For instance, I want to leave home at 7:15, drive 70-75MPH and arrive at work NLT 7:30. It bugs me that the highway has been getting upgraded for the last 18 months without a lot of noticeable progress.
So, a few weeks ago, Mrs Juvat announces that she has sold my truck. Just like that...
"Honey, I sold your truck."
I like my truck. It's just like me. Not pretty to look at. Needs a bit of coaxing to work. Runs better with a little encouragement and TLC. However, it's comfortable and mostly reliable. Yep, pretty much exactly like me.
Oh, yeah. It's 15 years old and has 223K on it.
One other thing. It's paid for.
I like my truck.
"Did you hear what I said? I sold your truck."
"My sister needs it for the contractor who's building her house."
I recognized immediately, with logic like that, I've already lost the argument.
So, that means I'm going to engage in one of my least favorite activities, buying a car. With respect to WSF, I truly loath the whole car buying process. From the "let me go talk to the manager" then disappear for 30 minutes to let you stew, to the "do you want to add this option, it's only $20 per month?" No, it's $960 plus interest.
I don't hold it against the salesman, they're trying to earn a living. I just want them to tell me what the price is.
When we bought Mrs. Juvat's car, in 2006, we bought it through USAA's car buying service. We "built" the car on their site. USAA then gave us a price for THAT car. We tinkered with options to get it down to where we wanted. They then gave us a certificate and we walked into the dealer and drove out with that car.
So, that's where we started last weekend. I'm on their site and "building" my truck. Except, I don't get to select the options I want. Just the Make and Model. Then I select which packages I want, except there's not really any explanation of what is or is not included into each package. So, I've got multiple pages open and am looking at package contents, finally getting something I think I want.
I push the button and I get a certificate that says I can buy any truck in stock for $8800 off MSRP.
I'm a bit confused, but not to worry, as soon as I pushed the button to get that certificate, my email and contact info got released to the various car dealers within a 100 mile radius of home. All ready to answer any questions I might have.
Seriously, the first email arrived before I'd logged out of the USAA site, asking me to call and set up an appointment. They had a vehicle that had 81% of the features I wanted. What does that mean?
In any case, I get one from a dealer in San Antonio that's got 95%, so I give them a call. The lady that handles the USAA car buying program for them takes down the information about what I'm looking for, but I notice she doesn't ask for a VIN for the vehicle I'm interested in, which the car buying program included.
The appointment was for a week ago Saturday. Little Juvat is in town, and as my truck is no longer MY truck, I'm sans wheels. He graciously offers to provide a lift for his old man. We get to San Antonio around noon and decide to postpone the agony for a bit by having lunch.
BTW, the Yardhouse, in La Cantera is a great place for Lunch. The Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale was a nice complement to the fish and chips.
Now fortified, we arrive at the dealership and meet up with our sales person. We introduce ourselves and she says she's got several trucks for us to look at, are we ready to go?
Truck #1 is a VERY nice truck. Fire Engine Red, 5L V-8. The dashboard was outfitted like the cockpit of an F-22. We take it out for a spin. Interestingly, pushing hard on the gas pedal, there's a very noticeable pause before the truck begins accelerating. But it's quiet, smooth and well equipped. In other words, expensive. List price was north of $53K.
Which, BTW, is the loan amount I'm pre-approved for. Wonder if that's a coincidence there?
And before, any of you start with the Ron White "Loadddddddddedddd!" routine, No, that's about 45% more than I want to spend.
I mention the acceleration and she suggests a different engine. So we test drive Truck #2.
Truck #2 is also very nice. A bright metallic blue with a 3.5L V-6 ecoboost engine. We take it out for the same circuit. Out of the lot, about a mile on the access road (50-60MPH), on ramp with a quick acceleration to traffic speed (mach .93) out to DeZavala, back on the interstate back to the lot.
#2 accelerates a lot faster. The turbocharger really helps. #2 still has a lot of bells and whistles which contributes to a MSRP and resulting sales price much higher than I'd like. Nice vehicle though. Solidly in contention for "when I win the Lottery."
We are getting nowhere fast. The salesperson is showing cars that are more expensive than I want to buy, and I'm trying to tell her that I don't need all the bells and whistles. Finally, I just tell her that I'm not going to spend any more than X dollars driving it off the lot.
I do want the ecoboost engine, I don't need any of the Star Wars cockpit. I would like my phone to connect to the music system and I do want a crew cab.
Finally, she shows me the right vehicle with most of what I wanted. It didn't have heated seats, which are very nice around here on winter mornings, but....I'll live with the hardship.
|No, Sarge, I don't have a name for it. Suggestions may be left in the comments below. Right now, I'm leaning towards "My Truck"|
|First time in the 16 years we've lived on this property that we've had Green Grass the end of October. Need to get the Hay Guy here for another cutting.|