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The $1300 Civic HX That Got Away

I’ve been looking for a cheap Civic HX coupe for months on end. When one popped up in North Jersey on Craigslist a few weeks back, it set my wheels rolling. It was exactly what I was after: solid, but with cosmetic issues. (It needed a fender and possibly a door.) The price was spot on: just $1300. I immediately emailed the owner, but didn’t hear back. I waited a day and emailed again. Finally, he got back to me … the car had been sold. With my hopes dashed for that specific car, I vowed to finally get this project in gear. I found another car in South Jersey that looked to be a likely candidate. It had high miles, but was relatively clean, other than one mismatched wheel. The price was roughly double that of the North Jersey HX. I watched it for a few days, before it sold, as well.

The Kickstarter campaign for Ain’t Fuelin’ reached two milestones yesterday, crossing the 50 backer and $1300 funding marks. Fifty backers and thirteen hundred bucks … a small crowd and the exact amount of the car that spurred me into launching the campaign. The car I currently have my eye on is nearly triple the price of the banged-up bargain car. It’s extremely clean but has over two hundred and twenty thousand miles on the clock. I should have my head examined for even considering the car at that price. That said, I’ve driven the car and it doesn’t feel like it has that many miles. It’s solid. But it’s not worth what they’re asking.


I held up from launching the crowd-funding for months, with the hope that I’d be able to secure funding from a large sponsor or two. I finally got to the point where it was do or die. I had to unleash the idea on the world, and with no marketing budget to start with, crowd-funding was the only avenue that made sense. Over the past couple of years, I’ve spoken with quite a number of potential sponsors. I won’t name names at this point, but none of them were willing to step up to the bar without seeing something concrete before committing. Hence, the Kickstarter campaign. With a live project to see and a looming deadline, potential sponsors can be more sure of their wagers.

This process is nerve-wracking. My goal is to test and create, not endlessly seek funding. The folks that have stepped up to the bar and have made personal pledges see the value in what I’ve proposed. All this will take is one big sponsor willing to take a chance. But when you get right down to it, that’s at the core of what social media is all about. It doesn’t take much to push a project to the tipping point if you apply the right leverage. It just takes a bit of inertia and elbow grease to get it going.

We have ten days to get this done. If you share the word we can make it happen.

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2 comments ↓

#1 Erik on 04.07.13 at 4:07 pm

flipping used cars to get better gas milage is a good idea at least in my area Detroit MI domestic cars are making a come back and you should be more focused on increasing the gas milage of cars like the taurus, Windstar, Chevy impala,malibu , dodge intrepid and grand caravan.

#2 mpg-o-editor on 04.07.13 at 4:38 pm

Thanks, Erik! I want to do them all, but need to find the backing to do it at scale. The GSA auctions are a great source of low mileage domestics. There’s an endless stream of Impalas. There are Malibu, Intrepid, Grand Caravan, Focus, G6, Crown Vics, and Fusions, but the Impala seems to be the most prevalent. A good number of SUVs and pickups, too.

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