Walt the Curber Mugshot

It’s only been a month, but I can see myself selling cars for a long, long time. I feel like a new man.

One evening, I was in line at the superstore. An elderly gentleman saw my shopping cart. I had a new digital tire gauge that I was going to give to my next buyer.

Turns out he was looking for a used car as he’d recently given his car to his grandson. He just needed something basic.

“This is your lucky day,” I told him.

The old fellow was around my father-in-law’s age – close to 80. He walked with a cane and had two ear pieces. I was practically shouting to him. What an easy sale.

I decided to give him a ride and show him the car. He went on to tell me about his young granddaughter, too.

At any rate, we got to the car – it was a base model with an automatic transmission.

“It’s perfect for you, sir!” I exclaimed.

He got in and sat at the wheel. His face lit up right away. I could tell that he’d been a car enthusiast in his younger days.

“Where’d you get this car, son?” he asked me.

“It’s my dad’s old car – he passed away and I just can’t keep it anymore,” I lied.

In reality, I imported the car from Washington.  It came with documents that mentioned New York State. The title was clean, so I assumed it was in good condition.

I priced the vehicle quite high – well over its value. But he didn’t know, and he didn’t ask any more questions. I told him I had another buyer interested (another lie) and that he had to make a decision right away.

With no hesitation, he got a bank draft and I gave him the keys. Like I promised, I threw in the new tire gauge. Marty gave me a wink and slowly drove off.

Another foolish customer, I thought. No history report to keep me on my toes. And worse, he needs to get it inspected, registered and insured within 30 days – I didn’t bother. I just got my buddy in Bellingham to help me get it across.

That evening, I took out the papers I’d received with the car. I decided to go over them more thoroughly. I guess I was a bit bored.

Turns out, the vehicle had been registered in four U.S. states.  Somewhere along the line, the rebuild status was dropped. Probably intentionally.  The inspection and ICBC will catch that. And who knows if the odometer is right? At least it’s no longer mine.


*Rebuild – A vehicle written off as a total loss by an insurance company, then rebuilt and certified for use. This term does not describe a vehicle that has a new or repaired motor, transmission or other major part. Rebuilds offer savings when repaired well, but a buyer has a right to know it was rebuilt. But this buyer didn’t and Walt walked away with the cash.


Check it out online: WatchOutForWalt.com

Walt the Curber Footer


The Vehicle Sales Authority of BCCarProof Vehicle History Reports and ICBC are combining forces to help keep car buyers safe. Follow our series on Walt the Curber to learn how much you risk when you buy a used vehicle without proof of its history or condition. The price of buying a car from a curber can turn out to be much higher if you have nowhere to turn. Learn what you can do to protect yourself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Recent Comments

    • Andrew Ross { Enjoyed your Forest of Bowland in the BMW X5M, particularly the photo of the BMW in front of the main part of Stonyhurst College where... }
    • Davd Randall { Bantam designed the Jeep, not Willy's or Ford. The American military gave the original Bantam prototype to Willys and Ford to copy. There is plenty... }
    • Elliott Parodi { All Escalades come with a 6.2-lilter V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered and drives the rear wheels.... }
    • Ev { Alexandra is an excellent journalist. }