In New Jersey: if you can't sell the car, use its gas
NEPTUNE CITY, New Jersey
NEPTUNE CITY, New Jersey (Reuters) - Michael Graubart owns a used car dealership on the Jersey shore, but he had no customers. What he did have was gasoline - in the tanks of the two dozen used cars sitting idle on his lot.
Talk about liquid gold.
New Jersey, New York City and Long Island have been facing acute gas shortages in the days since superstorm Sandy hit, because of a combination of power outages and constricted supplies. Drivers have been roaming miles in search of fuel and then getting in long lines at gas stations that are open.
Graubart, of Michael's Motor Cars of Neptune City, listened to pleas from his family for gas, and so on Friday morning he siphoned four of his cars dry the old fashioned way - by sucking on a hosepipe to draw the gas up and out into cans.
It wasn't as easy as it used to be, he said.
"It's more difficult with newer cars - they have gas line blockers designed to prevent theft," he said.
He reached the gas line on two late model vehicles by taking apart the fuel injection system and sticking the hosepipe down into the tank, he said. With two older cars, a 1978 Corvette and a 1969 Pontiac Trans Am, he did it the customary way, with the hosepipe straight down through the hole behind the gas cap, he said.
Graubart's dealership in Neptune City, a town about a mile from the Jersey shore and 60 miles south of New York City, had been closed from Tuesday through Thursday because he couldn't conduct business without power.
The state's vehicle registration system, insurance companies and finance outfits that support car sales must be accessed through computers and they have been down since Sandy roared through on Monday, causing widespread power outages.
On Friday, Graubart brought in a generator, powered up his dealership and opened for business. In the morning he got his family the gas, and by 2 p.m., he and his staff sold two cars.
At another used car dealership in Neptune City, Bill Teeling sat behind a desk - open for business but alone.
"No power, no people," he said.
"I can sell you a car, I can take your money, but without a computer I can't get a license plate for you."
Still, Teeling wasn't too worried. The storm destroyed hundreds of cars and many people are going to be in the market for a vehicle.
"When things settle down, the used car business will definitely have an uptick after a storm like this," he said.
(Reporting by Philip Barbara; Editing by Frances Kerry)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- UPDATE 11-Total CEO de Margerie killed in Moscow as jet hits snow plough
- UPDATE 3-Ocwen shares slide after NY finds backdated foreclosure letters
- Indiana police charge suspect who may have killed for decades
- Total CEO de Margerie killed in Moscow as jet hits snow plough
- UPDATE 2-Tough U.S. rivalries, China food scandal pound McDonald's
Fighting the Islamic State
Islamic State militants advanced on Iraq's Sinjar mountain on Tuesday, tightening a siege of thousands of stranded Yazidis, who called on the United States and its allies to act to avert more bloodshed. Full Article
- India says Islamic State not yet a threat
- Consumed by Islamic State, Iraq's Anbar province a key battleground again
- Video: Video claims to show U.S. military aid in Islamic State hands
- Islamic State wins ground from Syrian government in east - monitor
- UN warns purely military response in Syria could fuel extremism