Techno-Classica or, “maid in germany”

International travel is grueling. Nine hours, middle seat cramped, New Jersey-to-Lisbon, adjacent to a 300 lb. lady, a municipal landfill-in-waiting, who oozed garlic with every belch. A prayer to the Saint of Cabin Decompression, to allow the blessed oxygen mask drop from the ceiling, is lost in the din of ‘cockpit announcements’, all in Portuguese.

The TSA checkpoint exam, 3 second x-ray, one minute pat-down with a frown, assures traveler security. Never mind the tickling sensation during the upward pat, serving as a reminder of an annual upcoming prostate exam. The officer has the humor quotient of a fruit fly, does not offer to Mirandize me, nor, next in line, breathalyze Madam Newark.

This prelude, a welcome and highly anticipated bucket list event, with 16 fellow enthusiasts, also recently fondled by strangers, to a week of classic German cars.

Ahhh, Germany, the land of long words…where geschirrruckgabetablette = café tray.

Personal privacy, (and HIIPA regulations) will not allow me to divulge any or all information, including, but not limited to; names of fellow travelers, social security numbers, gender, prior felony arrests, outstanding traffic warrants, or bank transfer codes.

All of which I gathered, surreptitiously in just seven days….except for two hoosier attendees;

  • In the despised category , “one on every tour”, the inconsiderate oversleeper who kept an entire bus delayed at the very first outing.
  • A lady who, gaining unwanted attention, tripped on a guardrail while attempting a closer view of Hitler’s very own, 770K Grosser. Although the open air limo was armor plated with bulletproof glass, her shin was not. She survived the encounter, after the loss of blood; an attractive shade of wine, and bruises of silver blue. Reminiscent of Indiana, 1966.

For seven days, an amorphous mass, we moved together, clear bubbles in a mountain stream of minnows doing what else….?….looking at used cars. Okay, expensive used cars, but others will provide details and photographic evidence.

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I found myself intrigued by the German people who, as you may know, speak a foreign language, nearly all wear black, and adhere to a national policy to smile less than twice weekly. The HQ receptionist at AMG, Claudia Barnickle, true to the code, when I requested a happy face. DSCN4706

Even this miniature fraulette, a five y/o fashion statement, awaiting the funicular ride to the scenic panorama of old Heidelberg who was whisked away, “Komm jetzt Süßer, der mann mag ein raubtiersein”, roughly, ‘come child, the man may be a predator’.

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At a critical juncture, our bus driving genius, Fabio, a chain smoking Italian, facilitating a more convenient drop off for his affluent passengers, elected to ignore this sign : keine Busse erlaubt. You know it; black circle, diagonal red stripe, aged Prevost shadow in the background.

Alas, this was not Fabio’s day. An attractive gendarme verbally scolded the diesel interloper, wrote a costly citation, and warned him of impending loss of manhood. My 1:06 minute, you-tube video of the encounter was confiscated as it required parental guidance for anyone under the age of eighty. Fabio, smoking an Italian Marlboro, gagged as if he was gargling fish hooks.

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The only remnant; photo/name badge of the arresting officer, Katrin Braun

An industrious Germany is reflected in its architecture; austere, lifeless, utilitarian, a mix of glass, steel, corrugated zinc siding……the personality of a section-8 Moscow housing complex. They do, however, make some beautiful cars, so why dress a courtyard with polished aluminum, dancing skateboarders ?  Four stories high ?

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The employment rate @ 97%, allows the unemployed to practice full-time graffiti art, which is everywhere. My suspicion, those 3% , at night, armed with Krylon® rattle cans in search of blank spaces, are working daytime for under-the-table cash in tattoo parlors.

And the maiden, you might ask…?… an attractive, on-duty nurse, seated in an aging MB ambulance in the Essen exhibition hall. She too, stoic, cool, non-talkative, had only a recorded voice. Lacking fluency in German, I was certain she wished to introduce me to her ride-flat sister, who was no doubt, inflatable.

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On the inskirts of Stuttgart we passed the “Oh Lord, Car Lot”, all used Mercedes. A curious name, unless you were alive in1970, and listened to the final recording of Janis Joplin, 3 days before her death.   Even though JJ drove a Porsche 356, her estate is likely receiving royalties from Daimler Benz.

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Guess the manufacturer’s paint code number ?

Do not be misled. We were treated as visiting royalty at every venue. The coffee was served in dainty cups, like those from a child’s dollhouse, and quite tasty, although refills were measured with an eyedropper ( sir, one dropperful or two ?) At the center of excellence the luncheon was exquisite. The dessert, marinated berries, spelt stones and mango sorbet, yet nearly unnoticed, and untouched, tiered silver trays with the most delicious chocolates. Ever.

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In contrast, a Techno parts vendor offered a version of pecan pie. Attractive, but 19 mm nuts fail to challenge French chocolates.

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A brief visit in the kitchen with the chef to compliment him on the chocolate selection, his whispered confession, ‘they are not German, but La Maison du Chocolat®, from Paris.’ Full disclosure; in an effort to gain weight, this visitor consumed at least three cognac, and three caramel toffee truffles. While no one was looking.

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If you questioned who was tardy to the bus, day one, please repeat this sentence, the only phrase learned all week; “Enschreitenblatten schalteniedlich verkehrsgesellschaft ? “

Loosely translated….”you don’t say ?”

 

©insightout2018

Ba Tster II, numbers crunched

Fair warning : the following is of no interest to the above-average intellectual, provided you are not a car buff.

If the primary concern is the date your car lease expires, please, push #9, then, press end this call, and return to your comfort zone.  There is no room in this cave for the 13 BaTsters left who enjoy our favorite website, today, and every day.

The author, ⬇, 1952

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Having first reported early returns (April/May 2017), below is the compilation, 8+ weeks or ⅙ of a year, extending 4Sept2017 thru 3Nov2017.  Weekly transactions have doubled, as normal daily activity has ➹ 100+ units on a rolling average.

Now, for the math (please, the writer is neither an actuary nor CPA, but once played a doctor on closed-circuit TV), as seen on today’s big screen ⬇

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Utilizing his handy Keuffel & Esser 5″ Deci-Lon pocket slide rule.

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The Results:
784 vehicles were auctioned.

*********************************************

580 sold (74%)                           total   $13,321,433        

Avg. sale price  $22,967.99

*********************************************

204 RNM*, no sales (26%)      total    $ 6,173,861        

Avg. no sale      $30,264.03

*********************************************

Unaccountable, a method to determine how many cars with *reserve not met may have been sold offline when BaT administrators allowed sellers and high bidders the option of negotiation. That would no doubt skewer the data above.  But not by much.

The reserve not met $$ number may indicate sellers who;

  • willing to take 100+ photos, provide a description, a week of addressing the flock’s questions, and walk away with a true market appraisal for only $99.  Cheap shot.
  • have an unrealistic reserve based on their “investment” in the vehicle.
  • for the top bid, realize the car is worth keeping, in their own garage vs. a regrettable fire sale.

Extrapolation of the 60 day numbers, multiplied by 6, would yield 3,480 units sold, per annum, and a total $$ sales of $ 79,928,598, a stunning, but clearly achievable target. Numbers that would be comparable to, or even dwarf in some instances, the SCM style bar graph of most middle tier auction venues, e.g., Leake, Mecum, Russo&Steele, Coy’s, Silverstone, B-J, Worldwide, Auctions America.

Final note for this bi-monthly calculation;

Top sales realized;

  1. 2002 BMW Z8                               $181,050
  2. 2012 MB SLS/Amg                       $146,000
  3. 2006 Aston Martin Vanquish    $132,500

Low sales;

  1. 1979 Ford TBird                           $1,809
  2. 1980 Honda CT110 (bike)          $2,350
  3. 1979 Alfa Alfetta project             $2,600

Reserve not met, high;

  1. 2003 BMW Z8                               $255,000
  2. 1955 Alfa Berlinetta                      $210,000
  3. 2008 AL bodied Shelby Cobra   $140,000

Reserve not met, low;

  1. 1980 Plymouth Champion           $2,500
  2. 1939 Fiat Balilla project                $2,600
  3. hmmm…really, who cares

The ratio of private party : dealer sales was not calculated; takes too much time and I’ve run out of beer.  A guess, 60%/40%.  Shady dealers, often despised, will avoid this venue.  However, those with sunny disposition, fair business practice, and attractive inventory have to adore the maximum exposure, target audience, all for < a C-note.

Dealer participation appears on the rise.

Too, “no reserve” offerings have risen, particularly for more pedestrian and/or lower demand  collectibles….courtesy of website administrators anxious to maintain freshness and variety at all levels of interest.

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Not redeemable for Hilton Honors points, or preferred parking at the Hampton Inn ®.

This will be the last entry from Captain Crunch, in re, Bring a Trailer, barring any dramatic changes, i.e., a Nasdaq IPO, outright sale to a major auction format, or Jeff Bezos’ intent on world domination by offering $1B for the Ba T platform.

We now return to the classroom to calculate the date a BMW Z8 will surpass the BMW 507 in value.

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Consensus……0828 hrs GMT, 14Aug2154

©insightout2017

Any dissemination, copying, or disclosure of this communication is fair game. If you received this communication in error, (a) willingly take a flying leap, (b) notify sender @ (630) 986-POOP, actual cell #, (c) destroy the original message.  Full disclosure: the author has no ownership and/or financial interest/currency in any business entity listed herein. Any resemblance to person/persons, living or deceased, is not coincidental.

 

On being a Ba T ster *

For most Ba T sters,  arithmetic preceded interest in cars. Taking a journalist’s view, Math 101, herein is a modest introduction to a favored website, BringATrailer.com . The web identity tacitly implies that described vehicles may be ‘projects’, however that element applies to a minor %age.  The logo is hardly subtle.

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* Minimal background noise; the genesis, Jan2007, CA, ‘gearhead’ Randy Nonnenberg and  colleague, Gentry Underwood, via Texas, the UK, and now CA, shared a common interest in unusual vehicles offered for sale, foreign and domestic.  They began to share the addictive passion online, an itching Lyme Rock virus, slow growing.

Knowledgeable, self-assured, neither would ever order french toast in a German restaurant.

Nonnenberg ⬇,  Underwood ➘

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Noted writer, Rob Sass, seen in his 911, described Ba T in detail, Autoweek, Nov2015. ⬇ His must-read, best seller, “Ran When Parked”, will no doubt lead to a sequel, “Needs a Recharge”.

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Fast forward one decade, Ba T has morphed into a seismic game-changer for auctioning interesting, ‘cool’ collectible cars.

Of note, the past 30 days activity; ~late April-May 20, 2017

  • Rolling average # of daily offerings       50.31
  • total # lots offered,                                    337
  • total # sold                                                  253 (75.07% sellthru)
  • total # reserve not met                             84 (24.93%)
  • total $$, sales                              $6,545,401.00
  • average $ price/vehicle sold           $25,871.15

 

Marketing autos may be arbitrarily divided;

Tier 1   (high end auction venues)

RM Sotheby

Gooding & Co

Bonham

******************

Tier 2    (cattle calls)

Barrett Jackson

Leake

Mecum

Russo & Steele

Auction America (RMS subsidiary) 

Hey, you paid too much, but we’re on TV !

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Tier 3     (low end)

eBay

Hemmings (refined pulp)

Craigslist

Autotrader (pulp)

Local daily newspaper classifieds

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Tier 4     (slim to zero, overdone glam rags)

DuPont Registry

Robb Report

Prior to Ba T, a vacuum existed between tier 2 and 3.  No longer applicable, as Ba T, by simple extrapolation (multiply the figures above x 12) is a threat to all four tier’s vulnerability;

  • unbiased descriptions
  • thorough commentary by the Ba T community

Fair warning: i.e., on occasion, clumsy, clever, clairvoyant, clueless, cliquish, classic, clarifying, clinical, often challenging both spelling and grammar, but always entertaining…..pure fun, free, at your own desk, functioning mute and delete keys at the ready.

    • no tent rental, glossy ads & catalogues, lanyards, gasbag auctioneers, frantic floormen waving hankies, biker dudes with white gloves pushing cars on/off stage, EtOH-infused bidders & bimbos, klieg lights, unbuttoned velocity channel ‘stars’, clad in Peter Pan bling.  557a08a7ebca2.image

“If I overbid, you get that tattoo I promised”

  • professional site management; realistic and reasonable fee structure, real time finish, zero snipe or shill bidding.

A well-written critique of the live auction experience can be viewed here, writer unknown. Lengthy, however it encompasses parallel results, voiced by many sellers.

                      Auctionmania Circus  ⬇

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;

Full disclosure: the author has no ownership and/or financial interest/currency in any business entity listed herein.  Any resemblance to person/persons, living or deceased, is not coincidental.

 

©insightout2017