Saturday, May 15, 2010

Why I Haven't Bought A New Gun In Way Too Long

Anyone who reads this blog on a fairly regular basis knows that time after time I write about my plan to buy a new rifle soon, in fact I'd like to buy two or three of them that I have in mind and a shotgun too. Then there is that reloading equipment that I have been studying for several months now. I will buy the reloading equipment fairly soon but am still not too sure when I will be getting that new rifle for my collection. When it comes to the reloading stuff, well - I was given a gift back on Christmas (or was it my birthday last year, yeah I think it was then) to buy a reloading kit. So that money is kind of set aside. I was also able to save up about 4 grand in recent months - and all that money went into the bank too. So what is keeping me from buying a gun.

Well, I sot of made a promise to my son that I would buy a new car this year. Our 1996 Ford Taurus has seen better days. It is in no way on its last legs but is is very old and requires a new minor repair about every 6 months or so and sooner or later (probably sooner) it will need some form of major repair. The time is right for a replacement. So last week we went out again, one of several times over the past year, to look at new cars. We finally found what we were looking for - a Hyundai Elantra with a manual transmission (not easy to find on Long island or in NYC) and I plopped $500 down on it. Today the car should be ready and we will be picking it up. So as soon as I finish this, I have to get ready to go to the bank to pick up a cashiers check for just over $16,500 (out the door) to pay for the car. My bank accounts will be all but depleted. It took me a long time to save that money and it took less than 45 minutes of sitting there with the dealer to spend it. I knew what I was willing to spend on the car we were looking at, which in fact was about $150 than I should have spent but as I said we have looked for quite a while without being able to find one with a manual transmission and I did not want to travel far and wide to find one. When we started looking, I was pretty sure the car would cost about only $14K in total but we changed gears a bit and bought a different model the Elantra Touring Wagon instead of the sedan. It is a nice car, good on the gas, will be okay as a family car even with 4 dogs, and is probably somewhat better for the environment as compared to something like a Cadillac Escalade or an Abrams Tank. Add to that the facts that it is pretty much loaded in its base configuration such as having 4 wheel anti lock brakes, traction control, stability control, tire pressure monitoring, front and rear side mounted airbags, remote keyless entry with alarm, A/C, a 172-Watt AM/FM/XM® Satellite Radio/CD/MP3 audio system with 6 speakers (2 front-door-mounted speakers, 2 tweeters and 2 rear speakers), an iPod®/USB/Auxiliary input jacks and other stuff. It also came with a beige interior, maybe not my top choice but much better than the other option - a black interior (cloth seats). Imagine me getting the black interior with 4 dogs. My wife would have killed me but not before making me clean out the dog hair.

Not a bad deal for the price even though I over paid about $150. The fact that the dealer found one only minutes after we got to the dealership was worth the extra expense. Several other dealers told me they either could not find them or there would be an outrageous premium to order one with a manual transmission even though the manual is normally much less expensive than the automatic. As a matter of fact, we stopped at another dealer just minutes before the one where we made our deal and that first dealer told me the car with a manual was almost impossible to find even though it was the base model. He told me the only one available in NY State was in Albany and it would likely cost an extra $3K to buy it. Another dealer told me I would have to go to Virginia to buy one with a manual because folks in the big city areas just don't go for em so there is no demand up this way. Yeah right! We were off from the first dealer we stopped at last Saturday to the dealer who finally found one for us within 5 (maybe 10) minutes of our plopping our butts down next to the saleswoman's desk.

So now it is off to pillage the family bank accounts. Then, once armed with a cashiers check, we will be off to the dealership to kiss the money goodbye and welcome a new car into the family. I'll hand my son the keys and ask the question - North, East, South or West! Then off we will go....Hopefully we will drive to a nice gun shop somewhere so I can look at new rifles and at least keep the dream going that someday soon I will be buying a new one. Maybe, just maybe, there will be enough left over to buy a rifle. If not, then I will just have to start saving all over again and as soon as I have enough for the rifle I want I'll have to buy it. Otherwise I am sure something else will come up to gobble up my money and just keep me dreaming about a new gun.

All the best,
Glenn B


Anonymous said...


Glenn B said...
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Glenn B said...
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Glenn B said...

I almost forgot to mention, if you want to buy American, I have a used Ford Taurus for sale - cheap.

Glenn B said...

When doing other shopping, I often seek out products that were made in the USA. Truth be told, even when car shopping, I would prefer to buy American but there are a few reasons why I did not.

The first and most important reason is that most American cars of the same class of car I just bought are inferior (in my judgment and in the judgment of others I know who own Hyundais) to the make and model I purchased. Hyundai used to be real junk but they have steadily made improvements over the years to where the Elantra, at least, gets great ratings.

Secondly, I bought an American car two new cars ago. It was and is (we still have it) a Ford Taurus. It runs fine but there have been other issues with it that made me realize Ford quality was not up to par; mostly little stuff but I did not need the headaches. If I was to buy an American car today, it likely would have been another Ford but I am not yet ready to go Ford again especially on an economy car because of quality issues. No matter what they promised after what amounted to them improving the quality of their cars within the last year or 6 months, for some reason I find it hard to believe and will wait for the reliability reports to come in before I buy another Ford.

As for GM and Chrysler, I have quite the experience with their cars in the form of rentals and cars I have been assigned at work. I have not liked any of them in recent years, heck not in the past 20 years. GM products were just terrible in my experience and Chrysler cars were possibly worse than that. I probably will never buy a new car from GM or Chrysler. Why not? Not just because I think they make inferior cars but also because they not only accepted bail-out money - they almost demanded it.

Now GM says they have paid off their debt and they say they make better cars. Am I to believe them that they make better cars when it seems quite possible they are twisting the truth when talking about debt payoff? Have they really paid it off? Not from what I have heard. Apparently they have paid off one of the government loans with money from another government loan - or in other words - we the taxpayers paid off the loan they claim to have paid. Them then bragging that they paid off the loan 5 years early amounts to bullshit as far as I am concerned if indeed it was additional loan money used to pay off the first loan. Claims like that do not do anything to bolster confidence in what was, and probably still is, a crappy product.

As for Chrysler, nope I did not want a PT Loser, err Cruiser.


Glenn B said...

(Continued from above)

So far I have owned five foreign cars and four American cars. Two of the American cars were out and out junk, another one was so-so at best. One was okay, maybe even good. That was my car when I was in my young 20s.

As for the foreign cars all were pretty good. They include a 2 Mazdas (one stolen soon after I bought it so I cannot judge it), two Toyota Corollas one a sedan and the other a wagon (my current Corolla is a sedan and has none of the problems plaguing other models)and now the Hyundai. The three foreign cars, that I had for many years, the Mazda 323 and the 2 Toyota Corollas, beat the domestic cars by a longshot on quality and reliability.

Another reason I bought a Hyundai is because of the warranty. They have not just started this warranty as a sales gimmick to get them out of deep doody. They have had it for years because they make pretty dependable cars from what I have heard. It is 5 years bumper to bumper, 10 years on the power train, and 7 years on corrosion resistance. Finally, I bought it because it came with a stick shift. Neither other makes of foreign or American made cars that we looked at over the past two years (yes we have been looking at buying a new car for over 2 years now) were available in this neck of the woods with a stick shift. Sure I could have gotten a Pontiac G-8 but at about $40,000 - and about $4,000 a year insurance - well, geesh!

I will buy an American car again when it give me the same bang for the buck as does a foreign car and when I am fairly certain that the same amount, or better, of quality will be there.

All the best,
Glenn B.