Thursday, September 29, 2011

Adesa Auction's Fall Corvette and Specialty Car Sale gives you a real-world perspective into the old car hobby

“I’mana eighteen, eighteen, eighteen; lookin’ for eighteen-five. Eighteen-five. Come up and look at this car. Sixty-two-thousand actual miles. Pay attention, folks, you’ll never see another one like this. I have eighteen. Lookin’ for eighteen-five. Eighteen-five. Eighteen-five going once. Eighteen-five going twice. It’s gonna’ take closer to nineteen to buy this car. Roll it on through.”

If you had been at the Adesa Corvette and Specialty sale in Belton on Thursday, you would have enjoyed this type of banter, spread across three action-packed lanes. They were selling Vipers. They were selling Mustangs. They were selling hot rods. But most of all, they were selling Corvettes.

Well, they were selling a few Corvettes. We saw some no-sales in there too. But who knows—maybe some deals were put together after the hammer dropped. I think it’s amazing that dealers can sell their cars to other dealers at an auction and expect to make any money. It must work out for some of them, though, because they keep having these sales, and more cars keep showing up.

There were some really great cars, too. Vintage Vettes brought several cars from their extensive North Kansas City inventory, so the selection of Straight-Axle and Midyear Corvettes was quite impressive. I was especially taken with a yellow ’67 with a 427 and factory air, and an equally yellow ’66 convertible with a 427 of its own.

Corvettes too plebian for you? There were also several Porsches, BMWs, and Mercedes to choose from. They even had a red Ferrari 308, great for releasing your inner Magnum P.I.

This was also Harley Davidson Financial Services sale, and there were enough shiny Harleys on the lot to equip a dozen outlaw biker gangs. Based on the source, I presume that a lot of these were repos. But hey, if you were in the market for a new, used Harley, their loss was your gain.

This was a busy few days at the Adesa Kansas City location, because in addition to this event, they held a fleet consignment sale on Tuesday, and a General Motors dealer auction on Wednesday. The whole shebang was marketed as the “Week of Wheels”, and they pulled in dealers from all over the country.

Auction facilities like this one can be fascinating places. For one thing, just the logistics of getting this many vehicles, spread out over this big of a space, to arrive on the block in the order they’re supposed to seems pretty daunting. And the fact that they don’t wreck more of them, or have more of them drive off the lot with people to whom they don’t belong is also a good trick.

Several different types of auctions are held in the big, ten-lane building. The Specialty Car Sale is a bit of an anomaly, because usually the facility is reserved for manufacturer dealer auctions like those sponsored by General Motors and Chrysler.

Auctions also give you a real-world perspective on how much cars and trucks are actually worth at any given time. In real life, I work for a used car valuation guide, and results from auctions like those held at Adesa weight significantly in the used prices that we publish. For events like the Specialty Car Sale, you also get a nice barometer on the health of the old car hobby.

How much will you give me to look at a couple hundred pictures from the 2011 Fall Adesa Corvette and Specialty Sale? Can I get a free? Free going once. Free going twice. Sold. Enjoy the photos below.

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