June 2007 Archives

Buick Recovered, Left For Dead


If you read my previous, lengthy entry, you know that the majestic Buick was recently stolen from in front of my house. Although I never made it out of the "denial" stage of grieving (I frequently looked out the window to see if the car had reappeared), I received closure today when the Dallas Police Department phoned me to say they had recovered a beautiful brown Park Avenue--resting only a few thousand feet from whence it was lost.

Of course they did not leave it there. By the time they called me, it had already been towed well outside of town to the impound lot--a place that would more accurately be called an automotive graveyard.

I went to visit my vehicle today to assess the damage.

Upon arrival, I had to wait in one line to prove I owned the car. Then I waited in another line to get documentation on the current whereabouts of the car. Then I waited in another line to get a police officer to take me to the car.

I was nervous when we approached my spot. Would the car be smashed up ? Would it be vandalized ? Would someone have tried to pimp it out ?

No, it was better and worse than that. The driver's side window was smashed in and the rest of the windows were rolled down--and with the recent rain the upholstery was destroyed. The ignition cylinder was thoroughly chewed up, such that the ruined tumblers would not allow the key to turn. The tilting, telescoping steering column was flopping around limp and would not lock in place when extended. The gas cap was off (maybe they siphoned the gas out, who knows). My toolbox was missing, but everything else was still in the car. There was no discernible body damage, minus what I already mentioned.

Given that I couldn't start the car, I had no way of knowing if the thief ruined the engine or transmission.

Getting the car out of impound would have cost $120, plus the cost of towing it to my house or a repair shop, plus extensive repair costs. If I decided to not get it fixed, I would have needed to get it towed again, probably to a junkyard--and I'm not sure if they would have charged me to take the car or paid me for the scrap metal.

I had to make a decision, and given the damage and the unknowns, I decided to walk away. It cost me nothing to give the car up--they're going to auction it in 30 days. I collected my things and didn't look back.

It's a sad day for Buick-kind. That car was in my family for about 23 years. And it served us well.

Tonight I pour out a bottle of 10W30 in remembrance of the mighty Buick.

Dude, Where's My Car ?

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To the person who stole my Buick :


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