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Old 06-14-2005, 00:28   #1 (permalink)
Gomer Einstein
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Found an abandoned Volvo

Been making monthly stops at a business for a year and a half, noticed
this clean, '86 760 Turbo Intercooled wagon always parked there, and
just figured it belonged to one of the employees.
Then it occured to me it never seemed to move, and on my last stop I
asked an employee about the car.
I was told that someone ababdoned it there more than a year ago. It's
still unlocked, with some little kids' toys and stuff in it--looked like
a mom's car.
They had called the cops about it a couple of times, but there it
still sits.
I took out the registration and called 411 to get a phone number
corresponding to the name, and was told it's unlisted; the address is
about 50 miles away.
The car has no rust or dents, every option, and 203k miles.
Obviously nobody cares about the car, and I want it, preferably for
little or nothing.
A car dealer friend of mine said the most sensible thing to do would
be to just go to the owner's residence (if they still live there) and
try to get the key, title, etc,. and find out the story on the car,
what's wrong with it, etc.
Which makes sense, BUT:
Maybe they're under the assumption that it's been towed and they are
now obligated for a bunch of fees for storage, towing, etc.
But that's not the case: The business owner has just let it sit
there, all this time. And I'm sure it will continue to, indefinitely.
I'd like suggestions on the optimal way for me to procure this car,
possibly getting it for nothing, without making a mis-step and botching
the whole thing.

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Old 06-14-2005, 00:28   #2 (permalink)
Pat Quadlander
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Re: Found an abandoned Volvo

I would go to the owner's address, tell them I'm interested in their car,
try to find out if there is any lien or obligation on the car, and offer
them $50 for the car, with title signed over to you. I might try to offer
the additional incentive information that the car will likely get towed away
eventually, with little likelihood that they will get anything. Be careful
on this last point, as it inherently treads on ethical points. Be honest
about your own interests.

If they've really abandoned the car, your proposition of $50 to them adheres
to the sound principle of a "win-win" game. No matter what the condition of
the car, you will have at least $50 in value for you to use or part out as
you please.

After all, we are civilized Volvo owners, not GM SUV animals. (Just a
little jest).


"Gomer Einstein" <buzzbomb99@webtv.net> wrote in message
news:7983-42A789B7-206@storefull-3272.bay.webtv.net...
> Been making monthly stops at a business for a year and a half, noticed
> this clean, '86 760 Turbo Intercooled wagon always parked there, and
> just figured it belonged to one of the employees.
> Then it occured to me it never seemed to move, and on my last stop I
> asked an employee about the car.
> I was told that someone ababdoned it there more than a year ago. It's
> still unlocked, with some little kids' toys and stuff in it--looked like
> a mom's car.
> They had called the cops about it a couple of times, but there it
> still sits.
> I took out the registration and called 411 to get a phone number
> corresponding to the name, and was told it's unlisted; the address is
> about 50 miles away.
> The car has no rust or dents, every option, and 203k miles.
> Obviously nobody cares about the car, and I want it, preferably for
> little or nothing.
> A car dealer friend of mine said the most sensible thing to do would
> be to just go to the owner's residence (if they still live there) and
> try to get the key, title, etc,. and find out the story on the car,
> what's wrong with it, etc.
> Which makes sense, BUT:
> Maybe they're under the assumption that it's been towed and they are
> now obligated for a bunch of fees for storage, towing, etc.
> But that's not the case: The business owner has just let it sit
> there, all this time. And I'm sure it will continue to, indefinitely.
> I'd like suggestions on the optimal way for me to procure this car,
> possibly getting it for nothing, without making a mis-step and botching
> the whole thing.
>



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Old 06-14-2005, 00:28   #3 (permalink)
James Sweet
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Posts: n/a
Re: Found an abandoned Volvo


"Gomer Einstein" <buzzbomb99@webtv.net> wrote in message
news:7983-42A789B7-206@storefull-3272.bay.webtv.net...
> Been making monthly stops at a business for a year and a half, noticed
> this clean, '86 760 Turbo Intercooled wagon always parked there, and
> just figured it belonged to one of the employees.
> Then it occured to me it never seemed to move, and on my last stop I
> asked an employee about the car.
> I was told that someone ababdoned it there more than a year ago. It's
> still unlocked, with some little kids' toys and stuff in it--looked like
> a mom's car.
> They had called the cops about it a couple of times, but there it
> still sits.
> I took out the registration and called 411 to get a phone number
> corresponding to the name, and was told it's unlisted; the address is
> about 50 miles away.
> The car has no rust or dents, every option, and 203k miles.
> Obviously nobody cares about the car, and I want it, preferably for
> little or nothing.
> A car dealer friend of mine said the most sensible thing to do would
> be to just go to the owner's residence (if they still live there) and
> try to get the key, title, etc,. and find out the story on the car,
> what's wrong with it, etc.
> Which makes sense, BUT:
> Maybe they're under the assumption that it's been towed and they are
> now obligated for a bunch of fees for storage, towing, etc.
> But that's not the case: The business owner has just let it sit
> there, all this time. And I'm sure it will continue to, indefinitely.
> I'd like suggestions on the optimal way for me to procure this car,
> possibly getting it for nothing, without making a mis-step and botching
> the whole thing.
>



Talk to the business, I believe there's a way they can legally sieze the car
in exchange for storing it, at which point they should be able to apply for
lost title and transfer it to you.

Once you have it in your name, it's just a matter of going to the dealer
with the VIN number to purchase a new key.


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Old 06-14-2005, 00:28   #4 (permalink)
Chip C
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Posts: n/a
Re: Found an abandoned Volvo


Pat Quadlander wrote:
> I would go to the owner's address, tell them I'm interested in their car,
> try to find out if there is any lien or obligation on the car, and offer
> them $50 for the car, with title signed over to you. I might try to offer
> the additional incentive information that the car will likely get towed away
> eventually, with little likelihood that they will get anything. Be careful
> on this last point, as it inherently treads on ethical points. Be honest
> about your own interests.
>
> If they've really abandoned the car, your proposition of $50 to them adheres
> to the sound principle of a "win-win" game. No matter what the condition of
> the car, you will have at least $50 in value for you to use or part out as
> you please.
>
> After all, we are civilized Volvo owners, not GM SUV animals. (Just a
> little jest).
>
>
> "Gomer Einstein" <buzzbomb99@webtv.net> wrote in message
> news:7983-42A789B7-206@storefull-3272.bay.webtv.net...
> > Been making monthly stops at a business for a year and a half, noticed
> > this clean, '86 760 Turbo Intercooled wagon always parked there, and
> > just figured it belonged to one of the employees.
> > Then it occured to me it never seemed to move, and on my last stop I
> > asked an employee about the car.
> > I was told that someone ababdoned it there more than a year ago. It's
> > still unlocked, with some little kids' toys and stuff in it--looked like
> > a mom's car.
> > They had called the cops about it a couple of times, but there it
> > still sits.
> > I took out the registration and called 411 to get a phone number
> > corresponding to the name, and was told it's unlisted; the address is
> > about 50 miles away.
> > The car has no rust or dents, every option, and 203k miles.
> > Obviously nobody cares about the car, and I want it, preferably for
> > little or nothing.
> > A car dealer friend of mine said the most sensible thing to do would
> > be to just go to the owner's residence (if they still live there) and
> > try to get the key, title, etc,. and find out the story on the car,
> > what's wrong with it, etc.
> > Which makes sense, BUT:
> > Maybe they're under the assumption that it's been towed and they are
> > now obligated for a bunch of fees for storage, towing, etc.
> > But that's not the case: The business owner has just let it sit
> > there, all this time. And I'm sure it will continue to, indefinitely.
> > I'd like suggestions on the optimal way for me to procure this car,
> > possibly getting it for nothing, without making a mis-step and botching
> > the whole thing.
> >


Leaving a valuable car (with kids' toys!) abandoned for a year is a
nut-bar thing to do, and you should take this as a guide to the people
you will be dealing with. You will find yourself in the middle of some
hopelessly disfunctional mess, likely a broken marriage mired in spite,
mental health problems and (most relevant for you) legal wrangles that
prohibit any disposition of assets. Or perhaps the car represents a
horrible personal tragedy for them (hint: the kids toys); perhaps
they'd be glad to get rid of it, but maybe they will resent any mention
of it. I mean, ask yourself what it would take to make you walk away
from a perfectly good car.

Which is not to say it isn't worth a try, but I would not expect to
find a rational well-balanced person who's been just waiting for
someone to show up with $50.

I would also recommend that you offer them, if not book value,
something high enough that an impartial observer would not accuse you
of gross exploitation. Most of us would be happy to get a car for, say,
half its real worth, adjusted for the risk you're taking in not knowing
its history and the costs of renewing registration etc.

Chip C

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Old 06-14-2005, 00:28   #5 (permalink)
Gomer Einstein
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Posts: n/a
Re: Found an abandoned Volvo

I've been under the assumption all along that there was something
wrong with the car which disabled it there.
And yes, I agree that no normal person walks away from a car, good or
otherwise--unlocked, plates & registration intact, etc.
And I was NEVER enthusiastic about showing up on the doorstep of
someone like that.

I went to the Motor Vehicle Dep't. for that county and told them the
story and they knew which car I was referring to, and suggested I send
them a registered letter stating my interest; and if it came back to me
(unopened, I presume she meant) then I could say I tried to contact
them, after which time I could have the authorities declare it
abandoned.

But I had to talk to the mgr of the business first, and he was
apprehensive about doing anything with it at all, since
1.) He owned the place with several others and wanted to talk to them
first,
2.) They didn't even really care that the thing was sitting there
(obviously) and thus didn't care about helping anyone else procure it,
3.) He thought his associates would be reluctant to do anything with
it since it's been sitting there for so long that EVERYBODY'S seen it
and then they'd be 'involved' in someone else glomming onto it (I know
how lame that is)

But here's the good part: I went to the town which the registration
gave as owners' address, and asked at a convenience store where their
street was. She said it's out on the "settlement."
That's right, kiddies, it's out on an Indian reservation. And I do
mean OUT.
Since it was still somewhat near the store I was at, I thought I'd
just drive out there, never having been to such a fabled wonderland.
As the gravel road wound ever deeper into wilderness, hovels on one
side, swamp on the other, I had an epiphany: These are my people!!
No, actually I deemed the idea officially uncool and don't know if I'm
going to pursue it anymore.
There wasn't gonna be any knocking on doors happenin', I'll tell you
that much.
I guess my intention was to somehow actually contact the owner, which
is the only thing that would circumvent the management's reluctance to
do anything with it.
But it wouldn't appear that there's too many normal people in the
equation.

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Old 06-14-2005, 00:28   #6 (permalink)
Gomer Einstein
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Posts: n/a
Re: Found an abandoned Volvo

I guess another aspect of it for me was that I didn't really want to
see it get junked, picked apart, etc.
The private party value on Kelley Bluebook was $1650.00; a new
transmission (which it could very well have required) would be more than
that.
So even if I got it for free, I wouldn't say I cut a fat hog.

As my dad once said, "You can get a lot of money in 'em real quick."

The whole thing was just kind of a whim: you see something and get
kind of excited about it, etc., then it turns into an oddysey, then you
just chuck the whole idea.
Been there done that?

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Old 06-14-2005, 00:28   #7 (permalink)
James Sweet
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Posts: n/a
Re: Found an abandoned Volvo


"Gomer Einstein" <buzzbomb99@webtv.net> wrote in message
news:6825-42A8E6CE-277@storefull-3276.bay.webtv.net...
> I've been under the assumption all along that there was something
> wrong with the car which disabled it there.
> And yes, I agree that no normal person walks away from a car, good or
> otherwise--unlocked, plates & registration intact, etc.
> And I was NEVER enthusiastic about showing up on the doorstep of
> someone like that.
>
> I went to the Motor Vehicle Dep't. for that county and told them the
> story and they knew which car I was referring to, and suggested I send
> them a registered letter stating my interest; and if it came back to me
> (unopened, I presume she meant) then I could say I tried to contact
> them, after which time I could have the authorities declare it
> abandoned.
>
> But I had to talk to the mgr of the business first, and he was
> apprehensive about doing anything with it at all, since
> 1.) He owned the place with several others and wanted to talk to them
> first,
> 2.) They didn't even really care that the thing was sitting there
> (obviously) and thus didn't care about helping anyone else procure it,
> 3.) He thought his associates would be reluctant to do anything with
> it since it's been sitting there for so long that EVERYBODY'S seen it
> and then they'd be 'involved' in someone else glomming onto it (I know
> how lame that is)
>
> But here's the good part: I went to the town which the registration
> gave as owners' address, and asked at a convenience store where their
> street was. She said it's out on the "settlement."
> That's right, kiddies, it's out on an Indian reservation. And I do
> mean OUT.
> Since it was still somewhat near the store I was at, I thought I'd
> just drive out there, never having been to such a fabled wonderland.
> As the gravel road wound ever deeper into wilderness, hovels on one
> side, swamp on the other, I had an epiphany: These are my people!!
> No, actually I deemed the idea officially uncool and don't know if I'm
> going to pursue it anymore.
> There wasn't gonna be any knocking on doors happenin', I'll tell you
> that much.
> I guess my intention was to somehow actually contact the owner, which
> is the only thing that would circumvent the management's reluctance to
> do anything with it.
> But it wouldn't appear that there's too many normal people in the
> equation.
>


Ok ignore the business, send the owner a registered letter, once you've got
that part settled you can remove the car from the business without their
involvement. Keep at it and chances are the car will be yours, I know I
would, but then I've been looking for a turbo wagon for a while now.



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Old 06-14-2005, 00:28   #8 (permalink)
James Sweet
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Posts: n/a
Re: Found an abandoned Volvo


"Gomer Einstein" <buzzbomb99@webtv.net> wrote in message
news:6826-42A8E8AF-66@storefull-3276.bay.webtv.net...
> I guess another aspect of it for me was that I didn't really want to
> see it get junked, picked apart, etc.
> The private party value on Kelley Bluebook was $1650.00; a new
> transmission (which it could very well have required) would be more than
> that.



Huh? They made a zillion of those transmissions, the 240's used them as
well, you can get them at junkyards for a couple hundred bucks or less. Heck
I finally junked a perfectly good one with a shot tailshaft bushing because
I couldn't get anyone to take it away for free.


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Old 06-14-2005, 00:28   #9 (permalink)
James Goforth
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Re: Found an abandoned Volvo

I guess I wasn't thinking about putting in a used one since there are
NO volvos in any of the three the junkyards around here.
Perhaps if I checked the larger cities I could get one, although I've
never put a used transmission in anything before, in this case I'd make
an exception.
Assuming that's what's even wrong with it to begin with.
There was a partial bottle of ATF on the passenger side floormat.
Nixt to a not-yet-filled-out "No-Contact" (restraining) order. No
kidding.
Chip (the previous poster) was very astute in his assesment of the
situation. And I appreciate it.

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Old 06-14-2005, 00:28   #10 (permalink)
James Sweet
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Posts: n/a
Re: Found an abandoned Volvo


"James Goforth" <jamiegoforth@webtv.net> wrote in message
news:7983-42A98E35-492@storefull-3272.bay.webtv.net...
> I guess I wasn't thinking about putting in a used one since there are
> NO volvos in any of the three the junkyards around here.
> Perhaps if I checked the larger cities I could get one, although I've
> never put a used transmission in anything before, in this case I'd make
> an exception.
> Assuming that's what's even wrong with it to begin with.
> There was a partial bottle of ATF on the passenger side floormat.
> Nixt to a not-yet-filled-out "No-Contact" (restraining) order. No
> kidding.
> Chip (the previous poster) was very astute in his assesment of the
> situation. And I appreciate it.
>


Might just have a leak, I wouldn't be surprised if the fuel pump relay, hall
sensor or air mass meter failed.


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