Article Courtesy of ScrapCarsLegally.com
We all spend a lot of time in our cars, some of us far too much time. It’s our very own personal space on the road. We look after it and wash it (on occasion), adorn it with all manner of technological bling and use it to convey everything from the practical to the valuable. And, it seems, at the end of its life, when the men in hi-viz jackets come to tow a once pride and joy on its last journey to the great crusher/shredder in the sky (or down the road) many of you are still feeling generous. Yes, when the tow truck trundles into the scrap yard with your car behind it you’d be surprised what we find inside, so many contributions to the yard’s Christmas fund or wall of fame!
Most jobs have their perks, but scrappage has the fringe benefit of occasionally surprising you with something exciting, strange or, dare we say it, profitable.
I have found is that when a car is scrapped, a few unusual things occasionally come along for the ride, be they personal, funny or just downright odd.
- The sound of silence. Most of us love to listen to the radio or a CD when we’re trucking along, whizzing up the highway or picking the kids up from school. But, despite the average car stereo being worth in excess of £100 and most far more than that, they are certainly the most common valuable item that we find left behind. It takes no more than a few snips of some wire and an eBay account to recover at least some of the money you’ve invested in your car over the years, so we’re always surprised that more people don’t do just that.
- Cold hard cash. Many cars that come to be scrapped have a few pence in the ashtray, under the seat or in one of the many compartments. But then some, and you’ve got to wonder how wealthy someone needs to be to ignore this, come with more than just coins for the penny jar – some come with enough to fund a decent night out. In fact, though it’s not exactly ‘car’ scrappage, I did hear of someone last year in the US who acquired an old safe for scrappage when its owner died and only by chance found that it contained $2.5m in coins. Now that’s a lucky find.
- Ashes to ashes. It may be understandable that some people might forget a few quid in the car, but what about a family member? Well, that’s exactly what one elderly lady did when she forgot she’d been driving around with her dead husband’s ashes in the boot of her car for two years. Luckily I’m reliably informed that ashes and distraught lady were reunited before too long!
- Pets and pests. One memorable and decidedly lucky find we heard of was when a scrapyard worker discovered a whole litter of cats in a broken down vehicle. Thankfully, though, the kittens were made very welcome at the local animal shelter. That said, they would have come in useful to the scrapyard worker who got shaken up when he crawled through a backseat to pop the trunk open and found it was infested with rats…
From medals and paperwork to pornographic material and drugs, from electronic equipment and living creatures to misplaced jewellery, there’s more than you might imagine left in vehicles that are destined for the crusher. Some scrapyard managers sell their newfound treasures, other display them in cabinets, while still more have a fun story or two to tell. My own personal treasure is a petrol cutter that I found in the boot of a car due to be scrapped and which I still use today. So, thanks one and all for your never-ending generosity, but please do check your vehicle before you give it up for scrap because it could still contain something you want to keep.
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