“This is an older car, so it burns gas like crazy.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Ramona
- Car in Question: Tan 1998 Ford Expedition
- Spotted at: Operation Push, 930 E. 50th Street, Chicago, IL 60615
- Odometer: 155,000
- Car’s Nickname: Betsey
Q: Hi Ramona. So the first thing I want to know is how did you and Betsey end up together?
A: In April of 2009, I bought this truck from a dealer auction. Before then I had been without a car for a while because the city took my previous car.
Q: Wow! The city took your car from you!? Why?
A: I was downtown. I needed to run inside a building and pay a bill before they closed. I couldn’t find any parking, so finally I decided I would park in a no parking zone. I only planned to stay inside the building for ten minutes at the most and run right back out. I actually was only gone for ten minutes, but when I came back outside my car was gone. So when you get your car towed, and go to pick it up from the city, you have to make sure your car is totally legal before you can take it home. Meaning your plate sticker must be up to date, your city sticker must be current, if you have any outstanding tickets you have to pay them, and you have to insurance on your car. That was definitely not the case for me. So I went down there a week later asked the people could I clean out my car and I let the city have it. I let them have it because I would be cheaper for me to buy another car than pay off all my tickets and get everything current.
Q: What type of car was it?
A: It was a Buick Century. I can’t tell you the exact year, but it was a ’90 something.
Q: Do you know what the city did with it?
A: They sold it in an auction.
Q: Was this the first car the city ever took from you?
A: No, outside of the Buick they also took another car. It was a white Lincoln.
Q: What caused them to take the Lincoln from you?
A: I went to an auction and bought the car. After I got it home I didn’t immediately get temporary plates. So I decided to take the plates off my old car and put it on this car until I could get temporary ones. So one day it was parked outside on the street and I guess the boot people figured out the license plate didn’t match the vehicle. They put a boot on it and towed it the next day. Once again it was just cheaper for me to buy another car than pay off the fines to get it back. So I let it go.
Q: After having two cars taken by the city, what have you learned from these experiences?
A: After having two cars taken from me by the city, I’ve learned to pay my tickets! Once upon a time I didn’t take paying my tickets seriously. Now I do.
Photos and interview by Nicolette Chambers
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