The first time you go to a live auction, there’s a sense of panic that if you scratch your nose or wave at the beer vendor, you’re going home with a car. But you think you’re pretty safe when you’re playing cars with your kid in the living room. Turns out that wasn’t true for Bill Crovo, whose three-year-old son Anthony placed a winning bid on a 2005 Lincoln LS on an online auction site.
Bill is a huge car fan, and so are his kids. He’s always on the hunt for interesting stuff, and had the app for Capital Auto Auction open on his phone, looking at the Lincoln LS in the photo above. Capital Auto Auction is in Manchester, New Hampshire, and the auction is open to the public as well as dealers. Bill is pre-registered to bid through the app.
“I was watching the live auction on my phone so it was open and sitting on the coffee table as we were playing cars on the floor,” Bill says. “He always picks up my phone and hands it to me at random times. That’s what happened. He picked up the phone and handed it to me hitting the bid button just as the auction was closing.”
The car in question wasn’t exactly the kind of thing you’d want to spend a whole lot of money on. A tan 2005 Lincoln LS with 147,000 miles is about as desirable as a head cold, and that’s on its best day, either with a V-8 or the rare five-speed manual. This was the 3.0-liter Duratec V6 lashed to Ford’s five-speed automatic transmission.
How much was the bid? “More than it’s worth,” laughs Bill. “I was watching it and it got up to $800 and I was laughing to myself like ‘Who would spend that much money, plus fees, on that piece of crap?’ The answer is me, apparently. Only I outbid that idiot.”
Anthony was pretty pleased with the transaction, though. “He looked me straight in the eye and said ‘I bought it for you!’ with the cutest little smile,” Bill says.
The last thing Bill wanted was the Lincoln. He went to the auction in person to figure out how to get out of it. Capital Auto Auction allows bidders to bail out of auctions by paying the auction fees on it.
Still, it’s no fun to cough up the fees without coming home with something. Instead, the Crovos ended up coming home with a one-owner Ford Focus with high miles, but a five-speed manual transmission. “[It’s] a really nice car. Goes straight, stops straight, clutch feels good! Everything works,” he says. “What a riot! Sporty little car! Surprised me. It’ll make a good commuter car for someone.”
“I turned a huge mistake into a smaller one,” he laughs. So small, in fact, that he managed to flip it almost instantly. “It was sold before I even paid for it,” He laughs.
Too bad, because the family seemed to like it:
“It was completely my fault,” says Bill. “I wasn’t thinking that accidental bidding might happen. Now I know.”
As you’d expect with a three-year-old who has already purchased a car online, Anthony is a car guy. Bill’s got a couple of full-size GM B-body cars from the 1990s, including a lowered Cadillac Fleetwood and a Buick Roadmaster Wagon he calls the Marshmallow.
“He loves the Marshmallow and our Cadillac Fleetwood. He calls it the ‘Flat Caddy’ probably because he knows it’s lowered. He hugs it when he walks by it. He’s got a couple hundred Hot Wheels — maybe more — and he does not discriminate,” says Bill. Anthony is a big fan of the Trans Am in Knight Rider, too. “KITT is in the garage,” Bill says. He purchased a nearly identical Trans Am this summer and Anthony’s crazy about it.
And they say kids today aren’t interested in cars. For the moment, Bill’s keeping his phone in his pocket.