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How Many Fucking Times Is This Going to Fucking Happen

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Took an arduous 7 hour round-trip yesterday up to the lovely Berkshires to look at a lovely car. It was priced well, but had some red flags, namely that it had been in storage for 4 years and was rolled on its lumpy-ass tire-rocks onto the lot without as much as an oil change. Which, fortunately, I knew about. And a clear bra which had aged so poorly it looked more like a thin veneer of cat piss, which, fortunately, I knew about. But there was no A/C, and aluminum craters on all 4 wheels so deep you’d think you were looking at a full moon through a telescope, which, unfortunately I did not know about.

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I decided, begrudgingly, to think about it on the ride back and “sleep on it,” at least, in whatever sense you can really “sleep on” buying a Ferrari V8 on 5 hours of sleep after a s-e-v-e-n hour round trip. But I totaled up the work it needed, called the mechanic I was planning to have service it for a sanity check, took a few breaths into a paper bag, and decided to take the plunge. Called the dealer credit card in hand, and was told the car sold a couple hours earlier.

You’re probably thinking like “wow, that really fucking sucks,” or if you’re a Zillenial, just “oof.” It actually does not suck. Let me tell you what sucks.

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Back in June, I caught a rare 4200 manual coupe right as it came on the market, and reached out pretty quickly. Naturally as soon as the ad went up, a fuel pump sprung a leak - during COVID times. So some guy probably named Giuseppe boxed one up in Turin, threw it on a cargo boat, let it toot-toot its way across the Atlantic, arriving just in the nick of time for it to sit parked in customs for a month. But it eventually found its way down to North Carolina where it was needed... all while I was waiting patiently, knowing the ad had been pulled, and had a local friend on standby (met through the Kinja network!) ready to go out as soon as the call came in. Eventually it did. I booked my friend at the seller’s first availability.

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He showed up on time, said it drove great, was as beautiful as it looked, ready to go. I told the seller I was interested and set up a time for us to discuss moving forward some... mmmm... 20 hours later, at his first availability. So I pull my wire instructions and credit card and run the CARFAX and watch the last minutes on the clock tick by before our scheduled call, but he beats me to it with a text. Car is sold.

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(This would probably be the part where I go into how the car subsequently ends up on BaT, at which point I go absolutely off the rails at the seller for selling it out from under me to a dealer after making me wait 6 weeks for the fuel pump, then proceed to catch the new-seller outright lying about the condition of the car on BaT in several ways (which again my friend has seen firsthand) and who is actually straw bidding on it, and then getting into an argument with BaT after I send them the inarguable receipts on the straw bidding, and subsequently getting banned from commenting on BaT... but that’s a story for another day) 

You’re probably thinking like “wow, that really fucking sucks,” or if you’re a Zillenial, just “oof” (or: “this guy is a total asshole”). It actually does not suck. Let me tell you what sucks.

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A good year ago, I made the unfortunate and extremely regrettable decision of seeing what I was missing. From time to time I’d flip through Hemmings to see what I could afford if I squinted and smeared vasoline over the first few numbers of the price. And I always saw the same picture: this lonely Maserati, rolled out on a never-changing, summer-green lawn. Even as the months rolled by and the rest of us were digging out of winter’s spoils, it was perched on that little grassy knoll, mocking me for being too chicken shit to go look at it. But when I was around the corner for the holidays, 5 minutes away, and it was somehow still available, I told the dealer I wanted to test drive the car I couldn’t afford. For some reason, he indulged me and gave me the seller’s rock-bottom, unbeatable price.

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Things got out of control from there. Weeks passed. I lost sleep. I checked my 401(k) terms for a loan. I applied for an equity line on my house (no I am not kidding). And finally, I decided I can, sort of, with the equity line, and enough prayer, afford it, and proceeded to go frantically through every forum that ever mentioned PPI’s in Connecticut even once. I finally find an off-duty Ferrari Master Tech, we make an appointment for Friday, and I scoot to my local Bank of America branch to take out [redacted] grand in cash.

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Friday comes, and it’s a mess. A foot-plus of snow. No way to test drive a Maserati. I call the dealer and we agree to touch base the next day, which is supposed to be all warm and melt-y. He knows I’m getting antsy, and as he puts it, “if you’re not taking it out in a blizzard, then no one else is either.” I feel better.

Saturday comes and I call to confirm the new timing. A voice answers, “I hate to tell you, but the car sold over the phone this morning to a buyer in Maryland. They’re sending a flatbed to pick it up Wednesday.”

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I’m thinking I should check out Aston Martins.

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