A Bit of Memoir
We rounded the corner and there it was, the stout, perfect looking black Jeep Cherokee that my dad and I had just driven and hour to look at. It looked like every other one that I had seen in pictures, but there was the feeling that this one could possibly be mine. The week before, I had been furiously searching Craigslist and Jeep Forum classifieds looking for a Jeep, particularly a Cherokee with low miles, little to no rust, and the right price, between the years 1997 and 1999. With the tight guidelines that I had for the car, it made it hard to find one. However, acquiring a Cherokee was only the first part; I had many plans once I had one of my own, plans to lift it and put some big mud tires on it, along with some other jeep essentials. My friend had his lifted Cherokee for a few months, and I had wanted one just like it for quite a while. After calling up multiple private sellers and used car dealerships, I had found one not far from me. A used car dealership had three
Cherokees, all with low miles, and relatively fair prices. My dad and I decided to go check them out, with the hopes of being able to talk the salesman down a few hundred dollars. After driving a half hour or so, we arrive at the dealership, and there, parked in the front three spots were the jeeps. We made our way over and I was instantly checking them all out, making sure that I kept my cool. The salesman comes out, a big guy who looks like he could be on steroids, and he and my dad started talking. Instantly, like any used car salesman, he goes right into telling us about how awesome these Jeeps are, that they’re in perfect condition. We had narrowed down the three jeeps to one, and naturally we wanted to take it to a local mechanic. Most people would have no problem with this, but this guy did. After he refused to let us take it to our mechanic, we were turned off. In addition, he had given us a price on the phone, and then he told us a higher price when we were there talking face to face. At that point we were out of there. I was truly upset; I had mgotten my hopes up that I would be driving one of those Jeeps home. My dad told me not to be upset, and that we would find another one that same day. Still at the dealership, we were still sitting in our parked car; both of us on our iPhones looking up classifieds near our area. I find one that looks good, and it’s only a ferry ride away.
This one was from a private seller and she had just listed it up that morning, so my dad called her up immediately. We told her we could come to see it that day, and she agreed. We raced to catch the next ferry, which we barely made. Driving off the ferry ramp, we headed to the address the lady gave us. We ended up in a somewhat rough neighborhood, but we decided we came too far to turn around because of some Mexicans with baggy shorts down to their ankles and flat brim hats.
We finally got there, and there it is, sitting on the side of the road outside a small conventional house. The lady walked out her front door, and I was already looking under the jeep and checking it out. Everything is checking out, the miles were low, there were very little signs of rust, and I was getting excited. Eventually I was behind the wheel and out for a test drive. The engine ran a little rough, but it was nothing I couldn’t fix on my own. So my dad and I are sitting in the car on the other side of the block, and he asks me if I want it. I, of course, said yes, and we went back and worked a price out. Even though the lady only came down from her price a mere 50 dollars, we still ended up making the deal.
Finally, my own car, and the exact one I wanted. I drove it all the way home with no plates, riding on the hopes that the police weren’t out that night. It was exciting to finally be driving the car that I would call mine. I was already imagining the I remember parking it on the ferry and looking at it from the upper deck of the parking garage. I got it home and everyone came out the front door of my house as I pulled down the driveway. It seemed as if my family was more excited about it then I was, which puzzled me. I felt proud of myself for finding the Jeep and being able to bring it home the exact same day. All the weeks of searching for a car had amounted to this one day, where it all happened in a matter of hours.