Last post on Oct 29, 2013 at 9:38 AM
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Ford Thunderbird, Car Buying, Coupe
#34 of 66 Re: Classic car inspection? [Mr_Shiftright]
Aug 22, 2010 (2:57 pm)
I'm sorry Mr. Siftright but you are quite wrong. At the risk of sounding like a cheerleader, you really shoud try them before passing judgement. As I said before I can only attest to my experience, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them whole heartedly.
#35 of 66 Re: Classic car inspection? [jeff_the_chef]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Aug 22, 2010 (3:13 pm)
I wouldn't professionally recommend this *type* of inspection service to potential buyers of exotic or vintage foreign cars. It's not about so-and-so company, it's about the "type" of inspection service, of which the one you mentioned is just one--so I'm not singling them out, believe me. No brokered inspection service in this price range is probably qualified, IMPO. I do know what it takes to do this type of work on exotics and specialty foreign or rare muscle cars, and $350 can't do it adequately. No way, especially when the brokered agent and the national service are splitting the fee.
So I'm not attacking your favorite service. I'm offering skepticism that this type of low-end service can do Ferraris and the like. I think this is a reasonable objection.
#36 of 66 Re: www.AutomobileInspections.com [jeff_the_chef]
Aug 22, 2010 (4:10 pm)
Hi Jeff the Chef......
I read your response with interest. No, its not "sour grapes" at all. I am not a dealer but a Rolls-Royce enthusiast and so whether this particular buyer bought the car or not, does not particularly phase me. What concerns me is that companies like Autombile Inspections claim themselves to be experts and they are far from it. And, so what happens, no-one gets the benefit of their inspection other than teh inpection company. Its like putting 2 useless lawyers on a case. Who are teh only winners?
Personally, I do not need to inspect any Rolls-Royce. I can tell entirely on my own but then, I AM AN EXPERT. That is my very point.
I only allowed the buyer to have an inspection becuase he said he wanted to check "the basics" and thats what I thought there would be. Not a detailed review by an inexperienced bafoon who had no idea (amongst several other things) that Rolls-Royces had brake pumps and thought the cold start pumping sound from these were worn lifters/cam-shaft. Then when I had to explain, he wanted to argue with me. Fortunately, in my case I have a show display engine mounted on a stand in my workshop and all the Rolls-Royce manuals at my disposal so I could explain to him what was "normal" and what was not. Only then, did he swallow his words but I am sure by that stage, I had "put his nose out of joint".
The bottom line is what someone mentioned in a post in this thread after yours. NO inspection company like this has the qualifications for classic and exotic cars and they simply should not promote themselves as such. They should stick to the domestic regular stuff because thats what they can do best. But dont tackle a task that you are entirely incapable of and then try to pretend you are!
#37 of 66 Re: Classic car inspection? [Mr_Shiftright]
Aug 22, 2010 (4:14 pm)
I guess "Shiftright" has captured it correctly. It's probably not about one company or the other but about them all generally. They are simply not qualified to cover such cars. I guess my complaint then really boils down to; "why do they pretend to?" It gives no one a benefit and surely does not help the inpsection company in the long run either.
For all those out there that need a Rolls-Royce inspected. Please give me a call!
#39 of 66 Re: Classic car inspection? [jeff_the_chef]
Aug 23, 2010 (5:56 am)
"It doesn't matter if the car is a Mustang or a Maserati. The only difference that comes into play is the cost of labor and materials to put it right."
Hahaha! You've missed the point in every way it's been served to ya Chef! It's a waste of time and money to have an exotic car inspected by any other party than an experienced shop or qualified expert.
This is not an attack on your most-favored, online-car-appraising-guruDOTcom.
Edited to add: [insert winking Emotorcon here] Lately they don't show up when I post. hmmm.
#40 of 66 Dont use Inspection companies for classic cars
Aug 23, 2010 (5:56 am)
Hi Jeff..... You are correct. But, remember, I am speaking from the persepctive of the seller. The seller has "no say" in the inspection. If I am more qualified than the inspector and I have to try to teach him whilst doing the inspection which will most likely "offend" the actual inspector, what is the point??!!
The very reason of me posting my comments is so that buyers recognise that these inspections are only a little more than a guide and perhaps they should consider alternative methods for "inspections".
I certainly would not use one. I tend to think; if you are the type of person that needs to look at a car, go look at it yourself. I am not such a person - many photos from the seller will do, and a good conversation on the car will usually uncover all. You can usually tell by talking when a seller is "hiding something" as he will be nebulous with his answers.
#41 of 66 Re: Classic car inspection? [jeff_the_chef]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Aug 23, 2010 (6:47 am)
I think you are missing the point here. A Ferrari engine that needs work is a $30,000 to $60,000 dollar repair. Some Ferraris require engine-out periodic services that must be verified by log books. A Mercedes 560SL engine is $18,000, a Porsche Boxster $15,000 on up. A cracked front bumper on a Ferrari is $4000, a windshield on a Maserati perhaps $3000 on up. An automatic transmission on a newer Mini Cooper is $6800, and the symptoms for defects are quite subtle. The wrong engine # on a big block Mopar is a $10,000--$30,000 hit or more, and all Mercedes 230--280SLs have number coded body panels that must be correct, and must not have passenger car 280 cylinder heads retro-fitted.
I don't see how Hank the Chevy man is going to know anything about all this.
If you want a Ford F-150 inspected, then fine, any intelligent person with a pair of eyes can do it.
#42 of 66 Re: Classic car inspection? [Mr_Shiftright]
Aug 24, 2010 (3:40 am)
Well you all have a point but there are a couple of issues. One, Ferrari Dealers will NOT do pre-purchase inspections on cars that didn't come from their facility and are likely to be biased about those that did. Two, even if you did find one that would, what exactly do you expect the mechanic to do? Start the engine, check oil pressure, listen for mis-fire or odd noises, check for smoke from the exhaust, possibly dump the codes, maybe a compression check on an older car and then test-drive to check the clutch, brakes cooling system etc. and to see how it performs on the street. The bottom line is he can only tell you how the car is on that day, he cannot tell you if it will throw a piston in 3 months without opening the motor up. Expert or not. He may have an edge by being aware of known issues with that particular model, but that information is typically available to a diligent buyer who researches on the internet. The key is to review the service/maintenance records as these will give you the best indication of the engines condition and potential short terms costs.
All of this can be done by a savvy buyer and a field inspector. Furthermore, what do you expect a mechanic to tell you about if the car was hit and fixed? Do you expect him to know how to check paint for blend or tape lines, factory chassis welds for repairs or other signs the car was taken to the track? I suppose in an ideal world you'd have the body and frame checked out by one person and the engine and mechanicals by another. From my perspective I believe that if you do your homework and have an unbiased knowledgeable individual inspect the car and document how it performs and looks, you are doing as much as you can to manage the risks involved in a long-distance purchase.