Notes on the wheels?

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mrghd

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(source: Iceberg Slim – Pimp, The story of my life)

The section that contains the expression:


”Top cut me into a stud who had a black LaSalle car in mint condition.He was out on an appeal bond and his lip wired him he was joint bound. I gave the stud four bills in his mitt. I paid off the last two notes on the wheels.”


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Slim buys a car from a man introduced to him by his friend Glass Top. Slim gives the man four hundred dollars in cash and ’pays off the last two notes on the wheels’ I am sure that ’wheels’ means ’car’ here but I still cannot interpret the expression…
 

JMurray

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I'm not sure either, but this is what I think.
The stud was still in the process of paying off the car, so Slim gave him $400 in his hand and then paid the $200 still owing to whoever the stud had bought the car off. So Slim now owned the car outright.
 

mrghd

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I'm not sure either, but this is what I think.
The stud was still in the process of paying off the car, so Slim gave him $400 in his hand and then paid the $200 still owing to whoever the stud had bought the car off. So Slim now owned the car outright.

Thanks. My uncertain guess would have been that the owner got some punishment to pay with the car (for violation of traffic rules) and Slim settled that for him to have a clompletely 'clean' car. Does it sound a possible interpretation for You?
 

Gillnetter

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(source: Iceberg Slim – Pimp, The story of my life)

The section that contains the expression:


”Top cut me into a stud who had a black LaSalle car in mint condition.He was out on an appeal bond and his lip wired him he was joint bound. I gave the stud four bills in his mitt. I paid off the last two notes on the wheels.”

The last two notes could have at least two meanings:
A hundred dollar bill is sometimes called a "C" (for century, or 100) note. In this case (the most probable one), he paid the "stud" $400.00 and paid someone else $200.00 for the LaSalle.
A note could also mean a payment, such as the note is due on your home loan.


Background:


Slim buys a car from a man introduced to him by his friend Glass Top. Slim gives the man four hundred dollars in cash and ’pays off the last two notes on the wheels’ I am sure that ’wheels’ means ’car’ here but I still cannot interpret the expression…
I haven't read this book, but from the mention of a LaSalle I assume that the story takes place in the 1930s or 1940s. The LaSalle hasn't been made in years.
 

mrghd

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Yes, the story plays in the 30-40s.

Is it a plausible interpretation then that the whole price of the car was $600 and Slim paid at once 400 when he took the car and he payed the last two notes (the last two hundred dollars) later when he was already using the car (ie. he was "on the wheels") ?
 

probus

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I don't think "on the wheels" is intended to indicate that Slim was already driving the car. In my opinion "wheels" is a slang synonym for car, as in "I need some new wheels". "I paid off the last two notes on the wheels” means "I made the last two payments on the car." Notes refers to promissory notes, and is still in daily use in the American car finance business. Nor do I think we can assume that those last two payments were of $100 each. If that had been the case Slim would probably have said "C-notes" rather than just "notes."

 

probus

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Thanks. My uncertain guess would have been that the owner got some punishment to pay with the car (for violation of traffic rules) and Slim settled that for him to have a clompletely 'clean' car. Does it sound a possible interpretation for You?


No.

The car owner's legal situation was far beyond traffic violations. "He was out on an appeal bond and his lip wired him he was joint bound" means "He had been convicted but was free on bail pending his appeal. His lawyer sent him a telegram to the effect that he would soon be going to the penitentiary." That is why he no longer had any use for the car.
 

Elezara

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I think he gives a more precise definition to 400$. Last 2 notes - 400$. Nothing else. There is no "AND". Read it again.
 
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