(56k) A Day at the Car Auction

Bubs360

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902
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New Hampshire
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'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Today I went with my father and a good friend of ours to a car auction that we have frequented since I was in grade school. We were looking for a work van to beat on for the winter, and our friend was looking to replace his Ford Taurus, which he had bought at the auction for $400 four years ago and put 80,000 miles on without any problems. The car's oil pump just bit the dust at 285,000 miles. Not too shabby.

This auction is open to the general public, and you see all sorts of people from all walks of life. But, mostly just greaseball car dealers. The cars are also a huge mix. You have "guaranteed" cars, which are typically just shitboxes being sold by greaseball car dealers - the cars they cannot legally sell on their lot due to problems. The other type of car, the one you actually score a good deal on, are the "red light" cars. These are given by people for a tax-deductible donation. It's literally a mixed bag. There was once an old 2-stroke Saab 9-2 that someone donated. Today, there was a kit to build a light aircraft, engine and all. Classic cars, beat to shit cars, really nice cars. Boats, campers, you name it. Over a dozen solid Toyota Camrys, and more manual transmission cars than I have seen here in a long time.

Today's auction featured a variety of interesting cars in both the donated and consignment sections. This 300zx, for example.
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Continuing on with the Japanese performance cars, there was also this 3000GT.
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This Toyota Celica was in the non-running section and sold for next to nothing.
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I was not expecting to see a Sentra SE-R in the non-running section in such bad shape.
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This NX200 was also a surprise. It was in rough shape overall, but solid enough to sell for a decent price.
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I was quite surprised to see this clean Fiat X-19.
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Along with this '39 Plymouth
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With this '82 Rolls Royce right next to it.
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On the topic of Luxo Barges...
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The auction has quite a few interesting sights to behold.
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Like this rare 4x4 Ford Escort Turbo Wagon!
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It is odd to see a New Beetle as a donated red-light car.
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Or such a late model Pontiac.
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Plus this first-generation Toyota Prius. One of two at the auction, both donated.
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This Gran Torino Wagon was another oddity.
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Plus probably the most awesome car at the entire auction. This beat-up Corolla was simply surreal to look at. I seriously considered bidding on it just to have as a beater.
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It seems his apparent devotion to his Toyota waned when he saw the opportunity for a tax-deductible donation.
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This Infiniti G20 was also clean and hard to resist. Went for a good price.
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This Mustang, although a manual, was a piece of shit.
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Dae-WOO!
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Very many of the cars have seen better days.
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So the auction begins.
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The 300ZX was running on three cylinders at best, and sold for next to nothing.

I had a really hard time resisting the Corolla. The clutch was good and it ran, but I still passed up the chance to bid. The minimum bid is $200 from the junkyard, and it wound up selling for $225, so someone decided to spare it.
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This Caravan sold for $300, and it ran and drove just fine.
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It was strange to see a Harley 883 Sportster as a donated item, but there you go.
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This Land Rover was a consignment from a sleazy car dealer, and failed to sell. Shame the junkyard minimum bid doesn't count on consignments.
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This five-speed Civic stalled out before entering the building, and it was a fifteen minute effort by the crew to get the hood open. Despite that, and the fact that it then stalled out again after the jump start and failed to run during bidding, a couple of Mexicans bid the donated car up and one of them bought the thing for $1200.
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This manual BMW 3-series was also beat to hell, but it ran. Sold for $600.
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Another "guaranteed" car from a car dealer. Note the smoke from the hood.
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A lovely Buick in the classic GM color, "Lower Resale Value Purple"
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This Prelude was running on two cylinders. Nonetheless, two Mexicans wanted it badly enough that it sold for over a grand.
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This thing failed to sell at all, so to the junkyard it goes.
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At the end of the day, we wound up with a good running work van for $500. A donated Mercury whatever with only 113,000 miles.
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Our friend bought this Camry, also donated, with 136,000 miles. Complete with a fresh oil change, and four snow tires in the trunk. Incredibly solid car for a very good price. He should be able to depend on it for a long time, I'm happy for him.
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Although I let the old Toyota slip past, I'm glad it has eluded the crusher for at least a bit longer.
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As the sun begins to set, the auction ends. Everyone takes care of their paperwork, and then go out to the lot to claim their prize. Luckily today was successful day at the auction.
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Bubs360

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902
Location
New Hampshire
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'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
I had posted it on another forum that collapses the spoiler tag, it made the post so it wasn't huge. I will probably just un-spoiler it here, I forgot about how the tag is set up here.
 

Bubs360

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'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Yeah, the nicer cars tend to sell well. Hondas tend to sell no matter what. But, like I said, the minimum bid is $200 and if nobody bids, the junkyard buys it for that price.
 

Spectre

The Deported
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Bubs: Congratulations, you just bought a first-gen Nissan Quest with a Mercury badge on it.

Now, before he does anything else, get the timing belts changed on it ASAP.
 

Bubs360

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Messages
902
Location
New Hampshire
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'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Funny, when I first saw it pull through, I just assumed it was a Nissan Quest. It wasn't until my father walked up with the paperwork did I realize it was badged as a Mercury.

Although, I did just find out through some research that Ford required the motor used in the Mercury version to be non-interference. While the timing belt is still important, at least it isn't responsible for the integrity of the motor in this one.
 
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Spectre

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Some Quests were re-engined with non-Ford versions, though...
 

Bubs360

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'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
But, considering this is a Mercury Villager, it would be safe to say it most likely still has the Ford version I think. Actually, it seems all the Quests were built at the same factory here in the U.S, and the motors used in these were all made non-interference. So, if it were replaced by, say, a Maxima VG30E, then it would be interference.
 
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Spectre

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But, considering this is a Mercury Villager, it would be safe to say it most likely still has the Ford version I think.

No, because (and I forget the reason) Villagers tended to get engine-killed and sometimes Ford was desperate for warranty/service engines. Maybe because they tended to be driven by the Village Idiot? :dunno:

I have or rather had a VG30 I removed from an 86 300ZX that had a plaque on it indicating it was a Ford/Nissan joint venture engine (and therefore had been installed sometime after 95). I can assure you that it was interference as a snapped timing belt had killed the car (for the second and final time).
 

Bubs360

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'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Good point. Well, I suppose I could never really be sure. But, I still think that it most likely is a US-Spec VG30 because of the mileage and the changed oil filter location (another requirement made by Ford for Quest/Villager VG30). But, I do understand what you mean.
 

lws1984

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A dark green Mercury Villager?

I grew up in one of those. Wow.
 

JipJopJones

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Looks like fun.

Congrats on the purchase, although you should have nabbed that toyota, it was wicked. :p
 

GM_IV

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The old Toyota is actually a first gen Tercel, this was when Toyota was still using the "Toyota Corolla Tercel" name hoping to use the Corolla's famous name to sell the new FWD model.
 

Davetouch

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This interests me greatly - I mean to go to an auction, just to see what kind of stuff I could get round here. And that I and 2 mates have to get a car to take us round Europe for less than ?250. :p However I'm always worried that you couldn't look round a car properly before bidding.
 

Hbriz

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From the auctions I've been to, you can look round the car, they even leave the keys in it so you can start it, but it's boxed in so you can't take a test drive.
 

Bubs360

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'91 Sentra SE-R, 2003 Triumph Speed Triple 955i
Looks like fun.

Congrats on the purchase, although you should have nabbed that toyota, it was wicked. :p

Yeah, I definitely could have and am sort of regretting it now. But, I chose not to bid because I don't want to make any unnecessary buys until I am done being a full-time college student. Another "should have" to add to my list. A member of another forum I frequent says he might know the previous owner, I'm interested to see if that winds up being the case.

@GM-IV: Damn, I can't believe I forgot that the auctioneer even said "Tercel" when it was up for bidding. Oh well, technically it was still a Corolla so it's all good. xD
 
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CAPT_Howdy

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That Celica would have made a great parts car for my brother. I like that '72 Torino wagon - that car had to have come from out of state, or had been garaged in the winter to be so rust free. Too bad it looks like the engine was pulled, judging by the stance.
 
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