I don't know about the article, but exactly 1yr ago I bought a 70 conv (sort of) long distance (I'm in OK and the car was in OH). I found it in the ads here, called, emailed, ask millions of questions, got pictures and description in writing. I told the guy I was driving up there with a check and if it wasn't as represented, I would leave with the check. As it turned out, by my opinion, the car was 95-98% as described. It was so close that I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for his opinion. So I bought it, SPECIFICALLY because it had what was manditory, 4sp and factory air. It was a Malibu, not an SS BB, and that was what I wanted. I have done/added the things that I wanted and am very happy with the car.
All I can say is, ASK QUESTIONS, ASK QUESTIONS, ASK QUESTIONS, get pics and description in writing (signed). If the guy won't oblige you, then chances are good he is not telling you all the facts, and you don't want that car. If I placed a car ad here, you would get a description of EVERY flaw, chip, scratch and ding along with all the good points.
I have not yet developed the computer expertise to attach or email attachments or pictures, but some people can. If a person can send you very close up pictures of specific areas, that should help you to make a decision.
Actually, I think you could be referring to a little info I put together almost 4 years ago for my original homepage! It's a bit tacky (ok, really tacky) but I've been told it helped some guys out so have left it in the resto shop. http://www.chevelles.com/shop/buying.html
that's a guess, if there is no 'edited by' beneath this then it worked.
I bought my 66ss hardtop in Alabama, drove from NY down there to get it! Just had a but to get a rust free car, found it in the auto trader, and drove down. Luckily, the car was as stated, this was 12 years ago and I was much more nieve! Now I would want many pictures and descriptions, and just remember a junker can look pretty good on a picture.
A friend of mine was selling his car long distance. When stuff got serious, he took a video and specifically pointed out the cars' flaws on videoand mailed it to the buyer. I thought that was pretty fair and I would suggest you request the same if you get real serious.
Visit car shows. Get right up close and look. An average car will look kind of shabby next to the show cars and will sell actually pretty reasonable sometimes. Always remember a car I looked at years ago, the ad said "no rust." Went to look and car had about 400 lbs of bondo in it. Guy said, "hey, you see any rust?" Had a point I guess. Buyer beware for sure! tom
Oops..Don't take everything the seller tells you @ face value...he is after all trying to sell. Put yourself in his shoes; of course you are gonna minimize the little problems here and there. Be sure to ask questions that will bring out details. Don't ask stuff that take a yes or no answer. See if there is a Team Chevelle member that lives nearby to the car if it is long distance (and who you trust enough that they won't scoop the car). That person might save you the cost of an expensive trip to see a sh*tbox. I live in Mass and I was interested in a car in New Orleans. Luckily for me, Team Chevelle Moderator Skip Cain (now deceased) lived in the area and he blessed the car before I decided to go there. He also pointed out some of the shortcomings of the car before I went, so I was better able to bargain with the seller. Good luck with your search, all the trouble is worth it!!
All good advice. Remember also the expertise level of the seller. While looking, I drove a round trip of about 250 miles to look at a '70 that turned out to be in horrendous shape. It belonged to a college kid who had no idea it was in such bad shape, so his representation to me was innocently ignorant.
I would say the video is a good idea. I think anyone who puts their car up for sale on a national level (Hemmings, internet, whatever) would expect to go to some effort for long distance buyers. If they won't, then I would be highly suspect. If they don't want to go to that trouble for you, then what things on the car have they let slide as well?
Having said that, I didn't get a video when we bought ours! From Indiana to Utah and all I went on was two grainy photos. However, I talked with the owner a number of times over the phone and via email. He told me many details about the car and didn't hesitate to mention the rusted trunk. He offered the video, but I didn't press for it. He was negotiable on the price. He was patient (negotiations lasted a month or so). He was helpful (sent me I.D. info for parts on the car when I asked). And then, when I balked at the price for welding in the included floorpan, he went and got a buddy of his to do the work in his own front yard for less than half the price. It turned out to be a fantastic repair job. We are very happy witht the car and I think we got what we paid for.
My father sold his Metropolitan to a couple in Florida and he sent them a video of it when they requested one. Some sellers make these in advance, copy them, and offer them at a small price for anyone interested, with a refund available upon purchase.
Being in my line of work has an advantage. I can fly just about anywhere to look at a car before I decide to buy it. A co-worker/friend of mine is headed up to Indiana next week to check out a Gran National. Ironically, I found my 71 in central Oklahoma, about two hours away from my home in Fort Worth. But I went through that car with a fine tooth comb using tips from Al's not so tacky info. The guy couldn't believe how I was crawling on the ground underneath it and laying upside down in the trunk to inspect for rust.
But buying long distance will often involve burning some or all of your vacation time, so if you buy a car in another state, I would advise trailering it. Why? Imagine this; you're driving the car home, you've used almost all of your vacation time, you're still hundreds of miles from home and without warning, the car breaks down and dies. Plus, you'll often run across a car that has been stored for a long period of time and it just isn't ready for a long road trip.
I have been on both sides of this issue and there is one universal truth. The more forthcoming the seller is with details, the more comfort the buyer has. The degree of diligence that you spend on a transaction also depends on the materiality. For example, if I am going to buy a Chevelle that has disk brakes, 12 bolt posi and a tach dash, I would pay $500, sight-unseen.
I presume you mean you would pay $500. more, not $500. for the car! And I agree. When I went fron OKC to the Dayton, OH area to look at/buy a 70 conv, I feel I actually gave more than what the car was really worth, But it had what I required, 4sp and ac. And after I got down the road about 200mi, I was wishing for my trailer. It took 8qts oil to get back to OKC. At least I never went to sleep, I was so nervous about the engine blowing that I was wide awake all the way in anticipation of a failure.
Well as long as everyone is adding their experience, I will add mine. I've been on both ends with my 66. I live in PA and bought my car in Louisiana some years back. did everything said here, many detailed phone conversations, many pics. and of course without a doubt....the video. then went to see the car and it was even better than expected. This day & age everyone has or has access to, a video camera....if they won't send a detailed video, the car isn't worth the trip. Now I'm selling my '66 and have had numerous inquiry from all over. The first thing I do is figure out if the guy is just a voyer or real serious and if serious I tell em straight out that I have a very detailed video of my car including the undercarriage. I only ask that they send it back to me....all have done so and are making arrangements to see the car. It's still always going to be a gamble though.....good idea on having a fellow club member in the area check it out first if possible.
Actually what I meant was, I would commit to a $500 purchase without seeing the car if it had a 12 bolt posi, disk brakes and a tach dash ('70-72 implied). The parts value of those three items is worth more than the $500.
I sold my one of my '71 El Caminos to a guy in MA (I'm in TX) on the basis of a series of phone conversations and a video. He sent a cashier's check. When I told him the money arrived, he sent a transporter to pick it up. We were both satisfied.
When I bought my '70 SS convertible, I knew that I had to be prepared to bring it home. So I drove 5 hours with my trailer on the chance that I would buy the car. It kind of gives away your leverage in the transaction to show up with a trailer.
I'm in pursuit of another Chevelle right now. I'm sure it will be a long distance buy.
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