After coming off a successful year helping people sell their classic or vintage car(s), I thought it would be fun, and possibly interesting to others to write about some of the experiences through my life with cars and as an ‘Auto Broker’.

Initially, I would like to give some background and how this business started, and cars became my passion.  Much of the credit for my love of muscle cars came from my older brother, (by 13 years), Kip, whose knowledge and appreciation for high performance cars made an imprint on my brain, at the early age of 6. The year was 1964 and the three of us, Dad, Kip, and me, went to Capitol Raceway in Crofton, MD.  There, we watched Kip drag race his friend’s 1963 390 cubic inch, 4-speed Mercury wagon (which Kip modified), race a black 1962 Dodge Dart 2 door sedan.  Off the line Kip had him beat, but he missed third gear and couldn’t recover fast enough to win the race. I can still remember the expression disgust on Kip’s face as he came down the return road and only acknowledging us in the stands with a raise of his pointing finger and pinky from the steering wheel.

From that point on my interest in Drag Racing and any type of high-performance cars would grab my attention.

It wasn’t until Kip was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in late 1968 and started working at a local garage, that my interest in cars and drag racing was re-ignited in a big way.  He would take me to the local ‘Burger joint’ or ‘Hang out’ for gearheads where I could see first-hand the “new” 1969 Road Runner’s or Camaro Z/28’s.  I quickly learned how to identify the differences in engines whether it was a Chevrolet small block vs a big block; Chrysler 426 hemi vs a 440; and of course, a Ford 302 vs a 390 or 428 cubic inch engine.  Although many of you who are reading this think this is very basic stuff, remember, I was 11 y.o. and these cars were new to the car scene.

Then in 1970 I was re-introduced to Drag Racing, once again, at Capitol Raceway.  And this time we went almost every weekend to see such famous racers like Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, Ronnie Sox of Sox & Martin, “Dandy” Dick Landy, ‘Fast’ Eddie Schartman, Wayne Gapp of Gapp & Roush, and ‘Dyno’ Don Nickelson.  These were the top drivers of a new class of drag racing called “Pro Stock”.  Basically, they were driving ‘new’ model Dodge Challenger’s, Plymouth Barracuda’s, Ford Maverick’s, and Chevrolet Camaro’s with the biggest baddest cubic inch engine each manufacturer made.  I remember seeing my first Single Over Head Cam (SOHC) 427 Ford “Cammer” in Dyno Don’s Maverick…it was awesome!!

Besides the Pro Stock category the ‘Funny Car’ class was really starting to take off and the toy manufacturer Mattel capitalized on the booming trend with the introduction of “Hot Wheels” and in 1970 backed Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen with match races at different drag strips across the country. I remember my Mother telling me how she literally ‘fought’ (pushing and shoving) with other Mother’s to get the “Snake vs Mongoose” Hot Wheels Drag Race set at the local toy store called “The Toy Barn”…..WOW, was it that long ago??!!

Anyway, all through Elementary, Junior High, and High School I would hang around my brother and his friends at these local cruise spots and see all these modified 60’s and 70’s American Muscle cars driving and racing on the street.  I even learned to drive, (at the age of 14), on Kip’s new 1972 Dodge Demon 340……It was slightly modified and Kip had established a name for himself as a ‘super’ tuner guy with the area racing set and people would come from all over the Baltimore area to have him re-curve their distributor or ‘blueprint’ the carburetor to get that little extra edge when racing stoplight to stoplight.  I even got to drive his Demon 340 to school….it was like taking the….” fastest car in the valley” (as Terry “The Toad” said in American Graffiti) …… because no one in school could beat it.

I will never forget the night I was out by myself in the Demon and I stoplight raced another guy in a yellow Plymouth Duster 340.  Just from listening to the Duster’s exhaust, it was evident that the car had a lot more modifications done to it than Kip’s Demon, but it was worth a try anyway…..we started at a 30 mph roll and raced about a ¼ mile.  He got me by half of a hood length….

That was on a Saturday night, Monday evening at dinner with our parents, Kip blurts out “I understand you raced Kenny Young with the Demon Saturday night”.  I was speechless.  Our Dad was so furious about me racing that he did not realize what he was even saying…. And he yelled “If you don’t tell me you were racing Saturday night, I am going to take your license”.  I quickly thought, “did you just say what I think you said….so if I admit to having raced than you won’t take my license, right.”  So, I said yes, I did race Kenny Young, so you can’t take my license.  Our Dad was tongue tied and as red as a tomato.  I didn’t lose my license either.  Later that evening Kip told me how disappointed this guy Kenny was because he had so much money tied up in the car and he could only beat me by half a hood length.  That Monday, Kenny came in to have Kip tune the car.  Isn’t that ironic..

To just touch on some hi-lights in my life dealing with cars….I worked at the legendary York U.S. 30 Drag-a-way the last few years it was open as a tech inspector.  Once again, alongside Kip.

My Brother also built, or should I say rebuilt 4 classic muscle/show cars for me.  The last being a 1964 Ford Thunderbolt (tribute) which, after I sold it, was re-sold at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale AZ.  It was fun watching the car on national television roll across the stage and listen to the announcer describe the extent of detail that went into building an exact replica of Drag racing history.  Even having the Ford Motor Company disclaimer on the window stating that the car was not built to the FoMoCo quality standards due to various lightweight parts being used and that the car was not meant for street use.

Exactly how my business plan evolved to what it is today? It started while going through a very difficult time in my life when I lost everything.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  At the age of 50 I had to choose whether to continue with a career where I would not see much of my children nor remain an integral part of their life or reinvent myself and still give them the love and support they would need through some of the critical years in their life.

I chose the latter and began a small company which helped people, in their later years, rid themselves of all the “stuff” which had accumulated in their home while raising a family.  I would schedule an appointment to come into their home and review their collectables, estimate their value, and then list them on Ebay.  My fee was a percentage of the sale price.

Everything started to come together with new clients and hiring employees, until I received a phone call from my financial backer who suddenly came under some health issues and the company had to close their doors.  What did come out of the experience was the successful sales of several classic automobiles which sold quickly and without the buyer coming to look at them.  The profit wasn’t bad either.  This is how the idea of helping people sell cars online developed.

You see, I had been attending local car shows and cruise events for decades, and for some reason, during the past 15 years, I paid particular attention to the age of the owners and spectators of these events.  Most of them were in their early 70’s, as was my Brother.

These were people who grew up either owning or wishing they could own one of these fine pieces of American Muscle Car history, but back when the cars were new, they couldn’t afford them or just thought of the cars as general transportation.  Now they had the money and could relive their ‘childhood’ again by owning the car of their dreams.

The situation which I saw developing after owning these cars for 5 or 10 years was the fun and enjoyment of driving them started to wane.  So, they just sat in the garage getting in the way and collecting dust.  Additionally, the owners were getting to the point where they could no longer drive the car because physically it was too much of a challenge for them.  After all, many of these cars did not have power steering or power brakes.

Now that the decision was made to sell the car, how do we advertise it?  The days of listing a “classic” car for sale in the local paper or putting a ‘For Sale’ sign in the window while driving around town have quickly disappeared with the evolution of social media and the internet.

This is where my years of experience dealing with retired couples and hanging around my Brother’s ‘gear head’ friends paid off.  Most of these ‘Gray Haired’ owners of classic cars did not grow up using a computer or cellphone and didn’t care if they ever learned how they worked.  Additionally, most people do not want to deal with the phone calls, ‘tire kicker’s’ and possible internet “scams”.  They just want the car sold.

I am now going into my 12th year of helping people sell their classic, vintage, or exotic cars using the internet and without the vehicle leaving the owner’s garage.  All the marketing, talking with prospects, answering emails, collecting the money and filtering out the ‘scam’ artists are handled by me.  My clients do absolutely nothing and the only person they talk to is me.  Once the car is sold, I hand them their check and they wait for my phone call as to when the transporter will be there to pick it up.

The majority of my clientele say they would never buy a car ‘sight unseen’ or just by looking at a few pictures on the internet.  Well, we are now in the age of instant gratification and buying everything on the internet with a ‘click’ of the mouse.  If you ask most people who own a collectable car where they go to look at cars like theirs, which are for sale, their first answer is Ebay.

Of all the online auto auction sites Ebay seems to generate the most worldwide interest for a car in the shortest period of time.

Why do they buy the cars from me?  Several reasons, the first being clear photos and a video showing the car driving and idling.  Next would be my rating of between 98%-99% on Ebay.  This is not just for selling odds and ends from the attic, but specifically automobiles.  I also use my website to verify my track record.  People trust what I tell them on the phone and see in the pictures & video. The more than 400 satisfied customers is proof.

With my blog I plan to share some of the more interesting stories and experiences selling on Ebay, dealing with various owners and buyers from around the world who have purchased cars through me.  Additionally, I will share some of the technical snags which I have encountered when dealing with “older” vehicles.  Feel free to call or email me with your thoughts and questions.

Thank you for reading