by John Phillips: As I shuffle into a sunset that promises daily crashes on my Hoveround while wearing orthopedic socks—all the while shedding body parts like a Lotus Europa—I’m at least watching less TV. These days, it’s either car racing or Anthony Bourdain. But two years ago, my wife and I were drawn into the truTV reality show Hardcore Pawn starring Les Gold—a sinewy string bean of a man, shirt open to reveal prodigious chest hair as well as a gold hand grenade of a jeweler’s loupe. At Sam’s Loan in Detroit, Gold made his first sale—when he was seven. Today he operates American Jewelry and Loan in a 50,000-square-foot store that used to be a bowling alley. He’s an over-revving slot machine of a salesman, alternately compassionate, profane, hysterical, generous, stingy, insightful, but always relentless about pawning, loaning, and redeeming.
During one episode, a customer tried to sell his Shelby GT500KR, demanding fairly strong money. “That’s not a real Shelby!” I shouted from my La-Z-Boy, regaining composure at the same moment Gold said, “That’s not a real Shelby.” Gold offered $20,000, which irked the seller, although it was exactly what I’d have offered, too. “I think Les is a car guy,” I told my wife.
“So, give him a call,” she said.
Read the full article at Car and Driver Magazine