Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Got my chips cashed in...

Ok, I was considering using The Search is Over from Survivor as the title of this post, but the cheeze meter doesn't go quite that high.

Song lyrics aside, the good news is that I'm no longer bumming rides off of people or wishing I was one of those fortunate souls who actually owned a vehicle. Yep, I bought a fine new ride today. I had an appointment to go back to the dealer this afternoon at 1 pm, but honestly I didn't have high hopes. I was certain that they were going to ask for a bigger down payment or something else like that would be a sticking point. As luck would have it, I got a call from 'Lloyd' the finance manager and he said I qualified with just a thousand bucks down. He then told me to come down right away and pick out a vehicle.

I finished up what I was doing, stopped by the bank, and headed for the dealership. Brian the sales guy was outside waiting for me, and said he had the perfect car for me. Ok...bring it on. A couple minutes later, he drove around the side of the building in a 2004 Mustang convertible.

Uh, no.

I took it for a test drive to humor him, but I had absolutely no desire to own a convertible as my primary transportation. It has good power and a monster stereo, but I didn't much like it. I told him I wanted to look at trucks instead.

We got back and wandered the lot, and I saw a nifty bright red 2004 Dakota, so we got the keys and took that out for a spin. It only had 12,000 miles on it, and had a sunroof, too, but something was missing--I just couldn't quite put my finger on it, but our test drive hardly lasted five minutes.

Back to the dealership we went, and I told him that I really could wait a month or longer for something better to show up and also gather a down payment, but I wanted to look at some 2006 Dakotas while I was there. As soon as we pulled in, I saw a very pretty maroon truck kind of tucked away unseen in a corner, so I went to investigate. It had a sticker price on par with the blue book value of the Mustang they initially pitched me on, so I told them that if we could make a reasonable deal on that truck, I'd likely buy it right then.

Unfortunately, upon closer inspection I found out that it had just the 3.7 liter V-6 engine. Not the V-8 that I wanted. I was about to give up, but Brian told me just to try it and I'd probably really like it. Well, since the engine was bigger than the one in the Charger I'd been driving around all week, and the the truck weighs less, I was pleasantly surprised with the performance. It had so much more power than the Nissan I used to have, and it was a comfortable ride, too. Besides, he told me, it'd be cheaper on gas and insurance. Good salesman, that Brian...

About thirty seconds into the test drive, I was sold. Yep, I said, I'll take it. So after a quick jaunt around the side streets of Henderson, back to the dealership we went. At first they said it was going to be tough to get into it for a decent payment, but they decided to go ahead and give me the full $3500 rebate that supposedly only applies to buyers who use Chrysler Financial. So between that and the thousand I had on me, it was enough of a downpayment to satisfy their lenders and made the monthly payments reasonable and well within my budget.

The paperwork went fairly quickly--much easier than the hassles I'd had at the Nissan dealerships in the past. And while I didn't get the total price down as low as I wanted, the full rebate helped to alleviate my concerns. They also threw in a full tank of gas and covered my first months insurance premium to sweeten the deal. Hell, both parties knew that I was leaving with a truck that day, it was just a matter of making me feel like I got a fair shake.

Of course, after all the initial stuff was done, I had to sit around and wait for the finance guy to do his paperwork shuffle, but it was relatively painless. I also got a good deal on an as-yet uninstalled bedliner, but I've got to go back and do that at a later date.

After all that was done, I got to hit the gong while everyone in the showroom clapped and cheered, just like on the tv show. They had the truck detailed and gassed up for me, and Brian even offered to follow me back to the Thrifty lot to return the Charger, as long as I'd drive him back to the dealership, saving me cab fare. Pretty good service, if you ask me.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. While sitting around waiting for paperwork to be done, I saw the blue genie guy. He's not really blue. More like, um, dark brown... He was also the only one there that didn't say a word to me during the whole process--everyone else was completely friendly, so even though I find the tv show kind of annoying and repulsive, my experience at Towbin Dodge was nothing but positive.

Anyhow--picture time!

Beautiful profile, huh? I think the only thing I'd change is that I'd get it some new shoes. But 20-inch Sprewells just aren't in the budget anytime soon.

From the rear...

I didn't even know it had the suicide doors until after I said 'I do'!

Of course, the first stop after leaving the dealership was to the automotive department at the local Wal-Mart for some fuzzy dice. The original Hoya dice were crushed into the middle of a forest-green metallic cube last week.

Almost forgot--At some point in the very near future, you'll also see my picture in the 'customers' section on


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