High End Classic Car Contracts - is this how the big guys do business?

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Your buddy inherited the car and so has little money in it directly. It's not like he has to make a profit or something. If he can get $200K on Bring a Trailer, is it worth all this hassle to maybe get another $20K from this buyer?
 
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I think you know the answer to that question. These cars in "real" shape sort of disappeared by the late 50's to 60's. Then resurrected as
needed in the 70's with the first bout of stagflation. That brought collectibles to the forefront for the first time....big money was in play. And thsoe collectibles out-performed stocks from 1966-1982. Collectible cars did well from 1971-1990 and again from 1996-2008. And again from 2013-2022 though I don't think the vintage classic cars as a rule have approached their 2006-2008 highs again.....other than ones that are super high in demand or were just left out in those earlier run ups.
I've only paid attention to a small portion of the collector car market, so brokers wanting undisclosed guaranties agreed upon pre-sale for survivor pre-war classics is a foreign concept to me.
I did know a fellow who restored a car he believed to be a '71 Hemicuda convertible. Later I saw accusations that it was really a 440 6bbl car that was bogused up with phoney VIN and data plates when new so the owner could race it in a stock class because he couldn't get a real one. I first saw that car in 1985 as the owner was starting the restoration. It was in a couple magazines when it was finished. I heard it was sold for $500,000.00 maybe twenty years ago. The owner had been an oil customer of mine, but we hadn't done business for awhile. Then I heard he'd passed away. I sure would like to know the truth about that car.
 

69GTX

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Have they contacted Legendary Motorcars in Ontario? I know they deal with a lot of high end cars are the Klutts seem like nice people.

No. They haven't contacted any Car Companies or Auction Houses. I think they realized after the EBay listing on the 1st car that
just listing it for sale nationally doesn't really get it done. Most buyers do want to stay under the radar best they can.

And from what this latest guy said, he's a bit spooked about spreading the word to auction houses or "fine car" motor companies. I think the more he learns about how the high end of this market operates, the more leery he becomes. For the most part his car is for Billionaires or those worth hundreds of Millions. And that market seems to have a small group of well connected insiders that get the cars to those BB's (Billionaire Buyers).

Again, the price is already agreed upon give or take some "very valuable spare parts". So contacting more car outfits isn't the issue. It's the contract that he will have to sign. Whatever happened to a simple bill of sale from the owner.....stating "such and such bought on XXXX for YYYYYYY dollars "as is" with all documents in my possession included and complete pedigree as known to me passed along to the buyer........with no guarantees other than what is stated in this bill of sale."
 
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69GTX

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Your buddy inherited the car and so has little money in it directly. It's not like he has to make a profit or something. If he can get $200K on Bring a Trailer, is it worth all this hassle to maybe get another $20K from this buyer?

The hassle is defining the terms of the contract he HAS to sign. Price range is set with this potential buyer. It's not about the money.
Yeah, he could drop $25K or so from the offered price and probably get it sold to an "as is" to other buyers/dealers who won't have him sign a
contract. The car takes up a lot of space. It's a space the family would like to have back again.

What he's afraid of are future things he might have to do with this car when signing said contract.

-Not ever allowed to discuss the sale price with anyone
-Maybe not allowed to discuss with anyone that he ever owned the car?
-Might be required to write a chapter on their ownership/history of the car for a future book coming out from said "buyer."
-Maybe they'll be required to attend the first showing of the car - whatever that means.
-Can never comment to anyone or anywhere about the buyer's handling and marketing of the car while still in their possession or their
3rd party's possession. Nope, even if they say something in error on the car.....he might not be allowed to comment....maybe forever.

I can think of dozens of things that could be asked of him. And he won't agree to some of these things.
 
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69GTX

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I was hoping I'd run into a sample contract that one of these 3rd party finders utilize when selling to Billionaires.
What does it say? They can't be that uncommon. In looking online can't find anything....even on the big time car sites.
They show sample 'as is' bill of sales and never consider anything else. And you wouldn't think the biggest buyers want
their tactics published in print anywhere. If you've signed one of these before.....then you have a copy. But I suspect, part of the
contract is that you can share the contract or its terms with anyone.....or you can suffer penalties and/or claw backs of the original
purchase price.
 

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Which is why I suggested BaT and eliminate this nonsense but get a little less. I'm guessing if your buddy mentions this plan, the buyer will drop all those terms and conditions.

Thanks. He's pretty familiar with BaT and mentions high prices all the time to me on "less than worthy" cars from the 80's. So if he felt that would be a good way he'd do it.
 
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The fact that the buyer won't disclose what will be required says a lot. There may be something unsavoury or questionable to come.

You say the price has been decided. But I'd say the price hasn't been decided until all the terms are agreed upon.

At some point your friend is going to have to look for a real buyer.
 
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I am vaguely familiar with rich people games.

For example I know an old-money resort that kind of runs like a country club-- you own your house, but rent the land on a 999 year lease. That lease gets you a share of stock in the "corporation" so you can vote on how the place is run. They in turn run things like an HOA and you can only do this or that.

To sell your property and share of stock, you need to find a few people to vet/ sponsor the buyer. You can't advertise it anywhere. Blah blah blah.

It sounds like you should get some sort of "agent" whose fiduciary interest is in the seller, but that agent will take a cut. This existing "agent" seems to be working for the buyer and is trying to bleed OP dry.

The actual protocols involved don't sound too out of line, but if OP is uncomfortable, his agent should offer some counter-offers. Seems like buyers want a fairy tale to go with the car. Some people don't like wearing black ties, nor hob-nobbing with the 1%.

PS the car sounds like a Tucker. ;)
 
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This was the 2nd of 2 special cars that was inherited by my friend's family. The first one was also pretty unique too as a long term survivor and
and nearly 100% original. It didn't meet reserve on EBay. It eventually sold for over $50K. This other car is much more unique with only about 50 originally made and at most half still surviving......almost none of them both original/well documented. This might one of only 2-3 still in existence like this. It's one of the most desirable cars of the 20's to 40's. Very high end build of that period. Only the rich could afford them new.

He's made no great efforts to sell the car other take hundreds of photos. The current offer by this 3rd party is one he is willing to accept....as long as the details make sense. But......the issue is "what are the details" in any "contract" still yet to be seen. These 2 have spent 10-20 hours on the phone numerous times over the past month or more....and many EMails. The current "buyer" has hundreds of photos of the car. In a way the car is now 'known' to insiders I'm sure.....but this guy found out about it through the grapevine. Others must know too. But I guess that's "secret" enough for most of them. Quite a feather in someone's cap to bring this to the hobby/market. Fully document it. Increase your reptation as a "deliverer" of the good stuff. Write a book. Become "the expert" on them.

I could say that my friend's car off the road since the early 60's would be as significant as a 60 yr old barn find Auburn Boat Tail Speedster in decent, no rust, unrestored original condition.....and documented to the hilt. Though they made many more Auburns. And production of my friend's car was a fraction of the Auburn BTS.

Hopefully if this all goes down in the near future I can post some photos and details here. But who in their right mind expects the other party to agree to terms and conditions on a "verbal agreement" to buy when they can't even see them? The potential buyer is a well known national figure in the vintage car circle who does this stuff for a living. I'm sure they bring the best cars to their clients.....and give them the confidence a car is legit and priced right.
I'm thinking Packard, Talbot-lago, or a Duesenberg.
 

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Interesting turn of events today. Potential buyer wants to arrange for his "expert" to check out the car in person in the next week or so.
And he says he is now working on the sales contract for my friend to review. Those are certainly good words and intentions. But will he
follow through? And then to give another concession to the prospective buyer on this visit....and allow valuable car details to
go back with them w/o getting a thing in return.

I'd want to see that sales contract BEFORE the expert's arrival. That would show good intentions and fair dealing. They have a couple days to get that done before the person might be arriving. In my mind my friend has given all the concessions so far ......3 of them (dropping the orig asking price 25%.......sending them 900 photos of everything he had including all the documents and written histories......potentially agreeing to giving up all the valuable spare parts at no extra cost.) Yeah, you read that right.....900 photos. You could "build" a car with those. And now this 4th one.
 
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I don't see anything too bad for what the buyer would like to happen. Anonymity is key and an NDA is a way to make sure it is maintained. The seller can up the price to compensate for such a bother, I'm sure the buyer wouldn't care much.
 
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Sounds like games with the “poor” to me. Your friend would be a fool to play them without a lawyer to review the said contract. Personally I think he already made a big mistake by agreeing to the 3 concessions without any written agreement. In his mind he probably thinks it will help with the sale, in reality it just reinforces the buyers stance that he/she has the upper hand. Which by now it sure looks like it.
More concessions are sure to come IMO and the buyer has not given anything up thus far. Think about it for a second 🤔
 

69GTX

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Yes, when dealers are involved it's almost always gamesmanship in play. My friend is well versed in them. He's had other offers on the car from people who happened to hear about it "through the grapevine" and came to see it or the other car he had. Those offers were much lower than what this current guying is offering. And 2 of those were from long time seasoned players in the vintage car game. Current prospective buyer is aware of those offers. Guess that was a concession too.

I'm sure that any contract he gets that is not easily read and interpreted will be shown to his lawyer. And more than likely he'll run it by one no matter what. The goal is to get a deal done with the highest buyer.....and so far it's still slowly progressing in that direction. Monterey/Pebble Beach week is coming up next week.....and I think the prospective buyer wants to go there and be able to present a "package" to ultimate end-users.
 
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I guess that is why the offer is so much higher, the buyer obviously has plans for this vehicle, but is your friend prepared to deal with all the potential future requests?
Is he prepared to potentially give up everything regarding this vehicle? Even something as mundane as sharing pictures with family/friends? Pretend like it was never in his family?

I suspect the amounts are substantial, but I highly doubt they are THAT substantial to warrant such open ended demands. Fact is that the more money is involved, the more defined are the agreements, not relaxed like in this case. So that’s something to keep in mind.

This could simply be a case of flexing. That’s why everything needs to be so hush, hush and open ended in favor of the buyer. So that the us regular guys won’t have a clue what’s going on. We’re just supposed to accept it as “that’s how it’s done” because how would we know otherwise?
 
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