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Old 10-08-2017, 01:04 PM   #1
Dave Young
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Default Buying an out of state car on the internet

A newbie here ... desperately looking for a real nice model A but can't find anything local or even within a couple of hundred miles. Looks like I'll have to resort to the internet sites and buy out of state and unseen.

I've done some traveling to look at a few but have been disappointed when they don't live up to their descriptions. I'm scared to think about cars living up to their descriptions when you can't actually view them in person.

And then there's interstate shipping to contend with ... I've read a lot of horror stories on the internet about rip-offs with huge extra charges, etc.

What's a fella to do? Can anyone here convince me that my fears are unfounded and that actually, sending someone you don't know, twenty or
so thousands of dollars is quite common and nothing to worry about, and that my car will be as described and arrive unblemished and with no extra charges. Thanks, in advance, for your encouragement. Cheers, Dave
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Old 10-08-2017, 01:13 PM   #2
mhsprecher
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

I don't think that is a great idea, unless you might buy from someone who advertises in one of the club publications or web site. I have had good luck on local Craigslist, but it depends upon where you are? You don't say, so you might start with that.

If you are not a member of a local club chapter, I would join and then see what members have for sale. It may just be that you live very remotely, which limits your choices. If that is your only option, I would be sure to go see the car first hand. I know that is expensive, but it could save untold headaches. Some club members near where you hope to get the car would help, too.

I am sure that others will have good ideas, but those are my suggestions.
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Old 10-08-2017, 01:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

Visit the two National Model A Club web sites and shop their cars for sale. At least their you may guess that those cars have been somewhat taken care of and generally maintained. Also, more easy to follow up on the sellers.
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Old 10-08-2017, 01:41 PM   #4
Dave Young
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

I'm not in a remote area but I am in rural Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, there are no clubs within a hundred miles. I feel like I'm out in left field. Don't know anyone who owns a model A. Thanks for the advice though, I never thought of contacting a club at the other end. Cheers, Dave
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

Rural Pa. covers a large part of the state , what part are you in,NE, N central, NW, Central, S central, ??
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

Be sure to talk to your DMV, frame/engine numbers, title or Bill of Sale..? What does your state require.? A lot of preliminary leg-work may save a
head-ache later down the road. kb
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

As far as the transporting the rig, if you can drive a pickup, you may think about renting a pickup type truck with a car trailer at the place where you buy the rig. Yes it is expensive depending on how far you have to travel. But it is an option.

Also the idea of getting someone in the area where you think about buying a rig, to look it over and give you an idea of what they think. Yes try to get a Model A club member to do this. Most times in Model A clubs, you will find members that are good at knowing if a rig is good or not.

Another consideration is what do YOU want? Do you want one completely restored to original (high price) or one you can rebuild yourself (lower price). You kind of need to think about what you want.
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

Oh, I know what I want, Fred ... I'm looking for a sedan, 2 or 4 door, that has been restored and well maintained. (Wife's pretty picky about the color, too). We did Hershey a few days ago. Saw a few gorgeous cars but with gorgeous prices.
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

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Oh, I know what I want, Fred ... I'm looking for a sedan, 2 or 4 door, that has been restored and well maintained. (Wife's pretty picky about the color, too). We did Hershey a few days ago. Saw a few gorgeous cars but with gorgeous prices.
We are making progress. What year and what color? The Tudor sedans were basically all steel. The floorboards were wood, the top bows for the the insert were wood, the header was wood, there were wood tack strips for the upholstery and there was wood in the seat frames. The Fordors were another story. Everything that was wood on the Tudors was wood on the Fordors. In addition there was a lot of structural wood in the door frames. The structure for the floor was wood. A lot of the structure for attaching the body panels was wood. There is one exception for the Fordors. During the 1931 production year they changed the design to make the Fordor mostly steel like all of the Tudors. This design also included a slanted windshield and no sun visor on the outside (they added sun visors inside of the car), thus these were called the slant window sedans. If you get a Fordor I would recommend the slant window. If you do get a straight window Fordor be sure all the wood is solid and the doors close easily as the wood can get very expensive to replace.

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Old 10-08-2017, 03:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

I did exactly what abachman3 suggested. Kept looking on eBay too, but ultimately found a beautiful 1929 Phaeton. Emailed and received further pictures etc and decided the car looked good enough to arrange a flight from North Carolina to Washington State. It helped that I could combine this trip with a visit with my wife to her sister and husband. But I would have traveled anywhere. I would never recommend buying a restored car without making a personal assessment (or any other car too). The hard part was deciding how to get it home. I did extensive research and decided to go with Passport Transport. They own their own fleet and do not sub out any cars to other "unknown" carriers. They love antique and special interest cars. It did take about 5 weeks for them to get a truck booked that would trek from WA to NC, but I didn't mind (so much). Car came just as I saw it, no issues, no problems. They weren't the cheapest, but I wasn't going to low ball and suffer the consequences. Best to pay a reputable company than be sorry. Cost about $2500 so you know. Good luck, and you won't be sorry to take the extra time and expense to do it right.
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

NEVER buy a car you haven't actually put your hands on. I have been burned twice by doing that. They always look better in photos than they do in person. Heck, I even saw a coupe at a swap meet just across from mine that looked good but upon getting close to it, it had pitted metal covered in paint. ALWAYS check it out in person unless you have money to waste.
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:41 PM   #12
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

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NEVER buy a car you haven't actually put your hands on. I have been burned twice by doing that. They always look better in photos than they do in person. Heck, I even saw a coupe at a swap meet just across from mine that looked good but upon getting close to it, it had pitted metal covered in paint. ALWAYS check it out in person unless you have money to waste.
I will not buy on internet again, burned once. A fresh wash, a little photoshop and your looking at a show stopper.
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

I've bought 2 Model As from the US which is a little further away than just interstate, one from the MAFCA site and the other through a personal recommendation. I am happy with both cars but I had them checked before I bought. There are companies that do that. If you find a car being sold by a member of a club somewhere, I wouldn't have it checked by another member of the same club for obvious reasons.
My advice is "Tread carefully and don't be impatient."
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

location? your location is important...put it in your profile if you expect useable responses.
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

One thing to remember, if its a reputable seller they won't mind jumping through a few hoops for you. If they are unwilling to go the extra mile to satisfy your concerns, BEWARE. I have bought sight unseen...I will never do it again. There are lots of model As out there. Have patience and watch Craigslist, you'll find one. One thing to remember, the Fordors (except the slant windows) are all wood framed. Be very careful, it is VERY expensive and time consuming to replace the wood kit on a Fordor. The Tudor sedan is steel bodied.
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:15 PM   #16
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

Grier ... Wow, $2,500. ... I shipped a modern Chrysler to England a few years ago for $650. Drove it to the dock in New York ... drove it away from Southampton in UK a couple of weeks later. I know we're not talking apples and pears here, but wow! $2,500!

Chi ... I'm in Lebanon County

28RPU ... As an old man myself, I love your 'old man! quote ... I drove (a total of) six hours yesterday to look at a 1930 sedan that looked fabulous on the internet. I was so convinced it was the car for me that I took my check book. It was a real piece of crap, that proves your point ... they look better in photos than they do in person.
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

Photos are deceiving. Best to communicate with fellow Model A'ers or another one through one of the National Model A Clubs. Your exact location would be helpful, by the way what's a hundred miles to discuss with fellow Model A'ers who know these cars. You probably should not judge the prospects without some back-up unless you really know Model A's
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:38 PM   #18
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

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Photos are deceiving. ...
Sometimes cars look better in real then on a picture !
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:36 PM   #19
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

You might start by putting your location in your profile. Not knowing you we do not know what you consider crap and what you consider passable so would be hard for someone to point you to a car for sale. What price range are you shopping for?
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: Buying an out of state car on the internet

My route to getting my current model A may be of interest to you.

When I wanted to get back in the hobby I was not a newbie, but I had been away from the hobby for over 40 years teaching science and raising two kids. When I retired and the kids were successfully "launched", it was time for me to find another model A.

I wanted an easy and safe way to ease back into the hobby. I contacted a local classic car dealer (Classic Motor Cars Of Ellington). I told them what I was looking for (a tudor sedan), and what I wanted to pay ($15K), and asked them to keep an eye out as they ran across model A's for sale. The dealer (Keith Clotter) would email me descriptions and pictures of cars he thought I would like. It came down to two cars; a maroon 1930 tudor, and a green 29 tudor. Keith said he thought the green 29 was the better car, and I went with it, giving him a deposit and committing to buy it from him after an in person inspection. Once he had the 29 tudor at his dealership I drove up to Ellington to test drive the car, and buy it. I know I could most likely gotten the car for less if I bought it directly from the previous owner, but in my case I was more interested in the convenience and ease of mind that working with an experienced dealer gave me.

They delivered to car to my door already registered to me, and ready for me to start having fun. I drove it for the first summer as it was. As I became more familiar with it, I decided to re-restore it to bring it up to a level I would be happy with.

For me working with a professional, if more expensive, was the way to go.
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