OMG, you have 26 THOUSAND posts??? Wow! Thanks for the reco, longt ime no talk!
I'd love to help, but partly because of the process I follow it's very difficult for me to be price competitive under $15K or so. There is a lot of fixed overhead in my buying process....auction fee, multiple inspections, detailing, I need to make something, etc.
As a percentage of the car's price, it starts to sort of become feasible around $15K vs a $15K car you'd find on your own. Otherwise, all that stuff ends up adding a couple/few thousand and on a $5K car that's a lot of dough.
Of course, it's likely that any car you find on your own would need all the same stuff I'd do anyway, but even my $1K minimum fee is a lot on a $5K-$6K car.
Thanks anyway, Bruce, I appreciate the comments.
I have, through a good friend who is a high line broker, worked the Mannheim auction in your neighborhood many times, both for him and myself.
At this point both budget and time constraints prevent me from going this route.
With all the great input here as well as a steady stream of PMs from fellow list members, I'm seriously considering retreating until after the first of the year when I may be able to commit a few more dollars and raise my budget to around $8k.
Seems that there is a break between about $5k that separates some of the nice older models and more "used" newer ones. Given that I have now decided I want to narrow my search to 94 and later models, this is probably what I am going to do.
In the meantime I will leave my search open in the hopes that some obscure opportunity might present itself with the right car. If not, I'll bide my time until I have more resources to pursue a better car.