I’ve told this story before here, but it bears repeating.

The one where my friend went to buy a car, and it was on fire. And the salesguy refused to give her her money back. It was in the 70s, and I was getting ready to head on out of nowheresville and to my first real job in NYC and taking my car with me (sidenote, an El Camino in late 70s NYC was the most impractical car ever, people just used to use the bed as a dumpster; and I more than once found drunks lying in it using the bed as a bed), so my friend needed her own cheap car to get around with.

We went to this sales guy out in even more of the middle of nowhere than our town, she picked out this jeep type thing, and the salesman pulled it around front and left the engine on to warm it up while we went around back to the office. My friend paid up and signed the paperwork, went back around front to collect the car... and it was on fire. Flames shooting out from under the hood and everything. You’d think that the salesman would just refund her, right? Or at very worst see if he could find another vehicle for her? Wrong. He insisted that since she had paid the money, the burning wreck was hers and the cash was his.

Happy ending though, the local fire fighters who turned up to put it out (called, ironically enough, by the salesman himself to stop the fire spreading to the rest of his lot) had a word with him about trying to sell a car that was on fire to two young girls, one of whom was in tears, and “persuaded” him to give the money back. I’ve had plenty of shady dealer experiences since (the guy who sold over priced Jettas, for example, because he knew that there was a major company nearby which insisted that its female junior management drove Jettas, even specifying that metallic blue color) but I’ve never since seen someone try to sell a car that was on fire.