Just buy in the Netherlands – column

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There classics purchasing (copy)

Nowadays we not only dream, search and buy at trade fairs, but also digitally. And then in the more exotic cases it is precisely in that language. Google Translate is useful. But has its limitations. Sometimes you do understand the information. Sometimes you are surprised:   

“I am selling Java 638 with a stroller, produced in 1986, in good condition. The moped is original, completely original, the engine has not been hit (does not ring, no “kulibins” have climbed there) Mileage 13.000 km. Native paint, everything works according to wiring, lights, feet, turning, everything down to a single lamp. Brakes work fine, everything is adjusted all the way down to the stroller. The moped is fully complete carburetor protection and pump is available (give separately) Documents are in order (new license plates, plastic tech passport, the moped has undergone a full inspection at MREO) any kind of refurbishment. A great option for those who want to feel nostalgic and remember their youth. You can't think of a better summer house or pleasant rides in three. The motorcycle is located in Kiev and is sold for the price of a Chinese scooter, the price is 45000 UAH. Bargain, to whom it is expensive, there is another similar one (per tech passport) that I sell cheaper for 30.000 UAH. If you are interested, I will send additional photos and videos. I help the real buyer with the organization of delivery in Ukraine. Kyiv.” You can do something with that. Sidecars are usually translated as 'pram' or 'summer house'. And getting stuff from Ukraine? That's easy.

But what to do with: “It's not Java, it's MZ with Java details. The mix! And I would buy with tuning. Tuning was in our years and gods неkim not kolkhoznim. And it was very beautiful. Each generation had its own beauty. So through the generations you may be shamed too. What a kolkhoz. Have a great piston for a 638, shells not done, 2 repairs, with rings and fingers, engine worked perfectly on it, have a new leaked piston for 634 under 1 repair, not turned on, didn't press a crankshaft for a 634 no elevators…”

Fortunately, we have quite a few relations in the region. They are happy to help if Google Translate and we cannot reach an agreement.

But here in the Netherlands there are also many classics for sale. And they are apparently very cheap for Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, French speakers, Swiss and Germans. Those foreigners also know that we do not have mountains here, but we do have speed limits and that Dutch restaurants are well known. Our prices are so low for them that even traders from those countries come here to buy the machines that are mercilessly dismissed on Dutch forums as all forms of worthless or way too expensive. Now it happens that French people with money do not speak English. And that the French of quite a few Dutch people is substandard. In the context of our French speaking nature, a call came from a classic dealer. “Or we wanted to help sell a bunch of motorcycles.” The question was accompanied by a bunch of Google Translates that were funny at best.

The Frenchman was already present more than an hour before the agreed time, proving that the French can indeed be on time. He smoked Gitanes. So we were dealing with a very real specimen. I knew that Fiat vans come in quite a few sizes, but this was a big one. There was a low, long four-wheel trailer hanging behind it. Trade went well. The freshly purchased motorcycles were lashed alternately across the trailer and the Frenchman asked us to another address where he had an appointment. After those purchases had been made, we went out to eat at his expense and then he went back to central France with 12 classics, where he would confidently put his margin on his purchases.

And in Brummen the local motorcycle scrap dealer regularly visits Poles. They buy what are youngtimers here. In the past, quite a few classics spontaneously disappeared that way. A Pole then managed to explain it to me this way: “You are old and rich. We are young and poor. You are weak. We are strong. We'll come get your things.” That was already neo-liberal then, so there is nothing to say about it. And so it was a while ago. Since then, the economic situation in Poland has improved much. And – we think – the classic trade has grown along with it. Because at a local fair we saw some stylish classics that still had a Dutch smell to them, even though they were completely established. A Ducati 750 SS, a BSA three-cylinder, some BMW boxers. Of course we don't know for sure... But still.

It can all be completely okay. But it would be a shame if you had to leave your newly acquired pride at the RDW, because it ended up in the files as stolen. When inspecting before purchasing, be very careful about the documents and stamped figures. Provide a signed sales/purchase agreement.

Because as a buyer you have an obligation to investigate. So if things go wrong with your Dutch integration, it is of the utmost importance that you can demonstrate as much as possible how friendly the seller came across and how much you tried. Then get ready for a long legal battle with no guaranteed positive outcome for you, as the saddened object.

To avoid being accused of spouting inflammatory language about poor foreigners: Foreigners are people too. And that also includes crooks and rascals. It is certainly not just poor, but ambitious Eastern Blockers who sometimes have some difficulty with 'mine and thine'. There was recently a very well-heeled, chic – traditionally 'West' German classic Mercedes specialist who invented the gull-wing doors right in front of you. Most classic enthusiasts are innocently nostalgic types or cold investors. There are also rotten apples in our basket sometimes.

But just play it safe: buy from our advertisers. If foreign traders already do that, then it can't be too expensive for you. And you don't have to hire us for on-the-spot translation work. You can then partially reinvest that profit in a subscription to Auto Motor Klassiek. After all, those foreign traders have that too!

Oh yes: The photos in this article are for information about what was there. They are from legal classics. We didn't want to put the photos of the fair online. Because we don't know who is watching. But if you want them you can send an email to redactie@amklassiek.nl. You will then receive them by email. And if you recognize your former classic on it?


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Just buy in the Netherlands
Just buy in the Netherlands
Just buy in the Netherlands
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  1. There is also scum among purebred decent Dutch people; Wasn't a Drenthe motorcycle dealer caught a few years ago filling his summer house with Ducatis freshly stolen from the country?
    Not every Polish-speaking enthusiast is after your property, I know several with a real love for the technology and willingness to help you make your pride and joy streetworthy again.

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