How I bought a Porsche 911 from nothing
It's something every petrolhead dreams of: Trading up from nothing to a super car by buying and selling a few motors in their spare time.
But instead of dreaming, one day last year I decided it was time to start doing something about it. The plan was a simple one – reinvest the cash from each sale into the next vehicle until I bought a 911.
And to give people a reason to help, once the Porsche was finally purchased it would be sold and all the money handed to charity.
Now it's worth declaring early that as well as Autoblogging, I run trade publication Car Dealer Magazine, so have a few contacts in the motor trade that others who've tried this before didn't have.
That assistance helped find the first cars to kick my challenge off. Both donated by dealers, I was handed the keys to a VW Golf MkIII by Motorpoint and M25 Audi gave us an S-reg A3.
Sadly the A3 wasn't in the best of health and we were forced to sell it on eBay for a little less than we'd originally planned. It was bought by two motor traders for £790. The Golf didn't hang around either – selling to a local man for £250 on eBay.
The second step involved spending £985.25 (including tax) on an 02-reg Ford Fiesta. This one hung around a little longer than we'd hoped and we were forced to reduce the price from an ambitious £2,500. That got the buyers interested and it was sold to a little old lady for £2,150.
Then came our masterstroke – the one that everyone remembers – the Hyundai i10 football car. Made by a renowned car artist to celebrate the car manufacturer's support of the World Cup, the i10 had artificial grass covering every panel, plastic grass seats, not to mention a giant football and goal posts grafted on to the exterior.
After a whirl of publicity, which saw it feature on Autoblog, in The Daily Telegraph, countless local newspapers, websites around the world and even on the BBC news, we put it up for sale on eBay. It clocked up nearly 100 'watchers' and eventually sold for £5,005 to a Hyundai dealer who planned to use it for publicity.
Buoyed by our success we contacted another manufacturer and scored another cracking deal. This time it was three Mazda MX-5s, one of which had been reversed into a lamppost at quite some speed.
The cars had been sourced by TV's Mr Wheeler Dealer Mike Brewer for Mazda's 20 years of the MX-5 celebrations. All original MK1s, the two 'good' cars of our trio both needed MOTs and some parts before they were ready to sell.
A mechanic mate – who'd prove pivotal in our attempts to reach our target – took up the challenge and soon had the two good cars roadworthy. We let him keep the broken one as payment and sold the other two for a £2,220 profit.
Next up was a Mercedes CLK, which was bought for £6,000. The 03-model was a lovely spec and drove beautifully, but after four weeks sat on my drive, when I went to start it again the hood failed.
A trip back to mechanic Matt's proved more than fruitful - not only did he have it fixed in a week, he'd also sold it too... to his receptionist's mum! A further £2,250 profit was banked.
Citroen then stepped into the fray with a C4 Grand Picasso. The 58-plater was on their fleet and we snapped it up for just £8,110 (with tax). Unfortunately it proved a bit sticky and we couldn't find a buyer no matter how hard we tried.
Eventually a dealer offered to take it off our hands for £8k, but instead of handing over cash we could simply take part exes off his site for the same value.
Knowing cheaper cars were easier to sell we picked a Volvo 940, a Skoda Fabia and a Renault Scenic. Again, not one of our smartest moves as one dealer pointed out 'we'd now swapped one headache for three.' He was right. We shifted them within a month but for a paltry combined profit of just £775.
That left £900 in the dealer's bank account which we spent on a gold Ford Ka, which was sold in a week for £1,700.
Finally we'd reached the magic £10k mark and had enough to buy an early 996-shape 911.
Eventually the right one popped up on Auto Trader and after negotiations I bought R97 RRK for £9,900.
We now plan to get our new baby fettled by Porsche and polished up ready for sale – and then eventually, after 13 trades and 15 months, we can hand over a fat cheque to BEN, the automotive industry charity we've been working so hard for.
If you're interested in buying the car, you can get in touch with me via Twitter: www.twitter.com/cardealered