The latest addition to my parts pile for the Z, I recently found a great deal on a brand new Amuse shift knob, so I jumped on it. I am no photographer, but it was rather difficult to get a good picture…
Size reference next to a couple of my other knobs (Nismo GT Ti & Tommy Kaira Hebi Bebi)...
I have never been one for New Year's Eve. It is an overrated holiday as far as I am concerned. I am too old to go to a bar, pay $50 to $100 just to walk in the door, not be able to hear the person to whom I am talking, constantly bump into inebriated strangers, and pay double the normal price for a drink. All. Set. With. That.
Instead, I spent my New Year's Eve at a Ford dealership in Connecticut.
I have been looking around at different vehicles while I have been trying to sell the FJ over the past couple months. Last week I stumbled upon a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 that was recently traded into Columbia Ford in Columbia Connecticut. I emailed them about this truck and explained my situation and what I was hoping to do. Reluctant to sell/trade the FJ into a dealership as I knew I would get very little (if anything) over book value for my trade, despite having more than a few thousand dollars worth of parts on the vehicle, I was lucky enough to connect with a salesman who understood my circumstances and was willing to work with me. A few emails back and forth and I decided it was worth the 2 hour drive to check out this vehicle.
Upon my arrival, I was greeted by the General Manager who introduced me to Dave, the man with whom I had been emailing. Dave gave me a tour of the dealership, which was unlike any other dealership I had ever been to. This place was more akin to a resort than a car dealership. After speaking with Dave for a few minutes, I learned quickly that the customer experience is the main priority of the people at Columbia Ford, something I respect greatly. I never felt pressured or as if I was being judged. I think something as simple as relating to and taking the time to actually understand the customer can go a long way in any sales position, but, to me, this is especially important when it comes to a big purchase, like a vehicle. As a result of Dave's professionalism, patience, and understanding, I will absolutely consider making the trek to Columbia Ford in the future when I am looking for another vehicle.
All that said, Dave and Columbia Ford made the numbers work for me. Yes, I likely could have put a few dollars more in my pocket had I decided to part out the truck and trade it in in stock form, but would that have been worth the hassle and aggravation of removing the parts, listing them on forums and online marketplaces, negotiating with potential buyers and "tire kickers," shipping, etc...? Who knows? I do know that I did not leave disappointed with the final agreed upon deal. I feel like I was treated very well.
What I did not expect to do was drive off the lot yesterday in the Jeep. But I did. As I took the turn to the on-ramp and slowly increased the pressure on the accelerator, I accepted the reality that I was in for a totally different experience than driving a lifted FJ on chunky tires. Handling is not what you would expect from an SUV, the torque is addictive, and, given the totally averse nature of the two vehicles' purpose, the interior is a bit more refined than the FJ. This truck is fun!
I will not say that I am not going to modify this truck, because I know I want to do a few things to it. I have a feeling that I will have to continually remind myself, "You said you are not going to go crazy with this thing… You said you are not going to go crazy with this thing…"
I found out late last week that a potential buyer of the FJ was planning a flight out to see the truck on Monday. I believe it was Thursday afternoon when I reached out to Alex at Driven Perfection to see if he could fit the truck into his schedule for a full interior and exterior detail, hoping for Saturday morning. Of course he accommodated my request. I was all set to drop the truck off on Saturday morning and he was going to give me a call when it was done.
Well, late Friday night I looked at the forecast on my phone and realized we were supposed to get hit with a gross snow (then later rain) storm. I texted Alex and asked if it was possible to reschedule the appointment as I knew I would be driving away from having my truck freshly detailed in a slushy mess. Alex told me not to worry and that I could leave the truck in his garage all weekend until the foul weather passed. So, needless to say before even dropping my truck off, I was greatly impressed with his service.
I had had my G detailed by Driven Perfection a few years back and it came out beautiful, so I was not concerned with the work they would do on the FJ. When I picked the truck up a little while ago, it made me regret even considering selling. The truck looks great. As if I drove it off the lot today. Amazing inside and out!
Thank you again, Alex and all the guys at Driven Perfection. You certainly have my business in the future. I look forward to bringing my Z over to these guys once it is put together…
It was starting to get dark as I picked up the truck, but I managed to snap a few pictures with my phone…