I was hunting for a project car on craigslist for the past few weeks. I found a 1971 VW bug that looked slightly promising for $1600. I went and test drove it. The brakes on it were insane and required the force of several small babies on the brake pedal just to slow it slightly but I thought “hey this looks fun to work on .” I asked the seller for the pink slip which he did not have, nor did he have remotely sufficient documentation to register it so I walked .

I got home that night and found an M62B44 powered 1997 540i on Craigslist. I drive over that night and check out its condition. It is in horrible shape. After the seller goes through a five minute process of popping the hood (due to a broken release cable) I see that 4.4 liter v8 and immediately want it. He has the pink slip so I pay and get it towed home.

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He obviously thought it wasn’t starting due to the EWS (as he pick your parted to more, even though they aren’t switchable without replacing the EWG), which had a disconnected capacitor. So off to RadioShack I go to buy a capacitor. After some novice soldering I have the capacitor replaced. Turn the car over and nothing. Shucks. One of the soldered leads came off.

I resoldered both leads and go to start again and pow I jump a little. The capacitor blew. I reversed the polarity the second time. So my 6 year old and I go to Radio Shack again to buy another capacitor. I solder it in this time like a pro who only makes like 10 mistakes. Return to the car, shut the door, plug in the EWS and turn the key. As the key tunes I accidentally depress the lock button. The car still won’t start so I’m ready to take a break.

I reach for the door handle and it won’t open. I press unlock and nothing. I pull up hard in the lock nub. Nothing. I try all four doors. Crap. It’s getting hot. This is a 90 degree day and I’m trapped in a car with the windows up. No phone in my pocket, now what? Screaming for help? That sounds genius. I scream like I’ve never screamed before. No one comes. I press both key fobs for my other two cars to set of the horns. My wife thinks it is the BMW as the alarm went off when I towed it in two nights ago.

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I begin prying the back door apart when I remember the trunk. I pop the trunk with my remote and begin prying at the back seat when I turn around and see my 2 and 6 year olds staring at me with great fear. I shout to get mommy. They eventually respond. My wife comes and I am so irrational I come up with the break the window solution if I can’t crawl out of the trunk. Then she asks me to hand her the keys through the trunk. I am saved.

By the way my kids came out because my screaming sounded like “You can buy my car for 88 cents today” to my son. I paid him $1 for saving my life. Best deal ever.