Hooniverse Truck Thursday – Would You Believe this Truck has only 36,000 Miles?

Welcome to another Hooniverse Truck Thursday. Within my non-blogging professional life, I was once a District Representative for UD Trucks (Nissan Diesel) with a territory that spread from Bangor to Buffalo, calling on more than 21 Dealers across New England and upstate New York who were authorized to sell these trucks. They were not all that popular nationwide, with their peak sales year in 2005 selling almost 3,000 trucks, and were never sold in great numbers to Fleet Customers like Penske, Ryder, Enterprise, or U-Haul. However, they were popular within heavily populated urban regions like NYC, Boston, Chicago, and Dallas. Well, here is a 2007 UD Nissan Diesel 1400 Truck which is a recent Bank Repossession, and typifies the condition these trucks are treated in the major metropolitan areas of the country. Yes, it really has only 36,000 miles on the odometer…

I am now a Sales and Marketing representative for a four dealership truck chain located in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In late December, I ran a special “Tent Sale” specifically to market some of the repossessions this particular finance company had on their books. I had them ship the trucks to our West Springfield location, and most of them were quite marketable. The models included all the Japanese imports including a couple of Isuzu box trucks, a few Mitsubishi-Fuso Refrigerated units, and this thing.

Normally, I buy 2007 Isuzu and Mitsubishi models equipped with a 14 or 16 ft Dry Van body, with mileage between 39,000 and 90,000, for around $20,000 all day long. The sales departments can usually sell them between $24,000 to $28,000 depending on equipment level. I was hoping to acquire this truck for almost the same amount of money because it was suppose to have low mileage, a decent dry cargo box, and it was equipped with a liftgate as a bonus. Imagine my surprise when this… this nightmare showed up.

You know what is interesting about this truck? The finance company says they need $19,000 for the truck as you see it. I told them to keep it, and to please take it off my lot as soon as they can. For the right price I would still buy it because it actually drives very good, received some work including a new turbocharger a new set of batteries, and everything else works as it should. There are other problems with this truck including the urban artwork you see on the truck body, and some light damage to the cab and front bumper. The liftgate is a disaster, and if I bought it I would simply cut it off and replace it with a step bumper.

Yes, it has over 36,000 miles on it, confirmed by the service department after plugging into the Engine Computer, but man, what a hard life this truck has been through. So, what would I buy this truck for? My top figure would be $6,000, and then do the following work to it:
– Repair the light damage to the truck cab.
– Replace the funky mirrors on the driverside with factory mirrors.
– Replace the front bumper entirely, maybe with a chrome unit.
– Replace all four rear tires (They are nearly worn out), and add a new set of Mud Flaps.
– Have the local body company use a paint remover from the Box Body corners (They should be bare aluminum)
– Repair the roof of the box because it currently leaks.
– Sand the front of the body, and the sides, to get ready for a repaint.
– Repaint the entire box and the rear door (These doors are made from wood, or a wood laminate)
– Cutoff the rear gate, and weld a new bumper on the back.
– New Tail-lamps would have to be installed because the reverse lamps are broken.
– Have my detail squad clean and buff the cab interior and exterior.
– Finally, have the box interior floor scrubbed.
This will add another $7,000 to $8,000 to the cost of the truck, making my cost between $13,000 and $14,000. The sales department would be let loose on the truck with a minimum selling price of $22,000 with a 200,000 mile warranty included. Not a bad profit for what could be a great truck, but only if I buy it right.

Repossessions are funny. If the finance company can’t recover all their costs, they will go after the person who is the Guarantor (The individual within the company that is responsible for the loan if the company goes out of business) and this is going to happen in this case. I will be bidding on this truck when it does go to auction, and I can’t see how it will break $6K. What do you think?

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