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I have nothing to do with my life, so I bought this Echo

I have been flipping cars since about 2013 or so, but the car market has been trash and COVID has scared me off from buying anything risky. The last car I had, a 2010 Mazda 6 Manual, was a bitch and a half to sell.

Illustration for article titled I have nothing to do with my life, so I bought this Echo
Image: Kevin W
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yet, this car popped up on my FB marketplace. it’s cheap to buy, and these cars don’t have much value, but I was late at night watching Chrisfix. I’m also basically unemployed, and there’s not much to do with my life, but continue to search for work. Why not try and make a little bit of $$$ and do a quick flip?



Illustration for article titled I have nothing to do with my life, so I bought this Echo
Image: Kevin W
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It’s a 2000 Echo, the elderly couple bought it new in 1999. They parked it in their barn in central Ohio, and it’s been sitting for a year. The alternator is seized.

Only 131K miles, which is low for a Toyota. I only paid $650 for it.


The alternator is clearly broken, but also there are some other odds and ends it needs. There’s no radio, I’m missing a hubcap, and the trunk latch is sticky. Still, it’s a solid car that could easily be put back on the road.

Illustration for article titled I have nothing to do with my life, so I bought this Echo
Image: Kevin W

I always feel weirdly connected to the previous owners when I buy cars. This woman bought the car new, and it shuttled her around as the resident supervisor (doctor) in several university hospitals. She replaced it with a Prius, but it stayed in the family since it was paid off.

They drove it to DC last year, then parked it in their barn, where the alternator bearing seized up from sitting so long.

The husband now has a bad heart valve and is fighting leukemia, and his kids helped him realize that he can’t work on cars anymore. So he decided to let it go when he was cleaning the barn.

Illustration for article titled I have nothing to do with my life, so I bought this Echo
Image: Kevin W
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$15K in 1999 money is $23K today! This car doesn’t even have power windows, power locks, or ABS! AC was an option that was added, as well as an aftermarket cruise control stalk.

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