June 9, 2009, 12:00 AM

For classic cars, the web races ahead with FossilCars.com

It may sound like a place for dinosaurs, but FossilCars.com is zooming along as a place to buy vintage motor vehicles, with first quarter car sales up 20% over last year, president and founder David Schon says.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

It may sound like a place for dinosaurs, but FossilCars.com is zooming along as a place to buy vintage motor vehicles, with first quarter car sales up 20% over last year, president and founder David Schon says.

“I don’t think the economy is hurting us,” says Schon, whose site is an e-marketplace for up to 3,000 cars like a 1966 Corvette and a 1950 MG, many of them sold by dealers. “People are going online for classic car deals.”

Since launching in 2000, FossilCars.com, based outside of Detroit in Grand Blanc, MI, has processed about $50 million in car sales. To build on that momentum, it recently hired Avid Commerce to redesign its site to make it easier to search and navigate by multiple car characteristics.

Since the site redesign launched this spring, the number of buyers and sellers at FossilCars has grown 13%, Schon says.

FossilCars has also helped to drive up traffic (about 70,000 unique monthly visitors) and sales through search marketing campaigns and with a new pricing offer that lets sellers list a car at $9.95 for 30 days. Dealers pay $99 a month to list an unlimited number of vehicles.

The site now hosts about 12 dealers, but it expects to have up to 60 dealers by the end of the year, Schon says.

“Classic car buyers still have money to spend, and this online classified idea is still in its infancy,” says Schon, who drives a 1970 Pontiac GTO with a 455 engine and a four-speed manual transmission as well as a 1970 Pontiac Firebird Formula with a 400 engine.

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