It's the same in every American city: cars get towed away for unpaid parking fines, a Franz Kafka-scripted drama ensues for the erstwhile car owners, and the cars are auctioned off. But somehow San Francisco, where you'd better be sure to wear some goddamn flowers in your hair, adds that extra bit of pain to the whole process. Since City Tow lost their contract to handle the towing/auctioning process after a slew of alleged improprieties a few years back, their successor, Auto Return, has attempted to head off accusations of shill bidders, insider dealing, concealment of revenue, etc., by publishing lists of the cars in upcoming auctions and the results of previous auctions, with prices. Interesting stuff. But I still miss the Wild West feel of the old City Tow auctions.

San Francisco Weekly Vehicle Auctions [Auto Return]

Former SF Tow Company Settles Fraud Suit [internal]