Sunday, February 26, 2006

Out with the old, in with the new

It was a long weekend of driving all over the western part of the St. Louis Area, but at 4:30 yesterday afternoon we bought a car.

We drove sevaral Taurus', a couple of century's, and looked at countless cars.

We'd hoped to drive home with one Friday, but brought clothes in case we needed to stay overnight and look Saturday. Stayed with Joel and Dawn in St. Charles and had a fun evening with them. Took off about 9:30 am for more car browsing. After checking dealerships between St. Charles & Hazelwood, we decided to cruise down 270 south. Checked a Chevy dealership in Creve Coeur, went down to Valley Ford, and on to Sinclair Buick, & Sinclair Ford (pretty close to each other on Lindbergh). We almost bought Dave Sinclair II''s daughter's Buick Century - would have been a decent deal and a nice car even with 65K on it. I don't think the Sinclairs abuse their vehicles.

We'd been told about a Taurus on Friday at Dave Sinclair Lincoln Mercury in St. Petes. The sales lady's step-daughter was trading it in on an SUV, and it wasn't on the lot yet. The price she gave with the year, mileage, and features sounded very hard to beat, and as we looked around, we became more and more convinced of that. However, we hadn't seen it or driven it yet.

About 2:30 we called Charisse in St. Pete from Sinclair Buick down south to see if the car had become available while we were waiting for the Buick Century to get unlocked from the garage. The guy with the key was out of the state. Since they seemed to be having trouble and we didn't want to leave town without driving the car in St. Pete's if it was indeed available, we decided to shoot up there. It wasn't cleaned yet (it had literally just come in Saturday morning) but that was kind of an advantage. We could see the car in a condition pretty close to how it was kept. The engine hadn't been powerwashed so any leaks would be visible.

It was $1,000 over my stated price range ... but I think our strategy worked out pretty well. We ended up with a car they would've probably put a $10,000 price tag on for $8,000. That was my absolute max price, but I never told any dealers that. I wanted to see how close they could get to my desired price with a decent car.

Actually, it's not over yet. We don't have it yet. It needs to be inspected and detailed yet, (think I can work the word "yet" in there yet one more time???) and we will get it Monday. And its in St. Pete's. It may even be delivered all the way to Columbia, but we may meet them in Kingdom City. Depends on what Charisse and I can work out on Monday morning. But the deal's done and it's all ready to go.

What is it?

It's a 2003 Ford Taurus SES. Dark Metallic Grey. Dark Grey leather interior (actually, that's a minus. We'd rather have had lighter cloth seats. But we'll cover 'em). 24V DOHC engine (yay!). Moon roof (eh... well it's fun sometimes, but we would just as happily bought one without). It has the primo sound system in it. Single-shot CD player in the dash -- not the changer in the trunk. Power everything. 42K miles. A rear spoiler (whopee....) $8K. Clean. Engine looked good. And we saw it before they cleaned it. No leaks. Handles nice. Not too noisy (like our old '96)...

We looked at a LOT of cars. This Taurus was a good deal. We could have gotten a different 2003 with 26K with EVERYTHING we wanted for 11.5K at Sinclair Ford... but... no. For that car I would probably have been willing to bite the bullett extra hard and extend my payments for a year and go 10K. But I didn't think he'd go there with it.

I think I'd reccomend dealing with Dave Sinclair's folks. They were about the most professional and genuinely helpful people we dealt with, and we went to three of their dealerships. I grew up with Dave Sinclair's no-nonsense commercials. Just him talking. Not yelling. "Hi, I'm Dave Sinclair, your South County Ford Dealer".... blah blah blah blah "...and if it's not right, I'll make it right. Thank you and here's my address: " blah blah.

So here's a likeness of it. It's actually slightly darker in color than this one.

We're happy with it. We'll see it Monday, cleaned up and inspected.

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