Turn back the clock about 18 years. A once young Holden-SSV was given the opportunity to buy a new car on his parent’s dime. While I yearned for something along the lines of a 200SX SE-R or Civic Si, I was railroaded into a Sunfire GT. My parents “knew better”, since they were coming from a trouble free ‘91 Grand Am LE. Just my luck.
Fast forward to two months ago. While working abroad in Hawaii, a cherry 2000 Civic Si pops up on BaT. That’s “Bring a Trailer” to the uninformed, a boutique auto auction site.
I message the seller and asked him if he would hold onto the car for another month post auction, as I was away. He agreees. It’s on!
The auctions are a bit different on BaT near closing. In that, I mean the auction resets to 2:00 every time someone bids within that window. The bidding for this vehicle is quickly whittled down to three people including myself. One individual bows out, the other tried to best my last bid but had network issues.
The car is mine!
I wire the seller the final auction price and he overnights the title to my hotel. Now I just have to wait (almost a month) before I can come home.
One week before I’m due to fly back, some loser breaks into our rental and lifts my backpack. The only item stolen contains mostly useless items (to someone else) and the title. I waste my time filling out a police report and don’t bother asking “What are the chances...”
No big deal, not much he can do with it anyhow. I call up the seller and he says he’ll apply for a replacement title. The last week drags out. Feels like a month.
Back home, I stay around a few days to beat the jet lag before I fly out again to pick up the car.
Upon arrival, the car is in even BETTER condition than I expected. Only 74K, one owner miles, but could easily pass for 40K. This has never happened to me before as most sellers (in my experience) try to intentionally hide or conceal issues by omission, hoping I won’t notice. In secret, I’m waiting for the car to fall apart on the way home.
A 1200mi journey home awaits.
A few miles down the road, I attempt to use the cigarette lighter socket to charge my phone. No go. Damn.
Further down the road I figure it’s time for gas. I apparently passed the closest station 20mi ago. Looks like I need to backtrack. Riding in on fumes, I arrive only to find they’re recalibrating ALL 30 or so pumps they have SIMULTANEOUSLY. Panic begins to set in as my phone’s battery is lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut. The next closest station is another 10mi away. Just in case, I draw out a map.
Whew, made it. Fill her up with the finest
swill 91 octane that Arizona offers. I promise myself to never run below 1/4 tank ever again. The inoperative cigarette lighter turns out to be a blown fuse.
All is right in the automotive world. The rest of the drive is uneventful.
Notice while I’m cruising at 70MPH the engine’s hitting almost 4K RPM. Sitting in my hotel room research determines one can swap out a 5th gear cog from a LS Integra to drop revs on the highway. Then I start looking at limited slips.
Damnit, this car was supposed to remain stock.