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08/21/2003 Entry: "No Engine #4"

I got the word tonight. Engine #4 will not be coming home to the Batty household. Here's how it went down. Earlier this week, I sent them an offer of $2350. In talking with Andy Swift, renowned fire engine restorer, he told me it would be worth between $2000 and $2500, as, from a collector's standpoint, it's not highly collectable. So I thought my offer was more than fair.

So today, I called the town and asked how long I should wait to hear a response. The woman who answered the phone said she knew the chief received it, and that he'd read it, but he mentioned something about an auction this weekend. The Owls Head Transportation Museum is having their auction this weekend. A little light went off in my head. They were going to try the auction, and see if they could get more for it. If not, they'd sell it to me. So I called the chief and asked him about that possibility. He said yes, in fact my theory was true. The truck was already at the auction, and they were going to see how it went there. If it didn't sell, then they'd come back to me, and let me buy it for my previous offer. I said "I feel a little strange that you already had one offer, and neither accepted nor rejected it, but tried to get more for it through other channels. If my $2300 isn't good enough today, then it shouldn't be good enough Monday. And, the only reason it would be good enough Monday is because I would be willing to pay more for it than the market price set at the auction. No, instead you take my bid, or, if it's not good enough, take it off the table."

Who knows? Maybe they'll get more for it. And if so, fine. But if they don't, they just threw away a bone fide offer from someone who would have babied that engine for the rest of its existence.

I would like to thank all of you who were willing to "buy a share" to make my dream come true. It was very thoughtful, and I can't adequately express my appreciation enough. And especially to my parents, who agreed to front the cash for me until I could raise all the money. Thank you all very much.

Now, I shall begin my hunt for a smaller, open cab American Lafrance! :-)

Replies: 4 people have rocked the mic!

Right on. Hedging via your bid is pretty dirty pool in my opinion. I'm with you on this one. LET'S GO BUY MUSICAL EQUIPMENT!

Posted by Paddy @ 08/22/2003 08:29 AM EST

That is just lame. I feel like calling up the selectmen and asking them if they know this is going on and asking them why such a person has been chosen to represent the town for this. It is a poor way to do business. It is a poor way to act. I swear there are no ethics in business anymore. I see it everyday. It is sad.

Posted by Jim @ 08/22/2003 11:01 PM EST

Just wasn't meant to be. I'm sure something better will come along.
Love you and we only got two fish on Ontario. Each 27" long and about 7 pounds. Can you set up a simple home page for $400 or less?


Posted by Dad @ 08/23/2003 07:32 PM EST

Rumor has it that Engine #4 went for about $3000. I wasn't there so I can't confirm this but I am sure someone who reads this board can. I also heard that the guy who bought it was old and got confused and bid against himself several times which drove up the price quite a bit. That is all what I heard though the grapevine though.

Posted by Jim @ 08/24/2003 09:20 PM EST

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