Beware Of That Online For Sale By Owner On Craigslist

Hey Cool Car Fans,

2004HondaPilotRecently, I had a client ask me to look at a vehicle for them on Craigslist for their son.  It was a 2004 Honda Pilot EXL with about 175,000 miles and the seller was asking $6,500 for this vehicle.  It is amazing that these old SUV’s will still go for that much money on sites like,,, etc. and this was being offered by a private party.  I picked up the vehicle and as I always do I went and had it inspected at one of the shops that I use the to inspect vehicles for my clients.  Keep in mind, that most people believe they are going to get a much better deal from a private party purchase than buying from a dealership, but I rarely find that to be true.  This case was not any different.

Upon inspecting the vehicle I discovered that it had some issues, which did not surprise me with 175,000 miles on a 9 year old vehicle, but I certainly wasn’t about to pay retail and then get it repaired.  I already knew that it needed four new tires, but the brakes where shot, both tie rods were gone, the radiator needed to be flushed out, the timing belt and water pump had never been done so they were driving it on borrowed time and much more.  When it was all said and done to get this vehicle right, so that I could feel comfortable delivering it the price tag was $2,300 in repairs.  I went back to the seller and explained it to them and their response was that I should bring it back and they would sell it to someone else interested on Craigslist.

Welcome to the whacky world of high mileage used vehicles.  Some sucker is going to get a vehicle that they will think they just have to put new tires on and odds are pretty good they won’t have the timing belt and water pump done.  Which brings me to the next story because a recently had a client who had purchased a high mileage Subaru that they paid cash for online.

The person told them that they had the timing belt and water pump done and after spending $3,800 on this 1998 Subaru including repairs with 180,000 miles it broke down on the highway.  She was a single woman and stranded on the freeway until 2AM waiting for her insurance company to find a tow truck.  A police officer came by once to ask if she was okay, along with some strange old man with a cane offering to give her a ride somewhere.  Her beloved mechanic told her that it wasn’t the timing belt and water pump that blew, but everything around it fell apart and she still owed $1,750 on this piece of junk.  I was able to trade it for her and get a newer Nissan Altima that was under warranty with a low monthly payment, but that’s the challenge of buying used vehicle from people online.  Believe it or not, they do not always tell the truth about why they are looking to sell their vehicle.

If you’re going to buy a cheap ride online make sure that you get it checked out and do not just take people’s word for it that the vehicle is in great shape.  There is usually a reason why they are selling it to begin with and typically it’s because they are tired of making payments to a mechanic or their shop has told them the vehicle needs a costly repair.  I have purchased vehicles from private parties and dealerships that they have told me need nothing and I discover that the vehicle needs any number of things to make it road worthy and ready for delivery.


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

Happy New Year – Check Out The Cool Car Guy Network

Hey Cool Car Fans,

New-Year-CarI wanted to take a moment and wish all of my visitors to a very Happy New Year for 2015!  If you need assistance in buying, trading, leasing, refinancing, selling or figuring out a better solution for your vehicle situation give me a call or send me an email.  I can usually find a solution that other dealers and auto brokers or automotive consultants do not know how to do because of my years of expertise.  I’ve seen and handled just about every type of transaction imaginable and I thought I would take a minute and share a few things to watch out for online.

THE COOL CAR GUY NETWORK: By the way, I also just launched a new Internet property called The Cool Car Guy Network that you can read about why you should join at the following link: You can join the Network for as little as $9.99 for 30 days to list your vehicle or $99 for the entire year and take full advantage of this unique website.  It’s a cool way to take advantage of what I’ve been doing for years as The Cool Car Guy and a great way to showcase your vehicle online, sell your vehicle, write articles as part of The Cool Car Guy Network and even promote your business.  Check it out and feel free to send me feedback since it’s a brand new property.

A Few Online Automobile Scams To Watch Out For

The first one is when you see a late model Mini-Cooper or other popular vehicles being offered for $5,000 or way below market value on Craigslist or Ebay because the people just got transferred overseas or they have some other whacky story.  The reality is that they could go to any local dealer and get the amount of money that they are offering it to you for, if it was a real offer.  It’s not and they will figure out a way to take you for a ride because that is what they do.

I have had people contact me after the fact for advice and you wouldn’t believe some of the stories I have heard.  One included a guy who contacted me and explained how he had showed up in a local parking lot to get his Ebay vehicle at night and when the truck turned out to be “trashed” he declined.   Two guys in another pickup truck pulled out tire irons and were ready to beat him up and take his money and told him that he was going to take the truck or it was going to end badly for him.  He was carrying a gun and that was the only thing that saved him from being left for dead.

There are plenty of con-artists online, who often times do not even own the vehicle they are offering for sale.  Many times they will pull photos off the Internet and use them in their ad or even be so bold as to take photos of a vehicle parked in someone’s driveway and claim it is theirs.  It’s buyer beware!  If it sounds too good to be true it probably is, so just remember that the next time you see the crazy online offers.

Another one to watch out for is the “Take Over My Lease Payments” or “We Will Take Over Your Lease Payments”.  Both of these are a very bad idea.  In order to really take over someone’s lease payments legally, you have to qualify with the manufacturer or leasing company and what you will usually find is the person may be in a really bad lease.  You could end up qualifying for a lease that isn’t all that you thought it was cracked up to be and assuming someone else’s nightmare.

Which leads me to the second option of having someone take over your lease payments.  This is a terrible idea and people do it all the time.  If the person doesn’t qualify with your leasing company and assume the lease with you being off it completely and you just “sub-lease” it to them, first of all you are in violation of your lease agreement and the vehicle can be repossessed.  Secondly, if they trash the vehicle, you are still responsible for the damage or the excess miles, regardless of what the sub-lease company outfit tells you.  And third, if they stop making payments and move out of the State with your vehicle, you could be completely screwed.  The bottom line is DON’T DO IT!

Contact me and I can give you a much better way to get out of your lease than having someone with bad credit that you don’t know try to solve your problem.  Even if you’re thinking of having a relative or friend take over your lease payments it isn’t a good idea. I have seen many people get burned on what seems like a great idea at the time to solve a cash flow problem.  It’s not the same as assuming the payments on a house, like the slick salespeople will tell you at the company charging you their fee because a house is not going to drive across State lines.

Finally, the “Straw Purchase”, is often done by shady dealers and salespeople.  A Straw purchase in the automotive industry is a purchase where a purchaser is knowingly acquiring a loan on a vehicle for someone else. The person purchasing on behalf of the other when the other person is unable to purchase the vehicle themselves.  If a loan is involved it can be considered fraudulent based on signing a credit application and applying for a loan by providing false information.  If you do not disclose to the lender that the vehicle is for someone else, it’s a straw purchase.  The vehicle can be repossessed and your credit can tank.

These are just a few things to be aware of when vehicle shopping in 2015.  Have a great year!


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

The Cool Car Guy’s Auto Repair Advice

Woman Leaning Over the Engine Bay of a Car --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisHey Cool Car Fans,

Here at I try to put cool links for visitors to use when they are cruising through my site, which you can find on the right side of the page under cool links.  One such link is Repair Pal and once you are there you can search on some different content to find out if the vehicle you’re looking to purchase or maybe you are driving is a good value or not based on potential repairs.

For example, I currently drive a 2011 BMW 335xi with a manual transmission that has been a very good vehicle for me for a while now.  Previous to this vehicle I put 92,000 miles on a 2010 Mercedes Benz C300 that I leased new and then bought out the lease.  I never had one issue with that vehicle for 92,000 miles.  All I had to do was change the oil, the tires, the brakes and do the regular transmission service at about 30,000 to 40,000 miles, so that was a great vehicle for the money.

I sold it and went with this 2011 BMW that has also been pretty “bullet proof” so far with a twin-turbo 6 cylinder motor.  I plan on keeping this vehicle for a while as I really enjoy driving it and I have recommended it to quite a few people.  Repair Pal has a great article – BMW 335i Repair and Maintenance – A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your BMW 335i on this vehicle that discusses potential repairs that I could encounter as an owner and what they should cost.  This can work well for someone who is considering purchasing a vehicle like what I’m driving to see if they want to roll the dice on the cost of potential repairs.  You have to do a little more research though to see if they are talking about the year of vehicle that you’re driving for the potential repairs because they could be referring to an older year than what you’re driving.

The other thing that you need to consider is where you’re are getting the repair work done and in what part of the country you are living in for the work that is being quoted.  Most people never think about this as an issue, but this site comes in as a great tool for keeping your mechanic or repair shop honest.  For example, when I went to their Repair Cost Estimator tool and I put in the year, make and model of my vehicle and then put in valve cover gasket replacement based on a zip code in Littleton, CO of 80124 the estimate came back at $740 to $1066 and it was primarily labor.  I then changed the zip code to Fort Walton Beach, FL using 32548 and the price changed for this repair to $576 to $857 for the exact same repair.  That’s a substantial difference in price for one repair!

I then punched in a 2010 Subaru Legacy with the 2.5l motor that is notorious for having the head gaskets go at about 80,000 miles.  I’ve seen dealers charge $2,500 to $3,000 for this repair!  Again, I put in the different zip codes and the repair shops in Littleton, CO should be $1117 to $1544 for this repair.  On the Gulf Coast of Florida it was $935 to $1312, but if you didn’t know any better and went to the dealer you could be getting ripped off big time.  If you have this data though you should be able to negotiate with your mechanic and they can still earn a fair profit based on knowing ahead of time what you should be paying for the repair.  If you’re savvy at working with a repair shop, you can budget $1,066 and get two repairs done or replace a component that you know will be needed in the future for the same price as what someone else is paying for one repair.

This is a very useful tool to ballpark a repair that I use myself for getting work done on vehicles, along with some other resources that I have available.  I have certain repair shops and body shops that I use for specific things, but this information is useful to make sure that I am not overpaying for a particular repair.  Don’t be afraid to ask if your shop can match the price on a repair, after you have done your homework and go for the lower amount.

I don’ t list all of the benefits of working with The Cool Car Guy to get your vehicle because I don’t like to let other “auto brokers” know my secrets.  Needless to say, I have saved my clients thousands of dollars in the total ownership of their vehicles because they know me.


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

A Fast And Furious 2012 Audi S4 Prestige

2012S4.2Hey Cool Car Fans,

The Audi S4 is one of the more popular performance sedans.  It is often compared with the Lexus IS350, the BMW 335xi or even the BMW M3, along with the Mercedes Benz C63 AMG.  The latter two vehicles usually have more horses than a standard Audi S4, which is why some S4 enthusiasts will modify their vehicles to get more power out of the 3.0 liter, 6 cylinder engine.

This is one of those modified 2012 Audi S4’s that I decided to feature here to showcase as a cool car.  Here’s what has been done to this Audi S4 to make it a super fast and really unique ride.

Stasis Challenge Edition Supercharged 2012 Audi S4 Prestige Package
2012S4.5Monsoon Gray w Black Leather
3.0 Liter Supercharged V6
7 Speed paddle Shift Transmission
Approximately 30,000 Miles
19” Alloy Wheels/New Bridgestone Potenza All Season Tires
Extended Manufacturer Warrantee (Fully Transferable)

Car is a showroom condition, meticulously (professionally) maintained, Garaged, Summer-Only Driver.  One owner


  • Stasis Engineering ECU Tune- (Horsepower increase 100+, Torque 90 lb ft +) $2500
  • Stasis Engineering 2” Stainless Steel Full Exhaust (Headers Back) $2500
  • Huper Optik Carbon Ceramic Window Tint (Windshield Included) $2000
  • Clear Mask (fully wrapped , including mirrors, A-Pillars $1500
  • Clifford Alarm with Integrated Smart Start GPS Locator/Engine Kill $1500
  • Passport 9500 Ci Integrated Radar/Laser Warning/Diffuser System $2000
  • JL Audio 12” Subwoofer (Integrated into Audi MMI System) $500
  • JL Audio 500 Watt Amplifier (Integrated into the Audi MMI System) $1000
    • Note: These last three components are being removed if the offer is not high enough for the vehicle.


  • Audi Drive Select Package - $3,950Driver selectable responsive suspension features: electronic-control; Vehicle speed-proportional power steering; Sport suspension; Rear active differential; Dynamic engine/transmission settings; Driver modes includes engine mapping, steering and suspension; Requires: [WPT] Prestige; Excludes: [PDU] Sports Rear Differential Package
  • Sports Rear Differential Package – $1,100Rear active differential; Audi drive select controls; Excludes: [PDR] Audi Drive Select Package
  • 2012S4.1Audi MMI Navigation Plus – $2,000Internal HD navigation system with 3D and voice; Compass; Voice and display traffic Information; Multi-function display screen; Color driver information system; Rear cam&radar parking distance sensors; Parking assistance: guidance display for rear parking; Voice activating system for phone and navigation system; Audio system , digital radio
  • Prestige – $6,700Headlight control and active headlights; Audi Adaptive Light; Audi Side Assist overtaking sensor; Nappa leather door armrests & pulls; Includes: [PND] Audi MMI Navigation Plus And [7X7] Rear Acoustic Parking Sensors And [4I3] Audi Advanced Key And [9VK] Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System And [PQ6] 19″ 5 Segment Spoke Wheels
  • 2012S4.6 Audi Advanced Key – $550Audi Advanced Key smart card/smart key; includes central locking ; includes ignition starter and memory seat; Card key power locks; Vehicle start button; Requires: [WPT] Prestige
  • Carbon Atlas Decorative Inlays – $500Luxury trim: carbon fiber-look and carbon fiber on dashboard; Excludes: [5MZ] Stainless Steel Texture Decorative Inlays And [5TZ] Gray Birch Wood Decorative Inlays
  • Rear Acoustic Parking Sensors – $550Rear radar parking distance sensors; Requires: [PND] Audi MMI Navigation Plus
  • 2012S4.7Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System – $850Bang & Olufsen audio system; Fourteen Bang & Olufsen speakers; Amplifier; Requires: [WPT] Prestige
  • 19″ 5 Segment Spoke Wheels – $800.  Front and rear alloy wheels: 19″x 8.5″; 5-spoke alloy wheels; Front and rear summer tires

If you’re a fan of the Audi S4 and you have some money to spend on one that has already been modified to over 400 plus horsepower than you should take a look at this vehicle.  Give me a call or send me an email, if you are interested in finding out more about this 2012 Audi S4 Prestige with all of these fantastic upgrades and to find out what it’s priced at – provided that it’s still available for sale.

Cool Car Guy Rating: Very Cool


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy


A Very Cool 1964 F-100 Pickup Truck

Hey Cool Car Fans,

F-100.1As The Cool Car Guy, I get to see some really cool rides on a regular basis and this truck that is owned by a guy who contacted me to let me know he was selling it I thought was too cool to not feature here at

Especially, when he told me what he had done to the vehicle and how much he was looking to get for it.  I told him that I would showcase it on my site and write an article about it to see if any of my visitors had an interest in it, since he’s trying to get into a home and needs to find a new home for this classic ride.

Here’s what he shared with me about his truck…

“Hi John,

F-100.4Here are some photos of my really nice 1964 Ford F-100.  It is the former show truck for Rockford Fosgate and has over 25k invested in it. It’s the perfect turn-key Sunday driver with less than 6k mi on everything. In fact, I drove it only 20 miles or less every weekend to cruise nights or go to dinner on nice evenings.

The motor is a fresh rebuilt 302, with a brand new automatic transmission in 2012 that cost over $3,000 and now it chirps 2nd at 6,200ft elevation where I live. It includes, new headers, custom 2 chamber side exhaust, (SOUNDS AMAZING! but not too loud), a new suspension, a custom radiator, custom gages, custom flip face Pioneer CD stereo with 8″ subs and direct iPod attachment with in dash controls, with low profile tires and custom wheels.  

It has a new battery, really cool looking blue LED volt meter, and professionally rolled and shaved F-100.2body work with an awesome Charcoal Metallic paint highlighted with a very faint ghost flame on the lower front fenders.  The truck really does run and drive great and is absolutely perfect for a night out cruising just as it is.  

Like any older truck that has been rebuilt, there are a few small items that can be done to it down the road for the new owner.  The gauges light up and are powered, but they are not hooked up and the shaved outer door handles are not hooked up yet either.  It used to have powered auto opening doors but they removed all that gear when I bought the truck 8years ago and I never bothered to reconnect it, so that is an option.

The body is perfectly straight with some small road chips, a couple small door dings and light scratches since the paint is nine years old and it still looks amazing as you can see from the photos.  F-100.5The drip rail above the front window has small bubbles, (this is very common unless you shave off the drip rail), there is some pitting and water marks on the rims, but nothing major and the tires still have plenty of tread left.

The only reason why I’m selling this vehicle is to buy a new house so my loss is your gain.  I’m going to miss this truck because it is awesome and I have never found another one like it!  It runs and drives excellent and always has people checking it out or giving me a thumbs up.  You really have to see it to appreciate it and thanks for putting it on to help me find a buyer.  

I think that with the small items addressed it could be worth $25,000, but I don’t have time to work on it before we close on the house.  Let me know if you have a buyer for it and thanks again.”

F-100.6If you’re looking for a cool vehicle to cruise around in or add to your collection just let me know and I’ll get you more information about it.  He may sell it on his own fairly quickly, but he asked me if I could assist him by featuring it here on  I wanted to showcase his ride and have him share some of the information about it, since it’s a classic and very hard to find truck that is currently available for under $16,500.

Drop me an email if you want more information about it.  If you’re looking for a sweet classic truck from the 1960’s era this is worth investigating further.

Cool Car Guy Rating: Very Cool














John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy



Finally Some Honest Press On The Tesla Model S

BMWi8Hey Cool Car Fans,

Like many automobile enthusiasts, I have been watching Telsa Motors for years and the enormous fascination and love of the electric automobile maker by the public and the media.  This past Friday the stock was trading at $259.32 a share with a Market Cap of $32.32B, which is the most ridiculous and overpriced stock I can remember based on their annual car sales and product line.  Seriously, look at the number of car sales for Tesla Motors compared to Autonation, which is not an Automobile Manufacturer.

International Business Times reported that Tesla will sell 35,000 vehicles in 2014.  Autonation, which is a franchise automobile dealer and also a public company reported in a Press Release that retail new vehicle unit sales in the second quarter of 2014 alone were 81,394.  That’s not even close!  The stock price of Autonation though was only $51.44 a share and it has a Market Cap of only $6.1B compared to Tesla’s $32.32B Market Cap.  What about other competing specialty car companies like Mercedes Benz, Audi, BMW or others?  BMW stock price closed at $88.99 Euro a share and Mercedes Benz closed at just $63.70 Euro and they both have an electric vehicle that did a review about, but they are not getting the unprecedented and completely ridiculous media coverage that Tesla Motors has received.  Audi is releasing their A3 e-tron hybrid vehicle in 2015 as well, but it’s not a fully electric vehicle. They claim they will have one in about three years according to Audi and  And BMW reported the following on their website about their revenues and sales compared to Tesla Motors…

“The BMW Group continued to perform well throughout the period under report, recording its best-ever sales volume figures – both for a quarter and for a six-month period. The previous year’s second-quarter sales figure was topped once again, with 533,187 units delivered to customers (+5.3%). Six-month sales were also up solidly (1,020,211 units;6.9%), surpassing the one-million threshold for the first time in the first half of a year.”

My point in all of this is not to give stock advice, but simply to point out a fact that one company has an incredible amount of “hype” around their company based on their annual revenues and projected sales compared to other automobile manufacturers and even automobile retailers.  It’s a joke that Wall Street and the media power elite are helping Tesla Motors to be valued with a $32B Market Cap compared to Ford Motor Company for example that has a $64B Market Cap and sold 222,064 vehicles in the month of June 2014 alone.  Anyone with half a brain should see that the Telsa Motors is more hype than substance and the same holds true with their vehicles.  And even Fiat that owns Chrysler generates about $116 billion in U.S. annual revenues based on EUR $85 billion in sales.  Yet, I never hear a media outlet give Tesla any negative press compared to much larger and more successful car companies.  It’s crazy.

Sure, the Tesla Model S is a cool car, but they have limitations.  Such as only being able to drive about 300 miles before needing to be hooked up for almost five hours to fully recharge again.  Why is this not a big deal?  That would drive me crazy with the amount of miles that I drive each year.  I can get in a Model T and still put gasoline in that vehicle and drive it down the road.  Will you be able to do the same with the Tesla Model S and have it drive you anywhere you want to go even 20 years from now?  Probably not because it will be like your iPad and outdated technology.

There are finally a few articles that are showing up that are actually talking about some of the challenges of owning a Tesla Model S.   Like this article at Motor Authority written by a guy who talked about the claim that you can get a Tesla for only $500 a month, which is not reality.  The way the media and car enthusiasts promote this car you would think that it is the greatest invention since the wheel.   Personally, I think most of this media coverage is being purchased, but that’s my own personal opinion.  When I worked for a company selling Windsurfers back in the 1980’s, the company I was with frequently wrote the positive reviews for the magazine on some of their products because they spent so much with them on advertising.  If a bad review came out they called the Editor and told him they were pulling their ads and surprisingly the reviews became much better.  The exact same thing happened with a mail order computer company that I was with in the early 90’s.  Which is why I’m a bit skeptical of some of the things I read in many car magazines, on websites and through other media outlets about vehicles.

Uncle_SamThe other reason I’m skeptical is because as reported in the article “In Summary, The Tesla Model S Is A Dirty Car” the Government is giving Tesla Motors a great deal of help compared to other companies…

The Government Subsidy Insanity – The Model S is pretty clearly not a ‘green’ car. Despite this, Tesla enjoys massive financial support from the Federal government, as well as various state and local governments: The Department of Energy (DOE) provided Tesla with $465 mln of low-interest loans under its Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, buyers of the Tesla Model S luxury sedan gain $7,500 of Federal tax credits (at an annual cost to taxpayers of $150 mln at ‘full output’ of 20,000 Model S sedans per year) and state and local government incentives include a $2,500 rebate for Model S buyers in California, sales tax waivers, free parking, free charging and authorized travel in car pool lanes. Electric vehicle charging stations have also been subsidized, with Federal tax credits ranging from 30% of the cost of a home charger, up to a $1,000 tax credit, to $30,000 for the installation of commercial chargers. In addition, government environmental credit schemes forced other automakers to pay Tesla roughly $108 mln in over the past six months to “offset” the CO2 produced by their gasoline engine-equipped vehicles with credits generated by Model S sales. All of these incentives are designed to help promote Electric Vehicles (EVs) and reduce CO2 emissions, saving the planet from the devastating effects of Global Climate Change.” –

All of this hype with this vehicle and what appears to be a total scam on the American taxpayer, even though the internal combustion engine is still one of the greatest inventions of all time has me scratching my head.  Gasoline actually sits in your vehicle in hot or cold weather and doesn’t drain the power efficiency out of your vehicle like a lithium / ion battery that changes based on the weather.  The reality is the price of gasoline, government subsidies, media hype and the iPhone type “cool factor” is really what makes Tesla a viable company.  If gasoline was selling for $.47 a gallon in America like it is in Iran or $.88 a gallon like in Kuwait the electric car company would hardly be relevant.

Now I will wait for the negative comments from Tesla Model S fans.  Before you do though, let’s race from Denver to Los Angeles and I’ll drive my BMW 3 Series and you can drive your amazing Tesla Model S  and we will see who gets there first?  It’s about 1,017 miles from Denver to Los Angeles and about a 15 hour to 17 hour drive in a gasoline vehicle according to Google Maps with places for me to fill up all along the way.  So while you’re sitting around after 300 miles waiting four or five hours for your vehicle to recharge, so you can drive another 300 miles, so you can wait another five more hours and then drive another 300 miles and wait another five hours to go a whopping 900 miles total and then wait another five hours, so you can drive another five hours and finish your trip – I will already be there lying on the beach.  At which point I will ask you what your time is worth?  And after a few days of that nonsense to simply drive from Denver to Los Angeles, you will be ready to get out your high-tech iPhone, hop on Expedia and take an airplane home!


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

1987 Buick Regal Turbo-T / Grand National Consignment

Hey Cool Car Fans,

Buick3I recently consigned a 1987 Buick Regal Turbo-T that is the same engine with many of the same features as the Grand National only in a different color and trim package.  It has the same 3.8 SFI Turbo and drive train that came in the black Grand National.  They only produced 5,905 of these vehicles with the Turbo-T W02 sport package and this has the Y56 package as well with only about 48,000 original miles on the odometer.  This is a very rare vehicle with a “cult” following for people who really know and love this car because they didn’t produce very many of them in 1987.

Buick4This particular Buick Regal Turbo-T is gray with gray cloth interior and it looks very cool and is in excellent condition with great miles and has been well maintained.  There is a great article over at Motor Trend discussing the black Grand National and the cool factor of this 1980’s throw back to the 1960’s Muscle Car with its 245hp motor for 1987.

1987 Buick Regal Turbo T / Grand National

Price: $23,500
Make: Buick
Model: Regal
Trim: Turbo-T / Grand National
Mileage: 48,234
VIN: 1G4GJ1172HP404512
Transmission: Automatic
Color: Gray
Interior: Cloth
Vehicle Type: Coupe
State: CO
Driver Train: RWD
Engine: 3.8L OHV 12V Turbo

Buick2What’s nice about this Buick is that it is all stock, except for the cold air intake and piping that you can see in the photo.  He still has the original intake if you would want to swap it out.  And the interior of this car is still like new. It’s definitely a 9 out of 10 or even a 10 out of 10 for overall condition.

It also has an updated rear-view mirror with temperature and compass, which is pretty slick.  It has a bench seat, the classic column shifter, power windows, power locks, key-less entry and power seats.  It also has the rear defrost and air conditioning with no cracks in the dash or the horn cap.

Buick6It has the big trunk with the trunk carpet kit and the Turbo-T floor mats.  He also has the original floor mats, which you rarely find with these vehicles.  The exterior paint is in great condition and all the chrome and black trim is in really good condition too.   One thing that I look for with the older vehicles is scratches or dents and there are not any on this vehicle.  It also has the grand national wheels with the BFG tires, which is a nice touch if you like it equipped that way.  He also has the stock wheels and tires and documentation to prove the mileage is accurate.

Buick5He even has the original manuals and window sticker!  That’s really hard to find in a vehicle that is this age and that didn’t start out as a collector type car.  The bottom line is that the car is in pristine condition and has always been stored inside as an original Colorado car, so no rust and my client is the third-owner. He owns another one too, so you’re getting a vehicle from a true enthusiast of this make and model.  I like the old school speedometer on this vehicle, that was something you saw quite a bit of in the 1980’s vehicles.

If you’re into this vehicle than look no further and get in touch with me before it sells.  I’m putting it up on Ebay this Weekend as well and hopefully we’ll find a new owner for this vehicle quickly.

I found an excellent Youtube Video of someone drag racing their modified high-performance 1987 Buick Regal Turbo that I thought would be worth sharing in this article.  It shows what can be done with this vehicle to make it extremely fast.  Check it out.

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Cool Car Guy Rating: Very Cool


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy


All Leases Are Not The Same

Hey Cool Car Fans,

I get quite a few people who ask me about leasing vehicles because they want to have a lower payment when driving a vehicle.  First of all, I work with people from all walks of life and leasing is not for everyone.  You need a minimum 680 FICO score or a strong co-signer, but sometimes leasing can be an unbelievable way to solve an automobile payment challenge or eliminate negative equity.

Longhorn_duo_blue_streakRecently, I was asked by a friend to help a woman who was upside down on her high mileage SUV by $10,500!  She owed $40,000 on a vehicle that was worth only $29,500 and her vehicle was a 2009, so it was five years old at the time with miles that were to the point where costly repairs could start adding up.  She still had four to five years left on her loan, so her situation was really a disaster. I worked with a friend of mine and gave her a few options, one that included leasing a new 2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum at 15,000 miles a year and doing a five year lease.  This was not a manufacturer’s lease or something that could be done at the Toyota dealership to hit a payment that would work for her.

The second option was to lease a loaded Dodge Ram 1500 that I knew had $6,000 in incentives available through a great program that I could have used for her.  I know that some of you think it is crazy to lease a vehicle for five years, but keep in mind that people are doing six and seven year loans on vehicles now.  They don’t actually own their vehicles, so they are making payments to a lender instead of a leasing company.  They also do not have a guaranteed buyer for their vehicle five years from now, like you do with a leasing company.  Most people also don’t know that if you structure the lease properly on the right vehicle, you can usually get out within 42 months instead of going to the full five year term.  However, in both of these instances the numbers were pretty fantastic for eliminating $10,500 in negative equity.

2014TundraI’m not going to go into all the details on this article. As The Cool Car Guy, I’m like a magician and I don’t share all of my tricks.  What I can tell you is that she ended up selecting the 2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum.  She is now driving a new vehicle that is under the full manufacturer warranty and the truck shouldn’t require anything more than oil changes for the next three years and very little maintenance over the next five years.

Her payment went up only slightly compared with what she was paying on her loan, even with the additional negative equity that is now being wiped out.  At the end of the lease term or possibly before, she should be in an equity position of about $5,000 based on current auction sales of the truck she selected.   I need to mention that had she selected the Dodge, she would have been in an even better position because of the $6,000 in additional cash they had under a special program at the time.  Although she would have had about the same payment as the Toyota, at the end of the lease term, she could have had much more equity based on the residual value of the truck, current Dodge auction sales and the incentives on the Dodge.

It’s all about the structure.  So, if you know someone who is frustrated about their vehicle situation, just have them contact me and I’ll see if I can work some magic.


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

How Many Miles Are On That 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Jeep1Hey Cool Car Fans,

I spend a great deal of time each week cruising through the Dealer Auctions looking for vehicles for my clients.  I will often come across a vehicle that has been driven a ton of miles in a pretty short amount of time or just a great deal of miles in general.

It becomes a good data point for me when people tell me that they want a specific vehicle and they are concerned about how good of a vehicle it is for the money. I recently spotted this 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with 302,999 miles on the odometer.

OdometerI had to take a second look since a friend of mine has 350,000 miles on his 1997 Ford Explorer.  This Wrangler traveled about 37,874 miles a year and it is still in really good shape.  I pulled the CARFAX for kicks and it was a one-owner vehicle, so this guy bought it new and drove the heck out of it.  I thought I would take a minute and post the auction photos, including a picture of the odometer to show my visitors.

I think it’s pretty cool and this vehicle is still really clean, but it’s also a manual transmission that fewer people today know how to drive.  What Jeep2is amazing is that it was still slated to go through the Dealer Auction for $9,000 in average condition, which is pretty crazy for a vehicle with 302,999 miles!   I doubt that it sold for that, but I’m tempted to see if I can go back and see what it did sell for just for kicks.  Regardless, I would say that the owner got his money’s worth out of this vehicle, wouldn’t you?

Many people I have met over the years will tell me about the ridiculous miles they have put on their Toyota, Nissan or Honda and they tend to believe that every other vehicle on the planet won’t go over 100,000 miles.  It’s just not true because I see cars and trucks in every make and model with ridiculous miles on them all the time.  Although, I do see quite a few high mileage Toyota’s, Nissan’s and Honda’s more often and I think it’s because those buyers tend to keep them longer than most.

Jeep4I have a 1996 Honda Accord EX Wagon that has 192,500 miles on it and it runs like a champ.  I use it to drop off at dealerships or other locations when I’m picking up a vehicle and I just want to leave a vehicle.  I call it my “personal assistant” because it’s just an old car for running around.  What is crazy is that vehicle still has an NADA retail book value of over $3,500!

It’s true that you can lose money on vehicles because they depreciate, but it’s also true that if you take care of and maintain your vehicle it can provide you with a great deal of mileage on the road. I’m willing to bet that the second owner of this vehicle gets another 200,000 miles out of this Jeep.


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

Nice Cars Are Not Cheap

2003.5Hey Cool Car Fans,

Each week I have people contact me about helping them find a vehicle for their personal use or for a family member.  Why wouldn’t you contact me?  I’m free!  I buy, sell, trade and lease vehicles everyday and you do it once every three, four, five or ten years.  I only get paid if I deliver you a vehicle, so it’s like turning down free legal advice.

Unfortunately, I get so many people who are looking for the “deal” and they refuse to listen to me and then I get emails like this one below.

“Hi John,  We are in a confused bind. Our son bought a used 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS off of Craigslist and we have, put a new battery, new starter, new radiator, new thermostat, new tires and rims. Basically, the $3,000 car is now $5,600. It is overheating, and could be the water pump, which they have this $800 kit to also do the timing belt. No guarantee it will fix the overheating issue. So, We would like to sort of cut our losses, trade this car in for him to find one that will hopefully last a few years. Not sure what we can get for his car or what the heck to do.  Help.”

I have a saying that I picked up years ago from another guy who had sold cars for a few decades.  We were watching cars go through the dealer auction and there was a pretty big spread for the exact same vehicle.  This was because one vehicle was in excellent condition and another was in fair condition and still another was in rough condition.  The condition makes a huge difference on what you can expect to pay for a vehicle and people do not always take this into consideration when car shopping like the people above found out the hard way.

While we were watching cars go through the sale, he made a comment to me that I share this with my clients all the time.  These are words to live by when it comes to looking at automobiles because no two used vehicles are the same, regardless of what Kelly Blue Book or NADA might be telling you.  They are simply a guideline on what a vehicle should sell for.  We were laughing about how these cars had a $2,000 to $3,000 difference in price for the exact same vehicle and he turned to me and said, “Nice cars are not cheap and cheap cars are not nice.”  and then he laughed and walked away.

2003.4If you learn nothing else from visiting just remember what I just said when you’re out looking for a use vehicle.  You can learn from my years of experience, since I have looked at thousands of vehicles.  It’s the old saying that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.  Sure, there are some deals to be had when looking at vehicles, but what most people fail to realize is that used vehicles have already depreciated compared to the original MSRP.  This is true even when you’re looking at paying retail book for a used vehicle.  You are much better off paying retail book for a vehicle that needs nothing and that has been well maintained that getting someone else’s vehicle that is a piece of junk.

I do not inventory vehicles like most dealers.  There is a very simple reason why I do not inventory vehicles.  Cars and trucks depreciate and each month there are several third-party experts that do not purchase vehicles that come out with their books to tell the world what a used vehicle should be worth.  They are Kelly Blue Book and the NADA book and everyone has access to them for wholesale and retail prices based on the national depreciation based on what the vehicle should be worth.  However, this data comes from auction sales and other sales data in the marketplace.  I just told you how there can be a $3,000 spread between the same two vehicles running through the Dealer Auction based on the condition or if it has a clean CARFAX or a number of other factors.

2003.3What these books cannot tell you is that no two used vehicles are the same.  This is because they are used cars and people drive differently, they take care of their vehicles differently and they have different ideas about cars.  Some people trash their cars, they let their dogs live in them, they smoke in them, they don’t care about the vehicle, they don’t change the oil, etc.  You could look at two 2003 Porsche Boxster’s, each with about 25,000 miles and one was hanging out on the East Coast, the driver took it out a few times in the Winter for fun with his friends, with salt on the roads and mag chloride to do some donuts in a parking lot.  He didn’t wash it regularly, so rust is forming underneath it, and he also didn’t change the oil regularly.  They both have low miles and look great on the Internet, but the guy rode the clutch and was grinding the gears when he did drive it, he parked it outside on the street got a few door dings and somebody backed into the front bumper that he had fixed at a local body shop on the recommendation of his friend and paid cash.  By doing that he kept it out of CARFAX, so you think you have a vehicle that has not been in an accident, but there is no way for you to tell without an expert looking at it.  Are you getting the picture?

2003.2The other vehicle was in Colorado, garage kept, never was even out in the rain, while the guy owned it.  He kept it covered, changed the oil even when he wasn’t driving it much and he treated it like a baby.  He had rebuilt Jeeps on the side, was an Engineer and extremely meticulous about his vehicles.  The one vehicle is placed on consignment for retail book value, which I did for a client recently by the way and you can see the photos in this article and his car was in mint condition.  It was purchased by a gentlemen up in Steamboat Springs and he got a really nice vehicle.  The other one was traded with a used car dealer and he put it on Ebay for wholesale book because he ripped the vehicle apart with his paint meter when it showed up from the first guy.  You the consumer don’t know this because you are not in the car business.  However, you think you are an expert because you see these deals on Ebay and Craigslist all the time, so you know what the market should be without ever even cracking open KBB or NADA to see what the retail and wholesale price should really be for that particular vehicle.

These were the people who called me on this Porsche that I had for sale and told me about the lower priced vehicles they saw on Ebay and said that they wouldn’t pay the retail price for the vehicle.  My response was “good luck” because you’re going to get what you pay for because “Nice cars are not cheap and cheap cars are not nice.”.

2003.1Let’s hypothetically say that the difference between wholesale and retail is about $3,100 for a Porsche that sold new for $42,600.  That is about 7% of the original purchase price of a vehicle that only has been driven 3,000 miles a year.  This been my experience over and over because I get the phone calls from people when I have a consignment and they are more than willing to buy the car that is a potential nightmare with oil leaks and other issues because they are looking for the deal.  What they fail to realize is that “nice cars are not cheap and cheap cars are not nice.” and if they did then they would spend the additional $3,000 and pay closer to retail book instead of trying to pay closer to wholesale book and get the right vehicle.

Instead, most people will take the cheap car to their mechanic and have them check it out and then get the $3,000 bill over time from their mechanic who loves them.   I know that many of you don’t believe me, but that’s okay because I see it all the time.  I get the calls and emails from people telling me their nightmares that they want me to help them solve.  They end up making payments to their mechanic because they thought they were saving so much money.  Don’t get me wrong because there are some cars that are just lemons and you can’t always protect yourself from buying a bad vehicle, which everyone in the car industry has done at least once or twice in their career.  Most of the time though people are either buying someone else’s nightmare or creating their own.

Before I end this post, let me make it clear that just because a vehicle is priced at Retail Book doesn’t make it a nice vehicle either.  I’m simply pointing out the fact that nice cars are not cheap, most of the time.  I have access to the Dealer Auctions and I see some really great vehicles that I can buy closer to wholesale book than retail book and I pass the savings on to my clients.  I’m recently got a client a 2012 Infiniti G37x S that was going up for sale with only 14,500 miles on it and still under warranty.  I get that vehicle for my client back of retail book and they will get a really nice vehicle.  I’ve also seen vehicles being sold for retail book by some dealers that don’t do anything to them!  They don’t fix the brakes, change the oil, do the things necessary to sell the vehicle for retail book.  It’s always buyer beware when purchasing a vehicle, but hopefully I’ve given you some things to consider when you are looking at purchasing a used vehicle.


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

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