I remember looking in the car ads. Sitting at the kitchen table, elbows resting on the hard wood. While my right hand turned pages, looking for that perfect Jeep Wrangler, my left hand was stuffing my face with chocolate doughnuts. Brushing the crumbs away I grab the phone and make a well practiced and rehearsed call.
“Hi, I’m calling about the 1998 Wrangler you have for sale. Do you still have it? No? Ok. Thanks.” Call after call, hour after hour, but I knew I wanted a Jeep like I originally had. A beautiful black on white 1998 Wrangler lifted 4 inches with huge knobby tires. The kind of tires that were wider than your head and taller than your inseam. As hard as it was to get into that Jeep, I loved it. But, as it always was, something comes up and you don’t get to keep the things you want.
Finally the answer I’ve been waiting for, “Yes, that Jeep is still in stock.”
“I’ll be right in!” I say as I slam down the phone and rush out the door. Time for a new Jeep! My feet barely brush the stairs as I fly down them and into my F150. I may have left some rubber from the tires in the driveway, but I’ll never admit it. Those were there when I got here officer, is always my excuse.
The dealership was about 30 minutes away, so when I made it in 15 minutes the salesman was quite surprised. Not as much as I was though. I got there in time to see another person drive off in my Jeep! Grumbling to the salesman he informed me that he didn’t know another salesman was selling it at the moment I called. He apologized profusely and told me to “Look around, I’ll make you a good deal on a car.”
Of course they will, or at least they will say, that it’s going to be a good deal. That’s their job.
I wandered the lot for a bit and didn’t see anything interesting, but then, in a corner, looking abandoned sat a little blue MINI. That looks interesting I said to myself and wandered over. It was a bit dusty, and a bit dirty, but still a little flirty! I ran my hand across the hood and I swear to god she purred at me.
I walked back in to ask the salesman about it. It seems they took it in on a trade and were going to send it off to auction. Why they never got around to it, they didn’t know. I didn’t care. I asked for the keys and a test drive!
The first time I sat in her I fell into the back seat. It had the common issue of a broken seat back. It had two settings, fully reclined and on the steering wheel. But aside from that, she ran beautifully. a 2003 R50 in Indigo Blue with white stripes and a white roof. She was pretty sexy to me. And the bigger surprise to me was that I fit!
Walking back to the salesman I told him, “Fix the seat and I’ll buy it.” He sent 3 mechanics quickly to figure it out while he and I discussed details.
“It can’t be fixed.”
The head mechanic broke my heart. I knew there had to be a way. But I still walked out on the deal at the time. I wouldn’t buy a car I could barely sit in, let alone drive. I got a call later that night “We’ll buy you new seats if you buy the car tomorrow.”
Well, you can’t argue with a salesman like that! But still, I did a little research and found out that you can fix the seats with a little percussive maintenance. In other words, if you beat on them you can make the seats work again.
Heading back to the dealer the next day I get a call from him “My manager nixed the new seats, do you still want it?” He went from a good salesman, to someone who was giving up. Disappointing. But I let him know I was almost there so I’d like to check out the MINI again, so put it someplace I can get at it.
I wanted this MINI. I’ll be honest, it was top on my list of cars after driving it. Quick, nimble, and it looked great! That’s what I like in my cars. Well, that and me. I like to be in my cars. As I got to the dealer and I saw her sitting off to the side, all by herself.
I walked up and I see the salesman coming out. I told him I was going to try and fix the seats myself. I hopped in and prepared to slam myself into the seat.
Later, as I was driving away, I learned that to the other salesmen it looked like a fat man trying to get in the back seat of a MINI Cooper. Yeah, they were pretty accurate. Plus they said I moved the MINI 5 inches back and 2 inches to the left. Lies. All Lies.