Casa Esperanza is a non profit that provides temporary housing to families whose members are undergoing medical treatment in Albuquerque.

As a part of fundraising they run a car auction of donated vehicles. On Friday, the first of each month, you look at rolling stock, start engines, check doors and windows, look for oil leaks and body damage, check fluids. On Saturday you register, get a bidders number, and follow the auctioneer down a slippery slippery slope.

This Saturday there are fifty bidders and sightseers who move from one car to another as the auction unfolds. Some cars go too cheap, some too expensive. Some of these clunkers have been parked in garages as elderly drivers used them only to go to church. Some are to the point that fixing costs more than keeping. Some have been in wrecks. Some have salvage titles. There are stories behind these vehicles as flamboyant as the stories behind their owners.

The auction is over by noon and successful buyers take their papers to the office, pay fees, and make a white knuckle drive home.

Crazy Ron buys a Cadillac Deville that drives like a charm till it gets a mile from his house. The engine light comes on and the car shuts down from overheating.

” It drives great, ” he tells me at the curb in front of his house the next day.

Auctions are a place where buyers bid against buyers.

It is a spectacle, but buyer beware. Casa Esperanza doesn’t guarantee vehicles.

They move them out.

 

 

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