One of the things that makes me a great technologist can make me terrible at buying things for myself. I tend to want perfection, which is easy to achieve in code and impossible to attain in real life. My friends and family know that I’ve been talking about a new car for at least a year, probably two. I vacillated over a Mustang, a used Camaro, an RX-7, and a bunch of other cars. Could I get away with a two-seater? Should I get a truck to be really practical? I finally convinced myself that a Mustang would be the best car for me. It’s fun and fast, plus I could squeeze the whole family in there if I had to.
This was part one, because the next torture I put myself through was finding the one, true car with the options I wanted. As is typical for me, I wanted an unusual combination of options. I didn’t want a spoiler because I found that area under the spoiler on my old car was always dirty and impossible to clean. The V6 version of the Mustang has no spoiler by default. Almost all the V8’s have them. And it had to be a stick. And I wanted orange. The car I wanted does not exist.
I know this because I had a guy at carsdirect.com search for me. He came close a few times and he would always find a car with a ton of extra options that I didn’t want to pay for. $1700 navigation system? No thanks. I have a $300 Garmin that sticks to the windshield that’s fine for the rare times I’d ever need it. I think I wore that guy out because he just stopped replying to me. The best use of carsdirect.com is for giving you an idea of the real market value of the car is.
Based on advice from my buddy David, last night I decided to try asking for an “Internet quote” from the Ford site. I thought I saw a car that I’d want by checking their inventory. I got a call in the morning from one of the salespeople at Micheal Stead in Walnut Creek dedicated to responding to these requests. We figured out that the car listed on the Ford site was really a Shelby, and therefor a lot more expensive. But she searched inventory from all the dealers in California and eventually found a car that worked for me. It’s in Marin, so I have to wait until Tuesday to get it.
So, it was cool that it all got wrapped up in a few hours work. The Ford salesperson found me a car in no time, compared to the failure of the carsdirect.com guy. And I feel like I got a good deal because she offered a price that was lower than the price the carsdirect.com site told me a car with those options would be. I’m sure there’s differences in quality between the different brands, but I’d recommend using Ford’s site for anyone looking to buy a Ford.
As we were sitting around, waiting for the finance guy to do the paperwork, we figured out that not only do we both live in Martinez, but she’s good friends with April, my neighbor and wife of my good friend Jeff. It was good to do business with a Martisian even if I had to go to Walnut Creek.