You've heard of people using rusted-out camper vans and seedy motel rooms as meth labs, but a Cadillac? That one's new to us, too, but it's exactly how someone destroyed this 2006 Cadillac CTS, killing himself in the process, earlier this year.
Here's how we followed the trail of unusual stains from a forum post about an online car listing to find a story that might make you question any deal you get on a used car again.
Although someone had put a fancy aftermarket grille on the car, now-dead meth cooker Clifford Ellison, 36, made sure the used Caddy only went 62 miles under its new ownership before an explosion splattered half-cooked meth juice and a bunch of his own blood all over the interior.
GolfTango, a member over at The Car Lounge forum originally noticed a few strange listings for the car on the DuPont Registry and Insurance Auto Auctions' respective websites. His observations included the word "barf."
Ellison, along with 26-year-old Jerek Evans, had been cooking methamphetamine in this extremely mobile mobile lab using a method called "shake and bake" involving a few choice chemicals and an old liquor bottle. Pilot and copilot were shaking and baking, and driving, when something went awry and the brew exploded, sending shards of glassware flying. Apparently, one of the sharp pieces of glass hit the alchemist-driver in his neck, nicking a high pressure carotid artery. He bled to death, adding rust colored blood stains to the rest of that spewed mess visible in Insurance Auto Auctions' official photo gallery of the CTS.
Right now, the car — along with the crusty remnants of meth and blood from the explosion — is baking beneath the Florida sun at IAA's Tampa branch. It's waiting for a dealer-licensed buyer to purchase it and its rebuildable title and put the car back into circulation. IAA estimated the Caddy's repair costs to be nearly $10,000. That means that even if someone does pick it up for NADA's rough shape guideline price of $10,675, the buyer would have to spend a pretty good chunk of money to make the thing road worthy. But with such a skeleton in its closet title-wise, good luck getting anywhere close to the $17,000 NADA says is reasonable for a 2006 CTS with a clean title and no defects.
IAA staffers were unable to say who is responsible for cleaning the car, IAA or the dealer who buys it. Maybe they should call The Wolf.
The messy Caddy Ellison drove to the grave is still listed on the DuPont Registry as being for sale by Dimmitt Auto Group, but a manager at the Tampa-based dealership was quick to point out that they sold it months before the luxury car-driving meth maker met his maker. He suggested that DuPont should update its website.
As it stands, the whole affair is more of a Darwin Award recipient than anything else, but has the potential to turn into a creepy dude-where-did-my-car-come-from scandal. If the Caddy makes it into dealer hands, it's anyone's guess whether they'll be explicit about the details of how the title came to include, simultaneously, the words salvage and biohazard.
(Hat tip to GolfTango!)
Photo Credit: Dimmit Auto Group and Insurance Auto Auction