Car Buying—A Brave New World!
Buying a used car or truck has always been a pretty fixed procedure with various options: A used car dealer, an ad in the local paper, the Auto Trader, or a friend or relative needing to offload their old car.
In 2015, I decided to sell off my classic 1970 Ford F250. I’ve been a gearhead since I became the neighborhood bicycle repairman at age 11. Learned to work on cars, trucks, and motorcycles through high school, including a stint as a freelance mechanic, a machinist, and a parts guy. My F250 was a gearhead’s fantasy—built 390FE with cam, carb, headers, C6, limited slip Ford 9″, Classic Air AC, etc. And it was slowly rusting away. It reached the point where I would be dumping serious cash to blow it all apart, strip it down to the bare metal, do all the panel repairs it needed (every panel!) and put it back together. Probably $50k worth of work for a technological and safety relic. No air bags, no crumple zones, LOUD INSIDE, and uncomfortable on long journeys.
It was time to let go of the classic and move to contemporary.
Buying a used vehicle is a very different world now—one can buy from anywhere! Websites like Cars.com, AutoTrader.com, AutoTempest.com and eBay have revolutionized the car buying process. Plenty of car shipping happening from everywhere to everywhere.
I had a very particular truck in mind—I wanted a 2015 Toyota Tundra SR5 4×4 Double Cab LONGBED in Super White, Magnetic Gray Metallic, or Silver Sky Metallic. The longbed part was the tricky business. In Southern California, most trucks are daily driver grocery-getters. Nobody wants a truck so long it won’t fit in the Whole Foods parking lot. My truck is a moto hauler, and I want to not only close the tailgate with three bikes inside, I want to obnoxiously remind my friends every time I could do so. Good news, though: the boys of the Great Midwest love their longbed pickups, and I found a great deal on one in Mattoon, Illinois. Terrific dealer—KC Summers Auto Group. My truck-to-be had about 12k miles and a price thousands below other similar trucks in Southern California.
PLUS! there was an added bonus- ROAD TRIP.
Jesse and I jumped on a plane to St Louis, and the dealership picked us up and took us to Mattoon. Smooth transaction there (thanks Jeff White!) and we hit the road the next day. We spent several days driving on the road before finally getting our truck home. First stop though, the incredible City Museum in St. Louis.
Love those fly/drive/ride vehicle acquisitions!