Smart for Rangie.

Its all going according to the plan. We have talked about it a great deal, Freddy and I and the kids. It affects them a fair bit as well, so we wanted to get input from the whole family (except Mal, dogs like any car)……

We are just not going off road in the Rangie. We thought we would. We had planed to go bush a lot more often, we thought we had settled down in the house and we (Freddy and I) would go camping a bit more often. We thought we would find some back country where we would need a four wheel drive to get away from it all.
Yeah. Not so much on all accounts.

So, three years after running the Rangie, we (ok, Ok, I) came to my senses…..
Well, lets just back things up a little and let me allay your fears lest you think that I suddenly matured over night…. What actually happen is that Amy got a boyfriend. Terry got student of the month and thus it really did sink in that he is half way through his Senior (ie, last) year… Oh and I pressed reset on the trip computer on the Rangie.

Look, there is no easy way to drag you kicking and screaming through this, so just take another gulp of hooch, sit still and be quiet!

Normally, around the end of October (i.e. after our week long church gig thingo) the family sits down and we rough out all our goals and thus family budget. Its been a good plan that has roughly worked for the most part (other than that whole move-to-america thing).
This year, 50% of the family drew a blank.
The kids had no idea what they were facing in the coming year. I had no idea what they were facing.
Kind of hard to budget for the unknown.

The one thing that was known. I missed my bike. Badly. Urgently.
Most of you have no idea what the wind on your scalp feels like. Trust me. Its amazing.
Sad thing is. At 35 years old (yes, that’s a typeo. I thought you were going to be quiet), as much as I missed my bike, I remember why I sold it. That bozo at the lights playing Angry Birds on his phone while ‘driving’. Idiot. Spoiled my dream.
That and unlike Amy, I remember Freddy mumbling something over the intercom while I carved up the downhill side of the Palm Springs run.

So what’s a bloke to do?
Misses the bike, but has to admit, its all Apples fault. $%#^@ iphone. Wife not a fan of guardrail-less high-speed corners with the bike cranked over such that its dragging a foot peg (or more)……
You compromise.
How about a nice two seat convertible?
The kids never come with us any-more anyway, so we dont need more than two seats.
Its America, there are tar roads everywhere we want/need to go.
Why take a big heavy Range Rover with us, when a nice high performance two seat beast will do the same job?
(Besides, the last drive we went on, Freddy got car sick in the Rangie… And after my 3.? months at sea, feeling nauseous for most of it, why would I chose to do that to my wife?).

Thus, the plan began to crystallize.
Sell the Rangie and get a convertible.
The car sick thing should be taken care off since there would be no body roll.
The money thing (ie, the kids unknown expenses for the year ahead) should look a whole lot better. (The convertible economy is better than the Rangie… Maintenance costs? Hey, that’s enough out of you!).

Right. So better start looking.
Straight away, fell in love with the Audi TT (Google it, I am not putting any photos in this blog that are not mine after I read that story about a blogger getting sued for using someone else’s photos).
1.8 litre turbo. All wheel drive. Biggest boot (USA Trunk) in its class (need to haul photography gear). 250+ horse power.
Yeah. 2002-2004 is in my price range.
Freddy is not a fan of the soft top.
Uh, ok, so look some more.
Drove a Nissan 305Z, VW EOS and a Mazda MX5. Meh.
SLK350. Now there is a convertible I could live with. Almost.
Took it for a drive. Very Nice. The boot, due to the hard top retracting into it, is tiny. Like, I probably cant even fit my existing camera bag into it tiny.
Overlooking reality, we started to look for them in ernest.
If we sell the Rangie, pool all our money, we are still a bit short on a 2004….. Uh. reality? Just get lost for a bit will ya. Thanks.

The boyfriend showed up. I said to Amy, I will drive the 4 hours to get him and bring him back if you let me take your car.

You know, I had forgotten how much I liked her Smart Car.

Reset the Rangie trip meter.

Freddy, and good on her, is not so excited about getting a car loan to cover the short fall, or the idea of cleaning out all of our hard saved savings.
We keep looking.
Nothing.

I dont know which happen first, the idea of a Smart Car convertible or I read the trip meter on the Rangie after 2 months.
32 mph. 51.5 kph.
Just explain to me again why I am looking at getting a 280hp car to drive it at 50 k’s an hour?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do I need to mention that we can buy two Smart Cars for the cost of one SLK350 (or Audi TT)?
No. Did not think so.

So that became the plan.
Buy a Smart Car with some of our savings.
Sell the Rangie. Top up the savings.
If Terry and I really like it, then buy another in 6-8 months when he starts collage.
In 4 years time when he is graduated and Amy has done what every it is she wants/needs to do, then, perhaps, we can look at something for me with a little more horsepower.

Until then…..
Blue

I wana call her Bluie

20130101_154257

You can open and close the roof at freeway speeds…. Do that Mr SLK350! Oh, wait, YOU CANT!

Nice view.

After driving her with the top down last night, Terry gets the whole convertible (aka bike) thing.

No, she’s not new (I dont have that much money!), but with 15k miles (24k km) on her, she may as well be.
The roof, heated leather seats (for the two weeks its winter here) and paddle shifters make a world of difference (from Amys). We will tweak a few things (add an arm rest and cruise control for a start) and drive her for many miles Im sure.

The gas and maintenance savings over the Rangie will be money straight in my pocket. A nice little self appointed raise!

And Freddy probably wont even bat an eye lid on the way to Palm Spring……she will be too busy complaining about the wind messing up her hair… I problem I totally fail to relate to.