What Have I Been up to?

As some of you know, I’ve been considering replacing the C30. Working at a dealership has allowed me to touch many things and when the dealership got a lightly used 2012 GMC Sierra with the 5.3L V8 and four wheel drive, I became very intrigued.

You would know about these shenanigans if you followed me on the Oppositelock Facebook page (Oh God, I think I’m embracing my inner Demuro) where I’ve been posting some photos. Just yesterday for instance I was showing off a lovely 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis.


Now you might be thinking “Why on Earth is JQJ213 looking at both a 2012 pickup truck and a 2000 Mercury?” (Or maybe you’re not. I just to like to imagine people thinking about me) The good news is that I’m finally moving on from this introduction and going to answer almost all of your questions! (I’m still not telling you where babies come from. Ask your parents.)

Being an employee of a dealership is awesome. There is a lot of trust. Like lots of trust. When I went to look at the Sierra, the discussion went a little like this.

Ronnie (main salesperson): Hey Justin! Here to pick up your pay check?”

JQJ213: Actually not. I’m interested in the GMC Sierra you have on the pre-owned lot.


R: Okay. Gimme just a sec

(I decided to start touching the brand new 2016 Camaro during this waiting period)


R: Look fast! (Keys go flying through the air)

He then hands me a dealer tag.

R: You’ve got half a tank of gas in there. Bring it back in a few hours and let me know how you like it.


Yup. They just gave their Saturday only employee keys to a $30K truck and a magnetic dealer tag. Even I didn’t know how I felt about that.


I thought I was man enough. Boy was I wrong.

I honestly had been considering these for a while. While the Ram was my first pick, I work for GM so getting access to one would be damn near impossible. This truck had two key features: a V8 and 4X4. I also could get a rather hefty dealer discount. With gas by me reaching $1.65 I figured it might be a viable vehicle option. Until I tried backing it out of the pre-owned lot.


The truck is huge. This is a small two door with a short bed. And yet it felt larger than our Honda Pilot (it probably was, I don’t feel like doing any actual fact checking right now though). We sold the Pilot months ago, I haven’t driven anything so large or with such a high ride height in ages. And the steering was so awkward. Driving it home, I felt too large for the road. The 5.3L V8 was quick and made pretty noises, but it wasn’t right for me. I tried to do a simple task like run to the bank and regretted that. The one (and only) twisty road in my town is the only way to the bank. And in the Volvo it is a blast. In the truck, I felt like I was more focused on keeping it in one lane and not rolling.

The truck went back a few hours later. I admitted defeat. And as soon as I got back into the C30 I realized how crazy I was. The truck was fun, but as a daily driver it would be miserable. Maybe for a second car or a racecar tow rig. Just not for me. And so, the search for my next car continues.


Then I brought home a Grand Marquis.


Now how do I go from a $30K pickup truck to a $2K AARP special? I’ve been looking for a car for my grandpa. Maybe this would be it (hint: it’s not but please keep reading!)

Am I comfortable with him driving? Not entirely. But if he can actually pass the vision test then more power to him. His current daily, a 1997 Lincoln Continental (again, following me on Facebook would have hinted towards this vehicle) needs lots of work. It barely runs, was sideswiped, and that wide ass is basically scraping on the asphalt thanks to that lovely air suspension. At the end of the day, it’s cheaper for him to sell it and buy some cheap beater for the next few years and maybe 3,000 miles he will put on it.


My dealer took this in on trade about a week ago. Owned by a very old couple who got a newer Malibu. And yes, the smell of the interior alone led me to believe this story. The word “WHOLESALE” was poorly written across the top of the windshield. It would be going to auction at the end of the week. Once again I walked in, talked with the floor manager this time, and he gave me the keys and a dealer tag and told me to have fun.

I felt old. It seemed like the perfect car for my town. The steering was so vague and body roll was so strong. The acceleration just sort of happens. For a V8, it wasn’t very loud. The seats were very flat and low and quite uncomfortable. It was perfect for the early bird special at the Country Kitchen Buffet.


This one went back a lot faster than the truck did. Although their price was fair, he wants to spend even less (people still think that they can get a perfect car for under $2000) so I have to keep looking.

The manager was joking with me about becoming a salesperson. He told me that this was exactly how it starts. I wouldn’t mind the opportunity one bit.


At the end of both of these, I was so glad to get back into the C30 and get home. That shirt still smells of old man. Might be time to have a little bonfire in the backyard…

Thanks for reading!

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