Monday, April 28, 2008

Chad's New Rides

That title actually isn't a typo. Today Chad became the proud driver of two new vehicles. I can safely say I don't think we will ever again come to possess two new cars in the same day.

The first car Chad received today was his new company car. If you've been reading my chatter for a while you might remember that I blogged about his first company car last June. I don't think I ever wrote the follow up story, but the Green Machine wasn't part of our family for long. Within the first month of being Chad's mode of transportation, it broke down three times. The first couple of times he was able to get a jump or get a ride to where he was going, but third time when some belt broke he was forced to drive the car like 30 mph on the shoulder of the Interstate most of the way home from Topeka--and this was just days after the fleet mechanics had fixed the first problem. Chad was NOT a happy camper, to say the least. When his company's crew came to tow it away, he told them to just keep it because he wasn't taking it back. At that point he decided to continue driving our much more reliable little Hyundai for work purposes. He of course received a mileage reimbursement, but it was a big pain to have to deal with so many oil changes, tire rotations and tire replacements on our personal vehicle. So Chad put his name on the list to get a new (and therefore reliable) company car.

Obviously the list was pretty long, since that was the middle of last summer. A few months ago Chad started hearing rumors that the new group of company vehicles would be coming in soon, so he started salivating. Not because he was getting the brand new (3 miles on it!) Chevy Impala that you see here, but rather because getting a new company car meant getting rid of the Hyundai and getting something that he's been wanting for years: a truck. He has always loved having a truck and gave up his last beloved tailgate when he started working for Westar and driving all over the state. Since I refused to drive his truck to work (I'm such a mean wife), we ended up getting rid of it. Our compromise was to buy our Ford Escape so that we'd still have a little bit of hauling ability in a vehicle that I would like to drive.

So on Friday, Chad got the official word that his company car had arrived and he could pick it up today. When he got home that night, he immediately went online and started looking for the truck he'd been researching for the last several months--the Toyota Tacoma. In his research he'd found that a Tacoma with all the features he wanted was going to be difficult to find. Tacomas are so popular that most people don't sell them, and they're so in demand that those which are on the market tend to sell quickly. He entered all his preferred options into the search fields of whatever website he was on and voila--there was one truck meeting almost all of his specifications in all of Kansas or Missouri, and that one happened to be at a dealer in the KC area.

It seemed ridiculous to rush into buying a truck, and yet the price on this vehicle was way lower several others (the next closest was in Arkansas) with higher mileage and fewer options. It seemed silly not to at least go look at it since it was less than an hour away, so Chad went to check it out on Saturday afternoon and fell in love. We talked and prayed about it the last couple of days, and today Chad made them an offer which they accepted. We had no intention of buying a truck this quickly, but this was just such a great deal that we didn't think we should pass it up!

Although I'm excited that I won't have to listen to Chad complain of truck envy anymore, I have to admit that I'm not really excited about this purchase. I'm having a really hard time coming to grips with the idea of increasing the size of our ecological footprint. We already have one vehicle that's not especially fuel efficient, and the idea of adding a second is making my stomach hurt. Obviously the fact that I spent more on a tank of gas today than I ever have in my entire life is not helping the situation. Chad keeps reminding me that we never really drove the Hyundai that much on weekends anyway, and that in town the mpg between vehicles isn't really that different, and that we end up usually taking the Escape on trips anyway because it's more comfortable and has 4WD. Still, I hate the idea of becoming less green. You can bet that as soon as this truck is paid off I'm all about getting something economical and good for the environment!

So tonight I had to say goodbye to our dear little Hyundai Elantra, as Chad traded it in as part of the deal. For the last 7+ years that little car was ultra reliable for us, and was still going strong with over 170,000 miles on it. We never had any major problem with it--all the work we had done was strictly routine maintenance. It wasn't much to look at as it aged, and our friends often made fun of our little economy car, but I still loved it (except for the time that I didn't put the emergency brake on and it slipped out of gear and rolled out of the garage and down the driveway and bashed into the neighbor's parked car--but that's another story). It was a sad goodbye tonight as Chad left for Kansas City.

Goodbye little Elantra! I know Chad won't, but I'll definitely miss you!

I'd post a picture of Chad's new truck, but he isn't even home with it yet! He of course had to stop and show it off to his best friend on his way home. :)


cw said...

OK.... you are obviously the BEST spouse in the WORLD (the reasons are too long to list and that much data would certainly crash the Internets).

For the record, the Elantra was turned in with 175,811 miles. Good riddance! It was a very reliable car, but there shall be no tears shed.

The "roll down the driveway and smash the neighbor's car" story made me laugh out loud!

James said...

Wow, with so many new whips, you're gonna have to have MTV Cribs come over so you can show it all off! What size rims you rollin' the Impala on? Hopefully nothing less than 18s!

Congrats though. I'm happy Chad finally got the truck he wanted and now has a company car to log all those miles on.

Erin said...

I need one of those tennis ball things in my garage. We have a permanent reminder of the front of my old Explorer on the back wall of our garage.

Congratulations Chad on your new truck!

Beth said...

Awesome! I didn't know Tacomas were in such high demand, esp. w/the high gas prices these days. That is great to find the truck of your dreams so nearby!!

But I am confused...why did getting a new company car have to do with getting a new person car?

A car with only THREE miles on it?! That rocks.

kjl said...

Sorry, I didn't explain that very well! Chad didn't want to get a truck as a personal car because he does SO much driving for his job. It wouldn't have made sense to drive a truck with poor gas mileage all over the state. So he wasn't able to get the truck until he no longer had to use his personal vehicle to drive all over Kansas. When the company car got here, he was able to get the truck!