Here is my husband’s newest acquisition.
someone from Mad Max.
Or The Goonies.
No, but seriously, folks. Chris was rear ended about a year and a half ago while driving our van. The woman who hit him had an
insurance card, which she showed the police. Alas, we found out a few weeks later that she had stopped paying for it
six months prior. So, our insurance had
to cover the damages. Any smart person
would have used the money to fix the rear end of the car. We unfortunately are not smart people.
What we actually did with the money:
Chris has this old 1969 Dodge van that is really a very large pit that he
keeps throwing money at. It’s a sad
thing. Can you say MOPAR? Well, anyway…he starts school in a couple of
weeks, so we decided that it would be a wise investment for him to have more
reliable transportation for his travels to and from Prescott.
We looked into purchasing a mid-eighties Chevy Blazer or Ford
Bronco. But their gas mileage was
enough to give me nightmares. They were also slightly out of our price range. So, Chris
decided to go for a bug. Living in the
desert, he additionally thought a Baja would be fun. That way he can take it out fishing on the
weekends. So, yesterday we drove all
around Phoenix until we found one
that was both reasonably priced and had a few amenities.
I have to tell you, it was so incredibly hot down there in
the valley of no shadow – and death. I
think I have found hell. Anyway, we went
down to see this bug that was in the paper. Weeelll, on paper was about the only way that this Baja looked
good. It had no brakes (or turn signals)
to speak of; in fact the brake lights were activated via a button on the
dash. The seats were welded to the floor
so that they couldn’t be adjusted at all. Chris could barely reach the pedals, so there was no chance of my ever
driving it. It further had no rear view mirror, which
makes a great combination with the lack of breaks. And he wanted the very top end of our budget for this thing.
Did I mention that the kid selling this thing looked way
worse than it did? He was on crutches,
had pins in every bone in his left leg, and a face like ground
hamburger. He was selling his bug to pay
off the Harley he’d just wrecked. Asking
about this brought on more accident stories – such as the time he bought his
“crotch rocket” and got the hospital bill before his first payment. Oh, and he looked like he was in his late
teens – maybe early twenties – I doubt he’ll make it much past thirty at his
current rate. As we parted to look for
more options, he was leaving to get the title notarized for sale. “You’ll be back. I’ve lived here all my life, and this is the
best Baja in town.”
Being a bit disgruntled (don’t worry, there’s a happy
ending), we began calling more ads from the bargain trader. Chris talked to another kid out in Mesa, AZ who had a Baja that had been his project
in high school. He was ready to sell it
in order to have money for payments on the new truck he’d bought. So away we went…
Mesa is far, far away
from northern Phoenix. It feels even further during rush hour. The guy didn’t know very well where he lived,
so his directions were spotty at best. We drove around in some new subdivision with identical houses for a
while until we eventually found a lady who was out watering her lawn (Grrrr!). She was; however, kind enough to let us use
her cell phone, and it turned out that we were only two blocks from his
This bug was way better. It needed some of the same things that the other did. Let me say that again…It needed SOME of the
same things – not all – and the kid was asking $1000.00 less. Chris took it for a quick spin around the
block while the guy apparently told Chris all about what a chick magnet it was,
and how many girls he’d “had” in the back seat. May I just say how cool that is? That is so cool that I may very well be buying both Costco portions of
bleach and Lysol.
Chris pulled in chuckling. Evidently, he was able to hear the engine over libido dude’s tales of
romance. Chris offered $300.00 under the
asking price and the guy accepted. He
threw in the tow bar, some extra parts and tools, and away we went. We even have enough money left from the
purchase to fix the shocks, buy the master cylinder, and have the brakes fixed
on both of our cars! Vroom vroom.
We maintained a steady 65-70 miles an hour on the freeway
and Chris actually beat me up Yarnell hill (2700 feet in nine miles). Now that’s pretty good for a car that’s as
old as I am.