Monday, June 25, 2012


You may recall that my 1975 Chevy truck burned to the ground last month.

I’ve been going to the Dallas Can Charity Auto Auction the last month looking for a new car. I’ve been going with my pal Jeff, who has bought several cars there, and had pretty good luck. The last car he bought was a 2000 Mustang. He bought it for my daughter.
See, in addition to being one of my High School pals, he is also stepfather to my daughter, by virtue of being the husband of the Ex-mrs Bulletholes.
But all that is a whole ‘nother story.

Jeff has bought several cars at the auction. You get them pretty cheap, but there is no way of knowing what all may be wrong with them until you drive them off the lot.
The first week, Jeff stopped me from bidding on a cute little British 1977 model MGB-GT. It ran, and it sold for only $800, but as cute as it was it would have been the wrong car for me. I barely fit in it.
The next week, there was a nice Accura, but the bidding took off, and it went for 3000. I don’t want to spend that much on a car, only to find I need to put another 1500 into it just to get it roadworthy, because like I said, you don’t really know what they may need until you drive them off the lot. And the assumption is that most will need something.

Last week, I bought a car. It is an Isuzu Rodeo, in good shape, and I thought it might go for 2000 or more, but the bidding got stuck at 1500, and I won!

But when I drove it off the lot, the transmission was slipping. So I had to take it to the shop. I had hoped that 1500 might get the transmission fixed, and that would seem to me to still be a pretty good deal, but these transmission are apparently harder to fix.
The price is 2500 for a rebuild on the transmission!

So I called the Ex Mrs Bulletholes and told her how much it was going to cost.
“Twenty –Five hundred dollars for A Joe Isuzu Japanese Transmission!” I told her.
She gasped, and asked “What are you going to do?”

"What am I going to do? I tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to NOT GO GET ANY DOPE, that’s what I’m going to do!!!”

There was about 8 seconds of silence over the line, and then she says real softly, real relieved:
“I am so glad for that”

People not in the program probably don’t really know what that means, how positive an action it is to actively stay clean, and while she has watched me for all these years do what it is I do, I think for the first time she really understood what that meant.

The miracle is that it wasn’t long ago that every last thin dime I had went right up my nose.
The mathematics of it is I actually have the money to do this.

And its still not a bad deal for 4000. Not for Dallas Can Auction, not for me, and certainly not for the transmission guy.


Kristi PJ said...

I love this story. Makes me wanna hug you!
Glad you got a car!

Martijn said...

I missed the news of the Chevy burning down (late sympathy any way) and I will read it later. What a shame of such an old car. But yes, I love this story too.

goatman said...

Transmissions are tricky. I bought an '89 caprice cop car once and the tranny went out a year later. But the replacement rebuilt was only $1200 since it was a chevy and there is a lot of demand for tranny's apparently on these cars.
Almost makes you want to ride a bike or live in New York City!

bulletholes said...

My transmission guy tells me that this particular transmission was built by GM, but it is used extensivly by the Postal Service fleet, and the parts go for a premium.

There was a time I'd look for evidence to dispute his claim, or just drive around in 1st and 2nd gear, and spend my 2500 on more dope, but I'm just going to consider myself blessed to be able to do this, ansd be happy with my car.

red dirt girl said...

Congrats cowboy ~ for both of your 'wins'.... xxx