Sunday, April 27, 2008


KL Nichols
If you missed Part I of this article, you can find it just below this article.

A lot of you guys can skip this part because you have grown up scrounging for parts and cars and telling you how to find a part is like telling a dog what to do with a bone! But for the newbies, here goes;

You will need, besides an innate love of cars, a phone (I suggest VOIP and cell), a computer, some sort of filing system that will help you keep track of your wants and finds. (You must be and stay organized)

Here are a few pointers;

1. I have never thrown away a business card (I trade business cards with everyone) and as a result, I have about 40 or so, 3-ring notebooks full of them dating back about 30 years. When a phone number or address changes, I note it on the business card.

2. However, I am slowly moving all of my info to a program that I like called Any Time Deluxe and is available at for about $40. It has all kinds of goodies, a great phone book/directory, a Phone Dialer, yes it will dial the phones of my Contacts, & you can send emails directly for the Phonebook, you can schedule Appointments and Things To Do in it also, plus a bunch of other features. All of this and much more with a very small learning curve!

3. I carry a printed list of the top 200 (some of them are long term wants) most important wants. I like to focus on the most profitable, so I revise it frequently. I keep it in a text file on my Desktop in my computer for easy editing and easy to print out. Yeah, a lot of what I do is on the computer, so if you are seriously computer inept, I would suggest that you get a partner that is good on the computer.A word here about computer illiteracy, "Computers are a tool and are here to stay, so get used to it and learn how use it, even if you have to go to a local college for a short non-credit class in computer usage!

4. Email: I have a large email list just for locating. Yes, they all are friends or businesses that are in the business (I also publish another newsletter for The Want List and also maintain a website for it. And believe me, you better get permission from each person that you add to lists like mine or you can be banned from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and they don't kid around or just ask you to stop sending UCE (UnSolicited Email) known to many as (Sp*am). They just turn you off!!I make about 50-100 calls a day, I spend 6-8 hours a day on the computer when I am in the office, I email about 1000 emails a day (a lot of these are 10 to 20 at a time, as CC's), all in the name of locating collector cars and parts. I collect names, phone numbers and URL's (website addresses) of everyone and anyone that might be of help in my searches.

5. As a tool for your business, I suggest that you spend $7.00 and buy the ebook "Classic Salvage Yard Locator" at It has 200 plus Salvage Yards, phone, URL & and in most cases an interest area, like Fords, Chevy's etc, etc.The database I have boils down to a whole lot of friends and when I call, I ask for a certain individual that I know and I generally don't get put on hold. (Time is money!)

6. I communicate with my customers frequently, because you never know when they will turn up the Wanted Item on their own or thru another Finder. One thing that has helped me is to focus narrowly in a field that I know a lot about, be it a make, model or year. This being said, don't focus so narrowly that you ignore someone that wants to give you money!

7. There is also a lot of money in helping individuals, widows and estates to sell off collector cars or even complete collections. One time a lady called me having been recommended me by a friend of hers and asked if I could help her sell her late husband's old cars. I went out to her place just outside of a small town in South Dakota, it was a long drive, but I decided that she sounded like she needed help. When I got there it turned out to be a small hobby farm and with about 11 or 12 out buildings, she took me past 6 or 7 of the buildings to a nice looking small barn and opened the door. Inside were 12 cars in #1 or #2 condition. I told her I would be glad to get some values for her and help her sell them. I took a lot of pictures and as we were leaving I asked what were in the other buildings, she said. Oh, nothing but a bunch of old car parts….

All in all, the "late husband" had $1.2million in the cars and "old car parts", it took me 6 months part time to get them all sold , my commission of 10%, and I took a month off in Hawaii!!

Not all of my finds have been that great, I have had to tell a lot of people that the rusting Corvair framework that they have had setting on the ground in their backyard for 15 years is definitely not going to fund their retirement! Also I can't tell you how many people that I have had to count as a loss when they wanted to sell a rusting 57 Chevy 4 door part car for #1 book value! So like any service business, you take the good with the bad.

Most of the money I make is after the fact, meaning after I find the part or car. However, and this is a judgment call, if the part of vehicle the customer wants is hopeless or possibly "extremely long term" (I have looked for 12 years for a specific car with a specific vin # for a person who drove it to high school and is now rich enough to pay anything to find it.) This type of customer I charge a search fee to help me stay motivated. I also charge a flat fee to parts wanted customers to weed them out. You will find a lot of people want you to work for fre*e! But as for asking for a lot of money up front, you set off a lot of alarms in the minds of customers, not to mention the Better Business Bureau and Law enforcement organizations.Deadbeats? Yes there are some in this field too. If you take credit cards that helps and you can also take checks over the phone, the software for this is available for $10-$12 at

One last thought, don't try to cheat your customer because bad news travels at the speed of light. I know a more than a couple of Finders/Locators that spent a little time in the hoosegow because they messed with the grandfather of the local sheriff or some other local person of importance! Good luck and good hunting!

Copyright 2008 KL Nichols

Saturday, April 26, 2008


KL Nichols

If you have ever looked for a collector vehicle or a part for a collector vehicle, you will know that it is a big world.

One of the biggest expenses to restoring a vehicle is the cost of time and long distance phone calls to find parts. When most guys can’t find their socks, it takes a special person to locate parts!

Some might say that has all changed because of the Internet and all the free long distance vailable today on cell phones and VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) systems. But if anything, it makes the competition worse as the huge amount of pressure put on the available inventory by the Internet and Online auctions like ebay. EBay alone has 140 million users and every one
of them is looking for something to sell! Now that Is Pressure!!

Okay, so you know this, or at least are aware of it. So what? This is where Finders come in. If you have ever dealt with a Finder, you will know that they charge a fee for their services. A Finder takes the pressure off of you and a Finder has contacts that he (I say “He” for brevity here, but one of the best Finders I know is a stunning female type person!) has built up over his

Why am I telling you this? Because you might be interested in being a Finder or at least knowing how a Finder works and what they charge?

A Finder generally is a person who has grown up loving cars. Along the way, they have developed a fairly large mental database of cars, and car parts. You know, the guy who can tell you if a dirty, greasy engine block lying in a dark corner of an unlit garage is a Hemi with out even getting dirty! That is generally the type person who is a Finder, but there is also a place for a detail person who loves to spend time on the phone and online surfing the parts yards websites. Which in either case that is what you do.

Now how do you make money being a Finder, or better yet, what do Finders charge? Since I do a lot of finding, I can tell you what I charge…

Cars are more profitable, you can make a lot more finding a car than a part. Nobody wants to pay you what it costs to find parts; it is just as easy to find a $25k car, as it is a $50 part. So if you are going to be a Finder, get your priorities straight.

If someone just has to have me find a part, I charge a minimum $50 up front and 25% of the cost of the part with a minimum of $50, not everybody can pull that off, but I don’t actually get money, most of the time I get a credit card to charge or I send them a PayPal invoice and most people know that PayPal will Cover their butts in case of fraud, so they are safe using a credit
card or PayPal or a credit card on PayPal. That’s a little confusing, but in time you will understand it.

Give the customer his money’s worth; but don’t spend a lot of time finding $10 parts. Depending on what your hourly fee is, you can also adjust these prices to your hourly fee. But, I have to say, it is a really desperate person who will pay a $1000 to find a $10 part so don’t be dumb!

Now on the other hand, there are Finders fees for classic cars! If, and this is the case more often than not, I have located the car before a Buyer shows up, I charge a flat fee of $100 or $200, depending on how much of a classic it is. If I have no clue where the car is and it is a hard to locate car, you know, a limited production car, then I ask a minimum of $250 - $500 and a percentage of the purchase value of the car, which depending on the circumstances can be
any where from 5% to 10%. I know that sounds like a lot, but considering the services I provide, finding, negotiation, and in some cases I get, at the customer’s expense, an appraisal, plus as often as not, I find the transporter for the buyer. One point here, as a Finder who brings a transporter to the table, you may be liable for any problems with the transporter! Case in point,
I found a 66 T-Bird for a guy in NY and the car was in OK, the firm I used sent a sub-contactor to transport the car, he drove around for a couple of months holding the car hostage and phoning in to the transporter every couple of days wanting more money. Eventually he dumped the car off in NY at a storage lot, which charged $35 a day, we didn’t find the car for over a month.
The transporter stood all of the costs, including the lot storage fee. This is the reason to check out the references of your chosen transporter! Oh yeahthe final cost was over $2500 and I only had to pay $750.

One more thing, if your buyer had purchased the classic at one of the big auctions, his cost of purchase would probably be a lot more than I charge!

Next issue in Part 2, we will talk about How To find cars and parts.

Copyright 2008 KL Nichols

Friday, April 18, 2008


"If the enemy is in range, so are you." - Infantry Journal
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"It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed." - U.S. Air Force Manual
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"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons." - General MacArthur
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"You, you, and you ... Panic. The rest of you, come with me." - U.S. Marine Corp Gunnery Sgt.
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"Tracers work both ways." - U.S. Army Ordnance
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"Five second fuses only last three seconds." - Infantry Journal
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"Any ship can be a minesweeper. Once."
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"Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do." - Unknown Marine Recruit
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"If you see a bomb technician running, follow him." - USAF Ammo Troop
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"Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing."
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"You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3." - Paul F. Crickmore (test pilot)
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"The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire."
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"If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a helicopter -- and therefore, unsafe."
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"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash."
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"Even with ammunition, the USAF is just another expensive flying club."
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"What is the similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots? If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; If ATC screws up, .... The pilot dies."
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"Never trade luck for skill."
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The three most common expressions (or famous last words) in aviation are: "Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" And "Oh S...!"
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"Friendly fire - isn't"
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"Airspeed, altitude and brains. Two are always needed to successfully complete the flight."
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"Mankind has a perfect record in aviation; we never left one up there!"
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"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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"The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you." - Attributed to Max Stanley (Northrop test pilot)
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"There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime." Sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, 1970
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"If something hasn't broken on your helicopter, it's about to."
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"You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal."
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As the test pilot climbs out of the experimental aircraft, having torn off the wings and tail in the crash landing, the crash truck arrives, the rescuer sees a bloodied pilot and asks "What happened?". The pilot's reply: "I don't know, I just got here myself!" - Attributed to Ray Crandell (Lockheed test pilot)

From An Unkown Source - Let me know if you know the origin, I would like to give the originator credit!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

You Missed this on eBay

Eight Cars on a SpikeThis is actually a fairly famous piece of roadside sculpture. It was created by Dustin Shuler and was commissioned by the partnership that owns the Cermak Plaza shopping center in Berwyn, Illinois. This is one of those things that would really go a long way toward irritating your homeowners association should it happen to end up in your front lawn. The cars on the “Spindle” starting at the top:
1. 1967 VW
2. 1976 BMW
3. 1981 Escort
4. 1974 or 1973 Capri
5. 1978 Mustang
6. 1981 Grand Prix
7. 1980 or 1979 LTD
8. 1981 or 1979 Mercury

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


By Elizabeth Dinan

Owner of classic car says jealous husband should pay for damage

April 15, 2008 2:09 PMPORTSMOUTH — The owner of a restored 1968 Mustang that was "totaled" by his girlfriend’s jealous husband, who pummeled it with a golf club, told a judge his insurance company should not have to pay the $14,000 in damage.

The jealous husband, Matthew Neill, 30, of 41 Front St., Exeter, pleaded guilty in March to a pair of criminal mischief offenses, admitting he went to a Holly Lane residence on Jan. 12 and beat the antique Mustang with a golf club. He also admitted smashing the windshield of his bride’s 2007 Honda.

Neill was summonsed to Portsmouth District Court for an April 15 restitution hearing when, through an attorney, he disputed the $14,000 figure and suggested payment come from the insurance company.

The Mustang's owner (the Herald does not publish the names of crime victims) told the court he and his father restored the car to certified classic condition and displayed multiple photos as evidence. Another set of photos showed smashed out windows, removed Mustang logos, a smashed rearview mirror and damage to the interior caused by weather getting through the broken windows.

The cost to repair it to its restored condition, he told the court, is $5,068 for the interior and $11,753 for the exterior.

"It’s never going to be a classic vehicle again," he testified, adding his insurance company offered to total the car at the Blue Book value of $14,000.

Under cross examination by Neill’s attorney, the Mustang owner told the court he has no intention to file a claim for that $14,000.

Judge Stephen Morrison asked why.

"I was very upset and I don’t feel the insurance company should pay for the damage," he said. "He should pay for the damage to the vehicle."

The judge said he would review the evidence and issue a ruling at a later date.
Neill previously admitted that after discovering his bride was with another man, he grabbed the golf club and smashed out multiple windows on both of their cars.

During a March hearing, prosecutor Corey MacDonald told the court the victims reported hearing "a loud banging" outside, then discovered their damaged cars. After telling the officer they saw a familiar sport utility vehicle flee the scene, the investigation moved to Exeter, where police there found Neill’s vehicle still warm and stained with blood.

A broken golf club was discovered on the passenger seat.

Neill’s attorney, Phil McLaughlin, described the crimes as the "unfortunate" result of the dissolution of a six-month marriage.

Neill was sentenced to 12 months in the Rockingham County House of Corrections and fined $500, with $250 suspended. The sentence and half the fine are suspended contingent on his good behavior and payment of restitution.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Nick Cash

A lot of people think that putting a for sale sign in the window of your classic & parking it down at the Wal-Mart parking lot will do the trick. Well, the concept is good, but your classic may be vandalized, stripped, stolen or towed to an impound lot because Wal-Mart is not happy about the liability you are forcing on them, plus in some cities, even parking a car in your driveway with a for sale sign in the window is illegal! This is a law that a city council has passed to make the local car dealers happy (they pay a lot of taxes).

You need to protect your classic investment, and parking it where the public has unattended access to it, is a real bad idea! I have heard horror stories of classic cars loosing steering wheels, chrome, door handles, tires & wheels, hubcaps, and even engines when left unattended. A #2 car can be reduced to a project car by a couple of determined parts thieves. It used to be that it was kids looking for parts or a crooked body man, but with the advent of eBay, your classic may wind up being parted out nationally! The unfortunate problem is that unless the thieves are actually caught in the act with the parts in their possession, most car parts are unidentifiable when found later and as such make recovery difficult is not impossible.

Another BIG No-No is letting a prospective buyer take your valuable classic for a drive alone. First of all, this may invalidate your insurance and never trust a buyer’s affirmation that his insurance covers him in your car, because he may be lying or may not have any insurance to start with and if he has larceny in his mind, he may just never come back with it. I have seen engines blown, transmissions ruined, clutches blown, parts stolen and in on case a wonderful person took the car and used it in a wedding! Never underestimate the devious nature of a potential buyer. Make sure you are perched in the front seat right next to the driver testing your classic and that way maybe you can ward off a potential wheelie popper!

Is there any safe way to show your classic? Yes the odds are in your favor that the guy looking at your classic is a good guy, but use your street smarts to make decisions on him. If he had “I feel the need for speed” tattooed on his arm, give him a good third degree grilling and wear your T-Shirt with, “I have The Cops On Speed Dial!”.

A little more advice, show your car somewhere public and not where you have it stored! The reason for this is that classics can be car-jacked too! And if the crook knows where your car is stored, it may not be there the next time you look.

Copyright 2008 by K & L Enterprises

Saturday, April 12, 2008


KL Nichols

I have been in the collector vehicle advertising business and found a lot of ways to advertise them for sale.

Yes, I am quite familiar with all of the Pay-Per-Ad services and magazines. That being said, I intend to tell you of a few ways to sell your collector vehicle for little on nothing!

One of the prime ways to sell is on, (hereafter called CL) unfortunately, it can also be a waste of time. One of CL’s problems is that you can only advertise your vehicle on one. That means when you advertise your vehicle on the Kansas City home webpage, that it isn’t searchable on any of CL’s 100’s other city page. What a waste of good traffic. When eBay bought 25% of CL a year or so ago, I had high hopes that they could resolve that problem, but alas, so far nothing. Keep in mind that locally might not be the best place to advertise your classic, so pick a big city not too far away to run your ad on. One other thing, CL readers are notoriously cheapskates. When you can advertise for nothing, you get a lower end clientele. One other problem with CL is that there are a lot of scammers working the ads on it, so be forewarned! Never give out your address or the location of where your vehicle is stored and never let someone drive your classic without you setting right there is the front seat too!

Another freebie photo ad site is (hereafter called BT) BT has a unique following and it has a website feature that allows other website owners to brand BT for embedding on their website, so you get hundreds if not thousands of page views all over the Internet.

Another freebie is, (hereafter called AR) not only a great website where you can post a free photo ad, but they print three of the larger vehicle collector magazines and will run two free photo ads a month for you. AR is a good source to sell parts and memorabilia too!

Another great freebie website is (hereafter called RJ) One reason I like RJ is that it is compartmentalized, which is also the reason it will take you a little time to put your ad in the right category. It is aimed at the racing and drag market, but has a large classic section too! Your ad will run 90+ days


One last thought, for top dollar, make sure that your vehicle is clean, fix all the broken stuff and make sure the engine will start. Sure you can sell a car in almost any kind of condition, but if you really want top dollar, do your best!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


BS Brash

I spent last weekend at a swap meet that got a lot of rain! Normally rain at a swap meet is not what most people would call fun! But since a lot of the guys were already set up and were just sitting under cover waiting on the rain, so I donned my handy-dandy garbage bag and went parts shopping.

Laugh if you will, but the threat of rain had dampened the spirits of the sellers and with the price of gas and diesel being what it is, prospects for a big weekend loss dramatically brought down the prices and I may have gotten a little wet and muddy, but I figure I saved close to $700 over what I would have had to pay had the sun been shining!

I am now packing up a “Wet Swap Meet Kit”, to carry in my trunk so that when this happens again and it will, I will be prepared!!

Copyright 2008 BS Brash