By on November 24, 2011

“Hmmm… is that a Turkey? Or a Scion xD in drag?

Yesterday was a busy day at the auctions. With Thursday as an official holiday, one very large Thursday sale moved their auction to Wednesday. We’re talking about a 2000+ vehicle sale behemoth. An 800+ pound gorilla in the Atlanta market known by at least three different names.

Another smaller evening sale with about 200 units followed suit. The two smallest… dropped out. This meant bigger crowds than usual.

For me it also meant some unique inventory… from some unique consignors.

“Who in THE hell is Select Used Cars?” A friend of mine was staring at a 20 year old Dodge Dakota that looked all beat to hell. Next to it? A pristine Pontiac Firebird Formula in ‘ticket me now!’ red with plasiticized ground effects.

This was followed by about 14 different vehicles with different brand names in completely random states of condition. That was unusual. New car dealers in particular tend to have more of their own brand names as trade-in’s. Toyota dealers get about 20% to 30% Toyotas. Chevy dealers get about the same ratio of GM products (and a majority that are SUV’s and pickups), and so forth.

We found that ‘Select’ was just a regular buy-here pay-here that liquidates many of their repos towards the end of the year. Whether they were vying for the garnishment sweepstakes and suing customers for the remainder balance, or just clearing the books, was not known. After I looked at enough of their rolling turkeys, a couple of which were rolling on donuts alone (dealers in rougher areas have problems with losing nice wheels),  I figured I’d pass.

This sale I played it safe by sticking with the new car trade-in’s. Cars that I would have easily bought in normal circumstances slowly slipped right on buy.

  1. 2001 Cadillac DHS: 130k, no smoke:                                           Bid $2500 Sold $2700
  2. 1998 Subaru Outback, Loaded/Dual Roofs                               Bid $2300 Sold $2350
  3. 2004 Pontiac GTO: 110k, lowered suspension                        Bid $8800 Sold $9000
  4. 2005 Kia Spectra: 135k, Sliver, Scratches                                Bid $3700 Sold $4000

The only one I bought turned out to be the fourth vehicle in the sale. A 2001 Ford Explorer Sport?














Now let me ask you a question. What is wrong with these pictures?














A lot apparently. First off, that’s a front fascia off a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac. I stared at this thing with the hood open for several minutes trying to figure out how and why someone would do this.

“That’s a factory fit?” I said to myself. Not only did everything line up. But the components were all Ford OEM and the paint job was perfect. Very few paint firms can replicate a late model factory paint finish on a vehicle.

Then there was more. Open the door….what the???














Those are not Ford factory seats. Eddie Bauer and XLT leather seats tend to have the look of a mish-mash of inflated balloons and are slightly thin. These were thick and offered a far nicer texture.

Hmmm… that sunroof… definitely an aftermarket. I wonder if ASC did the job?

It turns out that this vehicle is a ‘No Boundaries’ edition. What exactl does this mean? It means that Ford engineers apparently had to jerk around with some marketing MBA’s and develop an ‘image package’ that has zero impact on the off-road capabilities of Ford vehicles.

The campaign, “No Boundaries” lasted about two years for Ford. First there were ‘No Boundaries’ editions. Then it was ‘No Boundaries Experience’. I guess they wanted to offer a little Jimmy Hendrix for their Yuppiedom.















Then finally you had ‘NBX’ which I guess was the Menudo to MDO version. Other than nicer seats, plastic wood on the dash,oversized wheels,  and a godawful expensive sunroof to replace,  I still can’t see why they even bothered. Nobody other than a few aspiring off-road wannabe’s ever expected a Ford Explorer Sport to compete with a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

But let me tell you… it will sell. Leather, sunroof, nice wheels, wood, and a nice paint job that isn’t a disgusting color always finds a home.

One other surprise. When I pulled off to a gas station, I found one of those special key locks on the fuel cap.




Took three screwdrivers and ten minutes to get the damn thing off. Second time I received this surprise. From now on I’m checking this before I leave the sales.

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