240sx buyers are a whole other breed… I should know lol.
My sketchiest story isn’t a car buying story, it’s a story about buying an engine. It was an LS1 out of a C5 Vette. My buddy needed the engine for his 240sx (lol) and found a guy with a Corvette in Palmdale that was supposedly parting it out. We set a date with the owner for the next Saturday to come pull the motor. Despite Palmdale being a 2 hour drive from us, the price was too good to pass up. It’s been quite a few years, but it was something like $1000 for the harness and engine, as long as we did the work to pull the engine.
Things started to get sketchy about halfway to the car. The owner told us he wasn’t in town, and his nephew would be at the home to let us into the garage. It wasn’t a huge red flag, but it was the first. We continued on our way, arriving at the house after another hour of driving.
This is where the sketchiness really starts. The car was in a completely empty garage. Empty. No shelves, no washer or dryer, no tools, no posters, unpainted drywall in most spots. It was just the complete car in a back corner of a 2.5 car garage up against the wall on flat tires. We were suspicious, and that was compounded by the fact that the nephew barely said a word to us, he couldn’t answer any of our questions, nor did he have the key to the car like the owner had told us.
We started working on it. Unfortunately, as many of you know, it’s easier to lift the chassis off the engine, but we didn’t have room to do that, as the car was against the wall. We ended up making an attempt at pulling it in the traditional sense, but the flat tires made getting under the car a hassle.
After about 6-7 hours, we left, letting the nephew know we’d come back the next day to finish the job.
After arriving the next day, we started discussing how weird our situation felt. A few hours later, we decided to cut our losses, and leave. The whole situation was off. The house felt abandoned, aside from a TV in the living room and a recliner the nephew was sitting on.
On the way home, we found another seller with an engine ready to go that we bought instead for a few hundred more.
I’m under the impression the car may have been stolen. It had clearly been sitting in this garage for months, untouched, the house was mostly empty, and may have been a grow house or something else related to that.