You can buy the car of your dreams, claims the classified ad, and you can buy it for a "giveaway price" from the government.
Maybe you can, but a buyer does not need the assistance of the $24.95 buyer's guide and inclusion on government mailing lists that the ad is peddling. Being included on the mailing list of government surplus agencies is simple and free."It's something any citizen can do for himself," said Drug Enforcement Agency Agent-in-Charge Steve Lough.
The Government Service Administration auctions all surplus and seized property for the federal government, and anyone can get on its notification list, said a GSA spokesman. Sales are held about five times a year, but "Miami Vice" glamour cars are pretty scarce.
"Once in a while you get a good one," said the GSA spokesman, but more often the cars are "used up." He said the agency auctioned off a Mercedes-Benz and a Jaguar about six months ago, but one had a frozen transmission and the other a blown water pump.
Most drug-seized cars are used by the police for undercover work and are not put up for auction until they are useless for law enforcement. By then they might not be much of a bargain.
The GSA also auctions Internal Revenue and Immigration and Naturalization seized vehicles and surplus federal motor pool cars.
The Division of Surplus Property handles seized and surplus vehicles and property for the state. Spokesman Bill Arseneau said there are auctions every two or three months, and all the property is on sale and available for inspection four days a week.
Drug-seized vehicles used for undercover work are auctioned off along with surplus state property and cars. The division advertises the sales in local papers in addition to its mailing list.
People interested in government sales should contact the GSA at 524-5266, or the state property division, 522 S. 700 West, 533-5885.
Ads offering such services have run in the classified sections of the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune. One lists a local phone number answered by a recording naming the many and wondrous vehicles to be had at government auctions. Cars, trucks, boats and planes are all available at "absolute bargain basement prices," according to the tape.