BMW Classics Restores Last 1600GT on Earth

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A team of BMW apprentices and instructors just completed the multi-year project of restoring the only remaining BMW 1600GT. Back in the 1960s BMW commissioned Italian bodywork designer Pietro FruGT to build only two prototypes in convertible form and one of those was crashed and totaled during testing.

This shop is located in Dingolfing, Germany and I’m pretty sure this is the same shop that took on the task of restoring the King of Rock N’ Roll’s BMW 507.

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Mecum Kissimmee Event Starts Jan 3rd

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Mecum’s 10 day auction and event starts on January 3rd this year and will be held at Osceola Heritage Park at 1875 Silver Spur Lane  Kissimmee, FL 34744.

Expect a huge selection of classics and sports cars this year as well as three days of auctions devoted to road art and automobilia.

Over 3,500 cars are expected, including the very last Shelby 289 Cobra that was sold to the public! That one is lot #F136 and is sure to crack the $1Million mark.

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My pick of the auction though is lot # S82, a 1967 Corvette 427 Convertible with 435 HP, a four speed manual trans and side exhaust:

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Check out all details and cars on Mecum’s site at :

https://www.mecum.com/auctions/kissimmee-2019/

 

 

Last minute gift ideas

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With less that two weeks left, finding time to finish holiday shopping is quickly passing.  Here are a few ideas to get you through the rest of the gift giving season:

1:  Monthly clubs or subscription services.  Fresh coffee, streaming and shopping services, sport and fan clubs are available in many different varieties.

2:  Smart home devices.  Whether to ask and answer questions or stay up to date on the most recent happenings, more and more people are starting to add smart devices to their homes.

3:  Flowers, chocolates, wine, gift cards.  Readily available, quick, and simple.

4:  Time, experience, or memory.  Make time for people in your lives that aren’t easy too get a hold of.  Try something new, or frame a memento from a past experience that you’ve shared with that person.

The reward of raw cookie dough

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out a warning about eating raw cookie dough.  In a page dedicated to the issue, CDC cautions, “When you prepare homemade cookie dough, cake mixes, or even bread, you may be tempted to taste a bite before it is fully cooked. But steer clear of this temptation — eating or tasting unbaked products that are intended to be cooked, such as dough or batter, can make you sick.”  The CDC states that uncooked flour could contain e coli bacteria and that raw eggs pose a risk of getting sick from salmonella. On the surface, those sound pretty bad. It’s important to put things in perspective. Sure, eating cookie dough can make you sick — but it probably won’t.

The truth is that eating raw cookie dough is probably worth the risk.

It’s estimated that only about 1 in 20,000 eggs contain salmonella.  As far as flour, yes, there was an e coli outbreak in 2016 tied to flour that is believed to have caused 63 people to get sick. But that this is not a common occurrence, and even taking it into account, it’s a small number given that Americans consume on average of 130 pounds of wheat flour per capita each year.

Sure, it’s possible that a batch of cookie dough you make could contain relatively rare infected eggs or flour, but Americans routinely engage in risky business.  Adults and their kids ride bikes, ski, play sports, eat at restaurants whose kitchens they haven’t  thoroughly vetted, and so on. At the end, they determine that the fun is worth the risk.  Why shouldn’t the same logic apply to cookie dough? If you routinely make large bowls of cookie dough purely for the purpose of raw consumption, it will increase your odds of getting sick. However, if you make a batch of cookies and lick some raw leftover dough off of the spoon, the risk of getting sick is statistically low.  But, there are no guarantees. If you’re a risk-averse person, you may want to err on the side of caution and avoid consuming raw dough and keep it from your children. But if you decide to indulge in some cookie dough while baking, you shouldn’t feel guilty — you will more likely than not be fine.

Tips for Deciding Whether to Have Your Vehicle Shipped Home

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Vehicle transport companies are busy. More and more car buyers are finding their next vehicles online and buying from long distance, so that means there are many folks making the decision to either travel and get their new ride or have it shipped home.

eimports4Less specializes in long distance sales. We’ve dealt with arranging vehicle transport for almost two decades and we’ve learned a little bit along the way.

Finding the right company to ship your vehicle is the first part, but for this blog post let’s skip that step and assume that we’ve found the right company and gotten a competitive quote for shipping the new vehicle to you.

As an example, we ship many cars to the Chicago area and shipping rates for door to door transport with a reputable company are in the $525 ballpark today.

Chicago is roughly 750 miles away from us, so you can definitely drive straight through if you want to.

There are really only two things to consider when you’re talking about a move of this distance, the weather and your time.

  1. Consider is the season. You don’t want to be traveling by air or car when it’s snowing out. If there’s a chance of snow or some type of severe weather, always ship the car. Snow does not slow down vehicle transporters
  2. Your time. If you value your time, then it’s almost always more economical to have your new vehicle shipped home. If you’re going to miss more than one day at home or work, then it probably makes sense to just have the new car shipped. Delays at the airport and on the roadways is common, so you may end up missing even more time than you planned.

Anything further than a one day trip, just have it shipped. The only exception is if you’re retired or on vacation and you’re just planning on making a road trip out of it. That’s a whole other story and could be the adventure of a lifetime!

Check out future blog articles for tips on finding the right transport companies and for great road trip ideas that start right here at eimports !

Happy Motoring

 

 

3 Tips For Avoiding Hidden Car Dealer Fees

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We hear this same old story from clients of ours multiple times every week. You spend hours at a dealership checking out cars, talking numbers, applying for financing, arm wrestling a dozen managers and a few hours later when you finally get to the finance office…you realize that there are tons of hidden fees that nobody told you about before you wasted all this time and energy. You thought you had a deal worked out!

Sadly this type of crap happens all the time and it must work on some people because there are many dealers that still charge all kinds of hidden fees and never tell customers about these fees until they’ve invested many hours of their time.

This used to be a thing that you heard about with car dealers who specialize in bad credit financing, but now many new car franchised dealers have gotten in on the fun and are starting to mistreat their customers as well.

Here are a few tips from the guys and gals down at eimports4Less that will help save you some time and frustration:

  1. Always ask for the exact total price before going to the dealership. Just ask for the total sale price as if you’re paying cash and just bringing a check in with you. Ask for the total and then the exact breakdown of the items. You need to know the sale price, sales tax, registration, etc. Get that before you leave your home. If a dealer won’t give you that…just move on. You time is too important to waste it there.
  2. Get the exact pricing in writing. Ask for a text or email with the exact numbers so you can plainly see all expenses in black and white.
  3. Always check the dealership’s online reviews. Dig deep into the dealer’s history and you can usually spot a bad dealer pretty quickly. You’ll find many reviews like the ones below with people claiming they were being asked to pay a bunch of nonsense fees.

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Dealers that do business like this aren’t worth dealing with and they certainly don’t deserve your business.

Car Pro Tip: Do as much research on the dealer as you did on the vehicle that you want to purchase. Finding the right dealer is just as important as finding the right vehicle.

Tips for Reading Autocheck Reports

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Autocheck is owned by Experian and their vehicle history report (or VHR) is most notable for employing a vehicle history scoring system. They provide a number and a range — like 85 out of a range of 70-90. This shows their customers how this particular vehicle compares to other similar vehicles built that year. It is meant to be a quick way to identify and eliminate vehicles that might have issues, ranging from accident reports to salvage, flood history, etc.

The scale isn’t zero to 100, which can be confusing to folks researching vehicles. We ran a report on a 2016 Mercedes-Benz E Class and it received a score of 82. Sounds like a good car, right? But this particular E Class was in a major accident, declared a total loss and issued a salvage title, according to the report. The number that matters is the range and, from there, where the particular car scores. In this case, the range for similar E350s was 88-93. The one we were checking, with a score of 82, was 6 points below the bottom of the range — not a great bet for a used car, in other words. We also ran a report on a 1996 BMW 328i with a salvage title. It scored 25 out of a range of 31-53. Six points seems to be the deduction for having a salvage title, but the numbers weren’t clearly explained.

AutoCheck does provide info that Carfax sometimes misses or doesn’t have access to, so running both reports is a must for anyone serious about buying a vehicle. Autocheck has been the preferred VHR provider for auctions and automobile professionals for a couple decades, so they get insider auction info that Carfax does not have access to. For example: many vehicles get sold at auction every day that have a clean Carfax report, but an independent inspector at the auction finds frame damage or previous frame repair from an accident that the car had that was never reported to Carfax. In this case, Carfax will not have this info…but the auction does pass it along to Autocheck and their report reflects that auction announcement. That’s important.

The Autocheck report is broken up into six sections.

Section 1 is an overview. This section gives you a quick snapshot of the important stuff: accident check, number of owners, odometer check, title brand check and their score. This is the most important section and most bad cars can be eliminated from your shopping list by simply looking here.

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Section 2 is the accident check section. This is the area that would give you more info if an accident was reported in section 1.

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Section 3 is the Title Brand Check section. This one is easy to figure out and problems will stand out.

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Section 4 is the odometer check area of the report. This is where Autocheck would provide more detailed information about any odometer issues noted in section 1.

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Section 5 is the Vehicle Use Section. This is where you’ll find information concerning rental car use, taxi cab use, vehicle repo records, etc.

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Section 6 deals with detailed records. This is where you can find registration renewals, title transfers, etc.

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Pro Tip: Pay close attention to section 1, 5 and 6. The other sections are really just fluff and matter very little. The score can also be misleading, so take that with a grain of salt and just read the report. We use Autocheck every day at eimports4Less and we find it to be a very valuable resource.