Outside Looking In

Auctioneer extraordinaire Jimmy Landis has begun the proceedings at the current Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona with a word of the day. The words have been positive, words like tremendous.

My word, though, has been ennui. (Noun: a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.) Although I have enjoyed the proceedings, I have not enjoyed them as much as I thought I would. Even a wonderful conversation with the gracious and gorgeous Katie Osborne (sorry, guys, but I forgot to take pics) was not able to lift my weariness.

Although the docket is not as polluted (sorry, that’s how I feel) by pickup trucks and SUVs as the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale in January, far too many of these vehicles are being auctioned for my taste. However, I think the main reason I am not as energized is that the auction is yet another example of where I am on the outside looking in.

This state has existed in my life since my baseball career ended more than ten years ago. Even in this venue, multiple people have remarked to me, “Wow, you sure know a lot about cars.” Why am I not involved in the process instead of just watching? When I am passionate about something, like I am about automobiles and was about baseball, I want to be part of the endeavor and not just a spectator.

I am capable of doing almost anything well except–apparently–to create the opportunity to do that almost anything. You know, when I tried to get into baseball the book Moneyball was many years in the future and analytics was not a word used often. I didn’t apply for a job as a Statistical Analyst for the Baltimore Orioles because no such job existed. I created my baseball career basically out of thin air.

I know I could make meaningful contributions to a company like Mecum crunching numbers and writing for online content and other applications. I did, after all, write a book that The Wall Street Journal called without a doubt the best book of its kind ever written. Even though John Kraman graciously forwarded my resume to Mecum’s Director of Human Resources months ago, I have never heard a word from them.

It is a terrible state of affairs to feel unfulfilled, especially when you have had the experience of making your passion your career. We are all a product of our experiences, of judging the world against those experiences and not some objective “reality,” whatever that is, anyway.

I am not apologizing for my “rant” because this is my blog and because nothing will change, anyway. This post is an example of the utility of the blog to me.


Scott Hoke has texted me a couple of times during the auction about whether or not I am going to buy a car. He even said he has a friend in the area who would store a car for me. In all honesty, only one car would have tempted me to bid, this one:



This 1993 Cadillac Allante in Pearl Flax (only 89 were made in that color that year) looked like a brand new car. After a long day, my wonderful wife and I left before the car crossed the block yesterday, but not before I could take these pictures.

The car did not sell at a high bid of $26,000. Another Allante offered here, a 1991 model, did not sell at a high bid of $9,250. Once again, among the small group of Allante aficionados the 1993 models are the most highly prized because that was the only year the 295 HP Northstar V-8 was used and because it was the last year for the ill-fated car.

I complimented the owner on the car. He asked me if I was going to buy it and I said, “One of these days.” His reply was, “One of these days is none of these days.” I understood the sentiment, but was put off by the remark, if I am to be frank. (I could be earnest, if you prefer. Thanks, Benny Hill.)

An XLR was on the docket, a 2004 model that sold for $20,900 all in. I would never buy a 2004 or 2005 XLR under any circumstances. If one researches owner satisfaction/complaints by each model year for the car, an incredible decline in dissatisfaction and complaints occurs after 2005.

I have decided that when the time comes for a real Z06 companion, it is going to be one of these two cars. I am just not going to buy a car without any semblance of modern safety systems.

The last day of the Mecum auction is today. I wish I could shake the feeling of being on the outside looking in and just enjoy the moment, but alas, I am not wired that way.







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