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Paul Stoute’s 14-month-old daughter has been drawn to technology throughout her short life, but he underestimated her tech savvy.
Last month, Stoute received an email from eBay that he had the winning bid for a 1962 Austin Healey Sprite. Trouble was, he never knew about the car and certainly didn't bid on it.
Stoute, who lives in Portland, Ore., with his wife and daughter, said on his website he initially thought it was a phishing scam. But he quickly learned he was, in fact, the winner after logging onto eBay.
Then it dawned on him. His daughter Sorella constantly plays with his Android phone (which is now password protected). She had ordered the car while she was pushing buttons on his phone.
Stoute immediately contacted the seller.
“Hey, I think my 13 month old placed a bid on this through the mobile app when she was supposed to be playing a game on my phone,” he wrote.
The seller said he would try to contact the previous highest bidder, but noted Stoute’s daughter’s good eye for a nice car.
“Your kid is obviously a car aficionada with superlative taste, and this would make a great father-kid project that you might just finish in time for them to drive as a first car!” the seller wrote to Stoute.
Stoute took the seller’s idea and is running with it. He agreed to buy the car, which he bought with money he said he borrowed from his family, and picked up the car in Tualatin, Ore. Final price: $202.
Stoute has set up a website that tells the story of how his daughter purchased her first car before she turned 2, and set up a way for people to donate to help him fix up the car, which needs a new engine and transmission, brakes and roof. He noted that there is “almost zero rust” on the car.
He hopes to give the working car to Sorella on her 16th birthday.