Gulfstream Motorsports LLC. is a licensed independent car dealer and independent appraisal company based in Clearwater, FL. We provide rolling stock appraisals, pre-purchase inspections, diminished value and total loss reports for all types of rolling stock, (cars, trucks, heavy equipment, motorcycles and boats). Additionally, we regularly attend car auctions where we broker late model and classic vehicles. Our specialty is classics, sports and racing cars. Below are details about the services we provide:
Why should one have their vehicle appraised? There are a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s one safeguard that the collector, hobbyist or enthusiast can use to protect one’s investment. Second, it’s also a way to keep a pulse on the value and condition of one’s vehicle. In many cases, owners may be car or motorcycle enthusiasts but may not be aware of market changes and trends that may affect the value of the vehicle. Often the vehicle may have received some updates and improvements, or the opposite may be the case whereby neglect, mechanical and cosmetic deficiencies and or loss of interest may have occurred, resulting in a valuation change of the vehicle. An appraisal is often the best way to establish a value. It may be a necessary requirement for an insurance company, a financial institution or an estate.
Selecting the right appraiser is equally important as selecting a car, motorcycle or any rolling stock, (trucks, tractors etc.). Ideally, find one that has experience with the vehicles that are of interest to you and someone committed to the hobby with a network of reliable sources and references. Do not select an appraiser who simply likes cars, read a manual, paid a fee, took a correspondence course, passed a test, received a piece of paper, joined an association and became a member. This is not a field that you learn overnight. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCE! It is true, a well-rounded appraiser can be familiar with all kinds of rolling stock and produce a good report. More importantly, the appraiser should have solid basic hands on knowledge, good focus, diligence, common sense and integrity. There are some appraisers who specialize in certain makes and they are considered authorities. If the task requires authority and special expertise, it may be necessary to retain an expert to verify and authenticate a specific make and model. This is often the case with very rare, obscure and or valuable vehicles such as vintage race cars, motorcycles or limited production and custom bodied vehicles. For the most part a good seasoned appraiser that conducts his due diligence and research can put a realistic value on any vehicle. The best way to establish market values is to have firsthand knowledge of actual sales of similar vehicles. Results from auctions are good. They are held frequently, and they represent actual completed sales. It’s interesting to note the wide range in values of many of the same kind of vehicle. Many factors are taken into consideration such as location of the auction, name of the auction company, time of the auction, run numbers and certainly the condition of the vehicle. Some of the things that set appraisers apart would be the length of time that they have been in the business, the nature of their experience (i.e. repair, body, restoration, dealer, collector, racer, rebuilder, judge). Appraisals require a complete physical inspection, PERIOD! Not looking and examining a set of faded pictures, some spec written notes and an old price guide and then guessing at one of three value columns. Verifying or surveying a vehicle for correct numbers, date codes and O.E.M. or reproduction components often involves the use of a lift, drop light, camera, reference material and a substantial amount of knowledge. It is always important to have as much background information on a vehicle as possible. Custom, racing and one-off bodied cars and vintage motorcycles require more specific documentation as this helps establish pedigree or provenance. Having ownership history since the day it left the dealership is crucial, such as original bill of sale, warranty cards, build sheets, service bulletins, sales brochures, dealer installed options, service, repair and maintenance records, and any other receipts relating to the vehicle. And finally, always take the vehicle for a long test drive.
This involves spending some time with a prospective client and discussing their intentions and goals when seeking to acquire a collectible, classic or custom vehicle. The first priority is to set budget parameters. Often people buy what they had when they were younger or something they always wanted and now it’s financially attainable. Some clients are okay with projects and basket cases, but most want a turn- key driver which can range from running survivors, and barn finds to total restorations and museum pieces. Frequently, the subject comes up about buying “as an investment “or “investment grade acquisitions”. I am not a financial consultant. I am only familiar with cars, motorcycles and boats and their respective market values. My job is to help facilitate and procure a vehicle and more importantly see that the client gets what they wanted, is satisfied, and had a positive experience. The most important advice that I can give anyone is, when contemplating a purchase, buy what one likes. If it goes up in value, that’s a bonus, if it depreciates, one still has a vehicle they like.
Pre-purchase inspections require the same level of detail and examination of a vehicle as an appraisal. It is a relative matter dealing with the objective and the goals of the buyer.
Diminished value automatically occurs when a vehicle is involved in a serious accident and the vehicle sustains serious repairable body and mechanical damage. The simple fact is that when a vehicle is altered in any way from factory specifications as a result of an accident regardless of repairs, the value has been impaired. The purpose of a diminished value report is to establish a current market value on a previously damaged vehicle, and those values can vary from 10% – 30% of the retail selling price depending on the severity of the damage. Vehicles with “Branded Titles” (salvage or rebuilt), can lose as much as 50%. The difference in the quality of the repairs only plays a small part in establishing a post damage value and is generally a civil matter. Most dealers shy away from wrecked cars due to disclosure and liability issues. Therefore, they are wholesaled at auctions, sold to dealers in more lenient states or in many cases exported. Many of the reporting agencies don’t always get the information correct even when a police report and insurance claim has been filed. Self-insured vehicles rarely show up at all. The bottom line is that the vehicle is worth less and the deficiency needs to be factored in and the customer or claimant indemnified. Classics vehicles are different, and depending on condition and originality, the diminished value can be substantial. A restored vehicle can present a host of other issues, quality of the restoration, OEM or reproduction parts etc. All this has to be evaluated.
Total losses are generally determined by the insurance company. They typically aim low. Often a third-party determination can help establish a higher final value in favor of the claimant. In some cases, the claimant may want to keep the vehicle to rebuild or for parts. Settlements can be reached by off-setting the salvage vehicle value and the final payoff number.
We can assist with the storage, transportation and export of any vehicle anywhere in the world.
If the need arises, with all of the proper resources we can provide the necessary testimony to maintain a strong favorable argument in court of law or in mediation matters. The purpose, generally, is merely to establish values, condition and existence. We have in the past testified as an expert witness in the Florida court system.
There is a base fee. Travel time, research, additional reference material and outside consulting are all extra. Fee for services are required to be paid in advance of work performed. (All services include physical inspection and test drives, when possible, by the appraiser of the vehicle).
About the Appraiser:
Robert’s passion for cars started at about age 4. Growing up as a child in Northern California, cars were the “in thing”. Inspired by cool hot rods, cruisers and sports cars he began building car models as a hobby. Robert’s strong interest in foreign cars stems from his time spent living in Europe off and on as a child and teenager. Back in the states Robert’s first car was a beater 1965 Austin Healey 3000 MKIII Phase I. His second car was a 1957 Thunderbird that he painted in traditional California “rattle can flat black” with American 5 spoke mags, metal flake red steering wheel, no carpet or door panels, 312 CID, headers, 4spd and a 7-que ball for a shift knob. Being a hard worker and thrifty, at 19 he found and bought his first Shelby, a 1969 GT 350 rag top 4spd. The list of motorized gismos goes on from there with numerous Porsches – 356, 911, 928, 930’s, assorted Shelbys – GT350, 500’s, Boss 302, 351, 429’s, Pantera, Torino Cobra 429CJ’s, BMW Isetta, 2002’s, Triumph TR6, MGB/GT, Vettes LT1, 427, 454, Hemi GTX, Camaro Z28’s to name a few. He’s owned motorcycles such as Harleys, Can-Ams, KTM, Husky, Maico, Kawasaki, Honda Elsinore’s and Mini Trail 50’s and 70’s. Another favorite is boats, Robert has owned everything from a Yamaha Wave Runner, 13′ Boston Whaler, a 28’ Wellcraft Scarab and his favorite, a 38′ Cigarette Top Gun. His preference for cars are those of driver quality, survivor original cars even in edgy condition because they are only original once. Robert’s automotive background is quite extensive. After venturing away from the real estate business, he started in the car business at age 26; a vintage Mustang salvage yard which contained approximately 300 classic Mustangs. He then established additional auto salvage yard businesses, where the big toys were loaders, tractors and trucks and the inventory were both vintage and late model cars and parts. Robert has been a licensed independent car dealer and appraiser for over thirty years. He has been a member of various car organizations: SAAC, 356 Registry, PCA, SVRA, HSR, SCCA. He has also been involved with building, restoring and club racing vintage cars, both foreign and domestic. Robert currently operates Gulfstream Motorsports and provides rolling stock appraisals, pre-purchase inspections, diminished value reports and more. He also produces and hosts a weekly automotive radio show, Nostalgic Radio and Cars, now in its ninth year. This is an interesting and informative show featuring interviews with prominent people in the motorsports world, discussions relating to automotive history, design and development, vintage cars, speed boats and motorcycles as well as racing events, shows, auctions and swap meets. Other topics include discussions about music, vintage musical instruments and the occasional interview with well know musicians along with some cool classic songs. Some notable guest in the past have been: Carroll Shelby, Jay Leno, Roger Penske, Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Greg Rolie, Nick mason, Johnny Rutherford, Sam Posey, Bobby Rahal, Lyn St James, Shirley Muldowney, Don Garlits, Don Prudhomme, “TV Tommy” Ivo, Barry Meguiar, Bob Varsha, Stacie David, Dennis Gage and Wayne Carini to name a few. Robert’s specialty is with Shelby and Boss Mustangs, he is also a Florida Representative for the Shelby American Automobile Club. Robert also has an extensive background with 356 Porsches, both marques of which he has owned, collected, club raced and worked on over the years.
Robert’s other duties have included writing commentaries, auction catalogs, press releases and at one point, auction analysis and summary reports for noted automobile publication, Sports Car Market and American Car Collector. Robert has been the voice of multiple classic car auctions handling color commentaries as cars are featured on the auction block. This experience also allows him to be informed of real-time values in the fast-paced collector car world. Robert has been the emcee and chief Judge at the prestigious Festivals of Speed event as well as an official judge at the Winter Park Concours d”Elegance in Florida. Robert regularly attends Monterey Car Week, Scottsdale Car Week, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance, Gooding, Bonham, Russo & Steel, Barrett Jackson, Mecum and Hollywood Wheels Auctions annually as well as a number of smaller car auctions, vintage races and cars events around the Southeastern United States.