The sellers parting words were “Good luck”....

A 1998 BMW 528i 5spd. Boston Green on Tan. It had 159,000 miles, the Craigslist ad said “usually starts, sometimes plays dead. I think it’s the battery cable”. Asking price $900.

I was in the position that I needed a cheap car to drive for a few months so I offered him $750 if it ran and drove.

I meet the seller in a nice neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. The guy forgot I was coming and was still sleeping...

Super nice guy, turns out he managed a bar and got home at 5am.

There were dents all around, the trunk lid was replaced, gas door missing, scratches on the roof and the interior looked like someone filmed an episode of Bum Fights inside and gave the fighters coffee to throw on each other.

He explained the battery issue like this “the trunk lid was replaced so I don’t have a key for it, I replaced the battery and forgot to tighten the terminal and then a friend slammed the trunk and jammed the latch so it won’t open”. I had my doubts.

He then told me “if you can get the trunk open there’s a Jager shot machine and Fireball shot machine in there”.

He started it, it ran great, no leaks major or any noises. AC worked, all options worked, even the heated seats worked.

We turned the car off and shut the hood, I gave him the money and signed the title and he went in to go back to sleep.

Then it was dead as a door nail and I was alone.

I called him up, he came out and explained the way he would get it started when it “played dead” was to slam the rear passenger door, or hip check the quarter panel (hence the dents). After a while we got it running.

I made it home, drilled open the trunk (thanks YouTube!) and turns out the shot machines were there, and turns out the issue truly was a loose battery terminal. I replaced the lock with a $4 desk drawer lock from Menards to manually actuate the latch.

Thing ran great for the next 8 months. I replaced the tires and front suspension (it was factory BMW parts still... so it has 160k on it), a few other minor repairs and drove it for 8 months until I ordered my truck and it came in.

Sold it for $1450 on

Craigslist within 3 days.