Buying a AMC off ebay horror stories!

I have said it once and will say it a million times. The "Cardinal Rule" of
buying a old car, any old car is never buy sight unseen.
This is just what
many people think for some reason they can do on ebay. The sellers are going
to show you only what they want to show you in the photos. The descriptions
are only going to tell you what they hopefully want you to hear. You have a
limited time frame to bid on the car
. You have NOT looked at this car
closely to determine whether it pulls to one side when braking, whether it
leaks like the AMC Exxon Valdez, or it if emits a puff of smoke upon
starting, or if the front end is wasted, or rust under carpet, or possible
collision damage; there are simply too many ways to get screwed!  

And manytimes the seller will demand X amount of $$$ within a short period of time,
like 48 hours! This is usually NON REFUNDABLE

You probably can't get to the car in 48 hours unless it is near you, a plane ticket on short notice is NOT
CHEAP for instance and they know this. So you forward the money, then when
you see the car, it is not what expected, guess what, you are screwed.

I have several "Bought My AMC Off Ebay Horror Stories" here for everyone who
thinks that everything that glitters is gold on ebay and might let the money
burn a hole in their pockets. I personally would NEVER buy a car off ebay
unless it is under the $2500.00 range
. And I damned sure would ask a lot of
questions, not by email but call the sellers while the auction is going on
to confirm anything I may want to know about the vehicle in question. I am
NOT, repeat, NOT condemning every auto sold on ebay as there I am sure have
been many happy customers. However, for some reason I seem to hear nothing
but AMC Ebay Horror Stories, although I have heard about a dozen "good"
stories of someone buying a car off ebay, the horror stories outnumber them
easily 3-1. Somewhere in the bowels of ebay's Site Map is a file called
'Caveat Emptor' which means simply "buyer beware" bluntly.
It is there for a reason, and hopefully anyone who every reads this file will never have to
use it. Sadly, it is too late for those below.

While this file deals with those who have gotten corn holed with a AMC vehicle bought off ebay,
you can see sadly how widespread the problem is in the 'ebay community' by clicking
this forum link. 

Subject: RE: AMX paint
Eddie the auction number is 4517489604, This is a mess! Rod.
Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 9:37 AM

What did you buy that you got screwed? Do you stil have the auction umber so I could pull it up to look? As for apprasial, while I appraise cars, I am not certified and this is something ebay probably requires. You will have to look in the yellow pages I would guess. Someone you might try is contacting the local Mopar club listed in my "links" section, to see if their club knows anyone locally who can quickly do this for you. 
Eddie Stakes'

You must have been reading my mind, I just took delivery on the car on Sunday. And and and as you told me ....... beware it is a piece of junk. Boy did I get ripped off. Do you know of an appraiser for cars, the fraud unit of EBay wants me to get it appraised. Yes, at my ripe old age of 53, you would think would know better, but after a pretty good life and two counts of cancer I thought I could trust people. Well, if you know of an appraiser, please let me know
Sincerely,  Rod

*Above. What happened was this black AMX was being sold in WA state and the description was rust free, solid, runds and drives great and all the other bullshit people put in auctions to try to sell a car. Problem was, Rod was high bidder and contacted me when he got the car to Houston, paying another $1000 to ship it here. The car was the Exxon Valdez, leaked, was not rust free, just a pile of shit overspray he paid $7000 for, even a professional appraiser walked away from it. I told him to contact the seller, which he did, and they got a line of communication going, but not before Rod threatened to take the whole mess before a Harris County DA for fraud, which would have required the seller to come down from WA and represent himself in TX. 
Luckily the guys worked it out, the car stayed here in Houston while it was relisted, this time selling for roughly the same amount to some poor bastard in Miami. But Rod got not only his $7K but $1K back from the seller and has since bought a AMX. This time looking at it up close and personal and actually driving before buying. 




"Subject: 1969 Ebay Javelin Mystery

Does anyone know anything about this car?  I found one sentence rather odd,
"this car was on ebay before and i wasnt really looking to sell it but
it reached $8,500.00 my reserve is extremely low shipping will run around
$650.00 email for exact pricing thanks alot."  It reached $8,500.00 last
time but sold for $4,050.00,this time?"

Hi my name is 'Ron Desrosiers and i bought this car. It is a total junk.
The car he shipped does not look like the one on the add.  I am in the
process of filling for fraud. I will send you and anyone else who would like
to see them copies.  If anyone now goes and looks up that ebay add and looks
for the person who sold it
 Gary Vaughn this person is no longer an ebay member.
Please spread the word not to buy anything from this guy in  2664(5) or S
193rd Place Queen Creek Arizona.  Gary Vaughn sells lots of cars from this
area.  He tried to sell me a 68 camaro, Nova ss and others.  He claims he
sells lot of cars.  Don't buy from him, but to listen to him in action here
is his number 480-888-8632
I recieved the car and had to pay an additional 250 dollars because
Mr.Vaughn did not pay his part of the shipping when the car left his house.
The car has 4 junk spare tires,one of which is extremely narrow, not the
nice rims and wide tires in the add.  The interior is trashed.  The drivers
seat is missing and the back seats are up side down in the rear of the car.
Don't dare reach inside to flip them over.  It is really disgusting inside.
I have pic's and will be happy to send.  I just was afraid if i sent pic's
now you would not open the email.

Both rear quarters have rot holes at the bottom.  The fenders have lots of
dents and the inside lip has been cut off both of them.  Probably was used
for racing to accomodate wide tires, but Mr. Vaughn did not state this in
theebay add to be in this condition.  This car may very well be a test car.
There is a lot of wiring under the hood and a panel on top of the radiator
support area which is set up to run the car from there i believe.  The car
was stated as having ac.  Nothing under the hood reflects the car ever had
it. The engine, which he was suppose to install was literally just dropped
in and not bolted to transmission or mounts.  Radiator support damaged
either in droping or delivery due to engine moving freely inside engine

Engine was to be complete.  It is not. Before i bid on this Mr. Vaughn sent
me in writing that the car was rust free and everything worked.  This is my
golden nugget to get my money back. Nothing on the car works from the brakes
to the windows.  When i finally got the hood to open the grille fell out
onto the ground.  You had to see it. My wife and 10 year old son outside
watching me look at this car.  They both know the car is junk but i am still
trying to find something to convince them and myself it is not.  Picture a
grown man nearly in tears trying to
find something good out of this whole horrific experience.  The hood would
not open.  I had to push down hard on the hood and then i felt it pop.  Bang
now i open the hood and plop goes the grille to the ground.  I literally
just stood almost looking at myself from outside my body and just started to
laugh.  Boy did i get the poker all the way up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mr. Vaughn will not answer my phone calls or respond to my emails since July
11th. I received this on July 15th. To this day i still do not have the
notarized bill of sale he promised in his ebay add. This was never supposed
to be registered, but is sitting in my driveway with a Arizona plate
DN-0430.  I have not had any luck researching the plate to see if belongs on
this car.  Maybe there is someone in this club who lives in Arizona who
check on this for me. I have learned a very costly lessen and i just want to
stop this from happening to anyone else.  This is my first ever purchase
from ebay and probably my last.   I will be happy to share this story with
anyone who wants to hear it. There was a fellow from Californa who wanted to
write a story on this car.  He responded to me from this AMX files club
along with lots of others. Please if you could put this on the AMX files so
this person can reply back to me. I have a story for him!!!!!
If there is anyone in this club who could provide some assistance i would
truly be grateful. I do own another Javelin a 68 sst that i am in the
process of restoring and
do love these cars.  It may appear the only good thing from this is finding
out about this club.  I am in the process of joining and think that this
club has a lot of nice people in it.  I had a person call me who lives in MA
who has a 74 javelin sst and we spent some time talking on the phone who is
a member of this club. you are a cool guy.  Best of luck
to you at Kenosha.
Ron Desrosiers
Auburn, NH 03032

From: Julie XXXXX
Date January 22nd, 2003
Subject AMX

Hi Eddie, I talked to you recently about the AMX I bought off ebay for my
husband, which was supposed to be a anniversary present, bit has almost
caused a divorce! I bid, then bought what looked like a very nice 69 AMX on
Ebay for sale out in Las Vegas Nevada. The seller had a "Buy It Now" price
of $9000.00 of which the bidding, had only reached $3500 with three days to
go. The car was a 390, 4spd, green, and looked nice from the photos and
appeared that it was in great shape with much work done. Upon arrival to our
home I discovered the vehicle transmission would not go into second gear
without much effort, the oil pan leaked, and front end was loose. NONE of
this was mentioned in the auction, nor was it mentioned in our phone
conversation when I called the seller directly! My husband was extremely
angry with me, one, for buying a car sight unseen, and two, I just wasted
$9000 on a vehicle and $1000 on shipping it here. I have contacted Ebay's
Fraud department which is supposed to be looking into it for me. The seller
will not return my phone calls or emails. I don't have much recourse and
have decided to simply dump the AMX for $5000 and take my loss as a learnign
experience. It was a pleasure talking to you on the phone about this matter,
too bad I could not order anything I am so upset. Cheryl T.

Original Message -----

From: Jerry K.

To: eddiestakes

Sent: Wednesday, January 19th, 2002 8:35 PM

Subject: AMX

Dear Eddie,
I read with interest your 'buying a car on ebay' in the Shut Up & Drive
Files and would like to tell you my own experience. I bid up a California
500 Big Bad Green 69 AMX to $18,500.00. I had contacted the seller and asked
pointed questions and told him I was serious about the vehicle and was
willing to bid to reflect that. I ended up winning the vehicle, as as per
our conversation December 30th, you told me quote 'what the hell was I doing
bidding on a fucking car I had not drove?' and I remember that, along with
several other points you mentioned like the car may leak oil, trans may slip
and so forth. Armed with this newfound knowledge of attempting to buy a
vehicle online, i left Illinois the next day with 16' trailer headed to
Kentucky to see this AMX I was high bidder on. What a fucking waste of time.
Photos DO LIE. While this vehicle was not a bad car, it sure as hell was not
a $18,000 car, much less a damned $10,000 car. I felt the seller totally
misrepresented it on ebay and did not reveal everything wrong with this
piece of green shit. I was there less than 15 minutes and told him that is
was a piece of shit and fuck negative feedbacks, I was NOT about to make a
$18,500 MISTAKE. I also told him that I would email ANY bidders on the car
should he relist it letting them know the car had been wrecked and repaired
and that it smoked like a damned mosquito truck when started to name a few.
I appreciate your candid honesty over the phone in our conversation about
all that can possibly go wrong when buying a vehicle online. I will however
try again in the future to find my dream AMC, and would do the same thing
over again if need be. I hope someone is able to buy that 69 BBG AMX for
what it's true value is worth, as to me, it was a nicely painted parts car
that the seller was extremely vague in representing while in auction, and on
the phone. Thanks for your help, keep up the good work,
Jerry K
And concerning a 1970 Big Bad Orange 70 AMX on ebay February 2004, this is
what I wrote to three AMC fans who wanted me to coment on the vehicle for
sale. No, I have never seen this car. Yes, I didn't like the wording in the
auction, no matter how rare one perceives it to be, there simply is too much
room for error and this could end up like that $35,000 Rebel Machine that
"sold" on ebay January 2004, and the new 'owner' drove from Idaho to
Wisconsin, not a short trip, with trailer, then walked away from it when he
said the paint was not original on the 8000 mile Machine.

Again, 'caveat emptor' BUYER BEWARE on ebay please, there are some great
deals, but please be careful or this file will continue to grow in the

----- Original Message -----

From: Eddie Stakes


Sent: Sunday, February 08, 2004 1:57 PM

Subject: Re: Big Bad Orange

Hi, only the 1969 Big Bad colored cars had painted bumpers. The 70 models
did not. A interesting note also: only 122 people opted for Big Bad Orange
AMXs in 1970; it was not a good year for the AMX nor big bad colors, or AMC.
The big bad colors were looked at as 'cop attractors' several auto magazines
wrote, not only AMC's loud colors but Mopar too, if you go to my website
then click on "parts" then "production numbers" there is a breakdown of how
many cars had what. There is also "paint chip charts" listed, that car if
original should be 02, 03, 04 or 2A, 3A, 4A, can't remember which but it is
listed, those are the 3 Big Bad color codes. If the car has a factory Shadow
Mask it would be followed by a 8, like 02-8 for instance. The 70 AMX was a
major flop sadly, (hey, we like them) but it was not a good time for a two
seater, and the 70 was plagued with some problems like one of the shittiest
dashes AMC ever made, it was almost a afterthough. Eyebrows were curling up
before dealers were taking delivery, the woodgrain overlays were buckling,
the glovebox would not close, the list is endless. And to top it off, there
was a crippling strike at our favorite automaker in 1970 which shut down
production and cost AMC 36,000 cars. That may not seem like much, but think
about if everyone of those was a loaded 70 Ambassador for
$5000-$6000......if you click on "parts" then "literature" on my website
there are two 70 AMX press photos I sell, also note what it says under the
70 Gremlin debut NY autoshow photo.

So I looked at the car on ebay. Good and bad. Bad first: it has been HIT.
The seller states openly "Keep in mind this is an older car and does need
some minor work, but I am sure it will be well worth it in the end." What
the fuck does that mean? Nice paint, but lots of overspray, see under the
car in one photo. Several photos are too dark, I personally do not like that
as darkness hides shit. "needs some work I never really did anything to it"
is a interesting statement, as it shows there could be everything from oil
leaks, to smoke upon startup, to brakes dragging, to clutch slippage, what
are they talking about? 24 hour $500 deposit don't give anyone time enough
to see if they might have made a mistake. I may be overly cautious, but
unless someone has a real hard on for this color, or this car, and is close
enough to DRIVE over to see it up close after they are winning bidder, then
seller might make $500 which would be non refundable if 'high bidder'
decides to back out once they see, hear, and touch the car up close. Engine
is dirty.

Good points, the door tag is BBO. Looks like it is garaged. Interior don't
look too bad. Paint is bright but could hide all sorts of shit. Suggestion:

ASK SELLER SOME SERIOUS DETAILED QUESTIONS using the "ask seller a question"
button off ebay. Tell them you are considering bidding but need to know more
details, please be specific in answers, and see what happens. Since you are
in the region, you have a little advantage also as if you do bid, say
$11K-$14K perhaps, then let the seller know that you will come down
personally within 24 hours of auction's end should you win it. One of the
reasons I am a asshole about stuff like this is simple. I have seen way too
make shit deals on ebay where people bid, then they walk away from the car
(like the high bidder did with that $35,000 Rebel Machine with 8500 miles on
it a month ago; or the 69 BB/Green California 500 aMX that was relisted 4
times before the seller took $10K for it, the first time offered it hit
$18K, but high bidder drove down with trailer, and walked away; but have
seen other people get burned like guy in your own area who bought that '68
Javelin Test Car' on ebay, it was not a test car, it didn't ever
belong to University of Phoenix, and when it arrived in the northeast, half
the shit was missing that was shown in photos!

 See next post for more info.So all I'm doing is telling you please cover
YOUR ass! Ask question, let them know if you are high bidder you will be
down to inspect it within a X time period! And good luck let me know how it
turns out. Eddie Stakes

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