First auction of season nets Toledo police $158,600 in sales
The truly hopeful and handy spend the day before their 16th birthday at an impound-lot auction.

Dennis Meyers of Ridgeville Corners, in Henry County, was ready for the task as he inspected a few of the nearly 100 vehicles for sale Saturday at the Toledo Police Department’s Dura Avenue impound lot. His criteria were “whatever drives, steers, goes into gear.”

An all-time high of 505 bidders turned out for Toledo’s first forfeited-vehicle auction of the year. A large crowd of prospective buyers moved with the auctioneer across the police lot as they placed their offers. All vehicles were sold without warranties, and buyers agreed to pay with cash or check at the auction’s end. A proper diagnosis of key parts, such as transmission and tires, goes a long way toward alleviating risk with vehicle purchases, said Pete Meyers, Dennis’ father.“Anything’s fixable. With a little time, a little money, you can fix anything,” Mr. Meyers, 35, said.Chris Henneman toured the offerings during the afternoon with his 9-year-old son, Hayden. The boy is interested in cars and hoped to see all-terrain vehicles and motorbikes, he said.

“He’s been getting into all these types of shows,” said Mr. Henneman, 40, of Maumee.

The thrill includes the wide range of vehicles. Last year, Mr. Henneman noticed bullet holes piercing the side of one car, he said.

Mr. Henneman examined the remaining shell and loose wires of a 1980 yellow Chevrolet Corvette. A buyer with auto-repair experience and about $5,000 to $10,000 could fix the car, he said.

Shawnda Hunt looks at the interior of a semi-tractor up for auction at the police impound lot. The department sold 96 vehicles on Saturday, including autos, pickups, all-terrain vehicles, and motorcycles.

Buyers had their choice of cars, pickup trucks, and motorcycles in varying conditions.

Purchase prices ranged from $600 for a 1996 Oldsmobile to $10,000 for a 1999 Kenworth truck tractor that had been seized during a drug raid.

The 96 vehicles sold raised $158,600, of which $30,700 went to the Law Enforcement Trust Fund and the remainder to the city’s general fund. Of the 96 vehicles, one was an ATV, three were minibikes, and one was a dirt bike.

Russ and Kathy Runkle arrived at the impound lot with their sights set on one vehicle: a 1993 white Chrysler LeBaron convertible in solid condition they had identified through online research ahead of time.

The married couple from Temperance topped two others with an offer of $2,300. The car came with a city title, keys, and a working engine.

Mr. Runkle, 59, said he and his wife, 57, have plans for the car once the weather turns warmer. They expect to drive to Point Place with the roof down, dock their boat, and enjoy the water.

“A nice little summer car,” Mr. Runkle said.