If you've ever had the pleasure of visiting Project Car Hell, you'll know it is indeed a real place, and that it is full of half-dissembled engines and unfortunate owners drowning in a sea of mistakes and poor decisions. It's enough to drive even the most dedicated shade-tree mechanics to cut their losses and kick their once-beloved project to the curb. The upside is we all get to enjoy the hilariously direct Craigslist posts that sometimes result from these situations. Case in point, this ad from a gentleman named Matt in California seeking to offload his non-running 1980 Toyota Corolla TE72 liftback with a pretty unambiguous title: "This Car Sucks."
Matt's frustration is palpable, and we definitely feel for him. Still, it's hard to not chuckle when you contrast the pictures of the Corolla's decent exterior and serviceable interior with the unbridled pessimism found in the text of the ad. After getting the specifics out of the way—it had a working 1.8 liter 3T-C inline-four under the hood at some point, along with a 5-speed and air conditioning—Matt launches in to his litany of complaints with full force: "This car sucks. The paint sucks, the interior is shot, the wheels are ugly gold and the engine is currently torn in half."
Why, you ask? Matt would like you to know that a certain someone responsible for a recent engine rebuilt somehow left out the valve lifters when buttoning everything back up, and his attempt to run the Corolla resulted in "major damage." Yeah, we're not sure how that happened either. A picture under the hood reveals a missing cylinder head and a pretty sad looking engine, and it's clear that Matt has no intention of putting any more time or effort into this car.
"The current top speed of this ugly duckling is ZERO. I'm moving out of the country in a few weeks. Tow this pile of crap out of my driveway ASAP," he pleads.
There are some melancholy details if you read in closer, though. The title is up to date and clean, so the seller clearly intended to get the car back on the road eventually, and the 117,000 miles on the odometer indicate it used to serve its purpose well. Finally, you know the situation is dire if a car enthusiast can't stand to even look at his lightweight, rust-free, RWD Japanese box anymore. But at least Matt seems to understand the reality of unloading a project on Craigslist.
"I look forward to your ridiculous lowball offers and asking me if the car is still available and then instantly disappearing from all communications," he writes.