Author: Reinhart, Alan
Date published: November 19, 2010
I have a tendency to get attached to things. Some of my friends always need to have the newest toy or the latest gadget, but I like my old stuff. When I find something that I like, I usually keep it for a long time. Like cars, for instance. I have a friend who seems to be driving something different every time I see him, but that's just not me. I still own my high school car and still drive the same truck that I bought in 1984. At least I did until I bought a new one a couple of months back.
I had been looking for quite a while but didn't want to rush into anything, so I waited until the perfect replacement finally showed up. I love the new one. It's a Ford PowerStroke, two-wheel-drive, extended-cab model, just what I was looking for. After all, when you're buying a truck, you should take the time to do the research and find the right one. You certainly shouldn't make a snap decision, right?
So now I have a truck for sale. It's a '78 Ford F-250 with all of the options and just over 400,000 miles on it. It's in great shape and has been well-cared for, and I need to find it a new home. But I have a problem: With all of the time I spend at the races, I'm never home long enough to sell it. What to do?
I was meeting with a friend at our local watering hole and mentioned my dilemma, and he presented the perfect solution. He introduced me to his buddy, a car dealer - lucky for me, he was there that night - who said that if I wanted to bring it by, he would be glad to put it on his lot to try to sell it for me. Problem solved.
The next morning, I got the truck all dolled up and headed down to see my new friend and hopefully cut my transportation inventory by one. I pulled in, and sitting on his lot was a pretty little green Mercedes. I was not looking to buy a car, I didn't need a new car, I didn't want a new car, and I was very happy with the two that I had.
Plus, I'm a Ford guy. That high school car I still own is a Mustang, and my daily driver is a Mustang as well (yes, I have had it a long time, too). I'm just not a Mercedes guy; if only it hadn't been green.
Both Mustangs are green, and this car was an almost perfect match for my 5.0 convertible. It's a two-seat roadster with the removable hardtop and a soft top, Bose sound system, and lots of options. If I were ever going to buy a Mercedes, this would be the one, but I'm not a Mercedes guy. However, if you read my last column, you know that I'm sometimes an impulsive guy.
I got back to the shop and kept thinking about the car. I called a couple of friends who are more familiar with these cars than I am and received nothing but good reviews about the Mercedes. I went online to do some research and found that the price for it was right, but did I really want to buy this car? I just couldn't say no.
I was able to track down the previous owner, so I called the guy and requested some history. He gave me the rundown, and the more he told me, the more I wanted to buy the car. The final selling point was when he told me where he bought it. Turns out, this was a Barrett-Jackson car!
I can't come up with one single logical reason why that would make a difference, but that was the last straw. Now, I had to have it. The day before, I wasn't shopping and didn't even know this car existed, but now I couldn't live without it.
He told me that the fact that it was green was making it tough to sell because everyone who had looked at it wished it was black. Then he told me he had a friend who ran a car lot, so he took it down there to try to sell it (that sounded familiar). I told him that if it hadn't been green, I never would have looked at it.
So I bought the car. Total time lapsed between "hey, there's a green car" and "here are the keys, enjoy your new ride": a little less than 48 hours.
So far, everyone I have told that I purchased a Mercedes has said the exact same thing, "Are you kidding?" It has gotten to the point where I'm thinking I might even put that on the license plate. How about RUKDDNG? Or maybe it should be RUKDING? One of those will work.
Even when I went to see my insurance agent to add the Mercedes to my policy, she asked what I was doing with this kind of ride. But it was when she asked, "Who drives all of these cars while you are gone?" that it really hit me. I'm single and live alone, and I drive a rental car about 200 days a year, so you might ask why is the state of Arizona currently sending five annual renewals for my collection of hardware? That's a perfectly fair question, and I wish I had an answer.
My agent put it to me like this, "You do realize that you now have five vehicles insured with us, don't you?" Yes, I do; thank you for reminding me. I have also noticed that when I come home, I can't find a parking spot.
Oh, and I still have the '78 Ford F-250. That's the most annoying part of this whole deal.
Which brings me back to where I started this column: Does anybody want to buy a truck?
And I guess while I'm at it, does anybody want to buy a Ford 5.0 Mustang convertible? I would prefer to sell both cars to people who do not have green cars sitting around when I sell it. That would be a big help.
Alan Reinhart is a former bracket racer turned announcer and has been a member of the national event announcing staff for more than 20 years. He has worked for TNN, ESPN, Speed, Versus, and XM radio and can be heard every Tuesday night on Joe Castello's WFORadio.com with the weekly NHRA report. He can be reached at email@example.com.