Keep On Truckin’

I need a new-to-me pickup truck. Understand that I don’t need a pickup very often. It’s just that sometimes not much else will do. It’s really hard to carry a sheet of plywood in the Camaro. The plywood lays flat in the bed of my truck. And I can’t tow a boat or any size camper with a Chevy SSR. Or bring home a refrigerator in SWMBO’s sedan.

The current resident in the Great White Fleet is a 16-year old Silverado just broken in with under 150,000 on the ticker.

It’s a pretty nice LS, Z71 truck with Chevy’s great 5.3L V-8 and automatic trans, four-wheel-drive, towing package, alloy wheels, the third door, air, power steering and door locks, cruise, premium AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio, a bed liner, sliding rear window, and running boards. Pretty much everything I need except the fourth door and a sunroof. Trouble is, it also comes with the optional rust package and my mechanic said, “Don’t bring it back to Vermont, Dick.”

I guess it’s really time.

Sad. That truck has been as economical to own as any.

The economics are important. I have in the past figured to spend about $1,000/year to own a vehicle — that’s just the cost I pay less the cost I can sell the junker for divided by the number of decades I own it, not the cost of gas and oil and repairs. Inflation meant I figured I’d have to spend $1,500/year to own my next truck.

I.Will.Not.Buy.A.New.GM.Vehicle. Not after that car thief in Washington stole the company.

Used cars are still fair game so I’ve been looking for a used Chevy, F-f-f-f-f-f-ford, or GM pickup. I’ve tried to find a good ’96 Buick Roadmaster station wagon with the towing package. No joy.

So. Buy another 5-6 year old truck for $15,000. Keep it 10 years. Or buy an 8 year old truck for $10,500. Keep it 7 years. And so on. I’d prefer one I can keep for more than a decade.

I found a pretty nice 2013 Chevy sold by a Russian fellow on Long Island who called me from Baltimore. I checked out the seller (cops had never heard of him). CarFax OKed the truck. It wasn’t white, but I made an offer anyway. We made a deal. I sent him a deposit on Paypal.

He relisted the truck and sold it to someone else who offered more money before I could get up there.

Fortunately, I had made it a refundable deposit and I got it back.

I’ve kissed a lot of other frogs. There was the 2011 Silverado Work Truck. Turned out that seller wanted $28,000 for a “low mileage” five-year-old with 80,000 miles that cost about $28K new. Really really proud of that truck. A lot have been priced that way. The red ’97 Chevy might have been almost worth taking just because of the 303,640 miles! It needed a seat, though, and that got me worried about the suspension. A real beauty was a two-tone Silverado in Sebring that survived Hurricanes Wilma, Jeanne, and Frances. OK, no.

I got to thinking that if I buy a 24-year-old truck, it’s gonna have too too many miles so it’s better to go for as many as I can get (456,000 anyone?). I found that one in Houston but everyone said I was nuts.

None of the trucks that fit my criteria have been anywhere close to my price.

I finally found a lovely 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE with just 19,000 miles advertised in Bowling Green (home of the Corvette)!

It has the right engine, the 5.3L V8 with the good 6-Speed automatic, and the other options I need: the HD handling/trailering package, locking rear, 170° rear doors, power steering and door locks, cruise, a premium AM/FM/CD/MP3/XM radio with steering wheel controls, a bed liner, and 20″ chrome wheels. It also has all the options I’d like: leather, power seat, power windows in the rear doors that go all the way down, dual zone air conditioning, locking tailgate, Bluetooth, and more.

Nice '13 GMC Sierra

Oh, yeah. It’s even Summit White.

I had the high bid in the auction but it didn’t trip the seller’s reserve price. He’s asking $25,000.

Rufus said, “So make him an offer — not your usual lowball, just absolutely the best you would be willing to do (and somehow convince him that you really mean it.) Nothing to lose…”

Lotta lotta money on the table for a used truck.

I use Kelly Blue Book pricing to check these used “deals.” The KBB Average Trade-In ranges $21,349-21,874 for good or very good condition for that truck in Vermont. Interestingly, The Average Trade-In is $21,703-22,228 in Bowling Green, KY.

Worse, NADA says the Average Trade-In is $22,925. Vermont charges tax on the higher of the purchase price or the NADA Average Trade. $1,376 in tax. The typical cost to register and title a vehicle for the first time in Florida is $420, plus sales tax; the state imposes a 6% sales tax on the full purchase price.

It will cost to get it here. About $900 if I grab a rental so Anne and I can drive up there and back, a little less if I fly into Nashville alone, grab a rental and a motel, and drive back. About $1,100-1,200 if I ship it. Add in the sunroof and $900 in tires sooner than later, and suddenly it’s a $27K truck for a guy sweating to buy a $15K truck.

I really want a truck like that one. I really should get a truck like this one:

'94 Ext Cab Chevy Pickup with Matching Doors

I heard on the radio this morning that people who sleep just one extra hour per day can make up to 16% more in salary. Looks like I’ll need to nap here at work. A lot.

Liz Arden says, “Get guitar (steal Rufus’ dreadnought — he won’t notice). Sit on corner. Place guitar case, cover opened, in front of you. Strum guitar.”
Rufus, who noticed, said, “Ahh, the American farm model. They’ll pay you not to play!”


3 thoughts on “Keep On Truckin’

  1. Not only will they make 16% more, but that one hour of extra sleep is one fewer hour to use spending whatever you DID make.

    FWIW, this website says that the $21,000 “work truck with a V8 and cruise” which I bought 7 years ago has escalated about 4.2% a year… so it would cost about $28,000 new to replace. It WOULD be a better truck — not only would it have the 5.3 liter V8 instead of my 4.8, but the 5.3 is now direct injected, which means more power or better economy. And I think power windows are now standard…. cruise may be as well as there was no option to check.

    But I realize it would not be the truck YOU would want. (BTW — this is for the 8′ bed…. a short-cab “standard bed” truck would be a little cheaper AND it would take your cap.),73-C-U,17-C-U,11-C-U,1-R-U,9-R,35-C-U,32-C-U,12-C-U,20-C-U,23-C-U,10-C-U,44-I,43-I,31-C-U,42-I-U,45-C-U,15-C-U,4-C-U&exteriorColorId=1344386&interiorColorId=1344395&incentiveIds=4000162620,4000162776,4000162692&trimId=298912&zipcode=18974

  2. For Sale:
    Pretty nice 2000 Silverado LS, Z71 truck with Chevy’s great 5.3L V-8 and automatic trans, four-wheel-drive, towing package, alloy wheels, the third door, air, power steering and door locks, cruise, premium AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio, a bed liner, sliding rear window, and running boards. Pretty much everything I need except the fourth door and a sunroof. I’ll throw in the optional rust package FREE!
    $2,995 OBO. Inquire within.

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