2008.01.30 A conversation piece on wheels

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

Have you bought any new vehicles lately? With auto shows just ending in Detroit and Toledo and another about to begin in Grand Rapids, the Industry is doing its best to entice you into new transportation. But if “pre-owned” is more your style, I’ve rounded up another batch of unusual used car ads. As an old car salesman once told me, you’re bound to like one of these more than you like your money.

A dealer in Muskegon is trying to sell what he claims is the Chevy van driven by Jack Black in the movie “School of Rock.” The cargo area is said to be loaded with movie props and he’s only asking $10,000. There’s only one problem.

The same dealer also has what he claims is a Cadillac owned by Elvis Presley, except it’s a 1982 model and most of us believe Elvis died in 1977. Now I’m not sure if I’d believe his “documentation” for it or the van, or even for the 1980 AMC Pacer he claims was owned by Conway Twitty.

But don’t worry, there are lots of ads that are so detailed in their description that you almost have to trust the seller, like this one: “2006 Ford Mustang GT...only item to note is two small holes in front bumper from license plate.”

Or “1994 Mercedes Benz E320...turn signals are now clear, not orange.”

Or “1997 Ford F350 Flatbed, diesel, hole in the seat.”

This dealer isn’t going out on too long of a limb when he advertises “2007 Ford E250 Cargo Van...your mother-in-law will fit in the back.” I would certainly hope so.

Some sellers are even super honest about the cleanliness of their vehicles. If you don’t mind doing your own detailing, you might be interested in a “1994 Pontiac Trans Sport...dirty carpet.” Or maybe this “2005 Chevy Malibu Maxx...very dirty interior.”

While I appreciate the honesty, I’ll definitely pass on this one: “2007 Dodge Caliber...minor stains in back seat.” Let’s just move along, shall we?

When it comes to avoiding road hazards, some people are more fortunate than others. Like the owner of this “1995 Saturn SC2. Deer died, I drove home...everything still works.” He or she certainly was a lot luckier than the owner of the “1997 Olds 88...missed the deer but ended up hitting a tree!...great doors and lots of other parts.”

I always love the ads that give their reasons for selling, like this one from a family obviously in turmoil: “1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GT...priced $500 under book. My wife wants Trailblazer, I want peace and quiet.”

Or: “2002 Mercury Cougar...Baby = bye bye sports car.”

Or “2007 Lincoln Town Car...purchased for mom and dad, said too big.”

One owner found out a side effect of having a classic car: “1963 Ford Thunderbird...draws so much attention that my wife will not drive it.”

My favorite in this group is a recent new car buyer: “2008 Ford Mustang. 411, yes, 411 miles. New car purchased for wife, too small to get four year old in back seat.”

Then there are always a few ads that just don’t make sense. Like this one for a seldom-seen car: “1978 Checker Marathon. 6 cyl., AT, runs good, solid body, usual rust, ideal delivery or business promo car. Ernie Harwell was right! $3650.” Ernie Harwell was right? About what?

Maybe you can explain this one to me. “2005 Ford Escape LTD. 4x4, 40,000 miles, sharp like Judy,  $15,995.” Sharp like Judy?

Here’s a guy who doesn’t like to complain: “1988 Chevy 2500... trans. shifts hard-always has...”  So the guy bought the truck who knows how long ago—maybe even when new—it’s always shifted hard and he’s never had it fixed. Now he’s looking for another sucker as big as him. Good luck with that.

That guy almost has to be related to the owner of this car: “1963 Ford Fairlane...not started since engine and trans. were rebuilt 20 yrs. ago, trans not yet re-installed, $600.” Yes, he hasn’t gotten around to re-installing the transmission yet, but give him a break, it’s only been 20 years. Maybe the next owner will have some ambition.

But enough seriousness, let’s end this on a happy note. How about a “2003 Chevy Trailblazer...one-of-a-kind because it’s the only one we have.” Or a “2002 Ford F150 Supercrew Lariat. Loaded, TV. We have sold it twice, it seems to like us.”

And finally, one dealer seems overstocked with a particular body style: “2001 Ford F250 Crew Cab. Yet another 5.4L gas engine crew cab has found its way onto our lot. We think they come in at night when the diesels are sleeping.”  After all this, I think I’ll take a nap myself.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017