So I’m driving along a couple of months ago, bringing home my new E63 AMG Wagon from Minneapolis, where I bought it, and I get up behind this Volkswagen Jetta station wagon somewhere in the middle of Indiana. Normally, this wouldn’t be a very unusual occurrence, but this thing had a license plate from Maine, and we were very far from Maine, so I took a picture of it and made a note to Carfax it later.
I have this power, and you can, too. Carfax, which is one of the companies that provides vehicle history reports for cars, now lets you look up vehicles by license plate number and not just VIN. So I take pictures of unusual cars I see on the road, and then I run Carfax reports on them when I’m stopped somewhere later, such as having lunch.
And in this case, I’m glad I did, because this car’s report was absolutely amazing. First off, it’s a one-owner 2004 Volkswagen Jetta wagon, meaning this guy’s been driving this thing for 13 years. Right away, I knew there would be some good story with it, since it’s an old, one-owner car more than 1,000 miles from home, and — let’s be honest — cars and people from Maine always have unusual stories to tell.
And in this case, it had the most unusual story of all. This car was bought new in October 2004 and registered in Maine, where it seemingly lived a normal life. Right up until August 27, 2007, that is, when it hit a moose. In Alaska.
I am not making this up: This car was sold new in Maine, it’s lived in Maine its entire life, and it only has one Carfax event outside Maine — an oil change in Minnesota in 2009. But in August 2007, it was involved in an accident in Alaska where it hit a moose.
Obviously, the funniest thing about this is the fact that Carfax reports accidents with this level of detail (I’ve also seen "it hit a mailbox"). Carfax didn’t always do this, but many prospective buyers (and dealers) have asked for more clarity on exactly how extensive the accidents are that get reported to Carfax, and Carfax has obliged. So this accident says, very matter-of-factly, "Accident reported involving front impact. It hit a moose. Minor damage reported."
Of course, this isn’t the only bizarre thing. Clearly, this guy drives a lot: the oil change in Minnesota, the moose in Alaska, and I saw him in Indiana. But what was he doing all the way up there?! How far has he taken this Volkswagen?! And, more importantly, you have to wonder if he saw any irony in leaving what must be the second-densest moose-populated state (Maine) and traveling something like 5,000 miles, only to hit a moose.
Anyway, I run about 20 Carfax reports a day and I don’t think any has ever made me laugh before, until now. Indeed, the whole thing was quite hilarious, unless you’re the moose. Find a used Volkswagen Jetta for sale
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.