American Dream Cars was started as a site for a business that provided shipping services to car collectors in Europe for collector cars and parts they bought in the US. We came up with the idea that if we gave away free ads for collector cars with photos, people from Europe would come to the site to look at the ads and if they bought a car would ship it with us.
We started by offering all our friends and fellow car club members who were selling cars free ads and giving away fliers to promote our site and the free ads at local cruise-ins. By summer 1999 we were getting quite a few ads for cars for sale and our site was getting some traffic. By September 1999 we joined an ad network for specialty web sites called Burst Media on the advice of a 17 year old who had a hot rod site. We thought it would pay the server bill which it did and then some. Burst would be the first of several ad networks we have become affiliated with throughout the years.
In 2001 American Dream Cars was named "One of the Best Ten Places to buy or sell a collector car or street rod on the Web" by Rod and Custom Magazine which resulted in a big jump in traffic and lots more ads for street rods and customs. Turns out most of our traffic is now from the US and so does not want to ship cars to Europe but it has worked out OK as Internet advertising and our traffic has grown, the ad networks started making pretty good money.
In the future we would like to sell more ads directly to collector car related businesses like the ones that advertise in collector car magazines. We think that would provide a better user experience for us and our site visitors and in all likely hood give those collector car related businesses a good deal on advertising which gets them lots of new customers. Hopefully that will be the next chapter of the odyssey of American dream Cars.
So stay tuned!