Many peeps ask me from time to time, “where do you find your cars?” I actually search nationally for these cars, and up until recently I started looking overseas. I do not mind finding cars across the country, as long as they send me enough photos of the car, I am ok with it. I have seen the worst and have bought a few lemons, but if I am restoring it anyway I know what I am up against.
I mostly search for projects, I rarely buy “finished” cars unless it is within driving distance, I just do not trust other peoples work. What my idea of a show car is and their idea of a show car are two different things.
Since summer is coming to a close, you can find some great deals out there where guys are trying to dump their so called “weekend projects” before winter.
Some of the best sites I like to find my cars are;
1. www.eBay.com More specifically “ebay motors.” Why? Because it is still the largest online dealership in the world. As of me writing this right now, there are 152 Beetles listed on eBay, and it hovers around that number pretty much all year round. More bugs sell on eBay due to the high amount of traffic the site gets than any other site out there. Hey, I built my biz from eBay. Unfortunately eBays buyer protection is not like it used to be, it has gone down the tubes for older cars.
2. www.thesamba.com This is strictly a VW site only, they have a classified section there for VWs that are for sale. The site navigation is kinda old, but don’t let that deter you, there are plenty of bugs to find. This site you can list for free so don’t expect great pics or description, I find myself always asking the same question to the sellers, “do you have anymore pics?” Or “Do you have ANY pics?” Some want 20k for a car and they show no pics, “HELLO?!!!”
This site you can also search globally. I think thesamba site shines more for its informational purposes and forums.
3. www.craigslist.com A great spot to find the good ole barn find, people looking to dump their “old stuff.” I have found many gems projects on there. Unfortunately craigslist’s main site can be a hassle to search through, you have to sift through town by town or city by city.
But there is an easier way! Check out www.autotempest.com. Autotempest will give you a start page based on your zipcode and then you can search craigslist and other sites within it based on zip and distance you are willing to travel, then give you the results on one page, much much easier. I usually search within a 200 mile radius, I select VW as my make, then I leave model to ANY. I do this because they have many selections that center around the bug, by selecting just one you might skew your results. After that just put your years in.
This site will also bring up several other car sites to search as well based on your criteria. Usually the only ones that show old VWs are eBay, craigslist, and cars.com tabs at the top of the page.
4. If you want to search for the DuB on craigslist on a national scale but with more of a pin point model say for ex. you just want to look for 59s, you can go to www.allofcraigs.com Simply punch up “1959 VW” and see what comes up. You can go through 6 pages of just that year popping up nationwide.
Some ads are old and may show the listing taken down. Bear in mind, many people list on craigs because it is free and easy, so do not expect fancy ads really showcasing the car, you will most likely have to inquire about more pics and description as well.
Most sellers on there are expecting local people to be calling, so don’t be surprised if they say “just come down and see it.” But uh…. yeah I’m 3000 miles away. haha
Categories: VW Restoration Tips
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