Craigslist “No Way It’ll Sell” Car Posting Of The Day

Craigslist might be credited for killing the newspaper publishing industry, but it also has provided journalists like me a seemingly endless supply of stories. So here is my favorite Craigslist auto ad of the day:

1998 ford contour svt 2.5l v6 5spd 115k new engine at 90k new trans at 98k and new clutch at 110k also had alt,batt(interstate),water pump and housing (ford oem part) new front brakes all of these were done between 100k and 110k. new tires 3k ago toyo t1s car runs and drives great this car needs nothing just change the oil every 3k miles!!!

car is loaded leather,sun roof,a/c,pw,pdl,tilt wheel,power drivers seat, roughly only 5000 red 1998 svt contours made build number for this one is #4404, 200hp v6 ford performance tuned suspension handles great mechanic owned and taken care of!!!!! call for futher details i know alot about these cars also 253 335 8118 must sell $4300.00 firm!!!!

Kick me in the muffler and call me Sparky if I’m off-base here, but doesn’t it seem rather foolish to use “must sell” and “firm” so closely in the same sentence? I mean, look pal, if you need to sell the thing more than people need to buy it (and who really needs to buy a twelve-year old Ford?) you don’t get to call the final price here.

Oh I know, he’s convinced that this is a desirable collector car…after all, it has “SVT” in the name. We should take his word, because he knows “alot” about these cars…as opposed to knowing a lot about proper spelling, punctuation or writing conventions.

Plus it’s rare, right? He claims 5000 red 1998 SVT Contours made, which means his is one of the 44-percent of 11,445 total SVT Contour units made that were red. Insinuating that this car is somehow rare is laughable.

Don’t get me wrong, the Contour wasn’t a bad car, but even in SVT form it wasn’t really special. We’re not talking about a SVT Cobra or a Lightning. Its 2.5-liter V6 produced just 195 horsepower and 165 ft-lbs of torque (200/169 in the final year 2000 incarnation), which meant it was basically just keeping up with standard V6 offerings from Oldsmobile, Honda and others. Thanks to a $23,040 sticker price, it was hard for Ford to find buyers. In fact, I bet there weren’t more than 2000 people willing to buy those 5000 red Contours in 1998 without a trunk-full of incentives. The whole Contour model line was axed in America after 2000 due to lack of sales.

At the end of the day, the advertiser is stating he is firm on what is considered top-end retail book value for a niche-market car that he admits he must sell. The car isn’t low mileage, isn’t showroom condition and doesn’t come with a warranty. In other words, this seller is high as Bill Maher on Buy-One-Get-One-Free Day at the L.A. pot dispensary.

I hope his family’s livelihood isn’t riding on the sale of this car, because if so, they are screwed worse than a BP gas station in Louisiana.


11 Responses to Craigslist “No Way It’ll Sell” Car Posting Of The Day

  1. My favorite part is the “this car needs nothing just change the oil every 3k miles!!!”

    …Plus a new engine at+90k, new trans at +98k, new clutch at +110k, new alternator, water pump, and brakes at some point.

  2. Max says:

    Sorry, but if he’d been changing oil regularly at 3000 miles, I don’t think it’d need a new engine; and the transmission? He musta dogged the heck outa the car or maybe it’s just a pos to start with.

  3. Ryan says:

    First of all just because it says must sell doesnt mean it has to go for cheap. And a far as it being rare yes they are rare as they only made them for 3 years and a total of about 5000 in 1999 and 2000. How many red cobalts does chevy make? Hoe many red civics are running around? I bet waaaay more than that. They handle great and no they arent as fast as a cobra or wrx but they are faster than most cars in its class. And did i mention they sound great with aftermarket exhaust?! I own one myself and its been a very reliable car. So before you go talking trash about a car someone is selling know a little more about the car before hand!

  4. Over here is Ryan. Over there is the point of the story. Seems the former is entirely missing the latter!

    Ryan, we hope you’re not trying to support a family with the money you make off your reading comprehension, logic or debate skills.

  5. Drew says:

    I am almost embarrassed typing this, for voicing argument with the ignorance of this article and most of those that have responded.

    To Chuck and Max: The seller stated that he already replaced these parts, therefore the car is now mechanically in good shape, and should only need regular maintenance. No where did he state that he changed the oil every 3000 prior to the engine/ tranny being replaced.

    To fourwheeldrift: Wow, attacking Ryan for defending a car that is obviously being bashed by the article, the seller doesn’t make any crazy false accusations. So hes a little high on the price, that don’t mean it wont sell to the right buyer. And your criticizing Ryan about reading comprehension!?

    The point of the story? Is there a point to bashing something you clearly know nearly nothing about? Maybe you should use some logic here.

    As far as the authors point of view on the SVT Contour, you definitely need to know more about what you write about, that is, if you don’t want to come off as completely unprofessional in your work.

    Now, the SVT Contour may not be as powerful or well know as the Cobra or Lightning, but as far as power in contrast to weight, it was a very quick car. It was originally designed to be a 4 cylinder only car, then they stuffed the small v6 in it, and then SVT made more out of that V6. BTW it had a 2.5l v6 not a 2.4. And yes GM did have a 200hp V6 but that was a big 3.8l v6, so ford made as much power with much less, not to mention the size of cars they put the 3.8 in = slower and crap for handling.

    While the Cobra and Lightning may get down the 1/4 mile quicker, (1/4 ’98 V8 RWD Cobra= 14.0sec vs. V6 FWD Contour= 15.2sec) They have nothing on the Contour in the twisties. I personally think racing around a road coarse is much more fun and challenging than a few seconds going straight in one direction.

    As far as rarity, the author of this article if very mistaken, there were 11,445 total SVT contours made in all 3 years, and compired to almost every other car out there, any SVT contour is going to be fairly rare whether its T-red or T-green. For instance 13,776 Cobras produced in 2003 alone!

    Sure, the Contour is getting old now, but back in the day, this thing was dead even with BMW’s M3, and at thousands less. And with the guys modding these cars, they can whoop some cobras, EVOs and STIs, when you throw a 3.0l Duratec and a turbo on them, making close to 400hp.

    So just because the Contour wasn’t very popular, does not mean it is any less of a car. There are far more Cavaliers out there then Cobras, does that mean Cobras are junk? No.

    Do some reading next time guys!

  6. Hap says:

    Drew nailed it. The ad is a good one with a lot of disclosure and little superlative puffery.

  7. Lane says:

    wow!!! i love drew’s comeback, as an owner of these car i can tell you this is far from any other contour, ford, or even other v6’s… this svt doesn’t deserve the bashing from all of these un-educated people, i’m not saying that he inst a little high on the price, but with all the replacement parts….its damn close to being worth it…

    if you ever get the chance to drive one, take it…because i promise you exhaust sound alone, will have you hoping to track down of these “not so special” svt’s down….

  8. Danny says:

    Hmmm… crickets now. Lol. This is by far my favorite car of all time and to find one all in one piece and well maintained makes it even more rare…

  9. Amyn says:

    This blogger or “journalist” needs to learn some more research techniques since this is all very easily found information. Since Drew already showed you that the cars handling, power to weight was great in its time, let me help break down how “horrible this 2.5 duratec v6 engine” really is after adding that this car is still much alive in a much better form known as the Mondeo in the Euro market. Well over 5 years after this article has been written. Back to the engine – the 2.5 and 3.0 Duratec are one in the same minus the bore. Also used in some other cars like the Noble M12, Rossion Q1 with some being modified to well over 1000 whp. Did you know that the Ford 6.0L is also referred to as two duratec motors put together. Not to mention this motor is inside Aston Martins. Lets not forget to mention the 2.5 Duratec took many awards in its days for some of the best motors in its class and then did the same again when it came out again as an SVT. But hey Im not a blogger just a regular Joe Schmoe!

  10. Recycled Dinosaur Power says:

    TL;DR: Whiney blogger needed to support the family this month.

    The CSVT isn’t for everyone, but when you get bit by the love bug by one, you’re likely to own several.

  11. CSVT fans need to re-read the article. For years this has been putting people’s panties in a bunch, but only because they are mistaking this as picking on their favorite cars.

    For instance, Amyn quotes in his reply that the article says: “horrible this 2.5 duratec V6 engine”. Hoss,

      this statement never appeared in the article


    LET’S MAKE THIS CLEAR CSVT junkies: The point of the story all those years ago: a guy, like many others on CL, writes an ad full of contradictions — and we made fun of it.

    For instance,
    -He claims “car needs nothing just change the oil every 3k miles!!!” right after explaining the maintenance he’s done, because it’s been necessary! (“115k new engine at 90k new trans at 98k and new clutch at 110k also had alt,batt(interstate),water pump and housing (ford oem part) new front brakes all of these were done between 100k and 110k. “) All the information is great, but to claim any car at 115K miles just needs oil every 3000 miles is simply not accurate, especially after providing proof that things wear out. Has nothing to do with it being a CSVT, as it just as well could have been a Chevy Silverado or a Subaru.

    “must sell $4300.00 firm!!!!”
    This is just basic sales and marketing: he who needs to sell or buy more than the other party loses leverage in price.

    AGAIN: I know everyone hates when they perceive their baby being called ugly, but I never called the CSVT ugly:

    Don’t get me wrong, the Contour wasn’t a bad car,”

    It was a fine car, just nothing insanely special. Again, folks, bench racing is fine, but in terms of real actual new car buying, the CSVT was basically in the same breath as an Olds Intrigue, which was one of Olds’ best cars in decades…but it also was in the same league as a Maxima or V6 Accord. In its case, being rare will actually hurt its eventual value, because so few people know about them. Doesn’t mean it’s a bad car, but there are plenty of people who still say how the AMX or the Avanti were better cars than Corvettes, and that they were rarer, so should be worth more money, but that’s not the case. If you’re banking on CSVTs being valuable or desirable to a wide market, history simply isn’t with you. That doesn’t mean you’re a bad person for liking this car — we own plenty of cars other people laugh at. We still like them. Nobody is telling you can’t enjoy a CSVT! Just don’t get your hopes up of selling to multiple bidders above your asking price when you need to sell quickly and you want above market value…just like if you’re trying to unload ANY car.

    At the end of the day, the article was simply an example of a guy who needed to sell a car and picked a bunch of logically-backwards messages while advertising it.

    Now let it rest. The world has continued to move since this article was published…and there’s much more interesting stuff in the car world.

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