All photos by Garry Armstrong

Let me begin by saying there’s nothing wrong with our car. It’s six years old, but has only 35,000 miles on it. Doesn’t have any dents, scratches, or funny noises coming out of the engine. The only reason for checking out the deals at our dealer is they sent us letter offering us more money than we owe — as in a lot more. So I figured I’d check it out.

They sent a letter offering us more than $17,000, but when we got there, it was only $10,000 plus a $2.000 rebate. I’m not sure what they figure is going to happen when they offer you a lot of money by mail, then offer you a lot less when you get to the dealership. I suppose they figure your lust for a new car will overcome your commonsense and we’d buy a new car even though there’s nothing wrong with the one we’ve got.

Of the things that seems to have happened to me as I’ve aged is I do very little lusting for stuff. Except cameras, lenses, computers and home repairs. I lust for a new kitchen, a new refrigerator, range. Someone to peel off old wallpaper and repaint the interior.

We are repairing the deck. We found someone who will fix it rather than replacing it — a tidy savings of about $20,000, give or take a few grand. While he is at it, we will fix the the dining room door, paint the deck, haul away some outsize trash. It’s not cheap to get rid of trash these days. It can cost as much money to dump old stuff as do new work.

I do not lust for cars. To be fair, I never did — except for sports cars that were impractical and uncomfortable, but I wanted one anyway. There was an older Corvette in the parking lot at the dealer that made my heart beat a little faster, but the people who owned it didn’t seem inclined to giving it to us. Oh well.

I wanted a new car just like the one we have, but with dark rather than light upholstery. But, when the numbers rolled out, it was nowhere near a price we could pay.

We kept our car.

Our dealer may not be the best dealer in the world, but has by far the most entertaining and fun dealership. It’s more like a retro mall than a car dealership. Garry took pictures and we went home in our own car.

Categories: Anecdote, Cars and Trucks, Gallery, Garry Armstrong, Photography

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33 replies

  1. My sister just bought her “dream car” a Chrysler 300C which she has had for a month now. She loves it and it is very nice to ride in but as a non driver I see a car as a means to get from A to B and would just spend as much as I needed to get something reliable that was neither grey nor a hatchback.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I bought a new car last September. Dealers were eager to make any deal because no one was buying due to the pandemic. The guy I bought from retired and it looks like the dealer is going out of business. The sign is down and most of the cars are gone. Mine was 4 years old and had around 35,000 miles. I wasn’t driving much but I figured a new car would bring a new warranty. I was also thinking the car I have at retirement will probably be the last one I purchase. In almost 9 months I have put 550 miles on the car. If I did not have to go out to O’Hare a few times it would be a lot less. I guess it will not get to one thousand the first year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We were under a thousand last year and under 2,000 the year before — and that counted a couple of mini vacations visiting other people not very far away. I think we are all thinking the same way. I don’t really want to carry a car payment forever and there is no passion in my heart for a new car. We actually have to be reminded to drive our car sometimes because they need to be driven and not just sit in the driveway. If it weren’t for occasional trips to the hospital in Worcester, the grocery, and a foray to the river, we’d be home ALL the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Our car, a 9-year-old Mini Cooper with 55,000 miles on it, is probably, as long as it keeps running well, going to be the last car we own. I used to lust for cars back in the day, but now I see a car as no more than a means to get from here to there and back again when I need to get someplace that is too far to walk.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango, I’m with you.

      I’ve had my long love affair with “rag tops”. 3 of them. All brand new at purchase. a ’69 Dodge Challenger, fully loaded. A ’89 Mustang – fully loaded. A 99 Sebring – fully loaded. That’s THIRTY years of driving with the top down and enjoying the sun, wind and all the perks that go with a convertible.

      We’ll forgo the negatives. There were many.

      I no longer have that lust for the open road or going anywhere further than the local supermarket.
      I truly dislike being on the road with our locals who believe slower is better and watching the road is optional.

      I still have a wandering eye for those circa 80’s classic Mercedes Benz convertibles with their slim trim lines but that’s just a dream.

      Yes, we’re just fine with our Jeep Renegade. It’s sporty, colorful and very easy handling.

      So, yesterday’s adventure at the auto dealership. Something ventured – nothing gained but fun with the camera to record our day.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I find that a rather revolting (but sadly accepted and ‘usual’) behaviour of your car dealer, even if you give them credit for their ‘fun outfit’. You’re not going there for entertainment but for a possibly new car.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True, but I already know that those letters come from another company than the dealer. They are an entirely separate group and I’ve been warned — by the dealer — to ignore them. And this time, we didn’t really NEED a car. I’m fine with the one we have and the dealer is just down the road. I knew before I set foot in there that I might not buy anything.

      If I had needed a car, it would have been a different story. Luckily, we are okay. In another year we’ll owe a lot less on the car and then we will see. We haven’t bought a new car in a long time. They have all been new-ish, but pre-owned.

      I’m also not happy with the direction new cars are going. They are so computerized and fragile. They don’t last nearly as long as they ought to, given the gigantic prices they ask for them. I’d be happy to keep this car forever if I could. I’m just not sure how long it will last.

      Liked by 2 people

      • We bought our VW 9+ yrs ago, used but in v.good condition. Drove 300’000+km with it (long trips to Switzerland and back to France every weekend) – it is dented and ‘customized’ with various small encounters but still runs like a new one. We intend to keep it as long as – as you said – it doesn’’t make any expensive noises…. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • That is my hope, too. Garry had a couple of cars for more then 20 years until they were probably dangerous to even have on the road. He doesn’t know enough about cars to know unless someone tells him and I know even less, if you can imagine that. But now that Owen is here, he keeps track of the car and knows exactly what condition it’s in, so at least I feel safer.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn, I’m with you. But should you see that 80’s Mercedes Benz convertible….


  5. I’ve had a half dozen cars in my lifetime, but the one I had the longest was a VW bug for 31 years before it was stolen , It was a great little car.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The two things that would (maybe) have made a difference to me were (a) a new warranty and (b) dark upholstery. Why they put WHITE upholstery in a 4X4 car is another of those great mysteries. Owen was a big VW bug fan and had them for years. You wouldn’t think such a big guy would not fit into such a small car, but he did. It was only when he had a family that he needed something with a trunk and a back seat. He still has a deep and abiding fondness for the bugs — and they are worth a lot more money than their age might suggest. They are “back in style” again.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia, someone pilfered your love bug? For shame!


      • Yes, It was while I was in the Peace Corps. I had asked my son-in-law to keep it in the garage and just drive it once in a while. However, he took it out of the garage and parked it on the street where someone took it. I really loved that little bug with its canvas sunroof. I couldn’t get another one. My daughter was concerned that a bug was too small for freeway traffic. So, I drove her car three days a week to mentor teachers. Then, a won a Chrysler at a school event and had that car for years until someone totaled when it was parked outside my house. I can’t drive anymore now due to my eyes so don’t own a car now. It’s just as well . People are driving crazier than ever.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. The cost of a brand spanking new vehicle is outrageous. Far beyond most people’s reach, yet they keep churning them out. I have to wonder who is buying those, it’d bankrupt me to even try. Even a used car is far beyond what I can afford. I’ll have to hope that Baby keeps on running. It’d be cheaper to replace parts on her than to buy another car. I wonder how many other people, getting a letter promising big bucks, and then getting the news that it was a ‘hook’ to get them into the dealership and looking at the new cars, actually bought something. I don’t know how dealers stay in business frankly. The photos show that yes, those guys have a fun side!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interest rates are very low right now and if you have a trade that’s worth something, it might be manageable. But the thing is, you’d have to need the car. Like, the one you are driving is making very expensive noises. You think the parts will be cheaper, but Owen runs a garage and that isn’t always true. It depends on the part and whether or not you can buy an out-of-market part or have to get it from the dealer. And if it’s the transmission or engine, that can cost more than the car is worth. There is a point of no return. On old cars, you could keep them running longer but new ones are all plastic and computerized and it’s a whole different ballgame.

      Our existing car is fine. Just running out of warranty. We drive very little, so if we take care of it and don’t hit anything, it could last a really long time. I hope so. I’d actually like to be free of car payments. That would improve the quality of of life a lot more than a new car.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I made a foray when I was fully employed and so was hubby, into restoring a 1967 Chevy Fastback Impala. It was in the late 90s and I learned all about how expensive and how hard it might be to find original parts for such a project. Baby is getting old, but she’s not ‘vintage’, not yet. Although I did get quite a shock when they were having to replace her gas tank and the hose, that the hose wasn’t available. They blamed it on Covid (of course), but I think the yahoo doing the repair just didn’t look hard enough. Another blogger here found a hose and it wasn’t even that expensive. I guess you just have to pick your poison, as Garry mentioned!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Owen used to go to junkyards to get parts. Now a lot of those are closed, so I don’t know what they do. There are a lot of manufacturers of parts for cars of all kinds and you can get anything, if you look hard enough and you are clever. Some people don’t look very hard — and they aren’t very bright, either. But they ARE very good at charging you.


    • Melanie — who do you trust?

      — car salesmen
      — lawyers
      — politicians

      Pick your poison.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Do I gotta? I wouldn’t trust any of those as far as I could throw them. I guess (to me anyway) the car salesman might be the least slimy, but some of those people are pond scum, so there’s that. I take everything I hear from somebody selling me anything with a huge pinch of salt.

        Liked by 1 person

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Tish Farrell

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