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U3A Writing: Coming Forth

Barrty Mansell tells a cautionary tale about a car salesman.

“This is a one owner car that was driven by a retired lady teacher only on Sundays; always garaged and she never drove off bitumen roads in the entire time of her ownership; it has been regularly serviced by the local dealer who has maintained it to the highest standard possible.”

I listened to the salesman from the comfort of the customer lounge at Downtown Motors, I believe his father was known as ‘Truthful Jones’, I recalled that he never told a lie but then he never said anything that didn’t help his cause.

This chap obviously learnt the basic points of salesmanship from his father, he continued, “Look at the beautiful leather upholstery on those seats, magnificent isn’t it?”

The old couple’s eyes lit up at the splendour of it. The lady commented to her husband, “Its lovely isn’t it Fred?”

Fred nodded agreement.

Standing back the salesman suggested, “The car has just been touched up and polished which brings out the stunning richness of the Maroon paint, like new wouldn’t you say?”

Right on cue Fred replied, “Like new.”

It just so happens I knew the car and its owner quite well, being my neighbour from across the street. Yes, it was a one owner car, and yes, she was a retired teacher. But “ a lady”? that stretched credibility a bit. She may have used it only on Sunday any other time she would have under the weather despite her employment, every Sunday she visited her poor old mum in the retirement home. Always garaged? As the School is just through her back fence, her car was not needed for transport to work.

And while she may not have driven off the bitumen, her son Sebastian often practiced his rally skills on the back roads around the district in the car. I believe that he might become a champion if he can manage to keep it on the roads and tracks. His nickname is ‘Loeb’, after the World Rally Champion Sebastian Loeb.

I agree the car was serviced by the dealer on a regular basis and their Panel Shop did a fantastic job in keeping the car looking original; however I doubt there is a single outer panel or light that is original, and clearly their technicians have done a fine job in keeping it going after the thrashing it got through the week.

The reason the car was in the used car lot was simple, firstly the lady had lost her licence for drink driving, and secondly Sebastian lost his following a rather nasty accident when following a late night adventure coming out onto the highway from Forest Road he nudged an interstate Coach off the road into a culvert. Fortunately no one was seriously injured.

Some would say the salesman had a vested interest in the sale of the car as he is ina rather intimate relationship with the lady and thoughtfully offered to help dispose of it. Seems her alcoholic past led to her dismissal by the School Council and her income dwindled.

I was pleased the old couple wandered off after being told the price, Fred commented, “Bit rich for me.”

Leaving the salesman ever hopeful of finding another buyer coming forth.


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