I returned home on Thursday to find that the message pictured above had been left under my wiper. A brief survey of the street revealed that mine was the only car to have been awarded such a note and I was immediately flushed with pride that somebody wanted MY car. No interest in the ’05 Impreza STi next door, nor the ’14 Kia Sportage on the other side. Just mine. I’ve seen this happen before, where car traders all of a sudden have an increased appetite to swell their older car inventory as rapidly as possible, and this kind of ultra-low-budget leafleting campaign is the usual modus operandi. But what causes this abrupt and surprising upturn in a dealer’s interest in cars like my venerable Rover? Why does everybody suddenly want a car like mine? The sad answer is, simply, that they only love it for its metal. J&S Motors don’t seem to have an official listing online, nor in any of the local classified publications that flow directly into the recycling bin via our letterbox, so I’m not entirely sure what kind of operation they run. Could be a legit start-up for a motor retail business which will grow in size and end up thriving, keeping the citizens of my local area supplied with reliable cars for years to come. Or it could be something else. My theory is that it’s a couple of mates keen to buy up as much scrap steel while prices are on their arse at £25 a ton, then sit on it and wait for a new dawn of Chinese refrigerator manufacture. Scrap steel is on just as much of a rollercoaster on the commodities market as the more attractive metals, so buying while the price is right is definitely a financially savvy thing to do. And my poor old Rover, in its pre-washed state, looking slightly sorry for itself with one clearly visible flat tyre, represents the exact type of car these guys are looking to harvest. In fact, there’s a strong possibility that their leaflet campaign will prompt phone calls from bereaved relatives about Grandad’s Old Granada, or perhaps folk who have finally admitted defeat on an “ongoing project”, leading our scrap hoarders to “just take it away, mate”. The J&S men and their ilk get their treasure and the “vendor” gets a cleared driveway. Win win. Of course, this also puts us Hoons at an advantage. The “worthless” car genuinely is worthless. That Jensen Healey resto-mod project you’ve been waiting for could well be abandoned on a driveway round the corner from you right now. Get your leaflets printed, chaps. (Top image by me, 2nd image From Dreamstime.com, whoever they are. Thanks)
The Sudden Desirability of the Undesired.
RoadworkUK is the online persona of Gianni Hirsch, a tall, awkward gentleman with a home office full of gently decomposing paper and a garage full of worthless scrap metal. He lives in the village of Moistly, which is a safe distance from London and is surrounded by enough water and scenery to be interesting. In another life, he has designed, sold, worked on and written about cars in exchange for small quantities of money.