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Although Tristan doesn’t like to talk about it, we once bought a car from the Goodwill Thrift Store in Birmingham.
It was around 1997, and the car was a 1990 Volvo 760 Turbo. So it wasn’t terribly old.
Navy blue, leather interior, Turbo, and ran like a DREAM.
We had a newborn baby at the time, and were in desperate need of a 2nd Car.
I SAY it “ran like a Dream,” but…..
OK, let me back up…. When I found the car for sale on the Goodwill’s side Lot, they had just marked it down to $400. According to the windshield signs, It had actually been reduced previously from $1,600 to $800 to $400.
It wouldn’t start. It would try to turn over, but wouldn’t crank.
I did some digging in the Glovebox. I found the Registration from the Donor.
It was a Doctor from Guin, Alabama.
So, I thought, “What the heck?”… and I called his Doctor’s Office.
A nurse answered, I explained the situation, and she put the kind Doctor on the phone.
He explained to me:
Yes, it did run when he donated it. As a matter of fact, he drove it several hours to Birmingham to donate it personally. He was going to get more as a Tax Deduction than what the Dealer was going to allow for Trade-In on a new Volvo.
He had just had the engine replaced about 10,000 miles ago, as well.
No, he didn’t know why it wouldn’t start. He was as puzzled as I was!
I hung up and quickly called a friend of mine down the street, who was a Mechanic.
He popped the hood, rearranged a few wires and fuses, and fired it right up.
He looked at me and said, “If I were you, I would go inside and pay for that car IMMEDIATELY. That’s a Bargain!”
Long story short….. SOMEONE, knowing that they mark their cars down in price WEEKLY…. Had rearranged the firing sequence on the spark plug wires, and removed a few fuses from under the dash.
I guess they were going to come back that day and buy it, once the price was Reduced.
Lucky for us, I got there first.
We kept the car for a year. Never did anything to it but change the Oil.
Then we sold it for $1,500.
I have always loved that story. It’s pretty cool and makes me smile.
On the other hand, Tristan hates it.
I think she still has nightmares about being stuck driving that car for a year!
Being a young new mom, and trying to simultaneously juggle a newborn in a car seat, she never quite got used to finding the switches for the headlights and windshield wipers. I think sometimes Europeans design cars backwards just to confuse Americans. 😉
Oh, and did I mention that the Air Conditioner didn’t work, and the Leather interior was BLACK?
Now you know the Rest of the Story, Paul Harvey….