is usually free, but selling it at a cost of $30 sure beats the hell out of a free listing that goes on for weeks and ends with nothing. When I list a collector car on the Internet, I rarely have it more than a week. Be sensible. Look at your ad and the car as if YOU were buying it; if it doesn’t motivate you, it won’t motivate anyone else, either. And last of all, don’t get greedy.

      Hope this works.

  26. Blindmarc

    Any used car I bought, I bought to drive. And I never ever got the money out of it that I had spent. Whether it was a daily driver or a restore that I drove regularly. I guess I saw too many of my dads friends that owned used car lots rip people off.

    • Jason Houston

      Interesting experiences.

      I’ve bought more than a thousand cars since I was 14 and only TWICE bought from a dealer – and that was when he didn’t know what he had.

      Car dealers’ blood runs colder than ice water.

  27. hhaleblian

    I have two basic rules on flips but more importantly in my retail flooring biz of 29 years. Profit is in how well you buy and pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. If you brake even it’s a push. No harm no foul and you hopeful learned a few things. Now, I bought a squareback slush box for my daughter when she turned 16. She hated it. Something always wrong is a big thing when one doesn’t give a sh** about a cool ride. By luck the previous seller had sellers remorse, bought it back for the sell price. Of course I had dumped $3g’s into a tranny and electrical. I darn near kissed all his cheeks when he gave me the check.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      “I darn near kissed all his cheeks when he gave me the check.”

      LOL, great line!

  28. Doug Towsley

    Dave Wright & Bobs my Uncle are both spot on here. My problem when i used to do this for a living running a shop was I was always trying to treat everybody like a friend and the “Good buddy” deal and the terms buy low and sell high come to mind.
    VWs are HUGELY popular, not so much in Idaho unless selling to a California transplant or a GI. Take that same car to Portland, Seattle or better even to California and you have a huge demand and lots of buyers.
    Now, I have owned cars such as several Datsuns and Nissans I got tons of mileage out of, cheap to repair & Maintain, my Sentra I bought for $300, put 140,000 miles on it, and sold it for $400 with a blown head gasket. My cost per mile was so low someone owes ME money. But i didnt buy it to resell. It was cheap transpo. end of story.
    Let me give you some advice I think you guys sorely need. Feel free to ignore it. But You can either shorten the learning curve by getting advice from those who have “Been there, Done that” -OR-
    You can learn the hard way for the next 10 years or so. Maybe you might feel thats harsh, but you need to hear it.

    Check out this guy here: http://automaniagp.com/Home.html This guy KNOWS his stuff! Cars and Bikes and very successful. Maybe not the exact same vehicles you had in mind but the business model here has a LOT you can learn from. Note he is in a remote part of Oregon far from major metro centers such as Portland or Bay Area. Yet he does quite well for himself and has for some time. Dont just look at his website. Contact him. (Or someone like him) Take a trip to go check out his operation.Make an appointment. PAY HIM a Couple hundred dollars for his time. Take him out to Dinner,. Pick his brain. Be nice and above all LISTEN, Be respectful and ASK for his advice and input. The return on your time and money spent will be returned 100x over in short order. I Have done similar consulting work, used to be easily bought for a few beers and dinner. I started charging for my experience and knowledge.
    Everyone who paid me got an excellent return on their investment for my hard earned knowledge gained over decades of mistakes and learning curve.
    I know other guys who do similar consulting in Engineering,. Manufacturing, Sales, etc. Best of luck with your venture, Its what you put into your venture is what you will get out of it. The Quality and Quantity is entirely of your choosing. YRMV

    • Jason Houston

      Your excellent advice is both accurate and timely. If they don’t take it, it’s their shortcoming. Car people can be as stubborn as an old mule and often prefer to learn from their own mistakes, rather than admit defeat and thank someone for the ‘heads up’. I know cuz I, too, have “been there, done that” and watched people lose their as… I mean shorts.

      • Doug Towsley

        Well thank you Jason,. Thats actually really nice. I take back half the bad things i have said about you :) No, I actually mean that. Thanks! I am very thankful for all the help and generosity of people who have helped me even when I dont think I thanked them enough or when i should have. Sometimes its much later when we finally figure out the value of what someone did for us.
        Best we can do is try to give back. And remember that when things dont go right. Have a good night all.

  29. Jason Houston


    Well, I wasn’t counting, so I probably don’t remember them. I jus’ calls ’em as I sees ’em.

    That’s OK – all’s well that ends well!

  30. Tom Driscoll

    Your 1st mistake was to tout the heater drawbacks…any VW buyer knows of the heater issues and when marketing you want to accentuate the positives and be up front but not embellishing the negatives. Also, any good flipper sticks with his comfort zone (needs to be learned), know your product and know your market takes a lot of the mystery out of the equation.

    • Jason Houston

      May I politely disagree? Touting the negatives is really a “less is more” benefit. If I’m selling a collector car to a fellow hobbyist who is at least as familiar with the car as I am, I find that pointing out the obvious drawbacks pays dividends in trust and goodwill. And above all else, it removes any suspicion I’m going to lay some lies out in front of him to fall over. Just assuming the buyer knows all the pitfalls usually backfires. At least it has always worked for me.

  31. piper62j

    I have always bought and sold the cars as close to stock as possible.. Learned the hard way that the pool of buyers is small for any customization done to a car.

    I put aftermarket aluminum wheels on a Pinto and the buyer asked me if they could be removed so the price would come down.. I put stock steel wheels back on it and sold it. Go figure.. Then, I couldn’t get rid of the wheels at that time..

    • Jason Houston

      Valuable learning experiences for the Big Goofy Wheels crowd. Thanks for sharing. And, yes, I’ve had the same experiences trying to sell cars that have been hopelessly worked over to one’s personal whimsy. They lose interest, then wonder why no one will pay their Fantasyland price. Craigslist is crawling with these poor souls.

  32. Doug Towsley

    Again, I am just expressing my opinion here and feel free to disregard. But I will just say I always find Fluff and Buff flippers annoying. I wont say I have never done it and in some cases, dont mess with a good thing if thats what the situ calls for. Clean it up, tweak it a little and pass it on and let someone else assume the dream.
    HOWEVER, Thats what the majority of flippers are doing, from the experienced to the aspiring ones who watch too much TV and want to get into the business. What I like to see is when someone brings value into the equation. Someone else here went into that topic as well. So, despite the stock is BEST mantras, it isnt always. Very true you need to tread carefully with a custom. It does limit the field and you also have to know what appeals to people and where the market is going. Just look at all those Garish Harleys with fat rear tires and Indian Billy Bourget American Tuttle Choppers. Cant give those things away now. But what I am talking about as well is consider something very cool but slightly out of the box. You can chase the market trends or create your own. So, Rat rods and certain types of customs will always be popular if done right and in many cases its a vehicle that was NEVER going to see the road again restored anyway.
    So I submitted this one just a bit ago, Not sure it will see the light of day as occasionally they use my suggestions but rarely. But this one is super cool and germaine to the discussion. More importantly its located NOT FAR from BFHQ. This was spotted by my friend in Florida who finds a LOT of vehicles up in my area, maybe The BF guys should hire Aron to pick their cars for them. From the Shed List board.

    See: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Chevrolet-Other-/121891286322?forcerrptr=true&hash=item1c61496d32:g:wlAAAOSwQYZWvATW&item=121891286322

    Dont know the reserve or what he thinks he can get out of it. But this is one cool custom. If the price is right and willing to do some work, you can have a very cool custom. Need help finding parts? Picking components? Put it up as a discussion piece and you can have a good idea of the right direction to go in to maximize market appeal. I sent in my suggestions with the submission but thats just me. Aron spots a LOT of really vehicles up here. Oregon, Washington and Idaho has some great project materials. I drove up to Boise to buy my current kit car project so dont rule out a little driving for the right project

  33. Dave Wright

    Anyone in the hobby or trade needs a truck and trailer as basic tools. I have at least 300,000 miles on my equipment/car trailer since I bought this one 5 years ago.

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