Aug 12, 2010
Enjoy the Process or Walk
This week I was going to write about serviceability of your sports car, but after an interesting morning, I've changed my mind. For the last several weeks, I've been shopping for a motorcycle and had made arrangements to view a classic BMW on Orcas Island. Now, this involves a 2 hour drive with 2 ferry boat rides. In other words, a long trip to buy a motorcycle! After making reservations for the 6:30am ferry, I emailed the seller to confirm. He replied with a curt email stating that I better not be planning any negotiations and that I better have cash. I was prepared to pay asking price, but of course, I intended to negotiate for my travel and registration fees, if possible. Bottom line, I cancelled the purchase because I couldn't see myself enjoying it, knowing that I'd be buying it from this grumpy fellow.
So, back to cars now...
It was 1 week before our big road trip to Utah and I'd decided that this year I wasn't going to get caught in the rain with my Cobra again. I'd left many messages to reserve a Lotus Elise from our local exotic rental place. They never called back or returned my emails. I had supposedly reserved a car, but no one ever could be bothered to converse with me in person so the shopping commenced what else could I do.
My wife and I were covered in drywall dust and driving my Ford F-150 when we rolled into Park Place our local boutique exotic dealer not far from Seattle. Our objective was to observe the black 1998 Carrera C2S I'd spotted earlier between runs to Home Depot. We dusted off, and sat down in it. Once the door clunked closed my wife turned to me and said "buy it." Wow! You gotta love this woman! I told the salesman that we'd be back the next morning after we cleaned up to drive this baby. He responded "you can drive it after you buy it."
I know there may have been some rule or policy forcing him to deny my wishes to drive this car, but the delivery of the message offended me. In retaliation I bought a 1988 Carerra off Craigslist that week. Shortly after my Carrera purchase the Lotus people decided to call to confirm my reservation. It seems communication in this modern era has become harder for everyone instead of easier. Go Figure.
Now, make no mistake that '98 Carrera could have been driven. I could have worked it out if it was the last Porsche on the planet or something. And I guess I could have been more aggressive regarding the Lotus rental people. But hey! This is not the purchase of an SUV at the dealership. This is a car for fun, and I'm trying to give people my money here!
The fireman who sold the Carrera to me had taken great care of this car. He told me some interesting stories and shared with me his future plans for his next project, a classic firetruck restoration. Start enjoying yourself now, during the decision and shopping process. Don't tolerate anything less than fun from the very beginning.
After all, the deal of the century comes around about every 2 weeks.