Introducing: Silver Surfer

My first car was an Oldsmobile Calais.  My parents offered me a deal I couldn’t pass up: I could drive their used car from age 16-18, prove myself a safe driver, and they’d buy me a new car at 18.  The alternative was that they’d spend considerably less on my vehicle if I wanted something “new to me” then.  I was, after all, about to be a brand new driver… in CHARLOTTE, no less.

I jumped on that offer and for 2 years I drove a poopoo brown car that was none too pretty, but ever-so-effective.  That car deserved a name so Matt called it “Goldrush.” When I turned 18 my parents surprised me with the car I had been wanting, a 4-door Saturn.  This was back when Saturn only had three or four body styles…  Guess what color it was?  Gold.  Matt named it “Goldrush 2.”

That car was perfect for me until we had Hayden.  Who knew a baby takes up so much space in a car.  I have several friends who are expecting their first child.  They have no idea…  So, we broke down and bought our first minivan:  A Town and Country but it wasn’t gold.  I think we had that van about a year before we (I) decided we needed an upgraded model that had the automatic trunk/doors.  We borrowed heavily and bought a used one and drove that one for many, many years.  That was the one that just died on us last month.  Remember the color?  Gold.  Matt named it “Goldrush 3.”  I have a trend here.

When it died I started driving Matt’s Durango and he’s been borrowing a friend’s car. Calling this a huge blessing is an understatement!  Last Sunday (one week ago) I met in person a friend whom I had “met” online through a FB page for Americans in Wiesbaden. I was driving her and her husband to church and I shared a shorter version of thi story.  I capped it off by saying, “I think I’ll just drive the Durango for the next 14 months. I can do it.”  The boys haven’t dented any neighboring cars and we were managing just fine.   I had finally just given up the “need” to have a van and was content with what we had.  We decided to stop checking Bookoo every hour and that IF we were to buy a car it would have to fit all of these categories:

  1. Be a Town and Country
  2. Cost $5000 or less
  3. Have less than 100,000K miles on it
  4. Have Stow-and-go seats
  5. Be a 2005 or newer vehicle

Matt had said the previous day that he wanted me to call and have them tow the van and crush it.  I asked if I could post it on for a month and he agreed.  (I honestly can’t bear the thought of my van being crushed.)

Monday morning I posted Goldrush 3 on Bookoo and within 30 minutes someone called. An hour later I got an email.  That emailer then called and within 3 hours of having posted it he had paid a $200 deposit on the van, and our agreement was that he would come pick up the van by the 17th.

An hour after the money was received I went back to check something on my listing and noticed a new posting… a different Town and Country.  I couldn’t help check it out because in the listing’s title it said, “2005 Town and Country.”  I glanced at the price: $5000.  There was no way this van was going to meet all our criteria.  Once I opened the link I realized that it did, in fact, meet all five of the things we had said we needed in order to discuss a purchase.  (It was $2500 under Blue Book Value!!)

Remember our list of requirements?  When Matt and I were discussing that list we totally forgot to mention that we wanted a 6th item, “Have automatic trunk and doors.” This one does not have those but since the bigs are no longer babies, I can make them run ahead of me to open them, and I can pretend that I have automatic doors.  Those were crucial to me when I was hauling around 3, 2 and 1 year old babies.  Now, automatic doors are a luxury that I can live without, though I’m still kicking myself for not having made the list have 6 items…

We made contact with the seller and after what seemed an agonizingly long week of discussions, we finally agreed on everything.  We went today to get our new vehicle, (that Matt has named “Silver Surfer”) and I can honestly say, I’ve never been happier.  It has fewer bells and whistles than my older one did.  I’ve already mentioned ad nauseum the fact that the trunk/doors don’t open with a remote control or a button, but one other noticeable difference is the automatic temperature gauge.  I have driven Goldrush 3 for so long I had forgotten how nice it was to set my temperature to 68 or 72 or whatever and the van would keep the temperature just right the entire trip.  If the sun came out and it got hotter in the car, the van would cool it off.  When you first turned the car on the air would come on high and then taper off as it got cooler.  With this new (to us) van I have to actually reach over and turn the knob when my face gets frozen.  Um, not a big deal but it is funny to remember back when I got Goldrush 3 that I thought the “automatic air conditioner” was a gimmick and would not work like they said it would.  Turns out… it did!

All joking aside I love that Silver Surfer has Stow-and-Go.  And, the boys say that the can’t even tell we’re moving when they’re sitting on the back row.  From that I gather the shocks were pretty bad on the back of the Goldrush 3.  I love that my whole family fits in it and I love that it’s paid for.  I’m telling you… I would rather have this vehicle with the broken sun visor (something they had listed that clearly in the ad) and have it paid for than to have a newer one with all the gadgets and gimmicks toting a car payment.  I’ve done it both ways.  I can say this way is much better.

Okay, now what you’ve been waiting for:  pictures!

Me and my new van!

Matt driving the van.  (We met the sellers at a McDonald’s in order to let the boys have a place to play while we waited.)

After we made the transaction we celebrated with fries, milkshakes, and McFlurries. Our bill: 15€ or about $21. See why we don’t eat on the economy very often?!?

Matt, the proud owner of… well, he gets his Durango back.

Hayden… we were sitting in the sun right beside a man who was smoking. Hayden was not pleased about either.  He was, however, happy about the van.

I couldn’t get a clear shot of Carson so I picked the best out of the bunch. This particular McD’s (and many in Germany) don’t have high chairs. Parker does well if we just put him in the middle of the table. Every time I went to take C’s picture, P would reach over for a fry or a sip of H’s milkshake.

Bailey enjoying his Strawberry Celebratory Milkshake, a rare treat indeed.  I love how seriously he was taking this milkshake!

Parker enjoying a bit of everyone’s celebratory snacks. I could eat those cheeks up!

So, if you’re wondering about this Dave Ramsey stuff, he has a neat idea.  We plan to work it, but first we have a few other goals to meet:

  1. 6 months Emergency Fund
  2. Upgrade Matt’s car
When both of those are done we’ll sell the Silver Surfer, add a few thousand to what we get for the SS, and upgrade that way.  We can do that every year and have a REALLY nice car before long.  Paid for in cash.  Dave describes it here.  

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
This entry was posted in Discussing debt, family. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Introducing: Silver Surfer

  1. Wendy Hagen says:

    Awesome – congrats! And good for you onward to the debt free life!

    • Jennifer says:

      Wendy, thanks for stopping by and for the congrats. We are thrilled and still amazed at what God has done in our finances since we finally decided to pay attention!

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