Yesterday Miss D. and I drove to a nearby town to look at a 1989 Ford F150 that was being advertised for private sale at what seemed like a very reasonable price. The pictures posted with the advertisement showed a truck in fair condition for its age, but (in hindsight) it was clear that none showed any details in close-up, where defects might have been detected.
We arrived to find the owner and his son working on the truck in his driveway, putting a new wheel on the driver’s side in front. The wheel was leaning at a cockeyed angle that immediately gave me pause for thought. The load bed of the truck, when viewed from the rear, showed a definite list to port, and there was a large crack across more than two-thirds of the windscreen (something the advertisement had carefully failed to mention). As far as I’m aware, that made the truck unroadworthy in terms of local regulations.
Those problems were bad enough, but as we stood there, the owner’s son was struggling to lower the jack holding up the front of the truck. Eventually his father lost patience, got into the truck, started the engine and ordered his son to stand clear: then he reversed the truck off the jack! There was an almighty thump from the front suspension, a grating sound as the jack scraped on the lower body, and a smile from the owner as he said, “Now she’s off!”
He seemed surprised when I immediately informed him that I didn’t think his truck was what I wanted. Miss D. and I climbed back into our car without further ado, and went on our merry way.
All I can say is, if there’s a better way to lose a sale, I haven’t yet come across it . . .