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Automotive Traveler Magazine: Vol 3 Iss 3 Page 75

Manager: Yeah, we already put them in the car.

Me (confused, but willing to give it another try): You're saying the old tires are in my car? It's a tiny little sports car. Are we talking about the same Crossfire?

Manager: Yeah, we put two in the back and two in the passenger seat. They fit.

End scene.

There were so many things wrong with what Manager said that I couldn't think of any further questions. I walked out to the lot and took a look inside the Crossfire. Manager was not kidding me.

They really did stuff four large tires into my immaculate two-seater's interior, leaving just enough room for the driver. There was wadded plastic under the tires, although a fully exposed rubber sidewall was squeezed against my passenger door panel, and there were other points of contact due to the randomness of the sheet placement. I could tell the plastic had been used to ship or store tires, because it showered my interior with hundreds of tiny rubber bits that were especially noticeable on the silver-colored console. After baking in the hot June sun for two hours with the windows closed, the interior smelled like a FEMA trailer.

Rather than waste my time discussing this bizarre interpretation of the term "customer service," I draped my shop towels over every tire surface that was touching or in danger of rubbing against an interior part and slowly drove the Crossfire to the safety of its garage.

After four careful extractions and a lot of tire dust removal, only the strong rubber smell serves to remind me of the day my Karmann-built, Mercedes-engineered coupe was mistaken for a parts hauler.