After 4 long months of my being carless, and Nick and I haven't to share our 1996 Prizm George, we bit the bullet and headed out to buy the PT Cruiser we have been dreaming of owning for 7 years. From the moment they were introduced by Chrysler in 2001, we've wanted one. We have a remote control one. We have Matchbox PT's and now, we were finally going to have a real one!!!
Friday morning we went to a local credit union and got pre-approved for a car loan. We weren't going to go shopping right away, but we decided to go to one place and take a look. They advertised having fourteen used PT Cruisers on the lot. That is what we wanted. A 2-3 year old car with low mileage. We went to Fred Martin Superstore in Barberton, Ohio. If you live in the area you know them because they are The Fred Martin Car Guys!!! They know cars! We were immediately met on the lot when we arrived by salesman Steve. He asked what we were interested in and I told him we'd take the Viper that was sitting right there in front of us. Yeah right! When we told him what we really wanted, we all hoped into a golf cart and started looking. This place is HUGE, but we found a 2007 black (exactly what I wanted) PT with chrome strips on the grill (exactly what Nick wanted) pretty quickly. Steve wasted no time getting us in that car and on the road.
You know when you have a vision of something and build it up in your mind for a really long time and then you get to experience it and the reality is a huge disappointment? This was NOT one of those times!!! The car, er... technically it's a van, drives beautifully. I started out driving it and then halfway back to the dealership Nick and I did a Chinese fire drill and he took over. We were smitten. BUT we also knew that Steve was going go in for the kill. He showed us the best one they had on the lot that met our criteria. Nick decided we should keep looking so Steve showed us a few others. A 2006 silver. A 2005 purple. Neither held a candle to the first one. That gorgeous black car that I knew I wanted more than anything the first moment my foot touched the gas peddle. It was love.
While driving the silver car, Nick and I decided that we were going to hold out, not buy today. Then I suggested a price that was $2,000 less than asking price for the black car or $2,000 less than asking price for the silver one. All he could say is no. Well in typical salesman fashion, Steve asked us those very pointed questions... "If the terms were what you wanted, would you buy today?" Nick didn't want to commit to that question and kept answering him with things like, "It's really nice." Steve would kind of chuckle and then ask him another question with similar results. When he left us alone for a little while we discussed between ourselves that we were not going to buy a car at the first place we went and buy the first car we drove. So we had to back each other up and make sure the other didn't cave. I told Nick that we have to be prepared out walk out the door no matter what he says!
It became very clear to Steve that we wanted the black car so negotiations began. We were not going to budge. We wanted the car, sure, but we thought we should shop around to other dealers too. Steve told us about their guarantee, that we weren't going to find a better car for a better price anywhere and if we did they would refund the difference plus 10%. So Steve went back and forth between us and his boss... so he says. I suspect that they just go into another office, chat with whoever is in there for about 5-10 minutes, then come back with a revised offer. This went back and forth many times. We wore him down, he wore us down. Finally the offer we couldn't refuse was given to us. They came down over $2700!!! We HAD to take it! Not only that, the car comes with an 8 year/80,000 mile warranty and 12 free oil changes. We'd be fools to walk out that door. We didn't. We made the deal!! And Steve sighed a huge sigh of relief to finally get a definitive answer from us.
Even though we got pre-approved, we had to go to the finance department and sign all the paperwork. OMG, what a trip this was! The finance guy, Kam was hilarious! He was friendly and funny, personable and fun. We talked and talked and talked, oh and eventually signed papers. We talked about everything, where he's from and how he's going back home for his father's 80th birthday. He asked how we met and how long we've been together. When we told him we have been together 20 years and married for 14 he asked what the hold up was! Funny thing is, HE has been engaged for 12 years!!! I couldn't believe he asked us what the hold up was after finding out that piece of info! And then, every once in awhile he would say something like, "I really like those colors in your hair." Why thank you. lol He asked me if it was done professionally (it's not). He told me I remind him of Cyndi Lauper (LOL). He said I look like I belong behind the wheel of a PT Cruiser (I do!). I swear, if my husband hadn't been sitting next to me, I'd think he was coming on to me. Don't get me wrong, he talked to Nick too. But we kept coming back to me, what I do for a living (Nick of course pitched him hard on hiring me for a catering job... ever the PR guy, my Nick), and on and on and on. I never laughed so much during a tense signing away of all our money! He really liked to talk, so much so that we were in his office for well over an hour and half and by the time we were done, Steve had left for the day and we never got a chance to thank him that one last time. But we have our car and I couldn't be happier!!!!! We have decided to name him Eddie (as in "... and the Cruisers"). All he needs is that kick ass yellow and orange flamejob!