If you’re buying a car, it’s important to do some research. One of the biggest issues most first-time buyers tend to overlook is the depreciation rate. So there are a bunch of cars on the market that lose value like a bucket with a hole! When this car was released, it failed to achieve the great driving dynamics of the ATS and CTS. It also missed the opulence of the CT6 – making it the awkward middle child. Because of this, the 2013 model can now be picked up for nearly half the price!
Since the great emissions test scandal that VW fell into a short while ago, a lot of their models were recalled. However, on top of having certain models recalled, the negative press about the brand also caused their prices to drop. This meant that the VW Passat, an otherwise regular mid-sized family sedan that was retailing at $25,000 in 2014, can now be picked up in relatively good condition for no more than $12/$13,000 – which is great news if you’re buying a first-time family vehicle.
We personally think the Dodge Magnum is quite an ugly car, some seem to love the look of this Charger crossover because it’s a straightforward station wagon. Solid build, rear-wheel drive and loads of space in the back – the car was designed to give you comfort and space – as well as power when you need it. However, it suffered in sales due to large amounts of other SUV’s on the market that were better priced or better looking. You can now pick one up for around $7,000.
The Lincoln MKZ was originally designed to be a luxury sedan – but sadly, it fell just a bit short of the bar. The car wasn’t luxurious enough for its price range (or to compete with other slightly more expensive but far more luxurious models with similar offerings) and was far less powerful than them as well. This meant that it had poor sales upon release and since it’s original release it has dropped in price significantly from $36,000 down to much less.
The Mazda 6 is a pretty popular and reliable family model sedan and is also decent looking. Nowadays you can pick up a 2010 model for around $8,000 simply because 8 years worth of depreciation has done its job. The benefits of buying a Mazda is that they’re known for being reliable and having good performance even after they’ve aged a little while. So if you’re looking for a decent second car, or you’re buying your first family sedan – this is a good place to start.
Hyundai Genesis Coupe
The Hyundai Genesis is a pretty strange model and is caught somewhere between trying to be a sporty coupe and a family-orientated car. Because of this, the car never really managed to appeal to the general population – especially because Hyundai created it to compete with the Ford Mustang and Dodge Charger. Due to its failure to impress, this otherwise really great car is currently selling for around $8,000 or $9,000 which is a lot lower than it’s original $27,000 price tag.
BMW 7 Series
The BMW 7 Series is a well-known luxury that is much loved by fans of the series. However, it might sound strange, but mass-market luxury cars always tend to suffer from large-scale depreciation over time simply because of the fact that they either cost too much at first or because they become leased vehicles. This means that waiting even 3 years after a cars release will save you roughly 32% of the initial retail price. You can pick one of these 2010 models up for about $23,000 these days.
We instantly fell in love with the Cadillac SRX when we first saw it. The only problem was that it was a little too expensive! The car boasts some really sleek and stylish interior touches, as well as a whole lot of nice features and a decent 265 HP engine for steady long-distance cruising. Thankfully, you can find versions of this model for around $15,000 these days – which is an absolute steal! So if you do stumble across one – buy it! You won’t regret it!
The Audi A8 is well-known as being a high-quality, ultra-luxury and even pretty fast-moving sedan. The Quattro version is best known for its high performance and luxury features and packs a whopping 372 HP engine under a stylishly refined car. When the A8 first landed on the scene, the average retail price was around $80,000 but since then, the price has depreciated substantially and you can pick up models in great quality for anywhere between $30,000 and $40,000 respectively. Definitely, a bargain waiting to be found!
Maybach’s are known for bein top-of-the-line luxury sedans and they’re generally only reserved for the rich and wealthy. But don’t feel like this means you can’t get your hands on one! The one issue with luxury sedans is that they depreciate in value quite quickly due to the fact that there are only so many super rich people in the world who can afford them. So you could easily pick up a 2010/11 model which originally cost $400,000 for a cool $60,000 (sometimes even $50,000). Such a deal!
The Chrysler 300C marked the rebirth of the classic American luxury sedan and has often been called the classic ‘gangster car’ for it’s muscular but stylish appearance. The car offers one pretty impressive features such as a powerful V6 or V8 engine and stylish interiors. The 2005 model might be really cheap by today’s standards, but you can easily pick up a slightly newer 2009/2010 version for around $20,000. This is a great car to buy if you want a nice blend of style and performance.
The GS was widely praised upon its release for being stylish, luxurious and great in terms of performance. The car has become a favorite in the luxury sedan category and the subsequent re-releases of the model have garnered much acclaim and support. The 2010 version of the car originally sold for roughly $50,000 which was pretty steep – but definitely in line with what it offered. Nowadays, you can pick one of these up for around $15,000 – a huge drop from the initial price!
Upon its release, the Acura ZDX was a flop and it only stayed on the market for 4 years. The car attempted to usher in the new low back, sports style that has become popular with SUV’s now but failed to impress the market. While the car does have some pretty great features and performs pretty well, the lackluster looks when compared to other SUVs in the same price category cost it a lot in terms of sales. You can now pick one up for an easy $13,000.
The Hummer H2 is one of the most audacious cars on the road and are sure to have you turning heads wherever you roam. If you’re into the whole gas guzzling SUV thing, then a Hummer should be on the top of your list. When these were first released, they were carrying a pretty hefty price tag of roughly $60,000 off the lot. But thanks to the power of depreciation (and the incredibly high cost of running these things), you can pick one up for around $20,000 these days.
The Audi A6 was known for being a pretty good quality medium sized luxury sedan and the car has gone on to earn quite a good reputation for itself in the years proceeding its release. The A6 boasts a number of really cool features and even includes the 4-wheel-drive system that comes with the powerful Quattro. When it was released, it sold at $50,000 but nowadays you can find one of these beauties for roughly $15,000 which is less than a third of the original price. Bingo!
Mercedes is a brand that is known for luxury and when they released the CL-Class – that’s what they were intending. The car is a Gran Turismo coupe’ in essence, but can comfortably seat up to 4 people. It also boasts some pretty impressive luxury features that make long-distance driving a pleasure. I almost forgot to mention that it’s pretty fast! Upon release, it sold for $100,000 (as luxury doesn’t come cheap). But more recently, you can find models in good condition for about $25,000.
The Mercedes SL was initially intended to be the German equivalent of the Aston Martin Vantage. The ‘need-for-speed’ style roadster packed a seriously powerful punch with a 283 HP engine and some really sleek interior stylings and a body that was simply drop dead gorgeous. Unfortunately, upon release, this car was priced at around $120,000 making it a bit steep for the average motorist. However, over the past 8 years, depreciation has done its job again and you can find good quality models for around $30,000 quite easily.
The S-Class is and always has been about luxury. But not just luxury – luxury that outdoes the competition. Because of this, new models always tend to fetch a high price as the novel appeal is fresh and therefore the price is high. However, waiting even 4-5 years after the car’s release will enable you to save close to 36% of the initial cost due to depreciation. So even though you might be tempted to buy immediately, wait a little while and you can save a small fortune!
The Chrysler Aspen is well-known for being a tough and rugged SUV that has aged well over the years. The car features some pretty decent features for it’sprice range and is sure to be reliable as it was built to last. While the 2009/10 model originally sold for around $40,000 you can pick one of these up today for close to $12,000. This is great news if you’re looking for tough and practical SUV at a reasonable price – especially if you do a lot of off-road driving.
The Jeep Commander is known for being a tough, practical off-road SUV. It’s got all the features that you need to take it well off the beaten track but looks stylish enough to blend in when you’re back in the suburbs or even in the city. While the cost of maintaining a car like this is likely lead to its steady depreciation over the years since it’s release, you can find great quality second-hand versions of this car for around $10,000.
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Whenever we hear the name Aston Martin, we immediately think of high-speed luxury cars, secret agents and the amazing lifestyle that only multi-millionaires can afford to live. However, the truth about most Aston Martin’s is that roughly 5-6 years after their initial jaw-dropping release, they depreciate in value quite significantly. This means that if you’re willing to wait a little while, you can pick up some amazing deals. Nowadays the $120,000 V8 Vantage can be found for a reasonable $35,000.
This five-door sedan has won a variety of awards since it was first released. It is probably Nissan’s most successful venture in the world of electric cars, but that doesn’t change the fact that its price plummets on resale. The sheer amount of leased Leafs doesn’t contribute to its resale value. In addition, the over $7,000 in tax credits doesn’t translate well if you want to get rid of one. If you want to make a change from gas to electric, this is a good choice!
The Chevy Camaro’s rate of depreciation is very high — one of the highest depreciation rates on this list. Fun fact: this is the make of the classic Bumblebee car in the Transformers movies. You can own your very own for a significant mark off on the price! It’s currently in its sixth generation and features in a lot of cool, unique parts that aren’t shared by any other vehicle. It loses about $8,000 a year on average. Motor Trend even named it as their Car of the Year in 2016.
The GMC Yukon is one of the most popular SUV vehicles in America and taking a drive on any highway in the country will reveal a plethora of Yukon’s on the road. These cars are tough and are built to last, but come with all the comfort and additions that you’d need for long-distance journey’s or if you’ve got kids and need a safe vehicle to drive around in. On average, you can pick up one of the 2010 – 2013 models for anywhere around $15,000 and second-hand dealers will likely give you an even better price!
The Mini-Cooper is one of the most iconic hatchbacks that has existed in more recent times, and it’s a very popular car the world over. While many assume that the car is only really suited for England, models are frequently converted and sold for the American market. As a result of the large influx of these cars, you can pick one up secondhand (usually a 2014 or 2015 model) for around $10,000 which is a steal when you consider the high cost off the shelf.
While the Hyundai Sonata probably isn’t one of the sexiest 4-door saloons you can find on the roads these days, but they have some pretty cool features, great MPG ratings and are generally quite a cost-effective vehicle for those who need to save cash. These days, Hyundai Sonata’s can be found at almost any second-hand dealer and the average going price for a 2014 model would be anywhere from $9,800 to around $16,000. However, we would advise you to pay no more than $11,000 before reviewing a few other cars beforehand.
There is no doubt that the Ford Mustang has always been a bargain for performance aficionados. With a V8 engine that performs like a dream, the Mustang GT is value embodied. It seems like Ford is churning out new generations at an unnecessarily quick pace. However, the previous model is a great addition to anyone’s collection in its own right. You can find this car on sale for a cut price of $10,000. Pretty good, seeing that the original price was $35,000.
Nissan Rogue SV
If you are a fan of Nissan and would rather go for this manufacturer as opposed to brands such as Honda and Toyota, then the Nissan Rogue SV is probably the way to go. It’s an ideal model for fans of sporty cars. However, this is “fast and furious” at a cut price. The price dipped by five percent after a radical change in design. There is no denying that the Nissan Rogue SV is very much true to its name, a rogue.
You’ve seen it parked sideways, backward, and in places clearly not designed for cars. In many ways, the Smart Fortwo gets to break all the rules – and now, its price is, too. While it’s convenient for a hundred reasons, there are plenty more why some people haven’t been buying: big families in need of big spaces, or big egos in need of big wheels. Either way, it can fit anywhere and get you there just as fast. Reap the sale of this little magic machine while you can.
It’s hard to believe, but Chevrolet’s longest-running Sudan – the Impala – is on its way out of production. The full-sized vehicles have already ceased to be made – as a result, Chevy wants to get them sold, and you can see it in the prices. A long-time favorite of the American people, today you still have the choice of its economical 4-cylinder or powerful 6-cylinder engine, with the LS and the LT offering different varieties of new features.
The Subaru Legacy is a 4-door sedan that was created with the intention of providing comfort and style in demanding driving conditions. It sports a pretty decent 170 HP engine and an intelligent all-wheel-drive system that allows you to maintain control of your vehicle in either off-road terrain or wet tarmac with ease. When it was first released, the Legacy came in at around $27,000 with a number of different features. However, these days if you look around, you can easily find one for $10,000.
Sometimes cars just depreciate quickly for no specific reason. In the case of the Nissan Maxima, we couldn’t really pinpoint why the car depreciated so quickly. Maybe a lack of demand? Either way, the original 2016 model had some pretty impressive features and comes with a 300 hp v6 engine, some really cool tech, and a 3-year warranty. The original model cost around $32,000 and today, you can pick these up for around just over $20,000 which means you save $10,00 on a car that still has a factory warranty.
Jaguar is a brand that we generally tend to associate with luxury, and the XF is no exception. The base version of this model started at $50,000 but most buyers opted for the $60,000 version with a few extra features. However, This was back in 2009 and while Jaguars are generally considered good buys in terms of their depreciation value, nowadays you can pick up a 2009/10 model for around $15,000 (or less). That’s great news if you’re looking for luxury on a budget!
It’s sad to say, but Volvo luxury sedans are often left on the sidelines in American markets. While the SUV’s tend to do quite well, these otherwise well-balanced sedans tend to depreciate in value a lot quicker than we expected. For instance, a 2010 model S80 originally cost around $45,000 can now be picked up for as little as $11,000 – which is an absolute steal! So if you’re looking to buy yourself a first car, that’s safe and reliable – the S80 is probably a good bet.
2017 Ford Focus
It might be a relatively small car compared to many of the other vehicles on this list. Make no mistake about it though, the 2017 Ford Focus is a relatively new car that is worth checking out for its drop in value alone! According to realcartips.com, this sleek beauty is number three in the top 50 cars that have dropped the most from peak price. At a current average selling price of $20,490, that’s an absolute steal when you consider its sporty feel, high-tech options and compact yet smooth ride.
2018 Volvo V60
Another car to make realcartips.com’s 50 Cars Ripe for the Picking list is the 2018 Volvo V60, which made a respectable fourth place. Double the price of the 2017 Ford Focus, and understandably so, this Volvo is a great alternative to a typical SUV, and for a number of reasons. With a premium design, plenty of space and the fact that it’s also pretty quick, its current price of just under $40,000 doesn’t seem that hefty, after all!
While owning a classic Porsche might be out of many of our budgets, the 914 was Porsche’s attempt at making a more affordable car. It’s definitely not the more expensive Porsche 911 when it comes to performance and comfort, yet that doesn’t mean it’s not a solid investment in a well-made piece of machinery. Expect to pay between $8,000 and $12,000 for a vehicle in good condition. Who knew you could have such a smooth status symbol for so little money?
Nissan Datsun 240Z
Among the early Japanese sports cars to break into the American market, the Datsun 240Z was faster than the Porsche 911 of the day. Produced by Nissan, with a top speed of 125 miles per hour and an acceleration of 7.8-seconds from zero to 60 miles per hour, this is one of the most successful sports cars ever produced. Thanks to the last fact, perhaps, the price is relatively low, with decent models available for less than $15,000.
The first generation Mercury Cougars were pretty much just Ford Mustangs with a different body. They were in between the Mustang and the Thunderbird in terms of sports cars when they rolled off the assembly line in 1967. By the time the third generation was released in 1974, the Cougar had been re-envisioned as a personal luxury car, so it lost its similarities to the Mustang. Indeed, as the years went by it was distanced more and more from its roots. A 1967 model, though, can go for under $10,000 easy.
Over 200,000 of the BMW E3s were made from 1968 to 1977, with both sedan and coupé models available. The model was the German company’s successful response to Mercedes-Benz dominating the market for these types of luxury cars in the late ’60s. This means that replacement parts are fairly easy to find, so it’s not a bad investment. You can get one in decent shape for under $10,000, but the price will drop further if it’s a fixer-upper.
The first Honda CR-X combined much of what was successful in the Civic with a sleek sports look. Fast, light, cheap, reliable — you’d expect cars this good to go for much more, but you can get a first-generation CR-X for under $5,000. Produced from 1983 to 1991, American models had extra safety features that models in other countries might not have. While the fuel economy is great, the safety rating for some of the years tested was “significantly worse than average.”
You can buy a Toyota MR2 for less than $3,000, which is really cheap considering how fun it is to drive. Be careful, though, as it’s said that earlier models handled poorly turning corners. That being said, it’s a perfectly good sports car that’s fun to drive and that might go for as low as $2,000. The first generation rolled off in 1984, and Toyota halted production in 2007. Not all of the models are so cheap, but repairs shouldn’t set you back too much.
Fiat 124 Spider
While some models will go for tens of thousands, you can definitely find an original (1966-1981) Fiat 124 Spider for $10,000 in decent condition, albeit with many thousands of miles. That doesn’t mean it’s not a steal, as about 200,000 of these were made, with over three-fourths making their way to North America. This means that it shouldn’t be too hard to find parts to fix up this ultra-cool car that can hit 115 miles per hour, an impressive performance for its time.
The Mazda RX-7’s third generation, which was produced from 1992 to 2002, has recently been praised among car enthusiasts for being a great value. Mazda started producing these cars in 1978, though, and they quickly became a hit, eventually selling over 800,000 units. The vintage first and second generations have been left somewhat forgotten, but they’re great cars that have aged very well. Over the years, it was named to the Car and Driver magazine’s Ten Best list five times. You can get one in really good condition for just $5,000.
Lincoln Continental Mark III
When it comes to classic looks, the Lincoln Continental Mark III from 1968 to 1971 mixes aesthetics with comfort. Furthermore, its V8 engine is extremely powerful, and it can destroy other sporty-looking cars drag racing. It can get up to 131 miles per hour, with an acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour in 7.8 seconds. You can find them for under $8,000, but keep in mind that the car has an average fuel consumption of 11.1 miles to the gallon.
Rolls Royce Silver Shadow
While it might sound like someone’s getting their leg pulled for those unfamiliar with the brand’s production history, it’s true that you can own your very own Rolls Royce, albeit a used one with miles on it, for under $15,000. It’s a full-sized luxury car that was produced from 1965 to 1980 and which enjoyed greater production volume than any other Rolls Royce. Thanks to that, it’s fairly common to see these, so repairs shouldn’t be as bad as other Rolls Royce models.
Walter Carr was just trying to make sure he made it to his first day at his new job, but when the CEO of the company heard about his dedication, Carr would be greeted with an unfathomable surprise.
Hard Day’s Night
Excited To start a new job as a mover for the startup Bellhop, Carr was eager to rest up the night before. However, his plans quickly changed when he was faced with a challenge he did not foresee. Nevertheless, his enthusiasm for the new job motivated him to face adversity and come out on top.
Over Before It Began
The day before Walter was set to begin his new job, one that offered much better pay than the work he’d done previously in a fast food restaurant, he was fueled by the anticipation of a new beginning. The stakes were even higher than simply needing some pocket money. Carr had just paid his rent, leaving his savings at zero. With the ability to make his own schedule, the gig with Bellhop seemed like a great opportunity, but Carr would soon discover a roadblock.
As he headed out to run some errands the afternoon before his first shift, he realized he couldn’t get his car to start. He had no money to bring it to the shop at the time, as he was counting on getting his first paycheck before having to shell out for repairs, nor did he necessarily have time. Before he panicked, he figured he could just get a ride to work early the next morning with a friend, so he pulled out his phone and started dialing.
Searching Every Angle
Each time Walter heard the phone ring, he felt like his heart skipped a beat until he heard his friend answer on the other side. It was a rare day that a 20-year-old would call rather than text his friends, but desperate times call for desperate measures. With each successive person Walter spoke to, his spirits sank a little more, as each of them explained that they would be unavailable to give him a lift the next morning.
Hatching A Plan
One of the things that worried Carr the most as he considered what to do without the option of driving was the lack of public transportation that connected Birmingham to the communities in its outskirts. Carr’s job wasn’t simply on the other side of the city, it was far beyond the metro area’s limits. It was going to take some creativity on Walter’s part to get himself to work, but money was going to be a limiting factor.
One Way Out
With only about 12 hours to go until he had to be at work, Walter decided he’d have to take the only option he had left. He’d walk. Carr didn’t think it would be beyond his fitness level. After all, in high school, he’d been a long distance runner, and the young college student was determined to join the Marines once he’d received his Associate’s degree. It was just going to be a matter of how far the walk really was that would give him pause.
Mapping The Route
Walter pulled out his phone once more and decided to look up how far the moving job was. He typed in Pelham, Alamaba. From his apartment in Homewood, that was nearly 20 miles away. According to the route the computer gave him, the walk would take him roughly eight hours. Upon seeing that figure, however, Walter’s determination was set. He was not only going to walk, but he was going to do it faster than what Google suggested.
The Necessary Steps
If Walter was going to make it by 8 am, he figured he was going to need to leave around midnight. That gave him a few moments to scarf down some food and then take a nap in order to build up his energy. With precious little time to waste, the determined teen whipped up some eggs and ate them accompanied by bologna before immediately heading to bed. It seemed far too soon when his alarm rang at midnight.
Supplies In Hand
It was lucky that the most important tools Walter needed for his new job were his strength and positive attitude. Not wanting to be weighed down on his walk, he grabbed his phone and wallet, then just to be safe from stray dogs, a baseball and a kitchen knife. Before going to sleep he’d figured out the best roads to take, but even so, Walter would need plenty of mental fortitude to see himself through to the other side.
Long And Lonely Road
With eight hours stretching ahead of him, feeling longer than the route he would travel himself, Walter found plenty of time to let his thoughts wander, even while staying on high alert in case of danger. One after another, his footsteps fell, marking time on an endless journey. Here and there, Walter decided to pick up the pace, sprinting for a mile or so before slowing down once more. In the darkness, however, he saw a pair of eyes flicker up ahead.
Dog In The Night
Walter slowed his pace, clenching the baseball in his fist. As the eyes approached him, Walter found his suspicions confirmed, as the figure of a stray dog came into view. He wound up for the pitch, hoping that the diversion would be successful. The ball left his palm, launching into the air past the dog, whose attention was immediately grabbed by the flying object. Flying into the dark beyond the road, the dog took off, clearing the way for Walter to continue.
The hours marched on, but Walter stayed focused on his goal. He continued to go over the mental map he had made of his route, which helped to keep up his strength, even when he felt his legs beginning to burn. It was nearly 4 am, and Walter thought he was making good time. He quickly calculated that he could afford to rest for a few minutes, just to replenish his strength before moving on. With that, he sat down to rest.
Stumbling Upon Luck
Though he only had a few minutes of respite, Walter wanted to make the most of it. Instead, it seemed like mere seconds before a pair of headlights came blazing into the lot behind him. It was the police. Walter hoped they didn’t notice him sitting on the curb, but when the car pulled up right in front of him, he could only pray that they had sympathy for what he was trying to accomplish. Even so, as the window rolled down, Walter’s heart rate accelerated.
Hitching His Wagon
The officer behind the wheel, Mark Knighton, leaned out of his window to ask the young man sitting in the parking lot if he was ok. “This is crazy but I’m actually heading to work. It’s my first day in the job,” Walter explained, waiting to see if the officer believed him. He was still hours away from his destination, and just hoped he wouldn’t be held up for very long. Officer Knighton had a different idea in mind.
Officer Knighton was worried about the worn out young man sitting on the curb in front of him. It was roughly 4 am, but he was impressed by Walter’s determination to get to his new job. Knighton asked him when he’d last had a meal, figuring he must be not only tired, but also hungry. After hearing that it had been hours since his last meal, Knighton suggested getting Carr some food, but Walter had no cash on him at all.
The officers insisted that Walter get in the car. He was reluctant, but they seemed to be well-meaning. They explained that they were bringing him to get a meal, despite Walter being short on cash. Carr couldn’t have been more grateful for the help. The officers decided that they were not only going to make sure that Walter was fed with a warm meal, but they wanted to help get him closer to his destination, even if they couldn’t bring him the entire way.
Relay Racing The Clock
With two chicken biscuits from Whataburger filling his belly, the two officers shaved a significant amount of time off of Walter’s journey when they dropped him several miles closer to his destination. Knighton and his colleague explained to Walter that they had radioed in for another police escort from the local municipality to come pick him up from a nearby church, as their shifts were soon ending. Walter exited their vehicle, full of gratitude, but his anxiety was still running high.
Waiting On An Edge
The minutes ticked by, but Walter still found himself waiting for his new escort in front of the church. He checked his watch and noticed how much later it had gotten. If he didn’t start walking again soon, Walter worried that all of his efforts would have been in vain, because there was no way he’d make it on time for his shift. Wearily, he brought himself to his feet, and hit the road once more.
A Winding Lane
As Walter set out for the second part of his journey, the road he was now hurrying to traverse was a stark contrast to the busy thoroughfares he had taken before. It was already 5:30 am, and the grey summer dawn was now illuminating his way. His ears pricked at the sound of a car coming up behind him, but as he stepped out of its way, the car slowed. Walter’s body tensed in anticipation of danger, but he looked back to find a second police car.
Jumping The Gun
As the car pulled level with Walter, he saw that the officers had already rolled down their window to question him. It turned out that the officers in this second vehicle had been tipped off by Walter’s previous escort and were happy to find him making his way down the road. At their insistence, Walter got into the car, thankful that he would not only arrive to work, but now he would be early, and could preserve some energy for the work itself.
Sounding The Bell
It was only 6:30 am when Walter arrived at the house he was supposed to help move. His second escort walked him to the door, waiting for the owner to greet them. They explained to Jenny Lamey that the young man they were bringing over at such an early hour was part of the team of movers she’d hired and that he had been walking all night in order to get there. Jenny was stunned by his dedication.
“The officer told me, ‘I’ve got this nice kid in my car. He’s a great kid, he’s been walking all night to get to your house,’” Lamey recalled to the Washington Post. “That’s when the tears started coming. I just started crying.” Though Lamey offered Walter a place to rest until the rest of his team arrived for the job, given the amount of energy he’d already expended, he declined her offer, insisting that he’d rather just start working early.
Above And Beyond
It wouldn’t be long before the rest of Walter’s team arrived, and though the young men had never met before, they began working like a well-oiled machine, deftly packing up the Lameys’ old home before transporting and unloading it in a new location. Lamey was particularly impressed by Walter’s tireless efforts, as he refused to rest until the work was complete. When the bulk of the move had taken place, he even went so far as to play basketball with Lamey’s children.
Fueled By More Than Fire
Reflecting back on Walter’s work in an interview with Washington Post, Lamey said, “I can’t imagine what kept him going. What came over him physically was supernatural. I think God helped him through.” Despite the physical demands of the job, Walter didn’t falter for even a moment. If they hadn’t already known that he’d walked throughout the night, they’d never have guessed he’d already exerted so much energy just to be at the job in the first place.
Proving It’s Possible
“He’s such a humble, kindhearted person,” Lamey gushed to the news outlet. “He’s really incredible. He said it was the way he was raised. Nothing is impossible unless you say it’s impossible.” She also shared that she believed their first encounter would be far from their last. Walter is exactly the kind of young person the Lameys wanted to keep around as a positive role model for their children who are currently 11, 13, and 16 years old.
Lamey still couldn’t get over just how much effort Walter had put into the job, not just in getting there on time, but in continuing to push his strength through the day. She wanted to make sure his efforts got the recognition he deserved, so she called his supervisor just to praise both his performance and his character. The same day, she also posted his story on her Facebook, if only because she was so impressed. The consequences would be far-reaching.
Paying It Forward
As Lamey recounted the story to Walter’s supervisor, the two of them found themselves overcome by his commitment. To complement her Facebook post, she decided to start a small GoFundMe page for Walter, hoping that she could raise around $2,000 in order to help him sort out the trouble he was having with his car. Instead, she would find the fundraiser was met with an overwhelmingly positive response. In the end, she raised over $44,000 for the hopeful Marine.
The Perks Roll In
Receiving a financial windfall at such a young age can often have more disastrous consequences. With that, one of the readers who found Walter’s story wanted to help him manage the money he had just come into. The man was a financial advisor by trade, and their help doesn’t usually come cheap. He was so impressed by Walter’s commitment to his work that he wanted to do the job for free in order to help the young man.
Walter was so grateful to have kept his job, he couldn’t have imagined just how big of an impression his efforts had made. Lamey didn’t tell him about her fundraiser, but he would soon find himself surprised behind his wildest expectations. It wasn’t just Lamey who wanted to thank him for his efforts, but even after one job, Bellhops wanted to shower him with some much-deserved recognition. With that, the CEO, Luke Marklin, decided to give him a call.
Meeting The Big Wigs
When Walter picked up the strange number calling his phone, he was surprised to find that the CEO himself was calling to express his appreciation for Walter’s work ethic. Beyond wanting to express just how impressed he was that someone like Walter wanted to work for his company, he wanted to meet Walter in person. The two arranged to meet at a local cafe a few days later, but Marklin had a few more tricks up his sleeves.
Plane, Train, Or…
The day of Walter’s meeting dawned clear and balmy, like any other morning in an Alabama summer. The cafe they’d chosen for their meeting wasn’t exactly close by, but it wasn’t as far away as Walter’s job. Given that he still hadn’t been able to get his car fixed, Walter walked to the restaurant, though the journey only took him a brief 20 minutes. The move served to reinforce just how far he was willing to go in order to get things done.
Earning His Keep
When Walter arrived for his meeting with Marklin, little did he know that Lamey and several of his colleagues were waiting in the wings to take part in the big surprise they had planned. Before even entering the cafe, Marklin intercepted Walter in the parking lot, where he handed him a pair of keys. Marklin explained they were for a 2014 Ford Escape, which Marklin had driven all the way to Alabama, just to gift to the hard-working young employee.
With Flying Colors
“We set a really high bar for heart and grit and … you just blew it away,” Marklin explained to the stunned teenager. Even as Marklin was pressing the keys into his hands, he could hardly believe the moment was real. Walter was beyond grateful to everyone who had helped him along the way in the past few days, and he was overcome by their generosity. Not only that, he couldn’t wait to test out his new car.
Beyond His Wildest Imagination
Walter felt like his eyes were popping out of his head when he saw that he was truly being given a car. After everything he had gone through, even walking to the meeting that day, he felt like his prayers had at last been answered. In reflection, Walter shared, “The lesson of my story is it’s great to reach people, I always wanted to inspire people. Don’t let nobody tell you you can’t do something. It’s up to us whether we can.”