Tuesday, September 21, 2010
KCMO Unclaimed Vehicles Police Impound Auction was fun, in a different sort of way
This was sort of an unusual experience. They don’t run the vehicles through a lane like at a normal auction. Instead, they are all just left in their parking spots, and the auctioneer and his assistant are pulled along in a trailer from car to car. That system makes sense, though--most of these cars don't run. To sell cars at this auction, you not only need auctioneering experience, but you also shouldn’t be prone to motion sickness.
There were 385 cars and trucks on the docket for this sale, the first sixteen of which were considered “premium vehicles.” Now don’t let the term “premium” fool you. They were crap boxes too, but they happened to run.
I even saw one buyer get arrested. There was a police car trolling through the lot, and the dog in the backseat went bananas when they passed this guy. Next thing you know, he was spread out on the front fender of an old Crown Vic that didn’t happen to be for sale.
Popular accessories for impounded cars included large chrome wheels, fake convertible tops, Auto Zone seat covers, Loony Tunes steering wheel covers, simulated Buick-style portholes, and Little Trees cherry-scented air fresheners. And if you were lucky enough to buy a vehicle, you were required to take all of that stuff with you.
The auctioneer would notice that some of the descriptions said the vehicle was impounded during an arrest. That usually prompted him to comment, “Picked up during an arrest, so it had to be driving somewhere.” Of course, that was the official seal of approval that that car had to run and drive. Those were the sweet ones.
I think it would be hard to get a deal at a sale like this one, and even if you did, you might change your mind after you got it home. But the possibility is there, so fortune-hunters flocked to the impound yard like the 49-ers in search of gold. If nothing else, attending this sale is a fun adventure on an otherwise mundane Tuesday morning.
Next stop: craigslist.