Jason called me early last week and said he was going to be in Richmond. He then proceeded to ask if I wanted to sell my jeep, which had been talked about quite extensively in the past. I said sure and the chaos began. For starters I had talked about selling it in the past but when it finally came down to it I just couldn’t part with the guy. But this was Jason, so I knew it would be going to a good home, plus he promised us visitation rights. So we were on. He got a loan, I gathered all my jeep parts, reinstalled the carpet and cleaned him up real nice. Saturday the exchange would take place.

Of course that would mean I would be car less, not something that living in the suburbs is conducive to. So I started my search. The biggest problem was I couldn’t decide on which type of vehicle I wanted. I knew I wanted a slightly used car, with low miles, fur around 20 grand. I went to car max and narrowed it down to two categories. A small sporty wagon or a pick em up truck.

Traditionally I wanted a small wagon or hatch back. I like smaller cars and really dig the wagon thing. It’s different, useful and I think it looks great. So I was looking at GTIs and WRXs. Mostly leaning toward the Subaru after that day of pushing cars up an ice covered hill which left me very impressed with the Subaru AWD.

However when I moved I borrowed my dad’s F150 and really like the convenience of having the pickup. After driving it around for a few weeks I decided that I liked the idea, and would just prefer to have a smaller truck. So I started doing research on midsized trucks. Boiled down to the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma, and every comparison and head to head evaluation I could find had the Toyota coming first and the Nissan second. I checked out customer reviews, consumer reports dependability rankings, everything and decided that I liked the Toyota the best.

So the actual shopping starts. I find a nice WRX wagon for $18K, a supercharged Frontier for $17K and a couple of Tacoma’s. I could not decide between the trucks or the wagons. I tried to have productive conversations about the pros and cons with friends and family and they all said that I should get what I wanted. I didn’t know what I wanted. Eventually Kelly and I sat down and talked it over (well, I made her do this multiple times) and we came to the conclusion that we have a small sporty wagon so getting another really dosen’t help our car-capability-portfolio and the truck makes more since. In these discussions we also determined that we wanted the double cab, as babys are definataly on the horizon and I am not gonna be putting my child in the back of an extended cab (nor in the jeep, which is a MAJOR reason we got rid of it). So double cab it was.

We found that aforementioned Frontier for $17 and it was looking pretty nice, until I sent josh the carmax link and he caught onto the fact that it was 2wd. Even the car I was looking at powered all its wheels; I was going to get a truck with 4wd. On Wednesday when we found that Frontier Kelly also pointed out a 02 Tacoma double cab, 4X4 and V6 everything, but they wanted $21, 999; which felt a little steep to me. I looked around, drove to a couple of used Toyota dealers in the area and test drove some stuff. The closet thing I found was a black 02 Tacoma, low miles but it was a work truck and treated as such. The bed was scratched and dinged up a bit. Still had drywall scraps in the tail gate hinge. I insisted on knowing the final out-the-door price so I got to sit down with the sales man’s manager and he kept trying the what’ll it take to get you in this truck today thing. I was sitting pretty with my list of truck (location, miles, and price) and held all the advantage. It was the best interaction I had ever had with a used car salesman ever. Basically I owned him, and he danced around trying to do whatever he could to make me happy. I wanted the broken badge removed, I wanted the final price, it was too high make it lower. The sticker on the truck said $25,999, internet price was 22K, he said I could get it for 21 and some change, out the door. I was happy I passed on it.

Because that next day that nice silver 02 Tacoma at carmax had been reduced by a grand. I am pretty sure they have some sophisticated algorithm for reducing their costs based on how long the car had been on the lot. I had one call in to some guy named Harold that was supposed to be getting a new dark grey 02 double cab that day. After waiting for hours for him to call me back (I tried to talk to someone else at that dealer, but my Spanish wasn’t good enough) only to find out that it was 2wd. That was it, I decided I wanted to buy that silver one. Called in my drive-me-to-carmax-so-I-can-buy-a-car favor form Ben and we were off. I even called the carmax guy who showed it to us on Wednesday to talk to him again but he was off that day, so he stepped up, called ahead and arranged to have someone waiting for us when we showed. Other than getting my address wrong on the first credit application everything went smoothly and I bought the truck right there.

Pretty good, bought the truck on Friday and was on my way to give the jeep to Jason the very next day. Of course Kelly had to drive the truck down to Richmond so that ‘rents could check out the new wheels. She said she felt comfortable in it, no apprehension at all—opposed to the jeep where she was always a little nervous driving it.

I gave Jason the down-low on the jeep, all the little things I had done to it, and its quirks; showed him how to take the top down and a few of the other little tricks. Kelly was worried that Jason wasn’t excited about the jeep, but as Lisa could attest it was Jason simply not emoting. I am pretty sure he is thrilled with everything. I am certain I gave him a great price on a good jeep. And as long as he is able to drive it to Atlanta with no issues I think I will feel pretty good. I would feel horrible if he broke down right after buying it off me.

Kelly seemed to have some separation issues, as we were able to determine by her clinging to the seat and crying. But Jason reassured her and promised to take good care of Teddy.

Which brings me to another problem: I have to name the new truck. We name all our cars after presidents. The prelude was Grover Cleveland, the civic was FDR, the Jetta is Eisenhower and the Jeep was Teddy Roosevelt. Now what to name the Tacoma? I thought ‘Ford’ would be a good name for a pickup, but seems inappropriate for this one. This is going to require a bit of research.

Damn, two pages already, no way I am going to proof read all that, much less fix the chronological errors. Eh, you get the point.