Friday, April 17, 2009

chequered past

The minivan came to us with what we assumed to be a rich and varied history. For example, between the graffiti tagging and the stripped interior, it kind of looks like it might have been abandoned in Oakland. (I'm pretty sure this contributed to the amount of unhappiness displayed by the local security force when, in a temporary lapse of judgement, we left it up on blocks in a public area overnight.)

Most of this is explainable by its recent ownership history, which is probably better linked to than described: forum post by previous owners

Ooh, plus: If you're bored on weekends, you can help us out... it can be a community project!

All of which makes me super glad we only paid $100 for it.

When we got it, the van's previous owners had managed to render it completely inoperable, apparently through systematic application of cheap kragen performance parts. After some investigation, and a small but surprisingly effective quantity of caffienated malt liquor, this turned out to be caused by an extremely dead battery, which was vampirically sucking the life not only from the poor mystery machine, but also from the car we were trying to jump it from.

The thread has some speculation on the van's legal status, so I ran a carfax report. Let's see:

  • 1992 - passed smog. Exciting!
    JUNK TITLE/CERTIFICATE ISSUED. (No surprise: its salvage status is clearly marked on the title.)
  • 05/10/1997 - Passed emissions inspection. Phew.
  • 06/28/1997 - JUNK TITLE/CERTIFICATE ISSUED. Again?
  • 07/08/1999 - New owner reported. JUNK TITLE/CERTIFICATE ISSUED
  • ...etc...
  • 08/23/2007 - Automotive Recycler. Vehicle at automotive recycler facility.
    VEHICLE SCRAPPED. Vehicle reported as crushed and should not be on the road. (Awesome!)
  • 09/11/2007 - New owner reported. JUNK TITLE/CERTIFICATE ISSUED

I have to say, 25 entries is the most I've ever seen on a carfax report. But nice to see it's not stolen.

Now that Reno's getting closer, we've been shopping for parts. All this week, assorted brake parts have been showing up in the mail. Pads, rotors ($10 on closeout), rear shocks (KYB-2, bitches!), shoes for the rear drums, etc. This weekend we get with the installation.

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