Who wants to buy a 1994 Subaru Loyale? According to the seller, Cody resident Preston Hajik, apparently everyone does.
“A guy texted me who wanted to come all the way from Laramie to get it,” Hajik told Cowboy State Daily. “It seems that everybody in the state of Wyoming wants this car.”
That’s because Hajik posted an innovative ad for the 30-year-old sedan — dubbed “Ron Suburgundy” — on the Cody Classified Facebook page. The response has been overwhelming, probably because he did too good a job overselling his car by underselling it.
“Alright, let’s get this out of the way,” his ad reads. “This isn’t the car you want, but it’s the car you need.”
Cruise control with the right foot, traction control with the left, five seats or two seats and an enclosed truck bed, and only 219,000 miles (or so says the odometer).
You can almost hear Ron Burgundy himself: “Don’t act like you’re not impressed.”
Free Isn’t Free
Hajik isn’t the original owner of Ron Suburgundy. He’s only been driving it for a year.
When the splendid little Subaru entered his life, it was homeless and living on the streets, probably having reached its peak while President Clinton was arguing the definition of “is.” But where everyone else might have seen a perpetually parked plow impediment, Hajik saw potential.
“Every day I would drive to work, and I would see the Subaru just sitting on the street,” he said. “All summer, it didn't move. I just took an interest in it, I guess.”
At the time, Hajik commuted between Wapiti and Cody for work. A “gas saver” would be a good idea in winter, he thought, so he approached the house where the Subaru was parked.
“I'm like, ‘Hey, are you willing to sell the car?’ And (the homeowner) goes, ‘I was planning on just giving it away. It doesn't really run. So, you can just have it. I’ll sign over the title like right now.’ No complaints there,” Hajik said.
Hajik might have gotten the dilapidated Ron Suburgundy for free, but did he really love the car, or was he just saying it because he saw it?
It took a lot of investment to resuscitate the millennial sedan. Hajik bought several parts to get it up and running again, including a fresh battery, a new thermostat and a timing chain.
60% Of The Time, It Works Every Time
There’s something to be said about the Subaru’s hardiness. Hajik brought it back to life, and now he’s amazed that he hasn’t killed it.
“I'm trying my darndest to kill it, and it won't die,” he said. “One day, it was snowing enough that I didn't see a curb and rolled up onto it. (The car) took it like a champ.”
The legendary Loyale ad boasts that the car “doesn’t understand that ice is supposed to be slippery” and “is quite unstoppable in the snow.” Sure, it might benefit from a set of new tires, but “you can find them for $50 a wheel for this thing.”
Hajik knows Ron Suburgundy is a car with “a lot of quirks.” But quirks build character, which might explain why it’s attracted so much attention.
“I think this car will refuse to die,” he said. “Honestly, it will keep on going.”
Talk People Out Of It
Ron Suburgundy served Hajik well as a commuter car, as it should, getting more than 30 mpg. But once he moved out of Wapiti and into Cody, and his commute was reduced from miles to minutes, he realized he had no loyalty to the Loyale.
Used car ads are a dime a dozen on Facebook, and Hajik wanted Ron Suburgundy to stand out. He transitioned from auto necromancer to huckster.
“What inspired me to write the ad in that way was a video by a guy named Edie Bolian, where he talks about selling Lotuses, the car brand,” he said. “He found the best way to sell them is to try to talk people out of it.
“They’re weird cars. They're quirky, have lots of little problems and not many creature comforts. And that's what my car is. Quirky, weird and not a lot of creature comforts.”
Hajik’s ad reads like an urgent and horrifying news story. It’s the kind of snarky delivery that would make Ron Burgundy proud. Some highlights:
Sometimes the turn signal gets stuck on turning left, so if you have a lot of left turns to make, that’s some time saving right there!
Tired of getting door dings in a parking lot? Now it’s your turn to give the dings.
Too many speeding tickets? Trust me, you won’t be speeding in this.
Do the kids keep rolling down the windows and making that helicopter noise? Only the driver's window rolls down."
Insurance costs make you angry? My insurance policy lowered when I added this (I’m not even kidding).
There’s no mention of whether the interior smells of rich mahogany, but it’s the perfect car to take someone’s mother out for a nice seafood dinner and never call her again.
As for the odometer that reads 219,000 miles, Hajik says anyone who cares that much about mileage should “click out of this ad and look at more expensive cars” because “the Subaru has deemed you unworthy. It has literally driven the equivalent of going to the moon and will likely do it again.”
All that for $1,500, Hajik’s asking price, but he’s not opposed to bartering.
“Put it toward a trade for a motorcycle,” the ad reads. “Or you could try to trade for any other weird, wacky, SNL-skit-level things that will make me laugh at my Facebook Messenger.”
That Really Got Out Of Hand Fast
Hajik got more than a few chuckles from his Facebook Messenger. He got responses, and a lot of them.
“Too many, way too many,” he said. “I have tried to keep up, but pretty much every five minutes, I get another text. People from all over Wyoming, reaching up into Montana, and I got one from Idaho.”
Turns out Ron Suburgundy is kind of a big deal.
But these potential buyers will leave disappointed. Hajik said he’s already in contact with someone who could benefit from Ron Suburgundy’s quirks.
“I have one guy coming to check it out,” he said. “His profile picture looks like a newborn, so I'm going to give him first dibs. But honestly, if he doesn't want it after that, I don't even know what I'm going to do.”
The “last resort” will be an all-out price war via Facebook Messenger. But no matter the outcome, Ron Suburgundy will come out on top.
You stay classy, Cody, Wyoming.
Andrew Rossi can be reached at email@example.com.