On the other hand, car dealerships are a wretched hive of scum and villainy and, worse yet, Indiana's blue laws and my schedule meant I had about one whole day a week when the car dealers were open and I had time for 'em.
Saturday morning, Tam had had enough. "What're your criteria?" she asked, and I repeated the same slightly unrealistic list I'd been searching on; she pushed me to make a few adjustments (paying a little more, mostly) and we found a couple prospects nearby. My friend The Data Viking was visiting (we had planned to see Interstellar) and was roped into the search. After a perfectly delightful and only a little insane set of breakfasts at Taste, off we went.
The search seemed doomed at first. The Hyundai wing of the sprawling Butler series of dealerships had just moved to a new and distant building, leaving a subset of wrong signage pointing at their Fiat/Maserati dealership (where the salesmen do not deign to converse with hoi polloi, or me either). We tried on the other side of Keystone, at their Toyota/used lot, and were at least pointed a half-mile down 96th street to the new Hyundai building.
There, at last, was one of the vehicles Tam had found: a 2000 Lexus (!) RX300, a sort of slicked-up SUV for the city. While it lacks 4WD, it does have a leather interior -- and a combination of sophisticated traction control and decent road clearance that should cope adequately with snow -- especially in the alley behind Roseholme cottage. After a checkout, test drive, various back-and-forth between Tam, the salesman, me, The Data Viking, a sales manager, and a frank admission that my present car was not, perhaps, sparkling new, we came to a price I only loathed. We stuck there for awhile, until it came up that I would be paying cash. The Sales manager mentioned a number I thought was mildly stinky. He named another number that was barely smelly at all-- and there he stuck. It was a couple hundred more than I wanted to pay but he out-stubborned me, and I finally decided I needed a car more than I needed that $200.
|Now I can see over other cars! Umm, sorry, guy behind me.|
And so, after paperwork more like buying a house -- and remember, I paid cash, no financing -- I bought a Lexus. Do I get to sneer at the peasants now, or does that take an even fancier marque?
We never did get to see the movie. Next weekend, darn it!
By the way, despite lower clearance, a nice ride
So, there's one task off the list!
Oh, one other thing: after three cars named after a Kzinti spy starship, a new brand calls for a new name. The first interstellar vessel I could think of that had a leather interior and a nicely-finished hull was a real classic and thus, I dub my new car The Skylark Of Space. I hope E.E. "Doc" Smith wouldn't have minded.
1. Seriously, Roman Emperors would've killed for that food. You could pay more but you won't eat better. Tam has photos but she hasn't posted them yet.
2. No, I'm told the one in the Car & Driver test did have four-wheel drive. Mine does not -- on the other hand, those are the costlier parts of the drivetrain.