Stun; Verb (used with object), stunned, stun·ning.

to deprive of consciousness or strength by or as if by a blow, fall, etc.:The blow to his jaw stunned him for a moment.
to astonish; astound; amaze:Her wit stunned the audience.
to shock; overwhelm:The world was stunned by the attempted assassination.
to daze or bewilder by noise

This is how an online dictionary defines the word stun. It is also how 12% of the sellers of Audi cars on AutoTrader describe their cars. That’s right. Of the 33000 or so sellers currently advertising an Audi, c.4000 use the word stunning in their description. They honestly think that a manky, quarter-million mile A3 possesses the ability to “deprive of consciousness”. And I think that makes that seller a twat.

And it’s not just Audi owners who seem to use this vacuous nonsense when selling. The same search finds that 10% of BMW sellers are no better, and 9% of Mercedes-Benz cars are just as bad. I don’t buy many cars but, when I do, I consciously avoid anyone who thinks that their car can ‘stun’. The greatest offender on Autotrader right now is, in my outspoken opinion, the seller of a “stunning” £425 Yaris. Twat. There are nearly 39000 sellers who use this phrase on AutoTrader today and I sincerely hope that each and every one of them has to deal with WeBuyAnyCar as punishment, standing in the carpark of a cold wet supermarket carpark when a man with a clipboard says “it’s not stunning, mate, it’s just a Corsa. Here’s £150 for it”. What is worse, arguably, are those twats who want to say stunning but can’t even spell it. 27 sellers think their car is ‘stuning’ [sic]. This includes sellers of exotica such as an Aston Martin Rapide, to a humble and in no way stunning, stuning or anything else much Vauxhall Meriva.

Why does this stupidity make me simmer with rage? I don’t know. I am not in the market for a car, stunning or otherwise. “Head-turner” is another teeth-gnashingly awful phrase overused by idiots. Take your pick of 728 “head turners” on AutoTrader right now, including such utterly forgettable transport as a Vauxhall Insignia, a Peugeot 308 and a car so dull I have forgotten what it is before I have even finished this sentence. It might have been a Seat. And what happens when we mate those two phrases, what cars may we drool over online that are both “stunning” and “head turners”? Mating those phrases should really result in a Lamborghini Diablo, pulled by Minotaurs and steered by a naked Noel Edmonds, or something, yet it brings up a Mini and a 1 Series BMW.

Classic cars don’t often crop up on AutoTrader, but while I’m sifting through the stunning, head-turning shite on there I may as well see about “future classics”. There are over 300 of them at present and, to be entirely fair, you might reasonably argue that a Ford Puma might, in a few years, be worth a few bob. But a Renault Megane with the inevitably broken metal roof, a Cat S accident damage marker and earwax-coloured paint isn’t ever going to be worth a few bob, it is bob. “Future classic”, my spotty arse. “Will increase in value” is also a statement that, by the very fact that someone is selling, not keeping while it appreciates, is patently a lie. Choose from 64 examples including an always-worthless Peugeot 407 and the perennially-pocketmoney Saab 93. Now please don’t think I am knocking the cars here. Not even the Audis. They’re just cars. It’s sellers we’re on about here. Those who describe “taking on boy racers” in an automatic Nissan Elgrand in their adverts. “Sport button”, FTW.

More half-cut while fannying around online research here at MotorPunk HQ finds that 3689 sellers state “first to see will buy”. And you just know that these cars have all been viewed already and that, however good the car may or may not have been, the potential buyer has walked away because they have realised that the sort of person who says “first to see will buy” is an idiot who is best avoided, really. If this complete toss were true, surely random people who accidentally, in-passing, glimpsed the Volvo S40 with paint flatter than Lincolnshire would be haranguing the seller with hard cash for reasons they could not understand. Before getting the car home to find it is, in fact, a dogdirt.

Who writes this tripe? It’s not just private sellers who (being charitable now) might not have English as their first language, perhaps, or have had their brains stoved in with an anvil. Trade sellers are at it, too. There are 157 cars for sale by Traders who spell cars with a ‘k’, for flip’s sake. If they can’t spell one the simplest of words, a word at the very core of their bombsite business, then what chance the ability to fill in a logbook with anything other than rough daubings using their own excrement? These imbeciles inevitably describe their miserable cars like a drunk Mike Brewer who was home-schooled by Katie Price on crack; Stunning.

About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich's drivel regularly appears in Practical Performance Car and GT Porsche magazines. He has also written for Classic & Sportscar, MogMag, Classic Performance and Retro, Banzai, Evo, and Modern Mini. He also did a book no-one bought. His hungover fizzog also often appears on CBS’s Carfection channel enthusing about historic motoring. Le Mans winner Derek Bell once refused to get in Rich's Morgan Three Wheeler with him at the wheel. Currently amongst the detritus in his garage is a 1972 Fiat 500 Abarth, a fat BMW and a Lotus Elise. Previous machinery includes a Porsche 968, an Alfa GTV V6 and a dreadful Sinclair C5. He also owns a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike.

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