I know buying a new car is a luxury, not an investment, but that does not keep me from purchasing one. Recalling the evolution of one’s cars is a lot like tracing the evolution of one’s life.
A Road Trip Down Memory Lane
At 16, I drove a used 1966 Mustang. In college, it was a used Camaro. And in my early 20s, on a used car lot, I saw (and fell in love with) a little red 914 Porsche (my Prince song would have been “Little Red Porsche”). That car was a driver’s dream come true. It was also as reckless as my life was, at the time. If it had not been for that car’s inability to flip, I would not still be sitting here.
With the birth of my first child, Meghan, my life calmed down a bit and I selected a Subaru hatchback to buckle her in to. As the family grew, so did my car – into a Volvo station wagon – that I later gave to Meghan on her 16th birthday (the safest and slowest car on the market). The family kept growing as did the number of seats required in my vehicles. Over the next 2 decades, I bought no less than three Chrysler mini vans. Their many cup holders necessitated an enactment of yet another family rule: water bottles only.
Time and Space for ME
Now I am a grandmother, with fewer grocery bags to schlep, and sciatica in my right leg. I want to represent my new self-earned stature in a big way with a big car. Much to my family’s surprise, I chose a Chrysler 300. It has all the bells and whistles at a great price. The family calls it my boat.
For husbands that don’t like to watch, while their wife is driving, you will like this next suggestion and it just might save your marriage. The back seat of my Chrysler 300 is so big and luxurious that Grady has taken to riding in the roomy rear, like I am his chauffeur, and he is the King. But not to be outsmarted, his Queen/chauffer still has power over the child-proof door locks!
My Husband… the E.F. Hutton of Cars (old commercial reference!)
Grady is a car shopping hobbyist. He is always surfing online sales for things with wheels. Across his adult life, he has accumulated a 4-wheeler, trailer, Mule, electric hunting bike, convertible Mini Cooper, used hunting truck, used work truck, 1985 Harley Davidson Roadster and, most recently, a new Alfa Romeo Stelvio. So, when Grady decided it was the right time for me to sell my car, I listened, and he went shopping.
He looked in Little Rock, Memphis, Dallas and found nothing to suit me. Car shopping at year’s end may be good for pricing but not so good for selection. The only big cars we found were SUVs, which seemed a little silly and wasteful for someone like me. That is when I had an idea.
Calling Mr. BIG
Because I interviewed Steve Landers on my radio show, I have his cell number and know texting is his favorite form of communication. I shot a text to the man whose employees call “Big.” Within minutes, my phone rang.
Forever the salesman, Mr. Landers is supposedly retired; but a man like that never really retires. I told him what I wanted and, true to his DNA, by December 30 I had my Chrysler 300 trucked in from God knows where … I think Illinois. We closed the deal in less than an hour. It was the easiest and fastest car buying I have ever done in my life.
SSHHHHHHH…. Keep this under your hat!
So, in the end, Grady was right. With my trade in, we paid no money down and incurred no change in monthly payment. The only new cost was the new car sales tax.
Luxury vehicle, luxury purchase and new car smell. Ahhhh.