"Thanks for lunch, Charlie."
- This little story isn't exactly Crosley-related, but I think we can all find some value in it. Happy Thanksgiving, CCOC!
From April, 2007:
You may know that Charlie Sheen is a car collector with many cars in a warehouse in Los Angeles.
During my college years in Tucson AZ, Charlie and his crew was filming the movie Terminal Velocity (don't bother) and my brother was selling his 1966 Mercury Cyclone GT Convertible. Charlie saw the ad in the paper and called my brother.
My brother was in Phoenix (about 2 hours from Tucson) and told Charlie that if he would pay his price, $11,000, he would drive the car down to Tucson and visit me at the same time. Charlie agreed and my brother started the trip.
Before my brother arrived I got a call from Charlie, who gave us two options: go to the set and he'd drive it home from there, or meet him at his hotel where he would buy the car.
Considering the first option was at night on a Saturday (both my brother and I were college students), I told Sheen that we would meet him at the hotel on Sunday.
Sunday rolled around and my brother and I got up to go to the hotel. The lady behind the counter said that he is not ready and to go to the bar and have a drink on him. We weren't that thirsty, but we hung out.
A half hour went by and no Sheen. The desk lady told us that he was "catching up on his sleep after filming all night." Okay, we will wait. We went back into the bar, ordered drinks and one of every appetizer on the menu.
After two more hours passed, his assistant came in saying "Charlie will see us now."
My brother told the assistant that Charlie can now wait for us to finish our drinks and we will be out shortly. (By this time we'd racked up $125 on appetizers, and my brother stroked a $75 tip and charged it to Sheen.)
We left the bar to go out to the parking lot where Sheen and our car were.
Just then another car arrived on a flatbed, a 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 convertible. The guy jumped out of the truck and seemed excited to sell the car to Sheen. (Remember this for later, because I do have a lesson to this story.)
After that deal was done he started looking over my brother's car.
The Cyclone was a solid rustfree AZ car. Sheen started picking it apart. He test-drove it and offered my brother $8,000.
My brother repeated all the work he had done: rebuilt engine, new top, new interior, etcetera.
"It sounds like you don't want to sell it," Sheen proclaimed. "I will sell it at the price I thought we'd agreed upon: $11,000," my brother replied.
"How about $9,000?"
My brother literally didn't say anything and got in his car, looked at me and said "get in". We drove off.
During the test drive, Sheen told us that he picked up the 4-4-2 for $9,000. It was at this time that I realized the power of celebrities. If a non-celeb were to buy that car for $9,000, he/she would have automatically made at least $10k on the car. But because Charlie Sheen owned the car, tack on another $10k. Plus, I am sure the owner of that car would not have sold it for $9,000, but because it was Sheen, he now has a story that he sold his car to Charlie Sheen.
I learned a lot that day. I learned to not be intimidated by celebrities and the dynamics of negotiation. And most importantly, I learned to know limits.
The funniest part: at the time we met Charlie, we did not know the history of the Cyclone. We found out later that they had 50 special Cyclones for the Indy 500 in 1966. The '66 Cyclone paced the Indy 500 that year, and ours was one of those special-edition 50. Needless to say, my brother sold the car for a lot more than the original $11,000.
(Thanks for lunch, Charlie.)
Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving from mine to yours!
Edited from Classic Car Community, 10115 E Bell Rd, Ste 107-235,
Scottsdale, AZ 85260