in

The Bandentrapper and trade-in

trade in
Dear Classic Lover

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There was a time when you could write your crisis with a K (because it didn't exist anyway) and semi-classic cars were still tax-free. Yes really. In those days long gone time I decided to trade in my daily Renault 4. It seemed like a good idea.


This is how a curious journey starts at ever more lazy car companies. Together with a very good friend, luckily again. It makes the trip more bearable and sometimes even hilarious. A smile and a tear, such a day. In the morning still full of courage and optimistic, except for the naive: such a classic is of course highly sought after. A lot of demand for and according to the iron economic laws the demand determines the price. Cash desk. That idea is reinforced by the expert opinion of one of the first companies we visit.

The buyer on duty walks outside with benevolence and good spirits. Apparently, like us, he also wants a super deal today. We already rate him highly; he represents a French Vintage Car specialist. Cat in the cup so. He quickly passed his judgment: tight cart. What? Now the desperation strikes us immediately ... Does he really understand it? Is his glasses still inside? Is it perhaps a retrained kitchen salesman? The test of time has indeed done an extremely successful attack on the Four and that is impossible to overlook. We drove here, as it were, soft and crackling and in the 20 minutes that it lasted, another fender edge was rusted away. The Man Of Purchasing is not at all bothered, apparently it can be much worse. In any case, he does not let his day and deal be ruined by a bit of rust. He thinks it is a tight cart and he will not make any concessions. A hopeful start to the day! Who could have ended immediately if this classic guru would have had a nice successor for the Four within my very limited, almost fictional budget. He didn't have that, so much money had to be added (I don't even know what exactly) that my trade-in dream immediately burst into a cloud of rust and filler. Later it turned out to be an omen for the rest of De Tocht Der Schaamte.

We were going to slide further and further that strange day in the dark corners of the car trade. We started in a pleasant and easy to find location, as the day went on we got lost more and more on obscure and semi-decayed industrial parks that turned into caravan camps. Or vice versa. It was fortunate that it was light during the day and therefore: they had never been found again in the worst way of getting lost .... Pavements and the paint on the buildings that we visited kept pace: they stopped slowly during the day. Remarkably enough, just like the teeth of the traders who spoke to us (or sounds that looked like it) with, without exception, a mobile in the ring of gold or the ring of gold.

For example, it was possible that we were already awkwardly awaiting his verdict on the umpteenth autoprimat, already somewhat disgusted by all the previous exchanges / proposals / insults. Skilfully he kicked the same tire for the third time (the wheel just got stuck, that's how he finally concluded). "Nice for the female", he moaned. Female? Did he have a female? It almost moved us. Anyway, the deal. €200, whopping. It immediately made us doubt his love for the female. It didn't cost anything again, too bad. With my poor budget added to this, my choice was limited to just one car to trade in in his beautiful collection of museum quality voitures: a Peugeot Dinges of an indefinable year in silver gray. Or what was left of it. 50 shades of gray, now. Well, but not too many demands on the appearance in this price category. But inside it didn't get much better: cracks and stains all over the place, broken buttons and levers and especially the air of more than fifteen years of half-heavy shekies. Very inspiring. And all that turned out to be just the prelude to the saddest sight ever: a brittle and crooked glove compartment flap, held shut by a pale gray Gamma hook-with-eye. Screwed in and without feeling, pontifical and completely random.

Disillusioned, I was subsequently lifted out of this barrel by my friend who came to the rescue. I seemed crazy, I would never again get out of this fathomless depth if I continued to seriously consider this: an almost twenty-year-old grave on wheels with hinges and locks from the hardware store ... So get away from this automobile hospice, full of gas, back to the civilization and common sense. Attached to it more than ever in one go and we resolutely step into my rusting Quatrelle: I ride it until I am stopped bodyless on a ducted chassis and flies have to admit that there is no MOT anymore. Period.

And I still have to admonish myself and swallow a sudden nausea when I walk past the garden department in the hardware store: I skip the shelf with brackets and eyes ...

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4 Comments

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  1. Wonderfully recognizable written.
    I once bought the worst one Citroën Ami 6 berline. Also an endearing little car that can stay. From 1981 ... You still attach to such a piece of tin!

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