Pursuit of the Perfect Match
“Some things are just meant to be,” he said. “Corvettes have been my passion since childhood. I went to the Bloomington Gold weekend in St. Charles, Illinois, to start my search. Early Friday morning, as I hit the field, I came to the dealer lots. There in front of a tent is this beautiful Rally Red 427, 390 horsepower convertible. It was stunning and looked gorgeous from all angles. It was totally restored, frame off. It was all there – body fit, paint, undercarriage, engine, interior.
“The price was $44,000, which I thought wasn’t bad. Could this be that quick and easy? Here I thought it would take the whole weekend to find the right car. I decided to take a walk around and see what else I would come across. After looking through the car corral and the auction tents, nothing struck me quite like that first car, so I decided that I wanted that car.”
Nick knows enough to understand that a dealer’s price is a number that isn’t always set in stone. “I went back and we started negotiating. After going back and forth, we were $2,000 apart. I’m at 40, they’re at 42. I leave my offer on the table feeling pretty confident they will meet it and told him to call me when they wanted to make a deal. That night, I became even more confident when I found out the dealer had purchased the car that morning in the car corral and paid $35,000. I thought a $5,000 profit isn’t bad for 24 hours.
“Next day, the salesman calls and says, ‘Nick, if you still want the car, it’s yours for $40,000.’ Bingo! I told him I’d be there in 20 minutes or so.”
The salesman approaches me with a grim look on his face and says,
'Sorry, Nick. The car just sold'
Here’s one of those twists that can wear out the less committed. “When I got to the lot, check in hand, the salesman approaches me with a grim look on his face and says, 'Sorry, Nick. The car just sold' I couldn’t believe it.
I asked him what he meant by sold when he called me 15 minutes ago and said we had a deal. Turns out another salesman sold the car to a collector who would pay $42,000. I couldn’t believe it, but in hindsight, I guess I should have met the dealer’s price the day before.”
The rest of the weekend went by and Nick was set to return home to New Jersey no closer to his goal than when he left. “I spent the next few months regretting my mistake every time I told someone the story. Every ’69 I looked at as a potential purchase didn’t even come close to that car at Bloomington Gold.”
A year passed and the process started again. Nick found himself at Bloomington Gold, but things had changed. “To my disappointment, I found that prices had gone up. Worse, there wasn’t a car that could come close to my lost ’69. On the last day of the show, Sunday, before leaving that afternoon, I took a walk through the field of cars getting judged for Bloomington Gold certifications. It’s something every Corvette enthusiast should do at least once. You see the most beautiful and extraordinary displays of Corvettes in the world.”
Nick wanted to be one of those with a car being certified, but that wasn’t this day. He was on the verge of a second trip home without a car, but the twists in the quest aren’t always cruel.