The Hellhole

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another long blog silence - sigh. What happened was that after my Sebring was towed to the dealership AGAIN, the report was not good. What might be wrong with it would cost about half the car's value to repair, and if they're wrong about that, the other more remote possibility of what is wrong with it would cost twice the car's value to repair. Obviously, this did not make good financial sense to me, so all my free internet time has been spent looking at various cars available, researching Consumer Reports and reading forums, trying to find something I liked and wanted, which didn't get terrible reviews and which didn't cost more than our house.

Originally, I was going to end my update there and just say that I'd gotten things sorted and hoped to return to semi-regular blogging. However, I elaborated via e-mail to a couple of friends and my brother replied, "I don't know all of your readers, and I know we're ALL going through a "rough economic time", but I don't think you'd be rubbing it in at all to write about your new baby. In fact, knowing how much life has been fucking you over for the past two years, I think everyone would be glad to hear of your new and good fortune. After all, [this] is a much better way to start a new year than last year, so I say, blog away! I'm hella fucking jealous, BTW."

So, then, here is the rest of the story.

I was not having much luck in my car search for one reason or another, and the prolonged search was frustrating me. It was all the more irritating because I didn't necessarily want to give up the Sebring, but fixing it was not a sound fiscal move. Further, I didn't think I'd ever feel safe driving it after this rapid succession of problems; every time it made a weird sound, I'd be terrified.

So I did what any sane and rational person would do.

I bought a Mercedes SLK 350.

It's a convertible, but a hardtop and it was kinda drizzly this morning so I couldn't take a top-down picture.

Here she is making friends with Alan's little blue Saturn.

Before anyone gets the wrong idea thinking I bought a $60,000.00 car, I'm pretty miserly and hate spending money that I don't have to spend. I purchased this car used but it only had 10,000 miles on it, so I consider that a new purchase on which someone else got hit with the depreciation. It's even still under warranty from Mercedes Benz!

Everyone tells me that the reason it has such low mileage and hadn't sold was because it has a 6-speed manual transmission and that few people like or even know how to drive a manual anymore. This was funny because a manual transmission was a must-have for me and eliminated quite a few new vehicles that would have been acceptable otherwise. So because it had the one piece of equipment I really really really wanted, I got it far cheaper than one would think.

That, and another factor might have been that I am "quite difficult" in the price-negotiation phase of bargaining. Or so I'm told. I don't see it myself; I think I'm perfectly equitable - I just want what I want exactly how I want it.

In this case what I wanted was a sporty black-on-black convertible with a leather interior and a manual transmission.

Before I got excited about keeping it, the first thing I did was have my local Mercedes-Benz dealership, Atlanta Classic Cars, do a full-blown inspection on it to make sure there were no hidden problems. ACC doesn't check only the obvious things like frame damage, brake wear, fluids but every possible thing from stem to stern - engine mounts, drive shaft couplings, axle bushings and ball joints - there is an entire page of small type listing everything they checked and their evaluation thereof. I sat on a leather couch in their spacious waiting room watching ESPN on a flat-screen TV, sipping a free Diet Coke and having a free snack (because miserly tendencies aside, let's be honest: it's the butt-kissing part I really like), waiting to hear if my search was over or if bitter disappointment loomed. The service coordinator came out with my paperwork and said, "Looks like you found yourself one great little car, Mrs. Bowman!"

They washed my car for free, too, even though I didn't buy the car from them. I like Atlanta Classic Cars. I have some comments about the buying process that I'll post later, but I wanted to update because several buds have asked me about the car situation.


  • Nice car!

    By Blogger neil h, at 3:18 PM  

  • Beautiful. Totally on my list of "If I could afford it" cars. Though I see where the manual transmission would be a deal breaker, not very good for those (me) of us who rarely leave surface streets ITP. Congrats and enjoy!

    By Blogger Summer, at 3:19 PM  

  • Whoot! And I'm with your brother on this one - you deserve some good news and you deserve to share it!

    By Blogger will, at 8:20 PM  

  • Glad you found what you were looking for!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:38 AM  

  • I seriously covet that car!

    By Blogger A Margarita, at 10:02 AM  

  • Thanks, everyone! I'm very happy with it - lots of fun to drive. I took my brother for a spin yesterday and we took the top down even though the weather wasn't pretty.

    Alan is looking for a forum or support group for men whose wives bought that car and now roam their homes screaming, "POW-AHHHHHHH!" in a Jeremy Clarkson voice.

    By Blogger Helly, at 10:49 AM  


    (still jealous -- my Mustang is definitely starting to show its years by now).


    By Anonymous Phil C., at 1:17 PM  

  • Congratulations, Helly! It is absolutely stunning!

    By Anonymous maria, at 4:13 PM  

  • Thanks, Maria! And Phil, thank you so much for your comment; making you and Bo jealous is worth the purchase price even without the sweet ride. And oh, what a sweet ride it is...

    By Blogger Helly, at 9:54 PM  

  • Oh my god, that is the PERFECT car for you! I'm so happy for you. :-)

    By Blogger Nancy, at 8:21 PM  

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