How to read car ads

What the ad says… What the ad really means

rough condition… too bad to lie about
parts car… beyond repair
immaculate… recently washed
concours… recently waxed
engine quiet… if you use 90-weight oil
needs minor overhaul… needs engine
needs major overhaul… Phone the junkyard
burns no oil… (it all leaks out)
rebuilt engine… Cleaned the spark plugs.
Drive it away… I live on a hill.
Drive it anywhere… (within 10 miles)
desirable classic… No one wants it.
rare classic… No one wanted it even when it was new.
stored 20 years… (in a farmer’s field)
ran when stored… Won’t start.
never apart… Bolts too rounded to loosen.
solid as a rock… rusted solid
restored, with 0 miles… Won’t start.
restored, with 2 miles… Won’t stay running.
older restoration… First owner washed it.
good investment… Can’t be worth much less.
no time to restore it… Can’t obtain parts.
95% complete… Other 5% doesn’t exist.
Other interests conflict… Spouse’s ultimatum: “Either that #!!@&##thing goes or I go!”
Doesn’t smoke… when it’s out of oil.
New slick racing tires… I burned the tread down to the belts.
Re-upholstered… New K-mart seat covers and floor mats.
Major preformance upgrades… Bolted a new exhaust tip on the tailpipe.
Kept in garage… The scratches are from my cat.
Pampered/adult driven… I’m 17 and I think it’s about to die.
Complete restoration… New Earl Scheib paint.
New paint… Don’t let it get wet.
Sporty… It’s got a floor shifter.
Family car… There’s still food under the seats.
Good school/work car… More dents than a golf ball.
Worth $xxx–sacrifice for $xx… I can’t believe I paid $xx for it myself.
Lots of extras… Everything that fell off/out is in the trunk.
Quiet engine… You can’t hear it over the broken headers.
Traction control… Starts moving only in 2nd gear.
Race modified… It’s got Japanese stickers on the back window.
Exotic… It leaves a funny taste in your mouth.
Precision machined… I used a degreaser.
FAST… -ER than my mom’s Geo.