Madison: 15-year-old swaps PlayStation for vintage car

2:45 AM, Jun 8, 2012   |    comments
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MADISON, Ohio -- Rachel Dempsey bartered for two years on Craigslist to get a car in time for her 16th birthday.

Inspired by the 2010 story of a 17-year-old who traded his cell phone for a Porsche on Craigslist, Rachel set to work with the hope of achieving a car of her own in time to drive.

She started by listing her $40 PlayStation 2 console on the "barter" section of Craigslist.org.

She found someone willing to trade a broken four-wheeler for the game system.

One trade led to another, and after a half-dozen cars, a camper, and two bikes, Rachel now has a car she loves: A 1986 Camaro, in good condition.

Rachel says one of the hard parts was to get people to take her seriously.

"A couple weeks ago, I had a guy come out and look at this [car]. He pulled in the driveway, looked at me. I told him a bunch of stuff about the car and he turned around and left. Not a word," Rachel laughs.

Why?

"I assume because I'm a 15-year-old girl," Rachel said. "Going through his head is a male ego thinking I couldn't possibly know anything about cars -- or be reliable."

She plans to spend the summer fixing up her Camaro, then hopefully trading it again for her dream ride: A late model Mustang.

"My grandpa taught me about cars," Rachel said. "Anything my car needs, I've fixed it myself."

With the leftover cash from one trade-turned-sale, Rachel is investing in her Camaro to increase the value.

Amanda Dempsey says she's inspired by her daughter's determination.

"I think my favorite thing about her is her fearlessness," Amanda said. "So many people go, 'Oh, that would be cool,' but don't follow through. She didn't know anything about cars and was only 14 years old [when she started]. She educated herself and she took over."

Rachel will be a junior at Madison High School in the fall. She doesn't know many girls her age who like to work on cars, but that's okay with her.

"I love it. It will be a life-long hobby," she says.

WKYC-TV

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