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

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

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  No longer applicable, as Ba T, by simple extrapolation (multiply the figures above x 12) is a threat to all four tier’s vulnerability;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

“Pat, I’d like to solve”

Dateline:  Tucson, AZ, 12Feb2017

Paqui Indian Reservation, Casino del Sol

 

February, dreary, overcast days, often stormy, is, by cosmic design, the shortest month.  However, tucked between Valentine’s Day to the left and President’s Day to the right is the birthday of the most attractive national icon.

Dressed in a lemon chiffon gown, pacing 15′ of runway, nightly, between the evening news and unrealistic network fare, yes….it’s Scott Pelley.

Of course, only a rumor, but if you guessed Tiger Woods or Rosie O’Donnell, strike three, you have landed on ‘lose a turn’.  Devout wheel watchers know that Feb. 18, 2017, is the 60th birthday of the beloved Vanna White.

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With the remote click → ABC’s  KGUN, Tucson, AZ, popular anchor and professional photographer, Guy Atchley, directs viewer attention to the Wheelmobile, the Casino Del Sol amphitheater, and your chance to become a contestant on America’s favorite game show.  Why not ?

Sooo, several thousand hopefuls show up, vieing for the opportunity to ‘audition’ on stage, be interviewed, and participate in puzzle solving.  Few, however, are chosen, as names are drawn from the golden drum, a lottery like device without ping-pong balls.  Odds on being selected, ~ 1 in 50.DSCN3708

The atmosphere is electric.  Hopefuls arrive, some in costume, carrying signs.  Loudspeakers blast away the Isley Brothers, “Shout”, women dance on the stairs, the emcee works the crowd into revival tent frenzy.  Gospel, rock, camera, lights, resort vacations, cruises, a chance to win one million $, oh the humanity.

By divine intervention, I am the 8th name drawn.

Entering stage right, 1st, sign the release statement, 2nd, pose for an official photo, 3rd, be seated and take instruction on behavior from the staff sargeant (Justin Timberlake look-a-like). DSCN3714

Justin, a Wheel employee, moves in on a KGUN staff member, no papparazzi, please.

If you’ve ever been arrested and booked, this is similar, however contestants are not allowed the one phone call.  Seems fair enough, as there is no fingerprinting, polygraph, or urine sample required….let’s party.

The ‘faux’ Vanna is a lovely young woman, ⅓ the age of the real article, adept at printing letters, but may have partied last night.DSCN3719

Our team solves the puzzle, the prize wheel is spun, and five of us win the big surprise, a Wheel of Fortune exercise bag, containing;

  • baseball cap
  • tee shirt
  • key fob
  • lapel pin
  • bookmarks

Who is reading books…?…. this is delerium.  Halleluia, Sister Vanna.  Will any of us be selected to appear on the show ?  Not so fast.  A few, perhaps, but only if invited to the next level audition in a month.  Pre-requisite vetting, background check, and signing a non-disclosure agreement may be on tap, all of which narrow this writer’s chance to zero.DSCN3724

Finally, when asked to pose with a two dimensional Vanna, a quick blast of desert air forces her to assault my hand in an inappropriate advance, a cardboard calamity.  Under advice from legal counsel, I’ve been advised to sue for damages; emotional anguish, sexual battery.  

120 volts of embarrassment.

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Naturally, as a compassionate soul, the charges will be dismissed should I be selected to appear, live, on the Sony Pictures, Hollywood stage set.

Later, after sibling counseling and 0.5 mgm Xanax®, my brother and his wife prep the family pet, Foxy, to exhibit the day’s bounty.  None of which will be seen on Animal Planet© or eBay©.

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Foxy, a professional actor, received compensation for this appearance..

Will my bucket list be fulfilled…meeting Vanna in person ?

Will Sony be willing to settle amicably, out of court ?
Stay tuned……….

and Happy Six-Oh, Vanna

 

References to Sony Pictures©, Wheel of Fortune©, courtesy of Merv Griffin Enterprises©, all rights reserved

©insightout2017

 

Little Roadhouse on the Prairie

Bid a fond adieu to Chicago’s urban torture. The GX460, packed with four months of clothes + Mrs. Wilson in her pet taxi, heads west for an overnight in St. Joseph, MO.

 

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Tempting visits, boyhood home of Walt Disney, Marceline, MO., or the Pony Express’ original station,where recruits are Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred , ruled out both Mrs. Wilson & this driver.  Although an orphan, under eighteen, Wilson is neither a fellow nor an expert rider.

Both stops are passed over for the more intriguing, Glore Psychiatric Museum, which was once featured on the Science Channel.  The exhibits are thought provoking, embarrassing, and unfit for children under 30, i.e., they violate current HIPAA standards of privacy. Force-feeding Thorazine, Mellaril, and lithium carbonate was marginally effective, unless rendering a patient comatose was the intended outcome. Mental health treatment moves slower than a cold snail, although lithium ion batteries have found a place in motivating fast electric cars.

Tesla’s 9 feet of not linoleum, but ‘lithonium’ flooring

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Off the interstate grid to avoid Kansas City, a town that nauseates two states, we head to KS route 177, the Flint Hills Scenic Byway. I can recall my mother and her two sisters, after their husbands returned from war, singing in unison with Judy Garland, “The Atchison, Topeka, & the Santé Fe”.

Atchison is over the next horizon.

Council Grove, KS

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Luring the weary travelers, eighty miles of the Tall Grass Prairie National Preserve, near zero traffic in either direction, few ghastly billboards, and neither wind farms nor immense feed lots to fulfill the national appetite for fossil-free fuel and Big Macs.

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Writing is as simple as moving a paintbrush; the landscape becomes the canvas.

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Mesmerized by the stark loneliness massaging the satellite radio; my favorite station, Canadian folk ballads from Quebec, all in French. Nothing is more intoxicating than a buttery voiced tenor whispering her lyric ‘Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong’…..

Les routes de campagne, ramenez-moi à la maison

À l’endroit où j’appartiens

while accompanied by a guttural, male bass softly challenging with ‘West Virginia, mountain momma, take me home’…..

Virginie-Occidentale, maman de montagne

Emmenez-moi à la maison, les routes de campagne

In the distance, the civil twilight slips below the horizon and a low, grey overcast sky forms the shape of a discarded mattress. Only the distant profile of an abandoned farm, a rusted oil pump long since dormant, cushion the prairie from the sky. The creases and folds, the color, evoke a distant memory of a 2 story, small town hotel; Ford City, PA, 1958.

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On alert from a perch atop a bare, black oak, a red tailed hawk swoops, talons in a death grip, the right on the throat, the left to the gut of an infant rabbit, today’s luncheon. What a chef might describe as ‘bêbe lapin ala sushi’, much like the blabbering Wolf of CNN describing Donald & Hillary in his Situation Kitchen. Real or imagined, nature, as always, a metaphor of life.  images

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The muse continues on 177, a right-hand turn away from not one, but two, Austin-Healey bugeye sprites ~ 1959, and a 1940 Ford business coupe. What are the odds…?…about equal to spotting Elvis in the Strong City, KS grocery.

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dscn3644The late John Denver was unsurpassed with his version of “Rocky Mountain High”, but I still prefer the French to ‘take me home’.

Inspired by Ken Burn’s epic, the Dustbowl, which brought drought, dust, disease and death for nearly a decade, our next stop, the No Man’s Land Museum, Goodwell, Oklahoma.

But first we have to cross the bridge over Contrary Creek (true), on a road called Middle of the Road (also true) where only the cows come home.dscn3657

 

Mrs. Wilson, in the spirit of the season, wishes you a reasonably enjoyable holiday, in spite of the world’s ills.

_dsc4235©insightout2016