Two Months and Five Minutes

July 18, 2015

Grand Prix

My new job as a hospice nurse comes with the need for reliable transportation. Since starting this job at the end of this last January I have put a lot of miles on my 2001 Ford Focus. That poor thing has over 235,000 miles on it. It almost feels like a miracle when I pull back into the driveway after a day where I’ve put another 100 miles on it.

Several months ago we decided it was time to get a replacement. I’m a brand new graduate and spent the last three years in school. Due to financial restraints, we were worried that it would be impossible to save enough in a short amount of time. Julie and I refuse to ever have a car payment again. Our goal was to save enough to purchase something with between 110,000 and 150,000 miles on it. Hey, when you are buying with cash you have to temper your expectations. Originally, I wanted a Chevy Impala. I wanted something that was large enough for all six of us in case our LeSabre was broken down. After looking at an Impala last week, we realized that the interior design of an Impala would not easily accommodate our six-person family. That freed me up to choose an Impala that didn’t necessarily have a front bench seat.

I have spent the last two months looking for an Impala with fewer than 150,000 miles on it. I have watched Craig’s List daily for two months to get a feel for what something with less than 150,000 might cost. I’ve practically driven off the road checking out used car lots all throughout the city. I’m all over the northland and northeast Independence all week long. I’ve stopped into many used-car lots and looked in windows and opened unlocked doors on empty corners. Most days I didn’t have enough to even get the car I was looking into. I was okay with that. My goal was to get a feel for what was available at our target amount.

This last Wednesday, Julie decided she would help me out. Apparently, she had an opening in her schedule. She jumped on the Oak Grove Swap and Shop page on Facebook. About twenty posts down she spotted a 2006 Grand Prix in Odessa. She tagged me on the post and sent me a text message letting me know what she had found. What took me two months, she accomplished in five minutes!

To be clear, I never even considered a Grand Prix. I’ve never even seen one I thought was nice looking. Well, I never paid enough attention to find one I did like. Even after sitting in this one, I wasn’t head-over-heels with the thing. Logically, it was a smart purchase. It had just over 123,000 miles. Consumer reports had some nice things to say about it as far as reliability. It wasn’t on the “never buy this as a used car” list, which is good. What attracted me to the car was the color and tinted windows. Those were two things I wanted on the Impala, although I wasn’t convinced I would end up with those options. I wanted remote start above all else but had also waved goodbye to that since my overall goal was something with fewer than 150,000 miles on it. I was going to say no to anything over that and yes to anything under.

Lord Vader

This car has turned into everything I wanted and more. It has tinted windows, a nine-hundred dollar paint job and new tires. They just had it tuned up with new brakes and an alignment. When they handed me the key fob, I was shocked to discover it even has remote start. They even came down $800.00 on the asking price.

This wasn’t what I was looking for, but it was exactly what I needed. I couldn’t be happier.

James Dibben


3 responses to Two Months and Five Minutes

  1. Carl V. Anderson July 19, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    That is awesome! Very cool that you were able to work together to get what you needed, not have a car payment, and find something so nice. Love the window decal.