After that, the semester picked up and we spent a bit less time with the car. I had been driving the car home and back about once a week (~3 miles each way). It needed to be charged at both ends.
We had come to the conclusion that the entire battery pack needed to be replaced. We didn't want to suggest that the school cough up the $1500 for a new battery pack just to let it sit uncared for and go bad again in a year. We couldn't use it much, we couldn't put much money in it (nobody else cared about the car). Eventually my schedule changed and I couldn't work on it anymore. So it returned to taking up space and collecting dust.
I bought a house farther away and had just two semesters of classes left. The spring of 2007 I noticed the car parked outside the high-bay and very dusty. The idea occurred to me that the school doesn't want to keep the car and I should offer to buy it. I started asking around and found the new guy in charge of facilities. He said the departments were talking about getting rid of the car! What luck! I said I want to buy it, he said he'd get back to me. Summer came, classes out, I love having my own house and garage!
When I get back to school in the fall I happily see that the car is still parked outside. I start inquiring again and I don't get much response. Then one day I get a letter in the mail inviting me to bid on the car. The school has to auction off all old equipment, they can't sell directly. I wait until a few days before the deadline and bid $30 because nobody else had bid yet. I win! I was the only bidder, and probably the only one who knew about it.
When I tried to get the title moved to me, the DMV tells me that I have to pay tax on the blue-book value because I payed less than $50 for the car, which turns out to be over $100. So I go give the school another $20, then $13 for the title.
My total cost so far: $63.
My brother towed me home and the car gets stored in my garage. I was not planning on having the car this soon. Money was very tight, I was stressed with work and school, and I had no time. So it sat there for months, but it was mine!