Thursday, July 27, 2017

Big Daddy

About a year ago it occurred to me that I needed a truck. *NEED* This is not a "want"--it is a necessity. It's simply too difficult to haul sheets of drywall in a sports coupe, let alone impossible to haul a yard of soil, bricks, plywood or whatever is needed on any particular day.

So I began the search, only to discover that trucks are OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive.

Heated leather seats? Add $10,000.
Navigation? Add more $$
Orange exterior? Rare.
Premium sound system? Virtually nonexistent. (No, Bose speakers do NOT count)
Sexy interior? Completely nonexistent in pickups.

What could possibly be more discouraging? My trade-in, which had all of the above, was valued at a pitiful $4,000. And that was before the front suspension went out ($3,000 repair).

My car, nicknamed 'Ginger'
My car's interior

So I eyed all the vehicle resale websites for 6 months, seeking something I could finance. Zip, zero, nada. Everything that looked good online turned out to be flooded, have < 150,000 miles, have a crappy Triton engine, or simply be out of my price range (thanks, law school loans...)

Then one day I saw that a local dealership had a GMC Sierra for $11,000. Having no idea the condition of the truck, I stopped in to investigate. It was dirty, it had cloth seats, lacked all of the above preferences, but was steal of a deal. So we negotiated and I signed a price agreement for $10,000. We went to finance, and the deal ended there. Despite superb credit, the banks weren't willing to finance a 9 year old truck with 130,000 miles on it--at least not for a reasonable APR. I walked, said 'give me a night to think about it.'

The dealership called back with an offer that cut the interest rate in half. Now they had my attention.

The next morning, the AC compressor went out on my car. It's 100+ degrees out, 100% humidity. Utterly miserable. This lasted one morning. I called the dealership back, soaked from the 15 minute drive to work, "Get the papers ready, I'm coming in to sign."

So poor Ginger is off to the auction, and I'm at home with 'Big Daddy' as my neighbors have named him:

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