TMCP #569: ASK RICK: Best ROI on Auction Cars and How A Presidential Election Affects Restoration Parts Sales

Rick Schmidt – Ask Rick:

It is March and time for another riveting Ask Rick segment where I ask him the tough questions! First, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Enjoy some green and make sure you celebrate responsibly (but definitely celebrate!).

Rick’s Take on the Presidential Election 2024:

Every four years we experience a Leap year and another round of picking a new president. With this event comes another round of presidential ads, throwing of mud, and an substantial amount of finger pointing. I have heard many times in the past from suppliers regarding their outlook on the future around an election cycle and many will stop any unnecessary spending based on the uncertainly of the outcome of an election. Some will even cut out expensive trade shows (SEMA included) that they would normally attend in an attempt to save up for the rainy day they believe is headed their way.

I decided to ask Rick what his experiences were regarding this phenomenon. NPD is run very conservatively and keeps higher than normal reserves for low times and fluctuations in the market so Ricks response was very interesting. He said that he does indeed notice a flattening in sales in relation to a Presidential election. That said, it’s not just at election time, but over the whole election year. It seems like everyone gets nervous and holds back on spending. Once the whole thing is over and the parties have been decided, Rick says that people generally go back to buying for their hobbies and it is back to business as usual.

Rick did add that as a whole, the aftermarket automotive market generally tries to stay out of the political muck and work ethically in the industry. When it comes to bills, he believes in paying the bills on time (or early) for products purchased. When a business agrees to buy a product it is responsible to pay for that product on time. It hurts all businesses to not pay the bills you owe. He said they have even gone out of their way to pay quickly, even ahead of schedule, to companies that are in need of a boost due to rough times.

Rick’s Take on Slowing EV Sales:

Not that long ago, many politicians and corporate leaders firmly believed that EVs (electric vehicles) were the only way forward. Some states even went so far as to mandate zero reciprocating engine vehicles by a certain date. Now, the $7,500 Tax Credit is being dropped from numerous EV’s, including the Mach E which puts the burden on the manufacturers to reduce prices to maintain sales. Overall, EV sales seem to be slowing across the board.  Many of the bigger EV only manufacturers are laying people off and reporting lower sales numbers ( a an example of this, is Rivian cutting 10% of it’s work force).

Every big automaker now offers regular electric offerings making it even harder for start up companies to compete. Rick said that it is one thing to put an ever forward push to companies to improve technologies and get better with resources, but is a different thing to mandate an complete change in fueling infrastructure and to accomplish this in one generation of vehicles you will get a huge push back from your constituents. Everything is still evolving but it is looking like alternative fuel vehicles and hybrids are more and more the future people want instead of the EV future legislators are pushing people into.

Ricks Take On Auction Cars – Best Return on Investment:

Back to the auction flip! Which of these cars would Rick buy, hold until next Jan, and sell with a gain?  The goal is the best ROI….not the most cash. The listeners have spoken and they like the discussions about which car will bring a better return and why. This time I gave Rick four auction cars to compare and determine which would give me the most cash in my pocket in a year.

Car #1:

1967 Pontiac Bonneville EL8

Car #2:

1997 Ford Thunderbird LX

Car #3:

1972 Ford Mustang SportsRoof Mach 1

Car #4:

1971 Olds Cutlass 442 Tribute


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

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One Response

  1. Another great podcast, I love the ask Rick segments. Rick mentioned about cleaning up a car getting the details correct underneath, using a blast cabinet and fix a few items,. Could you and Rick do a whole detailed breakdown on a particular car, what he could fix in a garage with a blast cabinet, some rattle cans, and a little bit of elbow grease.

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