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Hagerty Employee

Confessions of a recovering flipper

At some point during the George H.W. Bush administration, I bought a 1972 Porsche 911S for the now absurd-sounding sum of $6500. In the ensuing 30 or so years, I've owned roughly 50 vehicles. As Dirty Harry says, "In all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself."

I think a flipper can be respected.

Wayne Carini spends part of his time (as shown on the TV show "Chasing Classic Cars" being a flipper when you call a spade a spade.

He's also a broker (middleman?) to help people sell vehicles.

While some TV personalities the slime shines through, I get zero of that from Wayne. He clearly loves the cars, the preservation, restoration, ownership and driving. Selling (flipping) is a means to an end.

So be a flipper like Wayne and I see no shame.

If you are using sprayfoam, newspaper 25 pounds of undercoating and 5 pails of bondo to prep "a one-owner all original car" for a quick sale then perhaps you need to consider life choices while looking in a mirror.
Intermediate Driver

Unlike a "flipper", Wayne Carini is a dealer. A dealer is not a flipper. He has overhead, laws that protect the buyer, is regulated by motor-vehicle laws, and pays taxes. A flipper buys a car, often does not transfer the title into his name, and every sale is 'as-is' because it is legally a private owner transaction. Even if sold 'as-is' there are many issues that a dealer cannot walk away from (frame damage, unsafe for the highway issues, emission control problems, etc).

I can't think of much that would salt the wound of a bad flip worse than seeing it on the silver screen

Rob; I'm sorry to read about your string of ill-timed transactions.
Me — I'm the opposite of a flipper: I buy cars that hold a bit of mystique, and that I intend to keep for the long haul.
That Riviera is the perfect example, for me, at least.

Hey Rob;

Good story! I read, a long time ago and many times since, to 'buy what you really like and enjoy and you'll always have somethgin you like and enjoy'. I always thought that was sound thinking and have tried to follow that in many parts of my life. Sometimes I, like you, didn't adhere to that thinking and got kicked in the shins pretty good. Then I, as the saying goes, 'dusted myself off and started over again'. Times like that really hurt, but you hope it might build up the depth of your wisdom, so you might not be quite so naïve in the future. So far it's worked for me.

I totally agree with your quote, I might add, that I learned a long time ago that you make your money when you buy a vehicle... not when you sell it... so to speak
New Driver

Rob makes a wonderful point. I purchased a 1986 3.2 911 Carrera in 1989. I performed some basic updates and restored it to a very nice #2 stock condition. 15 years later, I sold it (for a bit more than I paid) due to a new daughter. I loved that car, but I loved my family more. About 3 years ago, I began checking out the air-cooled Porsche market again...$HA HA HA HA$. I had to compromise with the addition of a 987.1 S Cayman. It's a fun ride, and these early 987s look like they will appreciate. But, I'm now going to just drive the crap out of it while waiting for the bearings to implode or until the shifter cables start snapping like guitar strings.
Intermediate Driver

I've bought and sold a lot of cars over the past 50 years. That said, I've usually bought/fixed up stuff I wanted to drive personally and then offered for sale once I got to the point of either never driving it anymore or not having enough room to keep it safe.
One of the few times I did not come close to breaking even was a '64 2 door HT Galaxie 500 I had restored at my bodyshop for another guy who skipped out without paying. Not counting lost wages I sold it underwater although it turned out to be a real favorite of mine over the years and I got a LOT of personal enjoyment out of it, so...

I would like to be one in the position to buy and sell cars I like but I would want to enjoy them. Problem is I probably would not sell much as I would be picky on what I buy and my suburban living means I can't have many cars around my house anyway.
Pit Crew

I used to "flip collector cars, trucks and motorcycles. At last count I had owned and operated 64 vehicles not including motorcycles. However now it has become impossible to find a decent collector at a decent price. Over the years I made some profit and also sold at a loss. Several years ago I scored on a 76 Jimmy Sierra stepside in #2 condition for $4600. Months later I sold it to a guy from the middle east for 10 grand. He shipped it to Arabia and got 20 grand for it. My last purchase which I still own is a 2000 Corvette convertible, one of the best investments I've made. My wife used to say that I have a sickness. I think she's right. I no longer surf Craigslist.

My wife continues to say that I have a sickness when it comes to cars, truck and motorcycles, she has threatened to send me to "flippers anonymous"! in the past 48 years I have owned hundreds of vehicles and can't stop horse trading them or buying them because I love them all, but I love the art of the deal and sale even more, the addiction is worse than any drug I can think of, I wish I could say "I used to flip cars" and be happy with one vehicle.... NOT
Intermediate Driver

As a flipper I'm a flop, but I don't care. I buy old vehicles because I'm curious about owning them, how they drive, how they make me feel, how they look in my driveway. It's really not to make money but it's nice if I can break even over the years with this curiosity thing. In the past 25 years, with very limited space to work and storage, it's been two wheeled buys - motorcycles and scooters - that I enjoy and mostly sell off when I'm bored with them. Some turn out well and selling is not easy and some are total disappointments. But that's the point. These Hagerty discussions are far too focused on dollars.