Our new favorite toy is a 1987 Dodge Ram 150 4×4. It has been lovingly cared for by one single owner (father-daughter situation) and appears to have been w-a-x-e-d sometime in the last handful of months. Waxed. Wow.
We looked at the vehicle last night. My husband and mother test drove it. Then I was brought in to approve their decision. It would be a big financial commitment — I had to cast the prudent and wise vote to either purchase or let it pass by. How do I make the decision? I have been told that I can’t drive a standard transmission, so I couldn’t test drive it. I looked under the truck and observed the frame, and looked at the alignment of the doors to the truck body. No noticable wracking from the Fisher plow and its use. The tires were just purchased, they were new. New. Not used, not new to us… but really new. That is very cool. The truck had four tires, two doors, an interior that needed some assistance from the parts store: a new door handle, a clasp of some fashion for the glove box… little things. And then I closed the drivers side door, and saw the wax. It was visible in that little crevice that is hard to get into that is around the round exterior silver door lock.
When I saw the wax, my heart skipped a beat. “Yup.” I said.
“Yup? Do we get it, or do we keep looking?” they asked.
“Call her. We’re buying it.” I replied.
Okay, really…I am not that totally shallow. I really did look at a few more details on the vehicle, but, basically, yes, the wax was the deciding factor.
The truck has a little gas tank leak, and some play in the steering wheel.
Our Dodge. 60,000 original miles in a twenty-two year old truck. (Think, think) that is less than three thousand miles a year, average. That is a pretty small carbon footprint for that truck in a lifetime — think of it — it sports an engine that is older than most convenience store employees, and not stopping anytime soon — we are keeping another truck from having to be manufactured, and shipped. Provided that it is maintained well by us, we will actually be conserving precious resources, while stylin’ in a two-tone Dodge Ram. A four wheel drive blue and white truck with its original pinstriping (pinstripes!) and all of its service and owners paperwork. A plow. A classic 80’s aluminum tailgate protector strip. It really is a hoot of a truck.
Postscript: Maybe we were wrong. Day One, trip one. Husband just called me. He is stranded on New York State Route 22 with a blown stainless steel brake line, a pig in a tagalong trailer and with very little cellphone signal. We have no prospects for being rescued for hours, if we can find a part.
PPS: Driving without an Emergency Brake, and with Stainless Steel Brake line clamped off with vice grips. Leaking Brake Fluid. Got as far as Spruce Corner Restaurant in Goshen, MA. Called for assistance. Never going to make Ashfield Mountain without brakes!
I guess that the truck is still lovely, though I wouldn’t have thought that it would have been outfitted with aftermarket specialty high-performance brake lines. Note to self: check the brake lines next time before buying a vehicle. The special ones are special order only, two-to three days. (dope slap head here)