In 2010 I was young and dumb and had purchased a v6 AWD Magnum. Great car, cheap interior, surprisingly durable. Gas hungry, though. Since I did a lot of driving, I started hunting around trying to find a cheap, fuel efficient car. Not content to buy myself something common, I set out on a search for a diesel Isuzu I-Mark. And that winter I found one. In a small town, 20 miles north of nowhere.

I convinced a friend of mine to make the 4 hour drive with me across the state, so I could see the car. Upon arrival, I meet the seller, his sister, and her kids (who look like him, but maybe that was just the background banjo sounds getting to me). The car was precisely what you’d expect: small, cheap, and with studded tires, it sounded like a washing machine full of rock polishers. The heater core leaked, but we’ll get to that. The seller wanted $800 for it, but I talked him down to $600 and we had ourselves a deal.

So here’s where things go from hill billy to worse: The seller’s sister liked my friends shoes. My friend advised her where she had bought the shoes (Wal-Mart). Stating that the closest Wal-Mart was too far to travel to purchase them, she begins attempting to purchase the badly beat-up, several-years-old pair of shoes off my friend’s feet. Skin visibly crawling, she refused offers which eventually rose to $100 and a pair of slippers to wear home. With the paperwork signed and keys handed over, we rapidly fled from that house.

The story doesn’t quite end there, though. This is winter in an area where evening temperatures regularly drop to 10 Degrees. Luckily, it wasn’t snowing, but it was getting very cold, very quickly... and I had a four hour drive to make with no heat, and a heater core that filled the windshield with this sickly-sweet fog, necessitating the need to constantly wipe it down while driving, and leave the windows rolled down for ventilation.

I did make it home successfully, with only mild frost bite in my extremities, and a cheap car to show for it!