Every so often when we dip into the mailbag here at Car Talk Vehicle Donation Services, we find a letter that takes us from tears to triumph. Bruce Rothschild didn't know what to do with his sorry Saab. But then he had the brilliant idea to turn his sad situation into happiness for WFCR. Read on....
Bruce and his Saab
A year ago I sold my then 10-year-old beloved Saab 9-5 privately to a local guy for over $5,000. But before the deal was done I heard from my then 23-year-old daughter who said she absolutely needed it down in Miami to replace her old Toyota Camry as the Saab was much more '"Miami style."
I am a father of a daughter, a.k.a. "sucker," so off my Saab went to Miami on a flatbed.
Eight months later my daughter returned to the northeast, driving the Saab. By then, the pristine body had two major dents. I proceeded to renew my ad on AutoTrader.com but in the ensuing three months I experienced the following bad car karma: I had two flats (one necessitating a new rim), an exhaust leak due to broken bolts on the manifold, and a faulty air flow sensor.
Dents care of Bruce's daughter
Once I took care of all of these things, the engine oil light started coming on intermittently. I had it checked by my mechanic who noted that the oil level was fine and it probably was a faulty oil pressure switch. By that time I had easily spent $1,000 on the car over the past two months. I decided to sell the car to my then interested AutoTrader buyer, informing him of the oil light and likely explanation. Off he drove after paying me $2,500.
Just as I was getting ready to buy my celebratory bottle of bubbly, he called me from the side of the highway. The Saab had absolutely broken down. He couldn't get it to start and now the sunroof was stuck, tilted in the open position. We agreed that he would have the car towed back to my house; we split the $200 towing charge and I gave him his money back. Although my wife said, "Maybe all it needs is a battery," I had had enough.
That is why I decided to donate my car to Car Talk. The other, more important reason, is that I love my local public radio station, WFCR and all the music, news, and laughs it brings me! My favorite show is Saturday Afternoon at the Opera. I'm also a regular listener of Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Fresh Air, Car Talk, and the classical music.