Here's what Phil Gearhart had to say:

Dear Curt:

Before we advertised our Cobra on CobraCountry I told you on the phone we'd been advertising it for several months in several places, both on the Internet and in our regional auto trader magazines and local newspaper, with no luck.

When you took one glance at the photos I emailed you, you urged me to read/heed your photography tips and take some better pictures... that the ones I'd been using were more an obstacle than an asset in selling our Cobra. You also gave me a piece of advice that caught my attention: you said that "The purpose of including a photograph in your ad isn't to show folks what it looks like--for cryin' out loud, almost everybody shopping for a 427 Cobra already knows pretty much knows what a red one looks like--the purpose is to get potential buyers excited about it. Crappy snapshots won't serve to get anyone excited about your car!"

Good observation, and good advice, Curt! Only 3 days after I sent you new and (much, much) better pictures and our ad went up, our buyer first contacted us, and he purchased our Cobra about a week later--for our asking price! He kept repeating how gorgeous my Cobra is--and he hadn't yet even seen my car, only those photos!

You definitely made me a believer in the wisdom of showing the world good photos!

You're welcome to post this letter among CobraCountry's happy seller testimonials!

Philip Gearhart
Gaithersburg, Maryland

Listen up, Cobra owners: if you have it on your mind to sell your Cobra, here's a gentle reminder: March through July is 'the hottest season' for selling any open roadster.

On the other hand, even if you don't plan to sell your Cobra anytime soon, bear in mind that April through October is generally your best 'season' for capturing good photographs of your car. And good photographs are critically important for selling just about any product... especially a $40,000 or $70,000 or $100,000 toy!

That is to say, if you were to decide to advertise it, say, next December or January and you haven't already armed yourself with EXCELLENT photographs (not snapshots) of your Cobra, then unless you're on some perennial paradise in the Caribbean or Mediterranean, you're stuck with capturing (in the background) leafless winter trees, brown grass and/or snow and icicles in the background--anything but inspiring for potential buyers of your Cobra roadster.

The bottom line: get your hands on a decent digital camera, make certain you know how to force your flash to work outdoors, and read/heed my MPT/'Motorcar Photography Tips.' Then stock up on lots of good (read: excellent) photos of your car, including your cockpit and your engine. Then you've got all your ducks (serpents) in a row when the time comes to part with your Cobra.

--Here are your hotlinks to "Motorcar Photography Tips"--

condensed/"printable" version in pdf format--prints out on one page so you can take it with you as an "expert tips checklist." Prints out beautifully (and at high resolution) on glossy or semi-gloss paper.
   
unabridged version--everything you need to know to photograph your Cobra like a pro! Fully illustrated with lots of photos. Don't even think about trying to print this one out.