I looked at him for a minute. "So ..." I began, "we're not keeping it?"
"Oh, hell no," he replied, "I could go down to a used car lot right now and buy a truck like this without all those issues for less than it would cost to fix it."
I had to see it. I followed Charlie outside to view Mom's acquisition. Said truck was not, shall we say, in mint condition. The body had been mostly sanded down to bare metal, and although there were spots where paint and bondo still adhered, most of it was steel or rust, heavy on the rust.
Someone had taken a sawz-all to the wheel wells in order to accommodate a larger size tire without actually putting a lift on the body.
The brakes were wonky, the exhaust, instead of exiting near the rear of the vehicle, had somehow been modified to exit directly under the driver's seat, the plastic over the speedometer was so old you could barely see the numbers. The battery was not connected to the choke. The interior was trashed. Leaks abounded.
I looked under the truck. Rust, rust, rust, everywhere.
"This is a HEAP," Charlie said emphatically.
"Hm. Yeah, when you look up 'jalopy' in the dictionary, I think you see this one," I agreed. "So ... what are we going to do with it?"
"No problem," he replied, "I'll have it out of here by this afternoon."
"Oh really?" I was a bit skeptical. "How exactly are you going to do that?"
"Easy!" he said, "I'll just post an ad for it on the Reno four-by-four board. Someone will want it, believe me."
I shrugged. Okay, Charlie generally knew what he was doing when it came to vehicles, so I didn't give it another thought and went back in the house. I heard tapping on the keyboard from Charlie's office for a few minutes, and then, silence.
About five minutes later, the phone began to ring with people interested in the truck. Astonished, I wondered what on earth the ad had said, so I asked Charlie. He laughed, and brought the page up for me to see.
"FREE F'N HIDEOUS CHEVY FREE"
The ad's headline read. Oh my. Tell us how you really feel about the truck, Charlie, I thought. The ad went on to say:
Don't laugh, your daughter may be inside!
A Chevy with almost as much curb appeal as a vehicle hammered and welded together out of 47 separate vehicles with different colors to each panel. Guaranteed to be unsafe at any speed, this "Heartbeat of America" needs a defibrillator ... Free to the first poor SOB that comes to get it today. This hideous POS is a 1979 Chevy PU 4x4 with a trashed interior and exterior and I don't even want to know what the mechanical difficulties may be ... noticed multiple leaks and bleeding master cylinder, 12v not connected to choke, etc, ad nauseum.
The good news is:
Clear title, moves under its own power, 4x4 works, 400 motor w/Edelbrock carb, 35x12.5 tires are in good shape. Give me a call so that I can get the Mom back over here to sign the thing over to you.
FREE gun rack included.
I realized I definitely had something to learn about selling cars. This one ad generated more interest than the one we had for selling our new and decent truck. Perhaps it was the use of the word "defibrillator." I'd have to keep that in mind.
[To be concluded]