Weekly Round-up

In which I source great content so I won’t have to write a post.

I can’t think of a better thing to do than test-drive cars I can’t afford. Ten minutes of pure escapism so wonderful I ignore the yammering salesperson next to me. Seems that a woman in VA had the same idea, except she was a little too eager to peel out of the dealership and took a few extra cars with her. Brings a whole new meaning to “I flip cars as a hobby.” (H/T Autoblog)

A Chevy dealer in Peltier, TX had 48 wheels and tires swiped from their cars this week. Nothing worse than showing up for work and seeing half your inventory up on blocks. Try explaining that shit to management. (H/T Jalopnik)


Photo: Detective Gary King, East Texas Auto Theft Task Force

On the flip side, some lighter fare…

First up, what does your car color say about you? Mine essentially said “I’m broke as hell.” Oh, wait.That was the condition of the paint, not the color itself. If anything, feast your eyes on the excellent cars pics in the article. A little eye candy never hurt anyone.

Rumor has it that any color of BMW says, “I’m an asshole who doesn’t use their blinker,” but your didn’t hear that from me.

Bored at work? Need something to pass the time while on break, lunch or in the fifth meeting of the week? Check out this excellent Tumblr. The older the car, the more amazing it is to see their auto bud.

Holy crap…who would do that to a car?! According to reddit’s Shitty Car Mods forum, a lot of people. Comic relief during a tough week, or a tragic commentary on misplaced priorities. Your call.


H/T litzergl (reddit)

And finally…



Close, But No Car

beggars can't be choosers when it comes to old cars

This  Elantra is pretty damn close to the one I was offered, but in much better shape.

In which my search for safety, economy and reliability come up short

I turned down a car that was offered to me.  If you’ve been hanging out in my ramshackle corner of the Internet for awhile, you’ve known how much I need to get a car.

My neighbor at the end of my street has two college-age sons. They shared the old family car when they were in high school. Now entering their second and third years of college respectively, both kids have decided to pass on car ownership for the time being. The aging Hyundai Elantra GLS has been idle for months.

The kids’ dad  offered it to me last week. I could buy it for next to nothing. “Just get it off my hands. It can’t sit in the drive because we just don’t have the room and I want it gone.”

I wish I could say it was a perfect match. Based on  what I’ve observed over the years, I knew better. They never really took care of their cars. I looked the car over. It had been washed and prepped for sale. The radio didn’t work well, and the window motors were iffy. It squeaked by smog testing earlier this year. Barely.

Service records were scarce. Understandable from a busy family with two kids and not a clue about cars.

This Beggar Needs To Be  a Chooser

Still, I need wheels. Beggars aren’t supposed to be choosers, right?

One of my friends is a tech over at the local Shell station, so I ran the car over there for a pre-sale inspection.  I hovered while he checked it out and rode shotgun while he drove it. Too many knocks, creaks, and squeals for my blood. I knew that from my short drive to the station.

The rear bearings were shot to hell to add insult to injury. I also worried that it would burst into flames just when I needed it most.

“You could go back and counter-offer him about a grand less, because that’s how much you’re looking at to get it really road-worthy.”

NOPE. I’ve been down this road before. No sooner will I sink a grand (which I don’t have in the first place) than I will have to sink yet another grand into the next crisis that pops up. I remember driving an aging car. I lived in crisis mode the last three years of that car’s life.

I can’t and won’t do it again. Call me crazy, because I don’t have a lot of options here,  but I have neither the nerve or the resources to take on another elderly car. I don’t have the tools or the space to fix it myself. I sure as hell don’t have the cash.

It was sold two days later, most likely to someone with the emotional and financial wherewithal to take on an aging car that needs serious work. More power to ’em.

For the sake of my sanity and finances, this beggar is gonna be a chooser.