By on April 5, 2013

Press fleet vehicles are full of little surprises.

A rap CD with a certain word used 200 times in a three minute song.

Then there are the unusual litany of condoms, leftover roaches (the smokable variety), and paternity results that no doubt tell you more about your peers than you ever thought possible.

Finally, there was a trade-in that topped them all. I called it the Thelma and Louise car.

Two young ladies decided to chronicle their love affair on the headliner of a 1990 Volvo 740 wagon.

Oh the tales! Oh the pictures! From the very front of the windshield to the rear tailgate, I got to read up on more raunchy poetry and admired a surprising variety of artistic renderings, just by folding the rear seats and taking in all that scenery.

It was like caveman scenery. Except there was no cave and certainly no man.

I didn’t buy the vehicle. Honest. It was actually owned by Stan the Old Man when he was a wholesaler. Like any true Southern gentleman, Stan replaced the headliner and preserved the remnants in something that probably resembled a sock drawer.

This brings me to our question for the day. What is the strangest thing you found in a vehicle? Extra credit will be given if the thing you found can be associated with any felonies or celebrities. Double credit if you can combine the two.

Note: I always give credit whenever a good idea comes from an outside source. In this case, Christopher Little was the direct inspiration for today’s QOTD.  


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67 Comments on “Question Of The Day: What Is The Strangest Thing You Found In A Car?...”

  • avatar

    Back in 2003, my wife and I bought a 1993 Golf as-is. When I went to clean it up, I took off the trim piece around the shifter. Underneath I found a bunch of small milk-bones, some whole and some broken. No idea how they got in there, but it was very bizarre. Not sure how the car even shifted with all the milk-bones in there.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      I found some Cheetos under the console when I swapped the shifter in my old Accent.

    • 0 avatar

      My friend owned a Chrysler LeBaron convertible circa early 80s. It’s not so much we found things in and around the shifter as that the shifter had a magnetic attraction for the car’s keys. Twice I fished them out of the slot the shifter moved in.

  • avatar

    I found a title made out to John Voight in the glovebox of my LeBaron…

    Oh, and mad props for the lesbian Lascaux story.

  • avatar

    People apparently do weird stuff in the old Volvos, somebody (kids?) wrote all over the map pockets and insides of the sun visors in my 240.

    • 0 avatar

      At a scrapyard I found an unused rifle bullet inside of a Volvo 240, never new hunters used these things.

      • 0 avatar

        I bought a very modified Volvo 940 turbo wagon in 2008. The owner’s son had been using it but had recently purchased a Camry instead. I never understood why.
        Three months later steam vacuuming the carpets, and I decided to lift the panel that is hinged to go up with the seat back when up & bridges the gap in the load floor when down. I have it down and I flip them up & bam! That’s $380 tied by a rubber band in the empty space there!
        I pulled it out and vacuumed the area there really well, though I didn’t find anything else. Suddenly the decision to get a Camry instead of a loud, bright red Volvo wagon with tint was more rational.

  • avatar

    We recently cleaned out my father’s car for sale after he died.
    We found a handful of .357 rounds in-between the driver seat and the console, broken glass from a bottle of red wine, and two bloody socks. (Dad never did consider having your toenails falling off as a reason to quit running a marathon).

    • 0 avatar

      I found a mushroomed slug, most likely .45 caliber, on the floor of my ’71 Scamp. The car had been in the family since new, so I don’t have a clue what it was doing there.

      My friend and I found almost a thousand dollars in old bills under the trunk mat of a ’64 Fury in a junk yard. Unfortunately, he used $300 of it to buy the car, which we started and drove out of the junk yard. The radiator blew up about 10 miles down the road, but he actually drove that car for several months.

  • avatar

    The pickup I bought a couple years ago had a CD titled “Huntin’ Music” in the disk player, which wasn’t all that unusual; but what was interesting is that upon discovering it missing, the previous owner called me to let me know he’d be making the 3 hour drive to my place to pick up said CD. Apparently the two had been through some good times together, and it wasn’t worth the risk to send it VIA UPS…

  • avatar

    I found a foam rubber sun with the Comcast logo on it. I think it was an employee giveaway. It was in the seat back pocket of an Explorer I bought used at a local dealership. When i traded th car in a few years later at the same dealership I left it there for the next owner to find.

    6 months later I was at a local amusement park and happened to walk by my old Explorer. I peered inside to see what the new owners were like [filthy :(]. That little toy had made it’s way to the dashboard. I LOLed.

  • avatar

    Whoever bought my Dad’s 78 Monte Carlo when it was traded in 1985 found a naked Barbie wedged somewhere because my sister left it behind.

    I found the insurance paperwork in the glove box of my 2004 Ford F150 Heritage when I purchased it in 2006. Registered to a gentleman in Sun City, AZ and oddly the paperwork listed his age on it, 68. Fortunately I found this during the test drive and it helped me verify the condition of the vehicle being as pristine as it was.

  • avatar

    first car i ever purchased was a black on black ’68 pontiac firebird 400 convertible. got it home and it was too cold to clean or wash. when spring came and i could devote the time to it i gave it a good cleaning everywhere. under the drivers seat slipped under the carpet was a date planner from a local 4 year commuter college. the planner had an old pen on the outside held in place by a red garter belt wrapped around the planner.

    looking at the entries they started in fall 1968 and went for a few weeks then ended. i always wondered if someone gave their son or daughter a car to get to school then the progeny had too much fun to finish.

    not knowing exactly where it had been i was both intrigued and repulsed by the garter. needless to say when the car went to a relative all the ‘paperwork’ went with it.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    A promotional pharmaceutical keytag, found between the seat cushions of the permanent floating campus car, which I somehow became the caretaker of during my stay at college.

    On one side was the famous smiling face with the phrase “Doxidan Did It” at the top.

    On the reverse side was the phrase “Take Doxidan in the PM for a BM in the AM.”

    A brief but powerful WTF moment seared that into my memory, now going on 30 years ago.

  • avatar

    I remember making out with a girl back in high school. A couple days later I was taking a different girl home when she asked, “what’s that?” She found a fake fingernail by her feet. I was way more grossed out than embarrassed.

  • avatar

    I recently overhauled a FC RX-7 which had an amazingly pristine interior (car had last been registered in 2007).

    Seriously, after removing the seats I found ONE sunflower seed, that was it, even the seat sliders were immaculate.
    Moving to the rear of the car, I pulled the interior trim and started finding Diet Coke cans (fortunately empty) stuffed into body cavities they could not possibly have accidentally rolled into themselves.

    There were six altogether and I still can’t imagine what happened but it was exceedingly odd.

  • avatar

    I worked in car rental for 10 years….so my list could go on forever with the usual stuff…drugs/condoms/porn mags/sex toys/underwear etc.

    But the king of all items left in a car was a dead deer. The renter, who was from out of state, had shot it (legally) planning to get it butchered and sent back to him at home. He found the cost to be prohibitive, so he figured that he would leave it for us “locals”. This was all found out after the fact. See, he had dropped the vehicle off at the hotel he was staying at without telling us, with the deer inside. It ended up being about 3 days before we picked it up. Add in unseasonbly warm weather, and I think you get the gist of the story here.

    On another note, he did find out that getting a deer butchered and shipped 1500 miles away is much, much, much cheaper than a new interior for a Suburban.

    And sadly, thats not the wackiest rental story I have, the rest are just off topic.

  • avatar

    The weirdest thing I ever found was in my own car. There was a ferret sleeping in the back seat! A neighbor apparently owned one, it escaped, and somehow got into my ’63 Dart wagon. Owning ferrets in California is illegal, so I got that going for me, but I think it’s just a misdemeanor or other civil, not criminal charge. I was an hour late to work, since the little furball wouldn’t get out until its owner came looking for it.

  • avatar

    I was poking around some old vehicles that had been in my grandfather’s field for years. I was around 10 (1973) and thought I had found the jackpot sitting in the seat of an early 50s GM pickup. There were three purses laying on the seat. The old door handle pointed toward the ground, and I tapped on the cracked and yellowed laminated window glass before turning it slowly in anticipation of a wasp attack. Safe. I went through the hidden compartments of the first two and didn’t find as much as a penny. Evidently I had saved the best for last. I popped open the clasp and nearly had a heart attack. Completely empty except for a big brown lizard than ran across my hand out the door.

  • avatar

    Looking for parts in a local wrecking yard, I found in the trunk compartment of one car about three hundred pages of technical manuals, specification sheets, diagrams, etc., all marked CONFIDENTAL – DO NOT RELEASE OUTSIDE OF THE COMPANY or words to that effect, published by a large Seattle aircraft manufacturer.

  • avatar

    That would have to be the 1 liter waxed paper German milk carton I found in my 1977 VW pop top camper van. Bought the van new in July of ‘77. Everything was fine until that warm October morning when I opened the VW’s door and that horrible sour milk smell hit me! It took awhile to find the source of the smell. Turns out, a VW employee had placed the full unopened carton of milk in a well under the passenger seat. I must say, it was a clever ‘time bomb’ prank. I did get the smell out fairly easily, since no fabric was saturated. I traded in a beautiful blue (early) 1974 MGB with failing main bearings for the VW camper. I was just glad to get rid of that MG. A year later, I was ESTATIC when I found a buyer for the VW camper!

  • avatar

    I bought a 93 Toyota pickup. I got it home I opened the hood to give it a tune up. I opened the air filter box and it was full of about 2 pounds of dog food.

    Didn’t even have an air filter in there….just dry dog food.
    Your guess is as good as mine as to how it got there.

    • 0 avatar

      Probably stashed there by a rodent of some kind. Happens all the time.

      • 0 avatar

        Yep, some mouse or a chipmunk dragged it into there. I had a mouse crawl into the air cleaner snorkle of my car, and it chewed up the bottom of the air filter in the air box. Later on my heater blower motor started making noises at the high speed setting, and bits of grass were coming out of the heater ducts. Another mouse had gotten into the heater ducting and had made a nest from pieces of grass inside the middle of the squirrel cage fan on the heater. Every car that I’ve owned a mouse has gotten under the hood and chewed on something.

    • 0 avatar

      Well,I would take a strong guess and say a mouse or mice did it. I kind of had the same thing happen in my house. I fell asleep in the chair watching TV and I woke up hearing my dog’s food dish “ping”. It was stainless, and since both my dogs were passed out on the couch next to me, I knew something was up. I just sat there, not moving, and a couple of minutes later, I heard it again, and again. I moved to the couch, where I could see the food dish, and there it was, a pretty big mouse was carting off dog food to his stash. My dogs were old, and the one had “retired” from his career of mouse hunting a couple of years earlier. He went from obsessed to “I don’t do that anymore!” a couple of years previously. I bought one of those electronic mouse traps (look on youtube)and the next morning, got him. His stash was two drawers on the back side of my kitchen counters, they were FULL of it. About 7 pounds on each side! A lot of food for one mouse. There were no others.

      Weirdest thing I found in a car was in my 1979 Trans Am, bought in 1981. It had the usual stuff in it, with a young girl as the first owner, a lot of makeup, a large amount of petrified french fries, and a big, expensive, pocketknife. I checked and the price of it in 1981 was about $35. I still have it, and another one of the same model, not as pretty though, 32 years later. If you can find one in good shape now, they go for big bucks.

      A friend of mine bought a Ford LTD, an early 70’s one, at auction. It looked like an “undercover” cop car. Cheap wheels, base trim, and it was brown. It also came with a near mint S&W .357 model 66 revolver hung up under the passenger seat! He still has that gun. The car is long gone though.

  • avatar

    I bought a 240sx that had been wrecked in the right front.

    In the glove box were body shop receipts for repairs to the right front. It had been fixed 2 times prior to the state I found it in. Same exact damage. There was also court documents. In the trunk was a women’s boot of the stripper/prostitute variety, along with 40 VHS porn boxes (no tapes).

    The passenger seat was stained heavily. I didn’t think much of it until I looked at the foam underneath. It was obviously blood, and a lot of it. A pair of new Recaros and a used carpet were the first purchases I made for that car.

  • avatar

    I found divorce papers and high school transcripts in the glove box of my old 89′ 245

  • avatar

    My father bought a new ’76 Nova and we kept hearing something rattling around the back seat area. We pulled the lower seat cushion and found a great number of parts to a 1/12 scale Tamiya F-1 car kit. I’m thinking it was the Lotus 72D kit.

  • avatar

    38 pages of stuff found in cars by hot rodders, enjoy!

  • avatar

    The strangest thing I ever found was nothing. For fifteen years in a row, once a year I took the back seat off and cleaned up. Then, on annual cleaning day, I lifted up the seat and…no french fries. The kids were gone. It was actualy a very sad day.

  • avatar

    The urban legend tale of the hidden rattler must be included. I first heard it in the 1950s as a gent with a new Cadillac kept complaining of a rattle behind him as he drove. After two or the visits with no luck finding it and the dealer principal involved as a golf partner of the owner the car had the insides removed and then driven with someone listening in the back seat area to locate exactly where the sound came from…. The sealed area was cut open to find an empty coke bottle hanging from a string with a note in it that said “At last you found me you lousy rich bastard”

    I have since heard versions of this for every luxury brand and with the rattling object (a large nut or bolt is common)in a large variety as well the note also varies and is sometimes absent it is also sometimes reported as scratched on the inside of the panel hiding the rattler.

    I wonder when this friend of a friend tale got its start. I have heard about 6 or 7 versions of it over the last 6 decades

    As to what I have found in an old car I guess the oddest was a clip for a 1911 45ACP of the old type with a small lanyard ring on its base plate it was part loaded with 6 rounds with a FA 44 headstamp

    • 0 avatar

      I found a stamped steel master cylinder cover inside of the flat area of the front fender liner of the front left fender of a 1976 Dodge Charger base model (Plymouth Monarch?). It matched the cover on the master cylinder but I had never had any brake work done and my family got the car with about 50k on it in 1987. I gathered that it had been dropped in to the dark, cavernous fender area during the factory assembly line for me to find it in the early 1990s. It showed evidenced of having rubbed around on the metal liner for 14 plus years until I found it.

      • 0 avatar

        That reminded me of an old Vise-Grip ad. It was one of those small b/w grainy pics in Popular Mechanics that I’d read at the barber shop. If I remember correctly, it was found in a mid 60s GM car still holding the front fender together. The assembler forgot to remove it. It seems like it continued gripping something like 14 years also.

  • avatar

    I bought a 47 ford in 1955 and found a nice leather handled claw hammer in the trunk. I still use that hammer.

  • avatar

    The strangest thing I found was under the back seat cushion of a used car I bought. Under the seat there were two slim jims, not the eating variety, but rather the type you use to stick down inside a car door to pop a door lock.

  • avatar

    On my Subaru 360 that I bought last year, I removed the fuel trap to sell. I discovered that it had been repaired with a souvenir coin brazed on. The coin said “Sunbeam”, and I traced it down to coming from the 1933 Century of Progress world’s fair in Chicago.

  • avatar
    Dave W

    Not evidence of a felony, but I did find a summons for traffic school under the back seat of a mildly tricked out Focus ZX3.

  • avatar

    The worst thing I found was something I had put in the car myself. Many years ago in college, I was moving out of a summer sublet and back into campus housing, and just threw a ton of stuff in the car, which included some fruit inside a stainless steel pot.

    Because our dorms didn’t have kitchenettes, I left the stainless steel pot in the trunk for an extended period of time. During the school year, I probably only drove the car twice a week at most, and I noticed a funky smell appearing, but couldn’t figure out what it was for the longest period of time until I opened the lid. It wasn’t as much of a science project as even certain things I’ve seen in people’s fridges, but I probably threw the pot out too.

    On some cars I’ve had, the space between the front seats and the center console is so tight that there must be all kinds of stuff that never comes back out of there.

  • avatar
    old fart

    full box of 45 bullets deep down in the side of a ranger pickup

  • avatar

    Lots of tools , many I still have & use 40 years later .

    Having a VW Shop in the 1970’s meant most of the old Typ II Vans we bought or traded in , had scads of pot seeds in every crevice you could imagine…

    I used to enjoy reading the sob story letters I’d find in old junkers I bought to rebuild & re sell , some had photos included .

    Used cars are rarely boring .

    Once or twice when I was a lad , I took apart a two piece drive shaft , inserted a bolt or whatnot and buttoned it up again .

    I wish I had taken photos of the swatsikas inside the doors of VW Beetles from the 1960’s ~ apparently it was routine to do this with the spray glue gun just before slapping on the insulation .


  • avatar

    I’m still waiting for someone to have found a 16 year old cheerleader tied up in the back seat…

  • avatar

    Most annoying things I’ve ever found in my car was after my ’83 Celica was stolen and recovered. When I picked it up from the impound yard I found a toolkit in the trunk (different from the one that was there prior to it being stolen), several mostly empty Starbucks cups on the passenger floormat, and a partially completed welfare application in the back seat.

  • avatar

    I worked for Enterprise in the late 90’s early 2000 as a car washer. The one car that stands out vividly was an 97 Olds Acheiva that we had to pick up at a police impound yard in an ugly section of the city.

    It was missing a hubcap and was filthy. Not a normal “I haven’t been washed in a month filth”, just disgusting. Opening the door I was hit with an overwhelming mixture of weed, fast food, cigarettes and cigars and something I couldn’t make out. The car was on fumes, so making it to our contracted gas station was an exercise in faith. It was also so low on oil it didn’t register on the dipstick.

    Getting it back to the garage, I started trying to work my magic. The windows were yellow with residue of the combustibles consumeed, there were burn holes in the seats and just garbage, crumbs and nastiness everywhere.

    In the back seat I found the source of foulness I couldn’t place. A pint carton of milk emptied itself in the carpet, and shoved under the seat, a dirty effin’ diaper.

    This car aged 10 years in a month of derelict pseudo-ownership and it only had about 20k on the clock. We sent it out to be professionally detailed and it was much better than I could do with my limited resources. But it was never right again.

    A close tie was our regular customer who had a K car and was a hoarder. From rockers to window sills with stuff, mostly garbage. Even the drivers footwell had a pile of stuff in it! Disgusting and scary at the same time. She’d rent for a weekend a month and the car was just awful when it came back. She sort of looked like Mimi from the long defunct Drew Carey Show.

  • avatar
    CV Neuves

    Some years ago I found a stash of dope in a second hand 264. Admittedly, the car was pretty cheap, but the car was fully paid for, and I had money left for a tune up, rally stripes and a can of coke or two.

  • avatar

    Back in 1999 I worked for a large Chevy dealer in Ocala, Florida. We had gotten in a shipment of new Cavaliers. As it turned out, these Cavaliers were built in Mexico, and were sent to the states by train. Anyways, I brought one of the cars in to the shop to begin prepping it to go on the lot. It was a black two door coupe. When I opened the trunk, I found a bag that contained a Mexican pop bottle that was half full, a half-eaten loaf of bread, and…another bottle that was half full of pee!

    After that, we said that that Cavalier was equipped with the rare Mexican stowaway option :P

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    My retired Crown Vic cruiser had:

    A key to disable the airbag

    A random button, looks like a doorbell, on the interior B pillar that does nothing

    2 Winchester shotgun shells

    A license plate

    A ticket book

    The Camcord people are missing out, this car is a box of cracker jacks.

  • avatar

    Fresh out of high school I was a lot attendant for a dealership. We had a new car drop and it was nothing of note, some Camry’s and Tacomas. Except for one:

    Apparently the transporter got very lonely as one Taco had a porno mag hidden under the driver side seat…. looks like he forget his break time reading material…. could you imagine the new car test drive if we hadn’t found this “gentleman’s literature” and a customer did…. could’ve been akward!

  • avatar

    “A rap CD with a certain word used 200 times in a three minute song.”

    When White people are in my car I listen to smooth jazz or electronic dance on 103.5 :P

  • avatar

    I keep my car’s interiors SPOTLESS. I’m a neat freak.

    In fact, right now there’s an obituary from a funeral I went to in the backseat of my XJ-L I need to remove immediately!

  • avatar

    The most interesting find I’ve had was when a college friend bought a 73 Galaxy at a yard sale (circa 1984) and we found an unemployment card in the glove box from somebody teaching at the school.

  • avatar

    A penis pump right on the backseat of an early 90s Sable.

    In each of the two Buicks I’ve bought used, I’ve found cassettes wedged in the rear seats. In my Lesabre T-Type, it was an oldies compilation, and in my Regal it was some Christian music. Not that surprising really considering the previous owners of the Lesabre T were an old couple and my Regal was a middle aged woman from Houston, TX.

  • avatar

    when I bought my Fiero from a middle aged divorcee I took it home and both myself and father went about cleaning it out top to bottom. stashed under the lining of the trunk was a bag containing “a suspicious white powder”, my father who was a police officer gave it one look at brought it the the station’s evidence room for disposal…

    Found a bong and other paraphernalia in the spare tire well of the Tiburon.

    most embarrassing was having my ex find a used condom underneath the center console after I dissasembled to clean the crums that tend to pool there, the whole care was filled with junk and no attempt by the dealer to even remotely clean the damn thing

  • avatar

    My first drivable 244 came with a Belinda Carlisle tape. I gave it back.

    My 745T had a bunch of little things, nothing special, aside from the still-wrapped condom I found under the passenger seat when I parted it out.

    My 855 was immaculate aside from a copy of Tad Friend’s ‘Cheerful Money’, hands-down the least interesting book I ever attempted to read.

    However, my second 244 had a Pedobear sticker on the headliner under the driver’s sunvisor. Probably my favourite little detail.

  • avatar

    I found a Phillips head screwdriver in the driver side door pocket of my 945. Turns out it is the perfect size to reset the “service” light that comes every 5000 miles to remind me to get an oil change. In the same car, in the back in the “smugglers pockets” was a pair of leather loafers, not my size unfortunately. I left them in there.
    The latest acquisition, a ’91 740, has coughed up keys for the previous owners other cars, gallons of coffee wet vac’d up from the footwells, and giant piles of mucky pine needles

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