I am a fan of cars! I love them, I love to drive them, I love to talk about them, I love to talk about driving them, I love to talk about them while driving, get the picture?
In October 2007, I was preparing for the winter and seeking a front wheel drive vehicle. I was a poor student at the time, and couldn’t afford much, but needed something to get to my two jobs and school. Something reliable, something that suits me, something with a little character. Where could I find such a thing? How bout Craigslist!
For an entire week, I was checking Craigslist (CL) hourly for used cars. I should have applied to be a CL moderator since I was on there so frequently. I was looking for the cheapest ‘import’ I could find. Oh yeah, the criteria was: cheap, import, two door, power steering, manual transmission, any color but red. I came across this cute little, green Toyota Tercel LE (limited edition – it was limited all right). It was $1,800, with a $600 stereo system, mint condition, manual transmission, two door, with hatch. It was the perfect little car for a Student Public Health Inspector. I was looking for something in that price range as I had just received a special award from school that month.
I made the arrangements with the seller, and my father and I went to pick it up one bright evening. Unfortunately, the seller didn’t want to let go the $600 stereo, so he took it and gave me a discount off the price. No worries, my family purchased a stereo for me, and had is put in…. It’s SWEET!
I always assign male names to my cars. Before this car, I drove a blue BMW, it was called Bobby (some called it DT as in death trap) but he had lots of character. I had another weird car, it was an Isuzu I-Mark (something you would think Apple made huh?) it was paralyzed as it must have undergone a stroke or something, the head light, seat belt, doors were only working on one side. It was called Cyclops. So I needed something neat for this Tercel. In the end, his name was Toyota ‘Tony’ Tercel. Tony came from the Sopranos TV series that I was obsessed during its time.
I love this car! I think because it has got me places where I never thought I could take it for its klicks (for example, 15hrs coming from Northern BC was quite impressive). All the major work, except the recent stuff was done on Tony before I got him. I was lucky, as I understand a Toyota mechanic owned him prior. So when I found out I had to get my CV boots replaced, I figured no problem.
Well, I went to the guy who does the tires and asked him. You should have seen the look on his face when I told him I am keeping Tony. Heck, you should have seen the look on my face when he gave the quote to fix it. It was half the price of Tony’s value. So I decided to shop around. Well, that was ridiculous! I went to 5 other garages, and I got quotes between $1700 to $2100. I mean these people were taking a piss ‘out of’ me thinking I was some dumb driving diva.
After getting my funds sorted, I went and set up an appointment with the first estimate. Tony really needed to get this done as he got nosier, and unstable to drive. So when I picked up Tony, I was expecting the value of the estimate. Andrew (the gentleman who gave me the estimate) had reduced the estimate by another $50. I was amazed! Andrew had found out about my job situation, and about my recent engagement news (as he knows my father) and gave me the parts at cost.
I was almost in tears of joy because I really needed a break. It is so nice to do business with people who are honest, and care. Perhaps Andrew doesn’t know, but he is an angel and an honorable member of Team Eva. Thanks Andrew!
When people do something special for you, take time to acknowledge them. Because if you give credit where credit is due, I guarantee, it will come back to you!
Still revving on cloud 9,