Armed with this knowledge and thinking that no one else would be bidding on a poorly restored Motion Corvette, Mackay and Schwartz started to believe the purchase would be a cakewalk. “We thought we were going to steal the car,” says Schwartz. Problem was, there was another person who really wanted the car, too.
Knowing that lightning doesn’t always strike twice, Schwartz was determined not to return empty-handed: “I said, ‘This time, we’re not going to let it get away, whatever the cost—we’re just going buy it.’ It wasn’t a business decision; it was purely emotional.”
Part of the pair’s strategy was to conceal Schwartz’s place in the Corvette’s ownership history. “Kevin told me before we arrived, ‘Whatever you do, don’t say that you were the original owner or the pricing will get crazy!’” says Schwartz.
The bidding began at $10,000, and the numbers quickly began to climb—as did Schwartz’s nervousness. “It was crazy. I was on pins and needles,” he recalls. “I asked Kevin to bid because I really was too nervous to do it.” Mackay concurs: “Phil was a wreck! He was shaking, had tears in his eyes.”
Mackay dug in his heels, and made it clear to the other bidder that he had no intention of losing the auction. “I told him that he was not going to get the car,” says Mackay. “I would keep bidding. I was going to get the car, so just quit now.”
But the bidding continued, and the price kept climbing.
When the gavel finally hit, Schwartz was unsure if Mackay had placed the winning bid. “It was a bit confusing,” he says. “The auctioneer said he had $220,000 on the car. I knew Kevin had bid $200,000. Then he said $220,000. I thought we lost it again! He repeated the price at $200,000. I knew that was Kevin’s last bid. Then he announced $200,000. The gavel hit again, and he said Kevin Mackay had won the car!”