Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Open Diff: Has Requesting a Very Specific Collector Car Trade Ever Worked Out for You?

Posted March 10, 2022 5:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic cars

The more one frequents collector car listings, the more one notices curious trends. There are the infamous phrases "ran when parked" and "easy resto." There's the thumb or rag over the license plate. There's the awkward angles that make you wonder whether the seller's just a bad photographer or has something to hide. And then there's the extremely specific trade requests.

On the one hand, you have to admire the sellers for their chutzpah and for wearing their desires on their sleeves by asking to trade their 1987 Crown Vic for a 1984 Pontiac Fiero Indy pace car replica. I mean, we all have bucket lists of cars to own that stretch longer than a Jay Ohrberg limousine, and the sellers are just doing what they can to fulfill those desires by looking for a good trade. And there's a practicality to asking for a trade as well: Not all of us can purchase vacant Kmarts to accommodate those bucket lists. Most of us might be indulging in this hobby with the use of one or two spots in the family garage, so wouldn't it be ideal to move one car in at the same time that another car goes out?

I'm guilty of making some obscure requests when placing my vehicles up for sale, and the thought process always goes along the lines of "Who knows? Maybe somebody out there has a Zagato Elcar in the back of their barn and wants a ratty, somewhat-running AMC Eagle station wagon in trade but didn't realize they could make that swap until I spoke up. Weirder things have happened." And every time I do make such an attempt, I'm reminded that weirder things have not happened and that the chances of two people with unique and specific predilections for automobiles having an inverse want/want-to-get-rid-of relationship at the same time (and further that the values of the two vehicles in question can be agreed upon) are so infinitesimally slim that said chances might as well be zero.

But the improbability of a very specific collector car trade hasn't stopped me or many others from continuing to try. In fact, at least half a dozen listings on Hemmings.com at this moment ask for a particular vehicle in trade, from the 1935 Packard 120 above being offered for a 1954 Corvette to the street-rodded 1949 Mercury woodie being offered for a Chevelle SS convertible to the street-rodded 1934 Willys 77 coupe being offered for a 1960s Mustang equipped with a manual transmission and air conditioning.

Or maybe we see so many people angling for a trade because the tactic has worked well for them in the past? Maybe it's worked well for you too? Maybe there's a right balance of specific, but not too particular? Tell us about the explicit collector vehicle trades you've requested and negotiated and help me understand this phenomenon.


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