EP006 “A Guy” from Vice Grip Garage talks Wrecky Resurrections, plus Auction Action Online




In Episode 6, special guest Derek Bieri, aka “A Guy”- host of Vice Grip Garage on Youtube- joins Road Muscle Radio for a round of talk on sparkolators, ace of bass sauce, amazing resurrections, and what it’s like to film yourself saving junkers and risking your life to drive’m home. Plus there’s news about about electromods (and which cars Catfish & Brett would like to plug in), how the auction market is changing in a post-Covid19 world, and a list of tips to make buying online a better experience. Give a ride, in Road Muscle Radio.




What Classic Car Would You Electromod And Why?


The increasingly tougher emission regulations imposed in most parts of the world and limited amount of fossil fuels have steered the automotive industry into the electric game.

With the way things are moving, we’ll have to make choices.  Sure, there are some cool modern electrics, but IMHO, nothing beats a classic.

Think about the variety of vehicles converted to run on electricity and covered a whole bunch of them over the years. The 1960s Ford Mustang is one that comes to mind, as it preserves the looks of the original model and packs a pair of electric motors for a combined output of 469 HP and 885 lb-ft (1,200 Nm) of torque. It’s capable of hitting 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4 seconds, has a 200-mile (321-km) driving range and each of the 499 units that will see the light of day cost a fortune:

Someone went as far as converting an original Ford Bronco, while others took an even bigger step into this world by involving some of the biggest names in the supercar segment, such as Ferrari and Porsche. Even Volkswagen couldn’t stay away from the ‘challenge’ and has several projects of its own, including a 1966 T1 and a Beetle with the e-Up!’s electric powertrain. There are also quite a few Jaguar E-Type electric vehicles out there, too.

Choosing a good donor car and sourcing the drivetrain, batteries and so on, and making everything work requires a lot of elbow grease and many Benjamins

What would you choose?

CATFISH:  Nash Metropolitan 1959 – 1962; Nash Rambler 1950 – 1955; Late 50’s to early 60’s Studebaker Hawks.

BRETT:   Porsche 356 Speedster Replica, or any VW that’s not too rusty.




Buying a collector car during a pandemic is easy, when you do your homework

Buying sight unseen is commonplace for many collectors. Our resident expert and concours judge, Andy Reid lends his experience


Andy Reid

April 24, 2020


We are in a new age where if we want to buy a collector car, we might not be able to see it in person — or even have an inspection done. Whether it be on ClassicCars.com, an online auction site, or a brick and mortar auction phone-in bid, this idea of buying cars at a distance is becoming more and more the norm. If you doubt that people are doing this, check out some of the prices realized online or the speed that some cars disappear from classified sites such as ClassicCars.com these days.

While this distance buying with no inspection may be new for some people, a number of friends and I have been rolling the dice with classic car purchases like these for years. It is always an adventure and while in my case I have had pretty good luck, there are avoidable perils with buying a car sight unseen.

Rule 1. Is the car real? This requires phone calls to the seller, a picture of a title, recent pictures of the car and asking for references from the seller. The references part is most important with a private seller. The way I get these is to find out where that seller is located and then usually query the car club for that specific car in the persons area. Often the people at the club know the seller and this will help to alleviate some worries It can also give you some valuable info on what kind of an owner that seller is.

Rule 2. Pictures: Get as many pictures as possible. I specifically ask for the seller to document any flaws that car may have and to send them to me. It is even better if you have a friend in that area who is able to photograph and examine the car for you. They do not have to be an expert on the specific car, though that helps, but just be a set of eyes that see the car in person and document everything.

Rule 3: Find an expert. Even if I feel you are an expert on a specific classic car, I still send the pictures and listing to a friend that knows more about that car than I do. I am doing that currently with a Porsche I am looking at. My friend Art Mason is an expert on the specific model, and I sent him the listing and the pictures taken for his review.

Rule 4. Ask the owner why they are selling the car. This can be very telling as to the condition of the car. Maybe the car has needs and they no longer want to spend the money necessary.

Rule 5. Ask the seller to tell you everything about the car and then shut up and let them talk. I am amazed at what sellers will disclose to me about a car they own. If you let them talk and then urge them along with follow up questions, they will often disclose every single flaw the car has. They may also give you information that is not in their ad, such as they bought it new and have every single service invoice.

Rule 6. Don’t be afraid to walk away. If the deal sounds off, then it likely is. Walking away from a bad car is a much better idea than buying it because you fell in love with it on the internet.

I hope that this short list helps reduce your fear of buying at a distance online. I can say that I bought my last 5 classic cars this way and have not a single regret about any of them.



From a ’63 Corvette to a ’69 Mustang: Barrett-Jackson’s Online-Only Auction Will Flex Classic American Muscle


Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach auction was bumped from April to October.

No one yet knows the fate of the company’s Northeast auction originally scheduled for June.

Not all is in question, however, as Barrett-Jackson recently announced that it will be hosting an online-only auction from May 8 through 17.

“Barrett-Jackson continues to live up to our heritage of adapting to market conditions,” says Craig Jackson, the auction house’s chairman and CEO. “What we’re seeing in the marketplace today is unprecedented, but that just means we must be creative. Innovation is born from difficult times.”

“The collector car community has really rallied around our new online format,” he says. “The feedback from enthusiasts has been tremendous. This demonstrates just how passionate we are about this hobby and how resilient we are; that despite what the world throws at us, we’re united by that common interest.”

What’s different, though?  The upcoming online auction of 75 or so collector cars will have a good number of reserves, not the usual Barret Jackson style.  For example, Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction earlier this year featured almost 1,900 lots offered without a reserve.

He explains, the decision to include a reserve on most lots in the upcoming auction was done to instill confidence in both bidders and consignors.

While Barrett-Jackson’s online-only event features a fairly diverse array of vehicles, the sale is championed, according to Jackson, by “three of the most prolific and popular collector cars”—a 1968 Shelby GT500 Convertible, a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429, and a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Split-Window Coupe.

The prospective success of Barrett-Jackson’s impending online auction is hard to predict. Jackson, for one, is excited about the potential, including its ability to attract millennial buyers. “There are many positives that may result from this new online-only auction,” he says, “and we have every intention of making it as successful as our live auctions. This is an exciting new period in our company’s 50-year history.”




While Used Cars Pile Up in Lots, the Classics Are Busy Changing Hands

The market for vintage and collectable automobiles remains strong during this period of social lockdown, creating some unusual opportunities. Just don’t expect bargain basement prices.

By  Hannah Elliott

April 16, 2020, 6:26 AM CDT

Coronavirus has permanently altered the trajectory of modern transportation as we know it.

Auto prices across the board have fallen 10% in recent weeks, according to Manheim, which is owned by Cox Automotive. Used-car sales in March fell 64%. Manufacturers have postponed important debuts and switched factory production lines over to making medical equipment.

And Pebble Beach Concours got cancelled, with other associated events cancelling left and right around it.

Every prestigious car event has been cancelled or pushed, including the annual and epic Goodwood Festivals, the Greenwich Concours, and Gooding & Co.’s “Passion of a Lifetime” auction, which had been expected to cull the most money for a single lot of cars in history. Barrett-Jackson’s big Florida auctions will now be held on Oct. 15-17; Mecum’s mass Indianapolis sales have been rescheduled for June.

But while Covid-19 wreaks havoc elsewhere, quiet winners are emerging in the classic car market. In the new world order of cars, auction houses, brokers, and enthusiasts are stepping forward, often comfortably so.

Steve Serio, who specializes in finding and procuring expensive classics for high-net-worth clients. “A handful of big cars have changed hands over the last few weeks, very quietly. A few were inspected prior to lockdown, and the triggers have been pulled. These buyers and sellers remain serious.”


Pent-Up Demand

David Gooding, founder and president of The Gooding and Company, says he has closed multiple private sales of several extremely high-dollar cars that he hadn’t expected to sell at all. The auction house has done more and better private sales in the last few weeks than it would have during any typical springtime, including one private transaction that would amount to a world-record price for that type of prewar vehicle.

The sale happened privately, it’s presumed, since no public auctions were happening anyway.

“There are some great cars that are available now that wouldn’t otherwise be—and the prices we have gotten for some them are actually robust,” says Gooding, speaking by phone from his home in Santa Monica, Calif. “There is a lot of pent-up demand.”

“For those of us who love cars, who truly love cars, this has really created a yearning for all of us to go back to our roots. We are looking forward to having the spare time and freedom to go out and drive and hang with our car buddies. It’s something we are really looking forward to doing, and for a lot of us, a car is a big part of that.”

Call it the YOLO approach: You might as well buy that thing you’ve always wanted. After all, you only live once.

Meanwhile, across the country in Los Angeles, my neighbor is chasing an older Lotus Evora from a seller in Texas, just to have something “fun to drive” while he stays isolated, awaiting delayed delivery of a Porsche Cayman GT4. His black Ferrari sits undriven in our shared parking lot: “You can’t eat filet mignon every day,” he says.


Auctions Online

More publicly, automotive auction houses are finding new lives online. Bonhams took in a tidy £575,000 ($720,509) on a 1958 Lister-Maserati sports-racing car during a “sealed-bid” auction it held online earlier this month. RM Sotheby’s managed $13.7 million in sales and a 69% sell-through rate at an auction it held online on March 20-28, sums that roughly equaled RM’s typical sell-through rates at live auctions. That sale, which had originally been scheduled to occur in Palm Beach, Fla., drew nearly 900 registered bidders—23% more than the average number of registered bidders at live RM Sotheby’s Florida auctions over the last four years, according to the auction house.

Bring a Trailer, the website that sells vintage cars online in weekly auctions, has followed suit. After a brief drop in sales during the second week of March, the online car seller has seen web traffic and sales surge.


“Yesterday was our largest traffic day ever, and four out of our five best days ever for traffic have been in the past week,” says founder Randy Nonnenberg, speaking via phone on April 8. BAT has seen normal sell-through rates of roughly 70% through the spring. For the first week of April, sales were 95% of what they were the first week of March. On the day we spoke, a 1976 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera in Sahara Beige sold for $110,000. “This is not, ‘Oh my goodness, the classic car marker is going to stop and the bottom is falling out.’”



by Manoli KatakisApril 2, 2020, 10:21 am


Most Sales Were In The Red, But None Were As Bad As The Camaro

Muscle car sales for Q1 2020 are in. And, as suspected, there’s little good news to share. The COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic that has the United States economically frozen, and the automotive market has been hit by its effects heavily. For their part, General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have answered the call to mobilize against COVID-19, and have begun to produce much-needed ventilatorssurgical masks and face shields for the healthcare sector, at cost. Just as automakers have changed gears to fight the coronavirus, the crisis has also shifted customer spending habits greatly, and muscle cars are especially vulnerable.

Muscle cars are largely considered to be discretionary vehicles. Meaning they’re far more of a “want” than a “need”, and provide little essential use in times of crisis compared to, say, pickup trucks, vans and utility vehicles. Here’s a breakdown of the Q1 2020 sales report:

Despite creative methods to get customers in the door, such as 0 percent financing, and discounts exclusively for Ford Mustang owners, Chevrolet Camaro sales were brutally crushed. Selling just 7,185 units, the 2020 Chevrolet Camaro came in a distant last place in the muscle car segment, with sales sinking 40.5 percent. In fact, GM moved more units of the Chevrolet Spark than they did the Camaro in Q1 2020.

How bad was it? If the Camaro keeps this pace, it will end up being an all-time low sales record, save for the hiatus years in the 2000’s. Divided up, Chevrolet averaged 2,379 Camaro sales each month of Q1 2020. If multiplied by twelve, the annual sales projection is just 28,548 units. And considering the current state of affairs, it could be even lower than that when it’s all said and done.

We can almost hear the axes being sharpened in the distance. Perhaps if more customers knew that they could purchase a Camaro without leaving their house via ShopClickDrive, the picture would be less bleak.

The Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger also saw losses, but compared to the Camaro, they got off easy. The LX muscle car siblings totaled 30,766 units, down 10 percent from the 34,046 units sold in Q1 2019. This is in spite of the Dodge Power Dollars campaign, which allows customers to save one dollar for every horsepower they want to drive home with. Sales for the Charger and Challenger are broken down in the chart below.

The only bright spot in the sales chart was the Ford Mustang. The original pony car actually saw sales growth, coming in at 18,069 units in Q1 2020, up from 16,917 units sold in Q1 2019.

Below is the up-to-the-minute breakdown of total Q1 2020 muscle car sales for the American market:


Chevrolet Camaro 12,083 7,185 -40.5%
Dodge Challenger 13,431 12,138 -10%
Dodge Charger 20,615 18,628 -10%
Ford Mustang 16,917 18,069 +6.8%





We’re back with Road Muscle Radio.  Find us on the web at Roadmuscleradio.com, on twitter at RoadMuscleRadio, and on facebook.  Questions comments concerns?  Send it to driver@roadmuscleradio.com.

Vice Grip Garage, with A Guy

I learned to do my brakes from youtube videos.  Plus  I learned to replace my kid’s Honda Accord’s rear wheel hubs from youtube.  But it’s not often you learn what a sparkolator is, or a Rigger Upper 200, an exhaustilator, outlet maker, ace of bass sauce, and how to speed-lighten your car by strategically-grown rust.

A Guy can teach you that.  Not just any guy. A Guy.  But listen with caution, because in his own words from his youtube series-

“I’m an idiot.  Do what I do at your own risk. Don’t take my advice unless you’re really super desperate.  This isn’t necessarily educational, as it it is more for entertainment.”

From Vice Grip Garage- Derek Bieri, welcome to Road Muscle Radio.

“So my plan is, I don’t have one.”

“I like to go big, you’re not wrong that way.”

Tech Terms:

exhaustilator = exhaust;

zeus it – weld it;

plop’er on – add to project;

outlet maker = generator;

tire along machine = air compressor;

ace of bass sauce = paint thinner;

sparkolator = spark plug;

Rigger Upper 200  – a piece of 2×4

Vice Grip Garage on youtube

@vicegripgarage on facebook

www.vicegripgarage.com for t-shirts, hats, and coozies,

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