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Nov '17

Home Report: Fun With Cars

So, about nine months ago I bid on a former Seattle Public Utilities Ford Escapé at a local auction house…got outbid at the last minute. Oh well, another week, another auction, or maybe I don’t need a four-door car that bad.

Out of sight, out of mind.

Until a week and a half later when the auction house called to say that the high bidder didn’t ever make arrangements, and would was I still interested. It would be for the final bid (a few dollars higher than mine). Couldn’t make it my bid because of their contract with the state to sell it to the highest bidder.

What the hell – I’d just picked up a new marketing/design client – and it was a little under $5,000 (a little over $5,000 with taxes/fees/etc.).

Here is what I picked up:

And yes, I left on the “Frequent Stops” decal, but took off the fleet number.

It even came with chains (good, because it’s not four-wheel-drive), and a place to strap in a fire extinguisher.

I’d noticed this on the top of the car but assumed it was a cap that covered the light bar wiring hole…

It being a Seattle Public Utilities car, it came with some interesting accessories:

The particularly amusing thing about the laptop mount is that it’s a RAMounts product – produced less than a block away from my house.

In cleaning up the interior of the car (after I’d gotten the leftover residue from various other stickers they’d removed from the outside), I discovered THIS under the front seat:

It looked live, so I grabbed a laptop and tried it out!

Sure enough, it was live, with no firewall, but not the greatest speed at 3G, but FREE Internet in my car. WooHoo!

Next up was to swap this (which the backlight didn’t work):

For this. Less than $100 with all the mounting hardware/trim at Crutchfield – CDs, BlueTooth, USB, SD Card, AUX:

And add this because we all need 110AC and USB Charging in our road cars:

And that is how the car sat until last night when I popped this onto the network hub in the car:

What I think is the world’s smallest Wi-Fi router/bridge/extender. Under $20!

Now, when the ignition is on, my Escapé is a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Road Trip!


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