New or Used: Old Horses And Bum Brothers

Sajeev Mehta and Steve Lang
by Sajeev Mehta and Steve Lang
new or used old horses and bum brothers

Ok here’s the situation. I have a brother who hasn’t done anything since Jimmy Carter was in office. For over 30 years he has been sponging off my parents. Free room. Free board. Free allowance. Although the most painful part of it all for me is the free car.

Every car that has been donated to Bum Brother has become landscape architecture. They were all over-engineered cars.

First there was a Toyota Celica that he managed to destroy. Then an Acura Vigor. A bit over two years ago he got a 1994 Toyota Camry Wagon from my brother. One maintenance overhaul plus 15 years of granny style driving yielded a whole 30 months of pack-rat storage and mechanical neglect by the do-nothing bastard.

Now we’re getting mom a new car. Which means that Bum Brother stands to inherit a 2002 Toyota Camry. It’s banged up and all. But damn it! Even in a rough state they are worth at least $5000. My thinking is this.

I have a 1993 Subaru Legacy that I rarely drive. Why not give him that to destroy and sell the other two for Mom. I would put the value of the Subaru at around $1500 and although it’s in excellent shape, I’m willing to donate it to an unworthy cause.

If it were up to me I would make him use public transit and walking shoes. But it’s not. So what should I do?

Steve Says:

There is an old saying that goes, “You can lead a horse to water. But you can’t make it drink.”

Well, the same is also true for jackasses.

I would do the following…

1) Look out for your Mom. Get your ‘Bum Brother’ the cheap ride and sell off the Camrys.

2) Arrange to have maintenance done on specific intervals so that the bum is involved with the car’s care as little as possible.

3) Hopefully your mom lives to be a centenarian. But once everything is said and done, cut off all contact with the brother and go live the rest of your life.

Our best to your mom, and our condolences to your situation.

Sajeev Says:

I wouldn’t even bother, because I am sure the repercussions aren’t worth it. Do you really want to piss off your brother AND the people that enable him to be the beacon of light he’s become today?

Probably not. I only have skin in the game if this guy might ruin a Panther. Since he’s not…go ahead and destroy a Camry. You’ll be glad you overlook it’s value, and concentrate more on the value of your sanity.

Join the conversation
2 of 53 comments
  • Jpcavanaugh Jpcavanaugh on Dec 16, 2011

    "Mom, I have an idea: I will give my Subaru to brother, that way you can sell the Toyota and put some money back into the bank for yourself. What do you think?" The answer of this question will tell you what you should do. Unless Mom enthusiastically salutes this flag that you have run up the pole, walk away from this one. Mom is the one you care about here, so don't do something that will make her more upset or stressed, even if keeping her stress down means she continues to coddle your loser brother.

  • George B George B on Dec 16, 2011

    A 2002 Toyota Camry isn't worth fighting over. Instead, you could treat it as an automotive longevity experiment. Replace all the Camry filters and fluids with the best available and let your worthless brother drive the car in zero maintenance welded hood mode. Are oil changes really necessary? We'll find out. It's about 10 years old now, so it's possible that zero maintenance makes no difference in life before oxidized paint makes it a beater. You could also get copies of the keys from your Mom and practice guerrilla random acts of kindness. "Borrow" the Camry, do a little maintenance, and return the car to a slightly different parking place just to mess with your brother's mind.

  • MaintenanceCosts A fair deal would be a single tier with at least a 33% raise for everyone over the life of the contract to make up for recent inflation and quite a few below-inflation years.Retiree health benefits and pensions are ridiculous, could legitimately bankrupt the automakers (unlike the raise), and shouldn't be in the deal.I'd really like to see the union accept a bit less cash and go after the 32-hour workweek harder. I think all of our society would be better on a four-day-a-week schedule, with little if any loss of output - business after business has found that people are more productive with four-day schedules, and almost everyone who tries it keeps it.
  • Jordan Mulach Hey Matt, this story has already been uncovered as not being the Camry update. Toyota US actually took independent digital renders and used them.You can see more about it from the artist here:
  • ToolGuy Well the faithful 2010 RAV4 has new headlamp assemblies installed as of yesterday (ordered them a year ago and put it off until now). Have to remove the entire front fascia *and* remove part of the radiator support to change the headlamps. Ordered new side brackets and clips since the thing is pretty much designed to go together once (it comes apart when it comes apart, is what I'm saying), so we'll get to hop back in there when those show up later this week. (Alternative is to have the wrong gap at the fascia/fender interface and you know we can't have that.)Just crossed 150K mileage, engine is strong, no signs of transmission trouble. Michelins are performing well. Spouse is pushing for an EV (or a Jeep, but I ignore that Jeep part). Very high likelihood that this particular Toyota will be replaced with a non-Toyota, maybe 2 years from now.Oh, no one cares. 🙂
  • Parkave231 Needs moar grille!
  • SCE to AUX Give them everything they want, including the moon. Let the UAW determine how long they want to keep their jobs.