That's come a long way from our paintball days, but I bet when we got shot it hurt a lot more. That looks like it works via the honor system to determine if you've been "wounded", whereas we'd be covered in paint by the end of the day.
There's a case for buying via auctions. With only 3 exceptions, all the cars I've bought from auction houses (not counting repo auctions) have been roadworthy and have required only minimal attention to get them to where I'd like for them to be. On the other hand, with private sellers and dealers, we've had to really put in the extra work and money to get them up to spec, and sometimes even requiring complete tear-downs and rebuilds. I figured it out, and although I'm paying 22% more for a car from Mecum, for example, I'm paying half as much to restore it once it arrives. This breaks down to a wash in terms of money, but it backs my guys up having to do extensive work, keeping them from other projects. Old European cars further skew the disparity, costing 3-5x more to restore than their domestic counterparts, due to rarity of replacement parts and insane dealer markup (and my refusal to use cheap aftermarket replacements). So, I've determined that:
- Buying from Mecum is a good thing, as long as they have what I want. Dana Mecum is a man of integrity and won't lie to you.
- Buying from Gooding is still too expensive, unless I can keep the bidding from getting crazy, but they do a good job of vetting the cars.
- RM auctions are kind of shady but can be a great deal if you know what you're buying.
- Don't buy from Barrett Jackson.
- Russo and Steele seem to be okay for the most part, but there is a "whiff" of RM shadiness to them.
- Private sellers are the worst and few have any integrity at all, if you can't inspect the car thoroughly before you buy it, assume the worst.
- Dealers are pot luck, some are decent, some aren't, but that goes without saying. Check their rating, if they have one, and if you insist on a 3rd party inspection and they balk, walk away (that goes for private sellers too).
Most of it comes down to disclosure. Billy pointed out an issue with an M3 Mecum had listed, wondering why it didn't have more details about the car's condition, beyond it saying the car had a rebuilt title. Always assume the worst on those, especially when they're sold at No Reserve. If the guy could get more for it via a private sale, he would, E36 M3s aren't a rare commodity but if they're in even fair condition they'll sell quickly because most have been ragged out horribly. I did get on to them for not showing interior photos of that car, and for not giving more details (it was presented more completely in the Gold member section but not in the public listing). Frankly, it was a car that Mecum shouldn't have sold at one of their auctions, and they admitted that, it was below their standards. At least the buyer didn't get screwed.
All restomods are a labor of love, or outright insanity, with few exceptions you will not
get your money back from paying to have them done. Buying them after they're done and the owner gets tired of them, however, is usually smart. You'll generally pay half as much for a restomod as it cost to build, because they simply aren't that collectible. For muscle cars and domestic sports cars, I love them, though. You get the classic look and style, with improved comfort, handling, and reliability. Screw purity, muscle cars are crap to drive, if you have to turn the steering wheel, and about as comfortable as a medieval rack.