Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm pleased to introduce Sylvia!
After a mindnumbing 2 week search for a car to replace Gracie... I finally found Sylvia yesterday. She's a 1996 Toyota Camry.
I am convinced that car shopping cannot be fun. Unless you can walk into a dealer with $40,000 and say... I want that car - it can't possibly be fun.
My experience was made all the more distressing by the fact that I wasn't prepared to buy a car. Gracie and I were getting along fine. Then suddenly, she was dead. No time to research or comparision shop. Worst of all... I was limited to the cash amount the insurance company gave me for Gracie. $3,000. Yeah. If you think it stinks looking for a car to begin with - try sticking to that price range! Thank heavens the insurance company gave me a rental car for 5 days.
The first few cars I saw were disgusting. I felt as though I wanted to put on a hazmat suit before sitting in them.
So I didn't even sit in them!
I told the salesman no freaking way - that's unacceptable and I expect something as clean and pretty as Gracie or don't even show it to me. I don't want to feel like I have to boil the car to disinfect it!
I did not make friends.
I won't even go into the disappointment of Craigslist scams... Scam after scam... ugh! And the the many people who either don't bother to meet you after you've agreed upon a time... or schedule an appointment with someone else... and sell their car even though they told you they wouldn't even be available until the next evening.
It was disheartening even though I did eventually find Sylvia through Craigslist.
My mechanic checked her out... found just a few problems that are worth fixing... and deemed the car a winner! I went back to my new Craigslist friend with the inspection report and repair summaries and he took $500 off the original offer.
Sylvia and I were united (the paperwork actually says: To have and to hold!) upon the exchange of $3,300!
And now, a moment of reflection for Gracie.
There will never be another like her. (Wish I could put a music montage here!!)