• Hi Guest! Being a Paying Supporter is NOT a requirement to participate at BCF. However, subscribing will help ensure we can continue to serve the LBC community for years to come. If you enjoy BCF and find our forum a useful resource...Please consider supporting us by **Upgrading**
    (PS: Subscribers don't see this banner)
Tips
Tips

Where did I go wrong?

Jim_Newman

Jedi Hopeful
Offline
https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/...83239066&ssPageName=ADME:L:EOISSU:MOTORS:1123

Inquiries from Belgium to Hawaii but not a single bid. Did I provide too much detail? Not enough pictures? Surely the car is worth a whole lot more than the opening minimum bid.

I guess I'll hang onto it until my grandson is old enough to drive it. (Or maybe I'll take it to one of the classic car auctions).

Any thoughts?

Cheers
 
Country flag
Offline
My opinion (you asked): This car is highly modified to your personal taste. I think a well-preserved or well-restored original BN7, esp. a center-shift tri-carb, is worth your starting asking bid and then some. But, you've made the car 'yours,' and removed the option for a buyer to a) own a good original or b) modify an original car to his preference. I watch a lot of TV car shows where cars are modded-up and they often sell for less than the owner thinks they should--unless your name is Coddington or Foose--because they don't understand that what you think is a great mod may not be everybody's idea of a great mod.
 

SpacerM

Senior Member
Offline
The only thing I will add is the short temporal nature of eBay- how many people are looking for Healeys in the time your car was listed? How many other options were there for buyers ("driver" buyers- not dealers looking for a cheap pickup) listed at the same time? You can get an idea by checking the completed listings, both sold and unsold, for the time your car was for sale. When it comes time for me to sell, I'm hoping the combination of word of mouth, time, and the local AH club newsletters will produce a better transaction, both in terms of price and knowing my Healey is going to a good home, than eBay. Then again, I found my Healey, for a great price, on eBay :fat:
 

vette

Darth Vader
Silver
Country flag
Offline
Hi Jim, I believe I tend to agree with Bob. I too am modifiying my car kind of knowing that it would probably have a higher resale value if I restored it original. But I have always owned and built cars for what I wanted to drive and darn the torpedos full speed ahead. My money is spent for my entertainment not the next guys. If you want to make money put it in stocks or real estate. Oops, sorry about the soap box. One other thing. I tend to believe that the market for the Healey is topping out. Not that exceptional ones won't always be sought, but the aggregate as a whole doen't have the demand it has enjoyed. Those special cars will always find the special person who wants it and it will be treated as a special car. Not the drivers that I enjoy. The younger people are not going to put the demand on the Healeys like in the past. Be careful when priceing a car to sell, many times professional work puts more money into a car than a resale can get out of it. I'm not critiseing the professional builder, (well maybe alittle), But when a professional shop builds a car for a person that just loves that car and really wants one of that quality, then the shop is providing a service that can't be provided any other way. But when a professional shop builds one for resale. Many times it is too much money. Good Luck with your car no mater what you end up doing with it. Dave.
 

DerekJ

Luke Skywalker
Country flag
Offline
I disagree slightly with some of the comments. A standard BN7 is not worth as much as your car assuming they were in equal condition. A car like yours would be advertised in the UK at around Ā£45,000. A standard BN7 in the same condition would be around Ā£35,000. However, as you might imagine, there are probably more people looking to buy a standard car than a modified fast road car. Personally I don't think eBay is the best place to sell cars like this, plus it might take 6 months or a year for the right buyer to come along. There is no shortage of Healeys for sale. In the UK I know of at least 6 'Fast Road', 'Rally' and 'Race' Healeys for sale at the moment with prices from Ā£42,000 to Ā£80,000. (BTW Your hard top is worth Ā£3000 alone.) What make are the rear wheels? I fancy a pair for my car. Re: the ad. I would remove all references to bling however jokey, plus I don't think your engine bay is dirty. I know you want to be honest but don't over criticise the car, its really good.
 

glemon

Yoda
Country flag
Offline
I somewhat agree with the statements about the car being modified, it doesn't necessarily make it worth less, but it probably does limit your potential buyers market a little. I would give it a lower start bid, you can always set a reserve, I have not had that much experience selling high end items on E-bay, but for car parts and such if I listed it at near what I thought it was worth I would often get no bidders, if I started with a low price I more often than not ended up selling the same item for more than the starting price on the prior auction when I had no bidders, often much more, thrill of the hunt and all that. Just a thought, maybe a few more pics too, nice looking car by the way.
 
Last edited:

Editor_Reid

Moderator
Staff member
Platinum
Country flag
Online
My opinion (you asked): This car is highly modified to your personal taste. I think a well-preserved or well-restored original BN7, esp. a center-shift tri-carb, is worth your starting asking bid and then some. But, you've made the car 'yours,' and removed the option for a buyer to a) own a good original or b) modify an original car to his preference. I watch a lot of TV car shows where cars are modded-up and they often sell for less than the owner thinks they should--unless your name is Coddington or Foose--because they don't understand that what you think is a great mod may not be everybody's idea of a great mod.

I agree with Bob completely. Just glancing at your eBay listing without reading the text in detail, I see a car that would need lots of expensive un-modifying for my taste. It would be a crap shoot to take it to a classic car auction. You'd need two bidders who were both keen to own such a car to bid against each other and run up the price, and the chances of that happening are pretty slim. Could happen, but it would be wildly lucky.

(I'm writing an article/editorial even now on realistic expectations for taking a Healey to auction. I know that a lot of people think that they all fetch the highest price they've ever heard of one achieving, and that the seller pockets all of that money, but the truth is far from it.)
 

Healey_Z

Jedi Warrior
Offline
It looks like we lost the prior posts, so here are my thoughts again. I think why the car did not have any interest at $40k is the flairs, color combo and how it was marketed. You would need to fix one or more of those things, lower your price or find the perfect buyer that loves the mods you made.

The car has a great history, and I would use it to your advantage by making the look of the car inspired by the 3000 rally car. Paint the coves and then focus the buyers attention on what they could do with the car (opposed to the history of what you did to the car). I would not copy the look of the trunk, but rather paint a picture in the buyers mind how cool it would be to drive a car like this, with a race history.

49c3f78591eabef2fc1f2ef24ae21b7b.jpg

31db282c173ececf29429e5d6e3ffad6.jpg
 
Country flag
Offline
I think the flares detract enormously. A knowledgeable person, assessing a Healey for originality and damage, will run his/her fingers under the wheel openings. An original, undamaged--or at least a perfectly repaired car--will have an unbroken, wrapped wire bead on the inside of the wheel openings. Without intact beads, only new wings--expensive and notoriously difficult to fit--will restore the car to original. Flares advertise that this original, distinctive Healey trait has been obliterated (unless, of course, fiberglass wings were fitted and the originals have been properly preserved).

Again, it's your car, you can do what you want with it. Performance and reliability mods are OK to myself and most Healey nuts I know--I've done a few small, easily reversible ones on my BJ8--but anybody who thinks they can improve on Gerry Coker's masterpiece is mistaken. IMO, the flares are unsightly, and they don't even appear to be necessary. Perhaps buyers who otherwise like the performance mods are turned off by them as well. Also, those aren't even close to being '100M style louvers.'

Again, you asked.
 
Last edited:

glemon

Yoda
Country flag
Offline
I hate to pile on, but agree about the flares, changes the look from a period rally car to one of those IMHO godawful kit car Healeys.
 

Frameman

Senior Member
Offline
There are 100s of original healeys that are not selling either.
You have a modified Healey and there is a market for modified cars. It is a big market that we find is growing all the time.
You need to market it to that target audience.
I think we all need to remember that the BJ8 is a modification or an evolution of the 100-4.
The way I see it modifying a Healey is just following the tradition of Healeys.
A quality car- well built will always sell for good money -original or modified.
Martin
 

Frameman

Senior Member
Offline
He is asking for opinions from people on this forum which appears to have a preference for the original Healey.
This is not the right market.
This is not his target audience. This audience attacked the car which likely made the owner feel badly about his car. It may also be devaluing his car to potential buyers. In fairness he asked this group and I think that was his mistake. He has asked people that do not have a large voice for modified Healeys. This site is a global site as well as ebay. Negative comments do not help to sell any product.
This forum attracts a large global audience looking to gain information and insight into Healeys but it seems to focus on the original and does not appreciate modified Healeys.
He needs to focus on the modifications and not how it used to be. He needs to attract the right market to his car by marketing it better. There are other sites to sell cars. In my opinion when people go to auctions they are looking to spend as little as possible especially on line.
Martin
 

Editor_Reid

Moderator
Staff member
Platinum
Country flag
Online
He is asking for opinions from people on this forum which appears to have a preference for the original Healey.
This is not the right market.
This is not his target audience. This audience attacked the car which likely made the owner feel badly about his car. It may also be devaluing his car to potential buyers. In fairness he asked this group and I think that was his mistake. He has asked people that do not have a large voice for modified Healeys. This site is a global site as well as ebay. Negative comments do not help to sell any product.
This forum attracts a large global audience looking to gain information and insight into Healeys but it seems to focus on the original and does not appreciate modified Healeys.
He needs to focus on the modifications and not how it used to be. He needs to attract the right market to his car by marketing it better. There are other sites to sell cars. In my opinion when people go to auctions they are looking to spend as little as possible especially on line.
Martin

Well, as Bob noted, "He asked." If you want only compliments about something, you're better off talking with your dog.

I don't think that we suffer from a lack of diversity of opinion here, but the whole world saw many good photos and a long description of the car on eBay, and no one bid on it. He asked, "Were did I go wrong?", and some forum subscribers have offered their opinions. I'd say that the Forum is operating exactly as intended, and those examples of constructive criticism will likely do him far more good than people telling him that they like his car as it is. Let's not attack those offering constructive criticisms and thereby stifle the very kind of feedback that the guy asked for and needs.

How's your V12 Healey running these days?
 
OP
Jim_Newman

Jim_Newman

Jedi Hopeful
Offline
Wow. That question stirred up some feelings didn't it? What started out as a critique of my attempt to auction the car on eBay, turned rather quickly to an analysis of whether modifying a Healey is a good idea or not. And whether my mods were indeed even tasteful.
As all of you know, the BMC works rally cars were themselves heavily modified Austin Healeys. Over their (often brief) lifetimes they were continuously modified to make them better rally cars. Everything on my car has appeared on a works rally car at one time or another; including a louvered hood and wing flares. The only feature never to appear on such a car is the white cove paint treatment (though white doors did on some versions). The red/white cove combination was however a popular special order paint scheme on many Healeys.
My car was never intended to be a replica of any specific works rally car that once existed and it certainly is not one of the very few originals that remain. (Nor would I expect it to be worth over $300,000 as URX 727 went for not so long ago).
Compared to some of the fuel injected V8, side-pipes, massive flares equipped on some modified Healeys, this one is true to the tradition of the Healey rally cars. It certainly looks the part (OK except for the white coves and the fact that the exhaust doesn't come blasting out from beside the driver's door). But it is not a rally car now. It is, as the blurb indicated, a tribute to the incredible Healeys of the 60s that dominated the European road rally circuits. Stick in a roll bar, a fuel cell, competition seats and navigation instruments and this car could have competed and not looked out of place. And yes, if you wanted true originality, you'd want to remove most of the interior fittings, the carpeting, the heat and sound insulation, the full exhaust system (along with the chrome tips) - all things that makes this car a joy for me to drive.
Guys, in terms of my one day trying to sell the car again, I shall heed what I have read here. Much of your advice has been thoughtful and considerate and, when I think about it, common sense. I would ask that those who find the car to be "highly modified" think back to the days when such modifications were done to make the competition Healeys better, not just different. I don't think Gerry Coker would not disapprove.
Cheers
 
OP
Jim_Newman

Jim_Newman

Jedi Hopeful
Offline
That's I don't think Gerry Coker would disapprove.
 

Editor_Reid

Moderator
Staff member
Platinum
Country flag
Online
That's I don't think Gerry Coker would disapprove.

You may be right, although I wouldn't bet the farm that the original designer would like body mods very much. In any case, looking at your eBay listing again, a couple of thoughts:

1. As a long-time eBay observer (and purchaser of numerous cars from eBay auctions), I think that you might have better luck if you offered a lower starting bid. You can make your reserve whatever you like, but if the opening bid is small, it will attract some bids - probably not serious bids - but at least some bids and that shows interest in your car; it helps to create "a buzz." It reassures others that it is a desirable car that others are bidding on, and it encourages more bidding. Some people like to offer an opening bid equating to the year of manufacture of the car; thus, $1960. If no one bids on it in that range, you have really bad breath!

2. One not-very-difficult change to the car that in my opinion would likely improve your chances considerably is to paint the sides red - get rid of the red-white two-tone. The rally cars didn't look like that. A classic all-red car with a white hardtop would, I believe, look more the part and would also help to reduce the visuality of the fender/wing flares, which, again, I believe are considered undesirable by a large majority of potential buyers (maybe not all, but I'd say do what you can to stack the odds in your favor - don't fight the odds).

It has also been my observation that eBay bidders are often reluctant to bid real money because the chances of getting burned are so high. It is difficult for a potential buyer to actually see the car before committing to buy, and sellers often demand non-refundable deposits within a day or two of an auction. Why treat the guy who just bought your car so badly with demands to SEND ME $1000, NONREFUNDABLE, WITHIN 48 HOURS OR I'LL GIVE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK AND RELIST THE CAR <-- I've seen almost that exact text in eBay auctions many times.

Why not offer to allow a winning bidder to personally inspect and even refuse the car after the auction closes. Sure, require that to happen within, say, two weeks after the auction end, but give people time to get time off work, buy an airline ticket in advance, etc. Not everyone can drop everything, buy a short-notice (high-cost) airline ticket, and rush right out there to put a stack of hundred dollar bills in your hand. Take the pressure off and make it a willing transaction between gentlemen. Winning an eBay auction shouldn't be a game of "Gotcha!" Unless you're desperate for funds and on the verge of getting evicted from the trailer court, what's the big rush? If you have accurately described the car, and preferably included good, sharp, close-up photos of the faults, the buyer shouldn't be surprised. If someone wins the auction and flies out to inspect the car, he's no tire-kicker - he seriously wants to own it. It may be your fault if it doesn't meet his expectations because you either glossed over, or ignored altogether, some important faults.

Negotiating a lower price should also be an option on the table if the buyer/auction-winner can show you some good reasons for it. Do you want to sell it or not? Use eBay as a way to market the car, not as a gotcha-gimmick where you hold all the cards and the buyer has to jump through hoops and pay-up the full price right now OR ELSE.

On additional thing you can do that I believe helps to reassure a potential bidder-buyer of your authenticity is to list your telephone number in the item description. Many people are more comfortable discussing the car with the seller, rather than exchanging impersonal emails. You might even strike a deal over the phone and end the auction. The amount of money that we're talking here is not peanuts, and a buyer wants to be confident and comfortable with not only the car, but also the seller, before he takes two or three days off, gets on a plane, and decides to pay a five-figure price for a toy.

Anyway, that may be more opinion and advice than you wanted, but it's free and you're free to ignore it! Good luck.
 
Country flag
Offline
That's I don't think Gerry Coker would disapprove.

I have no idea what GC would think of your car, that's why I didn't speculate on it (re-read what I actually wrote--if I wasn't clear my bad). I've only seen photos of factory rally cars and I don't recall any having flares.

re: "...turned rather quickly to an analysis of whether modifying a Healey is a good idea or not..." No, it didn't (how many times did I write "it's your car--do what you want with it"?). It 'turned into' an analysis of whether performing extensive, personalized modifications will cause a car to receive zero bids on eBay, and why. Our one data point suggests that may well be the case.

IMO your statement that "... the bonnet received 100M style louvers ..." is disingenuous bordering on false advertising. I know when I read an ad or article and the author makes a statement I know to be untrue I question the veracity of the entire content. People have tried to duplicate the 100M louvers and bonnets, but my understanding is that they have a unique shape and profile that has never been successfully, exactly duplicated. The louver pattern on a 100M is also completely different than on this car--this comes off as an attempt to benefit from the cachet of the 100M, though I suspect that was unintentional?

As others have suggested, I'd try selling the car straight up, with a list of the mods--no detailed history necessary. Make the starting bid lower but hold a reserve that's acceptable to you. For some reason I don't understand how limiting the potential market for the car would help, but who knows.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
warwick-steve Where did the smell go? Austin Healey 11
R Where did it go? A who-done-it mystery! Austin Healey 18
M where did it go Triumph 2
B TR2/3/3A Where did I see the picture of the TR3 bulkhead Triumph 6
T where did my coolant go? Austin Healey 5
M Where did my horn go?? Spridgets 4
KVH Where Did They All Go? Triumph 5
Stewart So where did you take your B today? MG 6
mgblue79 Where did the summer go? Spridgets 23
jlaird Where oh where did Jaybird go? MG 51
jsneddon TR2/3/3A Where did all my TR3 bottom end power go? Triumph 6
S T-Series Where did my clutch fluid go... MG 7
Basil Where's Walter? Spotted 8
Q TR2/3/3A Where to start?! Triumph 13
jlaird MGB Up date. Where to begin? MG 7
B Windshield glass, where to buy Restoration & Tools 4
steveg TR6 '74 - Where is the Starter Relay located? Triumph 1
C MGA Where to tap into 12v for a power outlet MG 2
S TR2/3/3A I have this miss where the car will start and kinda idle Triumph 23
C Anyone know where to get one of these? Austin Healey 6
P Area where pillar, shroud, and drainage channel meet. Austin Healey 3
P Drainage Channel Where It Meets The Shroud Austin Healey 6
M TR4/4A Where to buy a new crown wheel & pinion for TR4A Triumph 5
PAUL161 T-Series Where My TF Came From MG 1
FlyingCat Spitfire What hoses go where... Triumph 6
A Phase 1, Phase 2, Where's Phase 3 Austin Healey 14
Got_All_4 General TR Someone asked where to get DOT5 silicon brake fluid a while back Triumph 4
Got_All_4 TR6 triumph tr6 wrist pins where to get them Triumph 5
T TR2/3/3A Where is best spot to check temp with infrared thermometer? Triumph 17
Got_All_4 General TR Anyone know where to get one of these? Triumph 5
R J-H Stromberg carb connections? Where do they go? Other British Cars 2
Paulus General TR Where to get HVDA parts and vibration when engaging clutch. Triumph 13
B TR2/3/3A Where on the clutch pedal? Triumph 4
N Spitfire Just picked up this 73 Spitfire. Hasn't run in ten years. Where do I begin? Triumph 10
P T-Series Where's my last TD? MG 2
R engine removal- where to connect hoist? Austin Healey 16
C Where and how to "disconnect" my two SU's? Austin Healey 3
55modified TR2/3/3A warning indicator bulbs need replacing where and what to buy? Triumph 4
S TR4/4A Where do the ground straps connect Triumph 5
Jim_Gruber Hubs a Rocking on side where Speedi Sleeve was installed Spridgets 5
Gliderman8 TR6 Convertible cover snaps... where to install? Triumph 2
M TR4/4A Where to buy this aluminium extrusion? Triumph 7
C Gauge faces - where to get Austin Healey 9
G Where can I get bottle jack seals? Restoration & Tools 2
R TR4/4A Where can I get Triumph Midnight Blue carpet? Triumph 0
Got_All_4 TR2/3/3A Where to place the switch for the windshield washer & bottle Triumph 8
C Where to wire a Pusher fan - BN1 Austin Healey 16
Rob Glasgow Brackets, where do they go? Austin Healey 3
Got_All_4 TR2/3/3A Where can i get these door handle parts Triumph 1
M BT7 restoration, Where to start and sill reinforcement Austin Healey 3

Similar threads

Top