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Passing Through

Gone in 44 Seconds: 82 Cars Per Hour at Public Auction

July 22, 2001|JAMES DENNING

Car auctions make for great daydreams, but for most of us the fantasy of finding a bargain beauty is outweighed by the dread of taking home a clunker. Nevertheless, about 2,500 people attend each bimonthly sale at Nationwide Auction Systems' dusty 12-acre City of Industry lot. Business was brisk at the Father's Day auction; by day's end, 410 buyers went home with one or more of the 738 vehicles on the block.

Kareem Muwwakkif, Los Angeles

Vehicle and price?

'91 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera; $2,000 bid, $2,500, with fees and taxes.

Why this car?

It's real sophisticated. The Lakers won the championship, and I got a car. It's a pretty good weekend in L.A. right now.

How did you look the car over?

Start the car up, check the oil, check for funny sounds.

If you are what you drive, what does this car say about you?

I'm so deep that I don't think I can be described by my car.

Some of these cars were seized from criminals. What's the most illegal thing you've done in a car?

Had sex on a school campus.

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Case Bor, Torrance

Ernie Bor, Anaheim Henry Bor, Ontario

Vehicle and price?

1985 IHC S-1600 Dump Truck; $5,500 bid, $7,000 with fees.

Why this truck?

Case: We're trying to run our own truck-trading business, but we're not actually there yet.

Ernie: This one was strictly impulse.

How did you look the truck over?

Case: We listened to it and looked at the tires, and then we took a vote.

What does a dump truck say about you?

Ernie: It says we're Tonka Toy kids.

Most illegal thing you've done in a car?

Henry: I speed, but everybody does that.

*

Peter Graff, Tehachapi

Vehicle and price?

1994 GMC C-3500 Yukon; $7,000 bid (federally seized vehicles are not subject to fees).

Why this car?

My dad's part of [my private security] business, and he needs a new patrol car. This'll be a Father's Day present.

Your dad works for you?

There's a lot of give and take. I can't tell Dad what to do.

How did you look the vehicle over?

I pretty much looked at the body, the mileage and the bolts on the manifold heads.

What does this car say

about you?

We're tough and we'll go anywhere.

Most illegal thing you've done in a car?

Speed. But no tickets in the last three years.

*

Steve Cox and daughter Linzie Cox, Diamond Bar

Vehicle and price?

1995 Jeep Cherokee Laredo; $7,500 bid, $8,700 with fees.

Why this car?

Steve: It's a graduation present for the 11th grade. She's the greatest kid I could ask for.

Linzie: I love Jeeps and SUVs.

How did you look the car over?

Steve: I started it up, and I looked at the belts and the hoses with a flashlight. There was no smoke from the exhaust pipe.

What does this car say

about you?

Steve: I had a Jeep when she was a child and I think that stuck with her.

Most illegal thing you've done in a car?

Linzie: I've never done anything illegal.

Steve: Drink. When I was very, very, very young.

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