COAL Hunting: The Facebook Classifieds

When I was a teenager, I LOVED to pick up any newsprint auto trader publications I found. Some were free, and some charged. My dad would bring them home for me if he saw them out somewhere. But they all crammed in page after page of used cars. Some were great, some not so much.

My dad also subscribed to Hemmings for years, which would entertain me for DAYS with each new issue. I still remember the feel of the pages, almost tissue paper thin. I still like HMN and their daily email newsletter/ad sampling is a treat. Fast forward 30 years, and we now have a variety of online marketplaces.

One of my favorites here lately is the marketplace feature on Facebook. If you are not familiar with it, it does not appear on a computer browser version of Facebook as far as I can determine. This is a feature unique to the mobile edition/app version of Facebook, so I can only see it on my iPhone when I open Facebook.

It has become something of an addiction to me, because of the random nature of what appears there. You can search by name of vehicle or any other term, of course, and you can set what the search radius is. I have mine set at 50 miles, and somehow that makes it all the more interesting to know this bizarre stuff is near me. I have to force myself not to search up Mercedes rescue COALs in my spare moments.

Here’s some actual samples from the past couple of days, the names and locations have been cropped out to protect the innocent. Enjoy! And tell us if you would go look at or test drive any of these. I’m interested in more than a couple:

Is this the electric version of the Beetle?

After going on in glowing terms of how wonderfully this Ford Fusion is equipped, the post did state “has minor damage on the driver side front quarter panel”. You think?

The rare MG Convent.

This person gets points for being very honest and thorough with their Grand Caravan listing!

I don’t know what in the world is going on here. Maybe one of you know how to explain this? Is that strap aft of the front wheel holding it all together?

I want this, very badly. They claim it runs and drives fine.

You see a lot of misspelled words here. May be the local populace, or it may be autocorrect, but I tend to think it is the former.

One of my favorites I have seen was “ottermeter” for odometer. I tried to find that ad for you but it’s gone. It was for a 560SEL like my recent COAL, coincidentally. It’s important to keep count of your otters, after all.

This ad recounts the reliability and great gas mileage of this Scion, and ends with “Does need a little TLC”.

This is tempting. Says there is a broken tie rod that must be fixed and it needs tires before it can be driven, but otherwise everything works. That’s a lot of road rash on the front end, but it’s not a deal breaker at that price.

This speaks to me for some reason. Giving the headlights an “angry” look with spray paint is not my thing, but some Goof Off would clean them up.

This is probably worth going to see in person! I am not sure how I feel knowing someone who would do this lives within 50 miles of me.

This could be very interesting! The ad admits it is nowhere near finished, but they’ve got it started for you.

Now we’re talking. Maybe this is my next rescue COAL. Ad claims it drives and runs well, everything works. A two decade old BMW 7 Series sadly is worth about this much. A 3 Series would have a larger audience and probably command a little more.

This is a V8 too! Looks very original and unmolested in the other pictures.

Not really my thing, but it would be a nice basis for a weekend cruiser if you’re handy. Ad claims it’s been sitting under a carport for 10 years and lot drives.

I have no idea what this is, and I’m not sure the seller does either.

This seller thoughtfully explains of this $250, 25 year old Accord, “This is not going to be a car you can drive to work, it’s for parts only”.

This seller is from the less said, the better school of thought. “Runs great” is the only caption!