Anything to do with the 2023 Corvette Z06 is almost always controversial: dealer markups, specific features, or V8s breaking almost immediately. However, we have a story that’s a little bit more unusual. James Lucas Condon, the YouTuber better known as The Stradman, is selling his brand new Corvette Z06 on Doug DeMuro’s auction website Cars & Bids, which has caused a record number of comments (for the site), with some people angry that bidding is reaching two times the list price and others saying that Stradman never owned the car.
The first part is pretty easy to talk about. After 27 bids, the Z06 has reached $203,000 with four days left before the auction ends. Yes, that’s way more money than the “official” list price of $106,395. But we know that a nicely loaded one can go up to $160,000. Unless I’m mistaken, this particular model cost something like 173,000. In addition, this is an open, transparent market, not like a dealer forcing huge markups. So basically, yes, The Stradman’s car really is worth that much. But does he actually own it?
At the time of writing, the listing has reached 364 comments, which is insane considering most auctions only get a couple of dozen remarks. It got so crazy that the Cars & Bids website had to remind people that comments need to “remain positive, polite, and focused specifically on the vehicle at hand.”
But it didn’t actually help, nor did the fact that Doug DeMuro said the car “belongs to my friend and fellow YouTuber,” with some people suggesting an illegal transaction was being facilitated. Basically, it has to do with who is actually selling this desirable Corvette Z06, the hottest American car in recent history.
Does Stradman actually own the car?
People are suggesting this is “title jumping” which is illegal, pointing out that the vehicle was purchased by Stradman but it does not have registration and is being sold now through a different dealer.
A comment by @renthusiast says: “Given that the vehicle was apparently untitled, and is being sold by a dealer, I do not see how this is anything other than an illegal transaction.”
The same person also added: “Is Stradman a dealer? If he isn’t, then he is skipping sales tax on his purchase by not registering the car first. As stated below, that’s illegal.”
The selling dealer, Postperformance, has tried to clarify the situation by saying that the YouTuber has submitted a title and registration request for the Z06. Perhaps because of all the mean comments he was getting, Stradman took to Instagram, posting three stories concerning these accusations.
“I paid $12,540.84 in Utah Sales Tax on my Z06 Corvette. Everyone leaving me nasty messages and comments can go away now,” the YouTuber said, showing proof and also revealing a $29,000 sales tax on a Lamborghini Countach.
So basically, he did pay the taxes but didn’t get the title and registration yet. Considering that shouldn’t take more than a month, a different question arises. Why is he in such a hurry to sell the Corvette Z06, which he just bought and is one of the most desirable American cars ever made? The simple answer is: he might be out of money.
Over the past couple of months, there has been a lot of speculation that Stradman is broke. His large house project may have been too ambitious. While it was originally financed at a lower interest rate, it’s now taking $10,000 chunks out of his bank account. In addition, in a recent post, the YouTuber said he can’t afford to hook it up to electricity yet, which means his large collection of supercars is sitting in the dark and apparently can’t be serviced. Given the dire situation, it makes sense to sell the desirable Z06, right at the peak of its popularity.
But it’s still pretty bad. The car is being sold using an MSO (Manufacturer Statement of Origin) instead of a regular title. And the ad states that GM might not consider this to Z06 to be under warranty because it’s being flipped, essentially, sold before six months have passed. And it’s not a theoretical issue either, as Stradman has reported a some mechanical problems, including a transmission leak. So, how bad do you want the 2023 Corvette Z06?