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Used cars for people who fail new car test 2016.06.08

By RICH FOLEY

If you’ve thought about buying one of the new Ford GT supercars, built to compete with Ferrari and Lamborghini, you’re already too late, that is, unless you filled out an application prior to the May 12 deadline. That’s right, having $450,000 plus tax in your pocket isn’t good enough anymore. Now, you have to pass a screening process to see if you qualify to buy.

Owners of older GTs have to tell Ford how many miles their current model has on it, as the automaker wants to weed out those planning to use the car sparingly to preserve its investment value. Potential buyers can submit videos, social media posts and written statements explaining why they should be chosen.

Henry Ford III said during a podcast that Ford’s goal is to “find those customers who will use this car and drive this car and be true ambassadors for Ford.” Yes, you could have been an ambassador for Ford, if only you had nearly half a million dollars to pay them. For the rest of us, there’s always the used car ads.

For instance, if you’re a Ford fan, but want to save well over $400K, there’s a 2012 Ford Focus with brand new tires for sale for only $13,995. Unfortunately, the current owner might have confused it with a Ford GT as the ad states “I regularly got 35-40 mpg if I kept it under 70 mph.” I wonder what kind of mileage he usually got while wearing out the original tires?

Two cars are for sale by owners with current marital problems, plus a third who’s in big trouble if his wife reads the ad he placed. In an listing for a loaded 1973 Ford Mustang coupe for just $12,500, he includes the request, “Don’t tell wife I’m selling her car.” Just how long does he think he can hide it from her? 

In another ad, this for a 1992 Chevy S10 pickup, the owner states, “Must sell. Girlfriend pregnant, wife knows.” Somehow, I think the $7,800 he’s asking for the truck won’t even begin to cover his future problems.

The third ad in this category is for a 1995 Ferrari for $49,900. The accompanying photo shows a young woman behind the wheel. The listing includes the following information: “Divorce, must sell. Woman in car is not my ex, she is the reason.” I’m glad he straightened that out.

An ad for a 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 states simply that the owner is deceased. There’s nothing saying that it belonged to a relative or that he or she is selling to settle an estate. I wonder if he stole the car.

Of course, there’s such a thing as too much information, like the ad for a 1969 Mercedes Benz which, among a rather long list of features, includes the statement “musty interior, was owned by a late cousin.” Seriously? Did the cousin die in the car? Sure, the seller’s only asking $1,200, but no thanks.

If you’d like an interesting story to tell your friends, there’s a 2011 Chevy Malibu for sale which has been hit by lightning. Or how about a 2012 Toyota RAV4. It’s like new, except for the fact that an “object fell on roof and right side.” Apparently, the type of object is unknown. You and your friends could have fun trying to guess what it might have been.

I seem to be running across a large number of what I call “never” ads, such as one for a 1984 Dodge 400 convertible which has “never seen salt,” a 2000 Chevy Silverado that was “never smoked in,” and a 2000 Ford F150 pickup that “never towed anything.”

Quite a few owners make similar claims, but I think I really believe the owner of a 2009 Dodge Challenger who says the car has “never seen rain or snow.” Since the car has only accumulated 650 miles in seven years, it probably hasn’t seen much of anything. Do the math—that’s less than two miles a week.

The final ad in this category, and my favorite, is for a 1978 Ford Thunderbird. The owner states “No kids were ever allowed to sit in this car!” I could truthfully says this about the last three or four cars I’ve owned, but I never realized that was a selling point.

And finally, a chuckle or two from a dealer with a sense of humor. He not only has a 2012 Ford Focus that’s “nicely equipped with dented fender at no charge,” but also a 2005 Dodge Dakota pickup that’s “fully loaded, but don’t worry—we’ll empty it before we sell it!” That’s pretty nice of him, don’t you think?