Some deals are harder to close than others.
Take the case of 30 natural-gas-fueled Honda Civics. Marco Henry of Yellow Cab Co. in Hartford, Conn., wants to buy them. Craig Peters of nearby Manchester Honda wants to sell them to him.
But it has taken months of meetings, phone calls and letters, the intervention of Honda North America's Washington office, the hiring of Connecticut lobbyists and state legislation to make a deal possible.
And still, as of last week, the governor's signature was needed on the bill before the deal could be closed.
All this because state regulators decided in November 2000 that a car used for taxicab service should have a wheelbase of at least 105 inches. The Civic has a 103.1-inch wheelbase.
The bill sought by Honda and headed for the governor's desk says a cab that runs on a clean alternative fuel can have a wheelbase as short as 102 inches.
Regulators who had blocked the Civic taxicab said the minimum-wheelbase rule was needed for passenger comfort. But other parties to the dispute saw more than mere coincidence in these facts: The car used most often for taxis, the Ford Crown Victoria, has a wheelbase of 114.7 inches, and it also is available in a natural-gas-powered version.