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eBay Motors' Top 5 sales top 9.5 million dollars, including a $1M+ Mustang! USA! USA!

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On: Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 10:57AM | By: Andrew W Davis


eBay Motors' Top 5 sales top 9.5 million dollars, including a $1M+ Mustang! USA! USA!

You know the drill. I spend WAY too much time on eBay Motors looking for the most expensive cars sold over a given period, and I amaze you with what people will spend on cars you'll likely never see.

[Sorry, that was rude. Just book a flight to Los Angeles, camp out in the ritziest part of town, and I'm sure at least a version of one of these cars will pass by your sidewalk encampment.]

Anyhoo, this go-round is groundbreaking for three reasons: First, it's the highest total we've ever had by far ($9,528,000); Second, it's similarly the highest per-car average we've ever had ($1.9M); and Third, it features our very first American car, in the form of a million-plus-dollar Mustang that in no way looks like it's worth anywhere near that much.

So, enjoy!

[All auctions featured are listed as “sold”/”green” in eBay’s “Completed Listings”. “Ended,” “Relisted” and “best offer accepted” do not count.]

TOP SELLER #5: $629,000 — 2014 Lamborghini Aventador LP 720-4 Roadster — [Jan. 1, 2016]

I NEVER thought I would say this—EVER—but I'm getting pretty tired with Lamborghini. Try as I might to find cars that meet my pricing criteria on eBay, at least one of them is going to be some kind of Lambo.

The flavor of this month—as it has been for over a year now—is the Aventador Roadster. And, apart from a few speed tweaks and badge changes, it's the same G-damn car re-released so that fools and their money can be separated just that little bit faster.

Don't get me wrong; the Aventador—in all its forms—is a fantastic car. Terrifying, in so, so many ways, but fantastic nonetheless. See, every top-shelf Lamborghini I've ever tested—or was even meant to—was fraught with "issues."

Car #1: A 1988 25thAnniversary Countach resplendent in a very Miami Vice white-on-white vibe that spontaneously combusted the night before I even sat it in it; Car #2: A 1999 canary yellow Diablo SV. Worked flawlessly, but because I a.) May have oversold my position with the paper to get the ride so I was desperate to act like someone with my "title" would, b.) Discovered last-minute that my “test” car was from a DEALERSHIP's fleet, NOT the “press” fleet, soIwas on the hook for any damage that occurred, and c.) Had a “minder” in the right seat the whole journey who made sure I never exceeded 3,000 rpm or 60 mph; Car #3: A 2000 Diablo VT 6.0 in screaming pumpkin metallic that was crashed by the dufus “testing” it while I was the very next person up for some seat time; Car #4: A first-year (2001) asparagus-like green metallic Murciélago that decided it liked life better as a six-cylinder on its way to me than a V-12, ending my ride before I even saw the damn thing; and Car #5: A Monroney-still-stuck-to-the-window-new bright terra cotta metallic 2012 (I think) Aventador that a friend let me drive—sans chaperone—with little more than a “You GOTTA check this thing out, dude!” by way of operating instructions. By this time, naturally, I was living in Michigan, the state that hands out more tickets than McDonald's does napkins. So, apart from a few—careful—night-time banzai runs, it was pretty much a repeat of Car #2: I was sure I was fast and agile enough to evade the five-oh, but neither rich nor famous enough to keep myself out of prison when—NOT if—my theory fell apart.

I'm telling you all of this because this used, 2,455 mile 2014 Aventador LP 720-4 Roadster—which claims to be a “50th Anniversario” model despite the fact that not only was that model produced ONLY for the 2013 model year AND all 200 (100 coupes/100 roadsters) were painted YELLOW—shows that while a Lamborghini might (OK, does) look perfect in the poster you have on your wall, the cars are—to be totally fair—perhaps less so.

But, compared to most of the cars to follow, they are quite easy to get a hold of, so if you have the funds to waste, buying a Lambo isn't the worst idea in the world.

[Just bring a fire extinguisher. And a mechanic with his own flatbed tow truck. And an AmEx Black Card. And be on friendly terms with EVERY law enforcement officer in any area in which you plan on driving. And… I'm forgetting something. Don't worry, it'll come to me. Just leave your Lambo at my house until I remember it...

TOP SELLER #4: $1,099,000 — 1964 Ford Mustang Pace Car — [Feb. 29, 2016]

That's right, people; for the first time ever an American car has made it onto one of my Top 5 lists! And what a car it is. You can't tell by looking at it, as, apart from some stickers and a pair of flags, it looks just like any of the 101,945 Mustang Convertibles Ford made in 1964/1965 (They called the first ones a “1964-and-a-half” on introduction, but they're identical).

But, as the seemingly ridiculous sales price shows, this isn't your average Mustang ragtop. Hell, it's not even one of the hallowed “First 50”. No, this is a true one-of-one car produced by an American auto racing super-group for the purposes of pacing the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”—aka the Indianapolis 500—in 1964.

This may not sound impressive—as it seems GM divisions have owned every vehicular aspect of the oval for ages without even trying—but back then companies had to, as hallowed sage/criminal/rapper extraordinaire DMX would say, “get their scrap on” to “win” the “honor” of paying ridiculous amounts of money to be associated with the Indy 500 because, well, it's the Indy 500.

Part of what they're paying for is getting to slap "Pace Car" stickers on a bunch of cars that have never even been to Indiana just to make a few extra bucks. Even more bucks can be made selling cars that never paced the race but can be proven to have taken some part in the race or its festivities (see my first two articles HERE and HERE for more on the subject).

But the REAL money—usually made by someone else many years later—is reserved for the cars that actually led laps ahead of "the 33" at some point during the race. I say "cars", because manufacturers want to be sure that there's a Pace Car ready to do its job at a moment's notice, and it would be stupid for them to risk the embarassment that could result from having their single car do what the English call "fail to proceed."

But, as it would turn out, this Mustang ended up being a one-of-one in that respect, though it wasn't Ford's fault. Or mostly not. Here's the short version: Ford sent three brand, BRAND new—as in produced in the FIRST HOUR of Mustang production—cars to its semi-secret speed shop (Holman-Moody) to beef it up so it could handle the rigors of not just looking cool while shuttling race drivers and beauty queens around the track during pre-race parades, but actually going fast enough to stay ahead of the 33 fire-belching speed machines that had actually qualified to be on the track by more than signing promotional contracts and handing over piles of cash.

[H-M, for whatever reason, managed to finish only two, this one included. And before the race the other one blew up, thus this car's true “1 of 1” claim.]

Now I can't bring myself to repeat the drivel the seller passed off under their “Vehicle Info” auction description, but I feel it's necessary to explain how an otherwise $27k car went for so much. The whole thing is pages long, so I'll just give you a taste. Still, buckle up, because it's a hell of a hyperbolic ride...

“From an investment mindset, low risk is the major selling point of this 1 of 1 1964.5 Mustang. Never mind the fact that the car was assembled during the first hour of Mustang production. The fact that the car was 1 of 3 convertibles sent to Holman Moody for major modifications and subsequent pace car duty is beside the point. Just because the car was the only Ford Mustang to pace the 1964 Indianapolis 500 and, in the process, became the most modeled Ford in history doesn't mean all risk is moot. And, just because the car is a fanatically documented piece of automobilia that was driven by Ford Motor Company heir Benson Ford doesn't make it a risk-less investment. No, what matters most is that the combination of these monumental milestones provides potential buyers with one of the safest and most secure automotive assets on the planet. If you're shopping for a sure-fire winner, this, "the most significant historic Mustang in the world", should be the FIRST classic you're willing to put money on!”

*Blurp*

Anyhoo, let's rejoin the story a few paragraphs later:

“After a big day of speed and photo ops, the drop-top was unceremoniously returned to Ford. Ford, ever the supporter of motor sports, passed it to Florida's Sebring International Raceway. Sebring made good use of the Mustang as a parade car and driver loaner for a solid 11 seasons. Then, in 1974, this significant piece of Dearborn history was locked in a raceway storage facility and all but forgotten.”

The rest of the story is that it was found and restored in the 1990s—with special care taken to redo the “experimental” and “one-of-a-kind” bits, and when it was finished, it made the rounds to every magazine and museum that would have it, generating a clip file even bigger (notice I didn't say “better”) than mine.

Then it was put up for sale on eBay, and you know the rest. Oh, except for one bit: it was—ever so concisely—”recently appraised at $1.25 million by a museum curator.”

Convenient, and quite nearly true. Like the way all these unique parts were somehow located, fixed, recreated, and/or wiped-off to build the car to its exact like-new “1964.5” Pace Car condition. But, regardless, it worked. They got a million-dollar final bid on a car that—under almost any other circumstance—wouldn't be worth one-fortieth of this one.

God bless 'Murrica, land of the overpaid and under-brained.

[You excluded, of course. You're great. A true “1 of 1”... Wait. Did I oversell it with that last bit? Well, now you know how how this poor Mustang feels. Ali may have been cool with being called the “greatest,” but when it comes to this unique-yet-actually-mass-produced pony car, I'm not so sure...]

TOP SELLER #3: $2,050,000 — 2011 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport — [April 7, 2016]

Every piece of a Bugatti Veyron, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, has been fashioned exclusively out of the best materials by the finest craftsmen to the most exacting specifications possible within the limitations of current measuring equipment, with each piece designed to work in perfect harmony with all the others, creating the wheeled version of Earth's finest symphony. Every bit of the car has been created with such care so that no individual aspect of the Veyron detracts from the perfect overall driving experience.

Save one.

“I CANNOT HEAR A WORD YOU ARE SAYING OVER THE ENGINE NOISE! WHAT?! THAT ROARING’S FROM THOSE INTAKE HORNS RIGHT BEHIND OUR HEADS! WHY THE HELL DID THEY PUT THEM THERE?!? NEVERMIND! DOES THIS HAVE A ROOF?!? WHAT?!? NOW IT’S ALL JUST WIND NOISE OVER THE WINDSHIELD! YES, MY WINDOW IS UP! DID YOU JUST SAY SOMETHING ABOUT SPAGHETTI?! I’M HONESTLY JUST GUESSING AT WHAT YOU’RE TRYING TO SAY RIGHT NOW…”

And so on.

I guess what I’m saying is that this isn’t the “crumpet catcher” you might imagine it to be unless you plan to take your prospective partner somewhere that is a short, low-speed-limit route away from their pickup point. Don’t get me wrong; when you’re in the driver’s seat, you don’t give a fraction of a fraction’s worth of a damn that it sounds like God is vacuuming your Veyron’s engine cover whenever you exceed half-throttle. But as a passenger, you DO get a bit sick of the thousand-horsepower Hoover screaming away behind you in very short order.

And if you live in the kind of place that people can afford a Veyron "Grand Sport"—that appellation is their grandiose (but fashioned of the world’s best possible materials by Old World craftsmen) way of saying “convertible”—you undoubtedly have good weather and can afford a garage, so will likely never see either of the two tops you paid for whether you realized it or not, making the passenger-comfort issue, well, an issue.

Are you just now noticing your car came with at least one top? Don’t worry; you’re not missing anything. No, wait. You’re missing everything. Sure, you will be drier with a top up, but considering the fact that vmax for the fabric “umbrella” top is 80 mph—which, you’re in a Veyron, dork, what are you doing at that speed?—and that the hard plastic top similarly offers nothing but rain protection and a higher top speed (so you can be deafened AND claustrophobic!), it’s best that in the case of an unexpected shower you just abandon your Grand Sport and have your manservant fetch it or just buy another one—this one with an actual roof, what with the “fool me once” factor and all—whichever’s easier.

This particular car, it would appear, got to the ripe old age of 2,179 miles before the skies opened up on the previous owner, which the selling dealer—who should DEFINITELY know better—comically called “VERY low miles.” They also offered delightful phrases like “If you're looking for world-class speed, acceleration, cornering and handling, don't blink because you'll miss this truly amazing automobile”, “1001 HP @ 6000 RPM 7 Speed W-16 Cylinder will get you where you need to go in no time” and “The Bugatti's body is designed for light weight and solid structure!”

[And you thought it was impossible to be underwhelmed by the stats of a Veyron. Rookie.]

Anyhoo, as with any auction description that lists a car’s equipment as “Options/Features”, you always count on getting only the latter as everything it mentions is standard fare. And sure enough, this Veyron is no different. Well, except for the paint, the description of which actually makes me more worried than excited as it cryptically says “The exterior features almost a pearl white factory finish.”

[Is it almost the same hue as the standard pearl white, almost a factory finish or both? Or neither? Did someone really pay the price of custom-coating their car in a color the factory practically already offered? IT’S PEARLESCENT WHITE! Did they want a factory-issue white but their hated neighbor already bought one that color purely out of spite so they decided the only way they could both one-up that jerk AND get the car they wanted was to go to the expense of ordering theirs painted a "custom" color that was just a touch whiter and/or more pearlescent? THESE are the facts I want to know, “Prestige Imports”, not the rest of that crap!]

And that’s about all I can say about this one, save for the fact that I’m going to leave you—verbatim—the way the seller did in their ad, missing punctuation and all…

“This unbelievably rare Veyron is a perfect example of ‘The Best Man Can Build.’ You can finally stop searching... You've found the one you've been looking for[.]”

[Nope, couldn’t do it. You can see how there was a period missing after the “for” there, and it would’ve kept me up nights just knowing it was there, taunting me with its incorrectness. Damn OCD…]

TOP SELLER #2: $2,250,000 — 2008 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 “Mansory Linea Vivere” — [March 29, 2016]

Normally a “regular” Bugatti Veyron is more than enough to satisfy any ultracar itch the rich need to scratch, but, according to this auction's text, TWO people felt theirs needed ANOTHER million-bucks-worth of personalizing. I'll let the auction text explain exactly what that means:

“Specialized Motors is proud to offer the only MANSORY LINEA VIVERE BUGATTI VEYRON produced for the U.S (ONLY 2 WORLD WIDE).”

[Their shouting, not mine.]

“This Bugatti Veyron was custom crafted by Mansory Germany-their Pinnacle flagship of design called Veyron Linea Vivere, this renovation took 6 months and a total cost of over 1 million dollors[sic].

“The exterior fenders and doors are finished in a light pearl white and complemented by truly one of a kind carbon fiber unique to only Design Guru of Mansory. From the hood ,Masory Titanium exhaust,Masory Vivere wheels,custom stitched interior to the highest level of attention to detail puts this Bugatti above any Veyron in the world.[sic all over, and I'm getting sick of it.]

“The lighting inside and out all have been upgraded to 2014 Veyron specs, all parts came from the Bugatti factory in Molsheim, France.[Except the rest of that run-on sentence. But those are apparently fine in online listings, even on a $2M+ car. SIC dammit!] All services are up to date with records and factory spec tires 1000 miles ago.

“This is a very special car for a very special client.” [Hey! That sentence is error-free! (Though it makes me feel like "special" is code for something unsavory that I'm too poor to know. It is the new "fidelio"?...)]

Anyway, that grammatical massacre basically means they took one of the 300 first-gen “regular” Veyrons—average sales price, $1.3M to $1.8M—and added another mil of frosting on top of that plus whatever the unholy total they (hopefully) spent on maintenance over their 10k+ miles of driving ended up being, and, well, wow. I am stunned. They may have actually gotten close to breaking even!

That might not seem like a big deal to you, but not losing a fortune when selling your “old” hypercar—ESPECIALLY a "personalized" one—is as rare as winning the lottery the instant you’re struck by lightning. So congrats, sir! [Unless that lottery/lightning-strike thing is how you were able to afford that over-tarted Bug in the first place, because then DOUBLE congrats are in order!]

[Either way—on a personal level—THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. You are among perhaps a dozen people on Earth who “customized” a Veyron but didn't turn the Bugatti's beautiful bodywork into the automotive equivalent of a “Clown Whore” Halloween costume.

You deserve every dollar you recovered when you passed her on to her new owner, though you REALLY need a proofreader on your ads. Like, say, me. All it would cost you is giving me a few careful minutes behind the wheel of your car, and who's to say your Bugatti couldn't have hit the $2.5M mark just by having a professional create a web ad worthy of the car you're selling...]

TOP SELLER #1: $3,500,000 — 2003 Ferrari Enzo — [Jan. 21, 2016]

It has become fashionable to “pickle” new supercars, leaving them with all their protective shipping plastic in place and doing everything possible to ensure that their odo never crosses into the double digits.

Problem is, even if you're as careful as you can possibly be, storing ANY car in a vault, never to see the light of day, causes its own set of problems.

[Not the least of which is never knowing if there's something wrong with the car—especially something the new-car warranty would repair—which even billionaires should want to take advantage of.]

Then again, I know there is a handful of people out there who make it their mission to drive their Ferraris as if they were any other kind of car—anywhere and anytime (look up “snow F40” on YouTube)—but even I have to admit that regardless of how rich you are you should be respectful of your automobiles, no matter their MSRP.

What we seem to have here is the perfect “medium”. It is said to be in “like new” condition despite the 5,233 miles have passed beneath its tires, although you'd think it would take a bigger price hit due to its high—for an Enzo—mileage. But seeing as how prices average around $1.6M (with the highest sale ever hitting over $6M), it didn't.

What we have here is—I assume—a case of condition trumping mileage, which indicates to me that the new owner will actually drive the thing rather than let her go stir-crazy in one of those garage bubble “protector” things or some other storage/torture device.

See, more “sophisticated” Ferrari owners value things like regular dealer servicing, Ferrari Classiche certification (pending?), a proper—read: responsible adult—ownership history, and like-new condition over just plain low mileage, and, according to its seller, this Enzo is just what those buyers are looking for.

In that sense, this car makes perfect, well... sense. Should everything check out, the new owner has purchased a like-new Enzo that'll look great at shows—to which the car can be DRIVEN (unheard of, I know)—plus one that will also be fully usable on-road at high speed, thanks to no fear of advancing its (for a newer Ferrari supercar) high odo reading.

So enjoy her, sir (or ma'am), but protect and care for her at the same time. $3.5M is a LOT to pay for a car, but as any Ferrari owner will tell you, that is just the price of admission. Like the horse on its badge, a Ferrari’s gonna cost you whether or not you ever ride her. She's going to need regular maintenance, and that—in either cavallo’s case—ain't cheap.

So just do what her previous owners have done: drive her whenever you can, get her regularly checked out and serviced at the dealer whenever she needs it, and—above all—just be careful with her. She wears her age well NOW, but it doesn’t take much mistreatment to transform any show pony into a haggard old nag.

[Put your quills away, horsey set. I don't care if that last bit was strictly accurate or not. Besides, don't you have some foxes to murder or any of the other things I've learned you do strictly from my forced watching of various bits of Masterpiece Theater programs on PBS when my wife has the remote?...]


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