Should I give my old clunker away?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jan 01, 1990

Dear Tom and Ray:

Can you help me find a useful fate for my 1969 English Ford Cortina 1600 Deluxe? I've owned this car since it was new. Within a few years it became difficult to find parts for it and now it sits idle for want of a master brake cylinder. A few months ago I asked how much a junk dealer would give me for it. He said he would charge me $10 to haul it away--to the crusher, not the salvage yard! I still see a rare, occasional Cortina on the streets, and would be willing to give mine away or sell it very cheaply to someone who would make good use of it. I just can't believe that a perfectly good car with one broken part has no future other than the crusher. What do you suggest?

RAY: There are only two options open to you, Catherine. They both require spotting another Cortina. Next time someone drives by in one, chase him. He should be easy to catch, he'll be driving a Cortina.

TOM: When he stops at a light, padlock the front bumper of your Cortina to the rear bumper of his. If he's got most of his marbles (which is unlikely since he's still driving a Cortina), he'll realize this is his lucky day, shake your hand, and walk away happy that his rustbucket will be put to good use. You take the spare Cortina home, and you'll have all the parts you need to keep your car running.

RAY: If plan "A" fails, and he puts up a fuss, YOU to shake HIS hand and walk away. He's certainly having similar problems getting parts, and should be delighted to park your rustbucket in his side yard--right next to his '65 AMC Ambassador and '67 Volkswagen Fastback.

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