FINDING THE CAR
First, before you start searching decide what condition the car needs to be according to how much time and money you want to spend. This is where you evaluate yourself by asking how much work you are prepared to do.
Of course, if you don’t want to put in much time or labor you will have to find a car that doesn’t need much other than some cleaning, polishing and maybe replacing some minor parts. The cars I made the most profit on I did the least work and spent under $100 on minor things.
Get familiar with the condition ratings in the 2 price guides. These are very important to know when you begin to look for vehicles because you should be able to put a (condition) rating on them by just looking at them, even from a distance. If you saw the car locally and have a phone number, you can call and get as much information as possible over the phone. My #1 question: Is there a Clear Title? It is not advisable to buy or sell a car without one, unless it is a very old classic car and you are buying it just for a parts car.
Where to find the cars:
Craigslist is a good place. Sometimes you can just call and ask if it’s parked where you can drive by and look at it. A first look may tell you it’s just too beat up or rusted out. That way you don’t waste your time setting up any appointment. If it looks good, check your price guides against their asking price. If it seems like a deal, don’t waste any time setting up an appointment.
Newspapers are also a good place to find old and new cars for sale. Most little towns have a local shopper that you can pick up for free at local stores and restaurants (I found this a very good resource). Also, the Sunday edition in bigger cities seems to be the best day for lots of car ads. Usually the price they’re asking is listed in the ad so you can get out your car price guides and see if anything is a deal.
Drive Around and always keep your eyes open. People park their cars out on their lawns or in empty parking lots with For Sale painted on the windshield or a sign with a phone number. You’d be surprised at how many cars you can find for sale if you keep your eyes peeled!
Car Shows are places to talk to people who love cars. Tell them you are looking for something ‘not in show condition’ that you could work on. A lot of times these people have many more cars than the one they have parked at the show. They may have several cars they never get to and the time may be just right for them to sell one to you!
Talk to People because you never know who they may know that has a car they need to get out of their garage. Tell all your friends that you intend to find, fix and sell cars and spread the word.
Story: I told my sister when I started to do this, she told her friend who happened to have a rare model 1967 Ford XL convertible which he wanted to sell because he was moving out of state. When he showed it to me my jaw dropped. It was like off the showroom floor. He told me how much he wanted and I thought it was a steal. I purchased it, put it in the Leake Car Auction a month later and made about 8 grand. Not bad, huh?