In the pilot episode of MTV's "Fast Inc.", Jennifer Love Hewitt is on the phone. She's looking for an early-70s BMW 2002 — a birthday present for a friend. The catch? It has to be cream with tan — and automatic. "Ohh," Todd Ashley, one of the show's three expert car hunters, deadpans, just barely giving away that request's level of difficulty. "Yeah, we'll sort it out." It's no spoiler to say they do.
Admittedly, when Todd from Fast Ashleys wrote to tell us he and the guys at the Los Angeles car shop were starring in a new MTV reality show, we secretly feared it'd repeat the same, "Overhaul My American Monster Rod" construct. Turns out, we needn't have fretted at all. With "Fast Inc.", which airs tonight, producers have introduced the sensibility of a '70s road movie into that now-familiar cable-TV schtick of working at a cool job in front of a camera crew. Deft editing of surprisingly artful photography (videography?), wrings what humor and drama can be wrung from hundreds of cellphone calls, off-the-cuff one-liners and interactions with oddball car owners and demanding celebs. While it might be hyperbolic to say the show completely fulfills our dream-movie sensibility of "Chinatown" meets "Vanishing Point," it comes way, way closer than you'd think.
Todd and Christian give away their car-finding secrets after the jump.
Five Steps to Finding Your Classic Car
There's always a reason a particular car is listed for sale. Usually the reason is that something's wrong with the car and you'll never know until you're driving it into your driveway and the tranny drops out right in front of the wife and kids. The car you want is the car NOT for sale. Those are the ones that run well, usually are legit and end up retaining value in the long run.
1.) Search the interweb and magazines for pricing. Know what similar cars are selling for right now, not a month ago or a year ago. Check ebay for similar cars sold. Check auto trader for current asking prices. Get a realistic idea of what you can spend for the car you want. These days for 20 grand you get a 15 thousand dollar car but for 30 grand you can get a 40 thousand dollar car if you are patient.
2.) Check out auto owner's clubs (e.g., Porsche clubs, BMW clubs, Camaro clubs). Members are usually enthusiasts. Enthusiasts have many cars and angry wives. Tip: Call prospects during the daytime. The husband is usually at work and the wife is at home. You will always get the best price from the wife. Always. Remember the mantra: "everything is for sale."
3. Call specialized mechanic shops. Perhaps one of their clients has your car. Being nice to mechanics is a plus. They have the ability to tell you the truth about cars they know. A suitcase of silver bullets goes a long way at closing time.
4. If you still haven't found the car, go back to the interweb. Search for one- or two-owner cars. Too many owners is a bad thing. Stay far away from dealers. There's always "paint n' patch" when it comes to dealers. Search for around $2k above what you can spend. Negotiating is part of every sale. Find the amazing car you want and offer low. A lot of times you'll get it. Search in dry climates, and make sure the owner agrees to a thorough inspection; that is, compression check, frame check, VIN search and appraisal report.
5. If you still can't find what you want call Fast Ashleys. They'll hunt down your first radio flyer if you want them to.
Five Rules of Car buying
Rule number one: Money is made when cars are bought not when they are sold. Don't overpay! We don't understand people who overpay for cars and brag about it. That's tantamount to bragging about your small package.
Rule number two: Research, research, research. Don't step into the pool not knowing how to swim. The lifeguard doesn't care.
Rule number three: Never buy a car over the interweb without seeing it or having someone you trust inspect it. Nothing is exactly as it is described (see MySpace dating) and pictures are pictures (once again refer to MySpace "the angles"). Would you get married without a test drive? Don't even think about buying a car without getting it inspected or driving it yourself.
Rule number four: It's best to get a car that has had few owners. One-owner cars or one—family-owned cars are best. You want your girlfriend to have had as few partners as possible, so why wouldn't you want the same out of your car?
Rule number five: Unless you have a blank check, no car is perfect. Perfection costs money. Figure that any car you get is going to need some maintenance when you get it. Look at what a little maintenance did for Pamela Anderson. Maintenance is key.
If you have any problems with the above rules contact Fast Ashleys and they will get you what you want.
Television! Television! Television! Television! 'Fast Inc.' Comes to MTV [internal]