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Submitted by Rich Loney, NOCBMWCCA Pilot Editor

If you read my last two columns, you'll recall that my son Ryan turned 16 this past September, attained the holy grail of young adulthood (a driver's permit), and I began a somewhat obsessive quest to find him the perfect car. By perfect, I mean a solid vehicle that fit "perfectly" within his budget and a hood that neither had a Firebird decal on top of it or a V-8 below it. If you missed my last columns (my wife would say you're lucky) you can get caught up by reading past issues of our chapter newsletter which are posted at www.nohiobmwcca.org. You may also remember that Craigslist was my tool of choice in the search for this elusive vehicle. Here's the thing I discovered with Craigslist, 90% of the vehicles are either complete garbage or fictitious "too good to be true" listings posted by some shady character looking to scam his next victim. The site is truly the quintessential definition of "buyer beware". I was so fed up with what this website had to offer, that I swore off it and went "old-school" with my search. I started driving around my area looking for cars with the homemade "for sale" sign taped to the window. This solution seemed perfect; my thought was I'd find that gem of a low-mile car parked at the end of the Little Old Lady from Pasadena's driveway. Plus, it gave me a great excuse to go out and drive my Bimmer aimlessly around town. Perfect solution right? Wrong! Turns out, all I kept finding were the exact same piece-o-krap cars that were listed on, you guessed it, CRAIGSLIST! Ugh!

I was actually at the point where I thought my best odds of finding Ryan the perfect ride would be by winning the BMWCCA "Car of your Dreams" Raffle.

Then it happened. It was just like one of those moments when the rays of sun break through the sky after a hard storm. I had gotten home early from work and decided to jump on the computer to kill some time. I found myself casually perusing Craigslist. Then BAM! Right there at the top of the screen was a listing for a car that had been posted just 15 minutes earlier. I started reading: "10 year old Japanese car", check; "new tires", check; "new exhaust", check; "$2,500.00", check; "38,000 mile", check. WAIT, 38,000 miles? Surely this had to be a typo. I called the number in the listing and a sweet little old lady answered the phone. Honestly! A sweet old lady answers the phone! I half expected her to say the car was parked in a barn out back hidden under a pile of straw and dust! Anyway, we started talking about the car and I asked her if the listing meant to read 138,000 miles. She responds, "No, 38,000 miles is correct." Turns out her late husband had bought the car new. He only drove it back and forth from his home to work.

Wow, the guy must have lived at one end of the street and worked at the other end. The next day my son and I jumped in my 3-series and headed out to Wadsworth to look at the car. I truly expected to roll up to this woman's home and see a beat-up, rusty, "low mile" car. Much to our surprise, the car looked and ran fantastic! After some friendly negotiations we agreed on a price and Ryan proudly strapped himself into his first set of wheels. You know... this car would look much better with a set of alloy wheels. I bet I could find some on Craigslist!