I got into bed at 10:45 AM on Wednesday morning. I had wanted to go look at that Cherokee Tuesday; but I got home from work Tuesday morning, fiddled with the computer; then I went and bought a UPS, took Mom to run some errands, and went grocery shopping. By the time all that was done it was after noon and I was exhausted. I went to bed.
Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, then, I got involved in some projects and didn't take a nap as I had intended to. So Wednesday morning I decided, "Work must be first priority, so I'm going to bed instead of going to look at the Cherokee."
I had driven by there on Tuesday and saw that they'd posted an asking price in the window: $5,000. Whoa! Thought I. That's...that's what it should cost!
When I first looked it over, I got the VIN and did a CarFax on it. I also looked up the Kelley Blue Book value. For a pristine truck with no body damage and everything working, MSRP was around $8,000. With the body damage, maybe $5,400 or so.
$5,000 was just...low. I had expected them to ask at least $7,000 for it, and go down from there.
So what was wrong with it?
But Wednesday I went to bed at 10:45 and read a bit until shutting off the light and dossing down proper. And when I got up to go to work Wednesday night, I realized that I had been right to do so. Even as it was I had to struggle to make myself get going; I think I got around 6 hours of sleep, total.
On my way home from work, Thursday morning, I stopped by the dealership to have another look at the thing. I looked at the undercarriage, thoroughly, walked around rapping the bodywork with a knuckle to check for Bondo, checked tire tread, etc, etc. I noted that the place opened at 8:30 and resolved to go back.
And then I actually did.
The test drive went well. Everything worked properly, except for the rear wiper, and there were no noises, odors, or problems. The engine had plenty of power, and there was no smoke or anything. It started, ran, drove, and stopped well.
It turned out that it had power windows, power locks, tilt, cruise, and full gauges. I generally don't care about power locks and windows, but tilt, cruise, and gauges are things I hope for in any car I buy.
So I told the salesman, "I'd really like to talk price with you, but I have to take my Mom to see her doctor in about half an hour." That was true. So I told him I'd come back later to talk price and such.
Then, once I'd gotten home and talked to Mom, I called the salesman. "I thought I'd make an offer--would you take $5,000 delivered for it?" ("Delivered" meaning that $5,000 would pay for the truck, the tax, the title, the license, the doc fee, everything.)
Well, he had to call the boss, etc, etc....
Mom wanted to see it, so I stopped by the place on the way to the doctor's office--it's here in town--and then popped inside to ask the salesman if he needed a deposit? He extended his hand and said a handshake would do, so I shook on it.
The salesman called my cell a bit later and told me that I had a deal.
Mom got good news at the doctor's office: she should now be able to pass the vision test for a driver's license! YA-FRICKIN'-HOO!
After this and that and the other thing, including embarassing myself by forgetting the name of the dealership and leaving the card at home--which meant I had to make an extra trip so the bank could print the right name on the check (and yes, I asked to look at a phone book; it didn't help)--I went to the dealership and handed over the check and signed the paperwork.
Thus, here I am.
I have wanted a Jeep Cherokee ever since driving my sister's in Maine in 1999. When I got back from that trip I'd actually looked at buying one, in fact--though I'd been looking at a 2-door, 2-wheel-drive version with a manual transmission. This one has auto and 4-wheel-drive, and it's a 4-door. But it's got the right options on it--full gauges, steel wheels, the 6-cylinder engine--and they did a nice job of cleaning it up. It's got a few dings and dents here--the worst is barely visible in that picture, just below my left hand, in the windshield pillar--but those dings and dents are why I got it so cheap: the sale price was $4,500, which was just fine by me.
It's got a 16-gallon tank; the tank was almost empty when I took it to the gas station. (Yeah, I had to pay for it myself. You only get a full tank of gas with a new car or an expensive used one.)
And then I had a very embarassing time.
The fuel door is flush with the body. Every other vehicle I have ever owned or even looked at which had no "finger hole" in the fuel door had a remote fuel door release. So I spent several minutes trying to find the remote release, even going so far as to get out the manual and search it for that.
Then I actually tried opening it by sticking the key into the slot and...it...just...flipped...forward. There was no remote release. *sigh*
Then it took $50 to fill the tank, of course, because 16 gallons at $3 per gallon is $48 and it needed a bit more than 16. (It may have an 18 gallon tank, or more, now that I think of it.)
And after that, I took it for a joyride. Whee!
So the red Escort, which has been my main vehicle for a bit more than a year, will soon pass to another--a friend of mine who doesn't own a car and who knows how I care for my vehicles. I told him I'd sell it to him for what I paid for it. Of course it's in slightly better condition than it was when I bought it, since I fixed the rear springs and swaybar, and redid all the brakes, and fixed the parking brake, and put a CD player into it. And he'll be getting a spare drivetrain and set of wheels with it. The spare set of wheels could easily be eBayed for around $100 or so. I told him if he wants the CD player he has to pay me an extra $100, which is about what he'd pay for a new unit, installed, anyway.
The red Escort has some issues which I have discussed before, like the right rear strut tower needing a bit of patching--but my friend knows all that.
* * *
So after all of this, around 3 PM with me now running on fumes--I'd worked hard through a full 8-hour shift on 6 hours of sleep, and then ran another 11 hours after that--finally I was able to hit the can and get ready to hit the hay.
When I got out of the bathroom the western sky had gone dark. And a bare five minutes later the tornado sirens started..
So Mom and I spent half an hour in the basement, waiting for the storm to pass. By the time it was all over, it was after 4 PM. That made a total of 20+ hours on 6 hours of sleep. And during the storm, the power failed, of course, so I didn't actually get to bed until after five PM.
And then I slept until midnight.
* * *
Mom and I were going to go celebrate the good news from the doctor (with dinner at Red Lobster) but after all of that I was just too tired, so we put that off until the weekend.
But what a busy day it was!