Friday, June 13, 2014

Talking to John

Friday the 13th, June 2014.

This would be the second Friday the 13th that I'd buy a used car on the Internet on.

The last Friday the 13th that I bought a used car it was a '91 Z07 Corvette in Miami.  Strangely enough, that was a red car with a stick in it as well.  I don't have the '91 Vette anymore.

I woke up this morning still wanting the red '89 Daytona so after lunch that afternoon I sent the owner an email asking when would be a good time to call him and talk about the car.  The rational part of me said that the car wasn't going to go unsold for very long so I jotted the owner's phone number down on my cell phone and took a break to give him a call.  He answered and we talked for about 20 minutes long distance.

The owner's name was John.  

He was 55 years old, he had owned the Daytona since it was brand new in '89,  it currently had 142,000 miles, and it had been ordered brand new way back in '89 from John's family owned Dodge dealership in Saint Louis, Michigan ... Paul Cameron Dodge.

We talked and John gave full disclosure on the '89 Daytona, listing all of the things he knew were wrong with it.  Nothing major came up in conversation, just that the Daytona was a 25 year old car, it had some paint nicks from people opening the doors against it in parking lots.  

There were two small rust areas, on the rear fender crowns on each side, surface rust only.

He had just had the Daytona tuned up and serviced last summer ... new distributor, new coil, new plugs, new plug wires, new air filter, new fuel filter and tuned to factory specs.

Everything inside the Daytona worked except the horn button in the steering wheel.  In order to pass state inspection, John had his mechanic just rig up a manual button on the dash for the horn.

The Daytona had a factory installed EVS Electronic Vehicle Security system with remote activation.

The local glass shop had replaced the front window a while ago.  In doing so, somehow they had damaged two of the T-top strips / seals / gaskets.  John hadn't gotten that fixed yet.

The cruise control worked.

All power windows, door locks, fuel door release and rear hatch release worked.

Wipers worked.

The Daytona had come with factory rear window louvers but the paint had started to come off of the louvers so John took them off to try to repaint them and had just never put the louvers back on.  John still had the louvers.

There was a small oil leak from the Daytona.

The AC did not work and it had stopped working last summer.  John didn't know if it was lack of refrigerant or something else.

The pop up headlights and driving lights all worked.  John even had the plastic covers for the driving lights.

He had special ordered the Daytona with the factory Infinity II radio system.  The Daytona also had the rare compact disk player (only 862 Shelbys had that option).  The radio and CD player worked fine.  All speakers worked.

The Daytona had been garage stored most of its life.

The T-tops didn't leak.

John said he was trying to go for full disclosure and I respected that.  After seeing the pictures of the Daytona and hearing John tell me about the car I knew I was going to buy it.  I told John to consider the car sold and that I would be back in touch to work out the details.  I asked John if the Daytona would make the drive from Corpus Christi, Texas to Columbia, Mississippi and John said the last time that the Daytona had been on a long trip had been almost two decades ago.  He recommended trailering the Daytona but something told me a car that well maintained would make it just fine.

I told John that I was going to have to drive almost twelve hours straight, one way, to get the Daytona and asked him if he would take $1800 for the car, as is, as it sat.  John agreed to the price and I thanked him for everything, told him I'd be in touch as soon as I had everything set up and that I'd probably be down a week from Saturday to pick up the car.

I call my bank, talk to my banker (an ex-college buddy of mine, long time motorcycle rider, we go way back.  He married my wife's friend so there's that, too) and start the paperwork.

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