A few weeks ago, I had a car auctioned off by a Craigslist ad.
The car was a 1996 Chevy Tahoe, and it had a $20,000 reserve for the buyer.
The seller listed the car on Craigslist, but I was skeptical.
Why would anyone pay $20k for a vehicle that was nearly four years old?
And why would I even be interested in a car that hadn’t seen much mileage?
The car’s seller was a man named Michael, who had a strong interest in automobiles.
He’d seen some nice cars up for auction on Craigslist a few years back, but nothing that he wanted to buy.
But then, a couple months ago, he got a call from Craigslist.
Michael was a former dealership manager, and Craigslist was a fantastic tool for finding new vehicles to sell.
Michael asked me if I would like to bid on a car.
I was more than happy to do so.
After all, I knew that Craigslist was the place for cars to sell, and I wanted to give it a shot.
After I was contacted, I went to Michael’s place and showed him my new car.
“I’ve got a lot of work to do on it,” Michael said.
“Let me give you a break on the car, because I have to start fixing the engine.
I’ve got to get it back to a working condition.”
I was excited about this, because Michael had spent some time building a new engine for the car.
He had to get that right, and there were a lot more cars on Craigslist than there were cars to go around.
So I agreed to a $40,000 car-toting reserve.
“We’ve got another 10 cars coming up,” he said.
Michael told me that he had to take a new set of tires off the car to get a good feel for the engine, and he also had to replace a few bolts.
“This thing is just awful,” Michael told us.
“The car is still running and it’s getting a little better.”
“That’s the problem with Craigslist,” I told him.
“There’s a lot to do and a lot on the internet.”
“It’s not the place to get stuff done,” Michael continued.
“If you want to be a car dealer, you want that place.”
Michael and I agreed that I’d better start working on the engine and getting it running.
The next day, Michael called me from the house where I was working.
He said that the car had been towed to the local garage, and that I needed to get in the car and drive it.
“It is a car!” he said, and hung up the phone.
I got home and opened the car door.
“Oh, man, I wish I could do that,” I said.
I had just driven the car out of the garage and back into the parking lot of the dealership.
Michael came out of his garage and walked around to the back of the car while I drove around the garage.
“You’re a good mechanic,” he told me.
“How many times have you done that in a day?”
I didn’t know how to respond, so I just smiled and said, “Oh.”
“You know what I like?”
“Yeah, I like.”
“Good, I’m going to give you that car,” he added.
I got out of my car and walked into the garage where I’d just gotten the car from.
I walked up to the engine block, opened it up, and looked inside.
“Holy shit,” I thought.
“Is this the real deal?”
Michael and a friend were there to inspect it.
The first thing they saw was a very, very nasty, deep, crack in the block.
I’m not sure if they thought that the crack was the fault of the seller, or if it was just the result of someone trying to damage the car by drilling into it.
Either way, the crack had completely shattered the engine’s block.
It looked like someone had just ripped off a whole bunch of steel and welded it together.
“That looks like a piece of scrap metal,” Michael and his friend commented.
“And it’s not even a good fit.”
“Why are you saying that?”
I asked them.
“Why don’t you just let it rot?”
“Why is this there?”
Michael went to the other side of the engine where the crack came out.
“Look at this!” he exclaimed.
“Here, let me get a picture.”
“What the hell is that?”
Michael said, looking at the crack.
“No, let’s not get into it right now.
This is what I’m doing right now.”
I started to feel very, really nervous, but then I remembered what Michael told him: “The seller has this big idea, and she’s going to do whatever