Weekend in reverse: Buying the blasted car

After the e34 fiasco, buying the Camry was pretty easy: Drove over to Big Blue Autos, and they (conveniently) had the keys to EVERY CAR sticking OUT OF ITS DRIVER'S SIDE DOOR!

Supposedly, this was to simply the detail-guys moving them around the lot. I personally think this was a giant sociological experiment to see who would be the first person to steal a car.

I only did it halfway--I got a dealer plate first.

First up was a sad-looking Infiniti I30 that didn't quite check-out...so that was out. At this point, two cars remained: the Camry and a V-6 Accord.

The accord was kill-me-beige, and a real blast to drive. Great seats and tremendous power. Every stoplight/stop sign had me laying rubber as I booted the throttle. Controls were light, but TOO light. Driving up Bryan Station Road, the car was playful and engaging. Sadly, the inspection of the car didn't add-up: It was missing a couple of VIN stickers, and had corrosion in odd places in the engine bay. Also, I didn't relish paying for a timing belt replacement on a V-6. Also, it had a very bad air leak on the driver's side above 25 mph. The real kicker was, the car was just TOO FAST. Power-to-weight felt 25% better than Sharkey, and frankly, that's not what my lead-footed wife needs :-)

The Camry was, well, good enough to buy--panels all checked out, minus the trunk. The engine ticked-over easily, and there was just a hint of sticky throttle, indicating a dirty intake manifold/throttle body.

Plus, it wasn't kill-me-beige.

As with Sharkey, negotiations were pretty brief, probably 20 minutes. I asked them to make their best deal, then made them a lowball counter-offer, and we met somewhere in the middle. Decent guys to deal with, but I wouldn't want to be some rube walking onto that lot--have your NADA guides on #'s or they'll rob you blind.

Only regret was it was so late in the day after the e34 stuff that I couldn't get a Pre-purchase inspection. I hope my (meager) inspection skills will be enough to keep us away from a lemon


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