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A vehicle listed as a "mechanic's special" on craigslist appears to be, at first glance, a remarkable deal. A mechanic's special is usually a vehicle listed far below its blue book value, with a few minor issues outlined that any competent backyard mechanic can easily diagnose and fix. This problems are usually referred to only in the vaguest of terms, such as a "clunking sound coming from the transmission" or "hissing sound from the radiator."

Of course, these problems turn out to be much more severe - such as a blown headgasket, thrashed transmission, detonated cylinder, and the like. The odometer reading is often conspicuously absent from the reading. The owner will often feign ignorance about vehicles in hopes of getting rid of it at a good price, but actually are often competent car people themselves.

The only valid use for a mechanic's special is as a parts vehicle, and only then once the owner has been talked down to a reasonable price.
1992 Chevrolet 1500 4x4 $900 OBO - Mechanic's Special!

'92 Chevy half ton, 4x4, 4" suspension lift. Great truck, 4x4 stopped working about a week ago, slight ticking sound coming from the engine. Should be an easy fix. Call @ 555 - 5555
by freyyr March 10, 2011
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