TMCP #532: Ask Rick! Playing the Value Game of Buying and Selling at Auctions (and Online) in 2023

Mecum 2023 – Note the premier location of the NPD logo!


Rick Schmidt – Ask Rick:

February is here, Rick Schmidt is up, and Happy (belated) Groundhog Day! Yesterday I tuned in live to watch superstar Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, the “seer of seers prognosticator of prognosticators” to hear his annual winter ending prediction. Unfortunately, Phil believed that his could see his shadow….and that was going to scare him back into his hole for 6 more weeks of winter slumber. (While that may be a bummer, it turns out that Phil’s accuracy is at best 50%….so whatever happens is your guess or mind.) In better news, Rick is here to talk about FUN things far nicer than more snow, and that is classic vehicles and big auctions!

Rick’s Take on Auctions (In Person and Online):

With the annual January actions behind us I was curios on Rick’s take of the value proposition of buying – and selling – at a live auction. NPD is a sponsor of Mecum auctions in particular due to their focus on muscle cars and the number of auctions that hey hold annually. They move a lot of cars though and (from his admitted sponsorship perspective) are an honest company to do business with and as big a player as any in the industry.

When it comes to selling at an auction, the presentation, pre-sale-hype, and excitement of the moment are all factors. Those are what the auction company bring to the table! Some bidders will be in the room in person while others will be on the phone and also online. The sale price the vehicle brings is – just like anything else – fairly subjective. To the buyer, it was worth what they paid. To the seller…..they needed to go in knowing the stakes. Quality always rises to the top! (This year’s Top 10 of all the major auction companies represents that as well).

When it comes to selling online, Rick is a fan of Bring a Trailer. While NPD has no sponsor relationship, the format is clear and honest. Again, quality rises to the top and buying “what’s it worth” prices are completely subjective. To the buyer, it was worth what they paid!


Rick’s Take on “Best Value” Cars

This month, for the car purchase picks I chose Bring-A-Trailer vehicles that I wanted to know which one Rick would think is the “best value”. The first car was a 2000 Mustang Cobra R that at the time had already hit the $80k mark and Rick figured it would go up around $140k ($132k actual sale). The next example is a ’65 Mustang Fastback HiPo that Rick knows a lot about this kind of car. He said it looked good but the VIN marking on the engine appeared doctored and most likely replaced. It would be buyer beware and know what you are getting into. The last two were a pair of clean 90’s era trucks; a 1995 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE and a 1996 Chevy Tahoe LT. These trucks are gaining value and are surprisingly valuable for being relatively new. Rick believes these are bringing big money because the price of new trucks is up around $80k now and compared to that they are a great value. They also might be the best entry point into the market as a seller….if you have one!

You can find out more about NPD at the website National Parts Depot, or on social media via NationalPartsDepot or on

Thanks Rick!

-Rob Kibbe
P.S. Don’t forget that Valentines Day is coming up. Show someone you love them everyday, but make sure not to miss it on that day.

This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!


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