Meet Romeo!

It’s been an interesting month here at the Weasel Lair. Losing Rhonda was shocking and sucked, but as with most things, where there is suck, there will soon be celebration. I believe the Universe strives for balance.

After losing Rhonda, we came back here and I started poking around to see what few stick shift vehicles I could find. The dude in Charlotte was on vacay the week after we got back, so I casually looked around the intertubes while I waited for his return.

I found a few cars; some Honda SIs, some Mazda SPEED 3s. I’d lined up a Mazda and a Honda to go look at over the weekend, but I was still counting on the Hendrick Buyer in CLT to find me the perfect ride.

I had the Mazda lined up first because it was closer, then had the urge to see the Honda instead. So I rescheduled the Mazda and we drove down to Bellamy Strickland Chevy in McDonough (about 45 mins to an hour away) on Saturday July 1. I was looking at a blue 2012 Civic SI with 62k miles on it for $12999 (asking price). Exactly my criteria.

The pretty sales woman takes us to the SI on their lot and I start it up. The noise about knocked me out of the seat! I looked at the sales woman and asked “Why didn’t you tell me this car was modded??!!” She had no idea. I asked her if she’d ever BEEN in a Honda before?? My heart sank, since where there is one mod, there are usually several more. Nonetheless, we took the car out for a spin and it was FUN FUN FUN. Very fast, very loud and very Honda in the overall feel of the car. I am VERY partial to Honda clutches and transmissions, I’ll tell you. Say what you want about Honda being an average ride, but I’d be happy to blow the doors off your compact car any day. ;)

We got back to the dealership and tell them that the deal goes no further until I have my mechanic check out the car for other modifications and such. They said, OK, here are the keys!! I was puzzled and said “What?” They said, “Go ahead! You can take it home and have your mechanic look it over on Monday, or if they are not there (July 4 holiday), you can keep it until Wednesday, no problem!” I could NOT believe it. I signed ONE SHEET of paper and drove off with the car. !!

The drive back to Tucker took about an hour, so I got to be up close and personal with the car in traffic. The lack of muffler was DEAFENING. But I will admit, being in Ricer Mode was growing on me! The car was a pleasure to drive despite the racket. I thought that there was a modded intake since it had SO MUCH power and I noticed the suspension was tight – we’d seen the red springs, so we knew something was up.

I parked the car, but I already knew his name: Romeo. He was working hard to convince me that HE was the one! LOL

Meet Romeo!

Monday rolled around and the mechanic was open, so I took Romeo down. He had no muffler and the suspension had been replaced by Skunk2 springs, but the intake was stock. I was surprised that the car was that zippy STOCK. It does have a 2.4L engine, but DANG. It will blow your hair back! To put him back to stock would cost me about $3500 (muffler and suspension), plus he needs his 60k maintenance which is another $400. The suspension doesn’t harm the car (other than kill the shocks, which are already dead), but it rides like a log wagon. You can’t really see the lowering visually, but you can FEEL it. I got all the paperwork and we prepared to go negotiate on Wednesday. The repairs were my bargaining chip with the dealership.

Wednesday came and we headed South to Bellamy Strickland. I’d still not heard anything back from the dude in CLT, so I was prepared to make an offer on this car. It’s a goddam unicorn and I’d be damned if I was going to miss this opportunity. We sit down with the used car manager and I present him with the cost of putting the car back to stock and therefore raising its value back to what it should be. By my research, the mods take it from being a $13-14k car to a $10-12k car. At first, the manager was like NOPE, I’ll just wholesale it. But I said “OR you can sell it to me!” He went and priced out the car (to get what he had in it) and when he brought me those numbers, I saw that he’d put brand new tires on the car, as well as done full brake job and turned the front rotors. THESE things made the deal for me. He said he’d need about $11,700 to break even and I said DONE. Even with the repairs needed for the car, I’ll be right in the range of its actual value ($14k). I wrote a check for $3115.50 to cover the $1700 down payment and the taxes. We got a loan for $10k at 2.89%, which is stellar for a used car. Our payment is only ~$176/mo and we can pay off at any time w/out penalty.

Hello, handsome!

I am VERY happy with the deal I got on Romeo. The car is clean as a pin and the mechanic said that it has been cared for – despite the Ricer mods. I got the muffler put back on immediately and I’ll do the suspension in a few months, once we’ve recovered financially from draining the savings account. I just have to be VERY careful driving him over rough bumps and avoid speed bumps until then. Don’t want to mess up the shiny new $500 muffler!! Romeo has SIX gears, so it’s been fun learning to drive him. I don’t have the muscle memory yet, so I’m often wondering which gear I’m in! I’ve not hit 4th rather than 6th any more, tho, which is good. I’ll also share something with you: I kinda LIKED the Ricer sound. It was annoying at certain RPMs, but it was fun to have a loud ass car. I can see why the kids do it. :)

I sent an email to the CLT dude, explaining that I’d called him several times Monday and Wednesday and I had to make a decision, so I did. He has not responded, so I assume he’s butthurt that I’d buy locally rather than drive back to CLT. I would have totally driven to CLT had he been able to get me a deal like this one. The stuff he’d had for me had been a Scion and a Mazda 3. No Hondas. And they’d been $14k+. I don’t feel bad about taking the GIFT that the Universe handed me, but I am disappointed that the guy didn’t even bother to respond. Meh. He DID finally respond and was lovely about the whole thing. :)

I love my new ride, Romeo, and I think we’ll have a long time together. We’ve established that I keep cars FOREVER. Which is why I get attached. Long live Romeo! Welcome to the family!