Drivers don’t ask for much, just love, a purple car, and $32 trillion

This column published as "Great Expectations" in September 2021 issue

David Matthews / September 08, 2021 / 3 minute read
David Matthews

Rental cars aren’t just for business travelers and vacationers. They’re also for insecure guys desperate to impress girls with questionable judgment.

Such was the case in China this summer when a man named Zhu rented an Audi to woo a woman surnamed Lou who he had been pursuing.

Lou finally agreed to a date, but only if Zhu rented a particular Audi owned by a man named Qian.

Little did Zhu know that Lou didn’t just have a taste for German engineering, she had a taste for revenge.

Qian was actually Lou’s ex-boyfriend, and she was furious at him for dumping her for another woman.

Knowing that Qian rented out his Audi on a car-sharing app, Lou devised a plot to procure Qian’s car without him knowing and then stick him with as many traffic violations as possible.

While Lou couldn’t rent the car herself without raising suspicion, she convinced Zhu to rent it for her in return for a date.

Zhu knew that this plan was dangerous, so he got an acquaintance to rent the car from Qian, and then give it to Zhu, who delivered it to Lou.

Over the next two days, Lou and Zhu managed to get the Audi ticketed 50 times for speeding and running red lights before Qian found out and contacted police.

Their investigation quickly led to Lou and Zhu, who were arrested after admitting to their role in the plot.

Despite being handcuffed in a patrol car, Zhu was still excited to end his date with Lou alone in a backseat.

Color by numbers

When it comes to the resale value of a new car, shoppers can’t afford to be color-blind.

Earlier this year, the automotive research website iSeeCars.com analyzed the prices of 6 million new and used cars between 2017 and 2020 and found that color has a big impact on resale value.

Many owners choose white, black, and silver vehicles, believing that the popularity of those colors makes them the safest.

While safe colors don’t hurt resale value, researchers found that they don’t help either.

The vehicle colors that held their value best were actually yellow, beige, and orange.

“Yellow may not be a widely desired car color, but there are enough people who want yellow, versus the number of yellow new cars being ordered, to make yellow cars more desirable than others on the used market,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer.

The study found that while the average three-year depreciation rate for vehicles is 38%, yellow vehicles depreciate at just 20%.

That’s less than half the depreciation rate of the worst-performing colors: gold (46%), brown (42%), and purple (41%).

The fix is in

A Vancouver, BC, man had high hopes heading into court after recovering from a hit-and-run accident.

Tyler Chamberlin was riding his bike in 2018 when he was struck by a car. Alleging that he suffered physical and emotional injuries, he filed a lawsuit against his insurance company ICBC in 2020.

Earlier this year he amended the lawsuit in rather spectacular fashion, requesting among other things:

  • $32 trillion
  • A private meeting with Queen Elizabeth II
  • An MRI of his entire body
  • The suspension of trade between Canada and China
  • The dismantling of Canada’s transportation department
  • The release of classified documents
  • The “cleaning up of the swamp”
  • 500,000 shares of Tesla

A hearing was held on March 1 where a judge pulled out a thesaurus and declared Chamberlin’s claims to be “scandalous, vexatious, and otherwise an abuse of process.”

Chamberlin was unsuccessful in appealing the decision in July, with the judge writing, “The argument is rooted in Mr. Chamberlin’s belief that in some way his motor vehicle accident was a result of a giant conspiracy, rooted in corruption throughout Canada.”

And that’s when Chamberlin realized that they got to the judge, too.

About the Author

Matthews has been chronicling the unexpectedly humorous side of transportation news since 2000. The stories are all true.

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