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June 21, 2019

Sometimes You Buy a Car, Sometimes You Rescue a Car, Sometimes You Adopt a Car

Usually, when you buy a car, you’re dealing with a salesman and it’s an unemotional experience. However, in my car crazy world it’s often a very emotional experience. I’ve purchased cars where I know I’m paying too much but I also know that if I don’t rescue the car from its sentimental owner, it will rust away where it sits.

But there are also times when you literally adopt a car. I recently talked my wife into selling our work truck and replacing it with a vintage truck. This was a hard sell but we found a very nice older Ford pickup that she fell in love with. The only problem was that the owner didn’t want to sell the truck that he had for sale!

My wife called him and asked about seeing the truck. He spoke to her for a while but when she asked to see the truck he insisted on speaking to her husband. Well this didn’t go over well with her, but she really wanted the truck so she put me on the phone. He started peppering me with questions about my intentions with his truck. I felt like a 16 year old being quizzed by his girlfriend’s father.

He wanted to make sure that I was not going to “cut up” or modify his truck. I assured him that we valued originality and, if anything, we would restore the truck to its original condition versus modifying it. After several minutes of promises, he reluctantly agreed to let us see his truck.

When we got to his house, he explained that he had owned the truck for 30 years and had tried to keep the truck as original as possible. The next challenge was getting him to allow me to drive his truck. At first, he said that he would only take me for a ride. My wife had to stay back at his house in our SUV. But he and I started to build a relationship and finally he agreed to let me drive the truck back to his house. He even agreed to let my wife drive the truck, but just around the block!

After the test drive, I started speaking in code to my wife to see if she really wanted the truck. I usually ask her a series of questions like, "Do you like the truck?" "Do you want the truck?" to determine if she wants me to make an offer. After ten years of marriage, I can pretty well read the body language to see if this is a go, or a no go.

I could tell she really liked the truck, so we started the negotiations. In all truth I kind of low balled the guy (which always makes my wife mad unless I get a good deal and then she’s fine with it.)  He came back at just a couple dollars more with the comment “I know it’s going to a good home.”  I quickly shook his hand and assured him that it was going to a good and safe home, Jones Garage.