Saturday, March 16, 2013

So, Big Red is Gone, Here's Black Beauty!

So, Big Red is gone. Do you remember how excited we were three years ago when we bought her?
After the heartbreak of losing the deal on the 2010 truck we were indeed lucky to find this beauty last weekend. It took some real thought to decide to spend this amount of our savings on a vehicle but we think that we chose well. It took us a week to finalize the sale but Big Red came home yesterday and we think that it is just gorgeous. It is much prettier than the new truck we were considering and much better equipped. Oh yeah, and almost $20,000 less than the list price of the new one! I guess that the a__holes at the first dealership actually did us a big favour, and they probably didn't need our money anyway.
Big Red was beautiful when she first came home.
She was such a pretty vehicle that we had to think of it as "her". It turned out that it wasn't a good choice and it wasn't long into our relationship, that we started regretting our purchase. The issues stared early. We had an $800 brake job that was needed 4 months after we bought her, a failed 4 wheel drive system that took the dealer over 2 weeks to properly fix (thankfully I had insisted on the extended warranty!), seat fabric that was worn through to the foam, evil handling over bumps on the highway, faded and failing paint on the rocker panels and wheel wells and worst of all, rust in the rear quarter panels. It soured our feelings for this truck.

Before the disappointment set in...
So, Hubby started looking for a replacement early last year. He still wanted a full sized 4X4 pickup, primarily for winter driving even though the fuel costs are significant. It didn't help that he goes past the local Chrysler dealer on his way to work every day. Their lot is full of new trucks and they are offering huge discounts (as high as $12,000 off on some versions). He watched the inventory come and go on the dealer's websites waiting for just the right one to become available and every once in a while we would go and peer into the windows in the dealer's lots and gasp at the list prices. This is exactly what we were doing a couple of weeks ago when we came across Black Beauty!

Black Beauty, a 2011 Ram 1500 Sport
Pulling into the lot we were wondering why this new truck was parked with the used vehicles. As it happens, it was used, a 2011 Ram 1500 Sport with just 50,000 kilometres on it. It was exactly what Hubby had been looking for, the correct model and equipment and even the right colour.

We took it for a drive and it was nice. It drove well and felt solid on the road. The interior is loaded with just about everything you can imagine including automatic headlights, automatic dual-zone temperature controls, touch screen satellite radio that will also connect to a cell phone, built-in garage door openers, partial leather seats and auto-dimming mirrors. The outside has body coloured bumpers and mirrors, fog lamps, running boards, remote start, security alarm and 20 inch chrome wheels. Another very pretty vehicle, I decided to name her Black Beauty.

The interior wasn't muddy until
we brought it home!

The centre stack includes the touch screen
radio and climate controls.
The dance started as soon as we returned from the test drive. The dealer had looked at Big Red while we were out and had come up with a very disappointing offer. We went home to think things over and to do some research. Consumer Reports rated the model as above average in everything except fuel mileage. The asking price the dealer wanted was at the extreme end of the range according to the Canadian Black Book website while the amount they were offering for Big Red was thousands less than the minimum. We haggled with them for over a week, adding extended warranty again and a cover for the back end and don't forget the bloody taxes, before finally agreeing on a price. We came out at about half of what a new 2013 version would have cost. Vehicle depreciation is very scary in the first few years!

We were back to the dealer yesterday to pick up a missing spare key and found out that Big Red is already sold. The dealer was going to recondition her, fix up the paint and her other issues but they decided that that would be too expensive. So they have sold her off to used car wholesaler and we will probably never hear of her again. Too bad, she held such promise when she first came home. Maybe her problems stem from the financial crisis the manufacturers were in at the time it was made or maybe she was just a lemon. We'll never know I guess. I just hope someone buys her and fixes her back up and maybe loves her a little.

For us, I just hope that this new vehicle will last us a few years. Retirement is looming!

Poor Big Red, back on the dealer's lot.
You can see the missing paint from the rust bubble over the
wheel arch.
The new truck getting its first wash at home. You can see
why the floor mats are muddy in the shot above.
Saying goodbye to Big Red. She has been sold to a vehicle
wholesaler already. I hope she will find some love out there.
Clean again for a short while.


its me, sam said...

Nice truck! I think you'll like BB better than BR...

Marguerite said...

oh I'm a little jealous. We had a 4x4 for some years and I loved being able to go anywhere and haul anything in that vehicle. You're going to enjoy this truck quite a bit I think.

Suz said...


~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I remember when you bought Big Red--Where has the time gone?? But I know what you mean about preferring those long term relationships with your vehicles. We try to do that too, but some just are meant to go down another road! I hope Black Beauty doesn't disappoint!

PS: Good to see a post from you, I hope all is well!!!

megan blogs said...

BB is a beauty indeed! I took quite a while before finding a truck that would meet my needs, and i'm very happy with her, except at the gas pump. I've been very spoiled with my hybrid, which is why i have sticker shock.

The few times i had to drive in bad weather this winter, i was very glad to have the 4WD option.

Happy motoring!

Jane said...

I just bought a used truck too! We felt we'll need a 4x4 on the island and especially for our .5km laneway in the wintertime. I just hope "Dougie" doesn't cost us too much in repairs over the next few years!!! Your story about Big Red sort of scared me a little!

Gill - That British Woman said...

It doesn't seem that long since you bought big red. I guess time flies by when you're having fun? My dh is like your dh has to drive a big truck. He hates driving in my Betsy as she is a tiny little Fiesta.

Only problem with those big boys is the gas consumption......