April Fools: I Hope The Joke Isn’t On Me

Today was an unexpectedly eventful day. First, I had a nice chat with the lovely Katie Osborne, the first time we’ve spoken since last year’s Mecum auction in Arizona. Graciously, she allowed me to take her picture. Obviously, I will share the pic with all of you.



Both times we’ve spoken she has been very friendly, but also very forthcoming in sharing aspects of her life. Katie O, if you’re reading, or even if you’re not, many thanks.


In A Lot To Digest I revealed that I bid $13,000 ($14,300 all in) on a 2005 Cadillac XLR on Tuesday, March 28th. That car went unsold at a high bid of $16,500/$18,150 all in.

Today, an early lot was a 2004 Cadillac XLR. As I have written ad nauseum I don’t/didn’t really want to buy an XLR from 2004 or 2005, but at the right price I could be persuaded. I bid $15,000 ($16,500 all in), but the car soared way past my bid to hammer at $24,000/$26,400 all in.

Three lots later this car was offered:



I had examined both cars as closely as possible in the staging lanes this morning. Neither seemed to be leaking oil; the XLR interior was in better shape as the Maserati has some wear. Still, as everyone knows I have been a Maserati fan ever since seeing this rendering at the tender age of 8:



I decided to bid, but not to exceed $20,000 ($22,000 all in). I first bid $15,000, someone else bid $18,000 then I bid $20,000. The auctioneer kept asking for higher bids, first $25,000 then $23,000, $22,000 and, finally, $21,000. At one point I thought someone had bid $23,000, but my friend Shawn, an auctioneer who works as a bidder’s assistant at Mecum, told me I was still in at $20,000.

Next thing you know, the hammer dropped and the car was mine. In the interest of full disclosure I must confess to a brief moment of terror right before the bidding ended as I realized I was probably going to win the car. I mean, I had hardly exercised due diligence.

The next half hour was a blur as I went to the auction office to sign paperwork. I also had to arrange for a wire to pay for the car, which I did thanks to mobile banking, the same avenue that makes bank runs so easy in the present day. Given this is Saturday, I was not able to drive the car home as, of course, bank wires don’t happen on the weekend.

I am hoping the time difference works to my favor on Monday and Mecum receives the wire early in the morning Arizona time, which is now on de facto Pacific Time. Even though the auction office technically closes tomorrow, I have been assured I can pick up the car on Monday once Mecum confirms receipt of my wire.

After being a fan of the Maserati make, the legendary script and Trident logo (a key feature of the statue of Neptune in the heart of Bologna, Italy where Maserati was founded in 1914) since I was 8 I now own–or will soon own, barring a last-minute disaster–a Maserati automobile.

Another car consigned to the auction in which I was interested, at least initially, was a 2008 Saturn Sky Red Line, that looked something like this:



I decided during the early days of the event that I was not going to attempt to buy a Kappa platform convertible, a Solstice/Sky, because I just didn’t want a convertible where I would have to get out of the car to change the position of the top. Hey, I’m an old man. The aforementioned Sky hammered for $23,000/$25,300 all in, $3,300 more than the Maserati.

Granting that Mecum has incentive to goose the pre-auction estimate, but that estimate for the Maserati was $30,000-$40,000. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is not omniscient, and I really hope I am not ruining my karma, but the KBB trade-in estimate for the car is $24,000 and the private sale estimate is about $26,000.

Look, buying any used car comes with risk. Buying a used Italian car comes with more risk. I think I went into this with my eyes open, and I might be unpleasantly surprised when my “car guy” (I decided “car captain” was not a good term) goes over the car, hopefully sometime this week. Before I can receive an Arizona title, the car has to pass an emissions test, anyway. Might as well have him look at the car first, if possible. Still, after shaking off my terror just before the hammer came down, I am very excited to finally own a Maserati, and a convertible, no less.

I honestly did not expect to buy a car today or at any time during the auction. As my bid remained the one in play, I was sure someone else would bid more for the Maserati. This remark by the late Gilda Radner seems appropriate:


“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”


Like most people, I don’t deal very well with the unknown, with the uncertain. Still, sometimes we have no choice but to deal with it.

I must thank my wonderful wife who encouraged me to go for it and who seemed as happy as I was that I won the car. Please wish me good luck as I suspect I will still need it. Thanks for reading.







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2 thoughts on “April Fools: I Hope The Joke Isn’t On Me

  1. “High five over the interwebs”

    Congrats. Looks to be a mighty nice Maserati GT. What year model is it? It looks to be maybe 2011. I’m sure there is a local dealer for any issues you might have passing emissions.

    Funny how auctions work in that one often ends up bidding on a vehicle that was never really on your radar to start with.

    Again, congrats.


    1. Many thanks, DDM. My post would flunk a reporting/writing course, I guess, because I left out an important detail. The Maserati is a 2010 model with, allegedly, 48,000 miles. As you know, cars more than ten years old are–technically–sold with a mileage-exempt title.

      The car card read “Clean CARFAX.” Of course, the disclaimer is that not everything that happens to every car is reported to CARFAX. There is a local Maserati dealer, one I have visited many times, ready to charge me $300 for an oil change and $7,500+ for a 50,000-mile service.


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