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The Best Damn Classified Car Ad You’ll Ever Read

If you've got a baby goat to trade, or simply a few minutes to kill, check out this artful salesmanship outta northeast Minneapolis.


You like to place as many guardrails around cranky cynicism as possible, but it's hard to shake the feeling that writing—as an art form, as a skill, as a basic way of conveying thoughts—is going down the shitter. Look at the soul-sucking copy belched out by AI; look at the post-pandemic literacy crisis; look at Fox & Friends Weekend host Pete Hegseth topping the New York Times Best Sellers list; look at how I just ended a sentence with "going down the shitter."

So, when you encounter great writing in the wilds of the internet, it's important to tip your cap accordingly. Even if that writing is a classified ad in service of unloading a 1998 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 320 Wagon with tape for a door handle.

The wagon in question belongs to Racket contributor Ian Power-Luetscher, who you may remember from his marathon job-quitting summer or, more recently, his dispatch from Duluth's the big, drooly dog show. (Full disclosure: While Ian is also a friend, this blog post isn't sponcon payola to help him lock down $750; it's simply a gratis appreciation of craft.)

The northeast Minneapolis educator/writer isn't delusional about the value of his 198,000-mile asset, though that didn't stop him from busting out a dazzling, factually breezy sales pitch worthy of Don Draper... provided Draper was easily detoured into giddy riffs on the Sword of Gryffindor, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Swedish Fish.

"Lotta buzz about my Craigslist ad, lotta of chatter on the message boards," Power-Luetscher tells me. "It's all about selling an experience. When you're selling this car, you're really selling sex."

Alright, buckle up! Here's the actual copy from the ad, which you can view here.

1998 Mercedes Benz E320 Wagon - $750 (MINNEAPOLIS)

This car is incredible. I actually don’t even want to sell it, but every single person in my life is telling me that I have to and I’m really tired so I guess it's time to get rid of the old girl.

That being said, this station wagon is immortal.

It has been around for eons and will continue to run long after we’re all dead. First built sometime in the late Pleistocene era, Neanderthal families used to drive it up onto the fjords to hunt mastodon. Ten-thousand years from now, swarms of sentient cockroach teens will hivemind drive it over the alkali flats of a nuclear wasteland, cruising for tail. The sun will die and darkness will swallow all and still this fucking car will be puttering around.

Also, not for nothing but this thing is a BABE/HUNK/NON-BINARY ATTRACTIVE PERSON MAGNET! Get laid like crazy! It has rear-facing seats for drive-in movie theaters and Makeout Point! Pack eight people in and head to the nude beach you pervert! The wagon doesn’t judge!

And OK yes, it has 198,000 miles on it, and yes, sometimes it makes a spooky rattling noise that can best be described as a mummy breathing, but I dont think it's even that big of a deal! Why? Because the Mercedes E320 has the strength of several modern cars. With proper maintenance it could easily run for another 100K.

And that’s not all! It comes with two-thirds of a tank of gas already inside—that’s all profit baby! You also get a bunch of cassette tapes that you can just have! Hüsker Dü, Leonard Cohen, that one Smashing Pumpkins album with “Zero” on it, which—let’s be real—is like the only good Smashing Pumpkins song. All yours! Melancholy! Infinite Sadness!

Guess what? I fixed the trunk so it opens again!

And guess also what? This car is long as hell, it’s like the War and Peace of cars, so you can sleep in it, you can camp in it… you can live in it? Seriously, I’ve thought about it. In the backseat there are three books: a Dick Francis thriller novel from the '80s, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, and this book How to Write Romance Novels that Sell. You get all three of these books! Free! Go Nomadland it up for the summer and sleep in the car. Wear your swimsuit under your clothes and eat Swedish Fish and write romance novels at the lake.

The wagon is also stocked with one roll of cool black duct tape to fix the mirror when it gets bratty. You also get this dope duct tape door handle that I made to confuse bandits! You get two key fobs! Live like a queen! There’s a cool different colored back door to spark conversation!

This wagon has driven across the country with me four times and counting. It can’t be killed. It was hit-and-runned five different times in Brooklyn and got shivved by a snowplow. You can see the fun rusty gash all the way down its belly where the snow plow tried to kill it but only made my baby stronger.
Every time it gets hit by something this car just absorbs the blow’s strength and takes on that power. It’s like Kirby or the Sword of Gryffindor or some shit!

Once in Oregon, while driving on the coastal highway, a massive Ponderosa pine tree fell down on top of us while we drove. I swerved out of the way with ninja agility, but the car still got whipped in the face pretty hard by hella tree. The Mercedes wagon blasted right through! The tree just made the car smell piney fresh and drive faster than ever with tree power! It has the strength of five cars and a plow and a tree! Seven for the price of one!

Anyway $750.00 or best offer. I will consider interesting trades like a kayak, baby goat, crossbow, or dirt bike.

Reach out if interested.

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