A while ago I asked for some help in deciding what sort of new second-hand car I might buy. Thanks for your help, peeps!
Ended up looking on carsales.com.au
Fired off some questions via website email function to several car yards and, as I could not contact sellers without leaving a mobile number, opened with the request “please reply by email as I am unable to take calls”.
Specific questions included “how many kms has the car done”, “when does the registration expire”, and “where are you located?”
Only 2 yards replied by email. One answered my questions [but was located in Traralgon]. Another sent me a vague catch-all email suggesting I visit them at x and they will help me find a car that fills my needs.
My mobile’s missed call log showed that 3 yards each rang four or five times a day for more than a week. I also received a lot of calls from a number which a google search reveals is a follow-up enquiry by carsales.com
A meaningful and open ad led me to the website of Shepparton Toyota, where I found a traded car for $10,900 which has travelled 94,000 country kliks. The previous owner lives in Kyabram and had all of the milestone services in his book stamped by Kyabram Ford.
Readers, I bought it [after getting a country cousin to take a boy’s look at it].
It’s a Ford Fairmont BA MkII which possibly means more to you than it did to me a month ago. Key features are adjustable pedals and a seat wot lifts up high enough for me to see over the dash. These features are complemented by a steering wheel which goes up and down or backwards and forwards. [Yes, I can hear the stampede in response to a promise like that!]
There is an information console [Black and white LED, tres passé] which provides detailed info on a vast number of additional features. As I do not have a BA in Ford Features many of them will be wasted on me.
From Shepp to Franger [predominantly hwy and fwy driving] the monster tells me it averaged 8.8 L/100 kms. I expected it to be a gas guzzler and am not at all displeased with this consumption rate.
Aunty came with me to Shepp and even squeezed her very tall frame into the driver’s seat of the purple hurtle at one point. That she was able to even manoeuvre her gammy leg past pedals is remarkable. As she drove she rediscovered the delights of driving long distances in a small car with no cruise control. She, like me, felt like a dog with worms as we scooted in the low-slung box along the hwy. We both had extremely tired and sore backs by the time we arrived at Shepp Toyota.
Transaction completed, we travelled a few hundred metres up the road for a quick breakfast at the Butter Factory caf. Aunty had two giant slabs of French toast [raisin bread] with maple syrup and ice cream.
Tummies happy, we then made our way to Longwood where I was to deliver the purple hurtle to aforementioned cousin, who bought it for $500. Aunty offered to drive the hurtle which was extremely generous of her, but no new toy could be more important than her, so I drove the hurtle to Longwood myself, while Aunty followed in fair ford luxury.
For the last leg of the journey, Longwood to Franger, I finally got behind the wheel. Bliss. Absence of Stress. Courage at roundabouts. Ease at easing onto freeways. Cup holders! Individual climate control.
The duco is in excellent nick. Have decided not to park the ford under the tree outside our house as I did the hurtle. It is currently parked along the kerb outside the house of Mr Next Door, the bin man. There might well be another post post script arising out of this decision.
As it is still a “new” toy I have yet to choose a name, but am getting accustomed to the colour.
Memo to self: Work out how to preset radio to ABC 774 and Magic 1278.