Sunday, August 24, 2003

Bidders purchase 'steals' at car sale



By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP - Audrey Sandlin of Milford came looking for an inexpensive car for her grandson and thought she got a good deal - $800 for a 1993 Ford Taurus.

Nostalgia was the main motivation for baby boomer Ken Sallee of West Chester, who paid $6,450 for a 1966 Ford Mustang.

"It's a collector's car," the 50-year-old Sallee said of the Mustang with 96,000 miles. "It's in really nice shape. I would have probably went up to $8,500. With the shape the car's in, it's worth $12,000 to $14,000."

Sandlin and Sallee got their good deals Saturday morning at the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office auction of abandoned and forfeited vehicles.

Twenty-one vehicles on display in the parking lot of the sheriff's patrol headquarters on Hamilton Avenue went to the highest bidder.

About 150 prospective bidders and onlookers had an hour to inspect the vehicles - with their hoods up and engines running - before the auction began at 9 a.m.

Auctioneer Ken Davis of Davis & Associates auctioneers and appraisers in Fairfield advised the crowd that all vehicles would be sold "as is."

"You pay by cash or check - a good check," Davis said. "This is not the place to pay with a bad check."

One vehicle that attracted a lot of attention was a 1988 BMW 750IL loaded with all sorts of audio and video equipment, including two CD players, a flip-down television and high-wattage amplifiers.

Mark Hodge, 54, of Colerain Township was the top bidder for the BMW ($5,600).

Typically, two vehicle auctions are held each year.

Proceeds go to the sheriff's office (40 percent), the Cincinnati Police Department (40 percent) and the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office.

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E-mail bweathers@enquirer.com




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