I’ve known this team of avid car enthusiasts since they broke the Cannonball Run record a few years ago. Now they have teamed up to build VINwiki, a social vehicle history reporting platform.
This is a really fun way to experience vehicle reporting. Much more of an experience than Carfax. You also get more detailed information that Carfax wouldn’t have.
The user experience is like an Instagram for Cars. All posts are tied to the unique VIN number that will stay with the car regardless of owner. I’m really interested to see how this platform will evolve over time as more and more people post cars. That’s one thing I find really interesting about it. Users can post cars they don’t own and the community can continue to add information about them. I think it’s pretty cool experience.
Hope you all enjoy it as well!
Hundreds of people came to listen to Ed Bolian, CEO of VINwiki, pitch at Atlanta Tech Village on June 27, 2016. It also includes 5 minutes of Q&A.
For inquiries into our startup, feel free to contact us!
VINwiki was on the scene of Nashville Cars and Coffee July. Bringing up 3 of the finest automobiles in the south, it was one helluva ride.
Spreading the love of VINwiki has been a lot of fun. We’re receiving a ton of great feedback on our app and lots of powerful growth!
Keep spreading the love!
Download the iPhone app here.
Our VINwiki Launch party held at VINwiki HQ on June 18 was a smashing success. We had over 400+ people come and celebrate the new launch of our app in the app store, found here.
Currently our app is only for the iPhone, but non-iPhone users can go and register at VINwiki.com.
Stay tuned for more information coming out!
VINwiki.com – A Social Vehicle History Reporting Platform
Download the iPhone app here: https://appsto.re/us/ijaAbb.i
– Build a timeline of your car’s story
– Keep track of where your cars end up down the road
– Manage service records and DIY
– Add value for resale through constant documentation
VINwiki is launching! Want to come to our launch party?
- June 18. 8PM – At VINwiki HQ
- 3440 Oakcliff Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30340
- 3440 Oakcliff Rd.
VINwiki is a technology startup that offers a social vehicle history reporting platform. Unlike Carfax and Autocheck that most of us know to be difficult and inaccurate, VINwiki is setting out to give the user the voice to tell the story of the cars they love. We invite owners, dealers, manufacturers, service provider, enthusiasts, and everyone else in the car world to create, contribute to, and curate the historical timelines of the cars around us.
On VINwiki you can make a post to any car based on its unique 17 digit VIN number. You can type the VIN, scan the door barcode, or enter the license plate using our PL82VIN converter. Posts can contain photos, mileage updates, location reporting, and backdates as you build out the history of your cars and the cars around you.
Our app is now live in the App Store. You can download it by following this link. I would love for you all to get the app, try it out, and let me know what you think. I hope that you find it to be a compelling way to track your daily activities with your cars and add value down the road. I also hope you will enjoy following your friends as they do the same.
I hate accounting. The first time I went to my accountant for Supercar Rentals I carried with me a legal box of crumpled receipts from the prior year. It was a Vince Vaughn/Dodgeball “keepers” idea. My car accounting is rarely much better. Selling one of my cars generally involved calling all of the service providers I had used and duplicating the service history.
I needed a solution to my disorganization but I never got sufficiently motivated. Then came the 2015 running of The 2904. It was a budget cross country race where we needed to carefully document each expenditure. What grew out of it was an infinitesimal attention to detail for where every cent was allocated as I stretched the rules as close to the breaking point as possible without going over. I bought a $1500 car and was left with $1,404 dollars for on-budget items.
What followed was 250 photos of build/repair documentation, intricate spreadsheets, and penny pinching beyond anything I had done on cars literally costing more than 100 times as much.
I was proud of the outcome. I was proud of explaining how their exclusions of safety related items such as tires, brakes, fuel suspension, lighting, and electronics (essentially lemons rules) had allowed me to spend over $16,000 on a 12 owner salvage title non-running S55 AMG and win their ~$3k car game. I wanted a way to track my life with each of the 5 cars in my garage right now.
VINwiki could be just that. An easy app interface that invites me to photograph and describe receipts would have saved time and trees as I scrambled to retrace my previous steps. It is a tool that I needed and I hope you find that it comes in handy too.
This is the value of VINwiki. We have the opportunity to document anything happening with a car. The above post is of the newest Cannonball Record coming in at 33:58 with a rental car!
It’s going to be great seeing where this car ends up down the road. Maybe it might find a special buyer… or a buyer who has no idea that this rental car did something quite amazing!
Keep breaking records and documenting amazing things happening to your cars #vinners!
There are a lot of fun superlative adjectives that we can assign to cars – fast, beautiful, powerful, luxurious, futuristic, etc. Those are all wonderful accolades to dole out toward the crop of new cars that magazines test each year. Another word we seen thrown around by media and manufacturers is “rare.” What defines rare?
Ferrari made 39 cars that are considered 250 GTOs. McLaren made 64 F1 Road Cars. Lamborghini made 3 Veneno Coupes. Dodge made just 14 Hemi-Cuda Convertibles. These are certainly rare. But when did they become rare? That answer varies greatly. A GTO was an old technology race car in the 80s. It took more than 7 years for McLaren to sell their last new car. Lamborghini decided how many Venenos they would make based on the customers who had volunteered to pay whatever price for whatever car whenever they fancied producing it. Dodge would have been happy to build more but the option pricing steered customers away.
Cars become rare when notice they are rare. But how does that happen?
In the summer of 2003 I was 17 years old. A friend and I drove up to Lamborghini Carolinas because the local Atlanta Lamborghini dealership where I would work 6 years later would not let me test drive the new Murcielago. Our confidence scheme got me behind the wheel of a brand new Rosso Andromeda Murcielago coupe. It was an amazing experience blasting the car around the backroads of Greensboro, NC with a terrified passenger just praying that if I crashed it that I would be able to buy it. It was etched into my brain. There is something about cars that were cool when you were 16-20 that you never grow out of loving.
Back then, all Murcielagos were manual. E-Gear did not emerge as an option until the next model year, 2004. When it came out though, the tides were turning. Ferrari had introduced F1 in 1997 on the 355. It eventually became standard on the F430 in 05. It was an option with over 95% penetration in the 2000s on exotic cars but that number was just thrown around. No one really knew.
My desire to one day own a manual Murci never waned. I tried to buy 4 of them over the years but life circumstances repeatedly kept me from them. In 2014 at Amelia Island, RM sold a manual transmission Ferrari 599 for over $700k. It could be argued that it was the beginning of the end of attainable ownership of post 2000 manual exotics. The auction house reported that it was 1 of 19 manual cars imported into the US. It was a quantity that made the car rare by literally any standard.
I became curious. How many manual LP640s were in the US. I had sold a few and seen several advertised but they were certainly hard to come by. I started compiling a list. I contacted other dealers, I called the owners that I knew had them. I asked the factory.
“We don’t know how many we built, much less how many were brought into the country,” was the answer I received. It was true. They had no idea. No one had asked or, at least, no one they cared to answer. I told them how to check. I said to search their window sticker database for VINs beginning with ZHWBU37M for coupes and ZHWBU47M for roadsters. The answer I got back, very secretly, was 23. I had already found 26.
26 cars! Out of 4099 cars built from 2001-2010 only 26 manual 2007-2009 LP640s (the second generation of the Murcielago) came to the US. I was astonished. My resolve deepend to find one of my own. Fortunately one of the customers I had sold a green 08 coupe to called me up a month or so later and asked if the dealership would buy mine back. I volunteered my services.
The rarity of the car adds to the ownership experience but it was a knowledge that was not convenient to find. I created VINwiki with this amazing team to that your search might be a bit more convenient.
Reliance on purely institutional data invites a variety of negative externalities. The volume of data renders incrementally curation impossible for the data provider is. The compromise of quantity over quality has made the available vehicle history reports rather useless. I liken them to SAT scores. If a graduating high schooler gets a good SAT score it offers little evidence that they will be successful in college. If the SAT score is low, however, it offers a slightly higher confidence that they might perform poorly in college.
If a car shows a history issue, it probably matters. The problem is when you find a lack of information. It means nothing. As the owner of a couple dozen interesting cars in the last decade and having been a professional in both entrepreneurial and dealership sales capacities, I have developed a cursory expectation of history reports as barely even useful in polarity. If an issue presents, it might make the sale of a car difficult but that is usually the extent of frustration. A positive result is the same way. Some prospects will believe it as gospel because it is sold as such.
The reality is that a useful history report cannot be automatically generated. It is as living and organic as the car and as the drivers. We decided to treat the idea differently. We decided to change automotive history.