Hammer Time: $100 Worth Of Charity… And Fun?
By the time you read this, I will have bought the last $100 car sold at a public auction… that actually runs!
This 1994 Ford Explorer XL has just under 94,000 miles and has been sitting at a local water department for a couple of years now. The exterior is nothing special, but the interior is surprisingly intact and well kept.
Which begs the question, what the hell should I do with this thing?
There are a couple of ideas I have that may be worth the effort, or maybe not.
The first is to donate the Explorer to a local food bank called Helping Hands. A local non-profit here in rural Georgia that feeds a lot more people in my county than you would imagine. It would be a nice noble gesture, and what helps out even more, is that I also have a second Explorer.
A 1993 model, that happens to run perfectly fine as well. Although it has a few (cough! cough!) cosmetic issues that I covered up with the finest duct tape, thumbtacks, and staple guns that are in my storage shed.
So hypothetically, I could give both to the charity so that food runs could be made on a weekly basis. Or I could just retail both, donate the proceeds, and let volunteers continue to use their own vehicles.
It all sounds like a good and easy thought for a rare snowy north Georgia afternoon. But then, I had this strange thought in my head that just wouldn’t quit.
“How far could I make a $100 car work if I kept on retailing the proceeds, and wrote about it?”
What if I reconditioned both vehicles a bit, re-sold them during tax season, buy another vehicle or two, rinsed, repeated, and kept trying to pay it forward until the end of the year?
Maybe the $515 I have invested at the moment in these two (along with the duct tape) can turn into $5000? Or more?
Maybe I may just end up with two cars that are junkyard fodder? Financially these two running vehicles would yield more from the local recycling center than what I already paid for them. So the risk here isn’t that much.
There have been mumblings about getting a fun car for a while now here at TTAC. At the moment, I have a 1993 Cadillac Fleetwood stretch limo that was apparently used by a strip joint in Miami way back in the Clinton Era, and I have, well, these two Explorers. I have about $3200 in the Cadillac, and until my kids have degrees and that rare good job, I need to keep that money working for me. But these two Explorers I can definitely spare, and invest a bit of my time and resources.
So what should I do? Buy? Sell? Hold? Donate? Offer Firestone a golden opportunity to associate themselves with Explorers in a good way? I’m always open to suggestions, and volunteers.
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