February 9, 2017 …. We had just finished our morning appointment with our tax guy, and on the way home, we suddenly said “Let’s ask the phone if there is a Jeep dealer nearby.” We had been talking about getting a car to tow 4-down (all 4 wheels on the ground) for months. While we do love our Mini, the MURTLE, towing it requires a Tow Dolly which is a real pain to load and unload. It always takes two of us to do it. Moreover, the steel belts of the tires on MURTLE separated while bouncing 7,000 miles down the roads of the US strapped to the Tow Dolly, and we had to get all new tires after the first trip.
Most RV owners we met were towing Jeeps … and a Jeep made sense. Not to be forgot is the time in Yellowstone where we couldn’t go off the side of the road to stop a bit because our 4-inch clearance wouldn’t have let us get back on the road without a tow truck getting involved … and of course the ghost town we had to forget about visiting because the street wasn’t paved. But a Jeep? Man, it can go anywhere, right? So we’ve been salivating over a Jeep for the last few months but had not actually begun to look at them. Was this the day? Our phone said yes — there were a couple of dealerships just 6 miles away, so we went to look.
Actually, first we went to Palmer Dodge, Jeep, Something & Ram and saw the Dream Car. Not new; a black 2003 Jeep Wrangler in unbelievably immaculate condition with a good service history, no accidents (not even a ding) but almost 150,000 miles on it. That worried Tom a bit, so we went next to Car Max where we saw a red 2012 Jeep for a little more money and only 45,000 miles. Not bad either.
Back at home on the computer, we found that the 4 Liter Straight 6 engine is the best ever made and will last a half a million miles. Jeep had discontinued it in 2006, so the 2012 has a lesser engine. Tom decided to vote for the Black 2003 because it’s the best car. I like it best too…. because it’s so cute.
The previous owners had added a lot of bells and whistles such as a bottle opener on the back (who needs a bottle opener on their car? Dunno, but we got one). And lots of extra lights, a Bluetooth, a CB radio. So back we went to Palmer and our wonderfully helpful sales agent, Adam, who gave Tom not only a test drive but a driving lesson.
Driving lesson? Well, yes …. this car is a Standard with lots of gears and gadgets. Both Tom and I have driven a Standard, sure … over 30 years ago. Yikes!
The deal was done!!
Below is our new car – now named PHROGIE because TOAD, THETOAD, FROGGY, FROGGIE, etc. were not available — parked at the Outback restaurant where we stopped for a celebratory lunch on the way home. The little bitty car in back of it is our old but faithful 1995 Geo Prism named Little Red. I considered trading it in, but the price I can get for Little Red would buy little more than a new blender, and anyhow I am very attached to it. Tom is equally attached to his old Buick, Blackie, of course, as well as the Mini Cooper, Murtle. We may need a new garage. How did we get into this situation? At least we both agree we will be selling the Tow Dolly.
March 20, 2017 –we received Phrogie’s license plate … and Tom bought a jack for it. This gigantic piece of machinery actually is now mounted across the back of the car inside, where it is hardly visible.