I have been without a car for a year and a half. Other than the motorhome or borrowing the wife's car, the motorcycles are my only transportation. This worked for awhile but now "awhile" is over. My first thought was an older car of pre-'72 vintage so that I could avoid the hassle of yearly smog checks, plus they are cool. A little six cylinder jobber. Well it soon became apparent that this would take a long time to find one that wasn't an overpriced "collector's item" or a piece of junk. I'm tired of working on and restoring cars. So I readjusted my sights.
I decided a small compact hatchback would work. Something to carry my bicycle or hiking gear around in. The last weekend was spent hitting all the car lots after several days of Craiglist searching only produced one car in the north bay area. Driving down into the Bay Area to see a car wasn't that appealing. I learned a few things over the weekend. One, car salesman are nice people. Not the stereotype they are known for. Hey, they are people trying to get by just like all of us and selling cars has to be one of the most undesirable jobs there are. A car salesman is like a postal worker - someone who had no job career ideals or aspirations for his life. Two, the used car market is slim pickings. The Cash for Clunkers program really thinned out the herd leaving only high priced used cars available. This led to number three, there were not that many hatchbacks to be had. Okay, like none, at least in my price range of under 10K. I could get a brand new Chervolet Aveo for just a little over that. A cute car I might add.
In the end I bought the first car I went to see. This has happened to me more times than not, so I don't put much stock in the old adage, "Don't buy the first thing your see". I was prepared to go get this 2002 Volkswagen Golf monday morning when a 2003 diesel variety popped up on Craiglist the evening before. I am a diesel fan after buying the View so I just had to go see this car in San Rafael first. It was the same color, a year newer with a few more miles and a two door. I gave it a test drive and it seemed nice but I just had this feeling that I shouldn't. Back home I took the wife with me to see the 2002 gas version. She liked it from the first moment. That helped. It also seemed nicer all around and the extra two doors will be handy. Plus I got it for $3000 less.
Two days later I have it all detailed out and am loving my new car. The only thing it needs is a better looking headlamp on the driver's side (already located on on eBay) and five little knobs for the radio. Oh yes, I need to get a carrier for my bike to fit the rack. That rack will work out much better than putting the bicycle inside.