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Deals at the dump

Mark Fox/The Aspen TImes
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Bidding may not have been steep for a bike with two rubber duckies taped to the frame along with a big green frog and Mardi Gras beads on the handlebars.But it made someone happy at the annual Aspen police auction for various abandoned vehicles on Saturday. “I would like to pay $5 for it,” said Evan Menzel, who quickly named the bike “Green Thunder” and rode it around the fenced lot at the dump. The bungee cord on it might be especially important. “I’m assuming that’s holding the front end together,” he said.

Menzel had been priced out of a sweet Raleigh cruiser that sold for $45 in fierce bidding.”At an Aspen police auction, if it goes above 50 bucks for a bike, something else is at stake,” said Menzel, whose bidding stopped at around $20.He seemed pleased with his final purchase and mentioned that the ducks and frog were a major selling point. The trucks and cars were a little pricier, though a few went for the minimum $25. It helped push up the price when the cars actually ran. Moses Vazquez, from Glenwood Springs, was eyeing a Kawasaki Vulcan motorcycle.

“The Fonz is back,” he said, when he sat down on it. Though he seemed a little concerned that it would not turn on. “That’s the chance you have to take.”He decided not to go as high as another buyer, and the Vulcan eventually sold for $575. Mostly, the cars were junkers, hardly worth stripping for parts. And inside many of them were bits and pieces left behind by past owners – a television on the seat, parking tickets, pairs of shoes, skis, trash, child seats. For the most part, though, people were walking away with deals.



Galen Sprague, a local who has purchased vehicles at the last two auctions, was there helping some friends out. Two years ago, he got a Saab 900 turbo for $45, did six months of work and handed it over to his dad, who is still driving it. Last year he paid $95 for a Subaru wagon that’s still running just fine. “People seem to enjoy it,” said Kathy Tolle, administrative supervisor for the Aspen police. “They like getting a deal.”Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com


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