Hey, Duane here! What I didn’t mention last week when you read about my 1987 Supra was that the friend encouraging my purchase, whom I’d known for a few months, had a second motive.
Appropriately nicknamed Flamin’ Jamin by my very witty housemate, Jamin was a fun-loving, live-for-the-moment energetic guy that had been in Indy only a few months after an extended stint modeling in Los Angeles. He drove a lowered, customized red Mitsubishi Mighty Max pickup truck with a body-colored front bumper, no rear bumper, black sport wheels with low profile tires, and a tonneau bed cover. The truck was quite striking by 1987 standards.
My 1987 Supra purchase was straightforward, and my friend Jamin was along for the complete transaction.
The next day I drove my new Supra to work, and upon returning home, there was a black 1984 Corvette in the driveway. Jamin traded his cool Mitsubishi truck for this black Corvette that next day using my same salesperson at the same dealership. I had no idea he was considering a trade. We went for a drive and the Corvette was fun, maybe more fun than my new Supra. I asked questions about his purchase as he wasn’t employed, but he gave evasive answers. Jamin didn’t have the best reputation for telling the full truth so I dropped the subject.
Besides announcing his Corvette purchase, Jamin also stated that he was returning to Los Angeles and asked whether I’d like to accompany him on the drive. I’d never experienced a westward road trip and agreed after initial reservations. We loaded the Corvette and left the next morning.
The drive west was scenic and Jamin was fun to be around. He had energy and clownish humor that made people smile. 1200 miles into the trip, we stopped in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and he checked in with his mom, who lived in Indianapolis. That’s when the news broke….
The Corvette was a fraudulent purchase. Jamin used my transparent purchase process at the dealership as a basis to misrepresent himself as my step-brother, misrepresent himself as being employed, and misrepresent the payoff on his truck. The dealership foolishly handed over the Corvette keys before verifying his statements. Essentially Jamin stole the Corvette, and the dealer, now aware of the fraud, wanted it back immediately. This was essentially a stolen Corvette.
His mother and my father, who did not know each other, were livid as each had been contacted by the dealer as the fraud unraveled. And my witty housemate, who received a call from the dealer on the house phone, found the whole situation to be quite humorous as he was no fan of Flamin’ Jamin. I calmly asked several questions, to which Jamin offered vague apologetic answers, and then we reversed course in Albuquerque. Now headed back to Indianapolis, we hoped not to get pulled over by the police in case the dealership had reported the Corvette as stolen. To this day, I have no idea what Jamin was thinking when he hatched the ill-fated purchase plan.
Jamin returned the Corvette, and the dealer gave back his customized Mitsubishi truck. I did not accompany him for this reverse swap. Presumably the dealership was too embarrassed to file fraud charges as he encountered no subsequent legal issues. Jamin stayed in Indy a few more months before moving back to Los Angeles alone in his truck. Lowered as it was, that had to be one rough, bumpy drive west.
As for my white 1987 Supra, I kept it for almost eight years. In three weeks meet its replacement, a fast twin-turbo Supra. Meanwhile, for next Sunday's blog, Alluring Autos is debating between two car shows. One focuses on muscle cars while the other focuses on classics. Tune in next Sunday for the photo blog. Thanks, and always drive with allure!