A Tale of Two Cars – Beverly Hills Car Club / Alex Manos

If you have a collector car or even just expressed interest in the business, then you have almost certainly seen an ad for The Beverly Hills Car Club and probably wondered if they were legitimate.

With all the clickbait ads and scammers on the Web, it is with considerable pleasure that I get to write a review of a real, legitimate business that doesn’t even exaggerate in its ad claims.

I have, over a period of about a decade, sold two collector vehicles to BHCC, and I obviously wouldn’t have done so twice if they weren’t everything they claim.

In fact, both deals went through, as I can only describe, as unbelievably easy.

If you don’t know about them, BHCC claims to buy certain collector or exotic cars in any condition. They have an extensive list of the vehicles they are looking for, but essentially, if it was once very expensive when new or is a particularly interesting collector car it is probably on the BHCC list (see below).

What they don’t tell you in the ads is that you will receive a certified check or bank transfer BEFORE you hand over the car, which is pretty good insurance that they are honest.

A Tale of Two Cars

I have, over many decades, repaired and collected classic cars beginning with a Sunbeam Tiger, which I acquired in the 70’s when I operated a sports car garage in Cambridge, MA, USA.

(I mostly serviced cars owned by people at MIT and Harvard, in fact I made friends with a Harvard physics professor and Nobel Laureate – I had studied physics and humanities at Harvard and elsewhere.)

As all good things come to an end, so too did my years of being able to enjoy and even maintain my collection, which included four 240Zs, a 1949 farm truck, a 300Z, a 69 Mustang, and some others, including a 73 Pontiac Trans am, the last of the early muscle cars.

Before COVID, I had become too disabled to restore my Tiger, which I had driven off and on for decades but had torn down partially to do a restoration. It was either all original, or I had kept the original parts when I made changes.

Sunbeam Tiger

Locally in central Pennsylvania, I had been offered as much as $800 for the Tiger, which was a ridiculous price if you know what a Sunbeam Tiger is and how rare they are.

Essentially a Tiger was a small two-seat British sports car into which someone, who later became associated with his Cobras, had shoehorned a Ford V8 260-289-302. It was a big hit but when Chrysler acquired Sunbeam there was no Chrysler engine that would fit.

Sunbeam Tiger on its way to Beverly Hills Car Club/Alex Manos, photo by author
Sunbeam Tiger on its way to Beverly Hills, CA photo by author

A friend of mine had raced a Tiger SCCA (His mother raced a Triumph), and I was on his pit crew, so we showed up to races with a large percentage of the existing Tigers in New England. (N.H. and especially Thompson, CT, where I had a girlfriend in the library whose boss was the wife of George Weaver, then owner of the track and former F1 driver.)

But now my Tiger was in sad shape but still sound, and I decided to try selling it to one of those TV car shows and to Alex.

As opposed to local $500 and $800 offers, the TV show offered $8,000 based on a photograph. Alex offered $9,000, and we eventually settled on $10,000 – as is, of course.

I sent multiple photographs, and all the BHCC asked for was a copy of my title before making a full bank transfer payment.

I then signed the title over and a simple bill of sale.

They arranged for a pickup with a local tow company which transferred the car to an enclosed car carrier, one which regularly takes cars coast to coast.

Sunbeam Tiger on its way to Beverly Hills, CA photo by author
Sunbeam Tiger on its way to Beverly Hills, CA photo by author

That was it. Some good photos, an emailed copy of the title, and I had my money, already cleared in the local bank before the tow truck showed up a few days later.

Trans Am

After COVID was mostly over (for now), I placed an ad in Hemmings for my original 1973 455 Trans Am, the one with a working hood scoop and screaming chicken decals.

1973 pontiac trans am photo by author
1973 pontiac trans am photo by author

That was the last Pontiac before many pollution controls were required although the compression was lower.

The ads ran for 16 months, and due to some mixups with my email, I missed some good offers, but some were very questionable despite optional email vetting by Hemmings.

1973 Pontiac Trans Am photo by author
1973 Pontiac Trans Am photo by author

The Contact

As I am severely disabled and not able to even get in and out of the car now and had to hire a young lady to clean the car.

So I contacted Alex.

Previously he had made a low-ball offer, still much higher than any local offer, but I felt it was too low by far for such an impressive car which had been in storage for decades after a full restoration. Since it wasn’t even listed as a car he would be interested in I didn’t resent the low offer.

Finally, late this winter, I gave up on the vague offers from Hemmings readers, including one veiled threat if I didn’t sell at a very low price (not Hemmings’ fault).

So I emailed BHCC with an offer below the ad price but considerably (very considerably!) higher than their original offer, enough to buy an inexpensive new car (it is not my place to disclose the final amount BHCC paid, but I was satisfied, in part because of how easy it is to deal with them.)

The BHCC buyer showed Alex the photos, and, within a few hours, the Trans Am was sold.

Again the money was transferred to my bank even before I had gotten the title signed and notarized, and, again, the car was picked up by a local tow company for transfer – you can’t get an 18-wheeler into my property.

tow truck loading antique Trans Am photo by author
tow truck loading antique Trans Am photo by author

I express-mailed the paperwork, and in the car, I placed any spare parts and the reinforcement bar, which goes over where the battery sits, along with a ream of old paperwork from the restoration.

But let me emphasize that the money was in my account before the car was picked up, and that was even before I had sent the paperwork.

Beverly Hills Car Club/Alex Manos – Conclusions

If I had any other collector car left, I would sell to BHCC with no hesitation.

Of course, I can’t guarantee you would have the same experience, but I would recommend Alex and his company to anyone.

The company buys and sells cars and currently has a 400+ car inventory of some fantastic vehicles.

Here is the list of vehicles they are especially interested in, but note that my Pontiac was not on the list, so if you have a rare vehicle, they might be willing to buy it.